Chapter 226 – Northern Heavens Continent
The next morning
Mu Chen was prepared to leave. A slender, elegant girl stood before the building, watching him with bright eyes. Last night, Mu Chen had informed her that he was going on a mission with Su Xuan’s party. Even though they’d only be apart for a short while, the girl was still rather reluctant to let him go. But ultimately, she didn’t hinder Mu Chen. She, too, needed some time to quiet down and cultivate.
“Then, I’ll be going.”
Mu Chen lightly smiled as he moved closer to the girl.
“Okay. Be careful.” Luo Li lightly nodded. Her hands straightened out the wrinkles in Mu Chen’s clothes, like a newlywed wife. The gesture filled Mu Chen’s eyes with gentleness.
“Don’t push yourself too hard in cultivation, while I’m not around. It’s true that ‘learning is moving forwards and not advancing is moving backwards’, but you still can’t be too hard on yourself. It’ll have a negative effect, instead.” Mu Chen sternly reminded.
“I know.” Luo Li nodded.
Mu Chen decided it was time to stop loitering around. He waved his hand and his figure turned into a streak of light. Under Luo Li’s watch, he flew towards the interior of the Northern Heavens Spiritual Academy.
Mu Chen flew through the skies of Northern Heavens Spiritual Academy. About ten minutes later, he arrived at the forest outside the lake and descended.
When he landed on the small island, he noticed that there were two strangers present, aside from Su Xuan and Su Ling’er.
A man and a woman. The man had a towering, ape-like figure, and emitted a sense of barbaric oppression. He had a thick brow and a stern face that held a straightforward smile, entirely different from He Yao’s. Even Mu Chen had a feeling that he liked the guy, just by seeing him.
The woman wore tight-fitting cultivation clothing. She had a tall build and was rather well-developed. The cultivation outfit exaggerated her sexy curves — anyone would be dizzy just from looking at her. Mu Chen shifted his line of sight upwards and met an icy face. Her long, naturally curly hair gave her a rather charming air, but the effect was lost in her ice-cold expression.
In terms of demeanor, she was probably less than Su Xuan. But with her fiery figure gave her the capital to compete against Su Xuan.
Upon seeing them, Mu Chen understood what was going on. They must be the remaining two companions for this mission. Guo Xiong and Li Qing.
When Su Xuan saw that Mu Chen had arrived, she lightly smiled, motioned towards the other two companions, and introduced them. Indeed, they were exactly the ones Mu Chen had predicted.
Finally, Su Xuan motioned towards Mu Chen and introduced him to the other two. “This is our last companion, Mu Chen. Even though he’s just a freshman, he can’t be underestimated.”
When Guo Xiong heard that name, he immediately looked back at Mu Chen. A strange look also flashed across Li Qing’s icy face as she looked to him.
“Haha, you must be that Mu Chen that took three moves from Li Xuantong! I never expected someone who looks so weak and feeble would be able to attain such a manly achievement.” Guo Xiong laughed. His voice was loud like thunder as it resounded near Mu Chen’s ears.
Mu Chen helplessly smiled.
“Since Su Xuan invited you, you must have some strength. We’re all in this together. I hope we can attain mutual trust and help each other.” Guo Xiong said with a straightforward laugh.
“Then, I’ll have to trouble Senior Brother Guo Xiong to take care of me.” Mu Chen laughed. He’d developed a good impression of this loud and robust man. He could sense that this Guo Xiong before him definitely wasn’t weak. He’s much stronger than the usual Heavenly Fusion Stage Late Phase expert. Based on the ripples that Guo Xiong were giving off, he probably already had one foot on the path to the Heavenly Transform Stage. You could probably count them as Heavenly Transform Stages, anyways. The only thing hy lacked was the opportunity to fully boost him there. Within the Northern Heavens Spiritual Academy, that was quite decent.
From the looks of it, Mu Chen was the weakest link on this mission. A Heavenly Fusion Stage Initial Phase wasn’t terribly outstanding. Even Su Ling’er had already stepped into the Heavenly Fusion Stage Late Phase. However, Guo Xiong and the rest didn’t underestimate him because of that. Even though they hadn’t personally witnessed Mu Chen’s pact of three moves with Li Xuantong, they’d heard about it through the rumors. That was already enough to surprise them.
Who is Li Xuantong? He’s the Rank 2 of the Heavenly Ranking! Even though Guo Xiong and Li Qing only ranked in the twenties, they were well aware of the gap between themselves and Li Xuantong. If they’d been in Mu Chen’s position, they might not have even been able to withstand those three moves.
“It’s about time. Let’s get ready to move out.”
Su Xuan lightly smiled, “I’ll fill you in on the mission details along the way.”
Mu Chen, Guo Xiong and Li Qing nodded. No objections.
In response, Su Xuan fell silent. Her figure moved and took the lead as she flew towards the exit of Northern Heavens Spiritual Academy. Mu Chen and the rest followed.
