Chapter 48: They Are Back
Having reached the Disciple rank as well as having his cultivation technique evolve into a copy of himself his speed of refining Qi was many times quicker than it had ever been before.
The Rong twins, on the other hand, had not managed to progress as smoothly and because their Qi was of lower purity it had only broken through a few stars during the final half year.
Rong Ming had broken into the two-star Practitioner rank while Rong Xing was now a three-star Practitioner. Both of the twins relied heavily on Hui Yue’s unlimited supply of medicinal pills, and they both ate Qi Refining pills as though they were candy.
These pills allowed for the previous just above average purity of their Qi to turn pearl white, and although it lacked lustre and shine it still was more than enough to allow for the two to break into the Master rank later on.
Although Hui Yue’s cultivation technique was nothing like he had ever experienced before, it still had no way of comparing to the one Gao Yan was using when it came to cultivation speed.
Gao Yan was using a cultivation technique which, much like Hui Yue, relied on one of the zodiacs, and this specific technique sacrificed some purity for rapid advancement. Yet the purity of this technique was still considered great when compared to the average cultivator of this world.
Relying on this cultivation technique, Gao Yan had spent the final half year absorbed in constant cultivation which in turn had resulted in him breaking into the Practitioner rank after such a short time.
Seeing that Gao Yan had managed to pass the entire Student rank within such few months caused Hui Yue to almost vomit blood. His ten years of hard work suddenly seemed as though they had been wasted.
Had it not been for the slight difference in purity of their Qi pools, it would be quite certain that Hui Yue would have spent the time on figuring out a way to beat up Lan Feng for introducing him to such a slow and painstaking technique.
Ma Kong had managed to reach the nine-star Disciple rank within these months, and he had been gifted with a box of medicinal pills by Hui Yue in the hope of helping him break through to the Practitioner rank before the lot of them set set out towards the Magical Forest.
Officially, Deng Wu was also at the nine-star Disciple rank, and he had been gifted a box of mixed pills. Some were Qi Congregating Pills while others were Qi Refining Pills.
While everyone expected Deng Wu to be breaking into the Practitioner rank, he was in fact at the verge of breaking into the Master rank. The first amongst them all to turn into a cultivator who could unlock the middle dantian.
Hui Yue himself had reached the third star of the Disciple rank and during this period of time he had perfected Transforming Weapons, sword style.
Although Hui Yue had perfected the sword style it was impossible for him to compare to a sword master, however his skills were not bad, and he constantly improved by training the sword movements he had been taught in his previous life.
At first Hui Yue had no intention of training more weaponry skills, yet after hearing that the six of them were to enter the Magical Forest together, he quickly picked up Transforming Weapons, bow style.
One day had taken another and suddenly the trip was about to commence. Hui Yue had gone to Riluo City in search of the necessities that he would need for such a long journey, and his first stop was a high end memory stone store.
Hui Yue purchased two large capacity memory stones. These large capacity memory stones had the size of a fist, but their weight was as light as a feather. The stones were embedded within a small pouch which was created to be hung on belts allowing for swift access.
Hui Yue quickly hung one of these memory stone pouches on his belt before he continued his shopping spree through town.
One memory stone was quickly filled with meat of all varieties. Some was fresh, other cured. Some was salt others smoked. Grain and wheat were stored in large quantities of sacks, some barley others rice. Fabrics of various qualities followed the food, and finally some drinks were added. Some of the drinks he bought were rice wine, and barley beer, and fruit wines.
At the very end, Hui Yue entered a bank where he purchased a coin storing memory stone in which he placed three thousand gold coins. The gold coins were by far easier to use than spirit coins, and after doing so he deposited the coin memory stone into the first memory stone he bought.
This stone was then stored within the memory stone that Hui Yue had placed on his belt, and a content smile appeared on his face.
The first stone he had filled up was a present to his family and the village. Although Hui Yue had been away from home for long, he still knew where his home was. With the money he had gained from Lan Feng plus the constant cash flow from the Deng family, Hui Yue felt that this was the least he could do for the ones who spent ten years to raise him.
Having finished picking out gifts for his family, Hui Yue finally started to pick up items for himself.
Unlike his family, he only bought dried food for himself. Dried strips of meat, biscuits which were made as rations for the army and could last for a long time also dried fruits and berries.
Since Hui Yue was allowed to buy his own drinks the first thing he bought was a canteen so that he could store water on his trip. Apart from that he bought quite a few bottles of fruit wine and weaker types of alcohol.
