Chapter 129: Medicine Bath
The Jade-Eyed Cloudroam Beast left.
It left just like that!
Hadn’t it been made clear that anyone who couldn’t escape would die?
Why did it suddenly give up just as it was about to kill him?
Su Chen was unable to comprehend what had happened until a person appeared before him.
“Instructor!” Su Chen yelled.
Shi Kaihuang walked over and laughed, “Well done! You said before that you weren’t a person who wasn’t afraid of anything, but you seemed pretty brave just then.”
Su Chen sat in a daze. He wanted to say something, but no words came out.
Shi Kaihuang seemed to understand what he was trying to say. He said, “It was for that girl, right? Don’t worry; no matter what your reason was, being willing to sacrifice yourself to save your teammates is a good thing.”
“So the hunt was all a lie from the very beginning? Was it just to test our reactions under life-or-death situations?” Su Chen asked.
Shi Kaihuang replied, “The battlefield is a place of life-or-death. There was no way we weren’t going to test it. Since we are sending you there, we naturally need to select the most appropriate candidates. The most appropriate candidates may not be the strongest, but they need to be brave, resolute, and never give up – both themselves and their comrades. Only someone like that is suited to undertake such a big mission.”
Su Chen understood. This mission was in actuality just a test.
Everyone was thrown into a “death trap” in order to test their response to a life-or-death situation.
“So were there any Demonic Beasts whose strength had been reduced to only 10% of their original strength?” Su Chen asked.
Shi Kaihuang laughed, “Those Demonic Beasts were all trained after being caught by the Hidden Dragon Institute. Although they are beasts, they are under the control of us humans. They don’t need to be restricted by medicine to understand how to control their own strength. However, Little Qing clearly underestimated you; you actually shattered its nose. Haha, even though it is just a small wound, it’s probably quite humiliating for it.”
“Hey…… that didn’t make it any easier on me,” Su Chen replied, cradling his chest.
“Don’t worry, I’ll take care of it.” Shi Kaihuang motioned his hand upwards, and Su Chen began to levitate.
He tapped his finger on Su Chen’s body a few times, and Su Chen’s bones began to reconnect. Then, he pulled out a vial of medicine and gave it to Su Chen, who began to rapidly heal.
What rendered Su Chen speechless was the fact that he was the one who had concocted that medicine.
“You are quite generous with things that belong to others,” Su Chen said as he carefully felt his bones.
“Alright, alright. As the first person to pass the test and even injure Little Qing, your accomplishments will be recorded and evaluated. The students will be assigned a student number at the end of this test, and yours will be better than most of the students’.”
Student numbers were a unique method that the Hidden Dragon Institute used to sort the students entering the ruins. They went from 1 – 40 and were distributed to each student. The lower the number, the better the students were.
If two students had differing opinions, the person with a higher student number would get to make the final decision.
Put plainly, the goal was to create a hierarchy of authority. With so many people, some needed to have more say than others.
The Hidden Dragon Institute didn’t decide on one person to be the leader because that would be too confusing inside the ruins. What if the leader wasn’t present? Or what if the leader had died?
Ordering the students with corresponding student numbers put an organized hierarchy in place, and it also limited the authority any one person could have. No one could wantonly order others around.
Su Chen didn’t care much. He lazily said, “I’d like something a bit more tangible.”
Shi Kaihuang laughed, “I knew you would say that. Don’t worry, there’ll be some benefits for you.”
As he spoke, he grabbed Su Chen and flew into the air.
He was in the Light Shaking Realm already and didn’t need Origin Skills to fly. By flying at top speed, they reached the Reflection Rock in no time.
A small pool had been carved into Reflection Rock at some point, and the pool was filled with black silt.
Shi Kaihuang tossed Su Chen into the pool. “You can stay here until sundown. You should use your time wisely and absorb as much as you can.”
It was at this point that Su Chen discovered that the silt was an extremely powerful medicinal mud.
Su Chen knew the Dartfrog Absorption Technique. As he activated it, he instantly felt large quantities of medicinal energy stream into his body through his finger, slowly saturating his being.
