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The white-haired mentalist smiled as though he could read Ye Chong’s thoughts, and spoke up first, "Relax, relax, I come in peace. Oh, you should know that mentalists are very sensitive."

Ye Chong knew this alright. Mentalists were all about mental training. They were more sensitive than the average person. Even combat experts with their strong six senses were no match for the mentalists. Strong mentalists could even do something akin to having premonitions, and even Mu or Shang did not understand the reason behind this.

It was a queer phenomenon, but a true one, and Ye Chong had seen it in action himself. Back when he fought against Feng Su, the woman’s fighting techniques had left a deep impression in him. The truth was, Feng Su was not all that great in combat, but he was the one who was in a tight spot when they fought.

Ye Chong was not afraid of these abstract concepts. He knew more about mentalists than the average person. Nothing in this world is absolute. These skills were only a kind of element, like speed and strength. Mentalists were just people who were particularly skilled in this element.

They stood with 15 meters between them. Ye Chong did not attack immediately, since he was not confident of succeeding. It was obvious that this white-haired man was much more powerful than Mr Yin in the Orbits. That mental restriction on him was also more powerful than Rui Bing’s. Who knew if he had other ways of attacking! WIth 15 meters between them, it would only take him an instant to cover the distance. However, he also knew that while mentalists were physically weaker, their attacks were usually faster than combat experts.

They attack by controlling the mind.

That was a bit iffy. Back on the trash planet, Mu had told Ye Chong about the importance of having spirit when attacking. However, Ye Chong had only really achieved this with his lance techniques, which was also when he achieved Jie. However, even as a Jie expert, he could do little in terms of controlling the mind. On the other hand, Rui Bing as a Jie expert outdid him in this field. She could even perform purely mental attacks.

Of course, Ye Chong had no opinion on that. He was in pursuit of strength. Strength was the result of a combination of factors, and not just some specific ones. Besides, everyone had their own unique ways of combat. Ye Chong, for example, excel in physical strength and speed. The September Lan Family’s muscle control techniques allowed him to perform miraculous feats with his body. Aside from physical strength, speed and mind, there were many other elements at play, such as experience and tactics.

"Who are you?" Ye Chong asked, his plain voice sounding hard and expressionless.

The white-haired mentalist was not offended. He smiled gently and said, "I am Huang Baiyi, a mentalist." Huang Baiyi was not exactly handsome, but his demeanor and charisma were flawless. His voice was calm and steady, without any awkwardness. His calm demeanor was entirely opposite of Ye Chong’s calmness; the former was warm, the latter cold.

Ye Chong was doing a lot better now, as he could partially hide his killing intent. This was unlike before, when he was like an unsheathed blade, always so noticeable and not fitting in whenever he went.

"Huang?" Ye Chong’s eyes widened. "Do you know Huang Jiming?" He was very touchy with the subject of the Three Aristocratic Families. As members of Xi Feng Clan, most women had the surname Feng, while men had the surname Huang. Huang Jiming was one of the elites of Xi Feng Clan. If this white-haired mentalist was from Xi Feng Clan, he must know him.

"Huang Jiming?" Huang Baiyi paused in thought, and shook his head. "Don’t know him. Who’s he?" His expression was open, nothing suspicious about him at all. More importantly, his pulse did not change.

He was not lying. Ye Chong calmed down. This was the free space zone, and it was very unlikely to meet a member of the Xi Feng Clan.

"Is he your enemy?" Huang Baiyi asked, curious.

"No," Ye Chong answered crisply.

Huang Baiyi laughed softly and studied Ye Chong with interest. "My young friend, how old are you?"

"Why should I tell you?" Ye Chong asked bluntly.

Huang Baiyi was surprised, and laughed heartily. "Okay, okay. How about this? I’ll ask you a question, you’ll ask me a question. Quid pro quo, and you have to answer all questions posed. What do you think?"

Ye Chong thought about it, and nodded. "Alright." He too had many questions of his own. Perhaps this man could provide him some answers.

Huang Baiyi smiled and said, "Alright, hmm, I’ll ask first. Consider that my first question."

"23," Ye Chong answered as briefly as possible.

