Chapter 31 – Consolidated Equipment, Skills Stored – Stars Rating
Although Mu En did not give his little rogue disciple any welcoming gifts, but when the group left the Heavenly Bow Unit, Zhou Weiqing still got a change in gear, and his original Purple Dawn Bow had been swapped for a huge black bow. The Purple Dawn Bow was already considered rather large, almost 1.5m long, but the black bow he was carrying now was almost 2 metres long! It was deﬁnitely a large contrast with the small Green Spirit Bow of Shangguan Bing’er.
Naturally, the large black bow was given to Zhou Weiqing by Luo Ke Di. Although he loved to drink and was roguish in nature, but he deﬁnitely kept his word. However, what made Zhou Weiqing rather gloomy was that the large black bow was almost 80 jin in weight, almost four times that of the Purple Dawn Bow! The draw the bow, was not much easier than his Overlord Bow, and even with his current strong physique boosted by his Strength Physical Jewel, he still needed to circulate a bit of Heavenly Energy and release his Physical Jewel before he could draw the bow to its maximum.
Mu En told Zhou Weiqing that the bow was called Black Dawn Bow, and was not sold anywhere. It was made from thousand year Stars Wood, and it had the greatest shooting range amongst all bows except those Consolidated Equipments. It was also good for training and building up strength, endurance and overall physique.
Luckily, they were not traveling by foot, and as they headed out, Hua Feng brought them to a luxurious and grand looking horse carriage which was now parked outside, though Zhou Weiqing did not know when that had happened. The carriage was more than twice the size of an ordinary horse carriage, and was adorned with gilded gold and jade on the outside, with lavish decorations, seemingly a little vulgar, and it was harnessed to 4 large horses.
Within the horse carriage, the four walls were lined with an unknown fur rugs, and the large spacious seats were almost like sofas, sitting in them felt so soft yet sturdy, and they were extremely comfortable. Such a horse carriage could even seat at least a dozen people easily and in comfort.
“Teacher, you all are too extravagant, how much does this horse carriage cost?” Although Zhou Weiqing said that, he was practically drooling at the sight. Such a comfortable and luxurious horse carriage, if he could own it and travel the world with several beauties, that would be the best thing in the world, even though the exterior was rather overdone. Hearing Zhou Weiqing mention the horse carriage, Mu En couldn’t help but have a indignant look on his face. “This horse carriage isn’t ours, it’s Hua Feng, that fellow’s personal property. Do you think we can sit on it for free? That miserly fellow will collect payment depending on the distance traveled, and every time we go on a mission, at least a ﬁfth of our cuts go to him.”
Hua Feng was sitting deep in the carriage, and as he heard Mu En’s words, he gave a humph. “Old scoundrel, don’t you have a conscience when you speak? Isn’t it more than worth your while to travel in my horse carriage? After all, it’s constructed out of titanium alloy, and even has a shock absorption system installed, not only is it much faster than us when traveling long distances, but its comfort allows us focus our energies on the mission itself. Furthermore, my additional cut is not just for the horse carriage fees, but also the other consumables for the mission. If you guys are willing to take charge of those, I don’t mind.”
Mu En turned his head around in a huff, while Luo Ke Di, who was lounging back with a wine bottle in hand, said: “Enough, old scoundrel, you are your beloved disciple already conned me so much, and I, Your Father, didn’t even complain so much.” Mu En gave him a thwack on his head, saying: “Little Rogue, you’re the youngest here. Whose father are you?!”
Luo Ke Di said in anger: “Bullshit, such smelly bullshit! Isn’t your disciple a human? Isn’t Boss Hua Feng’s disciple a human? Are they older than me?”
The silent Han Mo looked coldly at Luo Ke Di and chimed in: “If you keep making noise, I’ll throw you out!”
Luo Ke Di said exasperatedly: “It was old scoundrel who started it and taunted me. Why don’t you throw him out?”
Han Mo said passively: “I can’t beat him, but I can beat you. A single hand cannot clap after all, and if I throw you out, that’ll be sufﬁcient.”
“Hmph, taking advantage of the weak and scared of the strong. Little Mo Mo, I’ll remember you.” Luo Ke Di had a gloomy look on his face as he gulped down more wine, but he quietened down.
The horse carriage had a specialised carriage driver, who seemed to be around 40 years of age with a honest look. Every four hours of travel, they would stop for a while to rest their horses, and would only travel a total of 14-16 hours a day. However, Hua Feng was not exaggerating; although they were traveling long distances, sitting in this horse carriage was so comfortable that it was even an enjoyable trip. Furthermore, there was a hidden compartment under the carriage, storing a large amount of all sorts of food, drinks and arrows.
One time, Zhou Weiqing had accidently knocked onto the walls of the carriage, and he had realised that even if he used his Overlord Bow to shoot, he might not even be able to penetrate the thick titanium alloy construction of the horse carriage. He could barely imagine how much it cost to build this horse carriage, and couldn’t help but rejoice to himself – anyway he and Bing’er did not have any cut from the mission and thus would not be reduced any further, so they naturally were having the ride for free.
As for what the mission they were heading to do was, no one had explained it to them. The only thing that Zhou Weiqing and Shangguan Bing’er knew vaguely, was that it was somewhere in the borders of the Fei Li Empire.
In just seven days, by sitting in this luxurious horse carriage, they had reached the borders of the Heavenly Bow Empire and Fei Li Empire. As the horse carriage traveled ahead, they quickly entered a mountain valley. Although there was a road cut into the valley, it was rather small. The previous time Zhou Weiqing and Shangguan Bing’er had entered Fei Li Empire, they had not traveled this path, but another even smaller road which was somewhat closer. However, with their horse
carriage, they had no choice but to traverse this path which was just large enough for them to pass. At the moment, Zhou Weiqing had his eyes closed as he cultivated his Heavenly Energy. All of a sudden, he heard loud neighs as the horses reared up, along with the cries of the carriage driver, before the carriage came to a screeching halt.
Hua Feng opened his eyes slowly, and without even looking outside, he said to Mu En: “Old scoundrel, business is here, you can bring Little Wei along with you.”
Mu En’s eyes brightened, and he grinned as he said: “I will not reject such a good offer. Little Wei, come let’s go.”
The other members revealed an indignant look, even including the normally expressionless Han Mo. Luo Ke Di gave an ingratiating look as he said to Mu En: “Old scoundrel, don’t you need some help from your buddy?”
Mu En glared at him and said: “Help your sister… .” To which Luo Ke Di replied with a middle ﬁnger. Zhou Weiqing was full of questions as he got off the carriage together with Mu En: “Teacher, what’s going on?”
Mu En said with a big grin: “It’s our opportunity to make money! Hua Feng has given us a lot of face, it probably counts as a welcoming present for you. This boss of ours, he is as shrewd and astute as a devil. Why do you think he made the exterior of the horse carriage look so luxurious and vulgar? There is a reason for that.”
Just as Mu En ﬁnished speaking, there came a loud shout from the front. “HALT! This mountain is open by me, these trees are planted by me, if you want to cross this road, leave a toll; if not, you’ll have to face death!”
“Bandits?” Zhou Weiqing was an intelligent person, and he quickly understood the underlying meaning behind Mu En’s words. They were unexpectedly using the luxurious horse carriage to draw the attention of bandits and robbing them in return. Such an idea… only this bunch of weirdos could come up with it…
As the two of them exited the carriage, they saw that the front of the road had been blocked by a large group of bandits, numbering more than 20, all of whom were holding weapons. On the side of the mountains, there were another dozen or so bandits holding bows and arrows pointed at them. These bandits were all dressed in blue, and their leader was even dressed in splint mail, and they were deﬁnitely an organised group.
The bandit leader seemed to be around 40 years of age, with a large knife held in his hands. “You guys sure have the guts to cross our Light Breeze Mountain Ridge with just a horse carriage! As the saying goes, leaving others with some space, to get some leeway in the future. If you want to live, leave half your valuables in the carriage, while the other half you can carry away. You’ll have to leave the horses and the carriage though, they now belong to I, Your Father.
Mu En gave a miserable look, moving his trembling body forth a few steps and saying with a pleading expression: “This bandit big brother, look at us, old and young alike, without this horse carriage, how can we possibly travel! Please do us a favour, let us through please, you can have half of our belongings, but we really need the carriage.”
The bandit leader’s face changed: “Dammit, who are you calling big brother? I, your father, will beat you to death for that! You’re older than me by at least 20 years old and you dare call me brother? Am I that old huh?” Zhou Weiqing was observing from the side, and could clearly sense Mu En’s breathing grow rapid, his humble appearance changing swiftly. Zhou Weiqing grinned in his heart, knowing that his teacher hated being called old. “Little brat! Those in front are yours, I’ll take those on the side.”
“However, leave that one for me, I want to take care of him personally. Let’s go!” Mu En was enraged by the bandit leader and didn’t want to continue acting any further.
Zhou Weiqing nodded and said: “Alright.” As he said that, he had already taken off the Black Dawn Bow from his back, swiftly circulating his Heavenly Energy and releasing his Heavenly Jewels. Nocking an arrow, he quickly drew the tough Black Dawn Bow to a full crescent, pointing it to the front.
The bandit leader started, he had never expected this pair, one old and one young, to dare resist. “Kill them!”
The bandits on the side of the mountain started ﬁring their arrows, but at that moment, Mu En moved. Zhou Weiqing also released his arrow at the same time.
*Swoosh* like a black bolt of lightning, the arrow ﬂew out. The arrogant bandit leader felt a wave of heat pass by his ears, and a ﬂash of pain at his earlobes, and 4 of the bandits beside him fell. The arrow pierced through the four and continued ﬂying off into the distance.
Even Zhou Weiqing was startled by the sheer power of the Black Dawn Bow; just counting the range and the penetrating power, it was almost as strong as his Overlord Bow.
At this point, arrows were raining down upon them, focused on Mu En and Zhou Weiqing. Mu En moved at the same time, and before Zhou Weiqing could even see anything clearly, he saw a grey blur shimmer around him, and Mu En reappeared once more with more than 20 arrows in his hands. Mu En’s hands seemed to blur as he just seemed to ﬂing the arrows out randomly. However, it was as if the arrows had eyes, and screams rang out along the mountainside. The dozen or so bandit archers lining both sides all perished, with an arrow in their throat. The bandit archers were about 50 yards from where they stood, and were on higher ground; Mu En only gave a casual throw of the arrows and had struck over 20 targets with such accuracy, the level of difﬁculty was just too high!
This was the ﬁrst time Zhou Weiqing had seen his teacher attack, and he couldn’t help but stare, dumbfounded.
*Poof*, A kick landed on Zhou Weiqing’s buttock, as Mu En said exasperatedly: “What are you staring at!? Are you trying to get killed? Go deal with the bunch in front, if anyone escapes you won’t get a cut! You’re not allowed to use arrows!” As he said that, the Black Dawn Bow which was in Zhou Weiqing’s hands a moment ago suddenly disappeared and reappeared in Mu En’s hands.
It was only at this point that the bandits on the road awoke to the situation; even the most foolish person would have realised by now that this horse carriage was not an easy target at all. The bandit leader ignored the burning pain in his ear, and gave a strained shout: “Run, sound the alarm!” Saying that, he turned tail and ﬂed. The group of bandits were clearly experienced in ﬂeeing, and they scattered off in all directions, with hardly a single one headed together.
Having been given the reminder by Mu En, Zhou Weiqing slammed his right foot on the ground and shot forward. He knew that Mu En did not allow him to use his bow and arrow in order to test his close combat skills in an actual battle. Even if he did not mind losing face, he did not want to throw his father’s face either! As he thought of that, Zhou Weiqing felt his blood boil as excitement surged through him.
As soon as his right leg struck the ground, there was an explosion, startling even Mu En. As Zhou Weiqing’s body ﬂew off like an arrow, his speed actually caused Mu En to reveal a surprised expression.
Almost instantly, Zhou Weiqing had caught up to two bandits; the bandits were at best of equal physique to ordinary soldiers and could hardly compare to a Heavenly Jewel Master like him. With each hand grabbing hold of a bandit’s neck, he slammed their heads together, causing them to lose consciousness. Almost at the same time, his body vaulted forward, and his left hand struck out, shooting forth a black light which ﬂew forth like a bolt of black lightning, heading towards the majority of the bandits. His body ﬂashed away again in the other direction, with the sheer explosive power of his Demonic Right Leg, he caught up with bandit after bandit, throwing their unconscious bodies back to where Mu En was. As for the black light, it was naturally the Touch of Darkness,
which had by now bound over a dozen bandits and brought them together. Only the bandit leader was fast enough to reach the mountains.
Of course, Zhou Weiqing couldn’t possibly let him off, and with another burst of speed, he surged forth towards the bandit leader.
As if he had eyes on the back of his head, the bandit leader suddenly kicked savagely to the right while running, causing his body to spin around in a surprising turn, the large knife in his hands twirling towards Zhou Weiqing viciously. From the strength of the blow and the whistling sound it made as it cut through the air, it was clear that it held some Heavenly Energy. The bandit leader was at the cultivation level of the second level of Heavenly Energy, though he hadn’t Awakened his Power Jewels, it was still this strength that allowed him to become the leader of the bandits. Alas, this time, he had met an actual Heavenly Jewel Master. The large knife had only closed half the distance to Zhou Weiqing when a green light ﬂashed, and the bandit leader found that he was suddenly unable to move. The next instant, Zhou Weiqing had grabbed his collar, and with a surge of
Heavenly Energy, this bandit leader who weighed at least 200 jin including his splint mail had been thrown all the way back 20 yards onto the path. Of course, it could not be forgotten that Zhou Weiqing had a pure Strength Physical Jewel.
From the time that Zhou Weiqing exploded into action, to the bandits being captured, it was barely the time taken to breathe 10 breaths of air. No matter Mu En or the other members in the carriage, no one had expected him to ﬁnish the battle so quickly.
Hua Feng’s eyes lit up, looking at Zhou Weiqing contemplatively.
Zhou Weiqing returned to Mu En’s side, saying: “Teacher, you guys are too evil, using the horse carriage to lure bandits, and robbing them instead.”
At this time, Mu En was standing in front of the bandit leader, kicking him repeatedly as he muttered: “Calling me old? Calling me old…” Zhou Weiqing stood at the side with his mouth twitching. So vicious! “Spare me, please spare me lords…” The bandit leader cried out shrilly, trying to resist but he couldn’t garner the strength to do so. Zhou Weiqing’s Fetters of Wind was not something that an ordinary person could easily handle.
Mu En looked over at the dozen or so bandits bound at the side, and said: “Little brat, the ﬁrst skill you stored for your Darkness Attribute, it’s the Touch of Darkness?”
Zhou Weiqing said: “Teacher, you’re so experienced and knowledgeable!”
Mu En said exasperatedly: “What bullshit knowledge, no wonder your old man sent you to the Heavenly Bow Unit. Don’t you know that your father’s eighth Jewel’s Skill is that Touch of Darkness? He likely doesn’t have the face to teach you personally. Hahaha, Old Zhou also has such a day, hahaha, now you can ofﬁcially be a member of us Paradise Strange, you’re indeed a little weirdo!”
Turning to the bandit leader, Mu En grabbed him up and said: “Where is your lair?! Bring us there now.”
In about an hour, a dozen bandits with ashen faces carried sacks of gold coins back to the carriage under Mu En and Zhou Weiqing’s supervision, placing the sacks into the hidden compartment of the horse carriage. Before leaving, Mu En patted the bandit leader’s face and said: “Remember! When you’re in hell, collect more money before trying to rob us!”
In the next instant, Mu En shot out arrows viciously, ﬁnishing off all the bandits. “Teacher, they already gave us all their money, why still kill them?” Zhou Weiqing was still rather young after all, and seeing Mu En ﬁnishing them off in cold blood, he felt a chill run down his spine.
Mu En gave a humph: “What do you understand, do you think that we are the ﬁrst targets of these bandits? If we did not have our abilities, what do you think would happen to us when they robbed us? These bandits deserve death more than ten times over.”
As the pair returned to the carriage, Luo Ke Di moved over and asked: “Old scoundrel, how much did you earn this time?”
Mu En said exasperatedly: “These poor bastards, we only got less than a hundred thousand gold coins. Without a Jewel master, how strong can these bandits be? Hopefully we get lucky and meet another bunch of bandits later.” Hua Feng said: “Don’t complain, remember my 30% cut.”
Mu En gave a humph and said: “You vampire!”
