The Inner Mountain (inner sect) was full of pine and cypress trees. Meanwhile, immortal cranes flew above the clouds. The density of soul Qi here was many times greater than the Outer Mountain. When it came to cultivation, this place could undoubtedly increase the speed of advancement of any cultivators, namely Vein Opening cultivators, Harmonious Spirit cultivators and so on.
There were a hundred and sixty candidates who had passed the verification and had come to the Inner Mountain. With the deacons leading the way, they headed towards the forbidden area of the Inner Mountain.
In order to enter the Inner Mountain, they only needed an inner sect pass, which could be bought at five hundred immortal jades only.
Ning Fan was dumbfounded. If he knew about this earlier, why would he foolishly took the risk to break and trespass this place?
Every candidate would be given a temporary inner sect pass that could only be used once. They would use this temporary pass to enter the Inner Mountain to take the second examination.
Five hundred immortal jades was a very expensive price for an ordinary Vein Opening disciple but it was just a small amount to Ning Fan who had roughly a hundred thousand immortal jades.
After this examination, he would need to get one inner sect pass.
On the way, random people from the group would glance at Ning Fan with a strange expression. Some showed disdain while others showed interest. They were the people who came to learn the evil cultivation. So naturally, they weren’t nice. Most of them had fixed their eyes on Ning Fan’s profound Dual Cultivation Technique. Even the arrogant Lu Zi Qiao had darted Ning Fan a few threatening glances.
“Give me a copy of your technique. If you dare to refuse, I would make sure that you would regret it when we enter the Demon Sinister Forest.”
Ning Fan only smiled coldly against Lu Zi Qiao’s threat. He was an intermediate Harmonious Spirit expert who was able to kill an early Gold Core expert. How could he fear a level four Vein Opening Lu Zi Qiao? Was he being a little too low-profiled that insects started to bully him?
In the meantime, many gazes were fixed on him. Gazes that exuded spirit sense of Harmonious Spirit. These gazes seemed to discern something from him, as result, they annoyed Ning Fan.
He could ignore Lu Zi Qiao’s threat but he couldn’t neglect the attention of these Harmonious Spirit elders. He would meet some problems if these people targeted him. If they were trying to plot against him, he wouldn’t need to worry about it because he could always break the plot of his enemy.
‘Stun. I must stun these greedy and deceitful old men.’
Since he had lost the chance to disguise as a pig to eat a tiger, he should just be high profiled instead. As long as these problems would be resolved, it didn’t really matter to him whether it was by hook or by crook.
At the back of Inner Mountain was a dark forest sealed with formations. This was the venue of their second entrance examination—Demon Sinister Forest.
Many higher-ups of Sinister Sparrow Sect paid much attention to this second entrance examination. There was even a Gold Core elder who had come to watch.
Faint whines of ghosts were heard from the damp and dark forest. The outside of the forest was stationed with an army of the Sinister Sparrow Sect, the Eagle Guards.
When they got closer to the forest, Ning Fan closed his eyes. He used his spirit sense to examine the condition of the forest but it was in vain.
This forest was cold, but it was entirely different from the coldness of the Dark Yin Qi. He slightly knitted his brows. ‘So Dark Yin Qi isn’t in Demon Sinister Forest?’
If this was true, he was afraid that this trip to the forest would be a waste again.
He shifted his attention to the five hundred Eagle Guards, and his eyes sparkled. These guards were all level six Vein Opening and above. The formation that they practiced was ancient. Their overall combat strength weren’t any weaker than Apricot Guards and they might even be on par with the Sword Guards.
It seemed like Sinister Sparrow Sect wasn’t as simple as it was on the surface. Probably, those people who established a popular sect in Yue Country weren’t fools at all.
As Ning Fan’s eyes swept across the Eagle Guards, a Gold Core elder who stood in the guards’ front row saw Ning Fan and knitted her brows immediately. Her name was Xu Rou.
She was one of the few who knew Ning Fan’s true identity here. Ning Fan was the disciple of the old devil, the master of Ning City.
She was quite close to the old devil. Now, she was concerned about Ning Fan’s current condition because when she used her spirit sense, she could sense the spirit senses of roughly ten people that were possibly Harmonious Spirit experts.
“What is this kid doing here? Why is he targeted by so many old men the moment he entered? Can’t help it. He is exactly like Old Han. Should I aid him?”
Xu Rou knew that Ning Fan was an intermediate Harmonious Spirit cultivator. She also heard about his Dual Cultivation Technique which had crushed the verification crystal ball, but then again, all of these were very logical to her.
In order to break the verification crystal ball, the technique had to be at least a Nascent Soul technique. It wasn’t unusual that Ning Fan had such a technique. Given his master, the old devil’s Third Revolution Dan Master ability, though it wasn’t easy, it was certainly not difficult for him to create a Nascent Soul technique.
Furthermore, Ning Fan had reached the intermediate Harmonious Spirit realm at the age of seventeen. This could only be explained by his Dual Cultivation technique.
