Blaze City, an extremely flourishing and prosperous large city in the Dark Reverie, and the Heavenly Insight Palace was located at the side of it.
The Heavenly Insight Palace was a formidable power that only recruited female disciples. Even though it wasn't ranked amongst the 10 great immortal sects, its strength couldn't be underestimated, and it was on par with the 10 great immortal sects in terms of reputation and status.
This year just happened to be the period of recruitment from the Heavenly Insight Palace that occurred one every ten years, and it drew the gazes of countless powers of the Dark Reverie. Moreover, numerous young women from all over had come after hearing the news.
Thus Blaze City seemed to be even more bustling than before. Beautiful young women dressed up in beautiful dresses could be seen all over on its clean and spacious streets, and they were like numerous beautiful sceneries that drew the attention of others.
It wasn't just that, many young and valiant geniuses from all over had rushed over for the sake of witnessing this grand event of a myriad of flowers blooming in one place.
After all, every single time the Heavenly Insight Palace opened its doors to recruit disciples, a batch of extremely breathtaking female geniuses with extraordinary natural talent would gush out into appearance.
These young women possessed extraordinary natural talent, superb physiques, and every single one of them were charming and beautiful. There was no lack of drop dead gorgeous peerless beauties that could destroy a country.
How could such a grand event where beauties gathered like the clouds in the sky not draw people over?
It was even to the extent that most young men had taken this grand event to be a 'beauty pageant' since a long time ago. All of them wished for nothing more than to search for a Dao Companion amongst these beauties so that they could be like birds that nested and flew together, cultivating and enjoying happiness.
As time passed, this had become a grand event in the cultivation world that people took delight in talking about, and every time this time came, there would be numerous cultivators that journeyed over.
500km outside Blaze City was a mountainous forest that rose and fell continuously, and they were steep and boundlessly vast. Even though there was no lack of ferocious demon beasts within it, there were numerous spirit medicines growing within it as well.
Those in a favorable position gained a special advantage. The medicinal stores and merchants in Blaze City mostly sent their own teams over to enter the mountains and gather the medicinal herbs to be sold.
At this moment, before a Bloodcrystal Tree within the depths of the forest was a weak young man that lay carefully on the ground. His eyes were narrowed as he stared fixedly towards the side of the Bloodcrystal Tree. Where his gaze descended was a Viridi Herb that was completely jade green, and it emitted a dense refreshing fragrance that assaulted the nose.
The young man was called Hong San, and he was a medicine gatherer for the Blaze City's Hanging Pot Medicine Store. His status was no different to attendants and servants, and his situation was similarly arduous.
But even though his life was arduous, he'd never abandoned his dream to cultivate. He'd deeply understood when he was young that if he wanted to complete his dream, then he had to exhaust even more hard work and sweat!
Most importantly, no matter how great the despair he felt, he would absolutely not give up just like that!
If a man were to give up his dream, then what difference was the man to cattle that was waiting for death in the farms?
Hong San had really worked hard, and he'd fulfilled the assignments over their requirements every single time he went to gather medicine, so he received some rewards as well.
Unfortunately, the spirit medicine within the mountainous forest had started to reduce sharply lately, and the spirit medicine that could be found easily in the past had been completely gathered away now, so he could only move towards the depths of the forest to obtain some.
However, the deeper one went meant the greater the danger one faced!
Hong San was only at the Congenital Realm now, so perhaps he was able to easily deal with ordinary demon beasts, but so long as the demon beast was slightly more formidable, then he would be incapable of handling it.
Just like now. Even though the Viridi Herb was right before his eyes, yet he didn't dare make a rash move because a Blackiron Striped Snake was residing nearby the herb!
This demon beast was only thick like a chopstick and 30m long, but its strength was shocking to the extreme, and even Violet Palace Realm cultivators would be unable to survive an encounter with it!
Hong San was sure that he would lose his life here once he was targeted by this poisonous snake, so he utterly didn't dare to move a muscle and held his breath in concentration as he was deeply afraid of being noticed.
Yet he didn't choose to flee because this Viridi Herb was too precious to him, and it possessed shocking worth that was capable of comparing to an earth-rank magic treasure. If he was able to obtain it, then he would quit his job for sure before finding a small sect to pursue his dream.
He'd already waited a few years for the sake of all this, so he only allowed himself to succeed and not fail this time!
Stomp! Stomp! Stomp!
However, right at this moment, a wave of rapid footsteps suddenly sounded out from the depths of the forest, and there was slight clamorous noise amidst these footsteps, causing it to be especially ear piercing in this silent atmosphere.
On the other hand, the Blackiron Striped Snake was instantly alarmed and awoke, and it raised his head while hissing furiously.
Why did such a thing happen?
Hong San's heart jerked while he was angered to the point he almost let loose a string of curses. However, the most horrifying thing to him was that the snake had actually noticed him!
Its eyes that were blood red and like beans surged with a brutal and gloomy sheen at this moment, and merely its gaze caused Hong San's entire body to tremble.
Under this exceedingly dangerous situation, Hong San couldn't help but cry out before getting up and running.
The sound of air being torn apart sounded out from behind him, and it was like a sound that heralded his death. It caused Hong San's hairs to stand on end, and he didn't have to turn around to know that the Blackiron Striped Snake was charging towards him.
Could it be that…I'm going to die today?
At this critical moment of life and death, the dream that he'd pursued diligently for a long time suddenly flashed within his mind, and a wisp of deep bitterness couldn't help but gush out from his heart. Cultivation, cultivation, could it be that I have no fate with immortality?