Hua Feng’s mouth beamed in a graceful smile: “Without my horse carriage, with the way you look, do you think that bandits would even bother attacking you? Little Wei, your ﬁrst skill for your Darkness Attribute is already the Touch of Darkness. Are you planning to go on the control route?”
Zhou Weiqing started and said: “What’s the control route?”
The moment he asked that, Mu En couldn’t help but cover his face and lean back in his chair. Gao Shen was so surprised that his eyes bulged out, while Luo Ke Di said: “Are you serious, Little Wei? As Admiral Zhou’s son, you don’t even know what’s control? Who taught you about Heavenly Jewels?”
Shangguan Bing’er ﬂushed and said: “I was the one who taught him. Admiral Zhou only just recently knew about his Heavenly Jewels Awakening, and did not have the opportunity to teach him at all before we came to the Heavenly Bow Unit.” Hua Feng said: “Simply put, when every Jewel Master is cultivating, they will choose a path that is suited to their Attributes. For example, a ﬁre attribute Elemental Jewel Master will almost always go for on a more offensive route, while a wind attribute Elemental Jewel Master will normally choose to a more nimble or ﬂexible attacking patterns, which is what we call agility attacks. When I mentioned control route, it means focusing on controlling enemies on the battleﬁeld, restricting their movements and attacks. Your Touch of Darkness is a classic control skill, with an additional effect of improving senses and other beneﬁts. I do not know how you managed to successfully Store it, but I have to say I have never seen such a good ﬁrst Skill.”
Zhou Weiqing said: “Leader, I have never been able to understand how the Stored Skills and Consolidated Equipment are classiﬁed, don’t they all improve and evolve as the number of Jewels increase?”
Hua Feng said gently: “There are differences of course; no matter Consolidated Equipment or Stored Skills, they are classiﬁed according to their worth, and that is determined by several factors. First of all, is their growth factor. You are right that all skills will improve as the amount of Jewels increase. However, they do have differing rates of improvement, and the when a Jewel is added, a Skill could have a huge difference in how it evolves. For example, if you Store a Skill from a Shi Stage Heavenly Beast, when it evolves, it increases at a rate of 1, while a Zun Stage Heavenly Beast’s skill might increase at the rate of 2, Zong Stage at the rate of 4, and so on so forth. As such, the Skill Storing Palaces have come up with a Stars
Rating for Consolidate Equipment and Stored Skills, to determine how strong they are depending on how many stars they are assigned. Of course, the stronger the skill, the more stars they have; the lowest being 1 star, and the highest 12 stars.”
“Taking your Touch of Darkness as an example, it would be considered a 8 Star skill by the Skill Storing Palaces. In general, Shi Stage Heavenly Beasts’ Skills are from 1-3 Stars, Zun Stage Beasts 4-6 Stars, Zong Stage Beasts 7-9 Stars. As for the Skills above 9 Stars, only Heavenly Jewel Masters will be able to get them. The general consensus is that you are usually able to Store Skills of a similar Star rating as your number of Jewels, or you might not be able to fully express your strength. To actually Store a 8 Star Skill when you only have one set of Jewels, it is something that we have never heard of previously.”
“Furthermore, when we are rating skills, control skills generally are considered 1 Star higher than Skills of the same rank. As such, although the Touch of Darkness is an 8 Star skill, it is still comparable to some of the 9 Star Skills. This is also the same for Consolidated Equipment, those which have sockets are usually given an additional Star rating as well. It can also be said that the Star Rating of a Jewel Master’s skills are also what we use to determine the person’s future talent and possibilities.” “Yesterday, when I asked Bing’er to show me her skills, I did a simple rating of her abilities. Amongst Bing’er’s two Physical Jewel Consolidated Equipment, her Silent Tracking Arrow can be considered 3 Stars. Alas, as a Consolidated Equipments, its use to her will gradually reduce.”
“As for the Wind Wielding Boots, it is at least 6 Stars. If Bing’er reaches at least the 9 Jeweled Upper Zong Stage, she could possibly even make use of it to ﬂy. With the addition of the socket it has, her Wind Wielding Boots can even be ranked at 7 Stars, and is deﬁnitely a great piece of equipment for Wind Attribute Heavenly Jewel Masters. As for her ﬁrst Elemental Jewel’s Skill, Wind Blades, it is only a 2 Star Skill and its growth rate is rather weak. Luckily, it is just her ﬁrst Elemental Jewel.”
Listening to Hua Feng’s words, everyone turned to look at Zhou Weiqing. He blinked and shrank back in his seat warily: “Why are all of you staring at me?”
Luo Ke Di grinned and said: “Of course it’s to look at your skills and equipment to rate them!” Hua Feng said with a serious expression: “Little Wei, although you are already a member of the Heavenly Bow Unit, I will not force you to reveal your secrets. However, I do hope that you will be able to let us understand your power; this will allow us to better coordinate during ﬁghts. Admiral Zhou sent you here to the Heavenly Bow Unit to train, and I trust that you understand that he trusts us implicitly. The Heavenly Bow Unit will always be the protector of Heavenly Bow Empire.”
Zhou Weiqing looked at Shangguan Bing’er, then at Mu En, who shrugged and said helplessly: “Let them see it then, curiosity killed the cat, I hope their hearts are able to take it. Hmph!” Luo Ke Di said exasperatedly: “Old scoundrel, stop bragging, would it kill you not to brag? I, Your Father, have a very strong heart.”
Mu En did not even retort, just giving him a cold smile.
An hour later, the speeding horse chariot’s back door suddenly opened. A ﬁgure ﬂew out of the carriage, or more accurately, it had been kicked out.
Luo Ke Di’s angry voice came from within the carriage: “Who’s the disgusting one! You’re the most disgusting one! Ahhhhhh!! My poor heart! I can’t stand it anymore, envy, jealousy, hatred!!!” Without question, the poor soul who had been kicked off the horse carriage was Zhou Weiqing. After they had gone through Rating all of his skills, the entire carriage was ﬁlled with the sounds of rapid beating hearts, even Mu En was no exception. What followed was him being kicked out of the carriage, with
the excuse being that he needed to strengthen his physique, needing more training and exercise…
“This is clearly just jealousy!!!” Zhou Weiqing cried out with a depressed look on his face, as he ran for his life after the carriage, the heavy Black Dawn Bow on his back.
When Zhou Weiqing had revealed his Alexandrite Cat’s Eye, a strange atmosphere grew in the carriage. Gao Shen who was drinking water spat it all out onto Han Mo’s face; Hua Feng momentarily forgot he was in the carriage and stood up in surprise, hitting his head on the roof; Han Mo’s jaw dropped, causing him to drink some of the water which Gao Shen had spat on him, and was still retching. Luo Ke Di had given himself a slap, as he had been unable to believe his own eyes; he did not control his own strength properly and the right half of his face was still swollen.
When Zhou Weiqing revealed his skills one after the other, besides Shangguan Bing’er, the rest of the members’ faces twitched. If not for the fact that their cultivation levels were high, perhaps they would have gotten a stroke there and then. Under such a circumstance, how could Zhou Weiqing not get kicked off the carriage…
In the end, his ﬁnal Stars Rating were as follows.
The Overlord Bow was rated with 7 Stars, with the addition of the socket, it was 8 Stars.
As for his Stored Skills of his Elemental Jewel, the Fetters of Wind was Rated 8 Stars, Lightning Explosive Palm 7 Stars, Blink 9 Stars due to it being a life saving skill, Touch of Darkness 8 Stars. Both the Devour Skill and Absolute Delay were not ranked, as even the Heavenly Bow Unit members weren’t able to properly determine it.
According to Hua Feng, Zhou Weiqing’s ﬁrst jewel had Stored Skills which were probably better than all of Admiral Zhou’s skills!
For quite a long period of time after that, a bizarre sight could be witnessed within the Fei Li Empire – a lavish carriage would be racing forward, while a young man in ragged clothes would wildly chase after it without pause. …
Twenty Days Later.
The North Border of Fei Li Empire.
“Do you see the patch of snow-covered forest just ahead? Our mission today is to hunt and kill a Zong Stage Heavenly Beast, called the Icy Soul Heavenly Bear, which lives in this forest. After killing it, we have to retrieve its nucleus core, fur, palms and gallbladder.”
“What is the nucleus core?” Zhou Weiqing asked. Currently, his skin was obviously a lot more tanned than before, but he seemed a lot more energetic than before.
Since yesterday, Zhou Weiqing had ﬁnally been allowed to stop running and he had also been able to change into a fresh set of clothes. Having run all the way since they entered the Fei Li Empire, his entire outlook seemed different, more vigorous and energetic, and he seemed to have grown even taller as well. Although he still had his honest simple look, his eyes would occasionally gleam with a light that displayed a strong ability. After running crazily for 20 days, the greatest beneﬁt he had was the surprising amount of Heavenly Energy cultivated. As the energy whirlpools of the ﬁve Death Acupuncture Points constantly drew in energy from the atmosphere to replenish his rapidly used energy, they sped up to their maximum. The Immortal Deity Technique was originally already a lot faster than ordinary cultivation techniques, and with this increase in speed while running, Zhou Weiqing could feel that his ﬁfth level of Heavenly Energy was starting to stir restlessly, as if on the verge of breaking through the ﬁrst Death Acupuncture Point of the second portion. With the experience from the ﬁrst portion of the Immortal Deity Technique at hand, Zhou Weiqing could sense vaguely that the ﬁrst Death Acupuncture Point of every portion was the easiest to assault, yet the toughest to break through successfully. After all, didn’t he almost die while attempting to breakthrough the Clavicle Death Acupuncture Point?
Besides the beneﬁt of the increase in Heavenly Energy, there were 2 other beneﬁts. First of all, it allowed his Physical Jewel’s Strength boost to properly integrate with his body. Besides his Demonic Right Leg, which was already fully integrated, his Physical Jewel’s strength boost had a marked improvement in integration with his body, and as soon as he focused his will, he was able to bring forth the strength, and wasn’t as stiff and inﬂexible as before. Mu En was beside Zhou Weiqing, and he said: “The nucleus core appears only in Zong Stage Heavenly Beasts and above. After all, Heavenly Beasts also have Heavenly Energy, and in essence, there isn’t much difference from our own Heavenly Energy. Once they have reached the Zong Stage, they are able to form a Neidan, which is what we call the nucleus core. The nucleus core can be used by a Jewel Master of the same attribute, which can assist in speeding up cultivation, and also
aiding in in the success of breaking through and forming of new Jewels. Another usage for nucleus core includes usage in socketed Consolidated Equipment. Not only can the sockets on the Consolidated Equipment be used to socket (contain) Elemental Jewels, they can also socket nucleus cores of the same attribute. For example, you can socket a Strength Attribute Heavenly Beast’s nucleus core in your Overlord Bow,
and it would increase the power of the bow. Furthermore,
since the nucleus cores are able to absorb energy from the atmosphere to replenish themselves, they are not easily destroyed, and when you do not need them, you can easily remove them from the socket.”
When Zhou Weiqing heard that, a light gleamed in his eyes: “That’s so useful! What are we waiting for, let’s get a few more!”
Mu En said angrily: “Fool! Quiet, don’t throw our faces again!” Besides Hua Feng, the other members stared at Zhou Weiqing like a fool. Ever since they knew of his attributes, these few fellows showed him what jealousy was like, and seized every chance they had to use words against him.
Luo Ke Di said sarcastically: “Get a few more? Do you think they drop from the heavens? That we can just get them as we wish? Do you know how dangerous Zong Stage Heavenly Beasts are? Even with your father’s power, facing a Zong Stage Heavenly Beast, even if he is of the proper attribute opposing it, he will only be barely able to defeat a Low Level Zong Stage Beast. Why else do you think all of us came?”
Hua Feng said: “Alright, enough. Let’s get ready to take action. According to our employer, there are at least 20 Icy Soul Heavenly Bears living in this forest. Mu En, you protect Little Wei. Bing’er, you stay by my side. Let’s go.”
As he said that, he walked to the side of the horse carriage, and pressed something at the side. Suddenly, two hidden drawers popped out of the two sides with a metallic grinding sound, and it was ﬁlled with various things.
As the members of the Heavenly Bow Unit quickly changed and geared up, soon all of them were outﬁtted with an additional maroon leather armor. The leather armor did not just protect their upper body, it also covered the joint areas and some critical weak points, including a helmet. At the same time, each of them carried two bows, with a large quiver on the back. For Hua Feng, Luo Ke Di and Mu En, their quivers held about 200 arrows, but for Han Mo and Gao Shen, their quiver was practically ﬁlled to the brim, covering their entire back.
From a rough estimate, Zhou Weiqing thought there was at
least 500 arrows in each of their quivers. Below the quiver, there was a pouch of water and rations.
As soon as they had ﬁnished equipping themselves, the lazy looking bunch of the Heavenly Bow Unit turned business-like, with a cold aura emitting from them.
As Zhou Weiqing stood beside Shangguan Bing’er watching, he could feel a sense of bloodlust rising in him as they wore the leather armor, feeling a strange sense of arrogance invading him.
Zhou Weiqing and Shangguan Bing’er did not have the specially crafted quiver, and they both carried four ordinary quivers totalling 200 arrows as well as some additional stores.
The seven of them stealthily entered the forest, which was already considered part of the border between the Wan Shou Empire. “Teacher, what are the leather armor you are wearing made of? Why does it give off such a strange feeling?” Zhou Weiqing asked curiously.
Mu En grinned and said: “Foolish little brat, these are unbelievable treasure, made of dragon hide.”
Zhou Weiqing’s eyes opened wide as he exclaimed: “Dragonhide?? Are there really dragons in the world?”
Chapter 32 – Icy Soul Heavenly Bear
Mu En said: “Of course there are. Even when they are newborn, dragons are still powerful Zong Stage Heavenly Beasts, while adults are one of the top ranked amongst the Heavenly Beasts. They aren’t usually found anywhere else but in the Wan Shou Empire, where there are many dragon-like Heavenly Beasts. These leather armor of ours were created in the past when we purchases a huge piece of dragonhide and custom made them. Not only are they light and ﬂexible, they also have an extremely strong defense. More importantly for our current mission is the aura it gives off, which will deter other ordinary Heavenly Beasts. They are indeed superb items.”
Zhou Weiqing grinned and said: “Heh, teacher, is there any remaining dragonhide?”
How could Mu En not know what he was thinking, and he said exasperatedly: “How could we possibly have any remaining. If we had any surplus we’d have covered our entire bodies with it.”
At the same time, Hua Feng’s voice came from the front: “Maintain silence.” As they stealthily entered the forest, the snow was about a foot deep, and it was tough for them to traverse the terrain. The weather was extremely cold, and Zhou Weiqing wore woolen clothing, but Shangguan Bing’er was unexpectedly only wearing a single garment. She looked towards Zhou Weiqing, her gentle gaze making him feel an itch in his heart.
Previously, Admiral Zhou had given him a birthday present called the Snow Silk Coverall, which was light and tight ﬁtting; not only could it be used as a protective inner armour, it was also able to maintain body temperature. The reason why Shangguan Bing’er was not feeling cold was because Zhou Weiqing had given her the Snow Silk Cover. In his words, it was his betrothal gift, and Shangguan Bing’er had not rejected him. Alas, in a tragedy for him, due to the members of the Heavenly Bow Unit being around all the time, he had not been able to seize any opportunities to be intimate with her.
As soon as they entered the forest, Luo Ke Di vanished into thin air. The rest of them took a formation as such – Hua Feng in the front, Gao Shen and Han Mo at the ﬂanks, Mu En covering the back, while both Zhou Weiqing and Shangguan Bing’er were in the center.
After about an hour of travel, Luo Ke Di appeared suddenly. Currently, he did not look a whit like his normal lazy drunken self, and had a practiced, energetic look. With a gleam in his eyes, he told Hua Feng: “Boss, I’ve scouted out in a 5km radius from here but have yet to ﬁnd anything. According to our employer’s information, the Icy Soul Heavenly Bears which live in these forests are those who have been exiled from their community. Most of the other Heavenly Beasts which originally lived here have also been chased out by the Icy Soul Heavenly Bears.”
Hua Feng nodded and said: “The mission this time is simple, but the main difﬁculty remains of the power of the Icy Soul Heavenly Bear. Go on and scout ahead, we will continue deeper in.” As he said that, he used an arrow to draw out a direction in the snow. Luo Ke Di nodded and after some more discussion, he disappeared once more.
