Chapter 11: You Tricked Me?!
Every person present clearly understood that although the results were recorded as a draw, Hui Yue had the upper hand at the end. Not only was he able to avoid and block Wang Ju Long’s most powerful attack, but he also managed to break two ribs of his opponent while only receiving a numb shoulder.
Even though no other students had been present at the arena for the fight, it was quickly known throughout the entire academy that the two geniuses from the new year had fought each other. Although officially it had ended in a draw, Hui Yue was mentioned as the winner.
This was definitely due to Gao Yan and his commoners spreading the word and causing the duel to be well known. Although Gao Yan was unable to directly take revenge upon the Wang family, he did not shy away from using his friends to exact vengeance in another way. Nobles cared too much about how others perceived them, so making them lose face was very satisfying.
The first couple of days were free from classes as the students got used to their new surroundings. Hui Yue spent this time sitting down with the group of people he now belonged to. Hui Yue determined that now was the time for him to behave more maturely. Although he had been hiding his real personality for quite some time, he did not want to keep hiding it forever.
“I need some help,” Hui Yue said with a serious voice looking at the five seniors that were sitting in his new home.
“I am not a noble person, which I am sure you have already guessed,” he started, “so I am not used to all these internal battles. I understand that the Rong family and the Wang family don’t respect each other, but what is actually going on?”
At first, the house was silent while the older kids looked at Hui Yue with complicated expressions. None of them felt as if this subject was something they should talk about with such a young child. He had asked for the information for himself, looking at them with eyes that were completely clear yet showed a depth of knowledge and understanding that did not suit his age.
“The Wang family used to be the ones who controlled Riluo City,” Deng Wu finally said, then looked at the others. “We might as well tell him what is going on. I think we should not underestimate him. I have a feeling that he is hiding a monster within those innocent blue eyes,” he said while looking straight at Hui Yue. Deng Wu’s words caused the latter to feel his veins freeze over.
The way he intentionally phrased the sentence clearly showed Hui Yue that Deng Wu clearly knew. Deng Wu knew about Lan Feng or at least had a very good idea about him. Hui Yue could feel how his body was frozen from the shock and even Lan Feng was kept quiet. He knew that Deng Wu was observing him, so Hui Yue forced himself to stay calm and not allow any of the emotional turmoil from within to surface. His eyes stayed as clear and calm as a cloudless summer sky.
Deng Wu was impressed by the level of control that Hui Yue showed as he just smiled happily, “The Wang family has a long history, and they were put in charge of Riluo City right after the Black Age. Unfortunately, they were quite bad at managing the economy, and eventually, they went bankrupt and had to step down. They went from being the leading power to becoming a secondary power of the city, and they have a hard time accepting it.”
“After regaining financial stability, they are now trying to take back the position of City Lord they view as theirs. Unfortunately for them, Lord Rong Liang and his family have always done a great job, so it is not as easy as they might have hoped.” Ma Kong took over, “The nobles have been split into two factions. One is the Great Hundred Names families and their followers, and the other faction is Lord Rong Liang and his followers.”
Hearing this, Hui Yue threw a quick glance at Deng Wu. This young man was becoming more and more mysterious the more he learned about him. Hui Yue felt unable to trust him the same way he did the others. He decided to drop the subject for now, and try to pry some information out of the others later on.
“But Hui Yue,” Rong Xing finally asked, and it was obvious that she had wanted to ask something for quite a long time, “how did you get such strong martial art skills?” This was obviously the subject everyone was interested in. They looked at Hui Yue with big, inquiring eyes, hoping that there was some incredible story behind it.
Hui Yue was aware that this question would be asked, and he had spent some time planning a reasonable explanation together with Lan Feng.
“While I was out helping my dad look for medicinal herbs, I got lost. On the way, I found a pretty blue gemstone. When I touched it, some white fog shot into my head, and suddenly I knew about these skills and how to practice them, but sadly, after the fog disappeared, the stone turned to dust,” Hui Yue explained according to the story that Lan Feng fabricated.
“I never really mentioned it to anyone before because I don’t understand what happened. I have no idea what that blue gemstone was, and now it’s gone.” Hui Yue shook his head apologetically, and the looks from the other youngsters turned tender.
