Chapter 571: Clue to the Spirit Seed
"You retard, go to hell with 'love'!" Lonemoon really couldn't help himself anymore, that he no longer cared whether his immortal power had recovered, and rushed up to give him a severe beating. And he deliberately punched into that square face full of stubbles. "Dare you say any more nonsense!"
Tao Chu still seemed to be in an infatuation.
"My husband, even if you beat me, I won't change my love!
"My husband, since the moment you saved me, I have fancied you!"
"My husband, so long as you agree to marry me, I will love you with all my heart despite the numerous concubines in my palace."
"Wait… you can't hit that place… My husband… Ouch! My husband… Sir!" "So painful, so painful… Sir Lonemoon, Great Immortal, please save my life, ahhhhhh!"
Tao Chu's looked was completely terrified, as he stepped back, hands pressed to his lower body. Unfortunately, there were sword arrays set by Chef all around them- he had nowhere to retreat to.
Lonemoon held his longsword, apparently angry to the point of craziness, such that there was even a bit of a smile on his face, but the smile was freezing cold. He closed in step by step towards. "Numerous concubines in the palace, eh? Love me with all your heart, eh? Then I'll clean it up for you so that you can cease this thought!"
With that said, he raised a sword and it fell towards a certain indescribable body part.
"Wait! Great Immortal… You have to calm down. Great… Great…" Tao Chu's face went pale like paper instantly. His face was full of terror. Seeing that the sword was about to fall, at that critical moment, he remembered something, and cried out loud, "I… I know where the thing you're looking for is!" The sword edge paused and stopped in time, right beside his pants.
Some reason was finally recovered in Lonemoon's eyes. He turned towards Tao Chu, his look was as cold as ice. He spoke word by word, "What's 'the thing'?"
"Just that… that egg you all are looking for!" Tao Chu swallowed his saliva and replied hurriedly, his eyes totally frightened, with not a bit of the earlier infatuation left.
Egg! He meant the spirit seed?
"Talk! Where is it?" asked Lonemoon.
"It's… it's at Yang City." replied Tao Chu hurriedly. "I have seen that colorful egg before at Immortal Academy in Central District of Yang City."
"Immortal Academy?" Lonemoon's face sank. So there was such a place. "Yes, yes." He nodded hurriedly. "I will never lie to Great Immortal, but please spare my life, Great Immortal!"
Lonemoon looked back towards Yi Qing and Shen Ying, before putting away the sword in his hand. "Count yourself fortunate!" He turned his hand and threw the sword back towards Chef. Then, he looked back towards the man. "Tell me, where is that Yang City?"
"Right in the… the east." He pointed to the right weakly.
Chef's face sank. He took two steps forward and said, "True or false, it's better to go and take a look."
"Yup." Lonemoon nodded.
Tao Chu finally let out a sigh of relief and embraced his own strong body. Yet Lonemoon turned and looked back again, then suddenly smiled. It scared him to shake again.
"Next…" He suddenly walked back once more, took out a pen and paper from nobody knew where, and said word by word, "Let's have a chat about the matter of my various compensations, including costs of missed work, fright, travel, mental loss, reputation loss, etc, over these days!" Death could be avoided, but debt could not! Not a dollar could go missing!
Tao Chu, "…"
Yi Qing: "…"
Shen Ying: "…"
It was Father Niu indeed. He didn't even forget to make money from a forced marriage!
The Yang City that Tao Chu mentioned was the largest city in this area around the end of void. It took the three half a month before they reached there. Coupled with the vagueness of Tao Chu's description, they had to settle down in the city first and gather some information about it. Fortunately, with Tao Chu's compensation using most of what he owned, this time they didn't have to worry about money any more.
And the restrictions on Father Niu had already been lifted. He recalled carefully, and realized that despite his carelessness early on which subjected him to the tricks of that peach demon, the demon himself might have some special racial talent which could freeze other people's Dharmic powers. Therefore, once he left, his body recovered automatically.
He had no time for a careful study of this chaotic "end of void" until now. This place was a bit like a mixture of cultivators' world and many other types of worlds. There were not only cultivators but also demons, fiends, all kinds of elves and dwarves, etc. It was like a world of mixed Chinese and Western properties and it had contained many things that they didn't understand and had to defend themselves against.
"Eh? Where's Shen Ying?" Lonemoon looked at Chef who sat alone at the table. Wasn't it time for breakfast?
"Perhaps Master is tired from yesterday's traveling," replied Chef, "She's not awake yet." "Psst, how tired can it be for her?" Lonemoon rolled his eyes. Wasn't it Chef who always rode the sword? She stood behind and nibbled at fruits at best.
Ridiculing aside, he still turned back to tell the waiter in the hall to serve their food later.
Yi Qing looked out at the streets full of people, and thinking about that spirit seed, he spoke subconsciously, "I wonder where that so-called Immortal Academy is actually at."
"We can only try to ask about it." Lonemoon also frowned. "But since it's called an academy, it must be a place to educate students. I only don't know what it teaches."
"Are two sirs talking about Immortal Academy?" When he was talking, a person from the table beside them suddenly came over and looked at the two with enthusiasm. "If you would like to know about something, you can ask me!"
The two were stunned for a moment. The person speaking wore a long green robe. He was not tall and looked somewhat thin. Most importantly, on his forehead there were two skin- colored antennas, and two balls of fluorescent light actually shone at its top.
They had already seen all kinds of strange people when they entered the city yesterday, and the people here seemed totally used to them as well. Lonemoon couldn't guess his identity, but still smiled politely, "Oh, have you heard of the Immortal Academy, sir?"
"Who hasn't?" The young man sat down himself like he was around someone familiar, and said smiling, "This Immortal Academy is the largest Academy in Central District, and it's long been known by everyone. Only that I know it in more details, with some information that none of the others know."
"Oh?" Lonemoon's eyes narrowed. He smiled even more politely and said, "Sir, you actually have such abilities?"
"Of course!" He said with a face full of pride. "I'm from the insect race, whom are best with information. There's nothing that we don't know in this Central District." With that said, the antennas on his head shook slightly. "You understand, this is a racial talent." They actually didn't understand it!
But Lonemoon didn't show that on the surface. He continued smiling and said, "Sir, you are actually an insect race, I've been disrespectful!"
"No worries, no worries!" The young man smiled even more brilliantly. "If you both have any need in the future, you may find me for information any time. I promise that there's nothing you want to know that we insects can't find out." With that said, he even handed over a name card made from earth. "There, sir! It's the address of our city branch. You will always be welcome."
Chapter 572: Devil Shen Ying
Lonemoon took that name card. So this fellow was here to advertise, no wonder he was so enthusiastic. It seemed that this job of insect race was similar to a professional paparazzi, specializing in getting information. No wonder he would approach them.
"Thanks a lot, then." Lonemoon replied anyway. Maybe they could really use it someday.
"You're welcome, you're welcome!" As though he had never seen such an easy potential customer, the young man grew even more passionate. Suddenly, he remembered something, and he directly said, "Oh yeah, have you heard of the United Tournament that Immortal Academy is holding recently?"
"United Tournament?" Lonemoon was stunned.
"So you haven't!" He gave the two a surprised look. "But this isn't any big news. On the good luck we have of meeting each other, I'll tell you about it. Rest assured, this piece of news is free." He chuckled and started telling the two information with a good marketing spirit. "This United Tournament is the first time that Immortal Academy joins other academies to hold a large-scale competition. All the academies send their representatives to take part. I heard that the prizes are quite big!"
"Oh?" Lonemoon's looked completely surprised, but inside he was thinking about how to use this chance to blend in the crowd and get inside to find the spirit seed.
"Don't disbelieve me, Immortal Academy has spared great cost on the prize of this tournament. The champion can get a treasure with very high energy purity. Oh yeah, I even have a picture of that treasure!" He remembered something, suddenly turned and took out a scroll. He said secretively, "It was not easy for me to get this. Here, I'll let you take a look."
He directly unrolled the scroll, showing a colored egg-shaped pattern.
