Chapter 397: Banquet
Hui Yue did not go into detail about how he was planning to kill the third prince, and neither did his friends ask yet deep within the eyes of Deng Wu and Wang Ju Long a small fire started burning. A fire which would only be extinguished with the death of the prince.
"There is no point to rush out now and find Shu Yun as it has already been so long. She will return here if she can, and we do not know where to even start looking for her. We should at least eat before we do anything else," Cai Jie said after a moment of silence. Afterwards, he helped himself to some food which had been placed on the table. The atmosphere within the dining hall was somber, and although everyone was speaking with one another about light, casual subjects, no one could let go of the feeling of dread that had crept into their hearts.
Their worry about Sha Yun was making everyone distracted and saddened, but they knew that Cai Jie was right. Instead of rushing out without a plan, they should eat and wait for Gao Yan to get more information about their missing friend. If she had been killed then, traces should have been left behind; however, if she were seen anywhere then with Gao Yan’s information network, even if she were in another city, they would instantly know. Hui Yue did not think that Sha Yun was dead, but what made him worried was the fact that she had still not returned.
"In light of this matter, there is something I would like to know about everyone." Hui Yue finally said after everyone was mostly finished eating. Everyone instantly looked at Hui Yue with curious eyes. Hui Yue had not said much during dinner. It was clear that the fact that Sha Yun was missing was weighing heavily on his heart and all he had done was speaking politely answering questions. Now he was taking the initiative to speak, and his words caused everyone to listen intently.
"I regret that I did not travel with everyone in the grave." He started, "I assumed that it would be more dangerous being with me since I would be fighting Saints, but because of my decision Sha Yun is gone, and we are unaware if she is dead or alive. I truly regret my decision back then and wish I had instead traveled with you all." Regret and sadness were visible on Hui Yue's face. This was something which could be seen and looking at the emotions they too felt saddened.
"It is not your fault," Deng Wu suddenly cut in. "We all knew the danger involved in entering the Grave of the Unknown. We were ready to lay down our lives. We were all filled with determination, and we acknowledged that it was a place filled with dangers and the fact that we have had to lay down our lives there. Had we traveled with you, who is to say that any of us would have survived? You encountered one dangerous situation after another, and If we had been there, we would have dragged you down. I bet more than half of us would have died. You are, after all, only an Emperor. Even with your skills protecting a group of seven people on your own is not realistic."
Everyone in the room nodded their heads seriously as they all felt the same way. However, it was easy for them to say that they understood Sha Yun’s feelings when she was missing and they were home safe. In such a situation any one of them would feel regret were they in Hui Yue’s position.
Smiling slightly, Hui Yue did not counter Deng Wu's words, instead, he just shook his head.
"What I want to know is what everyone’s strengths are." Hui Yue sighed, "In the future, I will only go adventuring if my friends are by my side therefore I will share the medicinal pills I got in the grave with everyone. This should be enough to bring everyone to the Emperor rank, then we can all experience the world together." Hui Yue continued, and his words caused them all to still; their eyes widened in shock and their hearts clenched with excitement. The Emperor rank? They all had confidence in reaching it; however, it would be a long while before then.
With these pills, though, the time could be cut much shorter, and they would now be of use to Hui Yue. Hui Yue stood up and with a flick of his hand a mountain of golden pills appeared in the middle of the table. Hui Yue would have placed them in storage stones, but every time he purchased one the Universe Box would consume them. Even up until now, Hui Yue was unsure why the spirit wanted such low ranked treasures.
With a wisp of spiritual energy, he quickly split the pills into piles before he placed them in front of each person. They quickly accepted the pills and stored them away.
"Although you will soon be Emperors, I have never paid attention to your strengths after I returned from the Siban Empire." Hui Yue said while shaking his head. "Are you working on the same specialization as before? Are you going studying something new? Fighting solely using Wu Wei, or have you found some ancient art you cultivate now? We are all brothers, and we should make an Oath of Blood so that no one could put the others in danger. But we need to know everyone’s strength for the future and to have each other's back." Hui Yue continued, and without waiting, his nail grew sharp, and he cut his finger, watching blood drip out.
"I, Hui Yue, swear that I will never mention to others what is said in this room today. I also swear that I will never let my friends experience dangers on their own should I have the ability to assist them. Should I not comply with this oath then let me feel the karmic flames of the Netherworld." Hui Yue swore seriously as a drop of blood that dripped from his finger turned golden then evaporated into thin air. The oath had been accepted.
