Chapter 47: Keep My Secret
Following the end of the tournament Hui Yue went back to his courtyard where he locked himself inside refusing to see almost all of the many guests who had arrived. The only ones who were seen entering into the genius’ courtyard were the manager of the Black Market Auction House and a messenger sent from the City Lord’s mansion.
Usually an outstanding genius such as Hui Yue would be a target for assassination as soon as he had chosen a faction, yet even though he clearly had chosen to ally himself with Lord Rong Liang no one dared to make a move against him as they all feared his unknown master.
Throughout the next few months many invitations were sent to Hui Yue inviting him to visit the various nobles of Riluo City. Each and every one of these invitations got declined even the ones which invited him to the City Lord’s mansion and the Ma family compound.
This in turn caused the Wang faction to feel as though Hui Yue might not have been reeled in by the other side, but that he had shown face to the two families as repayment for them purchasing the martial and spiritual attack skill which the expert, ‘Li Fen’, had been selling.
Life at the academy had changed drastically for Hui Yue. Just as he had left his courtyard he noticed that there was a person waiting for him outside. A deep sigh escaped Hui Yue’s lips as he looked at the small figure in front of him.
Wang Ju Long’s hair had grown long and was tied at the top of her head while she was wearing a beautiful black robe on her snow white skin. The fabric was fluttering around her fragile figure as the wind picked up, and Hui Yue was about to slap himself mentally. How could he have ever thought of Wang Ju Long as a man?
Thinking about it this way made his handsome face turned grim as he understood how his feelings were the exact opposite of the ones Rong Ming had felt that fateful day all those years back. Some things were better left unknown.
“Why are you waiting for me every day?” Hui Yue asked dejectedly as he knew that there was no way to escape this neighbour of his without her seeing him. He had tried multiple times, yet somehow she always managed to find him within mere seconds.
In the end, Hui Yue had given up and allowed the woman to turn into his own stalker. This change had caused multiple students within the Royal Academy to loathe Wang Ju Long, as they all saw her as someone who previously hated Hui Yue, but now tried to suck up to him as he had shown his actual potential.
Much unlike most people Wang Ju Long paid absolutely no heed to the talk of others, and she proudly stood next to Hui Yue. She never spoke just observed him quietly, and the sharp eyes always made the white-haired boy feel slightly uncomfortable. This in turn had caused him to hardly leave his courtyard, and he would barricade himself inside hoping to get just a sliver of privacy.
“I need to keep an eye on you,” Wang Ju Long answered while her cheeks flushed pink. “I cannot afford for you to tell anyone about my secret.”
Hui Yue had asked the same question multiple times, and although the answer had never changed Wang Ju Long’s attitude had changed throughout the months. At first she had been a very proud and aloof character, but day after day she would soften up until she had transformed into the blushing girl who was currently standing in front of him.
Yet another sigh escaped Hui Yue’s lips as he started making his way towards the classroom where it was now time to choose another subject for the remainder of the year. A naïve hope sprung into being within Hui Yue; he could choose a subject which Wang Ju Long didn’t pick!
‘She will definitely choose the same as you.’ Lan Feng said with a dry voice, bursting the bubbly feeling of happiness which had started to grow within Hui Yue. A sour expression filled his face as he knew that the bird within him was right. It was obvious that Wang Ju Long would follow him no matter what subject he chooses.
Knowing this Hui Yue had picked the subject which focused on Qi refining and eventually decided to skip out of all the lessons as he stayed within his courtyard to cultivate either alone, or with his friends.
Having reached the Disciple rank Hui Yue spent a whole month on understanding the changes which happened to his body.
First were the physical changes. Hui Yue had, as said earlier, grown taller and much stronger. His features had gained a slight masculinity which in turn had caused him to go from a feminine boy to a handsome youth.
Although these changes seemed severe they were nothing compared to what happened within Hui Yue’s body.
When Hui Yue forced the final strand of Qi out of his body in the fight against Li Shing, he had forcefully pushed his way into the Disciple rank which caused his body to become like a sponge, greedily sucking up essence from the heavens and the earth.
This essence no longer needed Hui Yue to refine it, instead the cultivation technique which Lan Feng had taught him activated itself and kept circulating the essence until it had gained the pearly lustre which showed the incredibly pure quality of the Qi.
His meridians had been slightly damaged during the battle, but after a few weeks of rest and constant nourishing with Qi, they had healed and become even stronger.
The biggest change, however, was neither the physical changes nor was it the meridians, but the Qi Spiral itself. The spiral had grown to more than double the size it had before and a roaring sound could be heard from within.
Not only had the spiral grown it had also started turning the opposite way it had spun originally. Within the Qi spiral was a copy of Hui Yue seated with his hands locked in the bird hand seal. This copy of Hui Yue was the cultivation technique which would constantly absorb and refine Qi at the highest speed possible, while still keeping the purity equal to that which had been manually refined.
