By the side of a creek.
Zhou Yuan still spent the majority of his time here training, while naturally blocking off the various matters and happenings of the outside world. All of his attention was placed on mastering the Ethereal Form technique.
It was the fifth day since he borrowed the jade strip.
Although these five days were short, they were unbelievable enriching to Zhou Yuan. In these short five days, he had unblocked 30 of the 108 apertures...
Only 6 remained till he reached the first level. When that happened, the true wonders of the Ethereal Form technique would begin to be revealed.
Atop the rock, Zhou Yuan opened his eyes, mist gathering within them before gradually disappearing as a satisfied smile appeared from the corners of his lips.
He had just completed another aperture, his total count now reaching 31.
31 apertures in five days. If not for the Decoder Saint Rune, Zhou Yuan would not have even dared to imagine such progress.
“But the mist essence has been used up, I’ll have to go buy more…”
“It’s also time to return the jade strip, but it’s a little unfortunate about the numerous experiences from the seniors and elders recorded inside. Looks like I’ll need to borrow it again when needed.”
Zhou Yuan began to calculate, and a pained look suddenly rose on his face. He had realised he now had less than ten Genesis jade pieces remaining.
All of his time had been spent on the Ethereal Form technique, and he had not visited the Task Pavilion nor taken on any assignments there. Hence, he naturally had no Genesis jade earnings.
While Zhou Yuan sighed, several figures flew over form far away, landing beside the creek.
Zhou Yuan lifted his head, discovering that it was Qiao Xiu, Sheng Wanjin and the rest.
“Hey, little Yuan bro, you’re living a little too relaxed.” Shen Wanjin’s oily face was filled with worry.
“Junior brother Zhou Yuan, you’re in really big trouble this time.” Qiao Xiu let out a bitter laugh. “How did you end up offending the instructor? They’re after all inner mountain disciples, while we’re merely tiny shrimps in comparison. Moreover, we have to rely on their guidance to learn our Genesis techniques.”
During the past two days, news that Zhou Yuan had been shut out from all the instructor lessons had spread like wildfire. As a result, Qiao Xiu, Shen Wanjin and the rest were no longer able to sit still, and came rushing over.
Zhou Yuan did hear about it a little, but did not pay much attention to it. From his point of view, he currently did not need the guidance of those so-called inner mountain disciples.
“Junior brother Zhou Yuan, maybe you should yield to senior brother Zhu Yue. I’ll go back and help you send him some gifts to see if we can resolve this matter.”
He thought very highly of Zhou Yuan, and did not want him to end up being unable to learn any Genesis techniques due to a single impulsive clash that had led to Zhu Yue sabotaging the former.
Everyone was desperately trying to raise their strength during these three months, and learning Genesis techniques was one of utmost importance. If Zhou Yuan were to be disadvantaged in this aspect, he would surely fall behind others in the peak selection ceremony three months later.
Zhou Yuan merely chuckled when he heard this, his impression of Qiao Xiu growing a little more favorable. After all, there were not many disciples who would even dare to approach him recently, let alone offer him a helping hand.
He waved his hand and said, “Senior brother Qiao Xiu need not worry, I know what I’m doing.”
At the sight of Zhou Yuan’s expression, Qiao Xiu could only let out a bitter chuckle. He knew that though the young man before him seemed like a gentle person, he was in actuality very stubborn.
Shen Wanjin was the most shrewd amongst the group, and thus knew what Zhou Yuan currently lacked the most. Hence, he grinned and said, “Little Yuan bro, I see that you’ve been training hard these past few days and didn’t really come out to accept any missions, so you should be almost out of Genesis jade pieces, right? If you need, we can loan you some.”
Zhou Yuan thought for a bit, but ultimately shook his head. “No need for the time being. If it does come to that, I will go look for you guys.”
“Alright then, I’ll be heading to the Hidden Scriptures House to return the Genesis technique jade strip.”
Zhou Yuan smiled at the group, before he flew off into the sky atop his Genesis Qi.
As they watched him leave, Qiao Xiu, Shen Wanjin and the rest exchanged a look and sighed. They did not truly understand Zhou Yuan’s current situation, and thus were under the impression that he was just being stubborn.
“This is no good… if this continues, little Yuan bro will not be able to learn even a single Genesis technique after the three months are over. What will he have to show in the peak selection ceremony then…”
When Zhou Yuan once again arrived at the Hidden Scriptures House, the passing disciples constantly swept their gazes towards him, gazes that were filled with pity.
Zhou Yuan’s expression remained calm as he proceeded to return the jade strip at the counter.
“Hehe, isn’t this Zhou Yuan? Have you learnt the Ethereal Form technique yet?” At this moment, mocking laughter was heard from the side. Zhou Yuan turned his head, seeing Zhu Feng with several figures behind him, their eyes filled with a toying look as they watched the former.
Evidently, Zhu Feng had received news the moment Zhou Yuan arrived, and thus brought several others to come watch.
Zhou Yuan indifferently said, “I’ve net seen your elder brother recently, are the wound on his face still not healed?”