After he left, under Hua Feng’s direction, the rest of them circulated their Heavenly Energy and moved at top speeds 5km in the discussed direction, before slowing down once more. Zhou Weiqing realised that the reason Hua Feng did this was to ensure that the companions were able to maintain themselves in top shape in order to react to any unforeseen circumstances.
As they traveled deeper into the forest, 2 days quickly passed. Their movement into the forest was rather slow; they could only traverse about 30km a day, and the busiest amongst them was undoubtedly Luo Ke Di. As the scout, he was always on the move to and fro. Zhou Weiqing had asked Mu En on the down low why they were traveling so slowly, and the answer was simple – for safety.
In such a forest where Zong Stage Heavenly Beasts lived, it didn’t require much for mistakes to be made – just 3 of those Zong Stage Heavenly Beasts would be more than sufﬁcient to wipe out their whole party. That was the reason why Luo Ke Di had to keep moving and scouting the way ahead, not only was it to ﬁnd an Icy Soul Heavenly Bear, it was also to ﬁnd safe routes for his companions; if anything was amiss, everyone could immediately avoid it.
Under his careful observation, Zhou Weiqing noticed that although they had been searching for two days in this icy jungle, with nary a bite of warm food to eat, the members of the Heavenly Bow Unit still remained calm and solemn, as if long used to such a life. “An assassin’s natural enemy is loneliness. An outstanding assassin’s best quality was patience.” Hua Feng told him.
Finally, in the 3rd day approaching noon, Luo Ke Di came back with an excited look on his face, with news that perked everyone up – he had spotted a lone Icy Soul Heavenly Bear about 4 km from where they were. Hua Feng said solemnly: “Rogue, are you sure it’s just a single one?”
Luo Ke Di nodded and said: “As soon as I spotted it, I observed it and the surroundings, before scouting a few km radius to be sure, and there were no signs of another Icy Soul Heavenly Bear. This solo Icy Soul Heavenly Bear seems to be looking for something. It’s stout and strong, so it should already be an adult. Luckily it’s winter now, although it doesn’t need to hibernate like an ordinary bear, its senses are relatively duller than usual.”
Hua Feng immediately made a decision, giving out orders solemnly: “In that case, let’s take action. Everyone, remember, we have to kill the Icy Soul Heavenly Bear in the fastest possible time and immediately retreat. Rogue, you provide the distractions. Gao Shen, Han Mo, both of you will be in charge of disrupting any of its skills. I will be in charge of striking its weak points.”
As he said up to here, his gaze landed on Mu En as he said: “Old scoundrel, the front line, I’ll leave it up to you.” Mu En nodded.
Listening to Hua Feng giving out the tasks, Zhou Weiqing couldn’t help but be surprised. With his teacher’s smallest and thinnest frame, he was actually given the task of being in the front and facing the Icy Soul Heavenly Bear? Did he hear wrongly?
Hua Feng seemed to notice Zhou Weiqing’s thinking, and he said with a faint smile: “Little Wei, when the ﬁght starts, you and Bing’er will have to hide further off and not take action. You both will be in charge of providing support and covering our retreat. Do not feel bafﬂed by my arrangements, Mu En will show you his true strength, and let you know what it means to be invincible in a hundred yards.”
With the misgivings in his heart, Zhou Weiqing followed the rest, who advanced ahead under Luo Ke Di’s leadership. They sped through the several kilometres distance, before Luo Ke Di ﬁnally slowed down and gave a hand signal. All of them instantly slowed and held their breaths in rapt attention as they started advancing slowly and stealthily.
Indeed, after a short distance, they passed some thick pine trees, and their target appeared in their line of sight.
200 yards away, a huge black bear was lying on the ground, its 2 front claws pawing at the ground, looking like it was trying to look for something. Seeing the huge fellow, Zhou Weiqing and Shangguan Bing’er couldn’t help but draw a sharp breath. Although Zhou Weiqing had seen Zong Stage Heavenly Beasts in the Skill-Storing Palace before, those were after all sealed and weakened, each of them well behaved and not shocking to him. However the Icy Soul Heavenly Bear in front of them was totally different. It was at least 6 metres tall, and its huge bear paws were constantly slamming on the ground, giving forth a *Dong*
*Dong* sound. Even at 200 yards away, all of them could feel the earth shaking from the reverberations.
The Icy Soul Heavenly Bear had a white patch of fur the size of a large palm on its back, extending all the way down to its tail. Its body was faintly surrounded by a layer of dim icy mist. As its back was facing them, Zhou Weiqing could not tell what was the difference between it and an ordinary bear, besides the size.
Mu En soft voice rang out in Zhou Weiqing’s ear: “Every Zong Stage Heavenly Beast can be considered a strong Heavenly Jewel Master.”
“For example, this Icy Soul Heavenly Bear can be considered a Strength Type Heavenly Beast, and has 2 elemental attributes
– Ice and Wind. Amongst the Zong Stage Heavenly Beasts, it is considered one of the stronger ones, and is extremely troublesome to deal with. Furthermore, its defence is astounding. You and Bing’er should just head up this tree, and no matter what happens later, do not take action rashly, understood?”
Zhou Weiqing nodded and grinned: “Safety ﬁrst, I understand.”
Hua Feng waved his hands slightly, his ﬁngers weaving in a series of signals, and without any further speaking, the 5 members sprang into action.
Luo Ke Di immediately rushed to the side to ﬂank it, while Hua Feng, Gao Shen and Han Mo all moved in different directions as well. Only Mu En raised his right hand, releasing his Physical Jewels, and headed towards the Icy Soul Heavenly Bear from the front.
Zhou Weiqing and Shangguan Bing’er couldn’t help but feel nervousness grip their hearts. This was their ﬁrst time hunting such a high level Heavenly Beast after all. Zhou Weiqing pointed up the tree, putting his hands around Shangguan Bing’er’s waist, before leaping up the tree with her. Shangguan Bing’er rolled her eyes at him, but did not resist, instead leaning into his embrace. Zhou Weiqing grinned with delight, holding her hands lightly. In this land of ice and snow, breathing in the fragrance from her body, with a big battle to spectate, he felt strangely satisﬁed. The gloom he had from running those 20 days seemed to vanish in an instant.
At the other side, the members of the Heavenly Bow Unit had already taken action. Silent arrows streaked towards the Icy Soul Heavenly Bear from various different angles, targeting its weak spots like its ears and eyes. Without doubt, towards any living creatures, those were usually their vulnerable points.
However, just as it seemed like the arrows would hit their target, all of a sudden, a layer of dim blue light sprang forth from the Icy Soul Heavenly Bear’s body, and with a soft *Pssh* sound, the arrows were all deﬂected by the blue light barrier.
The Icy Soul Heavenly Bear gave a savage roar of anger. It had not been hit, but it was angered by the sudden attack and spun its head around towards the direction the arrows had come from. As it turned around, Zhou Weiqing and Shangguan Bing’er could ﬁnally see it from the distance. Its eyes were icy blue, full of bloodlust and killing intent, its gaze seemed piercing like a bolt of lightning shattering through the air. *Wuuu* The air around the Icy Soul Heavenly Bear seemed to spin around as howling winds arose in a cyclone, whipping up the snow around. Where the cyclone passed, a loud cracking noise was heard as the trees and brush around were all smashed into pieces. “Such an intelligent Heavenly Beast!” Shangguan Bing’er couldn’t help but cry out. “After being ambushed, it still knows how to clear the surroundings so it can have an unobstructed vision, also preventing its enemies from closing in on it. No wonder teacher said that Zong Stage Heavenly Beasts already have almost human-level intelligence.”
As she spoke, there was a quick change in the battleﬁeld as a piercing red light seemed to brazenly charge into the cyclone of wind and snow, savagely smashing into the blue energy shield around the Icy Soul Heavenly Bear, causing it to roar once more in anger.
Zhou Weiqing noticed that this red glow was another arrow; ﬁred from the opposite direction from the ﬁrst arrow. The huge bear immediately spun around, attracted by the arrow, as it was obviously stronger than the ﬁrst.
With a furious howl, the Icy Soul Heavenly Bear smashed its paws onto the ground, causing snow to ﬂy up as a large amount of blue light ﬂew up into the sky, warping into thousands of ice spikes and ﬂying towards the direction of the arrow’s source. The shrill sound of the shards slicing through the air was as if hundreds of archers were ﬁring at once. Right at this moment, a green cyclone appeared without warning in the path of the large amounts of ice shards. From the sight of it, the strength of the cyclone deﬁnitely paled in comparison to the mass of ice shards, but its purpose was not to block and stop them, but to slightly change their path. This
was the power of the Wind Attribute, and it was clearly from Hua Feng.
At this time, Mu En was already within a hundred yards of the Icy Soul Heavenly Bear, and as the Physical Jewel denoting Strength and Agility glittered, a large black longbow coalesced in his hands. The next instant, an arrow with a dim gold aura surrounding it coalesced as well, nocked to the bowstring. Just as he was about to draw the bow, a strange sight appeared before them.
Mu En did not draw the bow directly, instead doing an action that left both Zhou Weiqing and Shangguan Bing’er puzzled. His right hand was still pulling on the bowstring, but the left hand holding the bow did not hold it in place as usual, but twirled the entire bow in a 360 degree spin.
The bowstring of his bow was also black in colour, and as he spun the body of the bow, the entire bow was drawn to the max by the vortex. Zhou Weiqing could clearly see that where Mu En’s ﬁngers were holding the bowstring, it had already been twisted in a spiral shape, with the arrow’s shaft tangled in the middle.
This was the ﬁrst time either Zhou Weiqing or Shangguan Bing’er had seen such a strange archery method. After all, the bowstring was usually extremely tough, and twisting it as he did, how much stress did it put on the ﬁngers?! Furthermore, with the arrow tangled up in the twisted bowstring, when Mu En released it, it would naturally have a spinning motion as it ﬂew out, how could he possibly control its direction then? Many questions invaded their minds as Shangguan Bing’er and Zhou Weiqing focused their minds, their eyes pinned on Mu En as they eagerly watched to see what would happen next.
Just as Mu En was drawing his both with his unique style, from the other 4 directions came an endless stream of arrows towards the Icy Soul Heavenly Bear. Furthermore, it was arranged so that just as it was preparing to charge towards a particular direction, another arrow would strike it from the opposite direction. This caused it to roll around in confusion momentarily, not knowing which direction to strike out in.
However, the Icy Soul Heavenly Bear was after all a Zong Stage Heavenly Beast with some measure of intelligence, and was not an ordinary Heavenly Beast. After some hesitation, it ﬁnally made its choice. Just as it was about to ignore the rest and charge towards a direction, Mu En’s bow sounded out.
It was a very peculiar sound, not the usual whistle and whine of an arrow shooting forth, but a wuuu wuuu roar of a cyclone. Zhou Weiqing could clearly see that what Mu En shot forth was not just an arrow, but a ball of black light, and the sound seemed to increase as it ﬂew forth.
*Bang*! The Icy Soul Heavenly Bear which was just about to charge was struck by the mass of black light, and what happened next caused Zhou Weiqing’s jaw to drop.
Earlier, the countless arrows that had ﬂown in from all 4 directions, shot by the other members of the Heavenly Bow Unit, had not managed to even make the Icy Soul Heavenly Bear move an inch. However, Mu En’s arrow actually caused it to stumble back a few steps, the bright blue shield surrounding it noticeably weakened. As the explosion cleared, the bear’s attention was undoubtedly fully drawn to Mu En.
Explosive effect! That was the explosive effect, though it was clearly several times that of his Overlord Bow’s explosive effect! Zhou Weiqing was extremely familiar with it and realised so in a heartbeat. Rooaarr! The Icy Soul Heavenly Beast gave an angry roar, its two front paws striking down once again causing a huge explosive sound. Like an angry wave, snow slammed towards Mu En, and Zhou Weiqing could clearly see that there was a trace of blood where Mu En had struck the Icy Soul Heavenly Beast. Teacher’s arrow actually injured it?
After Mu En had shot off that arrow, he had instantly moved. His stature was short and thin, and moving with such agility in the snow, just like a snow monkey, and he had disappeared amidst the snow; even Zhou Weiqing and Shangguan Bing’er who had their eyes trained on him did not know how he disappeared.
The Icy Soul Heavenly Bear’s attack naturally did not land on Mu En as well, yet his successful attack had enraged the Heavenly Beast, and a bright angry light shone forth from its icy blue eyes. Its large body seemed to shrink downwards a little, then in the next instant, it leaped forth; its huge body seemed to blur into a shadow as it closed the 100 yard gap in an instant; as it passed by, those surviving trees that hadn’t been destroyed by the earlier attacks were blown into smithereens. As its charge ended, it straightened its body, its paws ﬁlled with a strong blue light before it slammed down onto the ground once more. A surprising scene once again entered Shangguan Bing’er and Zhou Weiqing’s eyes. Just as the Icy Soul Heavenly Bear slammed down onto the ground with a huge roaring sound, an uncountable number of huge ice shards ﬂew up into the air from the ground in a 50 yard radius from its body.
These ice shards were all at least 3 metres long, gleaming and sharp at the ends. Without a doubt, any creature in that radius would have its body pierced by the rising shards.
Obviously, the Icy Soul Heavenly Bear had also lost track of Mu En, but its lunge had instantly closed the gap and brought it to where Mu En had been earlier before it launched such an area of effect attack, the goal was to kill off the sneaky Mu En in a single strike.
Such power! Zhou Weiqing thought to himself, while Shangguan Bing’er had to hold onto her own mouth to prevent herself from crying out in surprise.
As the bear’s immense strength burst forth, an incredibly terrifying aura ﬁlled the area as the gleaming sharp ice shards jutted out from the ground. However, Mu En was still nowhere to be found, and it was clear that he had not been struck by the attack.
Just as the Icy Soul Heavenly Bear had struck out with that powerful blow, the other members of the Heavenly Bow Unit once again started their assault. This time, all of them attacked at once, as arrows, red light, dark shadows all ﬂew from all directions towards the angry beast. Their targets were all onto
its eyes and ears. Without a doubt, at their current levels of strength, these 2 weak points were the only way they could possibly take down the Icy Soul Heavenly Bear.
Another angry roar resounded from the Icy Soul Heavenly Bear, as it tried to spin its body away. However, these arrows seemed to have eyes, no matter how quickly it moved and dodged, they seemed to remain targeted and landing on its eyes and ears. Despite having the energy shield, the attacks still greatly restricted its vision and hearing.
Right at that moment, another Wuu Wuu cyclone sound rang out once more, and as if seizing the opportunity that the Icy Soul Heavenly Bear was rearing up to defend its head, a mass of black light slammed right into the lower ‘parts’ of the bear. A huge explosion rang out once again, and even with the Icy Soul Heavenly Bear’s huge body, it had no choice but to stagger back.
Just a while ago, the Icy Soul Heavenly Bear had still been roaring furiously, but when this arrow struck, it was instantly silenced, its eyes bulging out as it did a very human-like action of shielding its private parts. It’s mouth was gaped open, but it was as if something was stuck inside, and it was unable to make a sound.
Shangguan Bing’er, who was in Zhou Weiqing’s arms, gave a light humph, blushing slightly as she turned her head around not willing to look. Zhou Weiqing, on the other hand, was staring at the scene with his eyes bulged out like the bear, dumfounded. He had suddenly realised that the members of the Heavenly Bow Unit had insisted on attacking the eyes and ears of the bear as a feint, causing it to place more emphasis on defending its head, all in preparation for this arrow of Mu En’s.
Actually striking the weak point like that… the private parts of the bear… such a place… even if the arrow was blocked by this shield, the explosive impact alone would give the Icy Soul Heavenly Bear something to think about. Rascally… roguish… vulgar… they actually shot that area!
All of a sudden, Zhou Weiqing felt something in his bosom moving, and a furry little head popped out, giving a discontented cry. It was naturally the little white tiger, Fat Cat.
The little fellow had been really thirsty for sleep these few days, it still did not eat anything, and had been sleeping soundly inside of Zhou Weiqing’s shirt all this while, causing Zhou Weiqing to almost forget all about it. When he had been hugging Shangguan Bing’er, he had naturally squashed the poor little thing, causing it to awake now and poking its head out to proclaim its discontent. Its cute little paws popped out, grabbing onto Zhou Weiqing’s shoulder, as it squeezed its way out and onto the shoulder. As it plopped down comfortably on the shoulder, it saw the strange look of the Icy Soul Heavenly Bear using its paws to cover its privates, unable to cry out.
