Wan Ling Mountain was a two-day journey away from the Imperial City, and the Tian Lu Academy teachers would bring the willing students there to train every year.
Some students went there to obtain fiends they were satisfied with, while others want to upgrade their skills through the rare real battles. One’s potential usually increased after battling with fiends, allowing them to unleash greater strength.
Sometimes, this would help cultivators break through their bottlenecks and advance to the next level. Hence, the majority of the academy’s students had signed up for it.
When the sky just started to brighten up, the students had already gathered together.
The older students looked normal, but the new students brimmed with unconcealable excitement.
“I wonder if I can find a fourth-grade fiend in this Fiend Tidal.”
“Haha, just based on yourself? Don’t overthink. Only the most talented and capable people can have such high-level fiends.”
“Hah, that might not be true! Maybe I’ll be lucky enough to meet with one. Besides, our group is pretty strong! If we work together, there’s a chance of us succeeding.”
“I’m not thinking so far ahead. I just want to battle against a few strong fiends.”
“Pfft, when you meet a high-level fiend, you will only be worried that you don’t have enough time to run away.”
The crowd discussed amongst themselves and teased each other, clearly showing their high hopes for the event.
Outside of the crowded bunch, a few people were exceptionally quiet.
“Why isn’t Liuyue here? It’s almost time to leave.” Mu Hongyu looked at the sky and was a little anxious. She had specifically reminded Chu Liuyue twice about today’s departure time and told her that she could not be late. However, everyone was already here, but her shadow had still yet to be seen.
“Is she delayed by something?” asked a skinny and tall young man beside Mu Hongyu. He had white skin and looked very gentlemanly. He spoke slower than an average person and sounded especially gentle. This person was Liao Zhongshu.
Mu Hongyu shook her head. “What can be more important than Fiend Tidal? Logically speaking, she shouldn’t forget about it…”
Chu Liuyue didn’t seem like someone unreliable.
“Do you know where she lives? Why don’t we go and find her,” comforted Liao Zhongshu.
Mu Hongyu covered her face. “Did you forget that she’s a Xuan Master? She lives in a different place from us.” She had gotten much closer to Chu Liuyue these few days, but she did not ask Chu Liuyue where exactly she stayed.
Liao Zhongshu was silent for a while. He really forgot about that…
“What’s there to be conflicted about? If she really doesn’t come, the four of us can just group together. We can still go, even if we are short of a person,” said a muscular and dark-skinned man beside Liao Zhongshu.
“Cen Hu, are you a tiger?” Mu Hongyu rolled her eyes at him. “Everyone else has five people in their group, and we only have four. That’s too disadvantageous for us! Don’t forget that we battle in our small teams when we reach Wan Ling Mountain.”
Cen Hu shuddered from her scolding and scratched his head. He muttered, “Let’s find someone else then…”
Mu Hongyu glared at him. “Everyone has already gathered in groups of five by this time. Where can we find another person?”
Cen Hu finally kept quiet.
“All teams, come forward and collect your items.”
The few of them turned around to take a look.
“We’re really leaving after we collect the items,” said Liao Zhongshu with his brows knitted.
Mu Hongyu bit her lips. “I’ll ask Teacher Bai Chen!”
On the other side, Bai Chen was currently counting the number of Xuan Masters. After counting, he found something amiss. “… Where’s Chu Liuyue? Why isn’t she here?”
The crowd looked at each other, but nobody said a word.
“Teacher Bai Chen! Do you know where Liuyue stays? She hasn’t come yet, so I want to look for her,” said Mu Hongyu in a straightforward manner as she rushed to Bai Chen.
Bai Chen was shocked. “Is she really not here yet?” Upon seeing Mu Hongyu’s anxious look, he thought for a while and immediately turned to Si Ting. “Si Ting, you know where she stays, right? Take Mu Hongyu with you and have a look.”
Si Ting nodded. “Yes.”
Before the two of them moved, Gu Mingzhu—who had been watching from the side—could not help but mock, “Teacher Bai Chen, time is almost up. If they go and find her now, what if they don’t make it back in time? It’s Chu Liuyue’s fault for not taking note of the time and missing the event. You can’t implicate the others just because of her.”
Mu Hongyu glared at her in frustration. “Gu Mingzhu, is this related to you? We’re in different teams. Even if it causes a delay, you won’t be delayed. What are you anxious about?”
Gu Mingzhu’s face flushed red from the scolding. “Am I not speaking the truth? Chu Liuyue is on the same team as you. If you want, you can go look for her yourself. Don’t drag anyone else into your troubles.” Gu Mingzhu sneered as she frowned. “I think there’s an 80% chance she purposely didn’t come because she’s probably scared.”
“You…” Mu Hongyu suppressed the anger in her heart. “I have no time to talk nonsense with you. I’ll teach you a lesson when I come back. Si Ting, lead the way.”
The two of them then turned around to leave.
“Don’t need to look for me. I’m here.”
A familiar voice sounded, and Mu Hongyu looked up in surprise. As expected, she saw Chu Liuyue’s figure.
“Liuyue! You’re finally here!” Mu Hongyu quickly walked to Chu Liuyue and could not help but pat her elbow. “Why are you so late? I thought you were going to stand us up!”
Chu Liuyue clasped her fingers together and teasingly said, “Sorry, something happened. Am I on time?”
“Of course, you are!” Mu Hongyu purposely raised her voice as she glanced at Gu Mingzhu. “Some people would love it if you didn’t come. If you didn’t, they’d step all over you.”
Gu Mingzhu wanted to argue, but she forced herself to calm down when she saw Si Ting standing at the side. She then turned around, upset.
“Little Liuyue, you almost didn’t make it!” Bai Chen shook his head but was reluctant to scold her. Thus, he could only wave at her. “Hurry up and go back! It’s your turn soon!”
“Thank you, Teacher Bai Chen.”
Chu Liuyue then went back with Mu Hongyu and met with the rest.
Mu Hongyu poked her and softly asked, “Hey, what happened today? Why are you so late?”
Chu Liuyue coughed. “Something minor happened, but I dealt with it already.”
Mm, it was just Prince Li and Xue Xue bugging me the entire time.
 ‘tiger’ is pronounced as ‘hu’ in Chinese, so she was playing a pun on his name