The spirit seed! Lonemoon was shocked, and he exchanged a look with Chef sitting opposite him. They didn't expect the spirit seed to actually be the prize of Immortal Academy's United Tournament! It was easy to come by indeed.
"You do have a broad knowledge, sir." Lonemoon smiled even more passionately and said, "We are new at this place and still don't know it well enough. Could you maybe tell us a bit more about this United Tournament?"
"I heard that there are three rounds, with preliminaries before that." He thought about it, then lowered his voice to add, "But I heard that, though on the surface, only the big academies can participate, you know that our Central District is full of many powers who wouldn't bow to one another, so many powers directly used the names of all kinds of academies just in hope of competing against one another under the name of this competition. But only Immortal Academy has such power of command, it won't work in other places."
"But I feel that, all those participating may never fulfill their hopes. How strong is Immortal Academy? How can other powers surpass them? The eventual champion would probably still be from Immortal Academy." He shook his head, then suddenly remembering something, he said with some price. "In the whole Central District, our insect race is probably the only one whose power can compete with Immortal Academy. But us Buggies have always had a good relationship with the Academy, and we don't need to take part in such competitions."
"You also have a prominent heritage then!" Lonemoon complimented him casually.
"What is this to us?" The other party looked completely unconcerned. "Our insect race was also a prominent existence across the whole plane in the past. It was a pity that we met a big devil afterwards, who almost completely destroyed our kind. Fortunately, our queen had foresight and hid into this end of the void, so that we had a chance to rest and recover. Our strength can no longer compare to the past right now." His body shook, as though he remembered something horrifying.
Lonemoon was stunned for a moment. He asked subconsciously, "What big devil?"
The young man's face greened slightly, as though speaking about something taboo. Even his voice dropped much lower. "Actually, I also heard this from those of the same race. Our insect race used to be very prosperous, that half of the plane was ruled by us. Suddenly, one day, a human came who started killing without saying a single word. Many of our kind died in her hand. Even our queen was shocked, and she had to run all the way to the end of void before she got rid of her. Right now, even the speed of production was affected by that. The population of our race can't be raised for a long time. We have lost many brothers and sisters.
"…" So all of their people were born by the queen?
"I heard…" His face fell even lower, and he said with a face full of horror, "that several decades ago, somebody had actually seen that big devil at the end of void! Nobody knew if she was coming to kill us off, it's so scary to even talk about it!"
Why did this story sound a bit familiar? Subconsciously, Lonemoon asked, "Who is this person that you are talking about, sir? Have you seen her?"
"I was born late, of course I have never seen her. But us Buggies all of our inheritance, and I shall be able to recognize her if I see her." He took a deep breath and said, "Oh yeah, she has a scary name, called- Shen Ying!" Lonemoon: "…"
Yi Qing: "…"
Holy shit, it was really her! Wait, couldn't this insect race be that insect race in Shen Ying's history of being thrown to the mother planet of insect race by Shen Jing at five to practice?
The world was too small!
The two gave a certain insect sympathetic looks at the same time.
But he didn't feel it at all. As though still immersed in the horror of the big devil, even his interest in talking was reduced significantly.
"I've got to get on with my work." He shook his head, turned back and gave the two a look and said, "I won't disturb your tea- drinking." With that said, he pointed to the bag in his hand. Only then did the two see that the bag was full of wooden name cards, the type that he just handed to Lonemoon. So he was actually here to give out leaflets.
"Thank you for the reminder then." replied Lonemoon.
"It's no problem!" He chuckled, before finally standing up, holding his bag full of wooden name cards and going off to continue giving out leaflets. He turned and walked towards the main hall, passing by the door to the backyard.
And it was just in time for his sight to meet right with that of Shen Ying, who just woke up and was coming out of the door, yawning…
Both froze for a moment. In a sparkling moment, something flashed and it was as if they heard the sounds of a few cracks in the air.
Shen Ying tilted her head, and then directly raised a hand, grabbing towards the other. "What… do you want to do?" Buggy was heavily shocked, his face paled in a split second, and his legs weakened instantly. He turned and started crying towards Lonemoon and Chef at the side, "Two sirs, help!"
"Eh?" Shen Ying's hand paused, turning towards the two by the table. "You know him?"
The two wore an inexplicable look on their faces. After a long while they nodded. "Something… like that."
"Oh." Shen Ying turned to give the Buggy in front of her another look. And then, she reached out, grabbed the two antennas on his forehead and directly tied them into a bowknot, before walking towards the table and sitting down.
Buggy didn't dare to resist and scrambled away.
Chapter 573: The United Tournament
Lonemoon gave Shen Ying a look. If that insect did not call out to them just now, Shen Ying was really about to attack him with that grab, right? "Why did you suddenly attack him?" She didn't look like someone who'd take initiative like this.
Shen Ying took the tea handed over by Chef, before blurting out, "Oh, just a habit!" She wanted to pinch an insect every time she saw one.
Yi Qing: "…"
So that was just a conditional reflex just now?
"Is this insect really the insect race of your sister's plane?" Lonemoon's eyes opened wide.
"Yup." Shen Ying nodded, and explained, "There was once a plane storm near the mother planet of insect race back then. One of the queens of insect race was probably accidentally blown out into the end of the void."
Lonemoon became even more confused. "But it doesn't make sense. Not all members of the insect race look like this."The young man just now had antennas, but he was obviously in human form. When they went back earlier on, those images of insect race Shen Ying showed him obviously all showed the kind with thick shells.
"Mimicry, probably." said Shen Ying. "High-level insects are capable of mimicry. Besides, this is the end of void, and it's normal for some mutations to occur."
So that was the reason.
"I'm so hungry. Can we start the meal?"
"…" She was that same foodie indeed. —————
Lonemoon didn't expect to find out where the spirit seed was at on their first day at Yang City. It was easy now that they knew the place. At first, Lonemoon planned to directly sneak into Immortal Academy tonight and retrieve the spirit seed. But he realized that there were too many different auras at the end of the void that it was rather chaotic, with some energy forms that they had never seen before. Their divine perception couldn't enter the interior of the Academy at all, which meant that they couldn't find where the spirit seed was.
Perhaps because of the unfortunate event earlier on, Lonemoon had a bit more vigilance to this world. He didn't rush inside without a care. Besides, that spirit seed was the publicized prize for the United Tournament now, and should it suddenly disappear, some unnecessary troubles are sure to be caused. Besides, this was the chaotic end of void, and they couldn't open the plane door whenever they wanted. Shen Ying said it would take at least one month before it could be reopened.
Therefore, after a lot of thinking, Lonemoon still felt that it was better to win that spirit seed openly. Yes, Father Niu planned to take part in that United Tournament or something. Regardless of whether they could win in the end, at least they had a chance of knowing the exact location of the spirit seed. Besides, though only local academies are allowed to take part in this competition, that Buggy just now had also mentioned that many powers called themselves Academies to participate in the competition. So naturally, they could do that too.
Therefore, the three inquired about the direction and then went straight towards the place of registration. The Immortal Academy was actually not inside Yang City, but on top of a secluded hill west of the city. Perhaps because of the competition, many people came and went at the gate. And the place of registration was right on the left side of the academy.
"Invincible Academy?" The person doing registration was stunned for a moment and looked up at the three, "I have never heard of such a name."
"We are a newly established academy, not very famous, and we are located at a remote place in the north." Lonemoon opened his mouth and started bamboozling.
That person didn't ask any further, perhaps because he had done too much concierge work in recent days, he directly wrote down the name of Invincible Academy on the logbook, while asking, "Are you all the teachers leading the team?"
"No, we are the people participating." Lonemoon explained, and seeing that he showed some doubts, he added, "Our teacher was injured and is resting at the inn, so he sent us to register."
"Oh, that's just as well. You may go directly to the preliminary round!" He pointed at the inside of the academy with one hand and said, "There are too many academies taking part in the United Tournament, so only academies that passed the preliminary round can qualify for the official competition." With that said, he directly handed a competition name card to him, before calling the person behind him, "Next."
Lonemoon said no more, took up that wooden card and went inside.
