Chapter 226: The Lords Arrive
As Hui Yue planned, he stayed in his room and focused solely on refining the essence of the heavens and the earth when he heard one group of guards after another returning to the castle. Loud cheers resounded from the courtyard, and he soon heard rapid movements outside the door as guards were being given rooms where they could stay. So many guards arrived that there was constant chatter, and sounds from outside could be heard even though Hui Yue never opened his door.
While he was hiding in his room, he managed to refine a decent amount of spiritual energy, and his mood improved. Although he understood that he was now a part of something larger, his goal was still to reach the rank of a King so that he could leave Shenyuan and return to his friends. But another reason why Hui Yue focused on refining the way he did was mainly because of An He.
Knowing that his goal had been standing at the pinnacle of power four thousand years ago, it was evident that he had not grown weaker during these past millennia, and even worse, the man had seemingly vanished from the surface of the world. He no longer seemed to care about how the world changed, something which proved that he was likely to have either left the plane or that he enjoyed watching the small humans struggle in their everyday lives.
Hui Yue paused his physical training while the majority of foreign guards had arrived. Looking out the window in his room, he could see the training grounds and every day it was full of guards sporting all kinds of uniforms. They were constantly battling amongst each other, competing to see which guards were the strongest.
All of these guards were King ranked or above, and for Hui Yue to battle them would be risky as although he could defeat King ranked experts, he had no connection with these new guards and it was hard to say if they would be lenient, should they be stronger than Hui Yue. Although he wished to improve his battle prowess, he was not interested if he would end up wounded for an unknown amount of time. The battles down at the training ground were looking quite ruthless as though they were battling for which prefectures were the strongest.
Sighing deeply, Hui Yue realized that this was the first time he had not followed the training schedule made for him by Wan Qiao. He decided to use this opportunity to examine exactly what effect it had on his body.
Hui Yue had long since managed to defeat Kings. His strength, whenever he was in his human-beast form, far exceeded the power he had in his human form. His strength and mist-energy were comparable to a King ranked magical beast, an increase in his strength by a full rank!
Whenever Hui Yue was in his human form, he was able to defeat early King ranked experts as long as they were not incredibly strong individuals. His spiritual energy was extremely pure. It was pure because it was refined from the pearl white Qi that Hui Yue refined back when he was younger. Although spiritual energy was weaker than Wu Wei, the strength of an early King and him was not too wide a gap; this gap was something he could overcome with just his physical strength.
Training his body was what caused the biggest difference for Hui Yue. Although he had not become bulky, he did manage to increase his strength tenfold what it was before. His muscles were lean and vigorous. Pride was evident in Hui Yue’s eyes as he examined his body, and he noticed the difference in his body, strength flowed underneath his skin. His face sprouted a smile after a little while.
Just as Hui Yue was about to examine his internal strength knocking could be heard on his door. The young man opened his eyes as he went towards the door. He expected that it would not take long before he was called for; however, only three days had passed, for all the lords to travel across Shenyuan at such a fast speed, Hui Yue was astonished. As he walked through the castle, he saw guards everywhere. It was as though the castle had turned into a place for the army to gather.
Seeing that so many experts managed to arrive at the capital as quickly as they had, Hui Yue was taken aback. It had only been three days since the delegations had left to request a meeting of the Lords of the Forest and here they were. The entire upper class of Shenyuan was gathered within a small castle which was full of cultivators.
The ones who had come to pick up Hui Yue were two of Wan Qiao’s guards, two One-Horned Eagles, and neither of them looked thrilled with the task they were given.
When Hui Yue first arrived at the castle everyone mistook him for a Saint ranked experts, but as he started fighting one guard after another, this misconception had been cleared up. The young man seemed to be disliked by many of Wan Qiao’s guards. It was clear that he was inferior to a lot of them; however, he was still given an increasing amount of attention from Wan Qiao, someone they all worshiped.
Hui Yue, having noticed did not bother with the guards, and instead focused solely on training and increasing his cultivation levels.
Seeing that Hui Yue was not lead towards Wan Qiao’s private chambers, he was slightly taken aback. He expected the women would want to speak with him before he was to participate in a conference containing all the high ranked experts of Shenyuan, and with his brows furrowed he ask the guards, “Where are you taking me?”
Glancing back at Hui Yue, neither of the guards answered; instead, they kept walking. Eventually, Hui Yue stopped and crossed his arm over his chest. He looked at the two guards with a sour expression on his face, “I am not going to walk one more step until you tell me where you are taking me. For all I know you’re going to leave me in some washed up dungeon where I will never be able to get out.”