“That is some amazing luck,” Gao Yan said after quite some time, “you must have lived in a rather unique place.”
“I lived within the Magical Forest, but I promised never to disclose the exact location to anyone,” Hui Yue answered with a serious voice, and the others nodded solemnly.
Living within the Magical Forest was supposed to be impossible. Although a few villages did exist, they were very remote and shrouded in mystery. Only the strongest cultivators would be able to survive growing up within the Magical Forest. Hearing this, a sudden feeling of respect appeared in their eyes.
Although nothing that Hui Yue said was a lie, it was far from the terrifying impressions that the other young people now had of him. An impression of growing up in the wilderness, fighting magical beasts from an early age, and stumbling upon treasures and medicinal herbs along the way.
Only the Rong twins were aware of the truth, but neither of them could think of any other possibility than that Hui Yue really was incredibly lucky to stumble upon such a powerful relic.
Hui Yue was not aware how his explanation made Deng Wu’s interest in him soar exponentially. Although Hui Yue had a Saint ranked divine beast locked within himself, he was not strong enough to have captured this beast. Therefore, Deng Wu theorized that Hui Yue had come across a treasure trove left behind by an ultimate expert from the Dark Age.
Deng Wu definitely wanted the location as more treasures were likely to still be hidden there, just waiting for someone to come and pick them up. However, it seemed that Deng Wu was not alone in thinking this, as both Ma Kong and Gao Yan’s eyes glittered with unspoken desire.
“Younger brother Hui Yue,” Ma Kong said while urging slightly, “do you happen to remember the location where you picked up this blue gemstone?” And to the side, Gao Yan nodded his head in affirmation, as if trying to show Hui Yue that it was okay to answer these big brothers of his. While Ma Kong and Deng Wu were mostly curious about the place so that they could pick up supreme martial arts skills for themselves, Gao Yan saw a way to earn money for his family.
However, Hui Yue shook his head with a depressed expression on his face. “I am really sorry,” he said, “but I did not leave the village that often and everything outside looked the same to me. It was pretty deep within the forest, I think, and there was a cave next to a lake. I found the stone just outside the cave, but I was too scared to enter since it might have been the home of some strong magical beast.” The others nodded with regret. They should have known that it was not that easy to get the location of a treasure left behind by a supreme expert. However, every single one of them imprinted the information within their hearts and promised themselves to disclose this information to their family leaders so that all the families could send out some of their cultivators to look for the cave. Strong martial arts skills or old relics could change the fate of any strong, noble family.
Hui Yue breathed a sigh of relief upon seeing the different reactions. Lan Feng had told him earlier that the prospects of a possible treasure hoard would definitely steer their interest away from him, and it seemed that he was right. Suddenly, Ma Kong had to borrow a book from the library while Rong Xing and Rong Ming remembered an issue they needed to discuss with their teacher. Finally, Gao Yan needed to visit some of his friends to hear what was happening with the rumors he had spread concerning Wang Ju Long’s and Hui Yue’s fight.
The only one who stayed behind was Deng Wu who was leaning against the courtyard wall with a lazy expression and a small smile on his face.
Hui Yue’s ice-blue eyes were locked into Deng Wu’s obsidian-black eyes, and neither of them said a word. They both patiently waiting for every sound to disappear, ensuring that there was no one listening to them in secret no hidden listeners.
Deng Wu flicked his hand, and a small figure suddenly appeared within his palm. The figure was crafted from a big azure scale of unknown origin and was cut into the shape of a laughing mask.
The shadows played on it making it seem as if the mouth were moving and a faint light shone from its eyes. Deng Wu observed it for a moment before it disappeared with yet another flick of his hand. A contented smile spread across his face as he observed Hui Yue.
‘That item had a familiar feel to it,’ Lan Feng said with a wondering voice, ‘but I can’t remember where I felt it before.’ Hui Yue sighed, the feathered soul inside of him was not very useful in situations like these. As a matter of fact, he had caused Hui Yue so much worry already, that if his hair had not turned white from the Soul Contract, it would definitely have turned white from worrying.
“Seen enough?” Hui Yue asked tentatively, all his muscles tensed up and Velocity Flow activated in case he needed to escape.