Yi Qing and Shen Ying followed as well. Just after they entered the gate, a guard at the side gave them a look, waved and said, "Hey, you guys, go this way. The next round is about to start." The three turned and followed them in. After a long while, they finally reached a door. The guard pointed to the inside and said, "So long as you can persevere in there for the time of burning one incense, you pass."
With that said, he directly opened the door in front of them and gestured for them to enter. They went inside, and realized it was a closed space like the Colosseum. The place was littered with things like weapons, armor and dharmic talismans, as though the people in charge didn't yet have time to clean it. There was a faint strange smell in the air.
Yi Qing frowned, and directly made a wind spell to blow away that strange smell, and blowing all the rubbish into a corner at the same time.
Obviously, they were about to be in a joust, they just didn't know who would be their opponents. They looked around, and realized that a giant iron door opposite from them was tightly shut. Inside, there was an unknown aura. Vaguely, they could detect that it was a huge fellow.
"Hey!" The guard who escorted them over called out behind them and said somewhat worriedly, "Remember that you have to stay past the timing of burning one incense to pass. If you want to give up, just say 'admit defeat' directly.
"Thanks a lot!" replied Lonemoon.
The guard nodded. Suddenly, he took out something that seemed like a piece of talisman paper and pressed it onto the wall beside him. Immediately, with a loud bang, the giant iron gate opposite them opened automatically.
That strange smell rushed towards them instantly. The three couldn't help but all take a step back, clamping their noses. Some small, squeaky sounds came from the inside, and a huge figure could vaguely be seen to move towards them. That figure moved only a little bit, and then suddenly stiffened for no reason, and then laid completely still. It was like a huge black stone nailed into the door, trembling vaguely.
After waiting for a long time, it didn't crawl out even a little bit.
The three looked dumbfounded. Could the preliminary round of this united tournament simply to see who could stand longer?
"Eh?" The guard outside was also stunned. "Why didn't it come out?"
He walked towards the opposite side somewhat anxiously and went in through that huge iron gate. In a moment, his angry voice came from the inside.
"Hey, it's your turn to go on the stage. Hurry up and go out!"
"…" There was no response inside.
"Did you hear me? The day hasn't ended yet! Hurry and get out."
"…" "What's up with you? We agreed to play ten rounds a day, this is just the second. Hello? Hurry and go! Wait… Why are you suddenly trembling?"
"What? Not doing it? We have signed a contract with your queen! What you mean by not doing it now?"
"Hey, hey! Don't force me to go tell your queen!"
Chapter 574: Participating in the Competition
Once the guard finished speaking, some moving noises finally came from the cave. The three stood for a long time before a huge dark shadow crawled out very slowly, and a huge figure appeared at the gate.
It was completely black, and thick, hard shells covered its whole body. In its lower body there were more than ten thin and long legs, and on its head there were more than ten compound eyes. The body was several dozen feet high, and it looked like a gigantic mutated bug.
It looked terrible, but it was shaking… trembling as severely as candlelight in the wind, making one worried that it might flit itself upright down at any moment due to the shaking. It even extended dozens of soft tentacles from its mouth, which wrapped around its own shell-covered body in a self-comforting manner.
The corner of Lonemoon's mouth twitched. He felt that the monster in front of him looked somewhat familiar, and especially similar to one of those from the images Shen Ying had shown him after returning to Earth. So can't this be… "Bug?" Shen Ying was stunned, and she stepped forward directly.
In the next instant, the giant bug opposite them trembled, and even the tentacles around his body flipped like they were electrified. Instantly, it let out a scream that rang through the clouds.
It scrambled back through the iron gate through which it just came, hitting the guard next to it.
Shen Ying moved to chase over subconsciously, but Lonemoon caught her rapidly. "What are you doing?"
"Huh?" Shen Ying was stunned, finally able to react. "Psst, just a habit!" She felt uncomfortable with seeing bugs unless she gave them a beating.
Yi Qing: "…" The guard on the side actually got angry. He got on his feet and started scolding the bug inside. But this time, however hard he lured and threatened this time, even mentioning the queen of insect race, that bug was unwilling to come out any more. In a short while, some strange crying noises even came from the inside.
The confused guard complained, "So strange, what's the matter? Aren't insect race the most trustworthy? Even if it didn't want to go out, it should at least change back to human form and give an explanation. What was the matter with suddenly refusing to work?"
Lonemoon and Yi Qing silently turned towards the person beside them, suddenly wondering what Shen Ying did to the buggies in the past.
"Cough. Brother, what about the test today?" Lonemoon looked towards the guard.
"Never mind, I'll take you to a new test field." The guard sighed and brought the three to another field. But strangely, wherever the three went, the situation was the same. And it actually seemed to worsen. Insects who had already agreed to help with the test didn't even come out into the field. Some even directly ran away from backstage.
The same thing happened across a whole ten venues. The guard looked completely confused. Could the queen of insect race have some dissatisfaction with the Academy? Why did bugs who had long been agreed to come and help with the test go on strike one after another? He unavoidably started thinking about conspiracy theories. Later on, he became too pestered with the changing, and had to give the three a pass.
But those traumatized insects still didn't dare to come out. Buggies across ten test fields stayed inside, shivering, not daring to move a step, as though they had a previous agreement. They didn't recover until the second day, and for that reason the time of the united tournament was dragged back one day.
Yet though these giant beetles were tall, strong and had high abilities, their intelligence was low. So even when changed into human form, nobody could get a proper explanation from them. It became a strange occurrence in the Academy. Winning for doing nothing, one could get used to, thought Lonemoon.
THe three finally got the qualification card to participate in the tournament under the name of Invincible Academy. The United Tournament would officially take place three days later. The specific way of competition would only be announced on the day itself.
Lonemoon had the spirit seed on his mind and didn't care much about it at first. Yet when the day before the competition came, he heard bad news.
"What? Four people!" Yi Qing was stunned, looking at Shen Ying at the side. "But counting Master, we are only three."
"I also just found out that the first round was a group contest." Lonemoon was also somewhat irritated. "Only groups of four are allowed to take part. If the number is insufficient or exceeds, the group will be directly disqualified." This competition was
apparently unlike their own competition among the sects, as one could realize from its format. And it wasn't strange for it to have group contest. Besides, it had been said before that it was a competition between Academies. Who could imagine that there were only three people in an academy?
Thinking back, the meaning of the earlier preliminary round was probably to eliminate those who wanted to join the excitement and see the world.
"What do we do then?" Yi Qing frowned. "If we don't participate, we won't be able to enter the Immortal Academy, much less find the spirit seed."
"We can only look if someone would be willing to go with us. Only that…" They were new at the place and knew nobody. Seeing that the competition was right the next day, where could they go to get a person?
"Can we create a fake person with spells for the number?" He suddenly remembered those demons Tao Chu made from leaves back then. "No!" Lonemoon shook his head. "This competition was held so formally, there must be special checks on the day. Besides, this is the end of void, and all these people are from various planes. We don't know their situation. If we are exposed, it would be more troublesome. And there won't be any more time."
"…" Yi Qing's face sank. Indeed, it was better not to get exposed too easily before they found the spirit seed.
"In the worst case, we can pay to hire someone when the time comes." Lonemoon frowned. "Get past the first round first." At any rate, they didn't go for winning.
"That'll have to do." nodded Yi Qing.
Yet Shen Ying at the side suddenly spoke, "How about getting Buggy?"
The two froze, and then both turned back abruptly. They remembered instantly that advertising bug who was almost killed by Shen Ying that morning. "Good idea!"
"Very suitable indeed!"
Lonemoon took out the name card from that morning immediately. Lucky that he didn't throw it away. With the timid looks of that bug, there was indeed nobody more suited.
"Let's go and find the person… no, the insect, right away!" Therefore, the three followed the address on the name card to a shop at the corner of a small lane. Before they entered, they already saw Buggy who smiled very brightly and was giving out name cards in a very dedicated manner. The two antennas on his head were tied into a very stylish bow knot.
