A week later.
Within the Bright Flame Kingdom, Approaching Winter:
There a was an unusual rumor going around, a ridiculous tale that seemed to have spread to even the most remote of kingdoms. In response to this rumor, the various kinds of countries and emperors decided to quell this news through means of distractions such as advertising popular social activities and other forms of diversions.
Eventually, there remained only a few that held on to their stubborn views as the majority began to forget this strange and odd rumor. Within a crowded tavern, a few individuals sat around a relatively large table, each of them carrying a unique kind of bearing as they discussed amongst themselves.
In a quiet and remote corner, three individuals were sitting, having talks of their own.
“Hiss, it’s so cold here… to think that even by revolving my essence energy I’m not able to fully keep it from bothering me,” A brawny youth said while shivering.
“Well, we are nearby that rumored, ‘Mount Tydol’ after all. You just have to suck it up and stop acting like such a p**sy.” A pretty looking female said as she jeered at the youth in a manner unbecoming of practitioner decorum.
“Chet! No wonder they say you’re ‘cold-blooded.’ Keep this kind of attitude, and you won’t be getting any men in the future!” The youth sharply retorted.
“YOU—!” It seems that the little beauty’s nerve was about to slip, but, before she could counterattack, there was a loud commotion.
BANG! A table was broken to pieces as a skinny man was blasted hard on the ground. The man who assaulted the skinny fellow was a large guy with piercings in each ear, carrying a large beard and a bald head. Seated beside him were four other individuals who looked towards the fallen man with mock and ridicule on their faces.
Suddenly, all of the conversations stopped, and the crowd within the tavern became silent as each observed this scene with keen interest. The big man seeing the scenario decided to demonstrate his prestige. He got up and pointed at the skinny man on the floor.
“Mother Fu**er! How dare you continue to spout that kind of bullshit in front of this ‘Daddy’s’ face?” He roared to gather all attention to himself.
“Cough! Cough! I… I’m really telling the truth. I really did see a large demon appear for a brief moment, only to get cut apart by some weapon. It wasn’t only me either, there were many other individuals close to the scene after all.” After spitting a mouthful of blood, the skinny man tried to make his statement known.
Hearing his words, the surrounding listeners started to lose interest as they mocked him, before continuing their own business.
“Hahaha! It looks like we’ve got another one over here. Do these people believe this nonsense?” A guy said while a holding his belly.
“It looks like they are here to create a scene, could this be an act to gather attention to their views? I must say that baldly is quite the talent.” Another mocked.
The youths seated at the corner table looked on with interest as they started to converse once more.
“Do you believe that strange story?” The brawny youth said to the pretty girl while showing a puzzled look.
“Hmph! I think it’s a bunch of bogus crap that was spread by the officials of this small affiliate kingdom. It’s no wonder they are doing this, after all, how could they even manage to garner any of our clan’s interests?” The beauty spouted harshly as she snorted in disdain towards the kingdom.
Another youth sat silently amongst the two with his eyes closed and in silent meditation, as if the current happenings were not worth his attention. But suddenly, he opened his sharp eyes and looked towards the entrance of the tavern. It was as if his vision could pierce through the walls seeing what was outside.
The guy and girl seeing this youth’s reaction instantly became solemn.
“Brother Zang, is something wrong?” The pretty looking girl asked with confusion shown on her face.
“…” The youth continued to look at the door in silence.
The bald ruffian hearing this was instantly angered further, he looked at the man with raw killing intent.
“Good! Good!! Good!!! Son of a b-tch! You made these people group us up together! Because of your bullshit, prepare to die!!” Just as the man was about to unleash the wrath of heaven, another interrupter appeared or rather two interrupters.
Due to the silence within the tavern, two loud footsteps were heard originating from its entrance as two youths appeared.
They were both wearing tattered clothing and in bad shape, as the slightly older and stronger looking young man was filled with leg scars that were visible through his torn-up pants. He was also wearing a dirty sleeveless shirt, while the younger looking youth that had long red hair was wearing a ripped-up undershirt with torn up pants.