The strange thing was that, even the attacks of the Heavenly Bow Unit members had stopped, and there was a strange silence in the woods.
“Aooouuuuu!!” A strange, wolf-like cry rang out from its mouth. For a bear to cry out like a wolf, one could only imagine how much pain it was in.
The Icy Soul Heavenly Bear was indeed in much pain. After stiffening for a moment, it gave forth the wretched cry and in the next moment, its original icy blue eyes turned blood red, and a berserked aura seem to spring forth from its body, mixed with a blue green light, as if a fountain blowing out suddenly. Its body was like a huge tornado, smashing everything within its reach. Even though Zhou Weiqing and Shangguan Bing’er were more than 200 yards away, they could still feel the life threatening pressure and aura that seemed to be coming closer. “Little fool, come down, hurry up and follow me.” Mu En’s voice suddenly rang out from below, and Zhou Weiqing quickly held Shangguan Bing’er and jumped down.
“Teacher, that arrow of yours, it’s so savage!” Zhou Weiqing’s lower ‘body’ couldn’t help but shrink back a little on sight of Mu En.
Mu En grinned and said: “Remember, no matter how powerful a person is, there are always weak points. It is the same for Heavenly Beasts. Now, let’s go quickly. That fellow has gone berserk, and it’ll last for at least an hour.
As he said that, he led Zhou Weiqing and Shangguan Bing’er in retreat, to an area more than 500 yards away from the raging bear. Keeping out of sight, they only perked their ears to listen to its rage in the distance. However, none of them noticed that when they left, the cute little white tiger, Fat Cat, glanced at the berserked Icy Soul Heavenly Bear, disdain and scorn in its little eyes.
After Mu En brought the two of them to a safer area, he said smugly: “How was teacher’s 2 arrows? Powerful?” Zhou Weiqing and Shangguan Bing’er nodded eagerly. For a powerful Zong Stage Heavenly Beast to be injured by his arrows, it was naturally extremely powerful, and indeed something to be proud of.
Mu En grinned and said: “Heh, this is a unique archery method that I created, but it is only suited for Strength Jewel Masters. Alas, my strength is not sufﬁcient to fully control it, and I can only do a single revolution of the bow, otherwise its power will be even greater. However, it is indeed extremely hard to control this skill, and accuracy is a big issue. The more revolutions you turn the bow, the stronger the power, but also the harder it is to control it.”
“The reason why we all retreated so quickly is something you have to learn to read. When Heavenly Beasts feel their life threatened, sometimes they will enter a berserk state. Under such a state, they are at their most terrifying. They are actually draining their life force and innate talent to burst forth with terrifying power, and it will allow them to use several times that of their normal power. It’s somewhat akin to the Demonic Change of those Evil Attribute Heavenly Jewel Masters. The difference is, even under the berserk state, Heavenly Beasts will still have a sliver of intelligence. With the strength of our unit, to even attempt to kill the Icy Soul Heavenly Bear in such a state is deﬁnitely impossible, its defence is just too strong. However, after a Heavenly Beast goes through its berserk state, it will enter a weakened phase for quite a period of time. As such, we have all retreated to wait for it to enter its weakened phase. Only then will we have a chance to ﬁnish it off. Do you understand now?”
Both Zhou Weiqing and Shangguan Bing’er nodded simultaneously. Without question, such teachings on the battleﬁeld was much easily etched into their memory.
Looking at the harassing attacks of the separated members of the Heavenly Bow Unit, and how in truth they were all done with a purpose in mind, how they managed to make use of that to confuse the Icy Soul Heavenly Bear for a while, all down to the ﬁnal act of shooting it down there to anger it and cause it to enter a berserk state. It could be said that from the start, the members had a well thought out and executed plan, and managed to bring the Icy Soul Heavenly Bear into its weakened state without much trouble on their part.
The hour passed rather swiftly, and the terrifying sounds of destruction gradually ceased, followed by a long shrill howl. Mu En gestured to the two of them before heading back towards the Icy Soul Heavenly Bear.
Zhou Weiqing and Shangguan Bing’er followed suit behind, and as they saw the trail of destruction in the forest, they couldn’t help but feel their hearts tighten. Within a few hundred yard radius, there were large pits and holes in the ground, as well as the destroyed remains of trees and brush.
The huge Icy Soul Heavenly Bear was now lying on the ground, its chest heaving up and down with exertion. In its mouth, a little Icy Soul Heavenly Bear was there, being chewed upon, while not far off there were another two little ones. The one which was being chewed on in its mouth was bleeding, and looked dead, while the other two were trembling with fear at the side.
The three little Icy Soul Heavenly Bears were about as small as the little tiger, Fat Cat, and were clearly newborn. Apparently, that adult Icy Soul Heavenly Bear’s original target had been to look for them.
“Not good! We have to kill it quick, and leave as soon as possible! With these newborn Icy Soul Heavenly Bears here, it means that there are deﬁnitely other adult bears around. This fellow here was probably here to hunt the newborn of its rivals!”
Mu En took action quickly as he said that, once again making use of his unique archery skill, and a savage arrow viciously struck the Icy Soul Heavenly Bear’s head. The huge fellow’s blue energy shield had vanished by now, and Mu En’s arrow struck its head, the explosion causing fur and skin to burst out.
Right at the same time, a strange green light appeared, looking like a comet with its tail trailing behind, piercing straight into the Icy Soul Heavenly Bear’s eyes. Indeed, it was the ‘Ultimate Assassin’’s ﬁnal blow, and he had chosen their original target.
With a *Pssh* sound, the huge Icy Soul Heavenly Bear started shivering; it did not want to die, and it was ﬁlled with anger and resentment. Alas, its entire head had been pierced through by Hua Feng’s ﬁnal arrow, causing Heavenly Energy to be released uncontrollably from its body. Finally, its huge body crashed onto the ground, blood pouring from its eyes, nose and mouth, as this large Zong Stage Heavenly Beast ﬁnally perished.
Several ﬁgures appeared in a ﬂash, and without any need for talk, the 5 of them quickly started cutting up the corpse. They needed to get what they came for and rush off quickly before the other beasts returned.
Zhou Weiqing and Shangguan Bing’er closed in, but due to their low levels of cultivation, they weren’t of any help. Shangguan Bing’er quickly walked over to the two newborn bears, picking them up with a hand each and hugging them. The two little fellows had not even opened their eyes, and were clearly just born, and their bodies were covered with thin, soft fur, looking extremely adorable as well, though they were still shivering with cold and fear.
Shangguan Bing’er wanted to take off her outer clothing to cover them, but she wasn’t wearing much and could not do so. Blushing, she turned to Zhou Weiqing and gave him a pleading look: “Little Fatty, I know you’re the best.” Zhou Weiqing opened his coat helplessly and said: “Come then, one sleeping is the same as three sleeping I guess.”
“Wuuu Wuuu!” The little white tiger cried out in discontent, baring its teeth ﬁercely at the two little bears, obviously unhappy that they were invading its territory.
Zhou Weiqing laughed and said: “Fat Cat, your sense of territory is so strong eh? You’re much older than them, how can you bear to bully them like that?” As he said that, he tapped the little white tiger on the head.
Shangguan Bing’er happily passed him the 2 little bears, shoving them into his chest. As he put them into his coat, the two little fellows stopped shivering. However, in the next instant, Zhou Weiqing’s face changed. He suddenly felt two little wet mouths sucking at his chest.
Seeing Zhou Weiqing suddenly put on a strange look, Shangguan Bing’er couldn’t help but ask him curiously: “What’s wrong Little Fatty, are you alright?”
“Uhh… I’m ﬁne.” Zhou Weiqing quickly replied. He didn’t have the face to tell her the truth, it was just too embarrassing. Furthermore, he would rather he suffer this than having his wife get sucked on by those 2 little roguish bears!
Hua Feng and the rest were extremely quick; although the Icy Soul Heavenly Bear’s fur was tough and resilient, they took barely the time for a meal to complete the mission. Four paws, gallbladder and the nucleus core were soon in their hands.
Mu En said with some regret: “Alas, there isn’t the time to skin the bear. Such a large bearskin, we can at least get another 50 thousand gold coins!”
Hua Feng gave a cold humph and said: “Let’s retreat immediately. We’ll have to escape with our lives before we can talk about earning more. These few little fellows’ parents should have gone out to hunt, with such noises, they should be back anytime soon. Let’s go!”
He had barely ﬁnished speaking when all of a sudden, an enraged roar sounded out nearby. Four huge, terrifying ﬁgures charged forth from the forest simultaneously, with the same speed and power as the previous bear’s 100 yard charge earlier before dealing the area of effect attack. Hua Feng’s face changed and he said quickly: “Mu En, quick, bring Little Wei and Bing’er away now.”
His reaction was not considered slow, but they were all still too late. The four huge ﬁgures were four Icy Soul Heavenly Bears. Despite their size, they were a lot faster than most Heavenly Beasts, since they had the Wind Attribute. This was especially so when they used this charging skill, and the explosive speed they had was just incredible.
The bear leading the pack was extremely huge, much larger than the one they had killed earlier, and when it charged forth, it spotted the corpse of the dead bear and the little one in its mouth, and without further aggravation, its 8 meter long body went into the berserk state.
As the intimidating body leaped up from its charge, the huge body seemed to form a bow shape in midair as its massive paws smashed into the ground.
“RUN!” At this moment, no one would chose to stay and ﬁght with these huge fellows, and all of them ran off at top speeds.
Alas, this huge Icy Soul Heavenly Bear was the strongest in the forest, it was the Icy Soul Heavenly Bear King, and was a Top Level Zong Stage Heavenly Beast. Furthermore, it was the father of the little bears, and on seeing its dead child, its rage could be imagined.
With a loud explosion, its two bear paws smashed brutally onto the ground, as if an earthquake or landslide was happening. With an earsplitting rumble, an intense seismic wave mixed with a strong yellow light quickly spread out towards them.
Not only was this Icy Soul Heavenly Bear King much larger, it also had a 3rd attribute besides the normal Ice and Wind attributes – Earth. Currently, the skill it was using was that of the Earth Attribute, and was called the Mother Earth’s Roar. Not only was it one of the most tyrannical area of effect attack skills, it was also a strong area of effect control skill! If someone could Store this Skill, it would undoubtedly be one of the Earth Attribute’s strongest 9 Star Skills.
Chapter 33 – Fat Cat has become a huge Fat Cat
As the yellow light reached almost 10 metres tall, it brought along snow and ice as it came crashing down towards them, the shock it brought was indescribable. All of them quickly leaped into the air, trying to avoid it from above. Alas, the attack was too quick, and Hua Feng who was in front was struck and knocked back, lapsing into unconsciousness while still in midair. The other members of the Heavenly Bow Unit proved to be of no exception. Although it was easy for them to leap more than 10 metres high, the problem was that the Icy Soul Heavenly Bear King’s paws had struck down, causing the entire earth to reverberate strongly, and they did not have proper footing when they jumped.
Luo Ke Di had only reached 5 metres before being swallowed by the Mother Earth’s Roar, while Gao Shen and Han Mo were only slightly better. Mu En fared the worst, as he was attempting to return to Shangguan Bing’er and Zhou Weiqing, and did not even manage to get far above the ground before he was enveloped.
Zhou Weiqing and Shangguan Bing’er had been standing at a relatively further distance, and when the Icy Soul Heavenly Bear King had charged forth, they were slightly further away, and Zhou Weiqing managed to make use of the advantage of youth – fast reﬂexes.
The memory of the previous ice spikes was still fresh in his mind, and as soon as he saw the Icy Soul Heavenly Bears charging forth, he had grabbed Shangguan Bing’er and circulated all his Heavenly Energy into his right leg, and slammed the ground savagely with it as hard as he could. His leg struck the ground at almost the same time as the Icy Soul Heavenly Bear King, and together with Shangguan Bing’er in his arms, it sent them 15 metres into the air, barely avoiding the Icy Soul Heavenly Bear King’s shocking full-powered hit.
As the saying goes, there is a limit to human strength sometimes. The members of the Heavenly Bow Unit had created many miracles of beating stronger, more powerful foes with much weaker strength, no matter being their strategy, combat experience, or the cooperation they had working together, it was already at the peak of what their personal strength could allow. If not for that, just pitting strength against strength on paper, the Icy Soul Heavenly Bear should have easily wiped out the whole team.
However, when the four Icy Soul Heavenly Bears appeared, they knew they had no chance of winning. Furthermore, that Icy Soul Heavenly Bear King had went berserk so quickly and used its full strength upon seeing them, and they did not even have the opportunity to plan or make use of any of their skills. Although that blow did not heavily injure them, the stunning effect of the Mother Earth’s Roar had caused them to ﬂy back around a hundred yards, all unconscious.
Four Pairs of enraged and bloodthirsty eyes locked upon the midair Zhou Weiqing and Shangguan Bing’er. However, in the next instant, the four pairs of eyes also narrowed a little, and they did not launch an attack surprisingly.
As Zhou Weiqing had circulated all his Heavenly Energy into his Demonic Right Leg, his aura had burst forth uncontrollably, and sensing that terrifying aura, the four Zong Stage Heavenly Beasts hesitated momentarily.
Among the four powerful Icy Soul Heavenly Beasts, besides the larger Icy Soul Heavenly Bear King, the other three were also no smaller than the one they had killed, and they were the Icy Soul Heavenly Bear King’s wives.
They had all originally belonged to a much larger community of Icy Soul Heavenly Bears, and the Bear King was actually the younger brother of the leader of their tribe. It had attempted to challenge for the position of leader and lost, and was thus exiled from their community, and they had ended up here. It must be known that, to survive a failed challenge, it was a testament to how powerful this Bear King was. Not even counting the the members of the Heavenly Bow Unit, even Zhou Weiqing’s father Admiral Zhou would have a tough time dealing with that blow just now.
We’re screwed. Although Zhou Weiqing had successfully dodged the ﬁrst strike with Shangguan Bing’er, the words couldn’t help but appear in their minds. They wouldn’t even be able to handle a single Icy Soul Heavenly Bear, let alone four!
“Bing’er, run quick, I’ll try to block them as long as I can.” As he said that, Zhou Weiqing was about to throw Shangguan Bing’er as far as he could. With her dual agility Jewels and her Wind Wielding Boots, she might actually have a small chance of escaping.
However, before he could throw her, Shangguan Bing’er grabbed onto his shirt and said: “Little Fatty, do you think I’m a person who fears death? I’m already yours, if we have to die, we’ll die together.”
Zhou Weiqing looked at the determination in Shangguan Bing’er’s eyes as both of them landed down on the ground at the same time. He was originally feeling afraid of dying, but looking into her eyes, seeing the despair in her eyes, he felt as if the blood in his body started boiling.
The black tiger tattoos appeared all over his body as his eyes turned bloodshot once again. His right hand let go of Shangguan Bing’er as a violent and bloodthirsty aura burst forth from him, and the black King word appeared on his forehead once again, while his bones seemed to break out in sound. Despite being in this land of ice and snow, Zhou Weiqing felt his body heating up, as if a ﬁery core was exploding forth from within.
Is this the demonic change again? I do not want to lose consciousness! I want to be awake! I want to control it by myself! Stimulated by the despair in Shangguan Bing’er’s eyes, Zhou Weiqing had fallen deep into the Demonic Change State, as an evil air about ten times thicker than earlier surrounded him. Despite that, he kept chanting those words in his mind.
It could clearly be seen that the snow around Zhou Weiqing was rapidly turning grey and disappearing, and this effect seemed to slowly broaden in a circle around him.
As compared to the Icy Soul Heavenly Bears, his aura was not especially strong, but it gave these four Zong Stage Heavenly Beasts a sense of danger. Especially the bloodshot eyes and the black ‘King’ on his forehead, it actually caused them to awaken from their frenzied states.
The little white tiger which had been standing on Zhou Weiqing’s shoulders all this while had a gleam in its eyes, and it seemed to take in rapid deep breaths, as if the evil aura around Zhou Weiqing was its favourite food.
As Zhou Weiqing’s body seemed to dip down, his muscles were tuned by the Demonic Change into perfect condition, reaching almost three times his normal strength. At the same time, he was also able to ﬂawlessly use his Heavenly Energy and skills with impeccable efﬁciency. As long as he had sufﬁcient Heavenly Energy to sustain himself, he would be able to continuously use all his skills inﬁnitely.
