102 – Piercing the soul!
Having smoothly passed the wine obstacle, Li Muyang was in a happy mood.
He came to understand that these four tests were not to determine their cultivation level, but to assess each climber’s mind and willpower.
If in each test he needed to show his power and ability in order to succeed, Li Muyang would have failed and returned home at the foot of the mountain.
Senior Wuyou has said before that Starry Sky Academy is a mysterious school that exist to cultivate outstanding talent, but besides the outstanding students like him who depend on their own hard work and talent to be admitted into the school—- there were the second generations of the rich and powerful families rely on their family’s background and connections to enrol into the school.
At any time, in any country, these kinds of shady transactions that make people give up hope still exist.
For example, today at the foot of the mountain he encountered that purple hair, odd girl and also that callous young man clad in a black gown who looked more arrogant than the Lord of Jiangnan City, as if he was telling others to not provoke him because there’s nothing he can’t do. Also, there’s that simple-minded round face fat boy——Oh, that’s purely prejudiced against the fat boy. Li Muyang has seen a clever and quick-witted chubby man before, for example, Gongshu Yuan who parted from him moments ago. Although he carries a body of fat around he was still able to roll around amidst the forest of blades and arrows. Li Muyang was dumbstruck watching him; the word miracle cannot even be used to describe what he witnessed.
Li Muyang secretly came to a decision that when he enters into Starry Sky Academy and become a great Star Cultivator, he must speak up for the millions of people in the world, to wash this dark world and to restore the clarity of the earth and the brightness of the moon and sun.
Li Muyang clenched his fist; he felt his burden was even heavier.
Wine, women, avarice and temper, these four walls, whether or not he could break through these walls and withstand the temptation——Li Muyang has confidence in himself.
Li Muyang slashed off a suitable sized branch with the Understand Heaven Sword, and sharpened the end of the branch to be used as a walking stick to aid his strenuous climb up the mountain.
Li Muyang used the ‘Understand Heaven’ sword to chop off a branch. He then pulled off the leaves, using the sharp end as a walking stick to climb upwards.
The higher he climbed, the colder it was.
The higher he climbed, the more difficult it was.
Li Muyang felt his breathing was laboured and more rapid, and his steps heavier than the one before. Each step grew slower and he felt it was draining all the strength of his body.
He was situated deep in the mountains, unable to see the plain below or the peak of the mountain above.
He did not know how long he still had to climb, but he knew he must continue to climb.
This was his only way out, and also his family’s only way out.
Li Muyang has no choice.
As he shifted his weight forward, the branch in his hand snapped into two.
Li Muyang was caught off guard, his body jerked forward, stumbled and fell to the ground.
He settled himself on top of a large rock and took off his shoes. Several blisters of various sizes were on both his feet, he grimaced in pain as his fingers gently touched them.
His crotch area was also very uncomfortable; layers of skin had already been peeled off by the gold coins. Although he already removed the gold coins at the foot of the mountain but the wound has not healed yet. After a series of struggle, blood was seeping out.
Li Muyang felt an indescribable pain, could this be considered as the toughest admission into a school in the entire history?
A clear and sharp sound fell distinctly on his ears.
The voice was very familiar, like it often surrounded his ears.
Li Muyang flung back and saw Cui Xiaoxin dressed in a blue outfit standing among the green trees and red flowers with a slight smile on her face.
“Cui Xiaoxin?” Li Muyang’s eyes hurriedly scanned around, he noticed he was still situated in the middle of the mountain and the scenery remained the same.
That crooked tree was still crooked, the broken tree was still lying on the ground, and the shoes that he took off were still emitting a stench of dead fish—-
An intersection between fantasy and reality, Li Muyang did not know whether this was fantasy or reality.
“Li Muyang, long time no see.” Cui Xiaoxin said with a smile.
“Yes. Long time no see—-” Li Muyang was still unsure whether the person in front of him was indeed Cui Xiaoxin, so he hesitated when speaking. “What are you doing here?”
“I came to study.” Cui Xiaoxin answered.
“Ah?” Li Muyang was thrilled. “You’re also going to Starry Sky? Are you not going to West Wind University? I thought you were going to study at West Wind University.”
“I did say that—–” Cui Xiaoxin nodded, her delicate eyebrows perked up slightly, there was a hint of joy and pride when she answered: “I changed my mind. Can I not?”
“Yes, of course.” Li Muyang was smiling from ear to ear. To be able to meet an old friend and not only that, the only female friend he has—-it really felt wonderful. Before, he was still regretting that he went to Starry Sky; he thought he would never have the chance to see Cui Xiaoxin. And when they finally meet again after many years, only to discover Cui Xiaoxin is married and that their lives will never intersect anymore—–He hid this melancholy in his heart all along. Although they accidently met deep in the mountain and he knows he won’t have any chance, Li Muyang still felt very happy.
At least, she is not married to someone else yet. They could still read together, study together, watch the sunrise and sunset together, and be good friends.
