Before Qin Wentian stepped into the Dark Forest, he already knew there was a possibility that his enemies would be waiting for him. However since Mustang didn’t object, it should be that Mustang wanted to use this expedition to temper him.
“Currently, my cultivation is at the 8th level of the Body Refinement Realm and I possess the strength of a 100 bulls. I should still be able to deal with ordinary first level cultivators who are at the Arterial Circulation Realm. However, against Stellar Martial Cultivators at the Arterial Circulation Realm who possess terrifying Astral Souls, I have no confidence in my ability to defeat them.” Qin Wentian silently deduced. Then he whispered, “Fan Le, let us go our separate paths. I have enemies who plan on ambushing me in this Dark Forest.”
Under the soft glow of the ember sparks, the fatty’s gaze shifted to Qin Wentian. His eyes shone with a strange light as he smiled, “I, Fan Le, am a supreme genius among this batch of applicants. How could I abandon my own comrades?
“Don’t you worry, although we are already in the Dark Forest, I doubt that your enemies would dare to make a move while we are still in the safe zone,” Fan Le assured him. “Let’s go, there’s light ahead. There seems to be an empty area.”
“Right.” Qin Wentian agreed. Although Fan Le’s character seemed a little vulgar, he was still a good person at heart.
Ahead of them lay an open space, its landscape slightly inclined like a gentle mountain slope. There were already several others who had pitched simple tents and were preparing to rest.
“Qin Wentian!” a voice filled with surprise exclaimed. Qin Wentian shifted his gaze in the direction of the voice before his face broke into a smile. To think that he would meet a familiar face here.
“Liu Yan, what are you doing here?” Qin Wentian strode forward. He still thought that Liu Yan was the one who had saved his life previously.
“I’m participating in the examination to join the Divine Wind Academy. Anyway, quickly extinguish your light and come take a seat in the tent. The light might attract the attention of demonic beasts,” Liu Yan lightly admonished.
Inside the tent, other than Liu Yan, there were two other youths as well. One, was her brother, Liu Yue. The other was her friend, Zufan.
“Liu Yan, why did you invite strangers over?” Liu Yue’s eyebrows furrowed, while an unsightly expression of displeasure appeared on Zufan’s face.
“Brother, this person was the one we met in the forested region outside of Sky Harmony City. His name is Qin Wentian,” Liu Yan replied.
She glanced at Qin Wentian before asking, “Oh right, why did you enter the Dark Forest? Are you participating in the training expedition as well?”
“We are the applicants under the Emperor Star Academy.” Fan Le straightened his clothes as he walked forwards, his arm extended. “Beautiful lady, I trust you are doing well. My name is Fan Le, and I’m from the Emperor Star Academy.”
“Emperor Star Academy.” The beautiful eyes of Liu Yan flashed, as she also extended her hand to shake hands with Fan Le.
“Liu Yan, you are both beautiful and talented. How rare.” Fan Le said.
Liu Yan smiled as she wanted to retract her hand, but Fan Le seemed to have no intention of releasing his grip.
“Does this tent belong to you? You guys sure are experienced in the ways of the wild.
“Is Qin Wentian your friend? He is my best buddy. Which means you are also my friend!”
Qin Wentian’s eyes almost popped out of his sockets, dumbstruck, as he witnessed Fan Le continue to babble nonsense while holding the hands of Liu Yan’s. This fellow, he was truly a fine specimen.
Liu Yan blushed as her face was dusted with redness. When she finally managed to retract her hand with difficulty, she cast a glance at Qin Wentian.
“I don’t know him.” Qin Wentian replied as cold sweat flowed down his back. This fellow was just too embarrassing.
“The two of you, since we met by chance, we can also be considered friends. Although this is just a simple tent, you are welcome to share it with us, and rest here for the night.” Liu Yue walked over as he smiled at Qin Wentian and Fan Le.
“That’s right, that’s right. Then we’ll do as you ask instead of standing on ceremony. We will take you up on your suggestion.” Fan Le excitedly accepted while Qin Wentian stood to the side, speechless.
“Liu Yan, Fan Le, I shall go for a walk. The two of you can chat first.” Qin Wentian smiled as he walked out of the tent.
“This fellow.” Fan Le glared at Qin Wentian, before saying to Liu Yan, “I’ll see you later then, Liu Yan.”