The bald man, seeing these two individuals, was suddenly surprised but quickly recovered, and a vicious expression overtook his face.
“Who the hell do you think you are to interrupt this daddy’s business? You bunch of filthy looking beggars’ better get out my sight immediately!” He shouted as he raised his hand threateningly towards the two haggard youths.
Looking at the silly man who shouted in rage because of their sudden appearance, both Feng Yu and Hui Ying were surprised.
After a short period of time, they no longer paid any attention towards the man as they continued to walk past the scene towards a table in the same corner as the trio observing them.
The bald man, seeing them ignore him, was so upset his face started to change color. He changed his target of aggression directly towards these infringers.
“You dirty beggars dare to ignore me! Die!” He lunged forward with all his might to break them to pieces with his palms moving like a blur as his essence power skyrocketed, reaching the early stages of 9 Tier Body Training realm.
Feeling the energy rushing towards them, Feng Yu frowned. His face instantly became several degrees colder as he raised his hand towards the approaching bald guy’s forehead with his thumb and middle finger curled together.
“GET! -LOST!!” As if the voice came from the asura himself, a dense wave of killing intent rushed towards the bald cultivator which made him falter in his movements coming to a pause before both Feng Yu and Hui Ying.
With a flick of his finger, Feng Yu sent the man soaring through the air as he was knocked back through the entrance colliding, a couple of meters away, with a distant boulder.
“Hissing……” As if well-coordinated, the observers took a deep breath as they witnessed the scene.
Following this, Hui Ying sent glances towards those lackeys seated at the large table. Upon seeing his look, the lackeys quickly scurried about soon leaving the tavern and the messy desk.
Hui Ying mocked “Hmph! A bunch of trash seeking nothing but trouble.”
Feng Yu smiled warily as he pointed towards the table beside the strange trio, “Haha! Brother Ying! How about that table in the corner?”
Hui Ying nodded as he cleared the negative vibe slapping Feng Yu’s back in a rogue-like manner, “Let’s go! Let’s go! We brothers must first celebrate our escape through drinking.”
Seeing the two of them walk over, the youth and female looked on with interest. A look of curiosity appeared deep within the eyes of the silent young man as he suddenly sent out a sharp will power attack towards Feng Yu.
Suddenly, Feng Yu felt a strong feeling of danger as he focused his attention towards the silent youth.
Crackle! An indiscernible field of thunder appeared as two opposing forces seemed to have struggled for a bit then canceled out.
Soon, the silent youth seated at the table with the two practitioners and let out a content smile as if he was a child that found a new toy.
“Interesting, it seems that we didn’t come to this small kingdom in vain after all. We may be in for one or more surprises in this so-called selection,” He said.
The brawny youth, hearing this jeered, “Ha! Brother Zang, what are you saying? These aboriginals aren’t worthy of us coming here. This so-called training journey to this backwater kingdom has been nothing more than a boring trip so far.” The petty girl seated in the corner said with an annoyed expression, “If my father didn’t force me to come with you guys, I would have been training with my sisters at the Xia Pavilion right now. So far on this journey, we have had no decent challenges. No decent encounters at all. What does father expect us to find in this remote kingdom? Sigh, brother Zang, it’s best to not get your hopes up for this so-called talent selection. After all, even that brute that just got beaten was even less than average trash.”
The silent youth looked at them while smiling, “While your statement has some truth, it is also flawed. The one who defeated the trash isn’t any weaker than you both.” Following which, he no longer paid them any attention and wandered off back into deep meditation.
“Hmph! I don’t believe it,” both the guy and girl said unconvincingly.
As Feng Yu and Hui Ying took their seats, their minds were entirely preoccupied with other things compared to the youth’s conversations.
“Brother Yu, it looks like in this selection there will be tigers and dragons of a scale never shown before,” said Hui Ying as a pale expression appeared on his face as he glanced at the youth in the corner.
“Indeed, if all the people coming to this selection are as capable as him, I’m afraid we will be in for a desperate struggle,” Feng Yu said as he calmly observed the opposite table’s youth a few meters from them.
However, after a short while, they cleared their thoughts and focused back on their objectives.