Since the old devil was a person who only looked at the top, the thing that bugged her was why did he imparted the Dual Cultivation Technique to this young man. Dual Cultivation Technique was the most futureless technique in all of the evil cultivation techniques. It could allow one to grow fast in the early stages but when one reached the later stages, more and more challenges and bottlenecks were needed to be broken through. Plus, a dual cultivator would have unfortified magical strength, which would reduce his combat strength.
Before Xu Rou could really show her concern for Ning Fan, another person had.
The young prince who had attracted plenty of attention during the verification and the cultivator of Corpse Seizing Technique, Li Zhi Huan, slowly approached Ning Fan and said in low voice.
“Brother Ning, I’m afraid that you have drawn some attention to yourself. Do you want my help?”
“You want to help me?” Ning Fan’s brows twitched. Before, it was a level four Vein Opening Lu Zi Qiao but now it was a level three Vein Opening Li Zhi Huan? Why were these Vein Opening cultivators attempting to get close to him?
“That’s right. I am good at observing people. I see that Brother Ning’s face carried some evil Qi and your body is exuding a faint black light. I am sure that you aren’t an ordinary person.”
“……..” Ning Fan felt odd. ‘This guy does know how to flatter. Normally, people would always say the praise Your face carries some luck and your body is exuding purple light?’
“During the verification procedure, Brother Ning has revealed the power of his cultivation technique. Although it was unverified, it had attracted a lot of people’s greediness. In an evil sect that doesn’t forbid anyone from killing one another, it is not a good news to offend so many people. In my opinion, Brother Ning should give this cultivation technique up. As the saying goes ‘A man’s wealth is his own ruin, igniting other’s greed.’”
“Huh? Brother Li thinks that Ning Fan should present this cultivation technique out? But to whom?” Ning Fan’s expression stiffened.
“A senior in my clan. Currently, he’s also an elder of this sect. Why not Brother Ning present the cultivation technique to him? Once you have done that, you would be attached to him. And with Elder Li’s protection, no one would dare to target you.”
“I appreciate Brother Li’s idea but I dare to say that no one in Sinister Sparrow Sect should dare steal my cultivation technique.”
These words weren’t said meekly. Not only Li Zhi Huan could hear it, but also Lu Zi Qiao, the hundred and sixty candidates and the ten Harmonious Spirit elders who were concealing themselves could also hear it.
Li Zhi Huan slightly frowned. Wasn’t this Ning Fan, who was younger than him, too arrogant? Did he really think that he alone could handle countless of plots of Harmonious Spirit elders? This was an evil sect. As long as the crime wasn’t exposed, no one would mind it.
As Ning Fan’s voice faded, a beautiful silhouette of a girl in blue gently moved forth.
The girl’s appearance stopped all of the youths’ breath. Quite many of them had heard the identity of this girl in blue. Their eyes turned fervent.
“The daughter of Sinister Sparrow—Lan Mei. This girl would normally not intervene with the sect’s matters. Why did she come to watch examination?”
Could it be that someone among the candidates had caught her eyes?
Such an arrogant and frigid girl had finally found a man she liked?
The experts of Sinister Sparrow Sect were startled when they looked at Lan Mei’s white-skinned hand.
They saw her holding a black jade slip engraved with the mark of a sparrow. It was the Acoustic Jade Slip of the master. She had brought the master’s Acoustic Jade Slip with her.
Was the master of Sinister Sparrow Sect going to give new orders?
What surprised them the most was that the Lan Mei who looked frigid all the time walked gently towards Ning Fan. Her always frigid face squeezed into a smile for the first time.
“Ning Fan. You sure know how to cause trouble.”
“Is that so? I don’t think so. By the way, your smile is really ugly.”
When the experts who knew Lan Mei saw the smile on her face, their faces looked like they have seen a ghost.
‘My god! The Young Mistress was smiling. She was smiling at that Ning Fan! What was the relationship between Ning Fan and the Young Mistress? Ning Fan…Ning Fan... This name was somewhat familiar. I wonder, where have I heard it before…’
After witnessing Ning Fan’s friendly relationship with Lan Mei, those experts who intended to plot against him materialized themselves from the darkness. How could they continue to have such thoughts against him?
This was obvious even to an idiot. Ning Fan must have come from a strong background. A few Harmonious Spirit elders tried hard to search for Ning Fan’s background in their heads, then they found Ning Fan of the Seven Apricot City. It sounded somewhat familiar but they still couldn’t figure out the source of the information.
As the rest of them were in doubt, Lan Mei smiled and crushed the jade slip in her hand. Consequently, a monotone voice was heard when the jade slip was broken.
“Ning Fan is the disciple of Senior Han. He is also the great grandson of Black Devil Ning of Ning City. No Sinister Sparrow Sect’s disciples or elders are allowed to offend him. Anyone who does, would be killed on the spot.”
The voice of the master faded in the breeze. The entire scene turned dead silent after hearing the order of Sinister Sparrow.
Fear surfaced on everyone’s face.
