Chapter 728: The Great Meeting of Factions
"Ha ha, little fellow, your bones are indeed very hard. I thought that you would need to at least rest for one month before you would have the strength to speak. It is unexpected that you have recovered some strength after only half a month. This is really surprising."
An old clear laugh was suddenly transmitted into the large, spacious hall. Hai Bodong's figure slowly appeared in the eyes of everyone.
Xiao Yan also smiled slightly when he saw Hai Bodong's figure. He got up, invited him in before once again returning to his seat.
Hai Bodong's gaze carefully swept over Xiao Yan's body after sitting in a chair. A moment later, the surprise in his eyes became astonishment as he exclaimed, "Your aura..." From the way Hai Bodong looked at it, Xiao Yan's aura was somewhat unsteady as it rose and fell. It seemed quite similar to the situation when one was just about to advance one's strength.
Xiao Yan smiled and nodded when he saw the astonishment on Hai Bodong's face. He softly said, "Although my injuries were extremely serious this time, it seems to have allowed me to touch the barrier of the Dou Huang class. If I am lucky, I will soon be able to try breaking into the Dou Huang level."
A joy spread over Hai Bodong's face when he heard this. He immediately smacked his lips and exclaimed out loud. Finally he sighed, "You little fellow. Although it can be said that you have gained some benefits by fighting with a powerful person like Yun Shan, it is still unexpected that they would enable you to touch the Dou Huang barrier." Being an elite Dou Huang, he naturally understood just how large the gap between a Dou Wang and Dou Huang was and how difficult it was to cross. Back then, he had remained at the peak of the Dou Wang class for a full ten years before he came across a lucky opportunity to breakthrough. Seeing this training speed of Xiao Yan now really caused him to be somewhat speechless.
Xiao Yan smiled at Hai Bodong's exclamation. According to the normal situation, the great increase in his strength while he was underground had caused the difficulty he had to face when advancing from the peak of the Dou Wang class to soar greatly. Hence, no matter how he had trained after he had come out from the underground, the strength in his body had remained still. There was no activity other than him becoming increasingly familiar with the control of the Dou Qi in his body. According to his expectations, it was difficult for him to truly enter into the Dou Huang class without at least two years.
However, after the life and death battle in the Misty Cloud Sect, he gained immeasurable benefits despite him having hovered between the line of life and death a few times. This improvement where he came into faint contact with the Dou Huang level was the greatest benefit.
If it was not because of this life and death fight, it would obviously be impossible for Xiao Yan to touch the Dou Huang class at this moment. This could be only called good luck.
A life and death battle was best able to cause the potential hidden in one's body to erupt. Hence, a fight was forever the fastest shortcut for one to raise one's strength. Of course, the precondition was that one must ensure that one would not become an icy-cold corpse during that life and death battle. If that were the case, it would not help the situation regardless of how one broke through.
"Take a good retreat once your injuries are fully cured and see if you can successfully breakthrough to the Dou Huang class." Hai Bodong laughed and reminded. After which, he changed his tone and laughed, "That's right, you got someone to call me over. Is there some matter?"
The smile on Xiao Yan's face withdrew slightly upon the mention of proper business. His finger gently pressed on the table as he slowly asked, "I wonder if Old Hai has heard of the faction called the 'Hall of Souls'?"
"The 'Hall of Souls'?" Hai Bodong was startled when he heard this. His gaze revealed his musing before he spoke a moment later, "That mysterious expert who had appeared within the Misty Cloud Sect should be an expert from this faction right?"
"I have indeed not heard of this faction in the past. However, due to that mysterious expert, I have gathered some information about this faction during the time that you were recuperating. It may not be much but I learned that this faction is extremely powerful. Moreover, it is extremely mysterious and strange. It also focuses on hunting powerful spirits that have lost their physical body on the continent." Hai Bodong frowned as he replied.
"My father and teacher are currently in their hands. Moreover, after hearing their intentions, it seems that they are extremely interested in our Xiao clan. They might dispatch some strong people over in the future." A cold glint flicked in Xiao Yan's eyes as he softly spoke.
Hai Bodong nodded slightly. Although they had currently eliminated a strong faction like the Misty Cloud Sect, that even stronger and more frightening 'Hall of Souls' now pressed on their heads, causing them to have difficulty catching their breaths. Looking at the strength of the one who called himself Protector Wu back then, it seemed that this mysterious faction was clearly far from what the Misty Cloud Sect could compare with.
"The 'Hall of Souls' is extremely mysterious. There is seldom anyone who knows about their existence. Given the strength in the Jia Ma Empire in the past, we are far from qualified to come into contact with them. According to my guess, it is likely that this 'Hall of Souls' could be considered an extremely powerful faction even throughout the entire Dou Qi Continent. Yet, the old Misty Cloud Sect of our Jia Ma Empire was only bossed around within our empire. Forget about comparing them with the endless Dou Qi Continent. They could only be considered a second-rate faction even in the northwestern area where we are located." Hai Bodong laughed bitterly as he sighed, "Don't just look how powerful the Misty Cloud Sect is within the empire. Its treatment in the Great Meeting of Factions for the northwestern part of this continent held once every five years was nowhere good. There were quite a number who mocked and rolled their eyes at them."
"Great Meeting of Factions?" Xiao Yan was startled when he heard this. He had never heard of this Great Meeting.
