Chapter 272: Bloody Marks

Bai Tianyi and Xue Wei smiled amiably and seemed very friendly towards the many people who were rushing towards them. However, neither of them said anything, nor did they answer questions when they were bombarded by the group of late arrivals. 

“Will you be willing to dine with me? Such an outstanding genius should be treated to the best of the best!” 

“Don’t listen to him, come with me to my home and my wife will cook you food that cannot be compared to anything at all!”

“He is a genius, food is not what he needs! Listen, young man, come with me and I will offer you some resources that can make your cultivation base increase rapidly, come to have a talk with me and my uncle will give you a lot of these cultivation resources, okay?”

“You idiot, those cultivation methods will ruin his foundations! There is no such thing as a free lunch in the world, fast advances bring with them dangers!” 

Like this, they were all arguing over the top of each other, roaring their offers to Bai Tianyi like a herd of wild beasts, all of them pretending to speak to a child, and making Xue Wei snicker slightly as he saw how Bai Tianyi’s face was turning black with anger. 

“I am busy.” Bai Tianyi’s cold voice suddenly cut through the many offers that were being sent forward towards him. He then looked at Xue Wei and gestured for him to continue forward towards the Soul Tower. 

Xue Wei just shrugged his shoulders. He knew that Bai Tianyi would never join any of the factions here, so he casually followed behind the annoyed young-looking boy. 

No one dared to be too pushy towards them as they did not want to have the opposite effect that pushes them towards their opponents, but a few of the more powerful groups had malice flashing within their eyes when they saw how Bai Tianyi had snubbed them this day.

They would use some more ruthless methods next time, and seeing how Bai Tianyi was treating Xue Wei, they could perhaps use him as a way to get what they wanted. 

But before they dared to act, they had to get some more information. Xue Wei and Bai Tianyi were not average people. Both of them had only two eyes each, but the talent they had displayed was so outstanding that they did not lose out to four or perhaps even five-eyed experts. 

Since this was the case, they had to have some sort of outstanding background or identity, so they needed to tread carefully.

Xue Wei and Bai Tianyi were unaware of what these groups were thinking, but even if they knew, they would just sneer in annoyance and not really care. 

If they were so easily dealt with, they would not have been able to escape unscathed as many times as they had back on Chang’an. They had quite some faith in their own survivability. 

As they reached the Soul Tower, many were looking at them curiously. Although the people here today had not seen them before, all of them knew about Bai Tianyi and his features. He was the only one who had reached the ninth floor so he was a legend amongst the academy already.

Xue Wei was also somewhat famous as he had displayed some outstanding talent whilst only having two eyes. Many had the impression of him being some special primordial beast who was talented in spiritual energy, only a few knew that the group that came from another continent included these two small monsters.

The visitors from the other continent were shrouded in mystery. The only ones that could be identified were Lin Xiao and Hei Gou. The other two were so mysterious that no one seemed to have any idea what they looked like—and seeing as these two had such weak spiritual cultivation bases—there was no one who would connect the two monsters from the Soul Tower to the two visitors. 

As they entered the Soul Tower, Xue Wei felt the great pressure bearing down on his soul as usual, but it was not as overwhelming as he remembered it. Together with Bai Tianyi, they started ascending the tower once again. 

He was slightly nervous. He knew that if he wished to reach the ninth floor, he would have to rely on the protection of the golden dragon spirit to shroud him on the eighth floor, but to be able to summon the golden dragon spirit, he needed to ensure that no one saw it. He prayed that there were no people on the seventh floor, and that it would be possible for him to quickly reach the ninth floor. 

When they reached the sixth floor, Xue Wei finally felt the pressure of the soul power grow rather dense, and as he reached the seventh floor, his steps were slow and his feet dragged behind him. Sweat was starting to bead on his forehead, and his breathing became shallow. 

As he stepped onto the seventh floor, he found that there was only one expert present. Xue Wei had seen this expert before on this level, and it was hard to doubt that he was one of the most talented experts in the entire academy. 

When he sensed Xue Wei and Bai Tianyi enter the room, the expert opened one eye slightly, leaving the other three closed, and after glancing at the two of them, he closed the eye again to continue focusing wholly on cultivating. 

“Stay here and wait for him to leave,” Bai Tianyi muttered before he continued upwards to the eighth floor. 

Xue Wei nodded his head and sat down. Although he was slightly impatient, he quickly emptied his mind of all thoughts and began to focus fully on cultivating. 

Every now and then, Xue Wei would open his eyes to observe whether or not he was alone on the floor. But instead of seeing the person leave, unfortunately, another one arrived.

His expression remained calm, but he could not help but feel slightly annoyed. He was on a tight schedule, he needed to figure out the problem behind the mystery within a specific time frame, but now he was forced to waste even more time. 