"Hey!" Shen Ying waved in greeting.
Buggy's smile froze instantly. His legs weakened right away and he knelt down, dropping the wooden name cards in his hand all over the ground. Couldn't it be dreaming? An illusion, yes! This must be an illusion! "Brother Bug, will you do us a favor?" Lonemoon smiled very brightly.
"…" No, please do me a favor and wake me up. Thank you!
Chapter 575: First Round Starts
Until the next when he was dragged to the Immortal Academy, Buggy couldn't believe that he was still alive. Ever since seeing that women at the inn yesterday, he felt that sense of terror coming from his bloodline. As an insect race, of course he knew that it was a warning, no, an outcry from his genes, with the same message sent to him repeatedly: he was gonna die, he was gonna die, he was gonna die…
He could swear on his queen that this person in front of him was absolutely the big devil in the legends! Besides, such heritage of insect race had never been wrong. With such a premonition, it had no doubt that it would definitely die in the hands of the person in front of him. He didn't even think of resisting, because it clearly knew that it couldn't resist at all.
But a miracle happened. The person didn't attack him, but merely tied his antennas into a knot, and then… left.
He thought that he didn't die immediately because of the blessing from the queen, until he met that person again two days later, in front of his shop. This time, the outcry from their bloodline became even stronger: he definitely, absolutely, would die! But a miracle happened again, and she still didn't attack him. When he was thinking when on earth was she going to, and had yet to get an answer, he was already at the gate of Immortal Academy. And they talked about teaming up with him to participate in the competition.
He finally understood. It seemed that she… was not going to kill him?
Buggy touched his own hard body. He was really still alive!
"Rest assured, I promise you are fine!" Lonemoon saw through the thoughts of this silly bug with a single look. He patted his shoulder and said, "You just need to follow us."
Buggy looked at Lonemoon, and then at Yi Qing at his side, and eventually, after mustering all his courage, at the person nibbling at a fruit. Every nibbling sound made his heart race.
He took a deep breath, before asking weakly, "I… won't die?" "No!" nodded Lonemoon.
"My legs won't break?"
"My body won't be dismembered?"
"My race won't be massacred?"
"No…" How deep indeed was his racial trauma? Hello?
He finally let out a sigh of relief. Some strength also returned to his feet, and he no longer needed to be dragged along by Chef. But still didn't dare to step any closer towards Shen Ying. He hid at Lonemoon's side meekly and tried to reduce his sense of existence. Seeing that Buggy's issue was settled, Lonemoon finally started looking around them. Many came to the first round today, and the scene was much more of a spectacle than when they queued up for registration. The whole hill was thick with crowds. Besides, the people were dressed in all kinds of manners. Some were dressed in long robes like them, some were dressed magnificently, some were dressed in the modern way, and others were dressed in all kinds of strange manners.
Only then did he truly feel the chaos of this 'end of void'. It was like looking at a historical illustration, when people from all kinds of planes mixed together. But fortunately, most still belonged here. Besides, he could vaguely feel the Spirit Qi or Immortal Qi on some of the people.
Especially that group in front, who was the largest in number. All of them wore long, blue robes, similar to those in charge of registration at Immortal Academy. He could roughly guess that these were probably the disciples of Immortal Academy. There were varying amounts of Spirit Qi and Immortal Qi on all of them. He suddenly knew what this Academy taught after all: probably just the methods of cultivation, like them. At once, he felt somewhat secure. This competition was probably similar to cultivation as well. There seemed to be more than a thousand people on the whole hill, all gathered in groups. The numbers of each group varied, with the least being around a dozen, and the most being more than a hundred. Lonemoon's group of four looked rather pitiful in comparison.
With so many people, it seemed that Buggy was right before about Immortal Academy having quite a reputation.
They arrived rather late, so they didn't wait long before the gate of Immortal Academy opened and several elderly men covered with Immortal Qi walked out. Lonemoon looked carefully and discovered that all of them had the cultivation of Mystic Immortals. The one with highest cultivation was only a Stygian Immortal. He seemed to be the person-in-charge of the Academy.
They didn't do much useless talking. After a few sentences of the opening address, they directly announced the competition to begin. Among them, four walked out at the same time, who directly went up sword-riding and started conjuring seals. Soon, a gigantic array appeared in the air above, which became brighter and brighter. Immediately there was a distortion in the sky, and in a short while an entrance similar to that of a mystic realm appeared. Immediately after, the ground shook, and a huge white stone tablet rose slowly and stopped directly underneath the entrance to the mystic realm.
The Stygian Immortal with the highest cultivation among the elderly men finally stepped forward and opened his palm, revealing a small triangular flag. Only then did he explain loudly,
"Distinguished disciples of all academies! This first round of competition requires you to enter the mystic realm in groups of four. In the mystic realm, there were a total of 100 array flags like the one in my hand. So long as you get any of the array flags and persevere until ten days later to exit the mystic realm, you will win."
He glanced over the crowd present and continued to speak, "It is very dangerous inside this mystic realm. There are countless beasts. I believe that all of you have the participation token with you. Should you meet any crisis that you are unable to solve, you can break the wooden token and transport yourself out of the mystic realm. But for anyone who exiting the mystic realm early, the whole team would be eliminated, even if there were some among them who has array flags." He talked through the rules in detail, before pointing to the blank stone tablet and saying, "The competition starts now. You only need to place your participation token in front of the stone tablet to verify your qualification, and then you can enter the mystic realm."
Once this was said, those close to the stone tablet immediately started walking towards it with participation tokens in their hand, and started rushing into the mystic realm. After all, the earlier one entered the mystic realm, the faster they could discover ownerless array flags.
In less than ten minutes, the square which was originally full of people saw more than half of the people gone. Lonemoon looked back at that group of disciples from Immortal Academy, who didn't seem to be in a rush at all. Actually, not one of them had moved.
When most of the people in the square had left, Lonemoon finally led the group towards the stone tablet as well. When they were close, he realized that it was just a recording tablet. He took out his participation token and swept it across the stone tablet, and immediately, the words of "Invincible Academy" appeared on the stone tablet. Its position was on the left side and at the bottom. Like the other academies, a "zero" was written below it. Lonemoon thought about it and decided that this was probably to record the number of array flags gained.
And the wooden token in his hand also separated into four, on which the words "Invincible Academy" appeared.
He turned and gave everybody one. And without more lingering, he gave Yi Qing behind him a look and then went up on his sword, dragging Buggy behind him. They entered the mystic realm above.
Chapter 576: Eating is Important
The entrance of Immortal Academy.
"Huh?" The Stygian Immortal who had just announced the rules was stunned as he looked towards the direction of the four people who disappeared in the mystic realm.
"What's wrong? Teacher Yan?" A person beside him asked.
He then turned back and said with a smile, "I just didn't expect that they were cultivator disciples amongst the academies that came to participate in the competition this time and they seemed to be extremely skilled in sword techniques." Seeing the two being so natural and smooth in their sword-riding, making it look so simple like they were walking, they must have mastered sword techniques to a certain extent to be able to do so. Also, he did not know if it was an illusion, but in that moment earlier, he somehow felt that the aura from the two people were a little too deep, even… much stronger than him?"
"There are so many academies in the world, it's not odd to have someone who specialized in sword cultivation." The person beside him said again, "The disciples from our academy is about to enter too."
"That makes sense." He did not think further, only taking it that he had seen wrongly and turned around to focus on watching the disciples of his own academy. "I wonder who would be able to clinch the first place in this league."
Inside the mystic realm.
Lonemoon flew into the mystic realm, with a change in the scenery before his eyes, he arrived in a forest in the next second. It was lonesome all around him, there was only the sound of the water flowing in a small river. The disciples of the various academies who had entered with him had all disappeared, they were probably transported to different locations.
Lonemoon's heart sank as he instinctively turned and searched for the person who had a permanent spot on the lost peoples' list and heaved a sigh of relief in the next second, fortunately Shen Ying was still here. Not lost! It seems like people of the same team were all transported to the same location, it was indeed a team competition.
