Chapter 396: Gone Without a Trace
Returning home to the mansion, only the guards at the gate noticed that Hui Yue had been out and he silently returned to his own rooms before he picked up the three memory stones Gao Yan had given him.
Sitting down on the bed, he placed the two memory stones with information about the Saints to the side. Then he looked at the memory stone containing information about Sha Yun, fearful to see what was inside.
Placing it on his forehead a gentle blue light shone in the room, and all the jumbled information entered his mind. The group had been traveling through the various tunnels and were seen by multiple groups of cultivators.
They had been friendly and not made enemies of anyone. They had been forced to retreat when they reached Heaven's door when a group of Saints started robbing common experts. However, they had been rescued by Hui Yue and the Shield of Taiyang Kingdom.
After being forced to retreat they later advanced once again; however, after people watch them disappear into the tunnels a second time no one had seen them since. A few days after this another group managed to find what they recognized as the remains of many beasts and half-blooded humans, however, amongst these remains were none that matched Sha Yun’s body type.
Closing his eyes, Hui Yue was filled with grief. Although there were no definite remains of Sha Yun, the entire group she had traveled with had been executed. Deep within there was a hope that she had escaped. There was no signs of the assailant having died, so Sha Yun had most likely not defeated them, but she was not weak so it was possible for her to have escaped. Where she was now, however, was something Hui Yue did not know. She should have returned to his side the moment she had the chance.
Closing his eyes, Hui Yue felt powerless. He was filled with anger and indignation and loathed himself. He had chosen to not travel with his friends because he wanted to explore the inner chambers of the grave and felt that they would be in more danger following him, fighting against Saints all the time. However, now he wished that he had chosen differently and traveled with them. At least he could have seen with his own eyes what happened to his friend.
'I told you before that you should have made snake babies! If she had been at home looking after your kids, then this would never have happened!' The phoenix said greatly saddened.
Hearing his words, Hui Yue felt even worse than before. He knew Sha Yun's emotions for him, but he had never returned them. Now that he did not even know if she was alive, he felt as though someone had repeatedly stabbed his heart.
Sha Yun had followed him since he was young and lived in Riluo City. She had fought by his side through the entire Dungeons of the Divine, and she had never forced her feelings onto him. He had never doubted her sincerity, and she was always on his side no matter what. They had trained together, eaten together, lived together, and been friends for so long. Now that she was missing, and he was uncertain whether she was even still alive his heart hurt immensely. He desperately hoped that she had escaped the ordeal somehow. Not knowing was eating away atconstantly hurting him. “You’re strong; you escaped right?” He mumbled to himself, but his fear did not lessen a bit by trying to convince himself that she was safe somewhere. The bad conscious was constantly eating at the hope which had sprouted within him.
Hui Yue was quiet as he removed the memory stone from his forehead and a single tear ran down his chin. “Sha Yun, where are you?" He mumbled to himself before he wiped the wayward tear away and stood up.
"I need to tell them about it," He sighed. "I doubt that Gao Yan has told anyone yet fearing they would tell me before I got the information from him," Hui Yue mused. He felt pity for Gao Yan who had known all along about Sha Yun's encounter without the ability to share it with anyone.
"I need to invite everyone tonight," He said as he went to his desk and found memory stones which he left a message inviting his friends over in the evening. He informed the chef to prepare for the night, and after asking the maids, he quickly found a group of youngsters who could run the invitations he needed sent.
"This one is for Ma Kong of the Ma Family. They own the Black Market Auction House. When you enter their house just mention my name, and they will ensure that the invitation gets to the right person." Hui Yue instructed the first young boy.
"Go to the Black Lion Inn here, located in East City. Just leave the invitation with the innkeeper and tell him the white-haired boy sent it." He while pointing at a map and instructing the next youngster.
"Go to the Royal Academy. I need you to bring these two invitations to Rong Ming and Rong Xing. If you are not allowed within the academy’s grounds, make sure that they get delivered to Rong Ming and Rong Xing." He instructed the third boy.
He decided not to invite Lao or Jo, but he went to Cai Jie's room and left a memory stone with him. After leaving, he headed to Xu Piao's room where the person in question was inside. He readily accepted the invitation with a nod and a promise to show up at the meeting. It was clearly important since Hui Yue went as far as to directly invite everyone.
Soon the many youngsters left the mansion and rushed in their respective directions, not daring to be the least bit inattentive. All of them clutched the memory stones containing the invitations as though they were the most precious gems they had seen. Hui Yue paid them a silver coin as payment for their job. This was the very first time these boys had ever even seen a silver coin and the fact that they obtained one on their own made them completely stunned. They were determined to carry out this task to perfection.