The only benefit with this waiting was that he could cultivate at the same time; if he was not gaining extra strength while doing this, then he would have lost his patience long ago. 

After a few days had passed waiting for an opening, Xue Wei sighed as he stood up and stretched his stiff body, but still, the level was not emptied out, and in fact, now they were four people on the floor. 

His frustration beginning to outweigh his patience, Xue Wei contemplated what to do, and then he had an idea. He began to wander the floor, further and further towards the stairs leading towards the eighth floor. Every step was like a war against himself. 

He felt the heavy pressure weighing down upon him; he felt the soul power crashing into his mind and even with the golden dragon refining it as fast as it possibly could, it still felt like trying to run while wading through a deep lake. 

His legs began to tremble and the sweat dripped like rain from his forehead, but he was not giving up. From time to time, he would look behind him to see whether or not anyone was observing him, but after numerous glances, he realized that they were not paying any attention to him at all, and a smile broke out on his lips.

He continued forward until he could go no further, where he halted, checking behind him one last time before just taking the risk and summoning the golden dragon. 

The moment the golden dragon spirit appeared, it wrapped itself around Xue Wei’s body and he felt the pressure on him lifting like magic. 

Not wasting even a second and without another glance behind, he rushed upstairs the moment he felt the pressure lifting. The longer he waited, the more likely he was to be discovered, after all. 

As he reached the eighth floor, he found that Bai Tianyi sitting in the middle of the lonely room, looking exceptionally bored. 

He did not need to do anything special to cultivate, he did not need to do anything else than just sit still and his body would naturally change it to spiritual energy. 

He did not seem at all like a ten year old child, he seemed like a carefree and casual person who had the world in his hands. 

“Oh they left?” He asked when he saw Xue Wei appearing with a golden dragon spirit wrapped around his body.Xue Wei shook his head and sighed, “I was not patient at all,” he admitted. 

“Did they see?” Bai Tianyi frowned slightly. It was a risk to summon the golden dragon spirit when others were nearby, but he trusted Xue Wei and would never go against his wishes. 

Xue Wei shrugged his shoulders. “I don’t think so,” he said, “but I cannot say for sure. The moment I summoned the spirit, I rushed upstairs, so they might have seen a bit of it, but they probably haven’t—at least not all of it .” 

Bai Tianyi shook his head. For once Xue Wei had been impulsive, but he understood the impatience Xue Wei felt. They were on a tight schedule; the sooner they got clues the better.

“Well we will gain nothing from brooding over the issue anymore,” Xue Wei sighed, knowing he had been slightly out of character and impatient, “let’s go to the ninth floor.”

Bai Tianyi was also aware that there was no way they would be able to change anything that had already happened, so instead of harping on about it, he stood up, and the two of them moved towards the stairs. 

After Xue Wei summoned the golden dragon spirit, he was incapable of feeling the pressure. He could simply no longer sense it, the dragon just absorbed the energy as fast as it could, gulping down the soul power like a bottomless hole, seemingly unable to become full. 

The golden dragon spirit was similar to Bai Tianyi’s body, both of them were made out of pure energy and could absorb spiritual energy with inherent proficiency. 

As long as the golden dragon spirit was out, his cultivation would rise at a speed completely unlike before. At the same time, he could now enter the ninth floor. 

Although he was tempted to stay on the eighth floor for some time and cultivate with the golden dragon spirit, Xue Wei decided to wait with this until he had solved the mystery of the ninth floor. 

The walk towards the ninth floor was casual and carefree; the pressure was not at all capable of controlling him anymore. As they reached the ninth floor, they found that the pressure was still no where present as Bai Tianyi had observed previously, so Xue Wei retrieved the golden dragon spirit and began walking around the floor, looking at everything around him. 

As he looked around, he found nothing special on the floor, it was just as bare as Bai Tianyi had told him, but something kept telling him that there was more to this floor than meets the eye. 

After a bit of time pacing around the room, he found that there were some red marks on the walls all around. At first, he thought it was a decoration, though the longer he looked, the more he frowned. 

The red marks came in different shades, some even seemed to be freshly painted, while others seemed to be old and almost black with age. Upon closer inspection, accompanied by the colored marks were small indentations resembling scratch marks all over the walls too. When one looked at it all casually, it looked like a decoration, but when examining it, Xue Wei found that all the walls were filled with scratch marks and both new and old traces of—there was no denying it—blood

Although there was blood painted on the walls, there was no scent of blood in the air, and both the floor and the ceiling was completely white, with no signs of blood or scratches at all. 

Looking at this, Xue Wei frowned. What was the reason behind these bloodied marks? Was the ninth floor perhaps not meant to be traversed but a place where people were being sacrificed to feed the soul tower with soul power? Xue Wei was unsure, but he understood they had to leave as soon as possible. 

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