Alas, these four Icy Soul Heavenly Bears were not the weak little Forest Direwolves that he had originally met. Despite the sense of danger that Zhou Weiqing’s evil aura brought to them, they would not easily back down. Their children’s’ death had caused much rage and depression, and they continued moving towards Zhou Weiqing slowly. Even under the Demonic Change state, Zhou Weiqing was still just too weak in comparison to the four bears. Without question, as soon as they launched their attacks, Zhou Weiqing would be torn to shreds.
Right as this moment, the little white tiger on Zhou Weiqing’s shoulder suddenly moved, and the four cute baby pink paws pressed down on him as it sprang forth. Zhou Weiqing, who was originally losing control of his own mind, suddenly felt clarity return, but almost in the next instant, his bloodshot pupils shrank in surprise.
As the little white tiger Fat Cat leaped away from Zhou Weiqing’s shoulder, it’s body seemed to expand out quickly, by the time it landed silently on the ground, it had actually became a 3 metre long, 1.3 metre tall immense white tiger. Its deep blue eyes giving forth a shining lustre, and as Fat Cat raised its head, it gave a proud roar.
As the roar rang throughout the forest, there was a shocked silence. Zhou Weiqing felt a strange strength sparked within his body, and he spread his arms, pufﬁng out his chest and a ear shattering roar issued from his mouth as well.
It was another tiger’s roar, simple, thick and clear, while the white tiger’s was loud sharper, and excited. The two roars, one low and one high, they complemented each other, showing the incomparable power and majesty of the king of the jungle. Looking at Fat Cat’s huge body appearing in front of them suddenly, the four Icy Soul Heavenly Bears stopped in surprise. Besides the Icy Soul Heavenly Bear King, the other 3 revealed a look of fear in their eyes, and when Zhou Weiqing roared together with Fat Cat, even the Icy Soul Heavenly Bear King’s body shrank back a little; although its eyes were still ﬁerce, it no longer seemed as wild as before.
Roaarrr. As its roar ended, Fat Cat gave another low roar, this time, turning around to Zhou Weiqing, swiping its claws at his shirt, and pulling the two little bears out, putting them onto the ground.
The two little bears were covered with a layer of grey, their little bodies trembling as if suffering much pain.
Fat Cat’s eyes suddenly turned a crystal white colour, and two bright white lights shot forth from its eyes, striking both little bears respectively and clearing the grey mist around them. The two little bears stopped struggling.
The next moment, Fat Cat lifted a large paw and placed it atop the two little bears, its head turning back towards the four Icy Soul Heavenly Bears, issuing another low roar, as if saying something. After the series of low roars, Fat Cat’s head turned towards the north, and the white in its eyes receded, turning back to its usual blue color. However, its eyes also turned cold and deadly, as a killing aura rose from its body. “Wuuu” The Icy Soul Heavenly Bear King’s large body stood upright, its front paws held to its chest, as it did a rather human-like action of paying respect to Fat Cat. The other 3 bears did the same thing, and after doing so, they slowly walked forward, no longer any enmity in their movements.
Fat Cat lifted the paw from the two little bears, turning around and looking at Zhou Weiqing, who was still struggling to gain control of his body. Once again, two bright white lights shot forth from Fat Cat’s eyes into Zhou Weiqing’s eyes, and instantly, he felt two warm currents from his eyes to his Dantian, and the bloodthirsty, violent feelings started vanishing like snow in the summer, and the black tiger tattoos on his skin also started disappearing.
Shangguan Bing’er, at the side, was totally stunned. She had originally thought that both of them would perish here in the snow, even when Zhou Weiqing had entered the Demonic Change state, that thought never changed. Against four Zong Stage Heavenly Beasts, what that would only prolong their deaths. However, what happened after, gave her the clear example that in this world, anything was indeed possible.
The four large bear heads squeezed together, nudging the two little bears on the ground, issuing soft cries at them. At the side, Fat Cat stood with head held high, proudly ignoring the four large Icy Soul Heavenly Bears.
After a while, it seemed like the four bears had sufﬁcient intimacy and contact with their children, and the Bear King picked up the two little bears, placing them before Fat Cat, before placing its own head in the snow before Fat Cat in a kowtow position as well. After it got up, it gave another weak cry, which Fat Cat replied with a light roar. The Bear King looked for a while more at the two little bears, before leading the other 3 Bears away reluctantly.
Zhou Weiqing had ﬁnally regained control of his body and senses, and seeing that the four bears had not only moved off, but even left their children behind, he couldn’t help but stare in stupeﬁcation at the huge white tiger, Fat Cat. This fellow, being able to scare off four Zong Stage Heavenly Beasts, how strong was it?!
Zhou Weiqing couldn’t help but swallow a large gulp of saliva, remembering to himself how he used to bully it when he was bored. Now that it had become a large Fat Cat…
Just as Zhou Weiqing was thinking nervously to himself, Fat Cat had brought the two little bears back towards him, placing them in his arms.
Zhou Weiqing subconsciously held them, but just at that instant, Fat Cat’s huge body pounced right at him.
Has the time for revenge come so soon? Zhou Weiqing involuntarily took a step back, but just before the pouncing Fat Cat reached him, its body shrank back down in midair, before ﬁnally landing lightly on his shoulders and dropping back down into his arms, wriggling till it found a warm comfortable spot. The two little bears were already snug in Zhou Weiqing’s outer clothing, and Fat Cat’s arrival pushed them away to the side.
Looking down at the cute little thing in his arms, with only half its head poking out, eyes closed and back asleep, Zhou Weiqing could hardly match it with the terrifying King of the Beasts that scared off four Zong Stage Heavenly Beasts earlier.
Shangguan Bing’er walked over to Zhou Weiqing’s side, giving him an incredulous look: “What just happened?!” Zhou Weiqing said helplessly: “I’m not sure myself. Fat Cat this little thing can actually turn so huge, now we know for sure it’s deﬁnitely a Heavenly Beast. No matter whether what its current strength is, we can be certain that it has an unbelievable talent and should grow up to to be extremely powerful. If not, it wouldn’t have been able to scare off the Icy Soul Heavenly Bears. Oh well, whatever, it’s good to be alive! Heh heh! That’s called character! Bing’er didn’t you realise? Your husband has such awesome character, able to turn misfortune into something auspicious. Wahaha!”
Shangguan Bing’er rolled her eyes at him, thinking to herself: This little rascal has a very resilient mental state; if it were anyone else, they’d probably have been scared to death or tangled up in wondering what its origin is. Instead, he was being all smug about it, and not even forgetting to take advantage of me. However, she was growing to like his forthright way more and more. Although he was still rather dirty and roguish, at least he was very real. “Let’s wake up the Senior’s and quickly leave this place.”
“Err…” Only then Zhou Weiqing awaken and remember the members of the Heavenly Bow Unit fainted at the side. To say that he was totally oblivious and not surprised or frightened by the day’s events, that was deﬁnitely impossible, after all he had stared at death in the face. However, his ability to tune his emotions were unparalleled, and he recovered really quickly. …
Two years later. Stars Forest, Heavenly Bow Unit Camp.
“Mu En!! Zhou Weiqing!! You two as*holes! If you have the guts, don’t run!!” A shrill, angry cry rang out, and a yellow shadowy ﬁgure charged out from a wooden house in the camp.
It was a lady, looking about 30 years of age, and her beautiful features were distorted by a look of absolute fury on her face. Her hair was still wet, but her right hand was holding a kitchen cleaver, and she looked as if she were an erupting volcano. However, the courtyard was already empty, and her targets were nowhere to be found.
“Hua Feng! Get out here right now! I can’t stand it anymore!” The lady shouted angrily, her formidable bosom heaving as she did so, causing an impressive sight.
“Sigh, those two rascals, they can’t give us any peace.” Hua Feng said helplessly as he walked out of his house, looking at the angry wet-haired lady and said: “Little grass, calm down. Don’t you know Mu En’s temperament by now?” Little Grass looked at Hua Feng, her expression growing a lot gentler. “Brother Feng, I can’t stand it anymore. It’s already the 12th time this year. I can’t even take a shower in peace any longer. What sort of rubbish is that old Scoundrel Mu En spouting? He even dare tries to justify it by saying he is training that young scoundrel Zhou Weiqing’s eyesight and counting how many hairs I have? If not for the fact I can’t defeat him, I’d have beaten him to death now. I don’t care, you better give me some accountability now. One old scoundrel was already enough of a headache, now with this young scoundrel who has even surpassed his master. Over these two years, you can ask everyone, who hasn’t been tortured by these 2 fellows!?”
“Little Grass, all your complaints are useless. Don’t you know that your brother Hua Feng has been bribed?” A strange and ghostly voice sounded out. Another beautiful lady walked out from a nearby wooden house. She was about 1.75m tall, with a head full of pink hair ﬂowing behind her back, with ﬁne and attractive features. The problem was, she was ﬂat-chested and had something that most women did not have – an Adam’s Apple.
Hua Feng said exasperatedly: “Yi Shi, Little Grass is already angry enough, stop stirring her up further. Mu En and Little Wei might overdo things sometimes, but it’s his own unique style of teaching.” Yi Shi gave a cold humph, giving a Lan Hua gesture : “Boss, they didn’t just offend Little Grass, they even dared peek at me when I was bathing.”
Hua Feng couldn’t help but bust out laughing: “I still remember that day clearly. Little Wei is deﬁnitely still far from his teacher, he grew a needle in his eye. the next day. After that, he never dared to offend you again.”
Little Grass gave another angry humph, saying: “Don’t mention that little as*hole Zhou Weiqing! When Bing’er is around, he’s always acts so good and honest, and as soon as she leaves to Store Skills, he turns into a scoundrel and a rogue, he literally becomes Mu En and Luo Ke Di combined! Anyway, I don’t care, if you don’t solve this problem, I’ll sneak into your bed every night.”
Yi Shi giggled and said: “Little Grass, aren’t you just ﬁnding an excuse to do that? You’ve been wanting to sneak into his bed for years. This sister supports you!”
Little Grass said angrily: “You damn transvestite, get lost! I, Your Mother hate transvestites the most!” Yi Shi gave a humph and said: “Even though your Brother Feng isn’t a transvestite, but he likes men. What’s the big difference between a homosexual and a transvestite?”
Little Grass twisted her mouth and said: “It’s just a matter of preference. At least Brother Feng is still a real man.”
Just as that moment, a young girl walked in from outside, hearing the exchange between the few of them, and sighing inwardly to herself. Our Heavenly Bow Unit truly doesn’t contain any normal people, a bunch of weirdos.
The young girl was rather tall, about 1.7m in height, with a head full of ocean blue hair ﬂowing behind her, and a youthful aura. Her perfectly proportioned ﬁgure was still young and not fully ripe, but her fresh beauty was even more alluring. Her pair of pale green eyes were ﬁlled with grace and a brilliant, attractive light. “Bing’er, you’re ﬁnally back.”
“If you didn’t come back, I would have gone over to kill your husband now.” On seeing the girl, Little Grass sprang over and gave her a big hug.
Indeed, this young girl who who had returned from the outside was Shangguan Bing’er. After these 2 years, she was now 18 years old, and was in the prime of a girl’s life. As for Little Grass, she was the lady mentioned by Mu En previously, the Earth Attribute Elemental Jewel Master who was in love with Hua Feng. Her temper was ﬁery, and besides Hua Feng who she treated very gently, her temper often erupted like a volcano. Strangely, though she was always against Zhou Weiqing, but she was very close to Shangguan Bing’er.
Shangguan Bing’er said helplessly: “I… haven’t married him yet, what do you mean husband. Little Grass Sis, if Little Fatty angered you again, I’ll apologise on his behalf. That rascal! Although his mouth is rather bad, his heart is still quite good.”
Little Grass rolled her eyes and said: “Enough. I’m not talking about his character anymore, you’re already poisoned by love. Sigh… for this point, you and your sister are the same.” As she said that, she glanced bitterly at Hua Feng, causing him to shiver slightly.
a type of hand gesture in traditional Chinese dance (joined thumb and middle ﬁnger, the rest extended), usually feminine
a literal translation of ⻓了针眼, it’s an expression that he saw something he wasn’t supposed to see Yi Shi was toying with her ﬁngernails at the side, saying idly: “Alas, even though you’re poisoned by love as well, but your man likes other men…”
“You damn transvestite, I, Your Mother, will risk my life to take you down!” Little Grass shouted furiously, and was about to charge over. Shangguan Bing’er quickly grabbed hold of her. If she had to judge who was the most dangerous person in the entire Heavenly Bow Unit, it would deﬁnitely be the Snake Lady Transvestite Yi Shi. They often fought like that, and Shangguan Bing’er was rather used to it.
“Alright, everyone. Enough!” Hua Feng shouted.
The 2 ladies and 1 transvestite turned their gazes onto him; Hua Feng looked at Shangguan Bing’er and said: “Bing’er, have you ﬁnished Storing your third Skill?”
Shangguan Bing’er nodded and said: “Yes, Teacher. I have accomplished it successfully.” Hua Feng nodded and said: “That’s great. You and Little Wei already have sufﬁcient means of self protection. Both of you have already inherited our true secrets in archery, and the only thing you lack is more practice and experience on actual battleﬁelds. You’ve already been here for almost 2 years, and it’s time to leave.”
Shangguan Bing’er exclaimed in surprise: “Teacher, you want me and Little Fatty to leave?”
Hua Feng said helplessly: “You’ve seen for yourself, when Little Wei, Mu En and Luo Ke Di get together, they have caused so much chaos for our Heavenly Bow Unit. My original intention was to leave you two for another few more months, but now it looks like it’ll be better for both of you to leave earlier. Otherwise, our Heavenly Bow Unit will be torn apart soon. It’s good that you are back now, both of you should pack up and leave tomorrow. Come with me, I have some things to tell you.”
Shangguan Bing’er nodded. She was clear that her teacher never made decisions easily, but once he did, it would be extremely difﬁcult to change his mind. As such, she followed Hua Feng into his wooden house, with a rather sad look in her eyes. Little Grass looked curiously at Yi Shi and said: “Is Boss really chasing that little brat Zhou Weiqing away?”
Yi Shi replied: “Isn’t that what you hoped for? Why? Now that it happened, you can’t bear to see them go?”
Little Grass combed her wet hair, muttering to herself: “Although that little brat is rather irritating, but with him around, don’t you think our Heavenly Bow Unit is ﬁlled with life and laughter?”
Yi Shi let loose a giggle before laughing out loud: “Foolish girl, do you really think that Boss will chase them away just on your word? He has clearly planned this for a while.”
“You’ve loved Boss for so long, how can you not know how he thinks? Although that little brat Zhou Weiqing is extremely sly and cunning, who amongst us isn’t jealous of his unbelievable talent? In just a short span of two years, he has actually managed to cultivate from the 5th level of Heavenly Jing Energy to the 11th Stage! Furthermore, he has mastered most of old scoundrel’s archery skills, and you should know that even if he continued staying here, he will not be able to learn much else from us. In the ﬁrst place, with his talent, he would never be destined to stay for long in our Heavenly Bow Unit; Zhou Shui Niu still needs his son to take over his position eventually.”
A hint of worry entered Little Grass’ eyes, and at this moment there was no hint of her usual ﬁery temple. “Indeed! Our Empire is indeed in worrying straits, especially now that the Bai Da Empire is giving Kalise more and more support. Although I dislike Zhou Shui Niu, I have to admit that without him, our Heavenly Bow Empire would have long been crushed.”
Two years ago, after the battle with the Icy Soul Heavenly Bears, Zhou Weiqing and Shangguan Bing’er had awoken the other members of the Heavenly Bow Unit. They did not reveal the situation with the little white tiger, only telling Hua Feng and the rest that the four Icy Soul Heavenly Bears had just left all of a sudden. When they returned to the Heavenly Bow Unit Camp, they entered two years of tough training and cultivation.
As for Zhou Weiqing, he mainly focused on the exquisitely painful yet unbelievably quick Immortal Deity Technique, while also learning Mu En’s various archery skills, of which he had by now all pretty much learnt. The most shocking thing to all the members was that within these two years, his Heavenly Energy had shot up by 6 whole levels, reaching a stunning 11th Level of Heavenly Energy. Even though Shangguan Bing’er was already considered a rare genius, she had only just reached the 12th level and gotten her third set of Heavenly Jewels, just reaching the Heavenly Shen Energy Stage. It seemed like Zhou Weiqing would quickly catch up.