Those Harmonious Spirit elders who were lost in their thoughts suddenly found it. They finally knew where they had heard of Ning Fan’s name before. It was during the auction in the Seven Apricot City, where the auction master had controlled the entire crowd. The auction master was Ning Fan!
They couldn’t offend the disciple of the old devil and the great grandson of Black Devil Ning. That explained why he had such a mysterious Dual Cultivation Technique.
Every Harmonious Spirit experts sucked in cold air. They had vanished the thoughts of scheming against him and had even abandoned the intention of soliciting him for something.
Since Ning Fan was the disciple of the old devil, he would naturally be in the group of the Four Honour Devils. So, who would dare to provoke him?
‘Thank god the master has given the personal order. Or else, our Harmonious Spirit experts would definitely attack him. When that happens, not only would it offend ‘God of Dan,’ but also the great ‘Black Devil.’’
Xu Rou let out a sigh of relief. She didn’t expect the master to send a personal order to them to solve Ning Fan’s problem.
Lu Zi Qiao who threatened Ning Fan earlier showed fear on his face. In spite of having the right to be arrogant, he needed to be careful of his target. Ning Fan’s background was terrifying enough to restrict even his whole Lu Clan from touching him.
Likewise, Li Zhi Huan who disguised his threat against Ning Fan just now had lost his composure. He said that Ning Fan was being wildly arrogant but now it seemed like he was the one who was being arrogant.
With such background and support behind him, who in Sinister Sparrow Sect would still dare to steal his cultivation technique? He thought that his ‘considerate advice’ would work on him.
As for Bai Xiu who disdained Ning Fan a while ago, she was now regretting her previous cold and frigid attitude against him. ‘Did that offended him? I’m finished this time…’
At this rate, Ning Fan couldn’t hold his low profile anymore in Sinister Sparrow Sect.
Ning Fan’s eyes flashed. He looked into Lan Mei’s eyes and smiled. “Your dad has saved all of them.”
This was the jade slip of Sinister Sparrow Sect. On the surface, this jade slip was to protect Ning Fan, but in truth, it was to protect all the disciples of the sect.
According to his previous plan, announcing his true identity was out of the question. He was planning that if some Harmonious Spirit cultivators tried to make an attempt on him, he would kill them straightaway. He believed that after killing a few Harmonious Spirit experts, it would naturally act as a deterrence against those who wanted to plot against him.
However, that jade slip stopped Ning Fan from gaining reputation by killing the experts here. So, the jade slip also served as a reminder towards Ning Fan—Sinister Sparrow didn’t hope to see Ning Fan begin a massacre in his sect as these experts were his foundation.
This Sinister Sparrow wasn’t bad at all. They had only meet once but he had already seen through Ning Fan’s personality.
“Tell your dad that I won’t kill any of them unless they presented themselves to me.”
Ning Fan smiled. Suddenly, he thought of something and said to Lan Mei apologetically, “I just didn’t know that the examination procedure would take so long to complete. About treating your illness, it will be postponed for the time being. Don’t get anxious.”
“Who said I am anxious?!”
Lan Mei’s face blushed. If there were other choices, she wouldn’t want Ning Fan to treat her because letting him see that spot was too embarrassing.
A Harmonious Spirit elder stood on the tall stage and talked about the rules of the second examination endlessly. Ning Fan couldn’t concentrate because Lan Mei, who was in front of him, took out a storage pouch from her bosom and gave it to him after a series of hesitation.
Ning Fan used spirit sense to scan through the storage pouch. Suddenly, his face turned ugly.
There were two bottles of Raising Spirit Dan and a bottle of Ghost Suppressor Dan which would make the consumer immune towards any ghost-related things. There was also a silver disk of formation that could allow one to set a mini version of ‘Spirit’ realm formation, and an ancient map. The map was actually the map of Demon Sinister Forest. There were countless of red dots and black dots on it.
The red dots represented herbs while the black dots represented danger.
Ning Fan felt strange. This was akin to seeing a ghost. He didn’t have a liking for Lan Mei but why did she gift him so many things. And these things weren’t cheap.
“What…what is the meaning of this?”
“There is no meaning at all.” Lan Mei’s eyes avoided his. She also didn’t know why she had gifted so many things to Ning Fan.
Probably because she was worried that Ning Fan would encounter danger in Demon Sinister Forest. Given Ning Fan’s personality, he wouldn’t take care of his own safety. There were plenty of ghosts and even a ghost king which Sinister Sparrow himself feared. So, she hoped that this map would stop Ning Fan from roaming everywhere in the forest.
The number of intermediate Harmonious Spirit cultivators who died in this forest weren’t few. Lan Mei had the feeling that Ning Fan wouldn’t obediently stay in the new disciples’ village with the rest.
However, why was she worrying for Ning Fan? Why? She didn’t get it...
‘Maybe because Ning Fan is going to cure my illness. So, he can’t die.” Lan Mei found a vague answer to that.
Certain name of skills will be italicized. Some terms are subject to change when better suggestions are selected.