The invitations were soon delivered to the people in question, and all, apart from Gao Yan, were surprised by the formal invitation what the reason was. It was clear that something important had happened, but as for what that was, none of them could guess.
"I need you to stay home today," Hui Yue said personally to Wang Ju Long as he found her in her own room, cultivating. He could tell she was constantly trying hard to catch up to him and reach the rank of Emperor.
"I'll be there," She agreed, but even she had a frown on her face. Hui Yue did not explain why, but it was clear that he was affected by something. His eyes were not calm like usual, and it seemed that something was troubling him, yet Hui Yue did not go into details. This made Wang Ju Long not ask anymore. It was clear that it would be explained at the dinner.
Hui Yue returned to his room and sat down while he looked through the many different items within the Universe Box. He had already learned how to use the Direhound's Immortal Strike and the Vigorous Emerald Dragon's Roar. These were the only two Wu Wei martial arts that Hui Yue had learned, but both were much stronger than any other kind of Wu Wei attack within the plane that he knew of. Even stronger than any attack which Lan Feng knew about.
"The prince is not silly," Hui Yue mused to himself. "He definitely has some sort of specialization to his attacks. We started specializing in certain areas back when we unlocked our middle dantians, and while Wang Ju Long specialized her abilities into healing and poison, Deng Wu focused on Necromancy. The others have each gone down a different path. Although many chose not to continue walking down the same path as they did when they were experts of the middle dantian, some people do stay on the same path.
While this was more difficult, it was also something which allowed for the cultivator to become much stronger than the average expert. Wang Ju Long was one of those people, and although Hui Yue had never heard her comment about her abilities when it came to poison, he knew they would be quite deadly.
Deng Wu had also stayed interested in necromancy even more after reaching the upper dantian, but he spent an increasing amount of time experimenting with soul shadows. As for what level he had reached, Hui Yue did not know.
Thinking about it, Hui Yue realized that he had not spent enough time to fully understand his friend's powers. That perhaps if he had not been so focused on his own goals, and realized that his friends had grown up and they were strong enough to go through any difficulty together, then maybe this would not have happened.
Gazing at the boundless sky, Hui Yue swore that he would never again let his friends be in a dangerous situation without having him by their side. He decided to do everything in his power to raise their strength so that they never had to be away from one another again.
Seeing that the sun was setting, Hui Yue left his room and headed to the dining hall. Many of his friends had already arrived, and all of them were filled with curiosity.
Xu Piao had shown up very early, and so had Wang Ju Long. Cai Jie also show up early, and Hui Yue had invited him not because he had a relationship with Sha Yun, but because he felt safe with him knowing about their current situation.
Hui Yue himself had come quite early, and although everyone present had asked him about the topic for tonight, Hui Yue just shook his head and waited for everyone to arrive. Rong Xing and Rong Ming arrived just before Ma Kong, and the final guest was Gao Yan. While the majority of the guests had smiles on their faces, Hui Yue and Gao Yan were both not happy in the slightest which caused a hesitant and forlorn mood to appear in the room.
"Sorry to invite you in such a manner," Hui Yue sighed as everyone found their seats, no one dared speak. "I went to visit Gao Yan and got some information about Sha Yun. She entered the grave together with a group of beasts in human form and mixed blood cultivators. I met them once at Heaven's door, but they were forced back into the tunnels." Hui Yue started to speak, and everyone now had a serious expression on their face. When they heard that Hui Yue mentioned Sha Yun, everyone's facial expression turned grave. "After that, I did not see her again, but according to the information, Gao Yan has, they once more advanced through the tunnels. It seems that it was not a smooth trip for them. When they entered the second set of tunnels, someone attacked them." He spoke. The moment they heard this, everyone held their breath. Fear and worry shone in the eyes of everyone, and even Cai Jie was worried, though, mainly on Hui Yue behalf.
"The group was attacked, and everyone perished. None of the experts from her group have been seen alive since. As for whether or not Sha Yun died, it is not certain. At the least, there were no signs of her corpse or traces of her in the area. It is hard to say what happened to her if she escaped, killed her attackers, or..."
"I know nothing more than this, but I intend to find out what happened. I will find out who did this and kill them all. I will get her back no matter what." He said with a clear, determined voice. He would not let his friend suffer anymore than she already had.
The sadness on his face suddenly chilled, and a menacing aura spread from his body and even greater hatred was suddenly evident in his eyes. “While we're talking about people who will be dead soon, I am ready to deal with the third prince. Just a few more days and I swear that he will no longer trouble us.” Sensing the coldness in his voice and the chilled, menacing aura around him everyone was deeply shocked, but Deng Wu and Wang Ju Long felt their hearts beat rapidly; this was what they had been waiting for.