However, it was evident that this were qualifiers selecting a hundred out of a thousand people, the chance of being eliminated was still quite high. He must admit that this competition indeed had some scheming behind it. Though it was said and looked to be a team competition, in reality, it was also an individual competition, after all there were only a hundred array flags, which meant that only a hundred people can pass. And there are four people in each team, it was impossible that all teams would be so lucky that all four members will be able to get an array flag.
Besides, they were given 10 days' time, this shows that finding the array flag wouldn't be difficult, the difficulty comes in being able to defend and keep it till the end. He could already foresee how terribly heated this competition would become in the last few days.
Besides the map of this mystic realm wasn't very big, they would somehow meet one another, it wouldn't be easy to hide away to survive till the end. "Great Immortals, where shall we head towards first?" Seeing the three of them remain rooted to the same spot, Buggy could not help but ask.
"We're not moving!" Lonemoon answered.
"Huh? Huh!" What did he mean, were they not going to compete?
"The flat ground here by the riverside is not bad." Lonemoon lifted his head and looked at the sky, saying in all seriousness, "Let's have lunch before anything else!"
What the hell?
Buggy was taken aback, thinking that he was kidding, but he turned back to find that the people behind him had already turned and was starting to pull out pots and pans.
"…" What exactly are you all here for? Hello? Buggy was dumbfounded, seeing that they had even brought out a table, it still went forward after some thought, unable to hold back and said, "Great Immortal, even if we're eating, let's go somewhere else, we can't stay by the river."
"Why?" Lonemoon asked subconsciously.
Buggy replied like it was only natural, "Because as long as it's by the river, demons, marines and all sorts of monster fish that feed on humans will definitely be around."
"Fish?" Lonemoon paused.
"Yes." Buggy said nervously, "Those fish demons aren't easy to deal with, we would need…"
Before he could finish, Lonemoon suddenly turned around and shouted over to Yi Qing, "Chef, there are fish in the river."
Yi Qing's eyes lit up, he immediately turned, picked up his spatula and headed towards the river. Huh?
Hold on! Why were they still going there when it said not to.
"It's dangerous, don't go to the river…"
Midway through its sentence, he saw the person swing his spatula forcefully towards the river, alongside a loud explosion, a water curtain tens of meters tall instantly splashed up on the river surface. The river was lost half its water.
In the next second, he felt that there seemed to be an additional layer covering the ground, full of numerous shadows in all sizes, there were some even under his own feet and it was growing bigger. He looked up instinctively and saw that a sky full of fish demons were raining down.
He tensed up at this sight, unable to dodge in time, a fish bigger than himself smashed onto it. His legs gave way and he fell to the ground. So heavy, he felt like his shell was about to break into pieces, being weighed down and unable to get up. Just as he was about to shout for help, the weight above was lifted, the fish had been picked up. Before he could relax, he looked up and happened to see Shen Ying's face, his body trembled habitually, suddenly feeling like it would be better to continue being weighed down.
"Chef, let's eat this one today!" But Shen Ying had already turned around and was raising the fish in her hand in Yi Qing's direction, this one was the biggest!
"Yes, Master." Chef then walked over and took over the fish in Shen Ying's hands then turned around and picked up the others.
Buggy then noticed that the entire riverside was covered with all sorts of fish, the smallest was at least tens of kilograms heavy. Originally ferocious marines and demons were now laid out on the ground, like they were being sunned to make salted fish. Bits of a light hearted conversation between the others could also be heard.
"This one is suited to be braised, that one can be steamed, poaching sounds like a good idea for this one. Chef, why don't you cook a few more fish?" "Yes Master, no problem Master!"
Buggy: "…" These were all monsters, not fish.
He suddenly felt like his common sense was being tested! He turned around to peep at a certain person who was still picking fish with his spatula in one hand, mm, that one definitely isn't an ordinary spatula, it must be some artifact, that's why he was able to capture so many demons with a light swing. Buggy felt like he had discovered the truth.
The two people who were done picking the fish had already returned to the table, mm, they'd managed to do a free top up of ingredients again.
Chef cooked very quickly, in less than half an hours' time, several dishes had already been served. Perhaps because the ingredients were monsters, the dishes were especially aromatic, at once, the aroma of food wafted around the riverside.
As a semi supplier who had informed them that there were fish in the river, Buggy was very honored to have a seat at the table. Of course, whether he was able to snatch any food for himself was another matter.
The few of them were about to start eating when a sudden gust of wind rose and four figures dressed in blue appeared, the three males and a female seemed to have come through wind- riding and were staring at the three people at the table in surprise.
Lonemoon's eyes narrowed as he turned to survey the four newcomers, judging by their clothes, they were probably from Immortal Spirit Academy.
"Excuse us for our disruption." A slighter taller man amongst the four stepped forward and said politely with his fists cupped, "May I ask if you had managed to capture the Red Scented Fish Monster?"
Lonemoon's hand tightened around his fan before he replied, "We did capture some fish monsters from the river earlier." As for exactly what kind of fish they were, he wouldn't know. Yet the four people were all overjoyed, even slightly agitated, the man even asked anxiously, "Fellow Daoists, we have a presumptuous request, could we ask that you give us a fish monster, we can pay money, even if it's double the price."
Chapter 577: Someone is Finding Fault
From his tone, it seemed like he knew that they had more than one fish in their hands. Having a different idea, Lonemoon nodded with a smile and said, "That's negotiable!" With that, he swung his hand and instantly a fish as big as a tabletop appeared on the grassland by the side. "Is this the type of fish monster you are seeking?"
The eyes of the four brightened at once as they all stared fixedly at the fish on the ground and nodded fervently. "That's right, that's it, this is the Red Scented fish monster!"
"Then how much are you intending to pay to buy it?" Lonemoon smiled very kindly, looking at the expressions, he did not expect that an ingredient that Chef randomly found was so valuable.
The tall man stepped forward in delight while bringing out his money purse as he said, "The Red Scented Fish Monster used to be sold for 10 thousand void currency in Yang City, I… I…" He looked at his own purse and said carefully, "I have 23 thousand void currency now, would that be enough?" With that said, he directly handed the purse over. Lonemoon took a look, was one fish already so expensive? He was considering whether to get Chef to stock up more and did not make any reply.
And the tall man grew restless, thinking that he was finding the money too little, he turned back anxiously towards the three others. "If you find it too little, we still have more here!" While speaking, the three all pulled out their money, roughly counted it and handed it over. "Here's a total of 40 thousand void currency, is that enough? If it's not, we'll make up for it after the competition, we'll sign a debt slip, we will definitely pay you the money."
The others also nodded, their gazes towards him were filled with some begging.
Lonemoon faltered, this was his first time meeting people who automatically increased the price on their own accord during a negotiation. What kind of new tyrant-style bargaining was this?
"You are overstating things, my friends." He replied with a small smile. "Since we have agreed to sell it, we naturally won't go back on our word. But I don't know why you are so anxious to get this fish monster." Once his words fell, a slightly desolate expressions appeared on all four of their faces together. He replied a moment later. "It's like this, one of our very good friends sustained some injuries a while back and isn't recovering even after a long period of treatment. Rumors say that the fish bone of the Red Scented Fish Monster can heal severed meridians and rebuild muscles, that's why we wanted to get one."
"I see." Turns out it was to save someone.
"To be honest with you, we have already been searching for several months in Yang City, unfortunately we did not find anyone selling such fish monsters." He explained in a low voice, while his gaze shifted to the fish on the floor again. "This Red Scented Fish Monster comes with an exotic fragrance and always live in groups by the thousands. Without dozens of people, it would be impossible to capture them, so even businessmen who specialize in hunting monsters do not easily attempt to do so. That is why the supply does not meet the demand." Though he did not know how they managed to hunt so many with just four of them, they were already very surprised and delighted to be able to buy one.
"I see." Lonemoon nodded, no wonder they found the dishes that Chef made today especially aromatic, turns out it's because of the ingredients. They were so sure that they had other fish monsters earlier, probably because they had smelled the scent and knew that they had encountered the entire group of fish. With a sudden thought, he asked, "You only need the bones of this fish?"