It was not only Hui Yue who did this but everyone at the table, without hesitation, swore the same oath before they once more sat down. It was clear that the ties between them had grown increasingly stronger. Even the newcomers like Xu Piao and Cai Jie had sworn the same oath and now felt like a part of the group.
"I will start," Wang Ju Long volunteered as she looked lovingly at Hui Yue. "My main focus is healing. Even after opening my upper dantian I have managed to keep walking down the road of a healer. I can currently be considered a master healer. My teacher is unable to teach me anything more and has been unable to for a while now. Due to this, I started to once more focus on my skills as a poison master." She said calmly. "I am not yet a poison master, but very close to that level. I am quite skilled at making poisons, and antidotes."
"Whereas most poison masters control insects, I am much better at controlling flowers and plants. All my plants are poisonous but some more than others." She continued, "Many of my poison techniques employ the use of Wu Wei. While I can fight normally with Wu Wei, I only do so as a backup to my poison and staff skills."
Everyone quickly understood that Wang Ju Long's strength was far stronger than they had expected. Even Hui Yue was unaware that she had reached the rank of master in the healing arts and was almost strong enough to be considered a poison master.
"Although you strength is great, you might not to overcome all your foes own your own," Hui Yue said while nodding his head. "However you will never be alone again. I will forever be by your side and so will our friends. I will shield you and protect you while I know that you and your poisons will have my back." Hui Yue smiled at her, and Wang Ju Long bashfully lowered her eyes. Deep inside she was happy, but she was still having a hard time showing the changes in their relationship to everyone.
Her bashful expression made everyone within the dining hall laugh gently, and the mood slowly changed for the better.
"Let me explain how I have progressed then." Deng Wu said with a smile on his face as he stood up. "Firstly, I have an ability which allows me to become a peerless Emperor ranked genius. I can’t fully explain how this ability works, but all you need to know is that I can unleash this power from time to time." Deng Wu started by explaining the strength he had gotten from Little Dragon. "When I use this ability I rely on common Wu Wei attacks as I cannot control my soul shadows due to the sudden increase in power."
"When I usually fight though I use my skills in necromancy. Hui Yue came across some information which he gave to me about the Crusaders, something which has helped me immensely in my experiments. I should soon be strong enough to become a puppeteer," He smirked, but it was clear that no one present understood what he meant by the term puppeteer.
"Haha, look at your faces," Deng Wu grinned as he shook his head. "I coined the term puppeteer, so of course, you don’t know what it means. When I heard that the Crusaders’ corpses were actually being controlled, I learned that someone could use bodies as puppets. They could make them move according to their wishes. To do so, the requirement is to be able to split your mind, and I have been training such an art for a while. I can currently only control one puppet, but soon, I will be able to control more. The first is always the hardest." He sighed as he shook his head, and Hui Yue completely understand what he meant. He too had struggled to control the soul copy he had formed.
"My strength is hard to explain," Hui Yue said with a sigh. "As you already know, I have a Saint ranked expert within my body whose power I can unleash from time to time. I also have the blood and core of a magical beast in my lower dantian, allowing me to transform into a beast if needed. This is why I was able to become the Grand Marshall. I have the power of the blue cloud which allows me to overpower other experts and digest their energy. I also have the ability to control lifeforce and use it while fighting, and also to heal and extend lives." Hui Yue stated.
"I recently created a technique to merge some of my energies together and create a type of black energy much stronger than anything I have ever experienced before. Due to all these strange energies, I stopped focusing on my elemental affinities for a time, however, after learning Earth Tremor, I have started using my elemental affinities again. I guess I don't really have any specific specializations. Recently I have come across an amazing branch of techniques called Wu Wei martial arts. I will share them with you when I find suitable abilities for you."
Pausing a moment, Hui Yue contemplated what else he could explain while everyone was quiet just listening to the person they would give their lives for. They knew Hui Yue was incredibly strong, but exactly how strong he was, no one knew.
"I use Wu Wei martial arts as well," Cai Jie suddenly spoke. "These arts are what have made it possible for me to slay the Crusaders." Pausing for a moment, Cai Jie looked over everyone present as if thinking deeply about something. "I am not from this plane. I am from another world out in the void." He began, and his words caused everyone to hold their breath in shock. Only Hui Yue had known about this beforehand. "Where I am from the energy is different than here, and so are the elements. Although all energy becomes the same upon reaching the God rank, the energies below that level are native to their different worlds. My strength comes from the Light, and the always radiant sun and the shining stars. I use Qi, spiritual energy, and Wu Wei but I cultivate them in a different way than the people of this plane."