Feng Qingxue's answer met the expectations of her peers. They believed Ye Futian was too bold asking Feng Qingxue to cultivate together, which seemed like poorly disguised flirting. How rude was that?
Even though people knew they had some history togethermostly friendship over the years since they were youngit still meant nothing, especially when it came to boundaries. When Feng Qingxue had said they were both adults, she had apparently been making her point.
"Rejected, huh." People mocked Ye Futian seeing him in this position.
In fact, Ye Futian had been so bold that he had left himself no leeway. Seeing their expressions, Ye Futian soon realized what the others were thinking of him. What a cheap novel show he was creating. He shook his head and left.
I am such a fool for asking her in public. It was my fault, pushing her into a place where she had no choice, Ye Futian sighed.
"Can't you tell that she was obviously making a point when she let Murong Qing stand between you? Come on, man, you've known each other for so long. She told you to keep your distance; what does that mean? Cutting off all ties?" Yu Sheng seemed angered by Feng Qingxue's attitude. He looked like a ferocious lion.
"It's okay. She is only fifteen; she is still young, and easily persuaded by others." Ye Futian did not seem ashamed by what had just happened. In fact, he was still trying to stand up for Feng Qingxue.
"Don't forget what she just said," Yu Sheng said with authority, "She was throwing those words right in your face. Why can't you understand your friendship with her is O-V-E-R.She made her choice." Yu Sheng knew Ye Futian better than anyone else. He looked cynical, but deep inside he was warm and understanding, especially towards people he knew well. He knew that Ye Futian was trying to forgive Feng Qingxue and give her another chance.
However, Yu Sheng was not going to just let it go. He felt that he must protect Ye Futian's pride and self-esteem for him. He knew what Feng Qingxue had just missed out on.
He never forgot what his father had told Ye Futian; people saw things the clearest when they were down in their lives. It was not a big deal, because one day, when you became a king, the world would kneel before you.
A noise in the crowd came from the battle arena, drawing the attention of the students. Ye Futian and Yu Sheng looked back and saw several people flying over the arena. They had wings that held them suspended in midair.
"They are seniors from the College of Sorcery; wind-element mages, who can actually condense air to create wings with wind-element spells and fly with them."
The crowd watched in admiration, as they were still in the Awakening Planes, trying their best to break out of their physical constraints and combine their spirits and bodies in perfection. These mages were in the Glory Plane, which meant they were proficient in all kinds of spells.
In the Divine Prefectures, mages outranked ordinary cultivators. Only the wind-element mages were able to fly in the Glory Plane.
"We are here to inform you that a certain area of Mount Tianyao has been cleared," a flying mage said, "In this area, there will only be demons and monsters within the Awakening Plane levels. The following seven days will be the hunting season before the Fall Quarter Examination. You may hunt in this area to test your own gains from the past year, as well as hone your techniques in real combat and imminent danger."
Another flying mage began speaking, "You'll leave this place sooner or later. Without being seriously tested by real situations, you will never become a true cultivator. However, safety must be your priority. We suggest you partner up with other people to look out for each other."
People nodded to show that they understood what was happening. Every hunting season before the Fall Quarter Examination, the academy would clear the area to make sure that it was safer than usual. However, some daredevils would still go into Mount Tianyao, even when it had not been cleared.
"During the Fall Quarter Examination, the academy will hold a homecoming event. People from the City of Qingzhou will come to watch, possibly even your parents. Make sure you perform well during the event, and do not let them down." The mage continued giving information most students already knew. The Fall and Spring Quarter Examinations were remarkable events for both the Qingzhou Academy and the city as a whole.
The Fall Quarter Examination was bigger than the Spring Quarter Examination because the latter was for the selection of official students, and focused only on a few people.
"Okay, now go and prepare yourselves." The mage waved goodbye, then the group flew towards Mount Tianyao.
The arena buzzed with excitement. People gathered around for the Fall hunt. This was an opportunity no one should miss.
"Ye Futian, what's your plan?" Qin Yi asked Ye Futian from a distance.
"What do you mean by 'plan,' Ms. Qin?" Ye Futian looked at her.
"It's a great opportunity, especially for you. You could go with Yu Sheng. It will be safe. Also, you may reach a new plane during the hunt," Qin Yi said.
"Nah, not this time," Ye Futian shook his head. After all, he had just come back from the mountain. He figured he should save himself the trouble.
Qin Yi stared at him and said, "You are still young. Relationships are not everything. Do not give up on yourself after being turned down once."
Qin Yi was worried about Ye Futian feeling defeated after the apparent rejection he had received from Feng Qingxue.