As such, to allow Zhou Weiqing to focus more on his archery skills, while also afraid that he would bite off more than he could chew and not accomplish anything, as a result, although he had already gotten his 2nd set of Heavenly Jewels, he had not been allowed to Consolidate Equipment or Store Skills as of yet. However, his personal power was already far above what he had been just two years ago. In fact, even now he could face off with Luo Ke Di, who still remained at the 5 Jewel Physical Master stage, without losing. As for the various Skills of his ﬁrst Elemental Jewel, he was now able to use them freely and easily after much practice. The members of the Heavenly Bow Unit knew that not just Zhou Weiqing, but also Shangguan Bing’er, wouldn’t remain for long at the Heavenly Bow Unit or Paradise Strange. As Heavenly Jewel Masters, they belonged on a much grander stage.
The next day. Dawn. Front gates of the Heavenly Bow Unit Camp. Heavenly Bow Unit Leader, Ultimate Assassin – Hua Feng, Vice Leader, Snake Lady Transvestite – Yi Shi, Female Volcano
– Little Grass, Arrow Tower – Han Mo, Cannon – Gao Shen, Drunken Rogue – Luo Ke Di and God Eye Scoundrel – Mu En, were all standing in a row.
In front of them stood two youths, one male and one female. The female was of course Shangguan Bing’er, and there were tears brimming in her eyes, with an expression full of reluctance to part. The male by her side, standing at almost 1.9m tall, looking as ﬁt as a young bull, was Zhou Weiqing, a rather sad look on his face as well; the honest looking expression on his face was a lot more realistic than before. Atop Zhou Weiqing shoulders stood the little white tiger, looking no different from two years ago. It still had the same lazy look as before, but if someone examined it closely and carefully, they would notice that the colour of its eyes had changed, from the previous blue to a light purple. Its brilliant white fur now seemed like they were carved from crystal, and if it stood there unmoving, some might even mistake it for a perfect sculpture.
Right behind Zhou Weiqing and Shangguan Bing’er, a pair of black bears with gold fur on their backs lay on the ground. The two fellows were no longer little, their bodies grown to over 2 metres long and were large and stout, especially with their large heads causing them to look charmingly simple and naive. However, if any Jewel Masters spotted them, it would deﬁnitely be terror that sparked in them. After all, they were Icy Soul Heavenly Bears! Even if they were still very young, the two bears were already Zun Stage Heavenly Beasts.
In truth, the Icy Soul Heavenly Bears’ growth rate shouldn’t have been so fast. The two had grown more than ten years worth of growing in just these two years. Regarding this, the members of the Heavenly Bow Unit were all puzzled as well, but despite their efforts, they were unable to ﬁnd out the reason for this.
Hua Feng gave a light smile and said to Zhou Weiqing and Shangguan Bing’er: “All good things must come to an end. You both have learnt much in your two years in our Heavenly Bow Unit. I hope that no matter what happens in the future, no matter how powerful you become, you will never forget that your motherland is our Heavenly Bow Empire.”
Shangguan Bing’er nodded vigorously, saying: “Teacher, do not worry. For me and Little Fatty, everything we have is given by the motherland. We will not let you down!”
Little Grass said exasperatedly: “Brother Feng, what type of situation is this, yet you are still talking about those big ideals. Bing’er is the kindest, gentlest girl I know, why would she need you to talk about all of that? Bing’er come, let Big Sis hug you.” As she said that, she opened her arms and gave Shangguan Bing’er a big warm hug. At that point, Shangguan Bing’er couldn’t resist any longer and tears ﬂowed down her cheeks as she hugged Little Grass in return, her head resting on Little Grass’ shoulders as she sobbed. Little Grass’ eyes were also misty with tears.
After a while, the two separated, and right at that moment, Luo Ke Di opened his arms and hugged Shangguan Bing’er as well. “I want a hug too!”
Indeed, he managed to hug… alas, it wasn’t Shangguan Bing’er who he hugged, but someone much larger than him, with an honest look on his face – Zhou Weiqing.
Luo Ke Di felt as if his bones were creaking after being bear hugged by Zhou Weiqing, and couldn’t help but scold out loud: “Damn, you little brat, let go of me!”
Only then did Zhou Weiqing let go of Luo Ke Di, saying with concerned: “Shi Shu, are you alright? I’m just about to leave, I’m just so touched.” Luo Ke Di gave a humph and said: “Stop acting you little brat! I, Your Father, just wanted a hug from Bing’er, it’s not like she will lose anything.”
Zhou Weiqing nodded his head repeatedly, saying: “Little Grass Elder Sis is allowed to hug, but you aren’t. As long as it’s female, even if it’s a sow, your hugs could possibly impregnate it! Shi Shu, don’t forget that your nickname is Rogue! The Ultimate Rogue!”
“You…” Luo Ke Di cried out in anger, jumping up and wanting to teach Zhou Weiqing a lesson. Alas, at the distance they were at, he could only hold back. After all, Zhou Weiqing’s strength now was indeed too terrifying, with two Pure Strength Physical Jewels boosting him, just comparing strength alone he was already a match for Mu En, who was a half strength Physical Jewel Master with 6 Jewels!
Although Zhou Weiqing’s Physical Jewel was a pure strength Jewel, and his boost should be 1.5 times that of an ordinary Physical Jewel Master, this shouldn’t have happened. However, his strength had also been increased by the black pearl he swallowed, and during the two years of growth, his entire physique had grown by an impressive amount. Normally, during breaks and when he was feeling bored, he played and wrestled with the two baby Icy Soul Heavenly Bears, and in a 1v2 situation!
“Little Wei.” Han Mo walked up to him. He was not a man of many words, and he just gave Zhou Weiqing a hug. “Live Well.”
Zhou Weiqing also grew more serious, keeping his joking smile and hugging him back. “I will.”
Gao Shen walked over next and also gave him a hug. “Little Wei, remember to kill more people. Men should have more killing intent to be more manly!”
He was followed by Yi Shi, but Zhou Weiqing refused to let ‘her’ hug him, causing ‘her’ to pout angrily.
Mu En and Hua Feng also walked over. Hua Feng patted Shangguan Bing’er’s head, smiling faintly as he said: “Teacher will always be proud of you.”
“Teacher!” Shangguan Bing’er could no longer control her emotions, and dove into Hua Feng’s arms, crying. Zhou Weiqing could only watch from the side, eyebrows twitching, but resisted the urge to do anything. “Stop looking, little brat. In the future, if you go out and get bullied, you better not let anyone know you’re my disciple!” Mu En said with a humph.
Zhou Weiqing said carefully: “Teacher… it’s not like being your disciple is something of high honour or reputation!”
Chapter 34 – Ring of Concealment
Mu En laughed and said: “Also, didn’t you also acknowledge that Old Huyan Aobo as your teacher? That old fellow has a lot of good stuff, don’t be polite to him! … Go now! Shoo!”
Zhou Weiqing held Mu En’s hands tightly, taking a deep breath and holding up his head as if calming himself down: “Teacher, I can’t bear to leave you.”
Mu En’s smile froze, and his expression slowly turned warm as well. “Little scoundrel, I also can’t bear for you to leave!”
Zhou Weiqing blinked and said: “Then… shall I just stay?”
All of the members of the Heavenly Bow Unit cried out angrily in unison: “NO!”
Zhou Weiqing and Shangguan Bing’er ﬁnally left the camp reluctantly, and as the members of the Heavenly Bow Unit returned to their rooms rather despondently, all of them found a letter on their tables, from Zhou Weiqing. As Hua Feng opened his letter, he saw only 2 simple lines written on it. “Leader, I know you’ve always liked my dad, but I also know that with my dad’s temper, he would never reciprocate it. However, just to fulﬁl your wish, I’ll still call you little mother once. Bing’er and I are leaving, but, I’ll still
cause one last time of trouble for you. I will prove that, it’s not just because of me that the Heavenly Bow Unit becomes so messy!”
As Hua Feng read the letter, he found himself awkwardly between laughter and tears, when all of a sudden, a knock sounded on his door. “Come in.” he said.
Little Grass entered from the outside, though she was blushing red as she said: “Brother Feng, if you want it, you’ll just have to tell me, how could I not give it to you?”
Hua Feng was puzzled as he asked: “What did I want?”
Little Grass held out the letter in her hands shyly, and when Hua Feng took it, he saw written on it: “Little Grass Elder Sis, actually Leader does like you a lot. Yesterday I saw him stealing your panties that you left out to dry and hide them under his pillow.” Hua Feng’s hands trembled as he looked at Little Grass, who was looking at him with tenderness and love in her eyes, and three black lines appeared above his head as he gritted his teeth and said: “Zhou… Wei… Qing…!!”
As for the others’ letters, they were as follows.
Gao Shen’s letter: “Brother Shen, did you know that Yi Shi that transvestite is actually in love with you? She actually stole your underwear! I’m not a person who easily stirs trouble, and I don’t know what your temper is like. However, if it were me, I wouldn’t easily stand for that sort of thing!”
Han Mo’s letter: “Brother Mo, I’m a little embarrassed to say this, but since I’m leaving I really do have to tell you the truth. The hundred titanium alloy arrows you ordered custom made, I felt they were very good, so I borrowed them to use. I’ll just borrow them for a hundred years or so. Between us brothers, there’s no need for any thanks right. In truth, I know that you’ve always wanted to gift them to me, right?”
Yi Shi’s letter: “Lord Vice Leader, actually I know your inner heart must be in pain. As a transvestite, and a beautiful one at that, you are so different from everyone! However, I must tell you the truth. My teacher has always liked you so much, but he was always embarrassed to say so. The reason why he’s always remained single is because of you! Did you know that he has kept a portrait of you, and deep in the night, he always stares at the portrait and ‘trains his hands’. Sigh… Even if you don’t like him, you must really let him know. He’s already so old, if he keeps ‘training his hands’ like that so much, it’s not good for his body!”
Luo Ke Di’s letter: “Shi Shu, that day I unintentionally heard Leader talking to himself in his room. In our Heavenly Bow Unit, only you and he are suave enough, and he also said that my Dad is getting too old already, and that he shouldn’t keep dreaming of the impossible. As such, he has decided to change his target, I won’t say much more, you know what I mean. Leader is such a great person, with such grace and poise, you two are indeed a good match!”
Mu En’s letter: “Teacher, I’ve left a portrait under your bed, but I accidently spilled porridge on it. Please help me pass it to Yi Shi.”
An hour later, a mass of angry howls arose from the Heavenly Bow Unit. Strangely, all of them sounded very similar, and with gritted teeth! “Zhou—- Wei—- Qing!!!!!”
At that time, Zhou Weiqing, who had already walked quite a distance away, suddenly stopped, turning back towards the Heavenly Bow Unit with a huge, wicked grin on his face, giving a small laugh as he muttered to himself: “I’m just afraid you all will forget me, I didn’t mean to prank you all! En… it’s not intentional… deﬁnitely not planned… nor was it premeditated. Heh heh.”
Shangguan Bing’er looked at him curiously and asked: “What’s going on? Little Fatty, what are you talking about?”
Zhou Weiqing quickly reined himself in, saying: “Uh, nothing! Bing’er, don’t you think I’m already considered a real man, a grown up now?”
Shangguan Bing’er started, looking at the large and well built, honest but valiant looking Zhou Weiqing, and nodded sincerely while saying: “Indeed. Although you’re only 16 years old, but most adult men wouldn’t be as tall or muscular as you are. Of course you can be considered a real man now.”
Zhou Weiqing was ﬁlled with joy, winking to her and said: “In that case… can we do.. it already?”
Shangguan Bing’er asked puzzledly: “What’s ‘it’?” Zhou Weiqing said abashedly: “You know… it! Since you already said I’m a real man, and you’re a beautiful grown lady, and we’re ﬁances… that… that…”
Shangguan Bing’er ﬁnally understood what he meant, instantly ﬂushing deeply and said: “Dream on! Why is your brain full of dirty thoughts. Hmph, walk further from me. Who’s your ﬁancee? Have you resolved the situation with Princess Difuya?”
Zhou Weiqing said helplessly: “I haven’t had the opportunity yet… We’re heading back to Heavenly Bow City now, and I’ll handle the matter when we return. I’ll go right to look for Godfather. Although Difuya is rather hateful, I shouldn’t delay it and let her waste her youth as well.”
Shangguan Bing’er rolled her eyes at him, but she clearly looked a lot happier. Zhou Weiqing was attempting to strike while the iron was hot, sidling closer to her to get intimate, but she quickly ran ahead like a Wind Elf, her tinkling laughter trailing her. Zhou Weiqing grinned and chased forward, and just like that, with one chasing the other, they sped through the Stars Forest towards the Heavenly Bow City.
The two poor ‘little’ Icy Soul Heavenly Bears could only run with all their might, panting, as they tried to keep up. Their foolish and simple looking appearance was simply so adorable, while the little white tiger Fat Cat still lay on Zhou Weiqing’s shoulder lazily, as if it would never wake up.
As they closed in on the edge of the Stars Forest, Zhou Weiqing beckoned to the two bears, saying: “Come here, Da Huang, Er Huang.”
The two tired and panting bears came lumbering to Zhou Weiqing, nuzzling their heads on Zhou Weiqing’s body, with nary the look and pride of a Zong Stage Heavenly Beast. These two little fellows were raised together by Zhou Weiqing and Shangguan Bing’er, but the one they feared most was Fat Cat. Often, if Fat Cat gave a low roar, the two of them would lie down on the ground with their hands covering their heads, looking extremely pitiful.
Zhou Weiqing raised his right hand, and a gold green Cat’s Eye ring on his ﬁnger ﬂashed, causing two beams of yellow light to shine upon the two bears. As the light glittered, the two large fellows had disappeared.
This Spatial ring was given to him by Hua Feng, and Zhou Weiqing had to give up all his cuts from the missions throughout these two years. Originally, he wasn’t supposed to get a cut of the salary from the missions, but as his power increased, his Control Skills started to play a larger role and be of critical help during the missions. As a result, the members of the Heavenly Bow Unit had agreed to give him a cut as well. Zhou Weiqing did not know how much it had amounted to after these two years, but for the sake of Da Huang and Er Huang these two large fellows, he had no choice but to give up on his cut and take the Spatial ring, which had about 20 square metres of space within.
In truth, what Zhou Weiqing didn’t know was that he had been given a huge gift. Such a Spatial Ring, was worth at least 200,000 gold coins or more. That was mainly because it wasn’t an ordinary Spatial Ring, and it didn’t just store goods, but had a small and unique Spatial Realm created which could allow living creatures to stay within. That was its true value, and was considered a rather rare treasure.
After keeping Da Huang and Er Huang into the ring’s space, Zhou Weiqing and Shangguan Bing’er headed to the Heavenly Bow City. According to Hua Fen, they would be heading to the Fei Li Empire to undergo their next step of learning and training.
Without question, Fei Li Empire was the only large empire which was on good relations with the Heavenly Bow Empire, and it was also a lot more developed on all fronts. This time, Zhou Weiqing and Shangguan Bing’er were headed to the Fei Li Empire’s Fei Li Imperial Family’s Military Academy, to learn how to lead and direct armies. This was under the direction of Admiral Zhou, who wanted them to prepare to help out the Heavenly Bow Empire’s armies in the future.
There was still 5 more months until the new semester of the Fei Li Imperial Family’s Military Academy began, but Hua Feng had them return to the Heavenly Bow City in advance. The main reason was for Zhou Weiqing to head to Fei Li Empire’s Flying Hill City ﬁrst. After all, he was already sixteen years old, and it was time for him to study under Huyan Aobo as promised. Furthermore, he still hadn’t Consolidated Equipment or Stored Skills for his second set of Heavenly Jewels.
“Bing’er, let’s stay at home for three days, and I’ll settle the betrothal with Princess Difuya. After three days, let’s head to Flying Hill City together, how about that?” Zhou Weiqing held onto her hands, rather unwilling to part. She had been gone for quite a while to complete Storing her 3rd Elemental Jewel’s Skill, and had ﬁnally just returned to his side, and he naturally couldn’t bear to part with her for another few days once again.
Shangguan Bing’er hesitated and said: “Little Fatty, we’ve already spent two years together in the Heavenly Bow Unit, and during this period I haven’t spent any time with my mother. I want to seize this chance before we enter the Fei Li Imperial Family’s Military Academy to accompany her well. She’s my only kin, and this time, we will be spending another few years at the Academy, as it is so far and traveling to and fro will be extremely difﬁcult. Why don’t you head to Flying Hill City ﬁrst, and we’ll meet in the Fei Li Empire capital, Fei Li City in 5 months alright?”
