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AIP - Chapter 95: Tiger Roar Valley (3)

Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr

After getting the hide and the other things, Tang Jie continued his journey.

Tiger Roar Valley was shaped like the opening of a gourd, narrow at the start and widening the farther one went in. An artificial valley, it occupied half of the Clear Sky Mountains. Not only did it cover a vast area, it had a complicated terrain, playing host to lakes, forests, hills and mountains. It followed the principle of mountains in a lake, a valley in the mountains, and a universe within the valley.

Tang Jie walked up to a pool at the base of a mountain. The water was clear, so he stopped to take a drink, using the opportunity to see if there were any valuable spirit plants growing around the area.

But it seemed like somebody had already been through here and picked everything.

Tang Jie didn't care. After drinking some water, he sat on a stone, dropped his head, and began to think.

After some time, he suddenly looked up at a distant peak.

A tiger with a white forehead had appeared on that summit.

That tiger was sitting up on a large stone, staring at Tang Jie and Yiyi in his bosom.

Even though Yiyi was hiding and hadn't shown herself, Tang Jie felt like the tiger could see through his clothes, see through everything.

"Hurr…" the tiger lowly grumbled.

It wasn't a loud sound, but it was heavy and lingering, traveling across the valley.

Upon hearing this sound, Yiyi poked her head out and met eyes with that tiger.

Yiyi didn't sense the tiger's imposing aura, so she didn't feel afraid. She asked Tang Jie, "Big Brother, that tiger is looking at us! Is it also a fiend?"

"Mm, a very formidable fiend," Tang Jie affirmed, his eyes fixed on the tiger.

"So why isn't it chasing us?" Yiyi curiously asked. Any fiend beast they had come across had chased after them, causing them to spend more time running than the typical student.

"Because it can't come down," Tang Jie explained. "There's a formation on that summit that keeps it prisoner."

"Oh? Why does it have a formation imprisoning it? Aren't the fiend beasts of Tiger Roar Valley free to move around?"

"This is an exception… Yiyi, do you know how Tiger Roar Valley got its name?"

Yiyi was taken aback. "It can't be because of this big tiger, can it?"

Tang Jie nodded. "To be more precise, its ancestor."

"Its ancestor?"

"Mm." Tang Jie nodded again.

He looked up at the tiger on the summit, which was still staring at him.

Tang Jie sat down on the stone, beginning to speak as he looked at the tiger. "Yes, at the very beginning, Tiger Roar Valley was actually a prison for a fiend tiger. This mountain was the site of his prison. Many years ago, Basking Moon Academy had four great fiends: turtle, crane, tiger, and carp. The fiend tiger was the third oldest. These four great fiends were actually companions of seniors of the Basking Moon Sect, just like you and me now."

"Oh…" Yiyi nodded to indicate that she understood. "What about after that?"

"After that?" Tang Jie chuckled. "These four great fiends were companions of predecessors of the Basking Moon Sect. Some of these seniors ascended out of the domain, some died, and others entered seclusion. These four great fiends no longer had masters, so they decided to remain at the academy and serve as its guardian fiends. But one day, the fiend tiger suddenly turned traitor."

"The fiend tiger turned traitor?"

"Yes." Tang Jie nodded. "The fiend tiger turned traitor because it wanted a treasure of the Basking Moon Sect. It stole the treasure and left, but then the Basking Moon Sect caught it and brought it back. To find out where the tiger had hidden the treasure, they locked it up on this Tiger Roar Peak, applying the cruelest torture methods to it as they interrogated it every night. Every night, it was possible to hear the miserable howls of the fiend tiger on Tiger Roar Peak, hence its name."

"And what happened after that?" Yiyi propper her chin on her hands as she listened to Tang Jie's story.

"After… That fiend tiger never gave up where it had put the treasure it had stolen, and since Basking Moon Academy couldn't get what it wanted, the fiend tiger remained imprisoned until it ultimately died on Tiger Roar Peak. But it wasn't by itself. It also had a wife and children. When the fiend tiger died, its wife and children were still imprisoned here, for the Basking Moon Sect feared that the fiend tiger might have left the secret to its wife and children using secret bloodline techniques. They continued to hold the fiend tiger's descendants here to interrogate them, but they still got nothing. Eventually, the Basking Moon Sect gave up entirely. They decided to just create Tiger Roar Valley around Tiger Roar Peak, converting the area into a mission ground for students. As for Tiger Roar Peak, it serves as the final challenge area for students…"

"So this tiger is the only upper-grade fiend beast!" Yiyi shouted, pointing at the tiger.

Tang Jie nodded. "Correct. It is the only upper-grade Spirit Sensing fiend beast of Tiger Roar Valley, a direct descendant of that fiend tiger. It is imprisoned here and can only walk around the summit. But students can enter the summit whenever they please to hunt the fiend tiger."

For the students, an upper-grade fiend beast was truly too powerful, so powerful that if this fiend tiger were allowed to freely travel the valley, not even the jade token would be able to keep the students safe.

