In the mountain forest at night, wolf howls echoed.
However, this sound only appeared for a moment before gradually dissipating.
It was as though an existence even more ferocious than them was walking over alone.
As Xu Qing walked in the pitch-black darkness, the disappointment in his heart couldnt be quickly suppressed.
He, who had grown up in the slums, was already used to parting ways.
However, this time, it was exceptionally deep.
That feeling of emptiness in his heart caused his mood to sink.
In the silence, his figure grew increasingly bleak.
When dawn was about to arrive, he, who had been walking the entire night, saw the campsite under the dawn.
At the campsite, the lights were sparse.
Xu Qing thought back to the past.
No matter how late it was when he returned from the forbidden zone, he would still be able to see the lights of a residence lighting up for him.
However, today, one lamp was forever missing in that direction.
The feeling of loneliness grew even stronger.
Xu Qing silently entered the campsite and walked to the pitch-black residence.
He pushed the door open and saw the dozen or so wild dogs in the courtyard.
They were also looking at him quietly.
He lifted his head and saw that the three houses were completely black.
There was no sign of human habitation, no lights, no breath.
Yesterdays dinner was still lingering in the kitchen.
Xu Qing walked in and looked at the three sets of chopsticks and bowls on the table.
After being in a daze for a long time, he sat there silently and lowered his head to eat the cold food.
One mouthful, one mouthful.
After he slowly swallowed it, he washed the tableware and cleaned the kitchen.
He then took a deep breath and returned to his room.
He closed his eyes and started cultivating.
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At that moment, outside the courtyard, the purple-robed old man and his servant were standing there.
Their gazes seemed to be able to penetrate everything and saw Xu Qing inside.
They were all silent.
After a long time, the purple-robed old man sighed softly.
“Hes a loyal child.”
“Old Master Seventh, should we give him a token” The servant looked at the purple-robed old man.
“Wait until we get the Cloud Dream Flower that Grandmaster Bai wants from the forbidden zone.” With that, the purple-robed old mans body slowly dissipated.
The servant beside him nodded and also dissipated.
Just like this, a night passed.
The next morning, when Xu Qing walked out of his room, he instinctively glanced at Captain Leis residence.
However, he quickly retracted his gaze and silently headed to Grandmaster Bais place for lessons before returning quietly.
He cooked a meal by himself.
There were still three sets of chopsticks and bowls on the table as he ate silently.
From time to time, he would raise his head and look at the seat that Captain Lei used to be in.
There… was one less person there, as well as fewer voices.
The entire meal was very quiet.
The feeling of loneliness once again filled Xu Qings heart but he forcefully suppressed it.
After he finished eating alone and cleared the table, he took out the food for the wild dogs and threw it in the courtyard.
Xu Qing returned to his room and continued to meditate as he watched the pack of wild dogs eat.
Days passed just like this.
Very soon, it was the sixth day since Captain Lei left.
Xu Qing had already buried the disappointment in his heart and regained his usual coldness.
However, if one were to take a closer look, they would discover that his coldness had become even colder.
Other than when he went to Grandmaster Bais class, Xu Qings sense of vigilance had always existed during other times.
He wasnt unfamiliar with this state of vigilance because in the past six years, this… was his normal state.
Like a lone wolf.
He cultivated more diligently than before.
It was as though this was the only way he could find the loneliness he was familiar with as soon as possible.
On the seventh night, Xu Qings cultivation broke through.
He had broken through from the fourth level of the Mountains and Seas Art to the fifth level.
As the thumping sounds echoed in his body, the wild dogs outside also felt the suppression and retreated while trembling.
It was as though there was an aura in Xu Qings room that caused them to revere in fear.
This time around, the ringing in Xu Qings body continued for a very long time.
In fact, from the perspective of time, it surpassed the previous time.
A full hour later, when the filth seeping out of the pores of Xu Qings body had reached its limit, his eyes suddenly opened.
At that moment, a flash of purple light appeared in the entire room.
At the instant he opened his eyes, cracking sounds echoed out from Xu Qings body.
