Chapter 67: Desert Wolves
Xu Min decided to look at the many factions around him than give Snow Mountain any more attention. A total of one hundred thousand experts were to participate in this Immortal Valley Ranking. Each faction was allowed to bring ten experts with them, and in total ten thousand experts had the permission to partake in the rankings.
The commotion caused by the Snow Mountain combined with their fame, or infamy, had caused many factions to keep an eye on them. Additionally, after their take over a city, many of the prominent families heard rumors about t an expert who had caused them trouble.
Who this expert was, no one had known, not before today, that is. Knowing his nickname was Yanluo, everyone memorized him firmly within their minds. It was clear he was not just anybody since he reduced the Snow Mountain’s guards into such a sorry state. It was clear Xu Min had the strength that surpassed the second-star Warrior rank, but no one seemed to be able to determine what his actual strength was. The experts had no idea where to gage him and accepted he was stronger than he looked.
Xu Min paid no attention. Instead, he just sighed deeply. He knew that he was the target of many experts who had heard what Snow Mountain said. Having been gifted the nickname Yanluo, anyone who managed to take him down would be known as the killer of the King of Hell.
Bu Huang, who heard, smiled slightly as he stroked his beard. He was not against Xu Min experiencing dangers. Wang Li clearly sent him out into the world to be tempered. He guessed if he couldn’t even manage against a group like this, then he was not worthy of being called Wang Li's disciple.
"Old man Bu, it seems that the expert you have invited to join your family comes with a whole lot of baggage even Snow Mountain wishes to kill him. Going as far as to call him Yanluo, don't you fear that he will die? I mean a disciple as talented as him is quite rare, for sure, but…”
Bu Huang just smiled at the man who had appeared out of nowhere. "Old man Xing, this is none of your concern. Although I will grieve if he dies, he can blame no one but his inability to stay alive," Bu Huang laughed out loud. His words caused many experts close by to frown. It was clear that Bu Huang who was usually protective of his own clan's youngsters showed no signs of wanting to keep Xu Min safe. All he seemed to want was to see how Xu Min would do in the valley.
Xu Min was standing just behind Bu Huang. His face was as neutral as it could be. No emotions shown even when Bu Huang said he was to blame should he die. No expression was revealed in his eyes. He did not doubt that what Bu Huang said was incorrect. If he died, he could only blame himself.
"Hey, brother Xu, what is this all about with you and the Snow Mountain?" Shui Wu quietly asked him. The nine other participants had been very curious, but since Xu Min had been speaking, none of them had dared to interrupt.
"It's nothing really," he said with a smile, "just a misunderstanding between the Snow Mountain and myself. It would be best if you do not seem too close to me. I am fairly certain of protecting my life, but I highly doubt that I can protect anyone else’s at the same time," he politely stated. He said this with his best intentions, but the words sounded sour in Shui Wu's ears. She was instantly insulted. Turning her face up towards the sky, she gave a harrumph before she finally turned to walk back to the other guys, leaving Xu Min completely perplexed.
'Ugh, I miss Meilin,' he sighed to himself and Cao Cao. 'I don't understand women at all. But, Meilin, she was so gentle compared to this haughty and rather a cold woman. They are like night and day.' He complained and his memories returned to the many days they had spent side by side in Ri Chu City.
'Get a grip!' Cao Cao warned him. 'Although I also miss Meilin too, especially all the food she brought with her, we cannot afford to become sentimental now. There is already so many who have been looking to kill you. If they group up, then you and I have absolutely no chance.'
Xu Min nodded his head. While Xu Min focused on his affairs, everyone else continued to look at him, some with pity, others with reverence, and much more with the desire for his death. Of all these stares, Xu Min noted down the ones who wished for his demise.He had to ensure that he did not run into those individuals. At least not before, he had gained a high ranked treasure to help him increase his strength some.
Bu Huang went around and greeted various experts, patriarchs and so on. By his side was Xu Min. He kept the same straight expression through the entire ordeal, greeting them and showing respect. Externally, he was with Bu Huang, showing formalities, but internally he was submerged in his emotions. Having to endure every day and not rush back to the Zhong family's mansion to kill the two Zhong men, he needed more strength.
During the entire greeting ceremony, Xu Min had his hands clenched hard. This was the only indication of his true emotions, yet no one noticed it.
