AGM 168 - Heartbroken
Near the thicket, several people had already gathered. They were all drawn here by the sound of the deafening roar. Currently, they all had wide-eyed expressions as though they had seen something extremely shocking.
Qin Wentian finally arrived at the area, his heart pounding madly.
In his heart, there was unease as well as terror. He feared that he would see something he didn't want to see.
His steps grew incomparably heavy as he walked forwards, heading into the crowd.
There was a lance embedded atop an ancient tree. Pierced through by the lance, a body hung lifelessly, pinned on the sturdy trunk of the ancient tree. Blood dyed his torn and tattered robes red. The body that hung there was long out of breath. His eyes were wide open in death, filled with unwillingness and depression. He was still so young and full of hope for the future, but he died here just like this, an ignoble death.
Boom. Qin Wentian's heart heavily pounded. His countenance was as white as paper. Wasn't the youth who died Zi Jun? What happened? He didn't die at the hands of a demonic beast for sure. The long lance that penetrated through him seemed to be a silent proclamation.
Mo Qingcheng and Rain also went pale white, their beautiful faces devoid of any traces of a smile. Instead, their countenances were exceptionally cold, like the deadly chill of winter.
Qin Wentian slowly continued forwards, his gaze unwavering as he stared at the body of his never-to-be junior brother. After which, he slowly turned his gaze and stared at the thicket of trees far up ahead. Over there, blood soaked the entire ground as a body quietly laid there, deathly still.
Mountain had been protecting Zi Jun in the shadows. When Qin Wentian saw the impaled Zi Jun, his heart had already been filled with pain, but he was still overshadowed by a heavy sense of foreboding. Indeed, what he feared finally came true.
Rustling sounds rang out as several shadows appeared. Luo Huan's racy figure was still extremely mesmerising, but her face only reflected icy coldness as well as sorrow.
She immediately lunged to Mountain's side and kneeled there on the ground. Reaching out with her trembling hands, she gently caressed Mountain's face as her tears fell down like rain from the Heavens.
Silent tears, yet nothing in the whole world seemed to be as loud as this. This was the first time Qin Wentian saw the happy-go-lucky Luo Huan in such agony, not to mention her unending flood of tears.
"AHHHHHHHHHHH..." Luo Huan raised her head as she screamed, filled with grief and anger, resounding throughout the Dark Forest. Anyone who heard that was able to sense the amount of sorrow and depression in her voice.
Luo Cheng, Fan Le and the rest arrived by Luo Huans side as they too, knelt on the ground, with pain filling their hearts.
Qin Wentian's raised his feet, which suddenly felt as though they weighed 1,000 Jin, as he approached the body of Zi Jun, extending his hands to close his eyes shut.
After which, he pulled the long lance out and carried the body of Zi Jun before walking over to Mountain. Placing Zi Jun next to Mountain, he too knelt down as he silently stared at both of their faces.
"Junior brother, when you have many accomplishments in the future, remember to come back to the academy to see me, okay? Don't pretend that you don't know me at that time." Mountain's words still resounded in his ears. Mountain had already been at the peak of Arterial Circulation and was sure to step into Yuanfu by the end of this year. After he broke through to Yuanfu, he would undergo his preparations to become an honorary Elder, guiding the students in the Emperor Star Academy.
Mountain had a very good impression of the talented Zi Jun and had wanted to nurture a genius that could be comparable to his junior brother Qin Wentian.
His dream wasn't too farfetched. He only wanted to live a smooth and steady life in the academy, imparting his knowledge to the newer generations.
But now, everything had vanished into thin air.
He had passed on. The big brother figure, who had still been alive a few days ago, closed his eyes in the unending sleep of death.
Impaled in his body were a few long lances, indicating that his death was not caused by a single culprit.
Their deaths were premeditated, but the motives of the killers were unclear.
"Sister Luo Huan." Qin Wentian called out as Luo Huan looked at him. Previously, Qin Wentian had always referred to her as Senior Sister Luo Huan, but this time around, he actually referred to her as Sister Luo Huan
Qin Wentian reached his hands out, wiping away the tears cascading from her face.
There was a trace of crazed laughter in Qin Wentian's eyes that seemed incredibly fiend-like. This was the first time Luo Huan had ever seen such an expression in his eyes. From this moment onwards, in her entire life, she would never be able to forget this look of laughter in Qin Wentian's eyes. That laughter seemed to be tinged with madness, as grief, anger, agony, and determination all coagulated together, giving form to it.
"I know that no matter what else we do, Senior Mountain will never wake up again. However, I will ensure that the killers pay an excruciatingly painful price." Qin Wentian slowly enunciated each word as he stared straight ahead with his haunted eyes.
Mountain wouldn't have any enemies within the Emperor Star Academy. He entered the depths of the Dark Forest in secret to protect Zi Jun from danger, so there shouldn't be any clashes between him and any others. His killers were obviously provoking the Emperor Star Academy on purpose.
If he were to guess, the suspicions of the Royal Clan being the one behind this incident would be the highest.
If it was indeed as he had guessed, he vowed that the imperial authority of Chu would surely change. Definitely. As long as he, Qin Wentian, was alive.
Luo Huan's eyes were bloodshot as she heavily nodded her head. The culprits behind Mountain's death definitely had to pay a heavy price.
"We have to inform all the prospective students of our Emperor Star Academy to evacuate this place. There's a high possibility that this incident wasn't aimed at Mountain alone but at the entire Emperor Star Academy." Rain was also feeling terrible, but as the person with the highest authority, she had to remain calm.