"The position where the Jia Ma Empire is located is coincidentally the northwestern part of the continent. There are at least a hundred large and small countries in this region. The Jia Ma Empire is merely one of them. There are some factions with quite a great strength within each empire, and they are uncountable if we add all of them up." Hai Bodong smiled when he saw Xiao Yan's uncertain expression. He explained, "This Great Meeting of Factions is conducted by some of the strongest factions within this northwestern region. It does not have any good intentions. Some fellows with a big ambition want to unite all the factions within this northwestern region together and become an existence that is comparable to those top factions on the continent."
"However, no one has been able to achieve this wild ambition until now. This northwestern area is far too wide with numerous numbers of factions within it. Their relationships are all complicated. It is easier said than done to unite them together. Of course, the strong here does not include the Misty Cloud Sect. With the Misty Cloud Sect's qualification, it could only be rated as second-rate in this northwestern region." Hai Bodong laughed, "However, this was the position of the Misty Cloud Sect when Yun Shan was not around in the past. After the development by that old fellow these years, the strength of the Misty Cloud Sect could be said to have increased by leaps and bounds. I think that it would have barely been able to squeeze into a first-rate position. If the next Great Meeting of Factions were to be held, it should be able to cause quite a number of factions which mocked the Misty Cloud Sect back then to shut their mouths. Ke ke, unfortunate, this dream was destroyed by you, little fellow."
Xiao Yan's face was amazed as he heard information that he had never heard before being revealed by Hai Bodong. It was unexpected that the Misty Cloud Sect, which swaggered around the Jia Ma Empire, only possessed such a position within this northwestern region.
"Ke ke, that's right, the two expert Dou Huangs whom we had met in the Mo clan back then belonged to the 'Sky Serpent Mansion'. This 'Sky Serpent Mansion' is a genuine first-rate faction within the northwestern region. Their strength far surpassed that of the Misty Cloud Sect. Back then, they had even nearly defeated the chief of the Public Sect and become the overlords of the northwestern region." Hai Bodong appeared to have suddenly recalled something as he spoke.
"The 'Sky Serpent Mansion'?" Xiao Yan was startled when he heard this. Immediately, he recalled the two mysterious experts whom he ended up meeting when he went to the Mo clan to rescue Qing Lin back then. It was unexpected that this faction was actually stronger than the Misty Cloud Sect. No wonder they could extend their limbs into the 'Black-Corner Region'. At the very least, the Misty Cloud Sect did not have the ability to survive in that kind of chaotic region.
"The 'Sky Serpent Mansion' is within the 'Sky Serpent Empire' located in the middle of this northwestern region. It has a transcendent position within their empire that only exceeded that of the Misty Cloud Sect within the Jia Ma Empire. Even the change of the imperial family there was partly manipulated by them in secret. That country also possesses some other factions but all of them treat the 'Sky Serpent Mansion' as their leader. They are required to pay a tribute to the 'Sky Serpent Mansion' every year." Hai Bodong laughed, "It has not been a long time since the Jia Ma Empire was established as a country. Adding this to the fact that it is located further to the west, there were seldom any foreign experts entering it. Other than the few large factions within the empire and the imperial family, it is very difficult for an ordinary person to have this level of understanding. If not because of that little girl called Qing Lin back then, the people from the 'Sky Serpent Mansion' would also not have come here."
Xiao Yan's face could not help but be amazed after hearing these secrets for the first time. Xiao Li and Xiao Ding by his side also clicked their tongues and sighed. They had muddled along in the empire for so many years but were completely unaware of all this information.
Hai Bodong smiled when he saw the stunned manner of the three of them. His gaze immediately glanced at Xiao Yan as he slowly said, "Now that the Misty Cloud Sect has been disband, it is likely that the Jia Ma Empire will not have a faction that it can take out."
Xiao Yan raised his eyebrow when he saw Hai Bodong's expression. He softly said, "What is the meaning of the words you speak Old Hai?"
"Ke ke, little fellow, the 'Hall of Souls' is interested in your Xiao clan, but it is impossible for you to get everyone in your clan to hide their names and conceal themselves in the deep mountains, right?" Old Hai laughed.
Xiao Yan was silent. He had promised his father that he would once again get the Xiao clan to prosper. Naturally, it was impossible for him to get everyone to become a woodcutter in the mountains.
"Since you cannot hide your names, it is naturally a little insubstantial for you alone to protect your clan properly. Hence, you need a faction that is sufficiently strong." Hai Bodong's eyes flashed as he smiled and continued, "It is your best chance now that the Misty Cloud Sect has disband. If you were to gradually develop in the future and are able to enter among the strong of the northwestern region, it is impossible for the 'Hall of Souls' to randomly kill the Xiao clan members, like in the past, even if they wanted to touch them. Moreover, if you are able to become the overlord of the northwestern region in the future, the 'Hall of Souls' would be afraid even with its strength. Moreover, just how long would you take to rescue your teacher and father if you have to search for them randomly by yourself on the continent?"
Xiao Yan revealed an expression that was deep in thought. It was a long while later before he nodded slightly. He said, "Old Hai's words are indeed reasonable. However, it is easier said than done if I want to establish a faction that can squeeze into the strong factions of the northwestern region empty-handed. My nature isn't suitable to establish a faction. If I were to split my attention on such matters, it might even intervene with my training."
"Ke ke, there are some things which you need not do personally. There would naturally be suitable people to help you manage it. At that time, you can just be the person in charge who does nothing and continues to calmly train yourself." Hai Bodong smiled. He looked at Xiao Ding and Xiao Li beside Xiao Yan and laughed, "It is also not to the extent that you have have to build empty-handed. Given your current reputation within the Jia Ma Empire, there will naturally be a countless number of experts who would come to collaborate as long as you wave your hand. Moreover, those few large clans in the empire are all currently watching your actions. They would be able to gain some benefits by following you."