Chapter 318: Strange Man
Translated by Jouissance from Exiled Rebels Scanlations
After questioning Zhou Lin for a while, the two had gotten the gist of their identity and why the were here.
They were people from the Flying Fish Sect, which didn’t belong to any of the powers of Yan City, or rather, they came from a power at the edge of the Boundless Sea.
The Boundless Sea was at the other end of the mountains, an ocean about five thousand kilometers from there. It was a sea with no end that no one knew the size of. At its edge was a town and Flying Fish sect was a power there.
The town had very little to do with Yan City, but they often came into the mountains to capture demon beasts, so it wasn’t unexpected that they would bump into each other.
You XiaoMo and Ling Xiao had only recently came to the North, so they didn’t have too much of an understanding about it. It was natural that they didn’t know.
You XiaoMo finally understood why Ling Xiao decided to save them.
If the Flying Fish Sect was a “regular” of the mountains, then they might know where their target could be found.
Zhou Lin hesitated for a moment, asking, “Are you two students of the DaoXin Academy?”
You couldn’t blame him for his doubt, because Ling Xiao was extremely powerful. Daoxin Academy was full of powerful people, so You XiaoMo was definite, but he hadn’t seen a student as powerful as Ling Xiao before.
“That we are. You guys are very familiar with the mountains, right?” You XiaoMo pressed.
DaoXin Academy’s Trials weren’t a secret, and with a thought to what time it was, Zhou Lin quickly guessed their reason for being here. Seeing that it was You XiaoMo asking, he ok paused for a moment in surprise before saying, “We often arrange for people to enter the mountains, so while we can’t say we have a complete understanding of the entirety of the mountains, we’re familiar with most of it. Whatever questions you might have, shoot.”
You XiaoMo smiled. Speaking with smart people was always nice.
He asked, “Do you know of an area in the North of the mountains called Uneven Slope?”
Zhou Lin was stunned. Of course he knew. Uneven Slope was a very dangerous place in the deep mountains because it was at the entrance of the Demon Forest Mountain.. Anyone who wanted to enter the Demon Forest Mountains had to go through the Uneven Slope, but very few could enter and exit safely.
That was because Uneven Slope was inhabited by many demon beasts. The slightest commotion would grab the attention of these demon beasts. If you were surrounded by them, then only death awaited you.
“I won’t lie to you, I do, in fact, know the Uneven Slope, but that’s an extremely dangerous area. If you two want to go, it’s best to think it through carefully,” Zhou Lin warned them.
He knew that his savior was powerful, but he still felt like it was too dangerous. The Uneven Slope wasn’t like most places with mid-grade demon beasts and the occasional high-grade. Instead, the majority of demon beasts were high-grade, with the occasional mid-grade.
Ling Xiao said, “This isn’t any of your business. Just tell me where the Uneven Slope is.”
With such a rude tone, Zhou Lin and the others would ignore him, usually. But Ling Xiao was their savior, so they didn’t mind it.
Zhou Lin immediately took out a sheet of cow leather, handing it over as he said, “This is a map we, the Flying Fish Sect, drew ourselves. You can’t obtain something like this anywhere else. Though it’s incomplete, the Demon Forest Mountains and Uneven Slope are both on there. You can definitely find the Uneven Slope if you follow the map.”
You XiaoMo took the cow leather happily. The lack of a map was exactly what had been bothering him.
Though it was hand-drawn, the places on the map were very clear.
You XiaoMo immediately found the Uneven Slope. There was quite a distance between here and there. By his speed, they’d probably need two days to get there.
However, this was with a map. If they didn’t have a map, then it’d probably take several times longer.
With the map, there was no need for them.
However, You XiaoMo got some info on the Uneven Slopes from them before leaving.
After knowing everything they wanted to know, Ling Xiao immediately called You XiaoMo to head off.
Zhou Lin hurriedly called them back. “Are you two certain you want to go to the Uneven Slope?”
You XiaoMo turned his head to smile at them. “Why would we ask you guys if we weren’t going. Ok, see you!”
Zhou Lin felt like the youth’s smile had seen through his intentions, flushing. The words he had wanted to say were stuck, and he could only watch them leave helplessly. It was only when their figures disappeared into the forest that he expressed his frustration in his expression.
The other members all exchanged glances. They could guess what their vice sect leader was thinking, and all had the same hopes. However, that man was their savior. Using this to exchange a map was disadvantageous to them. If they asked for another favor, that would be too shameless, and might even cause the other to react negatively, making everything worse.
It wasn’t until he could no longer see that group of people that You XiaoMo ran in front of Ling Xiao, walking backwards as he smiled, “Ling Xiao, do you think they had wanted to follow us?”
Ling Xiao looked at him lazily, saying, “Not just that. Be careful.”
“Don’t worry!” You XiaoMo then said, “That guy had a good idea in mind. I think they were trying to postpone our journey to the Uneven Slope so we could protect them for a while.”
“How greedy!” Ling Xiao said with a mocking chuckle.
If it wasn’t for the fact that they had some sort of use, the seven of them would’ve long since joined their friends. Though there really was nothing wrong with their desire to live. You XiaoMo held the map, inhaling deeply and saying to Ling Xiao, “How about be have a competition and see who arrives first at the Uneven Slope?”
