He came from a small valley that was hidden between large forests and tall mountains. Every bit of soil was used for agriculture, which was a huge difference from what he now saw in front of him. It was a wilderness, but another kind of wilderness than the one he had been in so far.
Although Xu Min was deeply shocked, he only needed to take a deep breath once or twice before he started walking towards the plains, leaving the safety of the forest behind.
Xu Min brought nothing with him when he escaped from the Zhong family residence. Throughout the years, he had managed to hunt down several animals, especially because his skill using the Shattering Palm improved, and he had used their hides to create a small bag to fill with berries, dried meat, and other necessities.
Some of the hides were tanned and made into leather and fur clothes for the young boy. The young boy's time in the forest had taught him how to be self-sufficient.
Xu Min was now fully able to live on his own without having to rely on other people. There was one more item in his backpack aside from berries and rest of the food. It was a smaller bag which was filled with all the medicinal herbs that Xu Min had found while traveling in the forest.
Some of the herbs he found had been used to increase his cultivation rate, but most of them were packed away because Xu Min knew that he needed money. The easiest way to earn money would be to sell valuables, but the small boy had none of those. This was why he fought off the temptation to use all the healing flowers with beneficial effects on himself.
With determined steps, Xu Min set off towards the horizon, and it did not take long before he saw some large city walls in the distance. The walls alone were so tall that they hid everything behind them perfectly. Smaller villages were spread out near the wall itself. Agriculture appeared once more, causing Xu Min to feel slightly at home.
Xu Min's plan was to enter a city and somehow find a place where he could train himself faster than he had done so far. He had learned to persist, as he knew that he was still far too weak. Because of this, he endured the hate that never fully let go of his heart. As he stared at the massive city many times bigger than Xu Min's hometown, he assumed that there would be teachers of the same, or better quality as Overseer Tian.
As he slowly inched closer and closer to the city, Xu Min quickly found that although the city was visible on the horizon, the trip to get there was many times longer than what he had expected. The night quickly descended upon him, forcing him to set up camp. He would rather camp outside than go to an inn.
Although he had no money, he was certain that some innkeeper would trade a warm bed and a bowl of stew for one of his medicinal herbs. However, the stew and the bed were something which Xu Min could only dream about as he picked up some dried meat from his bag and started chewing upon it as he looked all around him with alert eyes.
For the last two years, Xu Min had done everything he could to avoid humans. During this time, he had not spoken even once, out of fear of attracting someone to his location. His avoidance grew so severe that he even refused to follow animal trails, forcing himself to make his own path through the thickest parts of the forest by relying on his Shattering Palm.
It was fortunate that the forest was a rather safe area, and not one of those forests that were overrun with demon beasts, but even so, Xu Min would rather run into a demon beast than a human. He feared that all humans within the forest were there for the sake of killing him.
A slight fear crept into his heart when he thought about entering the city. However, with a determined shake of his head, Xu Min ordered himself to get some rest as he would continue onward the following day. Even if the city was daunting and slightly scary, it was a necessary step towards defeating the Zhong Family Leader.
As he slept, the young boy once more relived the nightmare which happened years before, where his sister died in his arms.
As the moon descended and the first rays of sunshine started to shine upon the grassy plains, Xu Min woke up. His cheeks were tear-stained, and his heart was beating erratically. Dark eye bags were visible on his face, and his fists were clenched so hard that blood was dripping from his palms.
Xu Min sat up, sighing deeply. Although he wished to reach the city early, he did not rush; instead, he entered meditation. As soon as his eyes closed, he descended into a trance-like state, and small specks of golden light started surrounding him. Some of these specks were inhaled while others were exhaled.
Seated still in this position in the middle of the plains, Xu Min spent a couple of hours completely in a trance as he absorbed the essence of the heavens and the earth, and refined it into Qi in his dantian.
After a couple of hours, Xu Min finally opened his eyes, and the golden specks in the air slowly disintegrated, vanishing into nothingness as a satisfied smile appeared on Xu Min's face.
Standing up, Xu Min started to train his body, going through the various muscle training exercises that Overseer Tian had taught him once again. After training his physique for a couple of hours, he finally took a specific stance, closed his eyes, and released the Qi from his dantian throughout his body, and allowed it to rush through his meridians. A white colored palm appeared in front of him. With a satisfied smile, Xu Min dismissed the hand before he raised his head, looking at the city in front of him, and slowly started making his way towards the city in the distance.