It was as though his bones were growing and his flesh and blood were being pulled.
The feeling of being torn apart was also felt.
However, to Xu Qing, all of this was still within his tolerance.
Amidst his calm tolerance, another hour passed.
When all of this slowly ended, Xu Qing stood up.
The clothes he was wearing had shortened by a portion.
His slender body didnt look like it had been reborn but there were major changes.
It was very refined.
This was especially so for his appearance.
As there were no anomalous substances in his body, it was completely pure.
This made his original delicate appearance even more obvious.
Coupled with his coldness, there was a strange charm that even dirt couldnt conceal.
However, Xu Qing didnt care about this.
He walked out of the house and tested his speed.
After that, he threw a punch into the air and there seemed to be muffled thunder echoing.
His strength was so great that it was more than twice that of the previous four levels!
What was even more shocking was that when his fist landed, the spirit energy fluctuations were intense and there was a faint shadow of a wolf with fangs in its mouth.
It looked like a malicious, powerful ghost!
“This is the power of one xiao” As the surrounding wild dogs trembled, Xu Qing glanced at his fist and muttered.
It was mentioned in the Mountains and Seas Art that for every level, ones strength would grow by that of a tigers and the five tigers would form one xiao.
Two xiaos would form one kui.
However, after some thought, Xu Qing felt that his description didnt match the Mountains and Seas Art.
Right now, his strength had probably reached the level of seven or eight tigers and his speed was the same.
He was even confident that when he cultivated the Mountains and Seas Art to the sixth level, he would possess the strength of two xiaos in advance.
“It should be due to the effects of the purple crystal and the knife strike from the statue in the temple.”
Xu Qing mumbled in his heart and looked at his right hand.
After a moment of silence, he slowly lifted his hand.
The image of the divine statue striking out with its blade appeared in his mind and the airflow in the surroundings seemed to be gathering towards him.
A long time later, Xu Qing didnt continue but instead, he lowered his right hand.
“Just a little more.”
Xu Qing could sense that his attempt at copying wasnt enough.
At this moment, he took a deep breath and was about to return to his room.
However, under the moonlight, when he turned around, he lowered his head and saw his shadow.
When he broke through earlier, all the anomalous substances had fused into his shadow as usual.
At that moment, his entire body was pure from the inside out and there was no hint of anomalous substances at all.
Staring at the shadow, Xu Qing suddenly had an idea.
“I wonder if I can control this shadow…”
After this thought appeared in his mind, it grew deeper and deeper, causing Xu Qing to keep staring at it.
In his heart, he tried to make the shadow flick his fingers but after trying for a long time, he still couldnt do it.
This made Xu Qing sigh softly.
He felt that he was too greedy and was about to give up.
However, at that moment… the hand of the shadow suddenly trembled!
This scene caused Xu Qings eyes to widen abruptly as his breathing grew hurried.
He was sure that his eyes werent playing tricks on him.
Also, he didnt move his hand earlier, so he increased the intensity of his gaze and tried it out.
A long time later, when Xu Qing didnt lift his hand, his shadows hand… lifted slightly!
In just a moment, Xu Qing felt as though his head was about to explode.
It was completely empty.
It took him a long time to recover from the headache.
As he panted, his eyes revealed an intense light.
“I can control it!” Xu Qing lowered his head and stared deeply at the shadow.
He knew that although it was very difficult to control it now, the emptiness in his brain earlier and the headache now told him that this matter had consumed a lot of energy.
However, he believed that as he became more proficient and his cultivation improved, sooner or later, he would be able to flexibly control his shadow.
By that time, the shadow… would become his unexpected weapon!
“I hope that day will come soon.” Xu Qing took a deep breath and rubbed his aching forehead.
He then returned to his room and sat cross-legged in meditation.
He only recovered halfway in the morning and his expression was somewhat dispirited.
He forcefully pulled himself together and changed into a set of slightly larger old clothes before rushing to Grandmaster Bais tent.
Chen Feiyuan wasnt around and Grandmaster Bai wasnt here yet.
