At noon, they marched out of the little town and up the mountain. Unfortunately, there were no roads wide enough for buses. In fact, there were no roads at all, only narrow windingtrails thatwere used only by hunters.
Shafts of sunlight peeped through the dense canopy of leaves, covering the agents with dapples of light and shadow. The forest floor was carpeted by a thick layer offallen leaves, and there were stones and roots lying just under them, waiting for the careless and the unwary.
Tang Wulin could feel natural energies in the woods seeping into his body even as he walked, but whether it was because of his Bluesilver Emperor martial soul or because he had opened two of the eight extraordinary meridians, he could not say.
The aura around him is so strong and… familiar,White Seven thought, walking beside Tang Wulin. She seemed puzzled at first, but then it came to her. He is a plant-type soul master! Yes, that must be why the natural energies released by the trees are gathering around him. How convenient!
After two hours of hard and quick marching through the woods, Black One looked up at the sky. “We need to move faster, or we won’t be able to reach the summit before dusk,” he said, breaking into a run. “Keep up! Don’t fall behind!”
They stayed to the trail, following its twists and turns as it snaked along the side of the mountain. Soon the trees became scarce and the dense forest gave way to open grassland. Tang Wulin was still surefooted and tireless, and if his partner was weary, she hid it well. She was running fast without panting, quiet as a shadow and light as a feather. She must be an agility-type soul master,Tang Wulin thought to himself.
Just before dusk, they arrived at the top of the mountain. Towering over one mile above the quaint small town, the summit was bleak and barren. There were patches of snow here and there, and the icy wind here was unforgiving; it went through them rather than around them. Nobody in their right mind would live here, but there was a modest stone hut squatting at the very edge of the cliff.
When Black One was about to go over to knock at the stone door, it opened slowly. An old man walked out, tall and thin and stooped, leaning on a gnarled ebony cane.
“Elder Wu,” Black One called out, hurrying over and bowing respectfully.
This Elder Wu must hold a really high position in the Tang Sect,thought Tang Wulin.
Elder Wu nodded, his eyes sweeping over the 30 white-class agents. “These kids are not half bad,” he said. “Get them ready.”
Black One nodded and turned to his subordinates. “You’ll never get such a good opportunity again. Just try and stay as long as you can in the Dragon Valley, but don’t hesitate to use your dragon ball to get yourself out when your life is in danger.”
Standing at the edge of the cliff, Elder Wu struck the rocky ground with his ebony cane, nine soul rings appearing around him, two yellow, three purple,
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