“Ah?” Hearing her say that, Zhou Weiqing’s face fell and he said dejectedly: “Doesn’t that mean we’ll be apart for 5 months?” Shangguan Bing’er revealed the struggle in her eyes, but she ﬁnally reafﬁrmed her stance. “Little Fatty, my mom is my only kin, can you forgive me?”
Zhou Weiqing gently held her in his arms, and this time Shangguan Bing’er did not resist as she rested in his broad embrace. “Little Fatty, I also can’t bear to leave you. Ever since we met, although you often make me angry, but these few years together, I have grown used to having you by my side. Although you’re a little afraid of death, a little shameless, and always such a rascal, but I know that your heart is really kind inside. If our feelings are true, such a separation should not matter much. Once we reach the Academy, won’t we be together again?”
Zhou Weiqing put his face to her hair, saying: “Bing’er, how could I stop you from being ﬁlial? If only I didn’t make the promise to Huyan Teacher… I should also spend more time with my mother. When I’m gone, if you are free, do help me visit my mother as well okay? Uh, no, it’s our mother. Dad is often at the front lines, and she’s also very lonely.”
Shangguan Bing’er nodded and said: “I will. Go quickly, or it’ll be even harder to part.” Zhou Weiqing held her shoulders and bent his head low. Looking at her beautiful eyes starting to mist over, he gave a light kiss on her lips and said softly: “When we reach the Fei Li Imperial Family’s Military Academy, there won’t be anyone to control us anymore, can we do ‘it’ then?”
“Your mind is always so dirty!” Shangguan Bing’er’s tears broke into laughter and she punched him lightly on the shoulders.
Zhou Weiqing laughed heartily, saying: “It has to do with my happiness, how can I not ﬁght for it. Alright I’m going to head off ﬁrst.” As he ﬁnished speaking, he turned and ran off, quickly disappearing around a corner.
Looking at his disappearing ﬁgure, Shangguan Bing’er stood there for a while, tears brimming in her eyes. After a while, she ﬁnally recovered and headed back home as well.
Zhou Weiqing ran off very quickly, not because he was in a rush to leave, but because he couldn’t bear to leave as well, couldn’t bear to see Shangguan Bing’er crying, and he was afraid he wouldn’t be able to resist giving up his promise to Huyan Aobo and staying to accompany her. Returning home for two days and accompanying his mother, Zhou Weiqing ﬁnally decided to head to the Palace. First was to visit his godfather, to bid farewell to him, and the other reason was of course regarding his betrothal to Difuya.
“What? You want to dissolve the betrothal? No way.” The Heavenly Bow Empire Palace, study room. Di Fengling was dressed in the royal robes, seated at the dragon seat, and he rejected Zhou Weiqing’s request without hesitation.
Zhou Weiqing gave a bitter smile and said: “Godfather, you know that Difuya doesn’t like me at all, and she looks down on me, furthermore with my looks, I am not worthy of her!”
Di Fengling gave a humph, sizing up Zhou Weiqing before saying: “What’s wrong with your looks? You’re tall big and strong, what’s wrong with that? Anyway, like or not, that’s not her choice to make. Furthermore, you’re no longer the same as before, you have already Awakened your Heavenly Jewels and become a Heavenly Jewel Master, how could I possibly ﬁnd a better match than you in the whole empire?! Dissolving the betrothal, that’s impossible, don’t you know that a King’s word isn’t easily broken? Hmph, I, your father, being your father-in- law, is it a shameful thing for you?” “I…” Zhou Weiqing stared at Di Fengling with his mouth agape. Although Di Fengling wasn’t a Jewel Master, Zhou Weiqing was still like a little child in front of him. After all, since young, Di Fengling had seen him grown up, and was even more like a father to him than his own father. Even after knowing that his meridians were blocked and he couldn’t cultivate, Di Fengling still treated him the same. It could be said that besides his own father, the person Zhou Weiqing feared and respected the most was this godfather, who was ﬁlled with the aura and authority of a king. “Godfather… I already have someone I love.” Zhou Weiqing said tentatively.
“Oh? Who is it? Can she be prettier than my Difuya? Little Wei ah, I know that Difuya that child hurt you previously, but these few years she has also changed a lot. As a man, you shouldn’t be so petty.”
“Godfather, I’m telling the truth! I’ve already personally asked for that girl’s hand in marriage and gotten her agreement. Furthermore, we’ve already … done ‘it’. All that’s left is to give you a bouncing god-grandson. I have to be accountable to her as well.”
“What?!” Di Fengling stared at Zhou Weiqing. Although he knew about Zhou Weiqing Awakening his Heavenly Jewels, regarding what happened between Zhou Weiqing and Shangguan Bing’er, how could Admiral Zhou possibly have the face to tell him that. As a result, he naturally did not know.
“You little brat, how old are you only? And you’ve already done it with her? You… Sigh… “ Di Fengling stood up from his dragon seat. Just as Zhou Weiqing thought he was about to get a scolding, he heard his godfather sigh and say: “Well, I guess I can’t blame you. Kids these days, they grow up so fast. If I had known this would happen, I should have held Difuya’s marriage to you earlier, then you wouldn’t go out and pluck wild ﬂowers!”
“Ah?” What type of situation was this? For a moment, Zhou Weiqing was bamboozled, wondering if Difuya was really Di Fengling’s daughter or if he was Di Fengling’s son. After all, Di Fengling seemed too obviously on his side.
“Little Wei, you must remember. The most important to a man is power, once you have power, then you can have conﬁdence in yourself. A conﬁdent man is attractive to women. Godfather isn’t against you having several wives, but you must remember to have restraint. Doing that too much isn’t good for you as well. Understand?”
Looking at Di Fengling telling him that in a serious face, Zhou Weiqing was twitching in his heart. He suddenly felt that his godfather was almost like his teacher, both supporting him to chase more girls. The only difference was that one was telling him to do so with a perverted face, and the other was telling him in a matter-of-fact way, with a serious, digniﬁed air. Yet, in truth, they were saying the same thing. “Godfather, about the betrothal…” Zhou Weiqing asked hopefully.
Di Fengling gave him a glare: “I, Your Father, already allowed you to marry little wives, you’re still arguing with me? Hmph, shoo! Let me tell you, Difuya is also in the Fei Li Imperial Family Military Academy, you two better get along well. After graduation, I will personally hold the wedding ceremony for you both.” Zhou Weiqing opened his mouth to say something else, but Di Fengling had already swept out of the room, not giving him a chance to speak any further.
Ugh! Zhou Weiqing was rather depressed now. What am I going to tell Bing’er now? Still, he soon came up with another plan. So, Difuya will also be in the Military Academy? Hmph, didn’t she say she would rather marry a pig or a dog than me? I, Your Father, will let you know what a true rogue, a true scoundrel is, and she will know what real pain is! After graduation, she will naturally agree to come with me to dissolve the marriage together with godfather. Worse come to worse, I’ll have to run away with Bing’er. Heh heh. As for Di Fengling who had just walked out of the study room, he had a faint smile on his face, as he thought to himself. Little Brat, trying to ﬁght with I, Your Father, you’re still too young and naive to do so! Difuya, you can’t let me down. I specially sent you to the Fei Li Military Academy to let you snatch that little brat’s heart. Hua Feng has already told me that Little Wei’s future will deﬁnitely outstrip Big Bro Zhou. With my daughter’s beauty, how could she not capture his heart?
Alas, if Di Fengling knew who that the girlfriend Zhou Weiqing was referring to was the top beauty in the Empire, Shangguan Bing’er, he probably would not be so optimistic.
After he exited the palace, Zhou Weiqing went straight to Shangguan Bing’er’s house. In the two years they were at the Heavenly Bow Unit, they had returned every year, and he had occasionally accompanied her over, and was thus rather familiar with the route.
Shangguan Bing’er stayed in a rather ordinary small house in the commoner part of town; even after she had been awarded the noble title of Viscount, they did not move. Of course, it wasn’t that Shangguan Bing’er was unwilling to move, as she wanted to let her mother stay in a better environment. However, Tang Xian insisted that she was used to staying there and refused to move.
When Zhou Weiqing arrived, Shangguan Bing’er was in the garden with her mother planting vegetables. The garden was rather small, taking up about half of their already rather small courtyard. Zhou Weiqing stood at the entrance, looking at the beautiful mother and daughter pair planting in the gardens, and couldn’t help but stare entranced.
“Why don’t you come in?” Although Tang Xian had not even glanced in his direction, her voice rang forth.
“Hello Aunty.” Zhou Weiqing grinned and entered the courtyard. Seeing him, a joyful look crossed Shangguan Bing’er’s face, but it was quickly replaced by a sad look. After all, they were about to part for a few months, and she was feeling rather gloomy in her heart.
Tang Xian stood up, and even her simple clothing couldn’t hide her beauty. She smiled at Zhou Weiqing and said: “Little Fatty, from what Bing’er said, you’re headed to the Flying Hill City?” In front of Tang Xian, Zhou Weiqing was always at his most honest and well behaved, and he quickly nodded his head and said: “Yup! I’m already 16 years old, and I promised Huyan Teacher to head over to learn from him.”
Tang Xian nodded and said: “Little Fatty, there are two things that you must remember. First of all, do not spend too much time and energy on learning how to create Consolidating Equipment Scrolls. The sheer amount of time needed to master it is extremely taxing, and it will deﬁnitely affect your cultivation. With your Elemental Jewel Attributes, you have just too great a talent to waste.” Zhou Weiqing quickly agreed. Towards Shangguan Bing’er’s mysterious mother, he was rather respectful and fearful, and his mother’s admonishment to him to listen to her was still fresh in his mind.
Tang Xian smiled faintly and continued: “The second thing is… When you Store Skills, do try your best to always store as many Control Type Skills as possible. Remember, you can never have too many Control Skills. Do you understand what I mean?”
Zhou Weiqing said honestly: “Not really.”
Tang Xian laughed and said: “You’re at least honest about that. Simply put, every time a Heavenly Jewel Master uses a skill, there will be a short period of time they will be unable to use it again. For example, with your cultivation level, once you use your Touch of Darkness, within 10 seconds you are likely unable to continue using again. Am I right?”
ﬁnding women outside / having mistresses Zhou Weiqing was rather shocked in his heart, as what Tang Xian said was totally correct. After lots of experimentation, he had found out that he indeed required ten seconds after using the Touch of Darkness before he could use it again. This wasn’t a matter of a lack of Heavenly Energy, but was the recovery period after the Darkness Attribute was used.
Tang Xian continued saying: “Ten seconds might seem very short to you now, but as your power levels grow higher, ten seconds is more than sufﬁcient to decide your life and death ten times over. The more Control Skills you have, the more they can coordinate and overlap, and the initiative you have in the battleﬁeld against your enemies. If you manage to control your enemies, you will be able to defeat or kill them easily. No matter how strong he is, as long as he is Controlled by you permanently, he will not even have the chance to counterattack. At the same time, a strong Heavenly Jewel Master usually has extremely strong defences. If you Control him and attack him once, you might not be able to kill him off. Under such circumstance, you will need to continue Controlling with different skills. Remember, while companions are important, none can compare in terms of reliability to yourself. Never put your life in another person’s hands, if you want to be powerful, you have to ﬁrst learn how to control yourself.” “Control yourself” Zhou Weiqing repeated the words, all of a sudden he felt as if a door had been opened in his mind. ‘Control yourself’ those words seemed so simple, yet with so many hidden profound secrets and deeper meaning behind it.
In an abrupt motion, Tang Xian raised her hand and a grey light shot forth towards Zhou Weiqing. Subconsciously, he raised his hands and caught it, only to see it was a black ring. As he examined it closely, he found it was totally black, not reﬂecting any light at all, and seemed rather ordinary.
Tang Xian stroked Shangguan Bing’er’s hair tenderly as she said: “Little Fatty, that ring is called the Ring of Concealment, and it can be considered Bing’er’s dowry that I’m giving you. If you wear it on the ring ﬁnger of your left hand, and circulate some Heavenly Energy within, you can change the look of your Alexandrite Cat’s Eye into any of your Elemental Attributes, thus concealing its identity.”
Zhou Weiqing was overjoyed. This item might be pretty useless to most people, but it was an extreme treasure for him. Not only could he prevent any trouble arising from anyone discovering his Alexandrite Cat’s Eye, he could also use it to trick the enemies he was facing but allowing them to surprising them with an Elemental Skill they would never expect. It was as if this item was custom made for him! “Aunty… uhh, no, Mum, since this is Bing’er’s dowry, then I shall not be polite.” Zhou Weiqing quickly wore it on his ring ﬁnger delightedly, causing Shangguan Bing’er to ﬂush in embarrassment as she hugged her mother’s arm.
Tang Xian smiled faintly and said: “Little Fatty, remember, if I ﬁnd that you hurt Bing’er, I will take back the ring, along with your life.”
Although she was smiling as she said that, Zhou Weiqing felt a chill down his spine and he could only grin foolishly and not speak.
Tang Xian said: “You two chat a while, I’ll head in ﬁrst.” As she said that, she looked at Zhou Weiqing before heading back inside.
As soon as Tang Xian left, Zhou Weiqing relaxed noticeably. In a few steps, he had ran over to Shangguan Bing’er’s side, hugging her. She cried out in surprise: “Quick let go of me, my mum will see us!”
Zhou Weiqing grinned and said: “Our mother has already conﬁrmed our relationship, she won’t mind seeing us. Come, give your husband a kiss.” Shangguan Bing’er lifted her hand to cover his mouth. “Don’t play anymore. Little Fatty, let me lean on you for a while okay?”
Zhou Weiqing started, and his gaze turned soft as he put her down, softly enveloping her in a warm hug. He then told her everything that had happened in the palace and his own thoughts.
“If you do not marry Her Highness, can you get pass His Majesty and your father?”
Zhou Weiqing said solemnly: “Bing’er, do not worry. I will do my best to distinguish myself and gain merits for the country. No matter what, I will never marry Difuya. I like you more not because you’re more beautiful than her, but because your character is so much better than hers. In my heart, you are so much better than her, perfect to me. Bing’er, I love you.” Shangguan Bing’er’s brow quivered and she hugged him closer.
Zhou Weiqing stayed for almost 4 hours before leaving reluctantly. However, before he left, he passed the Spatial Ring to Shangguan Bing’er. After all, she would have to head to Fei Li Empire alone in a few months time, and he would feel better if she had Da Huang and Er Huang together with her for protection. After leaving Bing’er’s house, Zhou Weiqing returned home to bid his mother goodbye, before packing up his things, shouldering his Black Dawn Bow, and leaving the Heavenly Bow City towards the Fei Li Empire.
Zhou Weiqing’s current cultivation was a huge difference from the past, and as soon as he left the Heavenly Bow City, the eleven energy whirlpools from the Death Acupuncture Points he had broken through all started spinning at top speed, greedily drawing in energy from the atmosphere and replenishing his energy while he charged forth into the Stars Forest, taking a straight-line pat towards Fei Li Empire. At this time, six Death Acupuncture Points of the second portion of his Immortal Deity Technique had already been broken through.
The second portion of the Immortal Deity Technique were the eight Death Acupuncture Points on the back, and the ones that he had broken through were as follows: The Fei Shu Death Acupuncture Point at the 3rd section of the spinous process of thoracic vertebra, the Jue Yin Shu Death Acupuncture Point at the 4th section, Xin Shu Death Acupuncture Point at the 5th section, Jian Shu Death Acupuncture Point at the 2nd section of the spinous process of lumbar vertebra, the Ming Men Death Acupuncture Point between 2nd and 3rd portion, and the Zhi Shi Death Acupuncture Point which was 3 inches from the Ming Men Death Acupuncture Point. As compared to the ﬁve Death Acupuncture Points of the ﬁrst portion, the second portion’s Death Acupuncture Points were a lot worse, many of them can instantly cause death. In this two years, although Zhou Weiqing seemed to have cultivated extremely quickly, almost catching up to Shangguan Bing’er, but whenever he broke through a Death Acupuncture Point, it was a painful battle for life and death. Furthermore, the sheer pain he had to go through made him almost feel like ending his own life, torturing all his senses. Luckily, every time he broke through his Death Acupuncture Points, he had Shangguan Bing’er nearby to accompany him. When he was breaking through the Ming Men Death Acupuncture Point, the intense pain had almost made him go crazy and bite his own tongue off, and it was Shangguan Bing’er who shoved her arm into his mouth, and up till now, there was still the bite mark visible due to that incident.