Huang Baiyi’s eyes lit up with surprised. "Amazing! A Jie expert at such a young age, your future is full of potential! Hmm, your turn then."

Ye Chong tilted his head and gave it a moment’s thought before saying, "I’d like to know your true strength." This was what Ye Chong needed to know right now, as it will guide him in making the right decisions.

Huang Baiyi was caught off guard, and smiled wryly. "Now that’s a hard one. I don’t know how much you know about mentalists. Mentalists are not like your world of combat, where there are clear delineation of levels in strength and achievement. Mentalists have no such levels, so I don’t know how to describe my true strength." He pondered for a moment before continuing, "I began practising meditation when I was six, and it’s been 60 years since. I reached my first bottleneck at 30, my second at 45. As for my abilities, well, I’m not too bad compared to the other mentalists."

He spoke his last sentence lightly, but it was tinged with absolute confidence.

Ye Chong was shocked. If this man had practised meditation since six years old, and it had been 60 years since, then he must be 66 years old now. He could not reconcile the image of this white-haired middle-aged man and an elderly.

Bottlenecks were something that anyone strong enough will have. Reaching a bottleneck meant that that person had achieved a significant level of proficiency. To the average person, reaching one bottleneck was already considered miraculous.

Ye Chong had only reached his first bottleneck so far. It was when he broke through this bottleneck that he attained Jie. His second bottleneck did not seem likely. This man must be quite powerful if he had broke through two bottlenecks! While he did not know if bottlenecks had the same meaning for mentalists as they were for combat experts, he was sure that this man must be very powerful.

"Err, if you’re not happy with my answer, you can ask another question. This one doesn’t count." Huang Baiyi’s easy and open attitude was easily likeable.

Ye Chong shook his head. "No need. You ask." From the confident voice of Huang Baiyi, he already had his answer.

"Are you interested in learning the skills of mentalists?" Huang Baiyi looked straight into Ye Chong’s eyes, and quickly explained, "Haha, you’ll know how dull life is here very soon. It’s better to find something to do to pass the time."

"No," Ye Chong answered with certainty. He had no talent in the realm of the mind. This he knew from a long history of experimentation. Besides, he was already studying a large mix of skills. What he had to do know was to consolidate them. Picking up too many skills would only leave him unaccomplished in all of them.

Ye Chong’s solid rejection surprised Huang Baiyi. However, he quickly recovered and nodded. "Each to their own. Some things you can’t force." He spoke with equanimity, suggesting a very open and tolerant personality.

It was Ye Chong’s turn. "What is this place?"

Huang Baiyi took a curious glance at Ye Chong. "You don’t know? How did you end up here? This is the Black Forest, the most dangerous place on Dankwood planet. You’re lucky, considering that you’ve survived so far."

Huang Baiyi sat down as he continued, "I know what you want to ask. However, I don’t know the way out. Guess how long I’ve been staying here."

"How long?" Ye Chong could not help but asked.

"10 years!"

Ye Chong fell silent. For someone to live here alone for 10 years, it must be a maddening experience.

Huang Baiyi smiled, unperturbed. "It’s not a bad place, actually. There’s no war, no fights. Once, I was lonely, but now you’ve arrived. I’m curious, though, how did you end up here? Even a Jie expert, it’s very unlikely for you to survive the Black Forest unscathed."

"I know a little alchemy," Ye Chong answered.

"I see! The Black Forest is an alchemist’s paradise, but also a place of death! He was spot on. Ye Chong agreed with him. Black Forest offered alchemy ingredients in abundance, and was definitely a paradise for alchemists. However, this also made the place dangerous. The average alchemist would not survive for long in the Black Forest.

Huang Baiyi looked at Ye Chong curiously, and said almost jokingly, "To think that I’d meet a genius. A Jie expert skilled in alchemy. Haha, that’s a powerful combination of skills!" It seemed that he was familiar with all these different occupations.

Ye Chong no longer felt like killing him anymore. If Huang Baiyi was speaking the truth, then it would be important to have a comrade here. He knew from his experience on the trash planet that loneliness was a much harder fight to win against compared to physical battles.

However, Ye Chong did not give up. He would study this area himself.

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