Hui Yue could even further speed up the refinement process if he were to sit down and cultivate using the same technique, yet he no longer needed to worry too much about it as his copy was keeping itself busy.
Another big change was that the two caverns within Hui Yue’s Qi cave had turned into nine cave-ins, however seven of them were blocked by a misty shield which Hui Yue had no way of breaking past or seeing through.
Looking at the two open cave-ins, Hui Yue had the impression that something was missing. A longing within his soul was calling out, yet no matter how much Hui Yue contemplated the subject no answer would appear to ease the longing.
Instead, Hui Yue undergone multiple tests together with Lan Feng to understand the blood red mist and the sky blue cloud.
The red mist appeared whenever Hui Yue engaged in battle or when danger was close by. This red mist slowly enveloped the Qi spiral where it would wrap around the Qi, giving it an overbearing strength and also help Hui Yue to sharpen his senses.
The Qi which had been affected by the red mist would swell in size and the previously pearl white luster would have a faint red hue which seemed to be emitted from within.
Hui Yue had learnt how to suppress this red mist with the least possible amount of focus and effort, but his current level was far too low to have any real control over it. He was unable to activate it, and he was even less capable of causing it to calm down within its cave.
The blue cloud like tranquillity was much simpler in this aspect. The tranquillity would usually be the one which Hui Yue would activate for the sake of suppressing the killing intent. This cloud activated as soon as his consciousness came into contact with it, and unlike the red mist the blue cloud when travelling throughout his meridians emits its cool and calm energy.
While being affected by the blue cloud, Hui Yue was capable of calmly understanding and reacting to the things which were happening around him, and his sharpened senses seemed to observe everything around him in slow-motion.
This tranquil feeling was easy to control. As soon as Hui Yue willed it the cloud would gather from the meridians and return to the cave-in where it calmly waited for the next time Hui Yue summoned it.
Another benefit of the blue cloud was that it increased the rate of which Hui Yue and his cultivation technique could refine Qi, yet all these benefits had a downside.
Every time Hui Yue used either the red mist or the blue cloud both cloud and mist would slowly diminish in size as the energy was used. If one energy was used more than the other an unbalance would appear within Hui Yue causing the opposing energy to leak out; this would either bring Hui Yue to the state of a killing frenzy, or a state of aloof tranquillity.
When the two cave-ins were completely empty as a result of Hui Yue using up all his energy, then it would take a full month before the cloud and mist could be restored to their original sizes.
What fuelled these two unknown phenomenon was a thing which Hui Yue had absolutely no idea about, even Lan Feng could not seem to figure it out, and he had spent hour after hour in front of the cave-ins, observing the two contrasting forces.
‘One day,’ Lan Feng sighed, ‘one day when you get stronger we will be able to get an answer to what these are and their causes.’
‘What about the other caves?’ Hui Yue asked curiously as he looked at the sealed entrances to other cave-ins, yet nothing was visible from within, nor was any feeling of energy being emitted out. They were thoroughly sealed.
‘They’ll open when it is time for them to open,’ Lan Feng said with little care in the world. For this ancient phoenix everything that had happened was exciting and new to him, and it brought excitement and great promises for Hui Yue’s future.
The winter was turning into spring with beautiful flowers that sprouted from the cold soil. Soon the snow melted, and the sun rose to the sky allowing for spring to turn into summer. It had now almost been a year since Hui Yue arrived at the academy. It was time for the Rong’s yearly trip to the magical forest.
“This year you have to come with us,” Rong Ming said with a big smile on his face. “We are going to go without the guards this year since the two of us have broken into the rank of Practitioner. Perhaps we can even invite the others and have a fun trip together!”
Hearing Rong Ming speak about the magical forest as a place to play around caused Hui Yue to chuckle slightly, although he did agree that it would be a good idea for the six of them to go together. If they were all together it should be possible to survive as long as they did not wander too far into the forest, itself.
Hui Yue could not help but feel a slight excitement grow within his heart as he also realised that it was the first time he could visit his parents in a whole year.
Although Hui Yue had been born with the mentality of a twenty-four-year-old he also knew that he had been cared for deeply by his new parents.
Hui Lifen had done her very best as his mother, and even though they were poor Hui Yue had always had everything he needed. Hui Yue also valued his father deeply, yet there was nothing in this world quite like the love of a mother, and it was one thing which Hui Yue looked forward to experiencing once again.
Another thing which Hui Yue looked forward to was finally allowing his friends to see where he came from. So far only the Rong twins were aware of his humble background.
Although he had informed Gao Yan, Ma Kong, and Deng Wu about his family they all expected to see feral men who fought magical beasts daily. They expected to see a wild tribe who were living in savage lands.
The truth was far from their expectations, yet every time Hui Yue tried to correct their impressions none of them would listen to him. Eventually he had completely given up on trying and instead decided on showing them. These five youths were the ones Hui Yue would entrust his deepest secrets and most sensitive information.