He was an alchemist as well, so he instantly realized that the medicinal mud had at least three hundred different kinds of rare medicinal herbs infused into it. The medicinal energy was extremely concentrated. If he sent the energy into his Dan Sea, it would raise his cultivation base, while if he allowed it to flow through and temper his body, his physique would be strengthened.
With his Origin Energy eye, Su Chen was never in a hurry to raise his cultivation base. As such, he did not hesitate to absorb the medicinal energy and allow it to pass through his body to temper him. To avoid wasting this opportunity, he wasn’t even willing to use this medicinal energy to heal himself.
Time flew by. After a while, he heard the sound of other students approaching as well.
Su Chen paid them no mind. He focused all of his attention on revolving the Dartfrog Absorption technique to absorb as much medicinal energy from the pool as he could.
More and more people began to arrive at the pool, and the medicinal strength of the pool began to decrease as a result.
Su Chen redoubled his absorption efforts.
After an unknown period of time, he heard a voice say, “Alright, everyone inside come out now.”
Su Chen opened his eyes to find that there were roughly ten other people also sitting in the pool with him. Unsurprisingly, Cloud Leopard was in that group.
The mud inside the pool had turned greyish at some point and had lost its stickiness. Su Chen grabbed a handful, and the “mud” sifted through his hand like sand.
Su Chen knew that all of the medicinal energy within the mud had been absorbed.
There were also a few students outside of the pool, sitting on the ground and resting, while others were being subjected to Thunder Punishment.
Six people were the most miserable.
They were hung atop a tree, heavily whipped, and then subjected to Thunderfire Punishment.
Su Chen saw Wang Doushan not too far away from him and walked over. He pointed his chin out at the six people hanging on the tree. “What did those guys do?”
Wang Doushan replied, “Those six bastards pushed their own comrades into the path of the Demonic Beasts in order to survive.”
He spit on the ground with contempt.
Upon hearing that those people had sent their comrades straight into the jaws of the Demonic Beasts, Su Chen felt no sympathy for them. “How are they going to be dealt with?”
“They will be punished for three days and then expelled from the Institute.”
“What about those people?” Su Chen asked, referring to those who were only undergoing Thunder Punishment.
“They left their teammates behind and attempted to escape on their own,” Wang Doushan replied.
Su Chen nodded. He had guessed that was the case.
“So those of you who were neither rewarded nor punished basically didn’t make any serious mistakes but didn’t have an outstanding performance either?” Su Chen asked.
“We’re not like you, sacrificing your life for a woman. But you ended up benefitting anyways.”
Su Chen quickly changed the subject. “What about Cloud Leopard? Who did he sacrifice himself for?”
“He wasn’t like you either. Those who were in the pool weren’t all necessarily willing to die for others. He and his team successfully escaped from the Demonic Beasts.”
“Escaped from the Demonic Beasts?” Su Chen opened his eyes wide.
After he was informed that the Demonic Beasts in fact had not been fed medicine and were still at full strength, Su Chen had not expected anyone to triumph over the Demonic Beasts. This was just a test from the beginning, so it would’ve been surprising if anyone could have escaped.
Shockingly, however, Cloud Leopard had been able to evade the Demonic Beast’s pursuit.
After Wang Doushan explained the situation, Su Chen understood. Cloud Leopard had gotten quite lucky to be paired up with three individuals who were not weak and had their own unique strengths. One was skilled in Origin Formations, one was an alchemist, and one possessed an Origin Skill that could raise the whole team’s speed. When factoring in Cloud Leopard’s detection skills, they relied on their speed and constant ambushes to escape.
Even though the Demonic Beast was powerful, it was not built for speed. It was constantly being delayed by the traps set for it, and its targets were all agile and quick. This carefully executed plan made it so that the Demonic Beast wasn’t able to catch up to Cloud Leopard’s team for the entire day.
His team was the only one that hadn’t been caught and had successfully survived. Thus, even though they hadn’t made any valiant acts of sacrifice, they were also allowed access to the medicinal pool.
Upon hearing that this was the case, Su Chen was rendered speechless.
Those people were quite impressive, to be able to play hide-and-seek with a Demonic Beast.
However, Su Chen was more concerned about Gu Qingluo.
He scanned his surroundings. Finally, he found Gu Qingluo near a tent that had just been set up.
Gu Qingluo was also staring back at him.
Her expression was complex.