Since coming to the Northern Heavens Spiritual Academy, Mu Chen had never left the grounds. Therefore, he was unfamiliar with everything that was going on, and could only follow the lead of Su Xuan and the rest. As they flew, he gained a sense of just how vast the Northern Heavens Spiritual Academy was, for the first time. They only saw the boundary of the Northern Heavens Spiritual Academy after flying for several hours. As they approached, Mu Chen looked up at the sky and noticed the peculiar ripples of Spiritual Aura. Upon a closer look, he could sense the clouds rushing about through those strange ripples. These ripples were from Spiritual Arrays.
These Spiritual Array ripples were as broad as the ocean, cryptic, and extremely complicated. Mu Chen’s face changed with just a glance. He could feel his Spiritual Energy turning chaotic; he immediately suppressed it.
“This is where the Northern Heavens Spiritual Academy intersects with the outerworld. With this Spiritual Array protecting the academy, it’ll be easy to leave the grounds, but not the other way. In order to enter, you’ll have to obtain the “Institution Guide” to enter the Northern Heavens City. Otherwise, you’d be slaughtered by the Academy Guarding Spiritual Array.” Su Xuan explained to Mu Chen, when she saw him looking up at the sky.
“The Northern Heavens City?” Mu Chen immediately asked in doubt after nodding to her explanation.
“It’s an enormous city that stands outside of our Northern Heavens Spiritual Academy. It’s well-known throughout the Northern Heavens Continent. It’s also considered the academy’s number one defence.”
“We’re heading to the White Dragon Hillock, which is located at the center of the Northern Heavens Continent. It’s about a three-day journey from here. We should hurry straight there.”
Su Xuan looked at Mu Chen and said, “Mu Chen, this is your first time outside of the academy grounds. I should fill you in with some information about the Northern Heavens Continent.”
Mu Chen nodded, with eyes filled with interest.
“The Northern Heavens Continent is extremely vast. Our Northern Heavens Spiritual Academy sits at the heart of the continent and is also the largest force on this continent.”
Su Xuan’s voice was as gentle as running water, pouring across the heart. “But, don’t assume that’s going to make our trip any smoother.”
“The Northern Heavens Continent conceals many talents. There are as many forces as there are stars in the sky — dragons and snakes mingled together, if you will. No one knows how many powerful figures are hidden around. Furthermore, the Northern Heavens Spiritual Academy has its own rules; any students who’ve ventured outside its borders are to rely on themselves. Unless you die, the academy won’t interfere.”
“Of course, the academy isn’t going to ignore matters of life and death regarding its students. The moment one of its students dies, the academy is sure to investigate. When they find the murderer, they’ll issue an order of arrest in the form of a mission. They’ll chase the killer to the ends of the earth, leaving them nowhere to hide.”
“Even so, every year, there are a few students who lose their lives to other sorts of mishaps while journeying out in the Northern Heavens Continent. The Northern Heavens Spiritual Academy can only avenge a few among them; there are also others who’ve died in vain.”
As she spoke of that, Su Xuan’s gentle face turned stern. “Therefore, when journeying out in the Northern Heavens Continent, we must be extra careful. If the Northern Heavens Spiritual Academy is the ivory tower, then this is the genuine slaughter house. A slight carelessness could mean loss of life.”
Mu Chen lightly nodded. Now that he’d left the grounds of the Northern Heavens Spiritual Academy, he was no longer bound by their rules. On the flip side, it meant that the academy wasn’t going to protect him, either. Survival and success on this Northern Heavens Continent would depend on his own capabilities.
There were many talented individuals hiding in the Northern Heavens Continent. Even though the academy was considered the strongest force, it had yet to claim the entire continent for itself. After all, their first priority was to nurture its students. From a certain angle, you could say that the academy needed the ruthless training grounds of the wild Northern Heavens Continent. They knew that students would never become genuine experts if confined to cultivating inside the academy.
Only by undergoing endless trials of blood and fire could you temper a tenacious character. Moving forward bravely on the path of cultivation and never falling back.
And the other forces probably knew that. That’s why they didn’t fear the Northern Heavens Spiritual Academy, even though they knew of its size and strength. That’s why so many students had left their bones buried in the wilderness of the continent.
Mu Chen gradually restrained the ripples in his heart. The smile and gentleness on his face also slowly and unconsciously vanished. As his smile disappeared, his expression turned much deeper.
It felt as if the clouds around were towering, lofty peaks that had just cleared a little.
The Blood Calamity of the Spiritual Road had let go of his restraint. Now, on the Northern Heavens Continent, he’d be able to exert his full strength with nothing to fear.
Although these changes were very tiny, Su Xuan, Guo Xiong, and Li Qing all noticed it. A strange look immediately flash through their eyes. Right now, Mu Chen gave off an air of someone who was well-experienced and had lots of training behind him, not someone who’d just left the grounds of the Northern Heavens Spiritual Academy. No. Even those who were experienced didn’t have such sword-sharp eyes.
“This Mu Chen isn’t a simple guy.”
This sentence flashed through all their hearts. Su Xuan lightly smiled and waved her jade hands.
“Let’s head for the White Dragon Hillock.”