The four faltered but still nodded. "Yes."
"Hold on!" He stood and turned to walk towards Chef's temporary stove, after searching around, he bent down and pulled out a rack of bone several meters long back with him. "This fish bone is bigger than that fish, why don't I sell this fish bone to you?"
The four of them fell into a momentary daze before their expressions became those of overjoy.
"Su… Such a huge fish bone, could it be… the Red Scented Fish King!"
"Definitely, such a big one, it must be the Fish King! Besides, judging by the color of this bone, it is at least 500 years old and older."
"My god! A 500 year old Fish King had yet to appear in Yang City."
"Brother Wen Xuan can be cured now, he will definitely recover."
The few of them became increasingly agitated as they spoke, their eyes brightening.
"Since you only want the fish bone, then I'll make it cheaper, just 20 thousand void currency will do!" As he said that, he reached out and took the purse from the man's hand while stuffing the fish bone into his hand. Then, he turned back and stored the fish that was on the ground away.
Fortunately Chef did not throw the bone away earlier on, he managed to earn 20 thousand void currency without even losing one fish, this was a good deal. The four people was even more agitated now, carefully putting the fish bone away, they then looked to Lonemoon, full of gratitude as they said, "Thank you fellow Daoist, we certainly won't forget your kindness this time. When our friend has recovered, we will definitely visit you to offer our thanks!" As he spoke, he assumed the posture of going down on his knees.
"Not at all." Lonemoon quickly helped him up and smiled sincerely. "It's a small matter, no need to stand on ceremony!"
"No, we understand your intention." He said even more solemnly. "The Red Scented Fish Monster is difficult to get, and the Fish King is even rarer. We are considered to have taken huge advantage of you this time, we will definitely remember it. As for this money…" He pushed the few other purses over. "Please accept everything."
"How can I…"
"Please do not refuse."
"I… alright!" Lonemoon then stuffed the remaining few bags of void currency into his own pocket, looking like he was being forced to do this difficult thing.
Shen Ying: "…"
Yi Qing: "…"
"We still don't know how to address you all?" The tall man looked extremely grateful as he went on to introduce himself. "I am Ling Hong, a disciple of Immortal Spirit Academy. These two are my good friends, An Hao, Meng Fan, this is my younger sister, Ling Fei."
Lonemoon was considering whether to take the chance to sell them some elixirs and whatnot and was about to speak when a male voice, filled with mockery sounded from midair. "I was wondering who had alarmed the Red Scented Fish group, turns out it's the famous good-for-nothings from Team three?"
Ling Hong's originally excited face paled, looking up at the four people that suddenly appeared in the air, a hint of timidity flashed across his eyes.
Lonemoon lifted his head for a glance and saw four male who were dressed in the same blue robes as Ling Hong's group stopping midair on their swords. They were looking down at the people below with mockery all over their faces.
"I heard that Ling Wen Xuan was bitten by a monster previously and is already crippled. I didn't expect that the few of you good-for-nothings still dared to come to participate in the competition." The man flying right at the front laughed coldly, his gaze becoming even more cynical. "Do you think that, just with the few of you level three good-for-nothing, you will be able to get the array flags?"
Once he said that, the three behind him all started laughing. Ling Hong and the others turned even paler as they fisted the hands by their sides. The only, Ling Fei could not hold back and took a step forward. "Ren Qing, we are all disciples of Immortal Spirit Academy, so what if we are from team three? Don't look down on others!"
"Heh! So what if I am looking down on you?" The person laughed even more arrogantly. "In the past, Ling Wen Xuan always hung out with you all, it's no wonder that he is a cripple now- just nice to form a pile with all of you."
Chapter 578: I Have The Array Flags
"What nonsense are you spouting!" Ling Fei was enraged and was about to charge forward but was held back by Ling Hong.
"How have I spouted nonsense, Ling Wen Xuan is a crippled good-for-nothing right now, just like all of you. Oh no…" Something came to his mind and the malice in his eyes grew. "I heard the meridians in both his legs are completely severed, even walking is a problem, he's worse than a cripple now!"
"You…" Ling Fei was so infuriated that her tears had flowed out.
Yet the opposite party became even cockier. "Oh yes, I smelled the aroma of the Red Scented Fish Monster earlier, don't tell me that you are still hoping to be able to cure him?" He swept a glance at the four of them and sighed in relief when he did not find any traces of the fish monster on the ground. He continued, "It's truly wishful thinking, wanting to capture the Red Scented Fish Monster with just the few of you good-for-nothings. I think it's better that you all urge Ling Wen Xuan to give up earlier, after all he's already crippled, why not die earlier and reincarnate earlier." "Ren Qing!" This time, not only Ling Fei, the two others had shouted out in infuriation, even pulling out their weapons.
"Why? Angry, want to fight?" The opposite part still maintained his manner of fearing nothing. Merely a few disciples from team three, dare to think of challenging us from team one, hahaha… what a joke! Sure, come on, strike if you have the capabilities? Strike at me huh… aiya!"
Before he could finish, a surge of pressure swept towards them, before they could react, their legs trembled and the few of them fell out of the air onto the ground, the kind where their faces landed first.
The few of them were shocked, quickly getting up and directly pulling out their weapons. "Who was that? Who blindsided me!" They examined the surroundings and finally noticed, the four people who were seated around a table and eating beside Ling Hong.
Mm, he asked to be beaten himself, it had nothing to do with them. Ren Qing's expression darkened as he surveyed the four back and forth, he first looked at Yi Qing and Lonemoon, then shifted his vision away, finally setting his sight on Buggy. "It's you!"
Buggy who did not even manage to get any soup: "…" Meow meow meow?
What has it got to do with Buggy? He hasn't done anything.
"You're from the insect race!" The opposite party looked as though he was facing a formidable enemy and looked right at Buggy. "What do you mean? Want to stand up for them?"
"Ah?" Buggy was confused, what standing up?
"I say little kid, don't be so heated." Lonemoon finally turned his head to glance at him, casually saying, "Can't you say whatever you have nicely? Why must you stand so high up there, though it does give you an imposing manner, but you even have to shout to converse, don't you feel tired?" "…" Ren Qing felt suffocated at heart as his face flushed immediately. At the thought of it, he was indeed a little tired and thirsty. Hence he flew into a rage out of humiliation and said, "What has it got to do with you?" He just loved to stand high up in the air, was it wrong?
"Initially, it had nothing to with us…" Lonemoon was full, glancing at the foodie opposite him who was still going, his eyes curved as he placed his chopsticks down and said with a smile, "But you stood up there earlier on and kept blabbering in this direction, your saliva is everywhere, we're still eating down here. Don't you think it's very unhygienic?"
Once his words fell, the chopsticks in Shen Ying and Chef's hands froze at the same time. Instantly feeling like there was a thick layer of a certain person's saliva covering every dish.
Shen Ying: "…"
Yi Qing: "…"
Son of a b*tch! How were they supposed to eat now? Father Niu definitely did it intentionally!
Instead Buggy completely didn't mind and was even delighted, he could finally get some food now. The insect race had always lived roughly, they could eat anything and didn't mind it at all.
"You…" Whereas Ren Qing looked even more upset, he did go to school, so he still knew what shame was. Yet he could not find any words to retort him, only standing with a red face, looking embarrassed and anxious. After a while, he then found his voice. "Hmph, where did you disciples of a small academy come from? Did you think that by having an insect in your team, you would be able to win?"
He gave Buggy a look full of malice, when he noticed the butterfly knot on his feeler, he stiffened again. As if having figured out what it was in a moment, his eyes lit up immediately and he pointed at him, saying, "I still thought you were some formidable insect, turns out you're merely an investigative bug?"
Buggy's expression darkened, instantly a little angered. What's wrong with investigative bugs? Why was he looking down on investigative bugs? He was the smartest one out of all the bugs!
Ren Qing was relieved and let out a maniacal laugh, looking towards Ling Hong with greater mockery. "Hahaha… Ling Hong, you guys just found such a backing." Investigative bugs were one of the weakest amongst the insect race, if it was another kind of bug, they might still fear them a little!