Only Tingyu was there, carrying the medical book on her back.
When she saw Xu Qing coming, she casually raised her hand to greet him before continuing to recite.
It had been like this during this period of time.
Xu Qing had heard from Tingyu that some time ago, among the young men and women who came from the outside world, there were friends of Chen Feiyuan.
Hence, he often applied for leave to go over and play.
As for Grandmaster Bai, it was unknown what he was busy with during this period of time.
He would arrive later every day and would leave very quickly after the lesson ended.
Xu Qing nodded and sat at the side.
He then took out his bamboo slip and silently reviewed yesterdays homework.
Tingyu, who had lowered her head after greeting him, suddenly lifted her head and looked at Xu Qing suspiciously.
“Why do I feel like there are some changes to your body”
Xu Qing didnt lift his head and continued revising.
Tingyus bright eyes widened as she carefully inspected it.
Very soon, Grandmaster Bai arrived, so she could only give up.
However, during the lesson today, she glanced at Xu Qing many times.
If it was in the past, Grandmaster Bai would be strict.
However, he seemed to have something on his mind today.
After giving a few words of reprimand, he ignored it.
After he finished his lesson and arranged the content for tomorrows assessment, Grandmaster Bai left in a hurry.
After the teacher left, Xu Qing got up and was about to leave when Tingyus body moved and blocked the door.
Xu Qing frowned slightly and looked at Tingyu.
Tingyu wasnt willing to be outdone.
She lifted her head and stared at Xu Qing with her large eyes that were like the stars and moon.
Her beautiful eyes swept across his height and face as she spoke in a daze.
“I know it.
Youve grown taller.”
“Yea.” Xu Qing nodded and bypassed Tingyu, wanting to leave.
However, Tingyus body swayed and stopped him once again.
Her eyes which were as bright as the stars contained curiosity.
“Kid, your face is so dirty every day.
I dont even know what you look like.
Youve changed again today.
No, I have to wipe your face for you and see what you look like.”
As Tingyu spoke, she took out her handkerchief and was about to act.
Xu Qing was repulsed and was about to retreat when Tingyu snorted.
“Kid, I helped you apply for leave.
This is a favor!”
Xu Qings movements paused.
Taking advantage of the moment where he paused, Tingyus body instantly arrived.
The handkerchief in her hand fluctuated with spirit energy and became moist, gently wiping Xu Qings face.
His wiped cheeks instantly revealed his fair skin.
Xu Qing grew impatient and wanted to forcefully leave.
“Kid, Im your senior sister!” Tingyu shouted again and the weight of the wordsenior sister was clearly very heavy, causing Xu Qings body to involuntarily stiffen.
Tingyus eyes were curved like crescent moons, hiding a hint of spirit and craftiness.
This time, her speed was even faster.
She took a handkerchief and wiped Xu Qings face here and there.
Although Xu Qing strongly rejected the termsenior sister, he ultimately didnt dodge it.
Just like that, as Tingyu wiped, Xu Qings face was slowly revealed.
Tingyus movements also gradually slowed down.
Her eyes were wide open as she stared blankly at Xu Qings appearance.
For some reason, sunlight appeared in her mind.
This was the first time in six years that Xu Qings face was clean.
This made him feel extremely uncomfortable.
Taking advantage of the fact that Tingyu was still in a daze, he immediately circled around and quickly exited the tent.
As the sunlight shone on his face, Xu Qings discomfort grew even more intense.
He felt as though he was walking naked outside.
Hence, he lowered his head and picked up the mud on the ground, smearing it on his face.
Only then did he heave a sigh of relief.
He felt much more comfortable in his heart and regained his indifference as he walked toward the forbidden zone.
It was only after he left that Tingyu, who was in the tent, let out a long breath and muttered.
“Mm, he looks pretty good.”
As she spoke, she subconsciously lifted the tents door and looked at Xu Qings back view which was far away.
Her elegant and exquisite little face was slightly red as she looked around in confusion.
“Hes much better looking than Chen Feiyuan.
No, Chen Feiyuan is completely incomparable to him.”