This was why the academy had penned up the fiend tiger all by itself and given the students the right to choose.

If you didn't want to run into an upper-grade fiend beast, you just needed to not go up to the summit, and if you did go up to the summit, your life was in your own hands.

"But doesn't that mean that all the fiend tigers will eventually be killed?" Yiyi asked.

"They won't." Tang Jie explained, "Every once in a while, the Basking Moon Sect will send someone out to capture a fiend tiger to mate with the fiend tigers of Tiger Roar Peak to produce offspring so that the bloodline doesn't go extinct. And the Basking Moon students are strictly forbidden to kill any tiger cubs that they encounter. Anyone who breaks this rule is immediately expelled, even executed! If the old fiend tiger dies and the new fiend tiger hasn't matured, Tiger Roar Peak is temporarily closed until it grows up. The other fiend beasts of Tiger Roar Valley are changed out every year, as it's fine so long as they're at about the same level of strength, but the fiend tiger of Tiger Roar Peak has not changed in centuries, has always been a descendant of that fiend tiger. After one thousand years, the tiger blood has painted Tiger Roar Peak red countless times. Not a single fiend tiger has ever had a good end. This is the punishment for that fiend tiger… Not even its offspring are spared!"

As if it could hear Tang Jie, that tiger on the summit let out a low and mournful growl that resounded through the valley.

"That's horrifying." Yiyi had also been scared out of her wits by Tang Jie's story.

After all, she was still young. There were still some things that were just too cruel in her view.

In truth, even some students found this story rather cruel.

But Basking Moon Academy didn't try to hide it.

Just like how Celestial Execution Hall was used to make students trust in the Basking Moon Sect, Tiger Roar Peak told the students through another method about the cost of betrayal.

Tang Jie smiled. "It might be cruel to the fiend tigers, but what about the students? Do you know how many students each fiend tiger kills? After all, upper-grade fiend beasts have never been easy to kill. With numbers, the students do manage to kill the fiend tigers, but in its death throes, the fiend tiger will always take some people down with it. Don't blindly believe in the jade token. The fiend tiger can kill an average student in one blow. This is why the vast majority of the hunts on the fiend tiger end in failure. It's not because they can't win, but because of the devastating losses. They grow afraid, lose courage, fall apart, and run…"

"And they still go? Is the fiend tiger very valuable?"

"Valuable?" Tang Jie raised an eyebrow. "It's naturally very valuable. An upper-grade fiend beast will always be more valuable than a middle-grade or lower-grade, but no matter how much it's worth, it's not worth your life, is it? But as it's the only upper-grade fiend beast, killing it is a sort of exclusive honor for the students… This is the highest achievement one can have at the Spirit Spring Tier, even greater than the records of the Seven Celestial Halls in some aspects. This alone would cause many to risk their lives. There's also a story that the treasure that the fiend tiger stole back then has been on Tiger Roar Peak this whole time. It's just that no one has ever been able to find it. Thus, there are some students who want to ascend to heaven in a single step by finding this treasure. But if you want to find the treasure, you have to step over that fiend tiger's corpse first."

"Wow! Then if we can kill the fiend tiger, we can get the treasure?" Yiyi's eyes widened in wonder and excitement.

Tang Jie found this rather laughable. Pinching her little face, he said, "Silly girl, if the Basking Moon Sect couldn't find it after several hundred years, why should the students be able to? That treasure vanished from this world ages ago, such that the fiend tigers couldn't hand it over, which is why they have been punished here for generation after generation."

"Ow! Stop! Don't pinch my face!" Yiyi loudly complained.

"However…" Tang Jie's tone suddenly changed. "While there's no getting the treasure, that doesn't mean there's nothing else to be gained. There should be some treasures there. It's just that most people don't recognize them."

"What else could there be?"

Tang Jie chuckled. "Think about it, Yiyi. Use that little brain of yours. All the information you need is in the story. It's just a matter of whether you can discover it or not. No rush. You have time to think about it."

"Hmph, I'm not going to think about it." Yiyi turned her head away in a huff. "You're a student of the academy, so you have Immortal teachers who tell you things. While it's easy for you to get these things, it would be weird if I could guess at anything."

Tang Jie casually replied, "The esteemed teachers will bring up this story during their lectures, but do you think they would be so cruel and direct when telling this story? No, they polish up the story so that everyone believes that the fiend tiger is just reaping what it sowed. Thus, this version of the story I told actually isn't the school's version. It's actually…"

"From that Big Brother Xu of yours?" Yiyi smartly finished.

Tang Jie's gaze dimmed.

After a long while, he finally said, "Big Brother Xu was the one who told me the story, but we have to realize the information inside it on our own. There is something I need on that Tiger Roar Peak. I have to get it… no matter what!"

hypersheep325's Notes:

The dark history of the Basking Moon Sect! And what is Tang Jie after from the powerful fiend tiger of Tiger Roar Valley?

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Written by Yuanfen 0 缘分0. Translated by hypersheep325. Edited by Michyrr.