Chapter 99 - Remote Reaches
Li Yao was stunned as he pointed at his nose. "My fault!? You and your dad fought because of me?"
Meng Jiang nodded his head.
"Yes. As you know, my dad has always hoped for me to apply to a cooking school so that I could inherit my family’s steamed bun store in the future. However, my dream has always been to become the best hairdresser and makeup artist, and perhaps even the best Master Beautician!"
"And I’m sure that you know that my dad is as fierce as a bear. At home, he has the final say in everything and has never allowed me to go against him. That's why I originally planned to follow his wishes. If he wants me to be a chef, then a chef it is. In the end, it's just a job!"
"However, when I saw you, Little Devil, choosing the Grand Desolate War Institution's Refining Department, I was touched. I brood over it for an entire night. Since we’re buddies, if you can stick to your dream, then why can't I? So, first thing in the morning, I had an ugly fight with my dad. Afterward, I chose a beautician school—despite it being the worst beautician school!"
A brilliant and proud smile appeared on Meng Jiang's face as he used his thumb to pound on his own chest. "Someday, other people will also call me a 'Master'. I’ll be known as the king of the Stylist Industry—Master Meng!"
With a heart set ablaze once again, Li Yao tightly hugged Meng Jiang. "In the three years of my life at Crimson Nimbus Second Senior High School, my biggest gain was to have made a good friend and brother like you! Let us both stake everything in university and become the Master of our respective field!"
"Sure, I will definitely use my life to learn, to live, and to fight. I will absolutely not be any worse than you... Although I won't become a cultivator in this life, I will similarly live a wonderful life!"
Meng Jiang straightened his chest as he shouted in loud and clear voice.
The two chatted and laughed as they once again recalled their glorious school life. Only when both of their eyes had turned a little red did Li Yao reluctantly turn to his other side.
"You don't need to act all cuddly with me. You and I are not that familiar. We are just ordinary friends." Vigilantly, Ding Lingdang stared at him.
Scratching his head, Li Yao embarrassedly smiled and said, "That day it was just because of a momentary impulse. You don't need to take it to your heart."
"I have already taken it to my heart. My heart has suffered a great deal of trauma, but if you think about taking the Combat Department as your major and the Refining Department as your minor instead, then maybe I will feel a little better." Ding Lingdang still had not given up her hope. She stared at Li Yao with an eager look in her eyes.
"It depends on the circumstances. I still don't know anything about the Grand Desolate War Institution's Refining Department!" Li Yao, while speaking, arrived before his last friend.
To be precise, he was exactly not his friend but his swine friend, the one who could control both spiritual energy and tenebrum energy at the same time—the hidden cultivation genius, Zheng Dongming!
"Who would have known that you, Floating Spear City's champion of the college entrance exam, would go and choose that waste Grande Desolate War Institution's Refining Department," Zheng Dongming calmly said.
"Haven’t you, the third highest scorer in Floating Spear City for the college entrance examination, instead chosen the Sky Fantasia Academy’s Combat Department? Aren't we the same?" Li Yao gave a slight smile.
"We are not the same, we are absolutely not the same. Although it is similarly a waste department in the Nine Elite Universities, there is a fundamental difference between your Grand Desolate War Institution's Refining Department and my Sky Fantasia Academy's Combat Department!"
Zheng Dongming said in a high and enigmatic tone.
"What's the difference?"
Li Yao narrowed his eyes. He could understand what Zheng Dongming was implying.
"The male to female ratio in Grand Desolate War Institution's Refining Department is 10 to 1, and not only are the girls small in number, they are also not that beautiful. In contrast, the Sky Fantasia Academy's Combat Department is very different. Although its results are very poor, the male to female ratio is more than 1 to 10, and all of the girls are outstandingly beautiful; they are all women of a thousand charms. Not to mention that there is a large number of close-combat related courses in the Combat Department curriculum. I can have an unreserved, zero distance contact with my senior and junior sisters and feel the collisions of our souls and bodies, don't you think that it is intrinsically different?"
Zhen Dongming gave a very lewd and lascivious smile.
Li Yao was mouth agape. Only after having been stunned for a while could he reply, "Indeed, it is intrinsically different. Then, I wish for you to have fun till your heart's content in Sky Fantasia Academy's Combat Department!"
Zheng Dongming hesitated a bit before pulling Li Yao far away and activating a "Sound Insulating Glyph" around them. Only then did he speak and that too in low voice:
"Fellow Student Li Yao, the matter of Devil Flood Dragon Island... it is better to forget it. Since childhood, I have had no ambitions. Besides eating, I have never thought of doing anything else. My only dream is to flirt with all of the girls in the world that I could flirt with. If possible, I also don't want to cultivate that damn tenebrum energy! That's why, you don't need to worry. If one day my devil techniques reaches the point of culmination, even then I will absolutely not kill you. And you, even more so because of your fear of being killed of me, don’t need to kill me before I kill you. Do you understand?"
Li Yao pondered a bit. "Oh?"
"Hey hey hey, I said so much, I expressed my kind-heartedness and all my sincerity, but all you can say is 'Oh'? Don't think that I'm afraid of you. You have had your fortuitous encounter, and I have also had my fortuitous encounter. From here on out, we will drift along in the cultivation world. Who the f*ck wouldn’t have 8-10 fortuitous encounters? Do you think you are formidable?"
Li Yao smiled as he patted Zheng Dongming's shoulder:
"You see, no matter what I say, you are not going to believe me, and similarly, no matter what you say, I am not going to believe you. Since that’s the case, then why don't we just sprint on the road of cultivation, climbing to the peak? Come on, let's compete with each other!"
While speaking, a tattered, long-distance flying shuttle gradually descended.
