Chapter 60: Master Bu Huang
Upon noticing the change in the grand master’s demeanor, Xu Min was assured Master Bu Huang indeed knew his Master Wang Li. There was no hostility left in his recent acquaintances, only friendly curiosity.
Master Bu Huang did not wait for Xu Min’s answer whether he wished to tell about his master's current lifestyle or not. Instead, he instantly started to move, and Xu Min had no other option than to follow.
He walked straight behind Bu Huang, side by side with Shui Wu, the woman who had previously tried to cause strife. Now, however, she was as docile as a kitten. Although she was calm, she walked with a haughty air around her; her nose was high in the sky. She did not look around her. Rather, her entire focus was with the master in front of her.
Xu Min, on the other hand, was observing everything he could get his eyes on. He soon discovered that anywhere this Master Bu Huang moved, others would move away, ensuring he had free passage even if the street was incredibly crowded.
"Who is this young boy?"
"Has the exalted Master Bu Huang taken on another disciple?"
"Do you think he is in trouble? Look at Miss Shui Wu's face; she is clearly not impressed by him."
Mumbling voices could be heard by Xu Min while they walked past the crowds. Rather than answering back or reacting to these people, Xu Min kept a smile on his face as he slowly moved forward.
They walked through the entire center of town and finally reached an area filled with beautiful mansions, guards patrolling everywhere, and beautifully dressed experts and nobles. Magnificent demonic beasts pulled ornate carriages; everywhere affluence, wealth, and beauty could be seen.
Although Master Bu Huang was not currently riding in a carriage, the pace he moved at was as swift as any carriage they had come by; both Shui Wu and Xu Min followed closely behind.
After following Bu Huang for some time, Shui Wu could not help but look at Xu Min for a swift moment. She never expected that this two-star warrior would be capable of keeping up with them at the same speed.
"Why are you so surprised Shui Wu?" she mumbled to herself, "he is an external expert. Of course, he is better at moving than us internal experts." Although her voice was extremely low, a subtle smile appeared on Xu Min's face. However, he just kept following behind Bu Huang not saying a word.
They finally reaching a white marble mansion. On their arrival, Bu Huang also finally slowed down. Once he appeared in front of the guards at the gate, the guards bowed deeply while calling out, "Welcome back, Patriarch!" "Welcome back, Miss Shui."
Looking at Xu Min, the guards were clearly confused as to who this young man was. Since they did not know his name, they did nothing but nod their heads at him. They were unaware of his rank, name, and reason to be here which perturbed them.
As they entered the house, Master Bu Huang waved his hand, "Little Wu go and play but do not cause any more trouble," he said gently. The young woman nodded her head before she turned around and left.
"You, boy, follow me to my study. I have a lot of questions I want to ask you." the large man requested and, again, without waiting for a reply did he continue walking; Xu Min followed right behind him.
The mansion was enormous., Moving down one corridor after another, through halls and chambers, the two of them met multiple servants, maids, and guards on their way alongside young talents, older cultivators and members of the Bu family.
They had walked for around an hour before they reached the innermost part of the mansion, which was exclusively used by the patriarch.
Bu Huang opened a door and gestured for Xu Min to enter an office-like room. The walls were filled with shelves, and on these shelves were everything from jade bottles, parchment scrolls, inscribed hides, and runes engraved on metal plates.
In the middle of the room was a large table made from a golden kind of wood, a wood called Celestial Wood. It was incredibly rare. Celestial Wood was a mutation that one out of hundred trees would undergo when turning two hundred years old.
Celestial Wood was as hard as metal and as precious as gold. It was the best material used for bows and arrows, and it was also used as City Gates for major cities. To see Bu Huang had a desk made from Celestial Wood, Xu Min could easily understand just how wealthy the man in front of him was.
Two leather chairs were visible within the room; one behind the desk and one in front of the desk. "Sit down," Bu Huang said.Xu Min quickly sat down on the chair clearly designated for guests. He felt incredibly small within this room made for the large man.
"So tell me about your story. How did you become Wang Li's disciple? The old man swore to never take on a disciple. So for him to change his opinion, you must be a natural treasure." Bu Huang said laughingly and looked at Xu Min.
"Unfortunately, at a young age, I was forced to leave my home," Xu Min said hesitantly. He was not going to delve into details about his past too much. "When I reached the city, I found Master working at the docks as an overseer." Xu Min continued. There was no reason to hide this fact. Anyone going to Honghe city would know that Wang Li was the foreman of the harbor.
"I asked him for work, and he took me in. He also started training me and thus became my master. When I reached the rank of a one-star Warrior,he sent me out to experience the world."