Ye Futian blinked, and realized Qin Yi misunderstood what had happened. He scanned the shapely body of Qin Yi and mumbled, "You know, I'm not that young."
Qin Yi fell speechless for a second. Soon she realized that Ye Futian was hitting on her and became angry. She turned around and said, "You're hopeless."
Seeing she was mad, Ye Futian laughed even more. "My pleasure, Ms. Qin."
Qin Yi stopped, then kept walking.
"She's nice, you better consider her," Yu Sheng said. Ye Futian looked at him with confusion. "Consider what?"
"She could be a wife candidate." Yu Sheng looked serious.
Ugh, this guy Ye Futian rubbed his head. One could really be influenced by his friends.
The academy was full of activity these days. Endless groups of people were marching towards Mount Tianyao, most of whom looked high-spirited. It happened every year; but in a few days, they would return frustrated, defeated, and injured.
During the hunting season, the academy cleared the area for students, making sure the monsters were safe to deal with. However, some level seven, eight, or even level nine monsters would still be a nightmare for some unfortunate students.
This hunt served as a trial, but also as a purgatory.
Under the mountain, students entered in groups. Some of them looked familiar.
"Look, it's Feng Qingxue." People noticed the girl in this particular group. She was dressed in scarlet. She looked even more attractive and charming than usual in such a beautiful dress.
"The guy next to her, who's that?" Some people were surprised to see a charming young man next to Feng Qingxue, in addition to her friend Murong Qing.
"He's Murong Qiu, Murong Qing's cousin. He is the pride of the Murong family. He's already in the highest plane of awakening, the Unmaker. He's with Feng Qingxue for the hunt? No wonder she..."
People thought of that some poor guy who had experienced a harsh rejection at the hands of Feng Qingxue. They shook their heads and sighed with pity.
Keep their distance? Then why the heck was Murong Qiu here?
They could not help imagining how frustrated Ye Futian would be if he saw this.
"He was rejected so badly. I guess he's going to quit the Fall Exam." After seeing Murong Qiu accompany Feng Qingxue into the mountain, people began to gossip.
Ye Futian soon heard about this from the others. He was a bit confused as to why he had somehow become the main character. Even though he had never thought about pursuing Feng Qingxue, he still felt slightly pissed off. It was not out of love, but pure agitation.
Still, he did not mind much, anyway. He had a more important job to do before the Fall Quarter Examination, which was to further cultivate into a new plane.
Days later, in the dorm, Ye Futian was cultivating quietly. The burning flames of the sun were all over his body. It forged his joints, muscles, and bones. He owned the life spirit of the sun, which indicated that he was supposed to major in fire-element techniques.
While he was on Mount Tianyao, he had perceived wood-element Qi from plants, and water-element Qi from waterfalls. However, they did not compare to the power from his life spirit, the sun. He wondered whether he was being too greedy. It had only come about by accident.
Someone was approaching. Ye Futian stopped his work and looked at the approaching figure.
"Yu Sheng, what happened?"
He knew that Yu Sheng would not bother to come in unless something terrible had happened.
"People were evacuating the mountain recently, and some of them brought back terrifying news," Yu Sheng said.
"What is it?" Ye Futian was caught in curiosity.
"Some claimed that they saw a dragon in the cleared area." Yu Sheng's eyes were lit up with excitement.
"A dragon?" Ye Futian's eyes also shined brightly. He was shocked that even after being cleared, the hunting grounds still had a dragon.
The mere presence of a dragon would bring the entire city of Qingzhou into a panic. They only ever seemed to show up in the restricted area. The dragon was a sign of pure power; the emperor of demons and monsters.
"Do you believe it?" Ye Futian asked.
"Some swore that it was true. The academy should have evacuated the whole place already. If the academy actually had, it could possibly be true," Yu Sheng said.
"Let's go for a walk." Ye Futian stood up and walked towards the yard. By now, many students had returned. Some students refused to go into the mountain, knowing that they were incapable of ensuring their own safety.
When the two arrived at the mountain, they saw people fleeing in groups, which seemed unusual. They looked at each other, then someone in the crowd asked, "What's going on?"
"Some true evil broke out of the restricted area. The masters are now demanding that everyone leave the area as soon as possible," someone answered.
"A true evil? Is it something that cannot be killed by the masters?" People were shocked.
"I heard it was a giant Thunder Boa, thousands of years old, with a threatening sense of demonic power. No one can do anything to her for now."
The crowd bubbled with excitement. Ye Futian and Yu Sheng felt slightly confused. What was it exactly? A Boa, or a Dragon?