Chapter 301 – Dark Society
In the next day, due to the addition of the Wang brothers mixed into their small group, their collection had increased by a minute portion. Although they could be considered as collaborating, it was natural that the Wang brothered did not have the notion of immediately treating Mu Chen as their boss. It was only a collaboration due to mutual benefit.
Mu Chen was extremely clear about this, and that was why he did not have the extravagant thought about making the trio listen to and obey his orders. As long as they could contribute during their times of need, this collaboration could continue to persist.
Similarly, the trio was also very clear about this collaboration. Therefore, they had provided some information of gathering points along the way, while providing a helping hand in encircling and destroying them, and gained some Spiritual Lights in the process. Overall, it could be considered that everyone got what they wanted to everyone's delight and satisfaction.
Naturally, it was obvious that the trio did not report all of the information that they possessed. Occasionally, they would leave to group and head out on their own for periods of time. When they returned, they would be in a sorrowful state, but excitement would always be present in their eyes. Obviously, they had left to devour some points by themselves.
With regards to their actions, Mu Chen could only twitch his mouth, as there was nothing he could say. Their collaboration was only for the gathering point that was graded as Extremely Dangerous. Before that happened, as long as they did not hinder him, nothing could be said about their independent actions.
After all, he could not force the trio to be magnanimous and provide all the information they had obtained. If that was the case, the trio might even consider leaving the Spiritual Light World than fulfilling his wish.
Under this form of collaboration where everyone did not interfere with each other and got what they wished for, two somewhat peaceful and harmonious days passed by. The trio gradually put their grudge about being defeated by Mu Chen down. When they were together, it was even possible to have conversations going, although their relationship wasn’t that intimate. However, this was naturally much better than before.
Two days had passed.
Mu Chen and the rest continued on the path towards the extremely dangerous region marked on the map. After two days, the Spiritual Light World became all the more lively. Along the way, Mu Chen and the rest would frequently meet with various large crowds of students who had formed groups to search for gathering points.
At this moment, the hunt could be said to have truly entered its exciting phase.
As everyone gradually travelled to the depths of the Spiritual Light World, various kinds of conflicts were starting to erupt. Various dark horses that had hibernated for a very long time had also started to display their astonishing strength in succession. Within this Spiritual Light World, they had suddenly magnified their previously obscure reputation to everyone.
Within the Spiritual Light World, the standard strength of the entire Northern Heavens Spiritual Academy had rapidly risen higher. Before entering, one with the strength of a Heavenly Transformation Stage Initial Phase was able to enter the top 20 in the Heavenly Rankings. However, even if one had the strength of Heavenly Transformation Stage, it was hard to say if one might even be able to enter the top 20 at this very moment.
Even Mu Chen felt some what speechless at this development. This hunt was undoubtedly the most lively activity of the year within the Northern Heavens Spiritual Academy. Just solely on the number of dark horses that surfaced, it was more than enough to churn up huge waves within the academy.
Furthermore, it was obvious that this was just the beginning. As time continued to pass by, there would be more and more hibernating dark horses revealing themselves. As for those previously influential figures, there would be quite a few amongst them who would feel uneasy due to the surge created by those dark horses. This would depend on whether their arrogance and hot temperedness would still be present after becoming influential figures.
At a gathering point that was not considered excessively large. Mu Chen stood on the peak of a mountain. In the valley below, there was a large amount of Spiritual Lights rippling and fluctuating. However, there wasn't much vigorous spiritual fluctuations radiating from them. This place was weaker than the gathering point they had first come across.
"Those three bastards."
Helplessly twitching his mouth, Mu Chen cursed out.
This gathering point was provided by the trio. However, it was indeed hard for this gathering point grade to enter Mu Chen's eye. Therefore, he was simply too lazy to take action, and had allowed An Ran and the girls to hunt them.
Standing behind Mu Chen, Luo Li gave a faint smile and consoled him. "Although there's little meat here, all in all, it’s still considered as some Spiritual Lights. At least it provides a better result than us recklessly searching."
"How much information did the trio obtain before entering the Spiritual Light World? They didn't even give me some tidbits for our collaboration, and instead provided these small gathering points to con me." replied Mu Chen as he clenched his teeth. Those three bastards would head out every time to eat their fill by themselves. Upon coming back, they would still incessantly yell and shout, as if he was forcing them to hand over their Spiritual Lights.
Although Mu Chen knew that the trio did not have any obligation to hand over all their information to him, he would feel slightly unhappy and unfair every time he saw those three fellows glowing with radiance and satisfaction when they returned.
