Book 4 Chapter 3 - I Came From the South

“Isn’t that Medicine Department’s Gao Yanan? Today’s Medicine Department’s courses aren’t held here, what is she doing here?”

“Is she waiting for someone?”

For the other Green Luan Academy students, the academy’s peacefulness continued. Today was when the Toxicology elective course was held. When the students of different departments appeared in twos and threes on the mountain path leading into Poisonous Medicine Valley, they discovered that Gao Yanan was waiting at the side of one of the mountain paths.

Just as everyone was wondering who this Medicine Department girl, who was similarly outstanding both in aptitude and appearance, was waiting for, someone dressed in Self Defense Department clothes quickly greeted her, directly walking up to Gao Yanan.

“It’s him…”

The moment they saw that the Self Defense Department student was Lin Xi, the expressions of the students from other departments immediately became complicated.

Some of them carried admiration, some jealousy, some instead scorn and hatred.

Just like what Lin Xi previously discussed with Tong Wei, in this world, the hardest thing to reconcile, was the human heart. Even if they were faced with the same thing, the same monotonous color, everyone’s opinions might be different. Some people will find it pretty, while some will find it ugly.

News of Lin Xi facing Thunder Academy’s students had already spread, his ‘ninety jin heaven’s choice’ title also falling apart, but when faced with his previous indifference, some people felt that he was open-minded, feeling that it was beneath him to dispute it, yet there were naturally some students who were like Liu Ziyu, feeling like Lin Xi was pretending, just waiting for a chance to slap them all in the face.

This was a clear divide. Some students originally didn’t have much of an impression or opinion of Lin Xi, but just like other academies, Green Luan Academy was predominately male, and these male students were all young… sweet, fair, and graceful girls were sought after by all noblemen, this was a type of instinct, an emotion that couldn’t be controlled. Towards the outstanding girls in various departments, most of the male students naturally carried a bit of longing.

For girls like Qin Xiyue and Gao Yanan, there was naturally endless respect and admiration focused on them.

However, ever since they returned from Half Snow Gray Plains, many people noticed that Qin Xiyue, Gao Yanan, and Lin Xi were all quite close… Even though every single student of the academy was an elite of the empire, they were still young, so there were naturally many who disliked Lin Xi purely because of this.

When they saw Gao Yanan’s beautiful figure standing on that mountain path, waiting for Lin Xi like the most beautiful flower in the first glimmers of dawn, who knew just how many of them were jealous, how many of them were unable to quell the resentment within their hearts.

“Yanan, what did you need me for?” Lin Xi walked at Gao Yanan’s side, asking with a smile.

“Walk a bit further from me.” Gao Yanan nodded towards Lin Xi, and then entered a hillside blooming with wild flowers, completely unbothered by the dew soaking her shoes.

Lin Xi already sensed jealousy and hatred from the eyes of some students. Compared to the youngsters of this world, his brain, which contained who knew how much information, naturally had a higher emotional quotient, which also let him clearly understand just how much unreasonable hostility walking into an unknown place with Gao Yanan alone would bring. However, because of that unique sense of pride, Lin Xi definitely wouldn’t fear this type of mysterious hostility, so he merely nodded, and then happily followed along.

In the morning breeze, walking side by side with Gao Yanan filled his heart with happiness, thinking to himself… this could be considered a date too, right?

“Are you one of them?” Suddenly, Gao Yanan, who was slowly walking with her head lowered with Lin Xi, quietly asked with a voice only the two of them could hear.

When these words were spoken alone, the meaning was a bit hard to determine, but Lin Xi who already had some suspicions wasn’t shocked at all. He turned around to look at Gao Yanan, nodding and saying, “You also agreed?”

The mountain breeze blew a few strands of Gao Yanan’s long hair, making them flutter beautifully by her cheeks. However, her brows instead furrowed together. After a pause, she said, “The academy has faith in us, but the other side has even more faith… the five members on the other side might all have higher cultivation levels than yours, so you have to be careful this time.”

“You came looking for me so early in the morning just to tell me this?” Lin Xi immediately couldn’t help but laugh, his smile extremely brilliant.

