Chapter 156: Merged Souls
Walking back to the Mercenary Guild the entire group had a heavy pressure pressing down on them, none of them were able to truly enjoy the walk nor think back on their meal with pleasure. Instead, they were all very annoyed with the fact that they had to fight in the arena.
Walking into the Mercenary Guild, Xu Piao was standing in front waiting for them with his arms crossed over his chest and his eyes condemning them as they stepped inside the courtyard.
“Seriously, I leave you alone for one day. One day! And you go and annoy the Demon Dancing family! Why not just go and insult the City Lord?!”
Hearing Xu Piao speaking in such a manner caused a smile to appear on Hui Yue’s face. The more he got scolded the more he smiled. It was nice to be cared about by an older person.
“It’ll be fine,” Hui Yue laughed. “I will do my best to ensure that we don’t have to let go of Sha Yun,” He continued his voice light and careless. Not even once did he consider having Deng Wu fighting although he was rank-wise the strongest of them all.
“It’s not fine!” Xu Piao said with a grim expression on his face, “They will likely use their strongest man and although the family head and the elders won’t step forward, the family still controls quite a few King ranked experts. You will have to fight against a King while you yourself are only a Master. How on earth do you think you can win a battle like this?!”
“Don’t worry,” Hui Yue said once more, his face showing a knowing smile. “I have means to protect my life and deal with a King ranked expert. Although I can not use it often, I will be able to use it during the next battle. For the sake of Sha Yun I’ll use my full strength.”
Xu Piao and Xie Lan were taken aback hearing that. Both of them had been sure that they saw the limits of his abilities when he was fighting against the Horned Snake, and also later on when he was assisting them all to escape the illusion of the Endless Forest, yet here he was insisting that he had yet to still go all out. The shock was not small.
“Let’s say that I believe you,” There was still a great amount of doubt within his voice as he hesitantly spoke, “As soon as you have managed to defeat one of their men it is likely that they will then use their elders and eventually the family leader might step out. Do you think you have enough strength to deal with all of them at the same time?”
Hearing this Hui Yue contemplated for a short while and after thinking it through he nodded his head. “I will at the very least be able to stay alive, but as long as I win the first battle they have sworn to leave me alone for the remaining time I am within the Demon Dwelling Cave.”
The certainty in the young man’s voice was enough to cause a great deal of uncertainty in Xu Piao’s mind. The white-haired man surely seemed certain of himself and his own skills and so far he had been spot on with everything he had said causing the older man to somewhat believe what Hui Yue said as true; however, at the same time a certain amount of reason remained and was still casting doubt.
A Master ranked cultivator was infinitely weaker than a King ranked expert. They were realms apart, even dantians apart and it was not something which could be solved with high ranked spiritual art skills.
Still, it seemed as though the young man was certain in his abilities and eventually Xu Piao heaved a heavy sigh as he nodded his head. “If you are able to defeat the one whom they send, then we will stand by your side and make sure that they don’t dare doing anything else. But should they win, then I am afraid we won’t be able to help you. The rules of the arena are ironclad.”
Hui Yue nodded his head. He already guessed that much, but he was not too worried about the battle. His determination was steeled and he was getting ready to use the fusion of his soul with Lan Feng for the first time. Whether the bird liked it or not, it was time for Hui Yue to use the energy which the phoenix had been refining. To save a friend he would go all out.
‘You planning on asking permission first?’ Lan Feng asked with a deep sigh. Even if he was against it, it was impossible for him to stop Hui Yue. Their souls were merged, and it was due to this merger that the bird was capable of refining much more Wu Wei at a time, but it was also due to this merge that Hui Yue could take the energy without asking for permission. Everything which belonged to Lan Feng also belong to Hui Yue.
‘Nothing will change even if you decline,’ Hui Yue said with a sigh, ‘Will it make you feel better if I ask for permission?’
‘No,’ Lan Feng laughed with hollow laughter. ‘Although I wish to say no, I am aware that this is a very important situation.’
‘I will not take over your body and deal with them for you,’ The phoenix continued, ‘Instead, you can knock yourself out with my Wu Wei, just don’t get killed.’
Hearing that Lan Feng approved Hui Yue’s plan, he felt as though a giant stone had been lifted from his shoulders and gratitude filled his entire soul, causing the phoenix within his dantian to ruffle his feathers proudly.
‘In this world death is always looming around the corner,’ He warned Hui Yue, ‘We should not fear death as long as it is something we meet on our road to revenge. There are things much more important that staying alive, and one of these things is friendship. Sha Yun is an important friend. Had you not stood up for her, then I would have lost all respect for you.’