However, regardless of whether it was fair or not, Mu Chen did not hate the trio in his heart. Although they had some grudges between them, following the interaction with them over these past two days, it had completely dissipated. After all, if they had not provided any information over the past two days, Mu Chen and the rest would not be able to obtain these gains.
Whizzing sounds rang across the valley, before a few figures shot across. An Ran and the girls descended on the mountain peak with happiness brimming on their beautiful faces. Mu Chen had a high criteria and did not hold any interest in this gathering point grade. However, for them, it was already very satisfying.
The Wang brothers had closely followed behind them. While following behind them, the trio had appeared extremely polite. Facing their solicitous behaviour, the girls replied with faint smiles. Although their relationship had gotten slightly better over the past two days, it was clear that they were still closer to Mu Chen.
"A total of 600 Spiritual Lights." reported An Ran after sending a smile towards Mu Chen.
"You all should store them first." replied Mu Chen while nodding his head. Spiritual Pawn grade Spiritual Lights didn’t enter his eyes anymore. Furthermore, An Ran and the girls had spent quite the effort to collect all of them. Being a gentleman, he did not have the nerve to use such a shortcut to gain benefits.
"Brother Mu sure is magnanimous." said Wang Tong instantly upon seeing Mu Chen's reply.
Mu Chen shot a glance at him and said, "I'll trouble you to find us a gathering point that gives more Spiritual Lights. Then, you'll be more magnanimous than me."
Upon hearing that, Wang Tong gave a sheepish laugh while feeling slightly embarrassed. In the past two days, they had been hoarding slightly too much food.
"Is there any fresh news?" Not caring much about it, Mu Chen turned around and asked him.
Wang Tong promptly nodded his head and smiled while replying, "We've previously met with a group and heard a few stories. They had said that there are many dark horses that are starting to erupt. A few of the influential figures in top ten of the Heavenly Rankings had started to fall from their ranks."
Mu Chen faintly narrowed his eyes. The influential figures in the top ten had been overtaken by some dark horses in such a short frame of time? Who were the dark horses? Are they that dark?
"Yesterday, the 9th place, Jiang Tai, was challenged by someone. After an intense battle, this influential figure of the Northern Heavens Spiritual Academy had suffered a complete defeat." replied Wang Tong with some graveness in his gaze.
Mu Chen faintly nodded his head. Looks like these few dark horses have finally started to reveal their hidden strength.
"In addition, half a day ago, the 7th place, Gu Yuan, was challenged by someone. After an intense ten bouts, he suffered a crushing defeat." added Wang Tong with a more serious tone.
"Ten bouts…" muttered Mu Chen as his mouth twitched. He was faintly moved. These few dark horses were too formidable. He was unsure if a person at the extreme front like Su Xuan would meet the challenges sent by the dark horses. However Mu Chen wasn't especially worried about her. While entering the Spiritual Light World, he had sense that Su Xuan's strength had a dramatic increase. Furthermore she doesn't incite a strong combative response, thinking about this, there should not be that many people specifically finding trouble with her.
As for Su Xuan, Mu Chen still had a favorable impression about her, thus he had naturally not wished for her to meet any trouble.
"The person that had challenged Jiang Tai is called Mu Fengyang. He's also a senior of the Northern Heavens Spirit Academy, but isn't consider famous. During the year when he had entered the academy, he was once beaten and humiliated by a student, and was beaten soundly after he tried to resist. From then on, there was no other news about him. After such a long time, he had spent all of his time on bitter training. It can be considered that he had finally erupted today." continued Wang Tong.
"The person that challenged Gu Yuan is called Zhao Qingshan. In actual fact, he can't be considered as an obscure and unknown person. He had always been holding onto the 51st place in the Heavenly Rankings. He had never stepped across that boundary; however, it is obvious that his strength is frightening. One would wonder exactly what step he had finally reached in this hunt."
With a tremor in his voice, Wang Tong said, "In addition, they are all members of the 'Dark Society'."
"Dark Society?" asked Mu Chen while gawking. Wrinkling his brows, it was obvious that he had never heard of this kind of influence within the Northern Heavens Spiritual Academy.
"Their full name is the Society of the Dark Horses. If we're going to truly talk about them, they might be the longest surviving student influences that exists within the Northern Heavens Spiritual Academy. It is because they had always existed, and had never disappeared before."
Wang Tong faintly curled his mouth and continued, "There will always be freshmen that would enter the Northern Heavens Spiritual Academy. At the same time, there would be quite a few existing talents. Due to various reasons, they would enter the Dark Society. As this cycle continues, the Dark Society would never disappear. Every year, during the hunt, an absolutely large majority of the dark horses that appear would be from the 'Dark Society'."
