AGM 193 - Return
Clouds drifted in the skies above Chu, the warm sunlight shone downwards, warming the land and its inhabitants.
A white crane descended from the skies, flying towards Chu. On the back of the white crane, Qin Wentian and Mo Qingcheng sat shoulder to shoulder, their clothes fluttering from the gentle breeze.
"We are back." Qin Wentian looked downwards, his eyes taking in the Royal Capital. This span of two months, felt like an eternity.
This time round for the journey to the Demon Continent, he passed by many countries and had extraordinary experiences. This could be considered the first time Qin Wentian went out to temper himself, as well as his first step on the grand stage that was the Grand Xia Empire.
Over there in the Refinement Grounds of the celestial lake, he discovered the meaning of the idiom, 'There is always a sky beyond this sky'. For those elite geniuses of Chu, they were merely ordinary people when placed in the grand stage that was the Grand Xia Empire.
Regardless of whether it was Ouyang Kuangsheng or Wang Xiao, any one of them in Chu would be an unrivalled existence for realms below Yuanfu. And not only that, they would probably even be able to fight against ordinary Yuanfu experts.
Even Mu Baifei or the two other Swallow Swordsmen would undoubtedly be able to handle the likes of Sikong Mingyue and Orchon with ease.
In addition, during the trip, Qin Wentian even uncovered the greatest secret of the Azure Emperor, and this was definitely the biggest reward. All in all, the harrowing experiences of the Refinement Grounds may well be an important event in his life.
The white crane swooped downwards, hovering in the air above the Emperor Star Academy. Many raised their heads upwards and upon seeing the white crane of Mo Qingcheng, they couldn't help but stiffen in shock.
After Qin Wentian caused that huge commotion back then, he seemed to have totally vanished without a trace. So, he had spent the two months together with Mo Qingcheng.
No one noticed her disappearance because Mo Qingcheng rarely appeared in the school grounds. As to why Qin Wentian's disappearance was discovered so fast, it was because there was too much attention focused on his every movement, not to mention he had 'disappeared' at such a chaotic time. If it were like other cases where students of the academy 'disappeared', such as leaving Chu to temper themselves, this would be considered extremely normal.
"Wait, what? Why has the academy become like this?" Rage boiling in his heart, Qin Wentian had an extremely ugly expression on his countenance when he noticed that the current Emperor Star Academy was changed almost beyond all recognition.
The white crane flew down to the residence of Qin Wentian and an instant later, Old Gu, Mustang, Luo Huan, Fan Le and Qin Yao all arrived in the courtyard.
"Both of you are finally back." Old Gu's eyes flickered with laughter, as he regarded Qin Wentian and Mo Qingcheng. The current him, appeared many decades older compared to two months ago.
"Grandpa." Mo Qingcheng's heart involuntarily trembled, she couldn't help but notice how feeble Old Gu looked.
"Teacher, what happened to the academy?" Qin Wentian glanced towards Mustang as bewilderment painted his face. Why would the Emperor Star Academy's appearance have changed so much? Many landscape structures and buildings had been totally decimated, only leaving spots of emptiness behind.
"This was done by Yue Hanshan and the others from the Azure Emperor Palace. In addition to Yue Qingfeng's death, those from the Azure Emperor Palace couldn't find what they sought and thus took their anger out on the Emperor Star Academy. Despite turning the academy into this state, they still couldn't find anything, and since they were still unable to find the murderer of Yue Qingfeng, they could only leave gloomily with their tails between their legs," Mustang replied, causing a glimmer of cold light to flash in Qin Wentian's eyes.
Yue Hanshan from the Azure Emperor Palace, he would remember him.
Yue Hanshan didn't even remotely suspect Qin Wentian. After Yue Qingfeng had injured Qin Wentian from back then, the fact that Qin Wentian was weaker than his son had already sunk deep into his consciousness. How could he still suspect Qin Wentian, then?
And as for whether he suspected the Emperor Star Academy, only Yue Hanshan himself knew. Seeing how much damage he caused to the grounds of the academy, even if he didn't suspect it, it was obvious that Yue Hanshan had also wanted to use the destruction to vent the anger in his heart.