When he caught up to Qin Wentian, he asked, “What happened? Don’t you like Liu Yan?”
“Nope, although her personality is not bad, her two companions don’t really seem to welcome us. Why linger there longer than necessary?” Qin Wentian commented. Fan Le could also tell from their previous interaction that the two companions of Liu Yan obviously didn’t like them. It was only when he said that both Qin Wentian and he were from the Emperor Star Academy, that the attitudes of Liu Yue and Zufan changed.
“And in any case, I can still sense murderous auras hidden out there staring at me. What I need now is to rapidly increase my strength. How can I disappoint them?” Qin Wentian lips curled up in a chilly smirk, causing Fan Le’s expression to freeze. That smirk on Qin Wentian’s face was cold and piercing, as if he was baring his fangs.
“Fine, fine, let the top genius of the Emperor Star Academy play with them too.” Fan Le’s lips widened in a smile
Qin Wentian ignored Fan Le’s boast as he walked towards an ancient looking tree, before sitting down cross-legged. He closed his eyes in preparation for cultivation. An instant later, crackling and ripping noises resounded from his body, akin to the roars of ferocious waves in a raging ocean.
Fan Le narrowed his eyes. What a tyrannical technique. Well no matter, it was time for him to show his worth.
His body flickered as Fan Le dashed forwards, deeper into the Dark Forest.
Bathed in starlight, Qin Wentian looked to be at peace. But inside his body, his Astral Energy surged and resonated with the starlight cascading down on to him. The tyrannical force gushed about within him, refining his inner organs as well as his Stellar Meridians, unceasingly perfecting his body.
The second day, before dawn approached, the applicants were all already on the move. Qin Wentian opened his eyes, only to see the fatty, Fan Le, lying down beside him with a new bow and a few arrows clutched in his hands.
“Fatty, it’s time for us to go.” Qin Wentian prodded him. Fan Le rubbed his bleary eyes as he yawned widely, before grinning at Qin Wentian.
“How did you craft that bow and those arrows?” Qin Wentian asked, curiosity evident in his tone. Although the equipments looked crude, they gave off a sensation of incomparable sharpness.
“I chopped down a few ancient trees and killed a few demonic beasts.” Fan Le nonchalantly replied. “Let’s go.”
“Right.” The two youths matched their gaze before straightening their bodies, rapidly making haste further into the Dark Forest. Their speed was like a raging wind, and in the blink of an eye, their silhouettes had disappeared.
Shortly after, a line of youths dashed over. What was shocking was that Orfon from the Emperor Star Academy was among them, together with various youths from the other martial academies.
“After them! We can finally act after we exit the safe zone!” Orfon coldly shouted, as the group of them dashed madly after Fan Le and Qin Wentian, akin to a leopard stalking it’s prey by tracing its steps.
“Fatty, wow, you actually run this fast.”As the first light rays of dawn appeared, Qin Wentian saw Fan Le who was running beside him, moving like an agile panther in the jungle. His excess fats didn’t seem to bother him at all. Fan Le’s movements were nimble and superbly coordinated, involuntarily causing Qin Wentian to stare at him in wonder.
“Well, I am a genius.” Fan Le boasted.
Qin Wentian laughed. He glanced at Fan Le who stated, “There’s a total of six people chasing us from behind.
“There’s Orfon who’s at the 2nd level of the Arterial Circulation Realm. Other than that, there’s one more guy at the 1st level of the Arterial Circulation Realm and four others at the Body Refinement Realm. They will be somewhat difficult to fight. Let’s make them expend their energy first.” Fan Le stated, causing Qin Wentian’s eyes to shine with a strange glow.
This fatty was actually able to deduce one’s level of cultivation so easily. Could he actually be a real genius?
“There’s someone ahead.” Qin Wentian stated as his gaze was directed to a spacious region, far off in the distance, in front of them.
“People from the Royal Academy. The one leading them is Ye Zhan. I’ve seen him taking the examination over at the Royal Academy before. His cultivation should be at the 2nd level of the Arterial Circulation Realm. I can even feel his killing intent from so far away. Just who have you actually provoked? Quick, let’s change direction.”
After Fan Le spoke, he immediately sprinted to the left. Qin Wentian quickly followed, with no hesitation. In order to kill him, the Ye Clan had truly pulled out all the stops, expending a lot of effort. The power and authority they wielded in the Royal Capital was second to none. If he had not joined the Emperor Star Academy, he might have already died abruptly due to unknown reasons.