"Ren Qing, do not speak with a loose tongue." Ling Hong frowned. "I've just met these few people by chance earlier, they are not from our academy."
"So what if they're not from our academy?" Ren Qing was evidently doubtful as he smiled even more sarcastically. "To be able to hang out with you all, they're most probably the same kind of good-for-nothings."
"You…" Ling Hong was infuriated.
But Ling Fei on the other side voiced out, no longer able to hold back. "These few are people who could capture the Red Scented Fish Monster, if you call them good-for-nothings, then what are you? You can go catch a fish monster for us to see!"
"Little Fei!" Ling Hong was shocked, wanting to stop her but it was already too late.
Sure enough, Ren Qing's expression changed. "You all really caught the Red Scented Fish Monster?!" Turning and looking in Buggy's direction with a shocked expression, his expression changed again as he sneered, "Hmph, just with you few and an investigative bug, I don't believe it?"
"Believe it or not, it's up to you!" Ling Fei replied directly.
Ren Qing's expression became graver. No one knew what came to his mind, but he glanced at Buggy again and laughed coldly. "If this bug is really so strong, then such a small thing as finding the array flags must be no problem, I wonder if you have found any? Bring it out and let us have a look!"
The people behind him also started kicking up a fuss, firmly believing that they were putting up a pretense. "Yeah, bring it out! What's a fish monster, the array flags are the main point right?"
"That's right, this is a competition, if you have the array flags, we'll yield."
"Quickly take it out, can't be that you don't have it?"
They spoke one after another and even glanced towards Buggy as they did, their gazes filled with despise. Buggy was slightly alarmed, even Lonemoon was frowning, these few people were being extremely arrogant.
Instead Chef by the side, suddenly grabbed a bunch of something and threw them towards Buggy. They felt to the table with a clatter. "Here!" Several triangular small flags appeared on the table, they even had the two words, "Immortal Spirit" written on them, there were a good six of them, still faintly emanating a fishy smell.
Ren Qing: "…" Ling Hong: "…"
They really did have it, and it was still a big bunch!
Ren Qing turned purple, this entire being stiffened as he stared at the pile of array flags in disbelief. This was impossible! The mystic realm had just been activated for less than an hour, they'd already found six array flags!
Whereas Ling Hong was delighted and retorted, "Didn't you ask to see the array flags? How was it, have you gotten a clear look?"
Chapter 579: Team Three Made It
Ren Qing's face alternated between going purple with rage and paling, looking worse than he did before.
Ling Hong chuckled lightly and continued to say while looking at him, "Ren Qing, listen to my advice, don't be too merciless in whatever you do! So what if you are in Team one now? Can you guarantee that you will always stay up there, don't forget what was your previous position? Even if you have forgotten all of us remember it very clearly?"
"You…" His expression was becoming increasingly upset, as his gaze towards the four of them became even more venomous. "Sure, I'll wait and see, how all of you and this bug is going to safeguard these array flags?"
With that said, he sneered coldly and left with the four others on their swords.
Buggy was still staring at the flags on the table with a look of disbelief and subconsciously asked, "How… How did we get these?" "I would like to know too." Lonemoon also turned his head and looked over, they'd just entered and did not even move locations, the more they did not specially search for the array flags.
Yet Chef said with a neutral expression. "Saw them in the stomachs when I was cutting and cleaning up the fish earlier."
This means that the array flags of this competition were actually hidden in the bodies of these demons? Indeed, the foodie saves the world!
"With these array flags, we will be able to pass the first round of the competition." Buggy was surprised, of course, that's as long as they don't get snatched away in these 10 days. He quickly gathered the array flags on the table and handed them to Shen Ying beside him with a fawning expression. "Here you go, Great Immortal!"
Shen Ying frowned in disdain, probably because it was in the fish's stomach, the flags had a fishy smell. Hence she turned towards Ling Hong and the others and asked, "Want them? Gift for you all."
"Ah? Ah!" Ling Hong was stunned, looking like he had heard things. "You want to give… give them to us?"
"But… but these are array flags needed to pass the round!" He reminded.
"I know that." Shen Ying nodded, the smell was too strong, she didn't want them.
"But… but…" He went for a long time but never came up with the whys and wherefores and could only look towards Lonemoon.
"Take them!" Lonemoon also said uncaringly. "We have no lack of these array flags, take it us a bonus on top of the fishbone you bought earlier."
Ling Hong turned back and looked at the three others, feeling a warmth filling his chest and could no longer reject them, only feeling increasingly grateful towards these few people. He replied with cupped fists, "Then, we really thank you four fellow Daoists." As he spoke, he picked up the array flags on the table, conjured a spell to clean up the flags, then distributed four amongst themselves before returning the remaining two.
"We only have four people so just four is enough, as for these remaining two…" He spoke seriously, "Though you all are strong and powerful cultivators that we can barely match up to and you might not care for these two array flags, but it's still early in the competition, it's better to keep it with you just in case. Of course, if anything crops up later on, you can take back these four flags from us anytime."
He looked extremely sincere that Lonemoon raised his brows in slight surprise before taking the remaining two array flags back. "Alright!" Seems like the nature of these people were still good, at least they weren't greedy and knew gratitude and propriety. Initially, he'd sold the fish bone to them on the account that they were disciples of the Immortal Spirit Academy and thought that they might require their help with regard to the matter of the spirit seed.
"Oh yes." He seemed to have recalled something and turned back to glance at his sister Ling Fei before saying with a troubled and slightly guilty look, "Just now my sister Ling Fei's loose tongue revealed that you all had captured the Red Scented Fish Monster. That Ren Qing has always had an irreconcilable feud with us, he will definitely make sure that everyone knows about that. Adding to that the array flags that we have… it might attract many covetous eyes and bring trouble to you all."
He'd directly voiced out his worries, Ling Fei had also just thought about that, knowing that she had made a mistake, she paled instantly, looking at the few of them bewilderedly. "It's my… it's my fault!" She looked like she was about to break into tears anytime.
"No worries!" Lonemoon wasn't bothered, those fishes naturally came with an exotic fragrance, even if she hadn't said anything, those people would have thought of it after they left too. So it had nothing much to do with them, besides, they were really not too worried, especially after knowing that those array flags were placed within the monsters. "You don't have to blame yourselves, if others want to come seek trouble, by all means." "No." Ling Hong said slightly agitatedly. "This matter started because of us, though our cultivation is lacking, we… we still ask that fellow Daoists allow us to join you. Even if we can only offer a little bit of help, it's still good!"
"Join us?" Lonemoon's eyes narrowed.
"Please do not misunderstand." Afraid that he thought that they wanted to cling onto them, Ling Hong brought out an item, adding, "Though our cultivation is lacking, but we're disciples of Immortal Spirit Academy, everyone in our academy has such a communication token. This can display the location of people from the same academy within 10 miles of our radius. Although we won't be able to guard against the disciples of the other academies, we can still help in avoiding disciples of Immortal Spirit Academy." In this mystic realm, a majority were disciples from Immortal Spirit Academy.
"Oh?" Lonemoon became slightly interested and took another look at the communication token in his hand. "You're saying that you can contact all the disciples from your academy?"
"That is the case!" He nodded. "I see!" Lonemoon suddenly broke into a wide grin, looking Spring had come as warmth floated around him. His eyes squinted into a narrow slit. "Earlier on you said… that this Red Scented Fish Monster is very rare?"
Ling Hong faltered for a moment and nodded subconsciously. "Ye… Yeah." Why does his smile seem quite odd? Suddenly felt like he was about to lose something.
"Come, tell me in detail…" Lonemoon's smile became brighter, he had some sort of prescience that stacks of cash bills were flocking towards him.
The master and disciple at a side…
"Master, could it be that Father Niu is thinking of doing business here?"
"Then has he forgotten, what we came here to do?" "Huh? What did we come in here for?"
Yi Qing: "…"
The stone tablet outside the mystic realm.
