Jin also agreed with the reason.

「Third. For a herd of mountain deer, in the case the herd grows too big, a young deer would make another herd, and they would separate to live」

「However, from all of this time’s game, there was no young deer」

Yang presented a problem with this idea.

「Aa, that’s right. That may happen sometimes by chance, however the most likely one would probably be being pursued by an enemy」

「Is the possibility for food low?」

Jin asked Rock who nodded,

「Aa. From the feeling of what we saw, snow hasn’t appeared in the remote mountains where the mountain deer are yet, and the greenery has yet to change from the usual. I wouldn’t think it’s a shortage of food」

「Which would mean…」

It would mean that something, some beast were pursuing them.

Then, Rock leaned forward,

「We can somehow manage mountain deer, but a Rock Wolf is troublesome. They’re nocturnal and their attacks in packs are difficult」

Jin,

「Have any Rock Wolves attacked the village before?」


tried to ask. And Rock shook his head,

「No, I haven’t heard of it since I was born. However, it happened once in my grandfather’s time」

「I see…」

Folding his arms, Jin pondered. Rock,

「Therefore, because I can’t decide what to do, I was thinking about talking to everyone to come up with something」

「Aniki, then shouldn’t we send out a scout to see?」

Yang said.

「Scouting huh? That would be right. This time we will need to go much farther back and see. Yang, you say some good things once a year」

「Chie, that doesn’t sound like a compliment」

「Well then, we should tell the village chief about this」

Jin said, and Rock nodded,

「Well let’s do that」

That night, a discussion was held at the village chief’s home, they were deciding who to send from the village for reconnaissance. For preparing a countermeasure of the dangers, Jin placed his opinion in.

Of course, the plan included the Horse Golems Jin made.

It was decided both Rock and Yang would use the Horse Golem for scouting. Departure was in 2 days. In that time, the two would get used to maneuvering the Horse Golem.

And the next day, the two practised.

「O-Owaaa!」

Using the accelerator too much, the Horse Golem reared up and shook him off.

「Gyaaa」

He was thrown forward after suddenly stopping from a gallop.

But though they were covered in wounds, they were both able to master maneuvering a Horse Golem in a day.

「Well then, I’ll be going」

「Dear, a-a-absolutely don’t act recklessly!」

「Tou-chan, be careful」

The atmosphere was more tense than the last mountain hunt, the two [Scouts] rode the Horse Golems [Ein] and [Zwei], and headed off to the mountain. “Ladies and gentlemen.” Shi Yun smiled gently with a hint of warmth, her eyes filled with gentleness. “In order to assess your abilities, our elders have specially brought the Weapon Refining Sect’s Heavenly Spirit Formation today. I will escort you all into the Heavenly Spirit Formation shortly, where you will remain in training for a month. After a month, we will evaluate you based on your results on where you are qualified to enter the Weapon Refining Sect.”

Even if they did not know what the Heavenly Spirit Formation was, this was clearly a treasure which had been handed down for generations from the Weapon Refining Sect. So, it was clearly very valuable. They would dearly cherish this opportunity…

The Crown Prince, Leng Yanfeng, who had remained silent from the very beginning, paused for a second when he brushed past Gu Ruoyun. But he did not turn around to look at her again.

He slowly raised his voice and spoke solemnly. “Gu Ruoyun, your antics were only to show off your individuality in order to attract my attention. Unfortunately, this Crown Prince’s eyes were never on you…”

Once he finished speaking, he promptly disappeared from Gu Ruoyun’s view.

Gu Ruoyun was dumbfounded. Back in the East Peak Mainland, not even Supreme Jin had the right to make her kneel before him.

“So, why should I kneel before a mere Crown Prince?” she wondered, “Yet, my actions…How could the Crown Prince have thought that I was doing all of this to gain his attention?”

She could still remember that long ago, the talented genius Gu Shengxiao would always spar with Leng Yanfeng. And everywhere they went, Gu Ruoyun would tag along. Everyone thought that she was trying to get close to Leng Yanfeng through her brother, Gu Shengxiao. But that could not have been farther from the truth. For every time the two men sparred, she only ever had eyes for her elder brother.

Hence, the previous Gu Ruoyun did not even like Leng Yanfeng, much less the current Gu Ruoyun in the form of the newly reincarnated Xia Ruoyun!

“Gu Ruoyun, so you’ve really taken a fancy to the Crown Prince!” Gu Panpan was enraged, glaring hatefully at Gu Ruoyun. “You once denied it and claimed that you did not like the Crown Prince. Yet, now you’re actually resorting to such means to get his attention. Fortunately, the Crown Prince saw right through your ploy, otherwise…”

Noting the eyes of the crowd staring towards her, Gu Ruoyun blinked innocently. “What’s a Crown Prince? Can you eat it?”

“Eat? You actually want to gobble up the Crown Prince? As expected, Gu Ruoyun. You’re two-faced!”