Ling Xiao gave him a meaningful glance. “Are you sure you want to compete with me?”
“Of course,” You XiaoMo nodded, continuing, “However, you can’t go all out. You can only use one percent of your full power.”
“One percent?” Ling Xiao’s smile didn’t falter at all, instead becoming anticipatory. “I can, but it’s rather boring without a bet. How about this, if you lose, then next time I’ll…”
Ling Xiao quietly whispered into his ear the rest of the sentence.
You XiaoMo went red, stammering, “You don’t know who’s going to win yet!”
Ling Xiao smirked, licking his lips, “Ah, I can’t wait!”
When his words fell, You XiaoMo ran. It wasn’t like they agreed that they had to start at the same time, so it wasn’t a violation of the rules.
Ling Xiao smiled, eyes curving. He knew that You XiaoMo would take a headstart.
At the same time, in a different corner of the deep mountains.
A pair of participants in the trials were currently heading towards their target, soon finding what they wanted in a dark, wet cavern.
The task they had chosen was the easiest on the list in the first place, so they hadn’t expended much effort.
“Is our target really in this cave?” The male mage quietly, but excitedly asked.
He hadn’t thought they would be able to accomplish their task so smoothly. It had only been a day since the Trials had started. If they managed to finish their task within the day, they would be the fastest team to ever finish the Trials; they would definitely become famous.
“I’m certain. I’ve prepared for this for a while now. Snow Serpents like humid caverns, and caverns with Snow Serpents will always have a white sort of lichen growing on it. Most are in the northeast, so I’m over ninety percent certain that a Snow Serpent lives here,” his partner said confidently.
“Then when do we go and catch it?”
“After dark. Snow Serpents like to come out and hunt at night, so all we’ll have to do is find one that’s alone.”
The male mage opened his mouth to reply when a chilling breeze blew from behind, accompanied by a cold, threatening aura. His body tensed.
His companion had also noticed it and the two turned their heads stiffly, widening their eyes in shock.
Three dark, cloaked men had appeared silently behind them. They didn’t know when they had arrived or how much they had heard.
What truly scared them, though, was the intense pressure they felt from the three. It was a type of absolute suppression that made them incapable of fighting back against it. Especially the man at the lead. The scent of death lingered on him.
The two were unable to speak, as if they had suddenly gone dumb.
The man at the head’s exposed lower face twisted in an evil smile. Then he said fervently, “Are you Daoxin Academy’s students? I’m going to ask you a question, and if your answer satisfies me, I’ll leave your corpse whole. In the past two years, have any rather special students enrolled in the Daoxin Academy?”
The two widened their eyes in shock. These people knew they were students of Daoxin academy and still dared to kill them?
“Did you hear what I said?” The man’s voice was very gentle, chillingly so.
“Sp-special in what way?” The male mage swallowed thickly, his voice unsteady. He fully believed that if this man wanted to kill them, then there was no chance for them to live.
“It doesn’t matter what way. Mages, practitioners, anyone.” The man’s snakelike gaze landed on him.
The male mage shrunk a little, lips trembling. “I remember there are a few rather special ones. They all have great potential…” In an attempt to save his own life, the male mage decided to cough up everything he knew.
“Among these people, are there any that behave out of the norm?”
“Th-there’s… that Teng ZiYe. He’s the successor of one of the four great Families of Yan City, the Teng Family, he strangely likes to be alone in the academy…”
Without waiting for him to finish, the man cut him off.
“Not that one.”
“I know another one…” the male mage’s partner suddenly said.
“Speak!” the man’s unforgiving gaze immediately switched to him.
“The guy’s called Ling Xiao, he’s a practitioner. He only joined the Academy in the last year. He’s very powerful, but no one knew of him before he joined the academy and started making a name for himself. Recently, he even challenged the fifteenth ranked student as the fifty-first ranked student and gained an easy victory. Usually he keeps to himself, and barely talks to anyone else, apart from one person. That person enrolled with him. He’s called You XiaoMo; he’s a mage and he’s extremely talented, scaling the cultivation levels like its nothing. Neither of them come from Yan City,” The partner rambled.
“That’s right, I remember, that You XiaoMo is really quite special. He always goes to sell magic pills with that Ling Xiao, and would occasionally sell some high-grade pills. Many people are curious where he gets the herbs, but he has a level ten mage as a master,” the male mage added. To live, he could only give up as much information as possible, hoping that this man would be satisfied and let them go.
“Ling Xiao? You XiaoMo? High-grade pills?” the man mumbled, “Are these two also in the deep mountains? Do they have any defining characteristics?”
The two nodded at once, the partner saying fearfully, “Yes, they accepted a task on the North side of the deep mountains. That Ling Xiao is always wearing a really ugly mask, so you’ll recognize him on sight. We’ve told you everything we know, can you let us go now?”
Because it was the first ranked task, they remembered the details rather clearly.
The man looked down at them, suddenly smiling evilly. “Hm, now, you can die…”
The two only had the time to widen their eyes before a line of blood appeared on their throats.
The man kept his promise, keeping their corpses whole, but if any demon beasts came and ate them, well, it wasn’t any of his business anymore.
No one knew that two students had already been killed when the Trials had only just started.