Since others can cultivate, then why can't I, Hong San, cultivate?
An indescribable feeling of fury gushed into his heart and caused Hong San to erupt. He turned around and howled loudly. "Motherfucker! Come at me! I'll fucking kill you even if I die! Kill!" His voice revealed unwillingness and helplessness as it reverberated throughout the forest, and it shook the leaves on the trees to the point of swishing about.
"Are…you fine?" A clear voice suddenly sounded out.
Hmm? Could it be that this animal has gained intelligence? It's actually capable of speaking, then wouldn't it be even more terrifying? Hong San was shocked in his heart as his expression turned ghastly pale.
But right after that, he suddenly returned to his senses. I seem to have…not died?
"Hey, you're really fine, right?" The clear voice sounded out once again.
Hong San completely returned to his senses this time, and he opened his eyes. He noticed to his astonishment that the Blackiron Striped Snake had vanished, whereas a little girl had appeared instead!
"I, I didn't die?" Hong San muttered. This sort of feeling of escaping death caused him to wish for nothing more than to roar with laughter, but he forcefully restrained himself in the end.
The reason was extremely simple. He noticed to his astonishment that the beautiful and cute little girl that wore a beast skin actually held the Blackiron Striped Snake in her hand!
"Quickly! Quickly! Quickly put it down! Do you want do die? That's…" Hong San cried out in shock, but he shut up right after because he saw the jade white fingers of the little girl twist lightly and broke the neck of the Blackiron Striped Snake!
"You're so old, yet you're actually still afraid of a dead snake?" The little girl chuckled.
Hong San instantly flushed red and was extremely embarrassed.
"Oh, take it, it can train your gall." The little girl raised her hand and tossed the dead snake over as she spoke.
Hong San was instantly terrified to the point of leaping up from the ground while crying out endlessly.
"Haha!" A wave of loud laughter sounded out. Only now did Hong San notice that a group of people had arrived abruptly, and they were a dark mass that at least numbered over 100.
Just like the little girl, all of them wore rough beast skin, and only the handsome young man at the center wore green clothes, had a tall figure, and seemed to be rather extraordinary.
"Xiao Yan, stop playing around." The handsome young man gestured towards the little girl.
"Oh." The little girl chucked before turning around to return to the young man's side.
This group was naturally Chen Xi's group.
They appeared within this forest after they left the Ninth Hell, and they recuperated here for a day and were just intending to leave when they encountered this weak young man that was struck with panic.
At this moment, Hong San finally heaved a sigh of relief, and felt a long lost feeling of safety. He swiftly ran forward and bowed to Chen Xi. "Thank you, Senior, for your assistance!"
His thoughts were exceedingly meticulous, and he'd noticed from the reactions of everyone that this handsome young man was the leader of this group, and his words were the most authoritative.
"Hey, it was me who saved you. Why don't you thank me?" said Xiao Yan with a clear voice.
"Thank you… Thank you…" Hong San wanted to thank her yet didn't know how to address Xiao Yan. In his eyes, this little girl was only around the age of 10, so he was at a loss for how to address her respectfully.
"It's fine, we only lifted a finger." Chen Xi smiled and then said to everyone by his side, "Let's go. There's a city not far away from here. Let's go rest there and buy some things on the way."
"A city!" The eyes of the youths lit up, and they couldn't help but cheer. All along the way, they'd heard their Uncle Chen Xi mention it on numerous occasions. Supposedly, a smaller city had a few hundreds of thousands of people, and a larger city had a few tens of millions of people. Moreover, there were numerous stores, restaurants, inns, and so on and so forth within the cities.
To these youths that had never step foot out of the Ninth Hell, everything within the city was so fascinating, and it filled them with anticipation.
Hong San was astounded. What's with these fellows? Why do they react so strongly towards the word city? Could it be that they've never seen a city?
But right after that, he noticed that most of them wore rough beast skin, and these seemed like a group of bumpkins that had never left the mountains…
When he thought up to here, Hong San couldn't help but be slightly amused in his heart. There are really all sorts of people in this world.
He inadvertently raised his head and greeted a gaze that seemed to carry a spurious smile looking right at him. It seemed as if it could see through one's heart, and it was deep and deterring. It caused his entire body to be unable to refrain from freezing up and not dare continue letting his thoughts run wild.
In next to no time, Chen Xi's group departed.
Hong San hurriedly gathered the Viridi Herb and picked up the corpse of the Blackiron Striped Snake before pursuing over, and then he said respectfully, "Senior, are all of you entering Blaze City? I've been living there since I was young and I'm extremely familiar with it. Why don't I be a guide for you?"
"Oh? Do I need to pay a fee?" said Chen Xi with a smile.
"Senior saved my humble life, so how could I, Hong San, ask for any fee? That would simply make me worse than an animal." Hong San had a serious expression as he spoke solemnly.
"Alright, then follow by my side." Chen Xi nodded.
"Alright! Thank you, Senior, for granting this!" Hong San's face lit up with smiles as he moved swiftly to the front of the group and started to guide the way, and he quickly threw himself into his new role.
"He's a very intelligent young man that knows to grab any opportunities to seek improvement." Meng Wei who'd been silent all this time spoke abruptly and judged Hong San.
"He's not bad indeed. I'll give him some repayment when we leave this place." Chen Xi smiled as he raised his deep gaze to look towards the distance, and there was a great city standing towering 500km away.