As the night descended over the ruins, two black robed cultivators emerged from the darkness. As soon as they had arrived, everyone silenced themselves. The previous chatting and buzzing sound h completely stopped. Everyone held their breath, looking at the experts who had appeared.
"We Guardians welcome you all to the ancient Immortal Valley Rankings. These rankings are as old as the Ruins of the Immortals themselves. They are a sacred event. Only the participants are allowed to enter the Immortal Valley. Even though, you patriarchs and elders can see what happens within, none of you can interfere."
"What happens in the valley stays in the valley. If your disciple gets killed by another person, you are not to take revenge on this person, neither are you to take revenge on the person's family. Should you do this, then the Guardians will gather together and go against you. Be aware that although we Guardians stay hidden, our strength is not to be trifled with!"
The voice boomed throughout the grounds. Everyone listened intently to every single word.
"We are ranking the students as following: the ones who obtain the highest ranked beast core wins. If there are more with the same rank beast core, the one who has the most wins the highest ranking. There are no rules as to how you can get beast cores. You can kill beasts, or you can kill one another, it does not matter. If you get assistance from outside the Valley, then you will instantly die."
The Guardian who was speaking did nothing to hide his killing intent. It was so strong that all the participant's faces grew pale.
Xu Min standing by Bu Huang's side felt nothing as Bu Huang had spread out his arms, his robe covering all the participants behind him and thus they managed to get through the killing intent while suffering only a little bit.
"I have said what I had to say. Everyone is to return to their residence, the nights in these ruins are not for cultivators like us to be out in. Tomorrow morning as the sun rises into the sky will we start sending the participants into the Immortal Valley."
Having finished, the guard and his follower instantly turned around and left. Many of the experts who were left behind looked at each other in confusion. Bu Huang rushed back to the residence they had claimed as their own.
"There are many new factions which have been invited to the Immortal Valley this year," he said. He was moving swiftly, and only the ones from his group could hear what he said since he used a communication ability only a sixth rank Warrior could learn.
"Every family who possessed an invitation to the Immortal Rankings used to be fairly safe. However after the Snow Mountain started taking over major cities, many families have fallen. When they fell, their invitation was taken on by Snow Mountain, and they traded them to their supportive families. These families are new to this entire Ranking. If you can, you should aim to fight those experts. They might feel that they have prepared enough, but they haven't been given an invitation till recently, so they could not have fully prepared. You can get rid of them easily." Bu Huang said as they finally reached their residence and entered inside.
"There is one rule now. Do not leave this house!" he said with a very stern voice, "There are powers out there which I cannot even contest against. To go out is to commit suicide."
Just as Bu Huang had said this, a bloodcurdling scream could be heard, followed by the sound of howling wolves. The sudden noise caused everyone to feel somewhat frightened and jittery. Wolves were not frightening as they were, but this was in the middle of the desert. There was nothing to live off; even so they were clearly there.
"This is one of the many problems you will encounter within the Immortal Valley. Each night there will be spirits who will come and attack you. Making a fire or something similar will allow participants or beasts to easily pinpoint your location."
Bu Huang spent the entire night telling about the dangers and challenges one would find within the Immortal Valley. Many of the other factions were trying to make their participants sleep, but Bu Huang believed that none of them could sleep knowing they were going to enter the Immortal Valley the following day.
Spending all his time explaining what they might experience, he felt better; he felt that he was teaching these sons and daughters of his family a way to survive.
During the night, the wolves could be heard quite a few times. Every time it was followed by a scream and then an eerie silence.
As the sun rose in the sky, the hearts of all participants were blazing. They held their heads high; their eyes shone with excitement, and their bodies trembled just thinking about what was happening.
Bu Huang stood up. Everyone followed behind him moving towards the same location. They went to where all the factions had been greeting each other the day before. A hundred thousand participants waited to go into the Immortal Valley. Their eyes gleaming; their bodies trembling and their hearts beating rapidly.
Together with these many participants were also patriarchs and elders of the families alongside guards. There were people as far as the eye could see.
Bu Huang had left their residence as soon as the sun had risen. Thus, they had managed to get a place quite close to the ruins. Everyone's eyes were looking at the big portal that was swirling in the distance. Everyone focused on the portal, hoping that they could be the first ones to enter.
"Let me explain what we rank people by" a voice sounded, and two Guardians appeared again. Their words caused everyone to be quiet. They looked on the two black-robed men with anticipation.