"How's the current state of affairs in the Royal Capital?" Qin Wentian inquired again. Even before he left, their state of affairs already looked extremely grim.
Indeed, upon hearing his question, Mustang knitted his brows as he replied in a heavy voice, "Not that good, the rebel troops led by the Qin Clan were sorely suppressed by the royal armies. The only reason why they haven't won yet was because of the presence of our Emperor Star Academy. Thus, eliminating the threat posed by the academy was at the top of their list. Not only that, considering the support from the Nine Mystical Palace, it could be said that the Emperor Star Academy was currently in an extremely precarious situation."
"On top of that, I have a strong suspicion that aside from the Nine Mystical Palace, there are still representatives of transcendent powers from the Grand Xia Empire hiding in Chu," Old Gu added, worry apparent in his eyes. Since he had made this statement, he was naturally confident of his sources.
"Qingcheng, come home with me first, your family misses you," Old Gu spoke to Qingcheng, as he continued, "As for Wentian, don't bother yourself with other matters. Just calm your heart and focus on your cultivation."
"Right." Qin Wentian and Mo Qingcheng nodded in agreement, as she left with Old Gu. An expression of astonishment appeared on Mustang's face when he stared at Qin Wentian, as Astral Light glimmered in his eyes. Nodding lightly as though gratified, he didn't say anything, only giving a pat on Qin Wentian's shoulders before he departed.
Qin Wentian then turned his gaze onto Luo Huan. His senior sister, Luo Huan, was still as beautiful and sexy as before, yet there seemed to be something lacking from his observations.
Indeed, Luo Huan was no longer brimming with enthusiasm and warmth as compared to back then. In the past her attitude was always frivolous, enjoyed teasing others, and basked in their smiles and laughter.
However, after everything that had happened: the death of Mountain, her good friend of many years, the academies current perilous situation, having to endure Yu Hanshan's oppression as a student of the Emperor Star Academy. It felt truly unbearable. She could only bury all feelings of unfairness and grievances in her heart, and face the world with a forced smile.
"Sister Luo Huan." Qin Wentian walked over, and as he neared, he sensed the strong aura of melancholy emanating forth from her. He couldn't help but lament in his heart, still remembering the day he first met this senior sister of his. In the Sky Harmony City, Luo Huan's racy figure was dashing atop the city walls, the atmosphere around her as bright as the sun's warmth.
Walking forward, Qin Wentian pulled Luo Huan into a hug.
After the hug, a familiar teasing smile finally appeared on Luo Huan's face as she gazed at Qin Wentian. "Smelly brat, how dare you openly take advantage of your Senior Sister in broad daylight?
"Who asked my Senior Sister to be so beautiful." Qin Wentian laughed.
"Hmph, sweet talker." Luo Huan rolled her eyes. This Junior Brother of hers had really matured. Even his demeanor and aura felt different.
"Senior Sister~" Fan Le sidled upwards to Luo Huan, spreading his arms apart. With a gentle expression in his clear eyes, it was obvious he also intended to give Luo Huan a hug.
"Damn Fatty, try it if you dare," Luo Huan coldly snorted. As she looked at Fan Le, a smile that wasn't quite a smile appeared on her face. A momentary expression of grief crossed his face as he replied, "Senior Sister, how can you show such obvious favouritism?"
"Who asked you not to be as handsome as Junior Brother Qin?" Luo Huan giggled. After exchanging a few more pleasantries, Luo Huan departed. To her, it was already sufficient knowing that Qin Wentian wasn't in any danger.
Fan Le smiled bitterly, but his eyes soon brightened as he cast a glance towards Qin Wentian. "Hehehe boss, where did you go exactly, and how's the progress with Miss Mo, the illustrious beauty?"
Upon seeing the shameless look in Fatty's eyes, Qin Wentian scolded in a low voice as he shifted the topic. "Fatty, what's the level of your cultivation now?"
"Peak of Arterial Circulation, slower than you by just a teeny weeny step." Fan Le shrugged, his words causing Qin Wentian to feel astonished. But then again, he remembered Fan Le's ability that allowed him to see the cultivation of others. This Fatty must have already known that he, Qin Wentian, had already broken through to Yuanfu.