Food was not the only thing Hui Yue prepared. Blankets were bought enough to cover each and every one of his friends those together with some so large that they could be used to create a tent for them to sleep under, should the warm and cloud free weather not last.
A wide array of tools were bought. Some of these tools were for the sake of starting a fire should Hui Yue run out of Qi making him unable to use Fire Spark. Others were for cooking or digging. Rope was brought together with a hammer and some nails.
Although Hui Yue knew that the majority of these things would not be needed he also knew that it was best to plan for any eventuality; he had packed anything which he would usually have brought had he gone on a camping trip in his old world.
Packing as though he had no cultivation base caused his storage memory stone to be completely filled with things, yet Hui Yue had no regrets. He would rather be safe than sorry.
Just as Hui Yue was on his way back to the academy, he was stopped by Ma Kong who came rushing towards him. Everyone had gone to shop for their own items ,and they had planned to meet up at the east city gate in Riluo two days from now.
“Hui Yue!” Ma Kong called in a high pitched voice, uneasy as his heart was beating erratically. “The old manager has asked if you would like to dine with us tonight,” he continued as he caught his breath slightly. “You still have not met the other elders of our family, and they have a gift to give you as a token of appreciation for introducing us to the concept of insurance.”
Hearing this caused Hui Yue to chuckle slightly. Although the Ma family were grateful for the insurance business idea it was highly likely that they wished for Hui Yue to have a positive attitude towards them due to the secret teacher who was backing him. Not that he truly cared.
After contemplating for a few minutes, Hui Yue quickly agreed and followed Ma Kong back to the Ma family compound.
On the way, Hui Yue and Ma Kong needed to pass the City Lord’s mansion and just as they walked past, Hui Yue felt a shiver run through his body. A feeling of impending danger was upon him, and he quickly looked around as the red mist started to activate within his lower dantian.
With great difficulty, Hui Yue managed to suppress the red mist, but he could not help but let out a gasp from his lips as he saw seven black cloaked men making their way into the City Lord’s mansion.
These seven black cloaked men spoke to no one, nor did they see anyone. They walked with determined steps and every servant seemed to rush out of their way. The guards did not stop them, instead they instantly opened the mansion gates for them.
These seven men were the exact same ones that Hui Yue had seen almost one year ago when he had sold the two high ranked attack skills at the Black Market Auction house. The seven men who had tried to surround him, but did not fight with him.
Ma Kong looked at Hui Yue. It was obvious that he noticed the change in the younger boy, but as he saw the coldness flash within the blue eyes, he quickly decided not to say anything.
Hui Yue made a mental note to ask Gao Yan to activate his network of beggars and servants within Riluo City. Hui Yue would pay well for any information which was available about those seven black cloaked men. He needed to know if they were still here to catch him, or rather to catch the unknown expert that went by the name of Li Fen.
Dinner at the Ma family went above all expectation. Hui Yue was acting as an adorable and slightly naïve eleven-year-old child, and all the elders gained a favourable impression of him.
The only ones who knew what Hui Yue was truly like were Ma Kong and the manager who had attended the tournament. Yet neither of these two felt as if they should tell the rest of the elders about this particular trait, as it had no influence on their work with the young child.
“Young master Hui Yue,” the manager said respectfully. Hui Yue was no young master, yet the manager did not know what else to call him as his importance far exceeded that of a young master. “We heard that you are about to embark upon a risk filled journey with your friends, and we would like to gift you an inscribed item to increase your chances of a bountiful harvest.”
Having said that the manager clasped his hands and a servant rushed to his side. In the servant’s hands were a pillow and on this pillow was a long and black knife.
This knife was made from a black metal which Hui Yue did not know, but looking at it one could tell how incredibly sharp it was. Yet within the middle of the blade was a circle of some kind, an inscription, being lit up with silvery light.
“This is a knife created from black iron,” the manager said with reverence in his voice. “It is inscribed by a Duke ranked metal affinity expert and the inscription allows for the knife’s edge to never dull. It will forever be a sharp weapon which will take life after life in the hand of a cultivator.”
Hearing this caused amazement to arise within Hui Yue. Currently he only possessed one inscribed item, which was the armour that he had won from the tournament, yet this knife was mesmerising.
“Thank you,” he said with a muffled voice. Hui Yue’s eyes were shining in excitement as he picked up the knife. As he sent his Qi inside he felt a shocking change within his dantian cave.