The next day, Ren Baqian brought the students and the indigenous people up the mountain.
Usually, the food that the indigenous people hunted could sustain their entire stronghold for three days. However, because Ren Baqian and his entourage arrived, they had to hunt for food again on the second day.
The forest on Nine-peaked Mountain was very dense. Sunlight only illuminated a small number of areas and was scattered by the canopy of leaves, breaking into numerous pillars of light.
The soil on the ground was extremely fertile. Over many years, the dead leaves fell from the trees, rotted, and seeped into the ground, causing the soil to become extremely rich.
"There isn't much game near the Black Pool, so we will head for the northwest. Na Gu will lead you from here," the middle-aged leader of the hunting team, Ta Hu, told Ren Baqian.
Currently, they were still on the outer edge of Nine-peaked Mountain. The center region of Nine-peaked Mountain was enormous and was where a huge number of game animals could be found. Needless to say, it was also much more dangerous there. The wild boar that they encountered yesterday was considered nothing in the center region of Nine-peaked Mountain.
"I hope you will have a fruitful trip!" Ren Baqian cupped his fists and said.
"I hope so too." Ta Hu gave a forthright smile.
"Na Gu, lead them there."
"Got it. Remember to catch a shanlazi for me. Recently, I have been craving it," Na Gu replied bluntly.
Following which, the group split up and bade farewell to each other. Ren Baqian watched on as those burly men with hairy legs walked in another direction with their clubs and nets.
Ta Hu's party also had four sabers, one of which was a short one. They used bone arrows for their bows. The arrowheads of the bone arrows were made out of a type of wild beast bone.
Ta Hu also had 10 metal-tipped arrows, but he was reluctant to use them and treated them like precious treasures.
Ren Baqian, his students, and the imperial guards followed Na Gu to the southwest.
"How far is it?" Ren Baqian asked.
"We will arrive after we cross that peak," Na Gu pointed ahead and replied.
Ren Baqian followed the direction of her finger. All he could see was dense vegetation, vines, and grass that was as tall as a man. His line of sight was blocked completely.
"Her Majesty chose you to be her husband?" Na Gu asked with curiosity. Even though it was already a fact, she still found it hard to believe.
"What do you want to ask about?" Ren Baqian immediately knew what she was thinking when he saw the look in her eyes.
Most aboriginals did not know how to hide their feelings and thoughts. They would bluntly ask whatever question they had, even if the question shouldn't be asked.
Na Gu's brain was like the size of a pea.
"It is most likely because I'm handsome!" Ren Baqian touched his own face.
"Pfft!" This sound came from Tong Lan, who was following behind Ren Baqian with her ears pricked up.
"Then what else could it be?" Ren Baqian retorted.
Everyone opened their mouths, but did not know what to say. Ren Baqian's looks were only slightly better than his fighting skills.
What did Her Majesty see in him? Knowledge? Everyone had to admit that this was true. However, after knowing Ren Baqian's character for so long, they knew he was waiting for everyone to say this.
If they did not say he was knowledgeable, it would imply that they agreed he was handsome. It was a dilemma for them.
For a moment, everyone was at a loss.
Ren Baqian observed the constipated looks on everyone's faces and chuckled. Then, he said with a solemn tone, "There is always a reason for hating someone, but there's no reason for liking someone."
Words of wisdom.
However, everyone felt that these words were true. Du Laoliu, who had someone he liked, was especially and greatly affected by these words.
Tong Lan was the only one that had a disdainful look on her face.
She objected to everything Ren Baqian said outside of class. She would approve of anything that Ren Baqian disapproved of. This was an issue of principle.
Unless Ren Baqian could defeat her.
After walking for quite some time, they finally reached that peak. Looking down from the peak, they saw a green ocean. The rustling leaves, chirping birds, and roaring beasts echoed across their ears. This was a kingdom that was filled with vitality.
"It's there." Standing on a rock, Na Gu pointed in a particular direction.
In the midst of the green ocean, there was a small black dot. This was where the Black Pool was.
"It's still very far away!" Ren Baqian used his hand to shield his eyes from the dazzling sunlight while looking at the black spot.
Walking through a forest was much slower than walking on flat land. Everywhere was filled with tall grass and vines. A moment of carelessness would cause one to be bitten by venomous snakes. A place that looked very near needed a long time to reach in reality.
The position of the Black Pool was a few miles away from their current position, but it would take them roughly four hours to arrive there.
Like what Ren Baqian had expected, they walked through the forest for about four hours before reaching the vicinity of the Black Pool.
Their surroundings began to change when they were a few hundred meters away from the Black Pool. The leaves on the trees were withering. It seemed like the vegetation had already been affected by the Black Pool at such a distance.
After walking out of the forest, they saw the pool, which was roughly 10 meters ahead of them. The pitch-black surface of the pool was tranquil and completely devoid of life.
The the soil around the pool was different from the forest floor. It was completely yellow in color whereas the soil in the forest was black. A type of short grass could be found scattered all over the place.
"This is the Black Pool."
Ren Baqian knew this was the place without Na Gu telling him so. He could smell the stench of rotten eggs, forcing him to cover his nose.
If he wasn't wrong, this was the smell of sulfur. He walked to the side of the Black Pool. The water looked almost entirely black, preventing him from telling how deep it was.
"What are we doing here?" Tong Lan followed Ren Baqian and asked. This question had been bothering everyone for a few days already. Shi Gan had asked Ren Baqian about it before, but the latter had not replied to him.
Ren Baqian dipped his index finger into the water and looked at it. His finger turned black and dirty, containing a lot of dark impurities. Following which, Ren Baqian used his tongue to taste it. It tasted very salty with a slight tinge of bitterness, causing him to scrunch his face
"Bottle!" Previously, Ren Baqian had asked the imperial guards to prepare five sealed bottles for him.
"Do you know that the ground moves?" Ren Baqian turned around and asked everyone.
"How can the ground move!" The moment these words came out of Na Gu's mouth, someone said, "Whether the ground moves or not will have to depend on the reference point taken."
"You're right, but even from the perspective of an ordinary person, the ground is still moving. Beneath the ground, there are the tectonic plates that move in various ways. The most obvious example of the ground moving is an earthquake. When the tectonic plates move, under certain circumstances, earthquakes will occur." Ren Baqian seized the opportunity to teach everyone a lesson.
"Then why does the ground move?" a student immediately asked.
Ren Baqian picked up a stone and let go of it, letting it fall to the ground. "An object will fall to the ground when it is affected by gravity. Similarly, the ground is affected by gravity too."
"You mean one day the ground will fall as well? Where does it fall to?" Tong Lan's tiny mouth gaped in horror.