Da Ling City was located in the north-western region of the Jia Ma Empire. Its size may not be comparable large cities like the capital, but when compared to Wu Tan City, it was still quite a lot larger. Moreover, it neighbored the Magical Beast Mountain Range which covered nearly half of the empire. Therefore, countless risk takers and business groups came and went, giving the city a never ending flow of human traffic.
At the northern city gate of Da Ling City, the human flow moving to and from the city nearly clogged the city gate. Not far away from the northern gate was the seemingly endless Magical Beast Mountain Range. Small groups of mercenary troops with differing line-ups were repeatedly entering and exiting from this point, much like ants moving their home. Occasionally, there would be troops which used a horse cart to carry the corpse of a Magical Beast running out of the forest and a wisp of dust behind. This would attract numerous envious gazes from those around. It was not an easy matter to kill satisfactory prey within the Magical Beast Mountain Range.
“Bah, we were really unlucky, losing two brothers in order to kill a tier two Magical Beast. In the end, it is a rock egg without treasures.” Seven large men covered in blood cursed as they walked out of the forest entrance. On the horse cart frame behind them, there lay the large corpse of a Magical Beast. The head of the corpse had been cut open and there was only the brain, fresh blood, and some other things without the most precious object: the Monster Core. From the mercenary jargon that appeared in their conversation, this kind of Magical Beast without a Monster Core was called a rock egg without treasure.
TL: brothers here means brothers in arms/companions, not actual brothers
“If there was a rank 2 Monster Core within this damn thing, we would be able to put together sufficient money to purchase a High Huang Level Qi Method from the auction house.” A large man’s face was filled with disgruntlement as he spoke.
“High Huang Level, ah. Those kinds of Qi Methods would need up to one hundred and ten thousand gold coins. It’s just like a blood sucking ghost.” A man who appeared to be the leader spat out his saliva and scolded.
“Hee hee, the Misty Cloud Sect issued a wanted order. Anyone who is able to provide clues would be able to obtain a Xuan Class Qi Method. He could even be given the chance to be accepted into the Misty Cloud Sect. We can go and try our luck. In that way, we don’t have to waste our lives to exchange things for money to buy Qi Method.” A somewhat skinny man wiped the blood trace off his face and spoke with a laugh. When he mentioned the Xuan Class Qi Method, a greed that was difficult to hide flashed across his eyes.
“Skinny monkey, have you become stupid after being with so many women?” That man, who seemed to be the leader, coldly glanced at him. He smacked his lips and said, “Don’t tell me you don’t know the person the Misty Cloud Sect is chasing after? Xiao Yan! That mysterious person who became the champion of the Alchemist Grand Meeting. He is also the frightening person who charged into the Misty Cloud Sect twice, killing Yun Leng, who was of the Dou Wang class, and managed to escape unharmed from the hands of Yun Shan, who is of the Dou Zong class. Do you think that he is the kind of person that people like us can afford to offend?”
“Hee hee, I am only saying it as a joke. How is it possible for us to meet that kind of person.” The skinny man laughed awkwardly as he said, “However, I have heard that the Misty Cloud Sect has already issued this wanted order throughout the entire empire. This kind of attractive condition would really cause people to be interested. I think that even if Xiao Yan escaped from the Misty Cloud Sect, he would have difficulty moving even half an inch within the Jia Ma Empire.
“Does this matter have even the slightest relationship with us? Don’t just naively daydream all day. Even if you were to meet him, don’t tell me that you can use that broken knife of yours to stop him?” The man leading the group laughed coldly, “Don’t dawdle. Hurry up and get back to the city to rest for the day. Tomorrow, we still need to continue staking our lives. Otherwise, with our current Middle Huang Qi Method, just when would it be before we can break through to the Dou Shi class?”
As the leader of the group scolded, the men with the blood stains could only murmur unhappily and start stumbling towards the City Gate.
After the group of men left, a human figure which was completely covered by a black robe suddenly walked slowly out from the deep forest. His gaze swept in front of him. Immediately, he lowered his head slightly, allowing the shadow of his Doupeng to cover nearly half his face.
