Where Xu Ran was pointing at was very clearly an ocean of trees and nothing else in sight. Zheng Kai and Bai Yunfei looked all around for anything man-made or something hidden on the ground, but neither could find anything.
Xu Ran gave a faint smile at that. "Haha, there's no need to look like that. You can't see it right now."
"What?" Bai Yunfei asked. "Can't see it? What do you mean?"
"You'll find out in a moment…"
Mu Chen was standing up ahead while Xu Ran was talking to Bai Yunfei and Zheng Kai. A black jade slip was in his right hand as he waved it, emitting a dark glow of light to wash over the ten meters in front of him.
Then to Bai Yunfei's amazement, the air in front of Mu Chen began to tremble. Like a stone dropped into a pool of calm water, the air was rippling with the dark glow of light from the slip!
The waves of air disseminated for several meters before disappearing, allowing for Bai Yunfei and his group to be able to see a transparent wall from where there used to be nothing but air.
Mu Chen strode forward and placed the jade slip in his hand onto the wall. A pulse of soulforce flowed from his hand to the slip.
The air began to ripple again as a black 'whirlpool' about a meter wide and two meters tall opened up in front of him.
He turned his head back to Xu Ran and the others. "Let's go."
Then he stepped into the black whirlpool and beyond, disappearing from sight.
Han Yue followed shortly afterwards. "Brother Bai, brother Zheng, behind this is the gates to our Underworld School. Please follow me." Xu Ran nodded his head to the two before stepping into the whirlpool.
Bai Yunfei looked to Zheng Kai who in turn shared a surprised look back.
"This….has to be an illusionary barrier?" Zheng Kai guessed.
"Probably," Bai Yunfei nodded, "I didn't even sense it before, how strange. Let's go on in then. I'm interested in seeing what's going to be behind this…."
Following Xu Ran's example, Bai Yunfei stepped into the dark whirlpool.
Pressure from all over surrounded his person when he stepped into it as if he was dunked into a small body of water. The sensation disappeared as quickly as it arrived, and Bai Yunfei soon found himself fully across the threshold and feeling completely fine.
But that one step had changed the entire scenery in front of him!
A mountain peak five hundred meters tall was now right in front of Bai Yunfei!!
Strangely enough, all sorts of boulders and such stood on top of the mountain and yet even more stones paving the way up. A black-colored temple was erected near the top. It exuded a powerful aura in every direction and barely overshadowed the auras of the many people that were moving about in it.
It was with a smile that Xu Ran turned towards Bai Yunfei and Zheng Kai, "Brother Bai, brother Zheng, these are the gates to our Underworld School. You two must be tired after traveling for so long, please come with me to your lodgings."
Bai Yunfei followed behind him, his face still showing the signs of shock at the entire site. He turned behind them, the black whirlpool was nowhere to be seen. It had disappeared as soon as everyone had crossed. But if Bai Yunfei looked carefully, there was a very faint outline of the barrier there.
"Man….so there's a kind of barrier like this? It's hiding practically everything within a kilometer radius inside it. I've never seen a barrier as ridiculously strong as this before…." Zheng Kai clicked his tongue in praise.
Flying was generally prohibited in most schools, and the Underworld School was no exception.
Coming to the foot of the mountain, the group soon came into view of a few students standing guard there. As soon as the group dropped down, the students bowed at once to them. "Elder Mu, senior Xu, senior Han."
They looked curiously at Bai Yunfei and the others. Outsiders were very rare to the Underworld School, but none of the students had any business asking what these guests were doing here.
Since it was already late at night, Bai Yunfei and the others were brought to their rooms on the top of the mountain to rest. The little girl was brought away by Mu Chen so that they could have someone adept in healing take a look at her.
Their traveling over the past few days accumulated a decent amount of fatigue in the group. In addition to that, the pressure exerted onto them from Black Cloud Valley made their fatigue even worse. So Bai Yunfei and Zheng Kai went to their rooms after eating the meal brought to them by the school to rest for the night.
While Long Lan was perfectly fine—energetic even about this place—he was warned by Bai Yunfei to not walk randomly around the place, so he decided to take up post as the night watch. There shouldn't be any danger here in the Underworld School, but it didn't hurt to be extra careful in unfamiliar locations, and Long Lan was used to doing this for Bai Yunfei since his time in Soulbeast Forest anyways.
The night passed without incident, and it was in the early hours of sunrise that Bai Yunfei rose, only to realize it was still dark outside the window.
He walked out into his small courtyard to observe the skies. A small crack in the layer of clouds revealed just a small portion of sunlight, confirming that it was indeed daytime.
Black Cloud Valley hadn't many areas where the sky could be seen, but the entire Underworld School was seemingly accustomed to that. How the students were able to live every day like this was a strange thought to Bai Yunfei.
Xiao Qi flew around the skies for a moment to indulge in his curiosities while Bai Yunfei watched him from the courtyards. Soon, Zheng Kai and Long Lan came from their own rooms before breakfast was brought up.
It was after their meal was eaten that Zheng Kai looked up at the skies and then to Bai Yunfei. "What do you plan on doing next, Yunfei?"
"I don't really have anything in mind right now. The plan was originally to keep on touring, but I guess after we stay in the Underworld School for a few days, we should probably wrap it up and return to the Capital?"
"It's still pretty early to call it quits, why go back to the Capital?"
Bai Yunfei shrugged. "Where should we go then?"
A mirthful smile appeared on Zheng Kai's face. "Why don't we go back to the Crafting School? Didn't you want to go back? I'm pretty interested in seeing what it's like, plus we should go and see how little Rui is doing now…."
"Heh….just say it outright that you want to see Tingting." Bai Yunfei laughed. "What's next, are you going to try proposing marriage when you come to the Crafting School?"
"Paying my respects to the elders of your school wouldn't be a bad thing. Getting to know people and all that….don't tell me you're not thinking about your Xinyun?" Zheng Kai fired back.
"Don't drag me in with your reasoning," Bai Yunfei replied, "it's not like we can't go back. In any case, I've a few friends I miss back there. Alright, you win, we can go to the Crafting School after our business with the Underworld School is finished."
As the two chatted with one another, Xu Ran came walking into their courtyard and greeted them. "Were you able to sleep well?" He asked with a gentle smile.
"It was a good sleep. I'm just not used to this daylight, I nearly thought it was night still when I woke." Answered Zheng Kai.
"That's just how it is here," Xu Ran smiled, "it'll get a little brighter around afternoon. It'll only last two hours before it'll start getting dark again. Please forgive me if you're not used to it."
"Brother Xu," Bai Yunfei asked, "How is the little girl doing, can she be saved?"
The smile receded away from Xu Ran's face.
"I came here just for that. Please come with me, the headmaster and elders were talking about it and had me come escort you over."