Chapter 775: Gathering
Now that they were close to the mountain, the group could finally see just how special it was. Standing tall at three kilometers and one kilometer in width, the peak of the mountain pierced into the clouds so that hardly anything could be seen above it.
But the most peculiar thing about the mountain was that just about five hundred meters above ground level, a faint red mist was lighting up the mountain. It floated around the entirety of the mountain at that height with the mid-section about one and a half kilometers above ground level being the most concentrated. Anything above two kilometers was the peak of the mountain.
The upper half of the mountain was extraordinarily wide, making the mountain look like it was a rather fat hourglass.
But with the red mist and clouds gathering at the top, the mountain looked as if it was a cone of cotton candy.
Bai Yunfei and his group soon made it to the base of the mountain where groups of threes and fives were. Like everyone else, they were all staring up or looking around the mountain.
A quick count gave Bai Yunfei the estimate of there being around fifty people here.
"What's all this?" Zheng Kai clicked his tongue in surprise, "Why's everyone down here still. I would've gone up the mountain to get the Extreme King Pills, are they trying to be polite and let someone else climb up first?"
As Zheng Kai mentioned, most of the people gathered here was standing at the base of the mountain. There was a few people who were standing up on the trees of the nearby forest, but that was only a slightly taller elevation.
It didn't seem like anyone had the intention of rushing up the mountain.
"It's strange." Yue Feng shook his head. "There's probably something about this mountain that makes other people unable to climb it. Let's get over to the base first before we conclude anything else."
"Agreed." Bai Yunfei nodded. " We might be late to the party, but it doesn't seem like anyone's gone up the mountain yet. We'll monitor the situation carefully and see what's going on so we can maximize our chances."
Slowing to a stop, Bai Yunfei had the thundertail bird descend down to the ground and let Nangong Yuexia alight. Since storing the bird back into its space ring would alert everyone to that it was a soulbeast puppet, Bai Yunfei had it turn into a small sparrow. Having it hop onto his shoulder, he controlled the sparrow so it'd curl its head inwards as if it was trying to sleep, just like a regular soulbeast would.
Now that they were at the base of the mountain, Bai Yunfei could see everyone else staring at them. The arrival of a group was an annoyance to everyone else, as that meant it was just another challenger.
Sizing up the people there, Bai Yunfei and the others then decided to head for an empty patch of ground to set up base.
"Ol'Bai! Ol'Bai!! Over here!!"
A loud but happy voice called out to Bai Yunfei then. All eyes shifting towards the source, everyone saw a young man in violet jumping up and down on the boulder he was standing on and waving his hand violently.
Surprised to have someone call out to him, Bai Yunfei jerked his head over towards the source. When he saw just who it was, he smiled in excitement, "Mingfeng!"
It was the person he had entered this pocket with in the first place: Jing Mingfeng!
Following his gaze over, the people with Bai Yunfei took a moment to realize what was going on. "You know him?" Zheng Kai asked.
"Ah yeah, I do. Let's head on over." Bai Yunfei nodded and strode on over.
It was only when he drew close to Jing Mingfeng that he realized there were several other people standing with him.
"Big brother You? Zhong Liyan?"
The people standing with Jing Mingfeng were from the Five Elements Schools, the Wood, the Fire, and the Metal! Of the group, Bai Yunfei could recognize You Qingfeng and his other two fellow students, and also Zhong Liyan from the Fire School.
Jing Mingfeng waited for Bai Yunfei to actually be within arm's reach before he chuckled out loud. "You're a slow one, Ol'Bai. I've been waiting for you for a while now."
"Haha, it was a little chaotic when I came in. How went things on your side?"
"I didn't know which way to go at first, but I managed to learn about this mountain after a while. Zhong Liyan and I came across each other at first, and then we met several others from the Metal School. By the time we came here, the three from the Wood School arrived as well, so we grouped together."
Zhong Liyan took this moment to stride forward two steps in greeting. "Long time no see, brother Bai."
"Brother Zhong, it's been a long time indeed. "Bai Yunfei greeted back, nodding to You Qingfeng and the others.
Jing Mingfeng gave a brief look at Zheng Kai and the others, "Ol'Bai, these are...?"
"They're friends of mine. This is Zheng Kai, this is Yue Feng, and this is Nangong Yuexia."
He waved his hand at Jing Mingfeng, "This is my friend, Jing Mingfeng."
"Zheng Kai?!" Jing Mingfeng's eyes flew wide open in recognition, "Are you the Zheng Kai, the 'Sex Lord' from the Capital?!"
"Ah...." Zheng Kai grimaced slightly in embarrassment at the nickname, "Haha, that's me."
"Haha!! I've been wanting to meet you for a long time, a very long time now!" Zheng Kai chortled with laughter as he shook his hand. "I've heard legends of master Zheng every now and then, but I never thought that I'd actually meet you myself, what an honor, haha!!"
Though his eye twitched at hearing the implications of what kind of stories Jing Mingfeng meant, Bai Yunfei turned away to introduce Yue Feng to You Qingfeng and the others before he in turn was introduced to the people from the Metal School.
Soon enough, the entire group sat below an extremely tall tree to talk with one another.
"How long have you been waiting here, Mingfeng? Why haven't you gone up the mountain? Why hasn't anyone else?"
Bai Yunfei finally asked the most important question.
"Well...." Jing Mingfeng sighed. "It's not that we don't want to go up, it's that....we can't go up."
"Can't go up?" Bai Yunfei stared quizzically, "What do you mean?"
Jing Mingfeng pointed at the red mist hovering halfway up the mountain. "That mist....it's weird. We can't go through it."
"Can't go through it? Is it dangerous in there?"
"No no, it's not dangerous," Jing Mingfeng shook his head, "but that 'mist' is disorientating. If anyone goes in, they'll come back out sooner or later."
Bai Yunfei was mystified, "Come back out? Do people get lost in there? Do they not walk in a straight line or something? How do they come back out the same direction?"
"That's the weird part." Jing Mingfeng explained, "Visibility is practically nil in there. You can't see anywhere past ten steps, and soulsense is kaput beyond a hundred meters. Even if they walk straight, they somehow manage to walk back to where they originally started.
"No one's been able to make it through as far as I know." Jing Mingfeng pointed at the mist, "Because they've all walked back out shortly after they tried."
Following his finger, Bai Yunfei saw two people come walking back out from the mist. They were familiar to Bai Yunfei, he had seen them just not too long ago at the base of the mountain. At some point while Bai Yunfei was distracted in the conversation, they must've tried to enter the mist and were only just walking back out.
The two of them look perplexed. Staring at one another and then the mist, they sighed walked back down the mountain.
With mist that blocked not only eyesight but soulsense, this mountain was definitely an enigmatic one. It was even stranger than Black Cloud Valley and the Underworld School's strange way of navigating through it.
Speaking of the Underworld School, would they by chance be able to unravel the secret of this mountain?
From what he heard from Zheng Kai, Xu Ran and Han Yue had both entered the pocket as well. He hadn't seen either of the two since he came in, so either they weren't here yet, or they were on the other side of the mountain.
It took his group half the day to get here. Now that they were here though, they weren't able to walk up the mountain and could only wait for further notice. It was a very worrisome situation that made them all feel helpless.
What in the world was going on here? Are the Extreme King Pills really at the peak of this mountain?