Although his words were impolite, the white-haired young man did not care at all after having seen the glares the two guards sent his way earlier.
Whispering together, a collective sigh could be heard from the two guards before one of them opened his mouth, “The Lady has told us to come and fetch you. She ordered us to do it herself so just follow us and don’t ask questions.”
“That’s not going to work,” Hui Yue said straight away. “Every time I have been summoned by Wan Qiao I was sent to her private chambers. This is clearly not the way to her private chambers so I would like to know where exactly you are taking me.”
The more Hui Yue spoke, the sourer the two guards faces became; however, neither of them dared to be too discourteous towards him. If he were to complain to Wan Qiao, it was apparent that they would be in for a disaster.
“The Lady is not in her private rooms; instead, she is at the library. I imagine Lord Pan is with her,” One of the guards finally sighed, “Now you know where we are going. Please follow and don’t ask any more questions. This is not a meeting for just anyone.
Hearing that he was to enter the library and that there was one of the lords present, Hui Yue grew curious. At first, he wished to ask where this library was, but after considering it for a few moments, he turned silent. It was better not to push his luck too far. Also, he did not doubt that these guards were taking him to Wan Qiao. They all worshiped her, and an order from her was impossible not to be followed to the letter by these guards.
What Hui Yue did find curious was whom this Lord Pan was. He was most likely a Lord of the Forest, but so far, Hui Yue had only seen the small, round man who had been slapped silly, much like he had been months prior. In a way he hoped that it was this man, he already felt some sort of kinship with the person, kinship from having suffered the same fate.
It did not take long before they all reached a massive wooden door made from heavywood. Much like the doors leading to Wan Qiao’s private rooms, this one had the Vermilion bird carved in the center with the sun and moon portrayed on the sides. The same artisan craftsman most likely made the carving as the other door.
Standing outside this door, Hui Yue was greatly taken aback, and his mouth was agape while he stared at the bird which almost seemed to move in the light that was shining on the door.
While Hui Yue was busy admiring the carving one of the men cleared his throat a few times before he knocked on the heavy door and with a loud voice said, “Lady Wan Qiao, this humble servant has brought Lord Hui Yue. Please allow entry for this lowly one.”
The voice drew Hui Yue’s attention from the door to the guard in front of him. This man was a late King ranked expert. He was unmistakably someone who could not be looked down upon. His strength was definitely stronger than Hui Yue unless the white-haired young man was to transfer into a wolf-man.
“Enter.” The voice was as melodious as ever, as graceful as if it had been accompanied by thousands of flowers and butterflies. The voice made one feel warm inside as the gentle voice fluttered by one’s ear. To Hui Yue, this was obviously a scam.
The woman they all adored was not as gracious as she appeared. She was not as composed and all knowing as they all seemed to expect. Instead, she was a strong woman who had strong ideas, but she was very well aware that although she had the ideas, she was too simpleminded to get things done in a safe way. Thinking this, Hui Yue’s emotions towards the woman were becoming increasingly confusing. He was very grateful for all the help she had given him. Her training had proven to be the most efficient training he had ever undergone. However, her dreams and her wishes for the future, not only for her but for Shenyuan were so grand and farfetched. She clearly lacked the military knowledge to see it through, and all this made Hui Yue think twice about the situation.
Thinking about this, the heavywood door was opened right in front of him, and with a nod towards the two guards, Hui Yue stepped inside.
Inside Hui Yue was taken aback. This was the largest library he had ever seen. It was even bigger than the one at the academy in Riluo City. Bookshelf after bookshelf was placed around in circles, and in the middle, Wan Qiao was seated, next to her was a tall, lean man, a man whose nose resembled a beak. His eyes were sharp and his eyebrows long. His chin was sprouting a long white beard, and his body was draped with a beautiful white silken robe.
Looking at Hui Yue the white-robed elder’s eyes rose in surprise as he looked at Wan Qiao. “Is this youngster the one who wrote the astonishing work you showed me previously?” He asked, his voice filled with disbelief and his eyes almost popped out from his head.
While this man was filled with disbelief, Wan Qiao’s eyes had a gleam of entertainment hidden within, but on the outside her face looked solemn and her voice was steady. She nodded her head and answered the man, “Yes, this man is indeed the one who wrote down this thing called the Art of War.”