Mu Chen was slightly shock. He never thought that the so-called "Dark Society" would actually be able to possess such tyrannical hidden strength. If one wanted to truly judge it, perhaps only Shen Cangshen's "Judgment Brotherhood" or Li Xuantong's "Xuan Clan" would be able to compare with it.
"You three should also be considered as dark horses. Is it possible that you three are members of the "Dark Society"?" asked Mu Chen as he looked towards the trio.
Hearing his question, Wang Tong shook his head and replied, "They had once extended their invitation to us brothers; however, we rejected them. Although we had, indeed, suffered a defeat by Li Xuan Tong's hands, we did not have any grudges against him. We only wanted to put our best effort into training. Of course, being able to defeat him would, naturally, be the best. However, if we can't accomplish that, there's no need to warp and twist ourselves."
Hearing his reply, Mu Chen felt slightly shocked and had a feeling of a whole new level of respect for them. He never imagined that the trio would have such a level of comprehension. However, what he said was also correct. That Dark Society seemed to always gather students that were humiliated and had talent to join their ranks. Although this might be a motivational factor to training, it would, indeed, be easy to warp and twist someone.
"The goal of the challenges sent out by the Dark Society are to defeat all the influential figures in the Northern Heavens Spiritual Academy. Therefore, you have to be slightly careful. Although you're a freshman, your fame and reputation in the Northern Heavens Spiritual Academy has been increasing extremely rapidly, thus you've no choice but to guard against them." continued Wang Tong.
Hearing that, Mu Chen gave a faint smile. He did not wish to incite trouble. However, if those so-called 'dark horses' assumed that they could establish themselves by stepping on his head, Mu Chen did not mind letting them know that there was one that was darker than them!
Chapter 302 – Campgrounds
Mu Chen stood on the mountain peak and looked at the valley below, where the Spiritual Lights had thinned out. After being harvested by An Ran and the girls, there wasn't any need to continue staying at that place. Waving his hands, he said towards the trio, "Let's go. How far are we from the gathering point on the map?"
"According to our speed, we'll reach it by tomorrow."
Thinking awhile, Wang Tong continued speaking, "However, as I've said earlier, it’s not only us who knows about this. Everyone who got their hands on such information would try their best to keep this a secret. So, we would definitely not be only ones that are eyeing that newly born Spirit King."
Mu Chen faintly nodded his head in approval. A big cake like this would definitely be targeted by many people; however, he did not wish for them to have such ambitions.
"According to our route, we should be able to reach a hunting campgrounds by the afternoon. There should be quite a few students stopping at that place, and there would be an abundant flow of information. We could try asking around for some information about exactly what formidable groups are present in that area. If their routes are similar to ours, we should be able to guess who our next opponents will be." The trio's familiarity with the Spiritual Light World was obviously much higher than Mu Chen's. These few arrangements were extremely appropriate.
Therefore, Mu Chen did not oppose them and nodded his head. If they were able to get their hands on all of this information, they would, indeed, be quite helpful to them.
Mu Chen did not continue procrastinating. Taking the initiative, he shot forward. Transforming into a ray of light, he swept towards the northwest direction. At his back, Luo Li, Wang Tong and the rest proceeded to closely follow him.
During the following journey, the group did not stop again, as all of them travelled at full speed. Once it was sunset, they finally saw a few gigantic camping groups on the vast, flat plains.
The area of the campgrounds wasn't small; however, they looked somewhat simple from afar, and the atmosphere within was rather fiery and lively. From a distance, there would constantly be whizzing noises ringing out, as figure after figure would sweep across before finally landing within the campgrounds.
This place could already be considered as the start of the Northern Spirit World depths. After two days into the hunt, there were more and more students entering here. Therefore, these hunting campgrounds had no lack of people and a lively atmosphere.
"There are a few hunting campgrounds within the depths of the Northern Spirit World. These places are, after all, more safe than the other places, as one wouldn't be met with wandering Spirit Pawns. When resting, one could completely feel relieved." said Wang Tong while sending a smile towards Mu Chen as they neared the gigantic campgrounds.
"In addition to allowing one to rest and organize, the hunting campgrounds still have other purposes. For example, if some of the groups did not have sufficient strength, or they wanted to recruit new members to increase their group, they could find them within the hunting campgrounds. Naturally, this is on the pretense that there is mutual agreement."
"Other than that, there are some deals and trades that could be completed here. For example, using Spiritual Value Points to change for Spiritual Lights."