"Other than the few of us, the remaining juniors are all still in the examination phase. If someone really wanted to target the Emperor Star Academy, their target would be us." Luo Cheng was also exceptionally calm as he continued, "However, there's no need for the examination to carry on. I agree that the evacuation plan is good, but we too must depart from the Dark Forest."
Rain nodded her head in agreement; she knew that Luo Cheng spoke the truth, The enemy was hiding in the dark while they were all out in the light, making this an extremely dangerous situation. The prospective students of the Emperor Star Academy were spread out all over the Dark Forest, so it wasn't feasible for them to find them one by one.
Rain soared up the skies as she stood in the air, howling out a command, "All prospective students of the Emperor Star Academy, immediately depart from the Dark Forest."
Powerful sound waves resounded in all directions as Rain landed onto the ground. She could only do so much. Luo Cheng was right, the prospective students were just undergoing an examination. If there were people who wanted to target the Emperor Star Academy deliberately, they wouldn't attack cultivators who weren't part of the academy as of yet.
"Let us leave now." Rain stated to Qin Wentian and the others.
However, Qin Wentian replied, "Senior Mountain just passed away for a short period of time. I believe his killers couldn't have escaped too far. I wish to go take a look."
"Impossible." Rain directly rejected. Qin Wentian's safety was of the utmost importance.
If this was really done by the Royal Clan, on a certain degree, it means that the Royal Clan had already began to take actions against the Emperor Star Academy.
Previously, both could co-exist peacefully. But once face was torn, there would no longer be any peace and quiet. On the contrary, when the time came, chaos would certainly erupt.
"I just want to see if there are any clues remaining. Senior Rain, don't worry, I won't be rash." Qin Wentian appeared exceptionally calm. Upon seeing his resolution, Rain could only concur, "You can only search around the vicinity and are not allowed to wander too far. I'll come with you."
"I'll go with you too. Let's go on my white crane." Mo Qingcheng spoke as she walked forwards.
Qin Wentian cast a glance at Mo Qingcheng. He nodded his agreement, "Fine, let's go now."
"I will bring the bodies of Mountain and Zi Jun back." Luo Huan remarked. Qin Wentian and the two ladies mounted the white crane as they tracked the trail of footprints through the air.
The speed of the white crane was incredibly fast as they flew straight ahead.
"Over there." Qin Wentian remarked when he saw the corpses of demonic beasts lying below them.
"There's a dense thicket of trees ahead, be careful." Rain stared at the densely clustered trees. It was a prime location for an ambush.
"There are people over there." Qin Wentian's gaze abruptly sharpened as he saw a group of silhouettes melding into the shadows of the forest, covertly retreating towards the direction of the dense cluster of trees.
"There's someone here as well." Mo Qingcheng spoke in a low voice as Qin Wentian's pupils contracted. Upon seeing the faces of the new arrivals, the look in Qin Wentian's eyes turned ice cold as a terrifying light flickered within.
"Ye Wuque, Wang Teng, Wu Chong."
These three were none other than the challengers from back then.
The three of them rose in the air, blocking the path of the white crane as they spoke, "What a coincidence."
"Get out of my way." Qin Wentian coldly stated.
However, the three of them continued to stand there calmly, as rustling sounds echoed in the air. Below them, several silhouettes cloaked in black were disappearing within the densely cluttered trees ahead.
The white crane gave a shrill cry of anger as it dashed forward, as though it wanted to clash against the three opposing cultivators. Rain faced against Wang Teng on the left while Mo Qingcheng faced Wu Chong on the right. Qin Wentian was face to face with Ye Wuque.
An incredibly demonic aura erupted forth as Qin Wentian sent out countless palm imprints, his arterial pathways howling as the energy within him was channeled to his arms. Blasting out with the Falling Mountain Palms with his left and Forgotten Imprints with his right, Qin Wentian wanted to decimate everything in his path.
Ye Wuque coldly laughed as he sent out both his palms to meet the attack. A monstrously sharp aura emanated from him.
At the moment of impact, Qin Wentian only felt that the energy of his opponent was like a continuous, uninterrupted flow of water. This was the level of Yuanfu. The vast and boundless amounts of Astral Energy stored within the body of a Yuanfu cultivator wasn't something an Arterial Circulation cultivator would be able to match up against. Qin Wentian's arms trembled violently as his body was flung backwards.
The white crane flew backwards, allowing Qin Wentian's body to land on it. Rain and Mo Qingcheng retreated as well. The last of the black cloaked figures had all already successfully retreated into the dense clusters of trees.
Blood seeped out of the corners of Qin Wentian's mouth. His eyes grew ice cold and incomparably demonic in this instant.
"Let's return." Rain intoned in a low voice. Mo Qingcheng also agreed; she knew that they would be in incomparable danger should they proceed forwards. However, as she glanced at Qin Wentian, she discovered that at this moment, Qin Wentian had undergone a complete transformation. His countenance was devilishly handsome yet extremely cold as his long black hair fluttered about with the wind.
"Ye Wuque, I will make you pay." Qin Wentian spat out. The white crane turned and departed, Qin Wentian's icy voice resounded through the air.
Ye Wuque furrowed his brows. The image of Qin Wentian's cold eyes floated up in his mind. At that moment earlier, Qin Wentian felt abnormally demonic.