Burning Phoenix: Chapter 52
Chapter 52: Towards the Magic Forest
“What did he want?” one of the elders asked Wang Ju Long as soon as Hui Yue had turned down the street and was walking out of sight.
“He came to say goodbye before leaving to train within the Magical Forest,” Wang Ju Long answered obediently. Her entire life had been decided by these elders, and although she held no hate towards these men, she felt no warm feelings of belonging either.
“What is that memory stone?” Another elder asked, greedily eyeing the memory stone which Wang Ju Long held within her hand. As soon as this stone was mentioned a feeling of stubbornness suddenly was born within the heart of Wang Ju Long.
“It is a present for me,” she said as her hand gripped it tightly. “It is notes from Hui Yue on how to cultivate more efficiently, but he told me not to share them with anyone else.”
Hearing this caused the elder with the greedy eyes to growl slightly, before he looked at the other elders to see what their opinions were. Wang Ju Long was a women forced to live as a man by her family, and everything she had was given to her by those elders.
Unfortunately, these elders did not look at Wang Ju Long as an individual, but as someone who in the future would bring fame to their family, or at least support her mediocre brother when he took over as a family leader.
Wang Jingshen was the oldest of the two, and he was the only real son which caused the elders to automatically place him as the family leader when it became necessary.
Wang Ju Long, on the other hand, was a genius but also a girl. She had been given two options when she started cultivating. One was to leave the family, and get secretly married to a noble clan for an alliance, the other was to live her life as a man supporting her brother in the future.
For a young child at the tender age of five years old it truly scared her to be sent away from her caring mother, and she had chosen life as a boy.
Truthfully this life was not bad. Wang Ju Long was treated well by everyone within the clan, especially after she managed to learn Qi Lightning, but no matter how well she was treated those elders would always stand behind her telling her that if she fell behind she would be married off to some other family as a gift to ensure an alliance could be formed.
These elders were the ones who now looked at the memory stone with greed shining within their eyes, while other elders were having astonished and happy expressions on their faces. Befriending the student of a martial art expert would definitely benefit them all in the future, and they were more filled with honoured feelings, curious to see which benefits they had reaped.
“You need to share these notes with the rest of the clan,” one of the elders finally said his greed obvious as he was still unable to break from the Duke rank into the King rank.
“Yes, such amazing notes are definitely meant to be shared,” another elder chimed in, his eyes too shone with greed as he thought of teaching it to his grandchildren.
“I am terribly sorry,” Wang Ju Long said apologetic, “Hui Yue told me that they were only for me.’ She paused slightly before making her eyes big and continuing, ‘I really don’t want to go against my word. If he gets mad I can’t fight his master.’
Saying this was obviously a way to protect herself, but it was an effective method as all the elders whom had just eyed the memory stone with greed retracted their gazes, albeit reluctantly.
No one present felt that they should go against something which was said by Hui Yue as he was the disciple of the Saint ranked expert. Should ‘Li Fen’ feel like attacking the Wang family as revenge for not listening to her disciple, then no one would be able to stop her.
As the elders withdrew a satisfied smile appeared on Wang Ju Long’s lips, and she rushed back to her own courtyard where she placed the memory stone on her forehead, after feeling a flash the information about a cultivation technique rushed into her mind within moments teaching her how to train.
At the outskirts of town, Hui Yue was walking towards the city gate where he was to meet with the others, ready to set out to the Magical Forest.
Although Hui Yue’s soul now had memories of more than thirty years, he still felt as excited as a child waiting for their Christmas presents; as he thought about his excursion into the wild, which would be a great way to stabilize his Qi after absorbing the Divine Flower and also a way to practice his martial art skills which mainly were used in training alone.
Walking through the busy streets, Hui Yue managed to slip past the people going about their day, and he rushed towards the gate and as the tall city walls came into view, Hui Yue increased his speed until he exited the gates, and there he saw all his friends gathered waiting for him.
The Rong twins were riding their qilins, while Deng Wu was riding on his dragon looking creature. Ma Kong and Gao Yan both rode on magical horses.
Had it been the previous day, then Hui Yue would have had no hope of getting close to the horses, yet today things were different. After Lan Feng had absorbed the spiritual energy from the Divine Flower, he now was able to perfectly hide his aura, and the only animals who seemed apprehensive were the qilins which he had travelled with the year before when he had entered the academy.
Hui Yue moved towards the magical horse which he was borrowing and he slowly mounted the magical beast.