Gao Yanan felt a bit annoyed, stomping her feet. However, when she realized that this was still her own problem in the end, that there were some things she couldn't reveal, unable to tell the other party her true identity, she could only helplessly shake her head, a bit frustrated at herself as she said, “Do these sound like useless words to you?”

Lin Xi naturally couldn’t associate such a simple line with so many deeper meanings, he only felt that an embarrassed Gao Yanan stamping her feet, compared to her usual carefree self, was even more charming and cute. As such, he forcefully endured the urge to laugh, seriously looking at Gao Yanan and said, “Towards others, they might be useless words, but for me, they are quite meaningful, and I also feel extremely happy when I hear them.”

Gao Yanan stared blankly. She raised her head to size up Lin Xi, only after some time did she say, “Lin Xi, has anyone told you that your mouth is quite lowly?”

Lin Xi looked her in the eyes, seriously shaking his head and saying, “They haven’t, because I don’t think I’ve ever said these words to anyone before.”

“Not only is your mouth lowly, your skin is also rather thick.” Gao Yanan concluded inwardly. However, after repeating herself and saying ‘you have to be careful’, she didn’t say anything else, only waving her hand towards Lin Xi, and then stared at her own toes, leaving with her hands clasped behind her.

Nanshan Mu sat quietly by a pond full of duckweed, staring at the fishing rod in his hands.

All of a sudden, light flashed past his eyes. He suddenly turned around.

The instant he turned around, Nangong Weiyang walked over from the red pin forest behind him.

Originally, Nanshan Mu’s entire body was braced, a wave of hidden and restrained aura about to be released from his body. However, the moment he saw that the one who walked out from the red pine forest was the somewhat dirty clothed young lady, moreover, while he was sizing her up, this young lady was also seriously sizing him up, those eyes large and bright, filled with a rare maturity for her age, simultaneously also carrying innocence, this seemingly contradictory yet interesting combination made him realize that the other party didn’t actually recognize him. As such, his body relaxed, unable to hold back a laugh, chuckling while asking, “You’re a cultivator from my dynasty?”

Most of the cultivators of this world weren’t all that special on the outside, but this was Thousand Sunset Mountain. It looked peaceful on the outside, but it was actually one of the world’s most sinister places, so how could an ordinary teenage girl possibly arrive in its depths alone?

Nangong Weiyang looked at this happily smiling, somewhat stooped gray-haired scholar, nodded, and then said, “You are as well?”

When he saw how Nangong Weiyang was extremely serious even when she was nodding, Nanshan Mu was even more interested, nodding with a chuckle. However, before he could say anything, Nangong Weiyang’s eyes already landed on the shallow and muddy pond in front of him, asking, “You are fishing?”

Nanshan Mu nodded.

Nangong Weiyang said, “Since you dare fish here, why aren’t you going to Heaven’s Lens lake or Lost Forest’s great lake?”

Nanshan Mu smiled. “It is because when I passed by this place before, at the time, I had a thought; I wanted to know if this type of pond had big fish.”

Nangong Weiyang gave Nanshan Mu a look. “Seems like you have quite the free time.”

Nanshan Mu seriously shook his head, explaining, “I was just too busy before, unable to do any of the things I wanted to do… Now, I have a bit of time, so I am doing the things I was previously interested in, but never had the chance to do.”

“What you are saying is reasonable.” Nangong Weiyang quietly nodded. “This indeed cannot be considered senseless anymore, because this is what you like.”

“You are quite interesting, encountering you is also something that makes me happy.” Nanshan Mu gave Nangong Weiyan an affectionate look, saying, “What is your name? What academy did you study under?”

Nangong Weiyang shook her head, saying, “My name is Nangong Weiyang, not a student of any academy. What is your name?”

Nanshan Mu felt like this way of talking was quite amusing. When he thought about how when he himself already didn’t have much time left, yet could still encounter this type of girl, he immediately couldn’t help but chuckle, saying, “I am Nanshan Mu, have you heard my name before?”

“I have not.” Nangong Weiyang shook her head. “I normally don’t remember any names, I only hear the names of the people in the places I’ve been to.”

Nanshan Mu laughed, and then said, “I haven’t heard of your name before either.”