With a leap, Li Yao climbed aboard, waving his hand at everyone as he said, "Goodbye, everyone! If all goes well, then maybe after three months, I will be a true cultivator myself!"
From this day onwards, Li Yao traveled to the far reaches of the Star Glory Federation.
His first stop was the "Seamount Island" located in the southernmost region of the federation.
It was a very small island. All year round, only a palm-sized part of the island was visible above the surface of the water. That was why it was also known as "Palm Island".
However, under the water, cultivators had instead built a huge underwater city around the endless undersea mountain range.
Here, the residents of the city resided in glittering and translucent crystal bubbles. And to leave and enter, they would use "Waterproof Beads" to clear the path before using a special underwater jet-type flying shuttle to go back and forth.
Under the sea, they cultivated a large number of colorful corals, and much like a herd of sheep and cattle, a large number of fish, shrimp, crab, and turtles were reared. This was the source of the entire federation’s fresh seafood.
In here, the women liked to wear pearl shirts sewn by tying the pearls together the most.
Every night under the pitch black darkness of the sea, wearing colorful and gorgeous pearl shirts, they would beautifully and charmingly sit on the corals as they played their spirit flute which could be heard under the sea, waiting for the powerful men of the sea to quietly come in the darkness.
In here, Li Yao enjoyed the colorful and picturesque scenery, ate the most delicious and sweetest seafood before returning back to the continent and heading to the farthest reaches of the southern west direction.
On the fourth day after his departure, he arrived at the "Lantern City".
It was a town built in the vast rain forest located at the southern region of the federation. It was a town which was completely devoid of high-rising building. Using a secret technique, the cultivators would constantly accelerate the growth of a fruit on a special tree in the rain forest called the "Lantern Tree". Finally, each and every lantern fruit hanging from the branches would be modified into houses.
The residents of this city lived in this very lantern fruit. Every night, the fruit radiated in a colorful and gorgeous shimmer, turning the entire city into a sea of lanterns.
Because the rainforest is inconvenient to travel from here and there, the residents of this city liked to ride huge grasshopper-type spirit beasts, hopping from one branch to the other as they harvested precious herbs in the jungle.
Whenever there were guests from afar, the residents would invite the guests to ride the giant grasshopper. If any one of them on their first try managed to successfully ride the giant grasshopper for over a minute, he would be treated as a true warrior and would get to enjoy the finest VIP treatment.
Li Yao tried three times, but at the last moment, he was ruthlessly thrown down by the giant grasshopper. He could only helplessly throw in the towel.
Although he didn't get to enjoy the VIP treatment, when the straw skirt wearing girls of the rainforest, who had skin as smooth and delicate as honey, held cold salves and meticulously smeared it on his body, he felt a different kind of relish.
On the ninth day of his departure, Li Yao arrived at the "Saber’s Tip Snow Mountain"
Although it was not the highest peak of the Star Glory Federation, it was one of the most difficult mountain peaks to climb.
The entire snow-capped mountain was like a double-edged saber that was as bright as snow, ruthlessly stabbing towards the sky.
The steepest part of the mountain was as smooth as a mirror; it simply didn't have a single foothold. Furthermore, all year round, the powerful gusts always lingered around the peak. Even for a cultivator riding a flying sword, it would still be very difficult for him to fly to the peak.
At the summit of the snow-capped mountain grew a very precious Seven-Star Snow Lotus. It was one of the natural ingredients absolutely necessary for a dozen types of high-level strengthening drugs.
Consequently, this was where the best flying sword riders in the entire federation were produced.
The November of every year when the wind was at its strongest and the Seven-Star Snow Lotus bloomed, countless flying sword experts would whistle through the sky as they charged through the raging winds to reach the summit.
Amidst these perilous, fierce winds, they would seek for the gaps, try to feel its rhythm as they charged left and right, and would even be tossed around for 3-5 days before eventually conquering these winds and acquiring the most precious herb!
Although it was not the blooming season for the snow lotus when Li Yao arrived, it didn’t decrease the number of flying-sword experts that gathered around the snow-capped mountain. Amidst these winds, they were undergoing training and doing all sorts of eye-catching air maneuvers, which made Li Yao feel like it was not a wasted trip; he was completely satisfied.
If it was an air-battle, the battle prowess of these flying sword expects would absolutely not be less than any flying demon beast.
In the next three months, Li Yao toured mountains, rivers, rainforests, hills, deserts, oases, and farmlands of the federation; he saw all kinds of weird towns.
There was a town located on top of a crater of an active volcano. The entire volcano crater had been sealed by a huge array of glyphs.
Rumor has it that four hundred years ago, this volcano had once erupted, ravaging a dozen nearby towns. A cultivator, after sealing the volcano, had lived here with his family, guarding the volcano.
Even to this day, the family had developed into a new town but they had never forgotten their mission as they referred to themselves as the “Guardians of the Volcano”.
There was a town which was completely built on the back of a few hundred ginormous "Alpine Camel Beasts".
In the Heaven Origin Sector, the Alpine Camel Beast was one of the largest spirit beasts on land. Each Alpine Camel Beast was like a whale surfing on the sea. People built houses on the back of these Alpine Camel Beasts, and each Alpine Camel Beast could house a few dozen families on its back. Hundreds of Alpine Came Beasts together constituted a mobile city.
The residents of the city took part in the care of animals for a living. With the changes in the season, they would drive the Alpine Camel Beasts to seek water grass to raise the cattle and sheep. Here, Li Yao ate the freshest mutton in his life; he boiled the mutton for ten minutes to the point where the blood didn't coagulate, and when he took a bite, it immediately melted in his mouth as it rolled down his throat, much like a delicious wine.
Town after town...