"Then all the more for you to hurry up and cultivate." Qin Wentian smiled.
"Don't worry boss, this fatty me is a genius. I'll catch up to you soon enough." Shaking the rolls of fat on his body, Fan Le swaggered away. Only then did Qin Wentian turn his gaze towards Qin Yao. "Sister," he gently called out and embraced her, almost overwhelmed by waves of emotion.
"Enough enough, you've already grown up. How can you lose control of your emotions this easily? Let me go make something good for you to eat." Qin Yao rolled her eyes, still as youthful and beautiful as before.
At this moment, a white blur suddenly dashed by, jumping onto Qin Wentian's chest.
"Little fellow, your speed is getting faster and faster." Qin Wentian patted Little Rascal on its head. But this little fellow didn't seem to have grown at all. Perhaps he would be able to tell the difference if it transformed.
After returning to the academy, Qin Wentian kept an extremely low profile. He knew that since he had only just stepped into Yuanfu, the most important thing to do would be to consolidate his cultivation base and acclimatize himself with the Yuanfu Realm.
The majority of the Royal Capital didn't know that Qin Wentian had already returned. He had been gone for a period of time, causing the name Qin Wentian to seem like a distant memory. Regardless of how glorious or brilliant a person's past achievements were, time would dilute everything. After all, the people living in the Royal Capital had their own matters to deal with, their own life to live. Only if Qin Wentian appeared once again in their midst, would they recall his existence.
In the blink of an eye, another half a month passed. There would be many clashes of a minor scale happening off and on again in the Royal Capital, with the most frequent being none other than the bloody disputes between the Royal Academy and the Emperor Star Academy.
Sake Street was the name of a street located in the Royal Capital, filled with inns and restaurants. The pathway of this street was tens of thousands of metres long and was extremely wide. Rows and rows of inns and restaurants of at least two stories high stood at both sides of the streets and many loved to spend their time here either drinking, making merry on the balconies, or gazing at the milling crowd below in the streets. Wasn't this a simple kind of joy, as well?
Sake Street was situated very near to the Emperor Star Academy, but currently this street was already monopolised by the Royal Academy. They stayed there directly, using its prime location to monitor the movements of the Emperor Star Academy.
At this moment, on the balcony of a certain restaurant, Ye Ran from the Ye Clan, and Elder You from the Royal Academy, were drinking their wine. At the same table with them were several other young men, one of them cloaked in white. He was none other than Ye Wuque. He was still filled with elegance, with an extraordinary bearing.
"Wuque, congratulations on breaking through to the second level of Yuanfu." Elder You toasted Ye Wuque, silently admiring. This young man before him was currently ranked fourth among the ten prodigies of the Royal Capital. Back then, even before his breakthrough, he was already capable of defeating Qiu Mo, the formerly ranked number four. Now, he had obviously gotten even stronger after stepping into the second level of Yuanfu.
"I took so long to break through to the next level, there's nothing worthy of congratulations. However, we should be congratulating Sikong instead, since he has already broken through to Yuanfu." Ye Wuque smiled as he glanced at Sikong Mingyue sitting by his side.
Sikong Mingyue face showed neither expressions of happiness nor joy . He was still as calm as ever, continuing to drink toast after toast with Ye Wuque and the rest, yet a look of incredible sharpness could be seen flashing in his eyes.
In order for him to recover from his injuries, Xiao Lan paid an extremely huge price.Who would have thought that after recovering, Sikong Mingyue would turn that disaster into a blessing, and breakthrough to Yuanfu.
Back then, his body was devastated by Qin Wentian. How could he ever forget that humiliation? Now that Sikong Mingyue had already broken through to Yuanfu and had condensed quite a powerful Astral Soul, he truly wanted to have a showdown once more with Qin Wentian. Even if Qin Wentian were to break through to Yuanfu, he was still confident that he would be the one standing in the end.
How detestable that Qin Wentian had vanished without a trace. And as for that rumor that he was already back, no one knew for certain whether it was true or false.