“Alright!” She thought, “This time, not even ten mouths can help clear my innocence…”

Gu Ruoyun shook her head. She simply couldn’t be bothered to explain herself. She shrugged her shoulders and said, “Luo Yin, let’s go have a look over there.”



In the Imperial Courtyard, the crowd grew silent. All chatter promptly disappeared upon the arrival of the two elders.

Luo Yin pointed at one of them and exclaimed, “Gu Ruoyun, do you see that old man in black? That’s the Crown Prince’s teacher, Hun Fei. The other old man in red is Elder Tian Lin. They are both highly skilled cultivators from the Weapon Refining Sect.”

Gu Ruoyun nodded, shifting her gaze away from the two men, and placing her attention on the pillar next to them.

“Unless I am mistaken,” she thought, “the space surrounding the four pillars is the doorway to the Heavenly Spirit Formation…”

“Ladies and gentlemen, based on your current strength in power, I will only send you to the first level of the Heavenly Spirit Formation. Remember, you must all remain within the area that I’ve designated for you. You must not run anywhere else, for if you enter any other district, you will be in grave danger!”

Hun Fei stared seriously at the crowd. “Furthermore, the spiritual energy in the Heavenly Spirit Formation is extremely dense. So, any cultivator who enters must be at least a level three in the Qi Collection ranks. Otherwise, your body will not be able to withstand the tremendous power, and will explode. I am definitely not simply using frightening words to scare you, but I believe that there shouldn’t be anyone among you who is still unable to breakthrough into level three.”

“Well…” Upon hearing this, Gu Panpan looked as if she was dying to speak up.

Her actions drew the attention of Elder Hun Fei, who frowned and asked, “Is there anything you wish to say, young lady?” “Elder Hun Fei.” Gu Panpan bit her lip and glanced at Gu Ruoyun, then back at Hun Fei. “It’s a bit hard for me to say, but everyone in Azure Dragon Country knows this. After having reached level two in the Qi Collection ranks, Gu Ruoyun, of my family, has not been able to have her breakthrough. So, I’m afraid that she cannot enter the Heavenly Spirit Formation now.”

As she explained, Gu Panpan’s face filled with sympathy, as if she truly pitied Gu Ruoyun. No one could make out any other expression on her face.

“Oh?” Hun Fei followed Gu Panpan’s gaze towards Gu Ruoyun’s leisurely and contented face. “She’s Gu Ruoyun? Gu Shengxiao’s little sister? She doesn’t seem to be a child anymore. How could she be a level two in the Qi Collection ranks? How could such a genius like Gu Shengxiao possibly have a good-for-nothing for a sister? This is certainly an eye-opener.”

Many years ago, Gu Shengxiao had rejected his offer of apprenticeship. This had humiliated him endlessly! So, naturally, he would not show Gu Ruoyun any courtesy.

“Elder, everyone in Azure Dragon Country knows this. I quite pity her myself, but she is extremely determined, so I don’t have much of a choice.” Gu Panpan looked extremely helpless like a mother who resented her child for not living up to expectations.

“Gu Panpan, you…”

Luo Yin clenched her fists angrily. Just as she was about to throw her fists out, a hand reached out and held her hand tightly.

The corners of Gu Ruoyun’s lips lifted into a smile, her beautiful face lighting up in an enigmatic way. “Gu Panpan, I’m sorry to disappoint you, but as of last night, I’ve broken through to level three in the Qi Collection ranks.”

Her voice was calm like the wind, yet traveled clearly into every ear present.

Just then, Gu Panpan’s expression stiffened, as if she had been given a tight slap. She wished to find a hole and bury herself in it.

If this were any other day where Gu Ruoyun had broken through to level three, she could still scoff and laugh at her. However, since she had just announced that Gu Ruoyun was merely at level two in the Qi Collection ranks, and consequently, would be unable to enter the Heavenly Spirit Formation, she was humiliated on the spot. It was like a slap in the face.

Taking a deep breath, Gu Panpan laughed. “Then, I should congratulate you. It’s taken years for you to finally break through to level three. But who knows how long you’ll have to wait until your next breakthrough? I’m certain that in about ten years, you’ll definitely reach level four.”

“Don’t worry, I’ll definitely have my breakthrough before you die.”

Pfft!

Luo Yin could not contain herself. She burst out laughing and patted Gu Ruoyun’s shoulders. “Ruoyun, do you mean to say that once you break through to level four, her death day will not be very far off? Then, Gu Panpan should probably watch herself. Once Ruoyun has her breakthrough, you’d better hide somewhere or you might mysteriously expire. Tsk tsk, wouldn’t it be a pity for such an exquisitely beautiful face to die off so soon?”

Gu Panpan’s face turned from green to white, it was a spectacular sight. However, Gu Ruoyun was beginning to admire her tolerance level. She was actually able to maintain her composure without flipping out after suffering such humiliation from Luo Yin.