"Using Spiritual Value Points to change for Spiritual Lights? Is that possible?" asked Mu Chen, somewhat astonished, after gawking.
"Ha ha, Spiritual Value Points are very important to us. This kind of exchange can be considered mutually beneficial. That’s why the Northern Heavens Spiritual Academy would not prohibit this." replied Wang Tong with a smile.
Mu Chen nodded his head; however, he did not have much interest in these kinds of trades. He had an abundance of Spiritual Lights in his hands and did not need to trade with people. At the same time, there was no need for him to sell of the Spiritual Lights he had. The more Spiritual Lights he had, the greater the results of the Spiritual Light Empowerment. Mu Chen was still counting on the benefits of the Spiritual Light Empowerment to help him break into the Heavenly Completion Stage. Thus, naturally, he would not sell any of the Spiritual Lights in his possession.
"Leave the matter of collecting information to us brothers. Brother Mu and the rest can just wait for our good news." Looking at the gigantic campgrounds filled with exuberant vitality, Wang Tong took charge and said to the rest.
"Thanks for the trouble." said Mu Chen with a smile. With the trio in the group, it had saved him quite a bit of trouble.
"Ha ha, this is nothing. Perhaps we might have to rely on brother Mu in the future." replied Wang Tong with a mischievous smile. The tone of his speech did not have the arrogance that he had during the last confrontation. Obviously, after crossing hands with Mu Chen, he had suppressed his arrogance and haughtiness.
Hearing his reply, Mu Chen smiled and shook his head. Although the three brothers were somewhat arrogant, and loved to sneakily hoard food, their characters were considered not bad. In the short span of two days, Mu Chen's thoughts about them had been changed by quite a bit.
The group moved closer to the gigantic campgrounds, before descending down. As they entered the grounds, sounds of clamoring and racketing that soared throughout the skies came to meet them, causing them to feel as if their ears were buzzing and ringing.
Mu Chen and the rest looked towards the bustling and lively crowd within the campgrounds and exclaimed in astonishment. Perhaps, there was already close to ten thousand students that had gathered on these campgrounds.
Entering the grounds as a group, they swept their surroundings with faint curiosity, before proceeding towards its depths. Along the way, they could see quite a few erected crystal signboards. There were even people who were putting energy into shouting out advertisements.
"We have currently 12 people in our squad and are looking for 8 members! Strength must be Heavenly Transformation Late Stage and above!"
"I'm ranked 98th on the Heavenly Ranking and I'm looking for a strong group to hunt the Spiritual Spawns!"
"Buying Spiritual Lights for 50 Spiritual Value Points per strand! Anyone interested should quickly contact me!"
As they walked along, Mu Chen looked at the myriad of advertisements all around him. Unable to bear it any longer, he started to smile. Only in a place like this would he be able to see such a marvelous scene.
It was a walk in the park for the Wang brothers. They would start a discussion with people from time to time, while secretly handing them some Spiritual Lights, and gathered various kinds of information.
The trio handled the matter nimbly, saving Mu Chen quite a bit of effort. Being free as a result, Mu Chen started to stroll leisurely across the campgrounds, feeling carefree and relaxed.
Luo Li followed beside him. Wearing a black dress, the soft clothing accentuated her slender and exquisitely beautiful body, emphasising her alluring curves. Her long hair, which was akin to silver, was hanging down from her head, look as bright and resplendent as the Milky Way. She had, undoubtedly, become a sight to see for all the eyes within the campgrounds, as quite a few people had astonishment within their eyes after seeing her. However, they had quickly recognised her; after all, Luo Li's ranking within the Heavenly Ranking was higher than Mu Chen's. Ranked fifteen, she could be considered as being rather ahead of the rest.
After recognising Luo Li, they had, naturally, recognised Mu Chen. There wasn't any student within the Northern Heavens Spiritual Academy that did not know about this pair of absolutely astonishing young lovers. Other than Mu Chen, there might not be a second male student who was able to safely and quietly walk beside Luo Li.
Sensing the fiery and blazing gazes coming from the surroundings, a grin appeared on Mu Chen's face. Extending his hands, he grabbed onto Luo Li's small and jade-like hand. He wanted to make all of them jealous, they should go and continue being bachelors.
Luo Li could feel the thoughts of Mu Chen. Unable to help it, she unhappily shot a look at Mu Chen. However, contrary to her thoughts, her coquettish and absolutely beautiful appearance made quite a few people's gazes turn blazing hot.