Nangong Weiyang nodded. “That is because I am not well-known, and not many people know my name to begin with.”

Nanshan Mu laughed again. He looked at the somewhat shabby-clothed Nangong Weiyang, saying, “Then, Nangong Weiyang, where are you from, and where do you wish to go? It seems like you’ve already traveled quite the distance, a long time since you had a proper meal and slept indoors.”

Nangong Weiyang said seriously, “I came from the south, I wish to take a look around Heaven Ascension Mountain Range.”

“Then you are making a pilgrimage, wishing to take a look around Green Luan Academy. From the south to Thousand Sunset Mountain… you’ve indeed already traveled quite the distance.” When he heard Nangong Weiyang’s reply, he, who had already classified Nangong Weiyang as an independent cultivator carrying out a type of cultivation, instead became serious, exhorting, “If you want to take a look around Green Luan Academy, that is fine, but it might not be too calm right now. Perhaps it’s best if you take it a bit easier on this journey, arrive a bit later.”

“You are quite the good person.” Nangong Weiyang gave Nanshan Mu a look, saying this.

Nanshan Mu stared blankly, and then he immediately chuckled in self mockery, thinking that if in the future, Yunqin’s annals of history had the same evaluation of him as this young lady’s words, then he could be pleased with this life of his.

“Nangong Weiyang, when you look at a person, you definitely can’t judge them by their surface. In this life of mine, I’ve done many bad things, also harmed many people…” Originally, Nanshan Mu wanted to give this innocent and earnest young lady some more warnings, but when he thought about how speaking too much right now might dampen her spirits, after a bit of hesitation, he instead smiled apologetically, not saying anything else.

However, what left him a bit stunned was that Nangong Weiyang instead said, “I don’t really look at appearances, I only feel like you’re not bad.”

Nanshan Mu felt like this young lady’s words and her logical flow were quite strange. He was momentarily distracted, but didn’t know how to continue off of what she said, remaining speechless for a long time.

“Both of our names have the Nan character[1].” Perhaps because Nangong Weiyang didn’t know what to say either, perhaps because Nanshan Mu felt that her logic was really strange, she then seriously said this.

Then, her eyes landed on the ring on Nanshan Mu’s forefinger. “This ring of yours isn’t bad either.”

“This is a Golden Bell Ring, the runes on it are things not even the current academies can understand… If one cultivates to an imbuing level, able to pour one’s soul force into other objects, it is indeed quite the good defensive soul treasure.” Nanshan Mu looked at the golden ring that was covered in pretty runes. After chucking in a warm manner, he directly removed it, handing it to Nangong Weiyang, saying, “You said it’s not bad, our names both have a Nan character… if you like it, then I’ll just give it to you.”

Nangong Weiyang didn’t hide her appreciation, but she instead shook her head. “This is an ancient object, it is extremely useful for you too. Why are you giving it to me?”

Nanshan Mu looked at Nangong Weiyang, feeling that before this serious girl, he really couldn’t come up with any lies. As such, he also seriously said, “I will die soon, it’s useless even if I keep it on me.”

Nangong Weiyang gave Nanshan Mu a look, her expression actually remaining unchanged. She shook her head. “You won’t die.”

Nanshan Mu said with a forced smile, “Life has dawn and dusk, happiness and disaster. As a cultivator, my body is obviously fine, but if my head is removed, I will still die.”

Nangong Weiyang remained quiet for a while, and then accepted Nanshan Mu’s Golden Bell Ring, seriously saying her thanks.

However, when Nanshan Mu was smiling, she instead shook her head, saying, “No one here can remove your head.”

Nanshan Mu shook his head. While looking at his fishing rod that didn’t get any bites, he said, “What if it is the west suppressing Great General Respected Cangyue who wishes to take my head?”

Nangong Weiyang’s brows furrowed slightly, but she still shook her head. “He won’t be able to take your head.”

“Forget it.” Nanshan Mu thought that it was because Nangong Weiyang hadn’t even heard of Respected Cangyue’s name before, not knowing how terrifying this individual was. He felt that knowing too much won’t bring this young lady any good, so he shook his head, not saying any more.

1. South

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