Bu Huang asked numerous questions concerning Xu Min's time in Honghe City and about the life Wang Li was living. All the while, he paid great interest in Xu Min's cultivation base, and the apparent fact he was so young at this rank level already.
Silence descended upon the room for a moment before the master sighed. "You answered all the questions I asked you. Now, it is my turn to answer your questions. Being a new person within this city, I am sure you have many questions."
Looking surprisingly at Bu Huang, Xu Min was shocked to hear what he had been searching for all this time. Nonetheless, he quickly recovered and nodded his head. "I do indeed have a few questions. First, I need to know about the power struggles within the Ruins of the Immortals. Secondly, I'd like to know where I most suitable for training." Xu Min asked. Although he had tons of questions, these two were the most urgent ones and also the ones he had been thinking about the most.
Slightly baffled, the older man nodded his head, "If that is what you want to know, then I will gladly answer you."
"Within the Ruins, there are three major factions. The first one is the oldest. It is known as Snow Mountain. Though the oldest, Snow Mountain is only ranked third in strength. The second strongest is the Thousand Sword Sect. This faction differs from Snow Mountain by leadership. Unlike Snow Mountain, a family does not lead it. Instead, it is experts of unknown origin who usually enter the sect and direct it. The Thousand Sword Sect has great headhunters who go and recruit more and more experts. It is due to these geniuses that the sect has grown as strong as it is."
"The strongest faction within the Ruins is the Demon Core Family. They are newcomers within the Ruins, arrived merely a hundred years ago. However, when they came, they instantly established their strength, managing to take over the position as the top faction."
"In the last fifty years, there has been peace between the three factions. Nonetheless, two months ago, the Snow Mountain attacked ground belongings of the Thousand Sword Sect. They have taken over four of their cities so far. The Thousand Sword Sect has tried to retaliate, but it has not gone very well. On the other hand, the Demon Core Family has done nothing either, so the Snow Mountain is allowed to run wild for now."
"And, this city belongs to?" Xu Min asked curiously. He hoped he was not going to meet the Snow Mountain troops again anytime soon.
"Don't worry; no one will attack this city. We are under Demon Core Family’s powerful protection. If the Snow Mountain were to attack this city, the Demon Core Family would not let them escape. It is one thing to attack the Thousand Sword Sect; it’s a whole other thing to fight against the Demon Core Family. There is a whole level difference between the two."
"As well, one has to remember that although the Demon Core Family might not be visible within the city, they are here, waiting for the time when the city will be in danger. This is possible for the Demon Core family as it is a family and everyone follows the lead of their patriarch. The Thousand Sword Sect is different. Their followers and members are all experts who, although talented, are not interested in something as boring as patrolling a city. They are strong when they gather all their forces, but they are horrible protectors of what they win."
Being quiet for some time, Bu Huang looked into the sky. "As to your second question, the best place to train within the Ruins of the Immortal depends on which year it is. Usually, you would be told to go to the Thousand Sword Forest. This forest contains many demonic beasts. The further you go, the stronger the beast you will meet. Humans are also a big challenge in these forests.You are lucky, though."
"This year the Immortal Valley will be open. It is a long but fairly narrow valley deep within the innermost core of the Ruins. This valley is filled with treasures. There are treasures everywhere, and there is also a lot of demonic beasts. These beasts either protect the treasures or just roam the valley to find opponents."
"Every ten years, this valley will be opened. However, a person can only enter it if they are below twenty-five years of age. Additionally, there is a competition associated with this family. Many families enter their young. The ones who manage to come out with the most beast cores, or the ones of the highest quality, will be ranked the winner of this Immortal Valley."
"Every family will acquire a lot of treasures which will be pooled together as a reward for the winner. There is only one winner; the rest are losers. There is no second place."
" Only a third of the ones who enter come out alive if it is a good year. If it is a bad year, only one in ten will survive."
"Each family is allowed to send in ten of its young members. Since you are the disciple of my brother Wang Li, I would like to hand you one of the spots." He said with friendliness in his voice. His whole demeanor was gentle and friendly, something which made Xu Mi fairly worried. He was not used to experts giving him something without wanting something in return. On the other hand, joining this Immortal Valley competition sounded like a great opportunity. Thus, he nodded his head.
"Fantastic! We will be leaving in three months. Until then, you will be my honored guest here in my mansion. If you need anything make sure to ask Shui Wu, she'll be there to assist you with whatever you might need."
"Now, follow me, and we will find a room for you," the large man said as he stood up and gestured for Xu Min to follow behind.