Hearing this a wry smile appeared on the white-haired man’s face. This was the most he had heard from the phoenix ever since they entered the dungeons, but there was no better time than now to speak. This was the most dangerous situation they had been in after arriving within these caves.
‘You know, you can always request something from her as a thank you for saving her,” Lan Feng continued, yet before he managed to state what he should ask for Hui Yue interrupted, “I refuse to have snake-babies. Enough already, go refine some more Wu Wei, we’ll need it all.”
Having finished his talk with Lan Feng, Hui Yue moved straight to his room just as the others had gone to theirs. Seated on the bed, Hui Yue entered meditation and ever so slowly allowed for the blue cloud of tranquility to surround him.
Unlike last time, Hui Yue held everything under control ensuring that the cloud did not exit the room he was seated within. e could feel how the area was full of electricity due to how much essence of the heavens and the earth was pouring into the little room. It entered his body and was refined into Qi and spiritual energy.
The blue cloud worked in many ways exactly like the stone he just acquired, only the two could be combined and the speed with which Hui Yue refined Qi would be so outstanding that no genius in the world would be able to catch up.
Practicing this way though had its drawbacks, and Hui Yue could not continue for long before he had to stop and stabilize his energies. He used the small room to its limits as he practiced one skill after another.
Although these skills were not enough to defeat a King ranked expert they were enough to stabilize his Qi and spiritual energy and help it steadily increase. Even if he had to rely on Lan Feng’s Wu Wei, it was obvious that he would also be using his own spiritual energy to their limits, the same went for his Qi and everything else which Hui Yue had at his disposal.
Training into the night, he never noticed that outside the window the sun was setting, nor did he notice that the moon started shining and Sha Yun had entered the room with two light stones and some food. The only thing which the young man noticed was his energy, how strand after strand, drop after drop, the energies within his body slowly stabilized themselves. His goal was to have completely stabilized all his energy by the time he was supposed to fight.
One day took another and without paying too much attention the day finally arrived, the day Hui Yue was to fight in the arena.
The sound of knocking could be heard as Xu Piao slowly opened the door, his insides churning like never before and his face filled with worry. The Guild Master had been observing Hui Yue these past few days and everything he saw was simple and standard skills which the white-haired man had used before. No new and astonishing attacks were shown, nothing which proved that he was capable of defeating a King ranked expert.
However, even though Xu Piao was feeling apprehensive it was now far too late to do anything about the fight and with a deep sigh he looked at the young man who had become a dear friend.
“Are you ready?” Was all he could ask, worried sick that this would be the final time he would talking with his friend.
Seeing the worry in Xu Piao’s face, Hui Yue could not help but show a gentle smile and his pale hand gently patted the older man’s shoulder. The smile on his face did not show any signs of anguish nor defeat. Within the ice-blue eyes was a certainty for victory, a certainty which Xu Piao had no idea where it came from.
As they left the room, Sha Yun, Deng Wu, and Wang Ju Long all came out none of them saying anything, all of them slowly patting Hui Yue’s shoulder before they moved behind him and together all departed from the Mercenary Guild.
Walking through town, the streets were bustling with activity and the closer they came to the arena the more crowded the roads became.
Unlike at Mercenary City, this arena was not used for competitions once a year, instead, it was used to deal with arguments that had no other ways of being dealt with than fighting. In the end this was a world where the strongest were correct and the weak had to make way.
Although one might think that the arena was a crowded place, but it was not somewhere battles occurred as often as one would expect. This caused the few battles which did happen to become that much more popular. It was very rare when both men survived the battle. If anything both would die from the severity of the wounds they had.
Arriving at the arena, Xu Piao led the entourage through a side door which took them underground where they stayed within a chilled room.
“We can follow you until you stand on the stage,” The Guild Master explained, “Yet as soon as you are on the stage itself, we will be unable to assist you in any way. The moment you stand on that stage you are only allowed to come down if after you have defeating your opponent.”
“It will be fine,” Hui Yue assured the worried Guild Master once more. The battle which he was about to participate in was not a fight for fun, nor was it a fight he picked because he wished to improve his cultivation and breakthrough.
This was a battle which Hui Yue took for the sake of protecting a friend of his, a friend who had shown him unquestionable loyalty and someone who was always the first to be there for him. If Hui Yue did not participate in this battle and win it, he had no right to call himself Sha Yun’s friend.