Deng Wu was already aware that he would have no way of catching Hui Yue if he used his movement skill, and he had no intention of scaring the younger boy away, so he kept calm and answered gently.
“Don’t worry, I don’t plan on telling anyone about your secret,” he said leisurely causing Hui Yue to narrow his eyes.
“Which secret are you talking about?” he asked. Although Deng Wu knew about Lan Feng, it was questionable whether or not he knew about Hui Yue having been brought here from another plane through reincarnation.
Deng Wu was not dumb; he instantly knew that Hui Yue was trying to get him to explain his knowledge. Currently, he would not benefit from holding anything back, so he shrugged his shoulders.
“When you found that blue stone containing the martial arts skills you also stumbled across the soul of a Saint ranked divine beast.” This was mainly Deng Wu’s theory, and from the information, Hui Yue had given it would be the most fitting explanation.
“What do you plan on doing about it?” Hui Yue asked with tensed muscles. His whole body was alert, and his Qi was surging through his meridians in certain patterns increasing Velocity Flow and focusing all the strength within his feet. This would allow him to escape as soon as he heard the answer; however, Deng Wu surprised him when he once again shrugged his shoulders.
“I don’t plan on doing anything about it for now,” he said calmly. “The only way to get the divine spirit is to kill you and dig it out of your body, but that would make Rong Xing sad, so I will just keep it a secret for now.” Hui Yue gaped at Deng Wu. Keeping it a secret for the sake of Rong Xing’s happiness seemed rather odd, but the teen seemed incredibly serious.
“Well, be careful no one else notices,” Deng Wu warned as he turned and was about to leave the courtyard. “I can guarantee that no other cultivators will be able to ignore the temptation of a divine beast soul.” With that he left and disappeared into the dark evening, leaving Hui Yue with a furrowed brow and a lot of questions.
‘Lan Feng,’ he asked, ‘how come they say that it is possible for them to dig out your soul after I die? You said earlier that if I die, then you will die as well.’ Lan Feng slowly allowed his soul to float out of Hui Yue’s body and sat down on the courtyard ground.
‘Well, usually a cultivator and a beast soul wouldn’t make a Soul Contract,’ he stated while observing the surroundings, not showing any intention of continuing the conversation. Although he was dismissive, Hui Yue could feel an eagerness hidden within almost yelling for Hui Yue to ask why.
‘Why?’ Hui Yue asked with a sigh. He could clearly feel that Lan Feng was hiding something. Secrets were impossible to keep considering that they were sharing a body now and their souls were connected. But he could also feel that Lan Feng wished to tell Hui Yue about it, but would not do so unless asked.
‘Well,’ Lan Feng said slowly, ‘a Soul Contract makes us even and combines our souls together, but when a cultivator manages to consume a magical beast soul or a divine beast soul, then they will be their masters. Usually, the cultivator would be using the beast’s power one way or another.’ Hui Yue glared at Lan Feng after hearing this.
‘Does this mean that I gave up being your master and instead turned into your student?’ He asked with a disbelieving face.
‘Yeah, pretty much,’ Lan Feng answered with a smug grin on his face, giving Hui Yue an incredible urge to punch the transparent feathered boy in the face,
‘You tricked me?!’ He yelled with his eyes wide open and an annoyed feeling within. First Lan Feng murdered him, then he tricked him! How was it possible to ever believe him after this?
‘You would definitely have done the same if you were in my position,’ Lan Feng said calmly, 'Because the Soul Contract can only be canceled when both participants achieve their goals. His smug behavior caused Hui Yue to shoot one murderous glare after another towards the d*mned bird.
‘Now calm down,’ Lan Feng finally said. ‘It isn’t so bad. If you had decided to dominate my soul, I would definitely not have been helpful at all and only followed your orders. Would that have been useful for you?’ Hui Yue shot yet another glare at the feathered boy before grumbling a reply, ‘Well you would obviously be as mad as me if you had been the one who was tricked!’ He said before moving inside the house slamming the door after him. He rushed towards his bedroom where he sat down on the bed to cultivate.
Running away from Lan Feng was obviously impossible as the two were connected. After a short while, Lan Feng, once again, sat on the ground and looked at Hui Yue with a smug grin. He felt very pleased with having finally let Hui Yue know how ingenious his previous trickery was.