“That’s too good. I was worried it would be boring at Starry Sky since I don’t know anyone there, I did not expect to meet you here—-Let’s head up the mountain together?”
“Alright.” Cui Xiaoxin readily agreed: “We can look after each other.”
Cui Xiaoxin’s gaze shifted over to Li Muyang’s feet, her brows ruffled: “Is your feet injured?”
Li Muyang’s feet immediately shrink back into the pile of clothes, he urgently tried to slide his feet back into his shoes, ashamed to show his ugly and unrefined side to the girl he likes.
“Nothing’s wrong, we can go after I put my shoes back on.” Li Muyang said aloud.
“Don’t move.” Cui Xiaoxin said aloud.
Li Muyang’s hand stopped, asking: “What’s the matter?”
Cui Xiaoxin walked over to Li Muyang, Li Muyang scuffled his feet into the clothes.
Cui Xiaoxin crouched down in front of Li Muyang, her soft delicate white hand pulled his feet out from buried under the clothes.
Li Muyang stared at his smelly feet full of blisters, he felt very ashamed. His crimson face hurriedly explained: “I wash my feet every day, just that I sweated a lot from climbing, so it’s like this—–ignore it, I will be better when I reached the top of the mountain.”
“Does it hurt?” Cui Xiaoxin looked up at Li Muyang and asked.
Her worried face stirred Li Muyang’s heart, like the pleasant surprise of when the iron tree blooms.
“It doesn’t hurt.” Li Muyang said, shaking his head.
Then, he felt he said something wrong; he abruptly cut off the conversation so how does he expect a girl to continue the conversation? Li Shinian said before this is something to avoid when talking to girls.
“It’s okay.” Li Muyang added. “I can’t feel the pain when walking, I only came to realise it’s a little sore after I took off my shoes.”
“You need to pop those blisters or else it would hurt every time you walk.” Cui Xiaoxin said. “There is still a long way to go.”
“Okay. I’ll burst them.” From his waist Li Muyang drew out the Understand Heaven Sword, preparing to puncture those blisters one by one with his sword.
Cui Xiaoxin reached out to stop him: “not with that—-”
“Are you going to cut off your foot?” Cui Xiaoxin said, her voice full of sternness.
“Then with what?” Li Muyang asked.
Cui Xiaoxin pulled a pearl hairpin from her hair: “With this.”
She clamped the thin end of the pearl hairpin in her mouth, her captivating red lips opened slightly and then the corners slightly curled.
The pose was too attractive, but also ambiguous, like a picture he saw in a magazine he stole from Li Shinian’s room. Li Muyang’s heart pounded faster and his body increasing in warmth.
Worried that he would have the same reaction as other boys, he immediately lowered his head, avoiding Cui Xiaoxin’s stunning pose.
Cui Xiaoxin lifted Li Muyang’s foot until it rested on her lap, although separated by the layers of clothes, Li Muyang could still feel the heat of Cui Xiaoxin’s body and the soft feel of her skin.
This was the first time he came into such a close distance with a girl, except Li Shinian—-Li Shinian often placed her smelly feet on his lap and forced him to cut her toenails. But Li Muyang never saw her as a woman.
“Don’t move.” Cui Xiaoxin carefully held Li Muyang’s quivering right foot: “relax your body.”
“I can’t relax my body—” Li Muyang said.
Realising he just said something wrong, he at once corrected himself: “I’m not nervous, I just feel a little cold—-hahaha—–”
After chuckling aloud awkwardly a few times, the redness on his face also faded slightly.
Cui Xiaoxin looked up at Li Muyang and said: “It may hurt a little but you have to endure it, it will heal soon—–”
She pulled out a white handkerchief from her sleeves, using that white handkerchief as a mat for Li Muyang’s foot.
Li Muyang’s felt it was wasted, such a fine handkerchief, he wanted to permanently carry this around with him.
With the pearl hairpin in her hand Cui Xiaoxin swiftly used the tapered end to pop one blister at a time, then, with the handkerchief wiped away the yellow fluid seeping out from Li Muyang’s foot.
Li Muyang’s body flinched back, but he pretended to act calm.
“Does it hurt?” Cui Xiaoxin asked worriedly.
“It doesn’t hurt. It doesn’t hurt at all.” Li Muyang said with a smile. Seeing Cui Xiaoxin’s fingers coming into contact with the pus dripping down his foot, he tried to stretch his foot away. “Xiaoxin, let me do it—–I know how to do it.”
Cui Xiaoxin restrained Li Muyang’s foot, preventing him from moving further, and said with a stern voice: “You, I have started already, why are you nagging? If I were to get hurt, would you leave me aside and not care about me? ”
“Of course not.” Li Muyang said with assurance. “If you’re hurt, I’ll definitely take care of you.”
“Me, too.” Cui Xiaoxin said. As she talked, her hand deftly punctured another blister.
Each time Cui Xiaoxin poked him with the pin, Li Muyang could feel his body and mind trembling, a numb and tingling sensation.
It seemed like she not only pierced his foot, but his soul.