TL: Doupeng – a conical bamboo hat with a cloth dangling from it to cover the head
“Have they begun searching for me throughout the country? Yun Shan is really willing to fork out money.” The black-robed person coldly laughed. He lifted his head slightly and revealed half of a delicate and handsome face beneath. Seeing the familiar contour, it was surprisingly Xiao Yan, who had escaped from the Misty Cloud Sect!
Ever since the day that Yun Yun allowed Xiao Yan to leave, he had relied on the map which Ya Fei had given him to take a long detour and spent nearly ten days trekking through the forest in order to completely shake off the people who perservered in chasing after him. After that, he rested for one day before following the map and walking all the way to the north-western border of the Jia Ma Empire through the Magical Beast Mountain Range. He spent another seven days hurrying on his journey before he arrived at this Da Ling City, which was close to the north-western border of the Jia Ma Empire.
Using the map as a reference, as long as he passed through this Da Ling City and through another few checkpoints, he would easily arrive at the border of the Jia Ma Empire. When that time came, all he needed to do was leave the Jia Ma Empire and the wanted order by the Misty Cloud Sect would become completely ineffective.
The Misty Cloud Sect may still have some deterrent effects outside the country, but it was far inferior compared to the reputation it enjoyed within the Jia Ma Empire. Naturally, other factions would not bother with wanted orders from whatever sect it was. During these years, the Misty Cloud Sect had remained firmly entrenched within the Jia Ma Empire and did its best to eliminate factions from outside the empire. Therefore, it resulted in the Misty Cloud Sect not being well known outside the empire.
During the nearly one month in which Xiao Yan hurried through the Magical Beast Mountain Range, he had also suffered great hardship. Although the presence of the ‘Heaven Swallowing Python’ had resulted in ordinary Magical Beast not daring to come forward to block him, the Magical Beast Mountain Range was so vast that it naturally did not lack some unique beasts with terrifying strength. Other Magical Beasts may be afraid of the ‘Heaven Swallowing Python’, but they were not. Therefore, Xiao Yan was still being chased all over during the journey despite having already escaped from the Misty Cloud Sect.
Although hurrying through the journey during this period of time had caused Xiao Yan to suffer great hardships, the thing which caused him the greatest excitement was that Yao Lao’s exhausted Spirit had finally completely recovered after being nursed back to health for half a month. At this moment, Xiao Yan’s heart, which had been maintaining a cautious state, finally relaxed. No matter how one put it, with Yao Lao present, it at least meant that he had a trump card to protect his life.
Moreover, due to the deposited remnant medicinal effects within his body, Xiao Yan actually had the ability to raise his strength once again during this one month of escape after his large breakthrough. During an escape from the mouth of a Dou Wang class Magical Beast, Xiao Yan actually raised his strength without realizing it. Xiao Yan had thus become a four star Da Dou Shi in such a short amount of time!
If one were to add the hurried growth from the medicine within the mountain cave last month, Xiao Yan’s strength had actually jumped three stars within this one month. This kind of speed could definitely be described by one word, ‘frightening’. Although the main reason for this was the life and death battles, that he experienced during this period of time and the remaining medicinal effects within his body, it could not cover up Xiao Yan’s training talent which caused even Yao Lao to praise him repeatedly.
Of course, excluding all these, the thing that caused Xiao Yan’s heart to be filled with the most joy was that he began to clearly understand some parts of the ‘Burning Flame Valley’s’ guarded Secret Technique, the ‘Skyfire Three Mysterious Change’, three days ago after a month’s worth of practice and under the guidance of Yao Lao. He may have failed a couple of times during this period, but from the looks of how his strength still managed to soar greatly despite these failed attempts, Xiao Yan could faintly sense the concept of the Secret Technique. He had the confidence that as long as he was given sufficient time, he would definitely be able to truly master the ‘Skyfire Three Mysterious Change’ successfully. When that time came he would have difficulty finding any opponents that could contend with him at the Da Dou Shi level or even higher with his strength was raised by this ‘Secret Technique’!
In summary, the benefits that Xiao Yan had obtained during this one month of flight had nearly caused him to smile until his mouth cracked.