‘You better give me a real good attack style martial art skill to make up for this,’ Hui Yue sneered with his eyes closed while cultivating. The smug grin on Lan Feng’s face was so clear that Hui Yue could feel it within the very core of his own soul.
The following day Lan Feng promised to give Hui Yue the strongest attack skill he had when Qi Guard was perfected, and although Lan Feng had tricked Hui Yue before, Hui Yue was aware that there was no possibility of tricking him anymore as their souls were now combined. That being said, he did swear that he would somehow get revenge later on, ensuring that this smug and annoying bird would wish he had never tricked Hui Yue in the first place.
Hui Yue spent his days of relaxation listening to gossip from around the city. The Ma family had gained its rank of nobility from being the richest family in the city. They were the owners of a variety of shops, but the majority of their wealth came from their Black Market Auction House which sold everything from stolen goods to high-quality items obtained from within the Magical Forest, or from families selling their family heirlooms to gain money.
Ma Kong was the youngest son, and although his older brother was supposed to be the heir, both brothers had a great relationship. This gave Ma Kong much more power than what normal younger brothers usually had.
The information about Gao Yan was not as amazing as Ma Kong, however, the power that he controlled was not weak either. Gao Yan came from the poorer part of Riluo City and had from a young age gone to one of the martial arts schools that Lord Rong Liang had opened.
Gao Yan had a big dream about bringing his family out of poverty and into nobility, which at first had made the other commoners laugh at him. But after his talent had been noticed, and he had become friends with the Rong twins, the other commoners started hoping that they too would be able to change their future. The majority of all students that had studied at the Martial Art Schools were following any orders given by Gao Yan.
Not all the students from the martial arts schools had achieved a high enough cultivation to join the Royal Academy, and those who did not qualify had started working as normal citizens within the city. Even so, they still followed Gao Yan giving him an incredible information network that was spread across the city. Some of his old classmates worked as maids within the noble houses, while others were working as carpenters or farmers, but one thing was for certain, all the information they gathered went straight to Gao Yan.
Deng Wu was known throughout the academy as a player who loved to fool around. He was rarely seen as a serious person but was liked by pretty much everyone who knew him. Deng Wu was highly valued by the Deng family, which caused Hui Yue to feel that he had, even more, secrets than what he had first assumed. If Deng Wu had an incredible talent for cultivation, then it would make sense as for why the family valued him so highly. But the cultivation he had shown at the academy was merely above average. It was obvious that this cunning personality was someone that Hui Yue could not afford to underestimate.
Rong Ming was considered the center of this small group of people. He was the next City Lord, and he tried his best to live up to this expectation. He had an incredibly good reputation at the Royal Academy, and he would not allow any bullying nor would he approve of the nobles looking down on the commoners. Though, the views he held caused some of the nobles to oppose this young lord. As a result, a group of young nobles used their powers within the school to actively undermine Rong Ming.
Rong Xing was the practical person. She would keep track of all the information given by Gao Yan and consider what was important and what was not. She was the reason that Deng Wu had decided to stick with this group rather than the other nobles. She knew how to utilize all the pawns at her disposal. To Hui Yue, Rong Xing seemed to be the most powerful individual within their group – as long as he did not consider Deng Wu.
The group of noble children who opposed Rong Ming was led by Deng Lau who was a cousin of Deng Wu. Although the two were in opposing groups and would clash quite often, Deng Lau never once insulted Deng Wu.
Fortunately, Riluo City was considered a quiet city. Although many different factions were gathered within, none of them would openly show their dissatisfaction with the current City Lord. Even though the children had a few clashes, they were, after all, just clashes between students at the Royal Academy which was to be expected.
Hui Yue released a deep sigh of relief the last night before classes were about to start. It had required all his acting skills to get the information he needed, and he was finally satisfied with the result. Looking out at the starry night, Hui Yue couldn’t help but think about how much his life had changed. This new life was much more exciting than anything he had ever experienced before.
‘Let’s find the location of the medicinal pills tomorrow,’ Lan Feng said with a cheeky grin on his face. ‘We need to start speeding up your cultivation or I won’t get my revenge as my opponent will die from old age.’