By now, he already knew that Yaoyao had commanded Tuntun to secretly attack Zhu Feng, an act that he could only secretly give a thumbs up to.
Zhu Feng’s expression turned rigid, a vicious look in his eyes as he glared at Zhou Yuan and said through gnashed teeth, “What’s there to be proud of by relying on a beast!”
Zhou Yuan smiled superficially as he retorted, “Are you saying that your elder brother is inferior to a beast?”
Zhu Feng’s eyes hardened as powerful Genesis Qi exploded from his body. He stared daggers at Zhou Yuan and threatened, “Do you want to die?!”
“This is the Hidden Scriptures House and fighting is prohibited here. Do all of you want to be punished?” A clear voice sounded from the side. They turned, only to realise Gu Hongyi was frowning slightly as she watched them.
Zhe Feng took in a deep breath, having no choice but to suppress the fury in his heart. Anger still colored his eyes as he glared at Zhou Yuan and said with a disdainful sneer, “Zhou Yuan, go ahead and continue to be so arrogant.”
“There is no longer anyone who will guide you in your Genesis techniques, so just wait and see, your first class disciple status will likely be gone soon!”
Zhou Yuan smiled and shook his head. “There’s no need for you to worry.”
“I’ll see how long your stubbornness will last!”
Zhu Feng coldy snorted, before turning around and leaving with his group.
The numerous disciples in the vicinity looked towards Zhou Yuan in pity before gradually scattering.
Zhou Yuan paid no attention to them as he gave a slight nod to Gu Hongyi, before beginning to head down the mountain. The main thing now was to figure out how to obtain Genesis jade. Would he really have to take on missions too?
Gu Hongyi hesitated for a moment as she watched him leave, before suddenly catching up to him. “Zhou Yuan, you were too rash. How can you learn any Genesis techniques now that you’ve offended Zhu Yue?”
“If you really are a capable person, you should know when to give in or exercise patience. There will always be a chance to turn things around in the future.”
Zhou Yuan was somewhat astonished by Gu Hongyi’s words. “You’re worried about me?”
Gu Hongyi rolled her eyes at him and said, “This is called pity. I just don’t want to see your talent being squandered away for no reason. Zhu Yue’s actions are indeed somewhat petty.”
Zhou Yuan chuckled. He suddenly thought of something, rubbing his chin as he looked at Gu Hongyi with interest.
Gu Hongyi felt a little uncomfortable under his gaze. Her pretty face immediately turned slightly hostile as she fiercely said, “What are you looking at?!”
Zhou Yuan asked, “How’s your training been going at Zhu Yue’s place?”
The corners of Gu Hongyi’s red lips lifted slightly, somewhat pleased as she answered, “I’ve already unblocked my tenth aperture. I should be able to reach the first level of the Ethereal Form technique in a month.”
“The tenth aperture?” Zhou Yuan was taken aback.
“Do you understand the benefits of having someone to guide you now? Did you think that five Genesis jade pieces were being spent in vain everyday?” Gu Hongyi looked at Zhou Yuan with a pitiful gaze.
“Is it that easy to earn Genesis jade?” Zhou Yuan’s eyes glowed.
Gu Hongyi’s brows knitted together, somewhat unhappy as she shot a look at Zhou Yuan and said in a disappointed manner, “I had thought that you would see the truth. Looks like there’s really no saving you.”
She turned around as she spoke, intending to leave.
However, Zhou Yuan hastily cut her off. Upon seeing her frown slightly, he hurriedly said, “If I have a method to let you master the first level of the Ethereal Form technique and unblock more apertures than at Zhu Yue’s place, would you be interested?”
Gu Hongyi was stunned. “What nonsense are you spouting, mastering the first level in ten days… I’ve never heard of anyone who has managed to do so!”
Zhou Yuan smiled and said, “But what if it’s true?”
Gu Hongyi pondered for a brief moment, before she replied, “Then I will naturally be interested. Genesis jade is secondary, the most important thing is to save my time.”
This was clearly a wealthy little lady, someone who practically didn’t care about Genesis jade.
She suspiciously looked at Zhou Yuan and asked, “Do you know someone who is better in the Ethereal Form technique than Zhu Yue?”
Zhou Yuan grinned widely. “I do not know whether or not he’s better than Zhu Feng, but his efficiency is definitely incomparable.”
“Who? If he can really let me reach the initial stage of the Ethereal Form technique, I am willing to learn from him. Genesis jade is not a problem.” Gu Hongyi stared at Zhou Yuan. Although she did not really believe him, he should not dare to joke about such a matter, right?”
Joy sprouted from between Zhou Yuan’s brows as he pointed to himself with a smile, “That person is me of course… come on, it’ll be fity Genesis jade pieces, you can pay half first.”
His voice grew smaller and smaller towards the end, because Gu Hongyi’s pretty face had abruptly turned ice-cold. She made a grabbing motion with her hand, as the scarlet-red whip on her hip appeared within it.
A fiendish look appeared on Gu Hongyi’s pretty face as she swung the whip.
“Zhou Yuan, I see that you’re tired of living. To think that you even dare to make fun of me!”