“Hee hee.” As he thought of his gains over this past month, he could not resist laughing, ignoring the strange gazes that others beside him shot over. He pulled the Doupeng down a little and hid his entire face within the dark shadows. His gaze scanned the city’s entrance a short distance away, where people were coming and going, before slowly walking over. With the situation he was in now, it was better to leave the Jia Ma Empire as soon as possible. The current Xiao Yan did not have the qualification to go and pay back those debts with his current strength. However, it was fortunate that he was not in a hurry. It was because he knew that his greatest advantage was that he was young, and had plenty of time to spend.
Xiao Yan walked closer to the city gate and queued up at the back of the line. His gaze swept all around him before frowning slightly as his gaze settled on a white paper pasted to the city gate. At this moment, there were two completely different faces drawn on the white paper. Xiao Yan’s gaze swept over it and realized that of the two faces, one was his current appearance, while the other was actually the appearance of Yan Xiao, the identity he had used to participate in the Alchemist Grand Meeting. Clearly, this was a plan formed because the Misty Cloud Sect was afraid that Xiao Yan would once again use the identity of Yan Xiao and take the opportunity to flee from the Jia Ma Empire.
“Yun Shan has spent quite a lot of effort in order to capture me.” Xiao Yan laughed coldly. His gaze glanced at the city gate and realized that the troops guarding the city were actually checking the identity of those entering the city along the way. Before each person entered, two soldiers would hold a drawing and compare it with their appearance for a long while before letting them enter.
“Is the Jia Ma Empire Imperial family quietly helping the Misty Cloud Sect?” Xiao Yan frowned slightly as he muttered, “With Jia Xing Tian’s scheming mind, he should know just what kind of enemy he would create for the Jia Ma Empire’s Imperial Family should I escape if he went against me at this moment. Moreover, the Jia Ma Empire’s Imperial family and the Misty Cloud Sect aren’t very friendly with one another.”
“Damn Mu Sang. Isn’t he just a city guard? He is actually this arrogant. Does he think that he alone has the final say in Da Ling City? How is he not afraid that if he were to really meet Xiao Yan, the latter would smack him to death with his ruler.” The moment when Xiao Yan felt some doubt, a man who had waited for a long while in front of him suddenly cursed with an impatient face.
“Shush. Don’t be so loud. Although the wanted order for Xiao Yan is not related to the Jia Ma Empire’s Imperial family, Mu Sang is someone who came from the Misty Cloud Sect. Since he received the wanted order from the sect, he naturally needs to prioritize his own interest under the guise of performing public work and perform well.” A man who appeared to be his companion hurriedly grabbed him and whispered.
“Using another’s influence to bully others.” The man spat a mouthful of saliva and cursed unhappily. However, he did not open his mouth and let out abuses as he did a moment ago. Clearly, the person called Mu Sang still caused him some fear.
“It was actually someone who had come from the Misty Cloud Sect.” Xiao Yan absorbed the conversation between the two into his ears. Only then did he come to a sudden realization. The Misty Cloud Sect disciples were spread all over the Jia Ma Empire. With their ability, they were not lacking in people who held official posts within the Jia Ma Empire. Now that they had received the wanted order from the sect, all they needed to do was to quietly use the authority in their hands, and they would be able to swiftly deploy people to intercept at all checkpoints within the Jia Ma Empire. It was only now that Xiao Yan faintly sensed just what kind of power the Misty Cloud Sect had within the Jia Ma Empire. No wonder even the Jia Ma Empire’s Imperial family, which controlled the entire Jia Ma Empire, feared them.
Xiao Yan mused in his heart before pulling out of the queue that was gradually moving forward. After which, he made a turn at a corner and arrived at a remote part of the city wall. He lifted his head and glanced at the sleepy patrol units on the city wall. His back trembled slightly and the Purple Cloud Wings were slowly extended. He bent his feet slightly and in a certain instant, he flapped the wings on his back. His body abruptly soared before his toes pressed onto the city wall and he transformed into a black shadow which climbed the city wall in a lightning-like manner. After which, he leaped down onto the other side of the city wall before the patrolling soldiers turned their heads.
Xiao Yan’s feet had just touched the ground when he hurriedly flashed to the back of a building. He patted his hands and stored the Purple Cloud Wings. Only then did he leisurely walk into this city, which was one of the few that he needed to pass by before leaving the Jia Ma Empire. He needed to obtain some information regarding the Misty Cloud Sect during this one month.