Mu Chen smiled mischievously, before drawing Luo Li in and quickly walked for quite a while. Raising his head to look ahead, there were quite a few people forming a crowd in front of them. A platform stood there, where a youth was raising an object high up in the air, while shouting towards the crowd.
"Everyone, the thing in my hands isn't any ordinary item. It's said that it's known as the 'Forging God Stone'. This stone can be called a miracle stone, as it possesses a miraculous power, which is that it could forge and temper a Spiritual Artifact. Regardless of what kind of Spiritual Artifact yours is, as long as you use it to temper by absorbing the stone's godly power, your Spiritual Artifact will definitely rise to the next level!"
The item lifted high by the youth was a pitch-black stone. On the surface, it looked bumpy and full of holes and was totally unassuming. Furthermore, it did not have any appearance of being mysterious and strange. Although there was quite a number of people crowding around him, a majority of them were staring at him with look as if he was stupid. He actually dared to use a broken stone that he had picked up from god-knows-where and treated it as a treasure. Did he think that everyone here was stupid?
"If I used a High Grade Spiritual Artifact and used the item in your hand to temper it, would it turn into an Absolute Grade Spiritual Artifact?" asked someone with a mocking tone, resulting in some people breaking out into laughter. By itself, a High Grade Spiritual Artifact was worth a million Spiritual Value Points within the Spiritual Value Hall. If it was a Peerless Rank Spiritual Artifact, its value would reach a terrifying amount of tens of millions. If the item in that fellow's hand was that miraculous, why would he be willing to sell it away?
On the stone platform, the youth gave a guilty smile and replied, "Of course there is a failure rate. If it fails, there's a possibility that the Spiritual Artifact will be slightly damaged."
Countless people in the crowd cursed a single word. A failure rate and slightly damaged? It's obvious that this fellow's words couldn't be trusted.
Even Mu Chen could not bear it and gave a laugh. With a single look he could tell that the so-called "Divine Forging Stone" did not have a trace of fluctuations emitting from it. More or less, this fellow was trying to trick people.
Shaking his head, he planned to draw Luo Li to leave. However, after a tug, he did not receive an appropriate response from her. Feeling slightly surprised, he turned his head and looked at her. What he saw was Luo Li's glass-like eyes staring closely at the black stone within the youth's hand.
"What's the matter?" asked Mu Chen in a low voice. He felt slightly surprised, as this was the first time he had seen Luo Li react like that to an item. "I need that stone. It can help me resolved a layer of the seal on the Luo Shen Sword." Moving closer to Mu Chen, Luo Li replied to him in a voice that only the two of them could hear.
"Luo Shen Sword?" muttered Mu Chen with slight shock. He proceeded to turn his gaze towards the black-coloured longsword that was always held by Luo Li, no matter where she went. Ever since the first time he had seen Luo Li, he had always saw her with that sword. Although there were a few times that Luo Li had truly drawn that mysterious sword, Mu Chen had never dared to doubt its might. This was due to the fact that there were some situations where even he would feel his life being threatened by the sensation he got from that mysterious sword.
"Yup, this is the most valuable Divine Artifact of our Luo Shen Clan." replied Luo Li softly. "Grandfather had given it to me; however, due to my strength, I'm unable to control it. Therefore, grandfather had set up three seals. In the past few years I've still been unable to open a single seal. If I could obtain that rock, perhaps I'll be able to achieve that goal."
"A Divine Artifact?!" muttered Mu Chen in total shock. These simple two words represented power that could shatter the heavens and crush the earth. Mu Chen believed that even a Sovereign level expert would turn completely greedy upon hearing those two words. Who would have thought that the longsword that was carried by Luo Li was actually a genuine Divine Artifact?
Giving a faint smile, Luo Li extended her hand and passed the black longsword covered in mysterious runes over to Mu Chen. This divine object that would cause a Sovereign level expert to turn completely greedy was passed over to Mu Chen by her without any vigilance. Obviously, Mu Chen's place within her heart was higher than this so-called 'Divine Artifact'.
With slight curiosity, Mu Chen received it. In the instant the longsword touched his hand, he felt a stabbing pain coming from his palm. Although the sword had yet to be drawn, the sword qi that radiated out from it was capable of making Mu Chen instantly feel as if his entire arm had turned cold and numb. Furthermore, he could faintly feel the meridians within his body starting to ache.
This sword was too overbearing.
Mu Chen did not hold on to it for too long and quickly returned it to Luo Li. In the next moment, he looked towards the stone platform with his eyes slightly narrowed. Since this stone had such an important use for Luo Li, no matter what, he had to get it into his hands!