Hui Ying looked at Feng Yu with great interest as he said, “Still brother Yu, I can’t believe we made it out of that damn death zone alive and in one piece. Who would have thought that you’d have grown so strong after only a short time training since our last meeting?”
As Feng Yu thought about their experiences, he sighed, “Sigh, indeed it was a perilous situation….”
One week earlier.
A figure was lying on top of a field of dense white snow, his feet were severely injured, and he had lost all forms of strength making him unable to move any further. A little further away from him was another form that seemed to have already entered the state of death.
“Da-o-i-s-t… Fe-n-g….” Struggling to say a few words, the exhausted Hui Ying lost his consciousness.
“Sleep… Sleep! You have already done enough, and there is no point resisting, rest eternally, and you shall find true salvation…” a voice like that of Feng Yu’s softly echoed in a space with nothingness.
Following the sound of dripping water, a form became visible. It was floating in the space of pure emptiness and coldness that seemed to have seeped into its very being. Vaguely though, a figure was standing in front of the form with his back bent slightly and his hands placed behind him. It was an ordinary looking old man wearing Ancient Daoist Robes. He looked at Feng Yu with a gentle smile on his face.
“Disciple! How long are you going to rest? If you lose yourself in your willpower, then how could it ever be considered as your own will?” said the ordinary old man.
“It’s time to wake up,” he said once more.
“Wake up!… Wake up!… Wake up!” As if spoken by a soft and soothing voice, his word resounded throughout the realm deep within Feng Yu’s consciousness.
Soon, the form of Feng Yu began to shake restlessly as he quickly became conscious of himself and conscious of the broken will that was forcing him to sleep for eternity.
“My will is my own! Who dares force me to sleep?” With a firm will, he broke the illusion that was cast upon him by the residual coldness and stimulated his bloodline’s scared flames.
Blaze! “How can ice block my fire? I will extinguish it!” With a loud roar, his illusionary body instantly combusted as the entire bleak world of his consciousness became a sea of fire.
Soon, the scenario began to change as his aura pulse quickly reformed through flames followed by his sword seed and soul space.
Outside of his consciousness within the field of snow, his body began to rise slowly, soon reaching a height that was a few meters off the ground.
Burst! A sea of flames soon spread from his body covering an area of more than 20 square meters, burning away the snow and turning it into water vapor.
Oddly enough, the form of Hui Ying wasn’t burnt at all, but slowly, there were some improvements to his condition as even his badly scarred legs were beginning to look better.
Suddenly, Feng Yu opened his eyes. After which, his vision shifted towards Hui Ying’s form. His eyes showed a bit of confusion, but after a short flashback, it was soon filled with gratitude.
Moments later Hui Ying awoke only to see Feng Yu carrying him on his shoulder towards an exit of the mountain range.
After a bit of silence, Feng Yu spoke, “Fellow Daoist Ying, I Feng Yu have been through a lot of things in my past and never have I encountered such a twist of fate. If you do not mind from now on, I will address you as Brother Ying.”
Hearing his word, Hui Ying smiled while responding, “Haha! There is nothing ever wrong about acquiring new friends. Sure, why not? This one here will now address Daoist Feng as Brother Yu from now on… assuming that’s your real name, is that?”
Hearing his words, both individuals began to laugh as they traveled towards the distance within the bleakness of snow.
Within the Tavern.
Seated on the opposite side of the table, Hui Ying smiled as he slammed the table hard while shouting towards the waitress.
“Come! Two Large Jugs of liquor to me!!” He said in excitement.
After a few moments, the waitress came carrying two large Jugs of liquor with two large bowls.
Seeing the liquor in front of him, Feng Yu smiled as he reached for the bowl, but Hui Ying stopped him.
Looking at Feng Yu, Hui Ying smiled and gripped his large jug as he said: “Brother Feng, true brothers down their liquor in one go. We will drink from the Jugs!”
In response, Feng Yu reached for his jug while responding, “Good! As new brothers! We must down this liquor as real men should!”
“To New Friendship!” The two clashed their Jugs together as they pulled their heads back and downed the contents.