The True Martial Academy, Nine Palace Academy, Dragon Phoenix Academy, and Sacred Deer Academy were collectively known as the Four Great Ancient Academies. They specialized in cultivating new generations of geniuses for the dominion. Any of their graduates would eventually become an existence capable of lording over large swathes of land.
The four academies periodically competed amongst each other to determine their rankings. The True Martial Academy consistently reigned at the top, while the Nine Palace Academy and the Dragon Phoenix Academy alternated between second and third place. The Sacred Deer Academy always occupied last place.
Nevertheless, the genius disciples from any of these academies were lofty and unyielding. None of them would be willing to remain inferior to anyone, so the compet.i.tion between them was naturally intense. It was also during this compet.i.tion that the strongest genius of all would be crowned among them.
As the compet.i.tion approached, the genius disciples of the Dragon Phoenix Academy ended their seclusion one after another. They prepared their equipment and tools as they awaited the compet.i.tion. Xiang Shaoyun also ended his seclusion. He merged with his clone and sat silently, waiting for his master’s summons.
“After the end of the compet.i.tion, it will be time for me to return and end Di Batian,” said Xiang Shaoyun with thick killing intent in his eyes.
He had been waiting to kill him for a very long time. The promised 10-year period was going to end soon, and it wouldn’t be long before he could fulfill his vow. He was still not strong enough to fight Di Batian, but with his numerous fortuitous encounters over the years and the a.s.sistance of Scarlet Flame Monarch and Devouring Ghost, Di Batian would not be able to avoid death.
As he waited, the wolf guard showed himself again. Xiang Shaoyun was astonished, not understanding how the wolf guard had found him.
The wolf guard saw through his confusion and said, “Young master, you have the master’s protective jade on you. He can easily locate you.”
“I see.” Xiang Shaoyun was. .h.i.t by the realization. “Is the four academies compet.i.tion starting soon?”
“Yes. It will be held in half a month on Eastern Pa.s.s’s Lonesoul Island. You need to journey there starting now. I will be waiting there in half a month,” said the wolfman before vanis.h.i.+ng into thin air.
“Eastern Pa.s.s’s Lonesoul Island? What place is that?” Xiang Shaoyun called out, but the wolf guard was no longer there. He was rather gloomy.
He could imagine that journeying there was also a test from his master. If he couldn’t even reach the venue, then he should just forget about the compet.i.tion. He gathered Money and Aikai before rus.h.i.+ng toward Dragon Phoenix City. He had to figure out Lonesoul Island’s location as soon as possible before starting on his journey.
At the city, he entered a grocery store and bought a map of the dominion. The numerous important cities and strategic locations of the dominion were marked on it. The so-called Lonesoul Island was a location picked by the Four Great Ancient Academies. Thus, it should be a known place as well.
Sure enough, he found Lonesoul Island on the map. He then rushed toward the teleportation formation connected to the Eastern Pa.s.s.
Lonesoul Island was located in the Eastern Sea of the Eastern Pa.s.s and was a rather well-known island. According to legend, the ghosts of those who had died unjustly would wail endlessly on the island, and people would frequently hear mournful wails there.
Thus, travelers generally did not dare to stay on the island for long. People who had stayed on the island would be met with numerous mishaps, such as death and madness. In short, Lonesoul Island was known to be inauspicious.
However, there were also rumors that the island hid great opportunities, and rarely seen treasures could be found. Once, someone had successfully escaped the island, and their cultivation had subsequently broken through in succession.
Later, someone claimed that rare treasures capable of helping one enter the Sovereign Realm, such as bloodsoul stones and divine congregation flowers, could be found on the island. Because of that, Emperors started exploring the island for fortuitous encounters, but very few actually left with gains.
In recent years, the island was occupied by powerful aquatic demonic beasts, and those without sufficient strength wouldn’t even be able to reach the island. Thus, the island became a forbidden ground for regular cultivators.
However, Xiang Shaoyun was unaware of the circ.u.mstances surrounding the island. He spent several days hurrying through numerous teleportation formations and finally reached Eastern Sea City, which bordered the Eastern Sea. He then continued without rest and left the city.
When he arrived at the coast and asked about the route to Lonesoul Island, people avoided the topic, seemingly harboring intense fear for the island.
As Xiang Shaoyun was starting to get distressed, a crisp voice rang out, “Mister, are you heading toward Lonesoul Island?”
Xiang Shaoyun looked over and found a beauty looking at him. Evidently, she was the one who had spoken to him. She had bright purple hair, willow eyebrows, a tall nose, tender lips, and an hourgla.s.s figure. The blue muslin outfit she wore further accentuated her slim figure. She was seated atop a blue lion and possessed a heroic air.
Two women and five men were surrounding her. All of them looked to be in their twenties, and each was a heroic, good-looking Emperor. They were obviously a group of genius cultivators.
Xiang Shaoyun answered, “That’s right. I’m heading to Lonesoul Island.”
Before the woman could answer, a handsome youth in gold derided, “Lonesoul Island is not a place anyone can go. I advise that you stop asking about it. In any case, it’s currently a special time.”
The woman in blue smiled and added, “That’s right. It’s currently a special time, and Lonesoul Island has probably been placed on lockdown. Even if you go, it will be for nothing. Don’t bother asking about it.”
“Which academy are you from?” asked Xiang Shaoyun instead of replying.
The eight before him looked astonished, and the woman in blue leading the group answered, “We are disciples of the Sacred Deer Academy. I am Jiang Qi, and these are my fellow apprentice brothers and sisters. Are you a disciple of an ancient academy as well?”
Xiang Shaoyun sighed, “No, unfortunately. Can you take me along with you?”
“You know we are Sacred Deer Academy disciples, yet you dare to ask us to bring you along? You have quite the guts,” said the young man in gold with a sinister look. He smiled at Jiang Qi and said, “Junior Sister Jiang, ignore him. We need to get going, or we’ll be late.”
“That’s right. We’re already late and missed the academy’s s.h.i.+p. If we don’t speed up, we won’t be able to get there in time,” said another man.
On the other hand, a different woman offered kindly, “Young man, you should return. Lonesoul Island is not a place you can go. It is dangerous. In any case, they won’t allow any outsiders to enter for now anyway.”
Xiang Shaoyun was now 24 years old, but he looked about 17 or 18. Thus, it wasn’t weird that people called a young man.
“My apologies. I will stop bothering you, then,” said Xiang Shaoyun with an apologetic look. Since they weren’t willing to take him along, he would have to think of an alternative.