The name "Immortal Spirit Academy Three 23" that was at the bottom of the stone tablet suddenly lit up and rose all the way to the topmost spot, a number 'four' that was slightly smaller also lit up underneath and following behind it was the name "Invincible Academy", with 'two' written below it.
At this time, everyone outside the mystic realm were the teachers of the various academies. The changes on this stone tablet instantly caught everyone's attention and they were all shocked. "Hmm? Four array flags!" A teacher smiled and said to the few people from Immortal Spirit Academy. "They've just entered the mystic realm less than an hour ago and they've already obtained four array flags, indeed proving themselves to be disciples from Immortal Spirit Academy."
"You're too kind, Teacher Li!" The Stygian Immortal from Immortal Spirit Academy took a look and was also stunned. "Perhaps it's just being lucky that they happened to see four array flags." He replied courteously with a smile, similarly amazed deep down. He did not expect that the first to get four array flags would be the disciples from team three.
Chapter 580: Harmonious Competition
it was not that the teachers of the academy looked down on those from the third group, but the groups for the competition this time were split according to capabilities. Moreover, it was split according to the four ranks - Heaven, Earth, Mystic and Yellow. It was only natural that the four groups would be of different capabilities. He would not have been so surprised if it were the Heaven group, but this was the third group they were talking about.
"I apologize, Teacher Yan. Who doesn't know how powerful the Immortal Academy is? It is said that you even have dragons and tigers hidden in your academy. I suppose the Immortal Academy will win the United Tournament this time."
The other teachers in the academy began to discuss among themselves. Their main aim in going there was to compare their respective relationships with the Immortal Academy. Thus, a fresh wave of business-boasting began.
"Eh? I'm not sure what kind of race the Invincible Academy houses? They've already gotten two array flags in such a short time," someone commented after noticing that Invincible Academy was lined up right behind the Immortal Academy. "Has anyone heard of this academy before?"
Nobody responded. Instead, everybody carried on with their conversations, not paying much attention to Invincible Academy. Their attention quickly shifted to the other academies. What took place over the next few days, however, made these teachers regret acting this way.
This was especially so for the crowd from the Immortal Academy. They thought that the people from the third group had only been lucky to win those four array flags. If their good luck continued, they would probably be able to stay in the mystic realm for ten days. Otherwise, they would likely be sent out of the mystic realm the moment someone else got a hold of the flags in their hands. In any face, they had been sure that the numbers would not change. After all, the disciples in the third group all seemed extremely overjoyed after realizing that they had captured the four array flags. They were so eager to hide themselves that it seemed almost impossible for them to grab hold of anymore flags.
Very quickly, however, those teachers were proven wrong. The numbers changed as quickly as the win. In just one day, the third group had obtained ten array flags! By the second day, they had 20, and by the third day, they had almost 30. By the fifth day, they already obtained about 40 flags.
40 array flags - that was almost half the entire number. By now, the crowd was no longer shocked. Instead, they were beginning to doubt the authenticity of the competition. Before half-time in the competition, this group had actually obtained 40 flags. This did not seem logical nor realistic. The key thing was the group that held the array flags were only as powerful as they were when the competition started. How could that be? The crowd was almost certain that the group had been cheating.
Suddenly, all the teachers present were suspicious. A few of the teachers were crying non-stop. They, too, were confused about what was happening. How did this third group suddenly come into the picture? Unless they were cheating, it was impossible that they would be this good. Although some of the disciples in the group were theirs, the teachers were nevertheless disappointed. After all, this was a competition jointly organized by the various academies. If they were really found to have been cheating, the damage to their reputation would be unthinkable.
What's more, the teachers weren't stupid. If the group really wanted to play dirty, they could have done it less obviously. It was clearly written on the stone board - they had 40 array flags. Wasn't it plain as day that they were cheating?
Logically speaking though, the rapidly increasing numbers would undoubtedly draw suspicion and wild guesses. Yet, as hard as they tried, the teachers could not track what was happening inside the mystic realm. The Immortal Academy had no choice but to bite their tongues and inspect the disciples who had been eliminated preliminarily. Although this would not do much to resolve the suspicions of others, they did have to try to act justly. In this regard, they were especially strict toward their own disciples.
However, they did not find anything out of the ordinary. The disciples who had been eliminated preliminarily explained that they themselves did not know, were not sure, and could not understand the reason why this was so… How could this be? Why were they giving answers like that? The disciples from the other sects gave even stranger answers. Not only did they not see any disciples from the Immortal Academy who were in the third group, they also did not notice anything out of the ordinary inside the mystic realm.
The teachers were unsure if they were imagining things, but for some reason, the disciples who had been eliminated preliminarily all did not sound in the least bit regretful. Instead, they sounded a bit… excited?
This round of investigations were not telling at all. The Immortal Academy Group Three 23's numbers continued to increase. By the eighth day, they already had 68 flags. The remaining flags were split among the other groups.
This was horribly strange!
At that moment, inside the mystic realm, a huge thing happened. It was a huge thing that caused the entire mystic realm to go crazy. What happened was that a foreign yet oddly exciting voice began to speak from the tokens of the disciples from the Immortal Academy.
[Attention! Attention! There will be a sale - 50% off all beasts. Originally, one million or two million void currencies were required for each beast. Now, they're going at 500,000! 500,000! That's right! You're not hearing things - it's 500,000! You won't incur a loss, and this is not a scam. For 500,000 void currencies, you can get red fragrant fishes, single-horned wind beasts, and nine-pointed rouge beasts. Anything that you want to buy, we will sell to you. There are many different types of beasts, and even pure-bred ones! Today, our shop will be open for just two hours. First come first served, while stocks last! The first buyer will be eligible for double the discounts - discounts on top of discounts! This is a rare opportunity - quick, come to the side of the little river in the east of the mystic realm!]
When they first heard the announcement, everyone in the mystic realm cursed the announcer under their breaths. That's crazy! How could this person even think of advertising in the middle of the competition? But some people in the mystic realm at the time were so bored that they decided to go and take a look. Once they arrived, they really gave in and bought the beasts that they needed.
Those were rare beasts after all. Every single part of their bodies was valuable - their meridians, their bones, their flesh, their blood. Each part had many different uses. They were utterly invaluable in this world. Moreover, the beasts were fierce and extremely dangerous. Normally, one would have to risk their lives to capture these beasts. Who would have guessed that there would be an open sale like this in the mystic realm, much less that the beasts would be sold at such a good price? Truly, they would be fools to let this opportunity pass them by. At the start, only the disciples from the Immortal Academy knew about this sale. They attempted to keep the information to themselves so that they would be able to benefit more from the goods on sale. They bought as much as they could. However, they had entered to win the competition after all. Naturally, they did not have much cash on them. As much as they wanted to buy, therefore, they had insufficient cash on hand. For those who had friends within the mystic realm, they had no choice but to borrow money. Obviously, they could not borrow money from their fellow disciples from the Immortal Academy - they wanted to buy as many beasts as they could as well. Therefore, they had no choice but to borrow money from disciples outside the Immortal Academy. The more they borrowed, the wider the news spread. Now, the entire mystic realm was going crazy!
There was a long line by the side of the river. Everybody could not wait to get their hands on the beasts.
Screw the freaking competition - the rare beasts were much more important!
Ling Hong and his three other companions that Lonemoon had made use of were now so busy that they could barely talk. At first, they were hesitant about selling the beasts. As more people bought the beasts, their hearts began to hurt because of the low price at which they were being sold. However, as time went by, they became used to making sales. In fact, they even began to push for more sales.
"Fellow Daoist, this is a fire-elemental rare beast. I have a couple more - do you want to buy more of them?"
"Fellow Daoist, our rare beasts come with the beast elixirs as well. They're a package deal and there will be no bargaining. If you don't want them, they will be gone by tomorrow."
"Fellow Daoist, do you need to see the live one? What do you mean you have no spirit beast bag? Don't worry - you can buy one from us!"
"Fellow Daoist, you know how to train beasts? Do you want a cub or an un-incubated egg then? Do you want to find out more?"