Sitting on a horse was a strange feeling for Hui Yue, as he felt the warm back through the saddle, and an awkward feeling emerged as he could feel something moving him. Every movement made by the magical horse caused Hui Yue to jerk around, causing him to almost fall at first.
Fortunately, Hui Yue was a cultivator, and his balance was superb allowing him to stay in the saddle as the horse started moving down the road towards the magical forest.
A sigh of relief escaped Hui Yue as he noticed the horse which he was riding was following the others so that he did not need to stir it. He had no idea how to use the reins, and he just held them within his hands an expression of confusion evident on his face.
Laughter arrived from behind Hui Yue as Gao Yan and Ma Kong appeared on either side of him laughing at the way he was swaying from one side to another. His legs were trembling as they tried to hold on to the horse between his legs, and in his hands the reins were hanging loose, allowing for the horse to move as it pleased.
At first, Hui Yue felt as though he would fall down with each movement the horse made as they galloped down the road, but ever so slowly did his body get used to the movements, and he no longer looked like a bag of potatoes that had been tied to the horse, instead his back was straight and his eyes gained a lustre which could be determined as pride in finally being capable of riding a horse.
As Hui Yue and the others were riding on magical beasts, the surroundings rushed by rapidly, yet the group still had multiple villages to travel through on their way.
Last year when Hui Yue had travelled through these villages, he had thought them to be fairly rich, yet now he knew that although these villages were not as poor as his home, they could not hold a candle to the impressive families within Riluo City.
As they travelled through these villages, Hui Yue noticed how great respect was shown to Rong Ming and his entourage, and no trouble was seen on the way. As the group travelled through villages, Hui Yue noticed something which he had missed at first.
After two or three villages, Hui Yue noticed how Gao Yan would always look directly at some of the servants, after which the servant would give an almost unnoticeable nod. Hui Yue had curiously been searching and slowly he seemed to understand just how vast Gao Yan’s connections spread.
As the group of friends travelled through the villages Hui Yue stayed at the back conversing with Gao Yan and Ma Kong, when Ma Kong suddenly widened his eyes and gaped.
“Wait, Hui Yue, since when were you a five-star Disciple?!” Ma Kong exclaimed surprised. His voice was loud, and instantly the others stopped their mounts turning back to stare at the white-haired child as if he was an alien.
When the Rong twins saw him three days prior, Hui Yue’s cultivation base was of a three-star Disciple, yet now after only three days had passed he had suddenly jumped two stars which was simply unbelievable.
Rong Xing and Rong Ming were both shocked, but Ma Kong and Gao Yan were even more so. The days within Riluo City had not been spent on cultivating, but visiting two great families. The only one who could guess the reason was Deng Wu, but even though he knew it had to do with the treasure from his family he still had no way of guessing how Hui Yue had managed to use it.
The sun was setting as the group finally reached the outskirts of the Magical Forest, and the purple and red rays of light illuminated the tall trees causing it to look like an otherworldly place.
The mounts were slowed down allowing them to walk through the forest at a steady pace rather than the galloping speed which they had been at so far.
The plan was for this group to enter Hui Yue’s home village where they would set camp. As they were only students and no guards, it was obvious that the group did not wish to traverse too deeply into the forest.
Setting camp in Hui Yue’s village allowed for them to have their beasts looked after by a village boy, and then they could walk into the forest to harvest medicinal plants and fight magical beasts.
Usually they would do this for more than two months, yet this time they only planned to use one month in the wilderness.
The group would not enter too deeply into the Magical Forest, and they planned on returning to the village each evening at most every second evening as neither of the young ones fancied sleeping within the dangerous Magical Forest. Even the outskirts were dangerous. The lowest ranked magical beast was on par with a Disciple ranked cultivator and although they had six people, if they were up against two beasts it was likely that they would struggle.
Still, even while considering all the dangers smiles were spreading on everyone’s faces. Excitement grew within their very soul as they finally had to try relying solely on themselves to survive in the upcoming life and death battles.
Since these students were going on their own, everything they got from this trip would be theirs to keep, and Hui Yue wished to gain quite a few magical crystals and beast cores to study them.
As the group of six travelled through the outskirts of the magical forest they entered a small valley which seemed to lead out from the forest itself, but truly led towards Hui Yue’s home.
Excitement grew within Hui Yue’s stomach, and a uncontainable smile appeared on his face as he beckoned the horse to gallop the final few miles of the road, as Hui Yue was looking forward to once again see the place where he had spent the first ten years of his life.