“Gu Ruoyun, you’d better watch your mouth!” General Gu’s face sunk as he exclaimed harshly, “And General Luo, is this how you’ve educated your daughter? She has nothing to show for her upbringing at all!”

“Upbringing?” General Luo scoffed, “At least, I didn’t beat my own granddaughter until she nearly died without clarifying the truth of the matter. I’m way ahead of you, old man.”

To be honest, General Luo simply couldn’t understand it.

“Gu Ruoyun was still the flesh and blood of the Gu Family,” he thought, “Yet, this old man recklessly issued her a beating, and all for the sake of that boy from the Ling Family? He nearly beat her to death! Is this how a grandfather should behave?” “Enough!”

Just as General Gu was about to retort, an irritated voice interrupted.

Hun Fei shot a look towards Gu Ruoyun and spoke expressionlessly, “Since you’ve broken through to level three, you may enter the Heavenly Spirit Formation. But remember, this is the lowest requirement to enter the Heavenly Spirit Formation. Even the lower level areas would be very dangerous for you. You’d better watch out.”


A level three in the Qi Collection ranks was not worth a second glance. One breath was all he needed to scare this little girl out of her wits.

He wondered to himself how was it a genius like Gu Shengxiao have such a good-for-nothing sister?

Hun Fei shook his head helplessly at that thought.

With the combined efforts of Hun Fei and Tian Lin, the door to the Heavenly Spirit Formation was opened. After that, most of the members of the younger generation entered the formation and it would be a month before any of them would be seen again. As such, the rest of the crowd dispersed, heading back to their own homes and would only be returning to the palace after a month.

Presently, Hun Fei stared into the empty Imperial compound, deep in thought.

“Not too long ago, a strange weather appeared in the skies of the Imperial Capital of Azure Dragon Country. The Sect Master studied the stars and predicted that a powerful cultivator had arrived in the world and that a great change will befall the mainland. If we are able to recruit this cultivator, our Weapon Refining Sect will certainly rise above all the other sects! Unfortunately, the only thing the Sect Master could foresee was that the strong cultivator would arrive in the body of some young talent. He was not able to predict his identity. Otherwise, we wouldn’t need to resort to utilizing the Heavenly Spirit Formation as a test.”

Tian Lin paused before raising his head, speaking calmly, “Something is bothering me far more than the identity of that genius.”

“What is it?”

“I’m not sure if you felt it. That girl they called Gu Ruoyun, she may lack talent but her mental capacity is great! Far greater than the other geniuses we have encountered.”

Hun Fei’s heart began to palpitate as he asked doubtfully, “I didn’t notice this due to her relationship with Gu Shengxiao. Are you saying that she has great mental capacity?”

Hun Fei’s breathing quickened at the thought. If they could coax Gu Ruoyun into giving them her mental capacity, they can cure their Lady of her affliction.

“Hun Fei, the price of losing one’s mental capacity is to become an idiot. I’m not sure this Gu Ruoyun will agree to this based on what I can tell from her personality.” Tian Lin shook his head, replying in a level tone.


“I doubt that would be the case,” Hun Fei sneered, “She is only a good-for-nothing in Azure Dragon Country, looked down upon by many. If she is willing to give herself to us for the sake of her Ladyship, our Weapon Refining Sect will take care of her for the rest of her life. Besides, it is a privilege for her to contribute her mental capacity to her Ladyship. After all, our Weapon Refining Sect will be required to contribute in the future wars that befall our mainland, and our Lady is the number one genius of the Weapon Refining Sect. This matter concerns the greater good of the entire mainland. As a citizen of the mainland, it is natural that one would contribute to the livelihood of it. Just like the others who have contributed before this, no one could possibly reject our offer.”

He spoke as if Gu Ruoyun should feel grateful for the opportunity to sacrifice herself for Shi Yun and that if she were to reject them, she would become a criminal throughout the mainland who deserves to be torn into ten thousand pieces and to be despised by all!

Tian Lin smiled bitterly and shook his head, “I see that that girl has an unyielding character and does not seem to be the kind of person who can be easily moved, Hun Fei. They will reemerge from the Heavenly Spirit Formation in a month, let us wait until then…” Between the valleys, within a lush green forest, the little master Ling stood amongst the crowd, basking in his status as a revered leader among the group. Suddenly, out of the corner of his eye, he saw Gu Ruoyun walking out of the crowd.

A cocky smile bloomed on his delicate face. “Just you wait and see, Gu Ruoyun! When the time of our duel arrives, I’ll make you kneel before me and call me grandfather!”



Spiritual energy was abundant in the Heavenly Spirit Formation, far more than whatever was available in the world outside. If Gu Ruoyun were to cultivate here and utilize the help of the Qi Gathering Pill, she would definitely break through to level four in the Qi Collection ranks in less than a month.


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