Teacher Mustang had really set an extremely difficult test for him to pass. But, so what? Didn’t he already gain a good buddy from this trial?
“Fan Le, thank you.” Qin Wentian expressed his thanks while they were running.
“Don’t be jealous. This fatty, me – my talent is so great that it even overshadows the clouds. In the future if there’re any beautiful girls you have no interest in, please remember to recommend them to your brother fatty.” Fan Le grinned.
Their pursuers still followed their trails relentlessly. An hour later, they were already deep inside the Dark Forest where traces of demonic beasts activities lingered all around.
“There are still four people pursuing us. Fatty, what’s their cultivation level?” Qin Wentian asked.
“There’s Orfon, that other person at the first level of the Arterial Circulation Realm, as well as two others at the Body Refinement Realm. Do you want to deal with them?” Fan Le asked.
“Do it.” Qin Wentian decisively answered, as he halted his steps, only to see that Fan Le had channeled the Astral Energy to his feet. The fatty stomped on the ground before leaping through the air, landing on top of a gigantic tree. He smiled and said to Qin Wentian, “Let me direct the battle while you do the killing. Aim for the two at the Body Refinement Realm first.”
“Fine, we’ll do it your way.” For reasons unknown, Qin Wentian felt as though he could trust the vulgar fatty with his life. His steps solidified as he turned around, preparing to face his pursuers.
Orfon and his lackies, seeing that Qin Wentian had stopped, also slowed their steps. Akin to poisonous snakes, their gazes were staring right at Qin Wentian, not masking their killing intent. The four of them fanned out as they approached Qin Wentian.
“So this time round, how much strength has the Ye Clan mobilised in order to kill me?” Qin Wentian directed his question to Orfon.
“Ye Clan? There’re plenty of people who wish to kill you and your crippled second uncle. How dare he rebel? It’s only a matter of time before his head will be on the chopping board. For Qin Wu and Qin Chuan, they have already been detained and locked up in the Black Castle Death Prison.” Orfon laughed coldly as he waved his hands, signaling his henchmen to rush towards Qin Wentian in three different directions, unveiling his desire to kill.
“Thwish.” Abruptly, from the back of Qin Wentian, an incomparably sharp arrow surged past with terrifying speed. As fast as lightning, it flew directly towards Orfon.
“Your left.” Fan Le’s voice transmitted over, as Qin Wentian immediately lunged towards his left, towards a cultivator at the Body Refinement Realm.
“Thwish, thwish, thwish……” Arrows were continuously released, aiming for the three other cultivators, only leaving the one on the left for Qin Wentian.
“Break.” Orfon unleashed his spear-type Astral Soul. Resplendent astral light gathered onto the long spear he wielded, piercing outwards in the direction where the arrow was incoming. However, the arrow which Fan Le shot seemed to have a life of its own. Its flight path was extremely erratic, and even shifted in directions a few times, brushing past the Orfon’s long spear before flying straight towards the centre of his forehead.
“What the?” Orfon’s expression underwent a drastic change as his left palm suddenly exploded forth with Herculean strength while his body rapidly retreated, barely blocking the arrow. Despite his precautions, the arrow still managed to pierce through his palm, causing fresh blood to leak out, painting the ground red.
“An arrow that’s able to change it’s direction?”
Not only Orfon was faced with this predicament. His other two lackeys were dealing with it as well. Not only that, one of the cultivators at the Body Refinement Realm had died on the spot, as the arrow pierced through the space between his brows.
Even before the arrows came into contact with the three of them, Qin Wentian had unleashed a strike akin to the roar of a raging dragon towards the other cultivator at the Body Refinement Realm. The other cultivator, refusing to back down, returned the greeting with a fist of his own. But when the fist of the cultivator struck out, he instantly regretted it. The strength contained within his strike was incomparable to that of Qin Wentian.
The sounds of bones breaking echoed, as the Qin Wentian’s Dragon Subduing Fist sliced through the cultivator like a hot knife cutting through butter. His opponent didn’t even have the time to unleash his Astral Soul before his body was shattered by the pressure of the fist.
And just like that, in an instant, Qin Wentian and Fan Le had already killed two of their pursuers.