The Immortal Deity Technique was simple to cultivate, and extremely fast, but the pain it brought was the drawback. However, its good points were also clear, currently with his eleven energy whirlpools spinning at the same time, Zhou Weiqing’s cultivation rate was many times faster than previously. Even though the amount of Heavenly Energy required was now much larger, but his cultivation rate had not slowed. The greatest beneﬁt was of course the sheer speed at which his energy regenerated; when using skills during battle, his energy reserves could last almost as long as his teacher Mu En, who was already at the 5th level of the Heavenly Shen Energy Stage. From there, you could tell how overpowered the Immortal Deity Technique was.
At the same time, as he broke through more Death Acupuncture Points, the stronger his Immortal Deity Shield was. With eleven energy whirlpools, the shield’s defense was much stronger. Since it was automatically triggered upon any attacks, he was nearly immune to any ordinary arrows by now.
“Fat Cat, I say, shouldn’t you turn big and let me ride you?” Zhou Weiqing tweaked the ears of the Little White Tiger which was nestled comfortably in his arms, snoozing.
“Wuu wuuu” Fat Cat gave a small cry, then ignored him, going back to rest.
Zhou Weiqing said exasperatedly: “You little thing, you can clearly grow bigger, and there is no one else around now. You better serve your master well now! These two years, I’ve fed you well, and even accompanied you to sleep every night, yet you’re still ignoring me! Hmph, be careful or I, Your Father, will beat you! Look at Da Huang and Er Huang, at least I can ride them, you’re so useless compared to them.” When it heard that, Fat Cat opened its eyes angrily, and gave two furious howls, as if saying How dare you compare me to those two stupid bears!
Alas, Zhou Weiqing could do nothing about Fat Cat. Ever since that day when this little fellow had saved them all, it had never turned big again. Although he said he fed it well, that was rather against his conscience. After all, these two years, that little thing had not ate or drank a single thing, nor had it grown at all, with the only difference being the change in its fur. By now, Zhou Weiqing had grown used to it being by his side, and playing and teasing it had also become a favourite past-time.
7 days later. Flying Hill City.
Rushing at his maximum speed, Zhou Weiqing easily made his way to the city as he was already familiar with the route. Previously, when he had entered the Heavenly Bow Unit, he had written to Huyan Aobo about his circumstances, lest his teacher think he was still in the normal army camp and went looking for him. After entering the Flying Hill City, Zhou Weiqing quickly headed to the little courtyard where Huyan Aobo stayed. However, before he could knock on the door, he heard a loud booming laughter sounding out in pride.
“Wahaha, hahaha! I, Your Father have ﬁnally succeeded after two years! Who says that only Zong Stage Consolidated Equipment Masters are able to create Socketing Scrolls! I, Your Father, have also succeeded! Wahaha, if not for the fact that I wasn’t a Heavenly Jewel Master, I would have long become a Zong Stage Consolidated Equipment Master!”
“Old Huyan, you really succeeded?” Another excited voice sounded out.
“Yes! I ﬁnally succeeded after two years. This little thing is even tougher to make than Consolidated Equipment Scrolls.”
Zhou Weiqing tapped on the door, thinking to himself: What did this Huyan Teacher make this time, to be so excited? Taking two years to create a scroll? That must be something good! Could it be for me? Heh Heh!
“Didn’t you see the sign at the door?” Huyan Aobo’s impatient voice came from within. Only then did Zhou Weiqing see a sign hung at the side of the door, on it was written: “Not selling Consolidated Equipment Scrolls.”
“Huyan Teacher, it’s me, Zhou Weiqing!” He could only shout out helplessly.
Strangely, as soon as he shouted that, silence descended upon the house. After a few seconds, the door opened and Huyan Aobo and Feng Yu’s surprised faces popped out. Huyan Aobo blinked at him and said: “Little Brat, have you taken up fortune telling?”
Chapter 35 – Socketing Scroll
Zhou Weiqing started, then said: “Huyan Teacher, you’ve gotten fatter! What do you mean I’ve taken up fortune telling?” Looking at the round Huyan Aobo, Zhou Weiqing asked curiously.
After two years apart, Feng Yu did not look any different, but Huyan Aobo clearly seemed older, with more white hair and black circles around his eyes.
Feng Yu said: “What he means is, your arrival was just too coincidental. He had just completed making a Socketing Scroll, and you, this little brat, arrived the next moment. Isn’t that some fortune telling?”
Zhou Weiqing beamed and said: “Is it for me? Huyan Teacher, I’ve already gotten my second set of Jewels, but I followed your instructions and did not Consolidate Equipment.”
Huyan Aobo lifted his hand and pulled Zhou Weiqing into the courtyard, while Feng Yu quickly closed the door. “Come in ﬁrst, then we’ll talk.” Zhou Weiqing followed the two into Huyan Aobo’s workshop, only to see it was messy with papers and unknown objects strewn all over the place; they were likely used for creating Consolidating Equipment Scrolls.
Zhou Weiqing saw Huyan Aobo’s mysterious and smug look on his face, and asked curiously: “Teacher, you’re already a Consolidated Equipment Grandmaster, did you need to be so happy about making a Consolidated Equipment Scroll?”
Huyan Aobo gave a humph and said: “What do you know! I, Your Father, did not create any ordinary Consolidated Equipment Scroll! Look!” As he said that, he lifted up his hands, and a small gold shard the size of a ﬁngernail appeared in his hands.
On ﬁrst glance, the round shaped gold shard did not seem impressive, but as Zhou Weiqing examined it closely, he couldn’t help but draw in a sharp intake of breath.
On top of the tiny gold shard, there were many thin and ﬁne lines and various etchings. They seemed to have some sort of rule about them, and there were even extremely tiny gemstones embedded in the midst of the etchings, with rubies, gold-green cat’s eyes, and even the Darkness Heavenly Jewel Masters’ black opals, as well as some other things Zhou Weiqing wasn’t familiar with.
On just that small gold shard, there were more than a hundred tiny gemstones embedded in a unique formation. Zhou Weiqing could sense that a strange energy wave was circulating in this gold shard. Even if he did not know the cost of the shard, just the exquisite craftsmanship alone was worthy of praise. “Teacher, such ﬁne craftsmanship, what is it for?” Zhou Weiqing looked up at Huyan Aobo.
Huyan Aobo held out his chest proudly and said in a smug tone: “That is called a Socketing Scroll. Do not be misled by its small size, it is worth a huge amount, or rather it can even be called priceless. Such a Socketing Scroll would be worth a minimum of a million gold coins in an auction house. The previous time you came, you saw three Consolidated Equipment Scrolls, and the price of the three of them added together would still be worth less than this Socketing Scroll! The cost of creating this alone took me 200,000 gold coins, and that isn’t even including the amount wasted over the two years, which is probably around 100,000 or more gold coins.”
Zhou Weiqing said curiously: “It looks very different from the previous Consolidated Equipment Scrolls!” Huyan Aobo gave a humph: “You ignorant brat, of course it’s not the same, that’s because it isn’t a Consolidated Equipment Scroll. A Socketing Scroll, as the name suggests, will allow you to create an additional socket on your current Consolidated Equipment.”
With your Overlord Bow as an example, it originally has one socket, which means you can only socket a single Elemental Jewel. With this Socketing Scroll, you can add another socket, allowing you to socket two Elemental Jewels. With that, when you attack, you will be able to activate two Elemental Skills… That effect of that, you shouldn’t need me to describe more right? This is even more useful for a little brat like you who has so many elemental attributes, and having a second socket on an equipment is worth at least ten times more than the ﬁrst socket.
Zhou Weiqing asked curiously: “Why don’t you just create the equipment with two sockets then?”
Huyan Aobo looked at him with a complicated expression on his face, saying: “Do you think I haven’t thought of that? It’s just that I am not able to do so. To create a 2 socket Consolidated Equipment Scroll, we need to be at least a Zong Stage Consolidated Equipment Master; that is to say, the minimum requirement is to be a Heavenly Jewel Master. I will never be able to do it, but I hope that you can do so in the future. Zong Stage Consolidated Equipment Master’s every creation is like a demi godly weapon, do you think they are so easily obtained?”
“Here, take this and use it on your Overlord Bow.” As he said that, Huyan Aobo passed the Socketing Scroll to Zhou Weiqing.
Zhou Weiqing was astounded, saying: “Teacher, this is way too valuable, I cannot accept it.” Although he had always felt that a disciple should take advantage of teacher, this Socketing Scroll was just too valuable. Not even counting the price of more than a million gold coins, just the fact that it had taken Huyan Aobo two whole years of labour to craft it, such was the value.
“You fool, don’t you understand? I, Your Father, created this specially for you. Otherwise, what did you think I spent so much time, energy and effort for? It’s not possible for me to become a Zong Stage Master, isn’t it much more relaxing and proﬁtable for me to create the ordinary Consolidating Equipment Scrolls?” Huyan Aobo said exasperatedly.
Zhou Weiqing’s eyes widened: “Teacher, you mean, you created this specially for me?” Huyan Aobo nodded and said: “Since I asked you not to Consolidate any other Equipment for your Physical Jewels, I still need to ensure that you have sufﬁcient self defence capabilities. As long as you add an additional socket to your Overlord Bow, even though it might not be equal to those demi godly weapons of a Zong Stage Master, but it will at least be close. Alas, I just do not have the vigour remaining to create another one, otherwise you’ll be able to have 3 sockets! Hmph!”
Taking in a deep breath, Zhou Weiqing’s gaze turned resolute, and with a loud *Putong* sound, he knelt in front of Huyan Aobo. Receiving the Socketing Scroll seriously, he said in a solemn tone: “I, Zhou Weiqing, swear by my Heavenly Jewels. In this life, no matter what price I pay, I will deﬁnitely become a Zong Stage Consolidated Equipment Master or higher and complete Huyan Teacher’s wish. If I fail to accomplish this, I will be punished by the Heavens!”
It’s a rather short release this time, the reason as stated below. I normally do not translate the author’s notes, but this one really touched me. I can imagine how much effort it takes to write a story day after day like that, just like how Huyan Aobo used his vigor and life energy creating that Socketing Scroll. I’m not sure how many of you watched Bakuman, but man, that really reminded me of the uncle from the show.
Hi, I’m San Shao’s wife, posting this chapter on his behalf. Extremely sorry that this chapter is much shorter than usual. This morning, he started having a fever. As it was his birthday, he refused to eat medicine. Alas, his temperature shot to above 39, so he took the medicine. After sleeping most of the day, he actually reached 43 degrees. Even while in a drowsy state from taking medicine, he still told me to remember to post the chapters at 5pm today. Earlier, I saw many of you friends and readers wishing him a Happy Birthday, and I thank you all on his behalf. Looking at him, my heart really hurts, this is his birthday after all! I apologise, my emotions are rather ragged today, but I really wish that you all can wish him a speedy recovery as well. It has been 7 years, and I’ve seen him writing like this everyday. In the past, he was extremely healthy, but now he is starting to get sick more often. Once again, apologies for the single short chapter today. I really do hope that he does write lesser, I’m sorry, if you must blame someone, do blame me instead… When Huyan Aobo said that he had spent two years creating the Socketing Scroll just for him, Zhou Weiqing felt an uncontrollable warm feeling welling up within him. Looking at Huyan Aobo’s clearly aged features and the dim light in his eyes, it tugged deeply at his heartstrings. He did not know how else to express his feelings, and so he knelt down in front of Huyan Aobo and gave a solemn oath. This time, he was a hundred percent sincere, and did not have any sly thoughts in his mind.
Huyan Aobo started a little, a strange gleam in his eyes. However, a moment later, he sighed and helped Zhou Weiqing up. “Little Wei, I’m actually very conﬂicted in my heart. To be honest, I really do want you to learn from me and to become a Zong Stage Consolidated Equipment. However, I’m also afraid that by doing so, it will ruin your future. With your talent, you can be an unbelievably powerful Heavenly Jewel Master… but if you spend so much time and effort on learning how to create Consolidated Equipment Scrolls, I’m afraid…”
Zhou Weiqing did not expect that Huyan Aobo would warn him like that, saying exactly the same thing as what his future mother-in-law Tang Xian had said. With a smile, Zhou Weiqing said: “Teacher, it’s too late for that. I have already sworn by my Heavenly Jewels, and I will not be able to go back on my word. Furthermore, who knows if your disciple, I, am a genius at creating Consolidating
Equipment Scrolls as well? I can do both!”
Huyan Aobo shook his head helplessly, saying: “You, this little brat, are always so optimistic. I really hope you can keep that mentality when you start learning. If it were that easy to become a Consolidated Scroll Master, the price of the scrolls wouldn’t be so high. Come, use this Socketing Scroll ﬁrst, and we’ll start your lessons tomorrow.”
“Alright.” Zhou Weiqing lifted up his right hand and focused his will, and his Heavenly Jewels appeared. Of course, two sets appeared this time round, instead of the one that he had the last time he was here. On his right wrist, two pure Icy Jade Physical Jewels revolved, and with a quick ﬂash of light, the Overlord Bow appeared in his hand in a small cloud of icy mist.
The current Overlord Bow seemed a little different from its previous look; the entire bow seemed thicker and heavier, and the golden tattoos which were originally only on the body of the bow had now extended even to the bowstring. The now golden bowstring was extremely eye catching, with swirling light around the bow, causing it to seem even more domineering.
Indeed, as Zhou Weiqing got his second set of Heavenly Jewels, his Overlord Bow and all his Stored Skills all evolved once, and were considered ‘leveled up’. With so many Stored Skills for his ﬁrst Jewel, Hua Feng told him not to rush into Storing more skills for his second Jewel yet.
“So quick? Little Wei, what’s your cultivation level of Heavenly Energy now?” Feng Yu, who was standing at the side, was surprised by his having two sets of Jewels and couldn’t help but ask.
Zhou Weiqing gave a big grin and said: “Level eleven, just one more level and I’ll complete the Heavenly Jing Stage and breakthrough to the Heavenly Shen Energy Stage.”
As soon as he said that, he heard the sounds of two deep breaths, as Huyan Aobo and Feng Yu had shocked expressions on their faces. After the passage of two years, Zhou Weiqing was only 16 years old. To be able to cultivate up to his second set of Jewels in two years was already very good, indeed four levels in such a short time was already considered genius level. However, they truly had not expected that in such a short time he had raised seven levels to eleven! He was just 16 years old! He was just one step away from reaching the Heavenly Shen Energy, which for a Heavenly Jewel Master meant reaching the Zun Stage; and for Heavenly Jewel Masters it was also when they were no longer considered newbies.
Feng Yu muttered: “Old Huyan, I’m starting to think that letting Little Wei learn to create Consolidated Equipment Scrolls from you is a big mistake.”
Huyan Aobo gave a bitter smile and said: “I really do not know if it’s lucky for me to choose this little rascal as my disciple or not.”
While they were speaking, Zhou Weiqing had taken up the Socketing Scroll, and under Huyan Aobo’s directions, he circulated his Heavenly Energy into the scroll.
As soon as his Heavenly Energy entered the small gold shard, it lit up like a glittering gemstone, various colours shining and mixing, and a torrential energy seemed to surge like a wave through the room.
Huyan Aobo had a very serious look on his face as he waved his right hand, a layer of silver light expanded out from his body, enveloping Zhou Weiqing and preventing the energy from the Socketing Scroll from leaking out. After all, there were many Consolidating Equipment Masters living nearby, and if the energy from the scroll leaked out, it could attract unnecessary attention and cause trouble for them. “Press it to
the Overlord Bow, right about an inch above the original
socket.” Huyan Aobo cried out.
A ﬂash appeared in Zhou Weiqing’s eyes as he maintained his output of Heavenly Energy into the Overlord Bow and the Socketing Scroll, as he used his left hand to press the scroll to the bow according to Huyan Aobo’s instructions. In the instance when the two met, Zhou Weiqing shuddered, as did the Overlord Bow. Soon after, he could clearly see the Socketing Scroll melting into the Overlord Bow, and gradually a small socket formed in the corresponding position.
One of the reasons why the Socketing Scroll was so expensive was also because of its absolute success rate. Although it was extremely difﬁcult to create, it was rather easy to use, and was thus considered an extremely rare treasure. After all, which Heavenly Jewel Master did not want another socket on their Consolidated Equipment? If cultivation level of Heavenly Energy and number of Heavenly Jewels was the basic hardware of power, then Consolidated Equipment, Stored Skills would be the software. Hardware was extremely important, but often the software was key in determining the outcome of ﬁghts, especially in ﬁghts between Heavenly Jewel Masters of the same level.
When Zhou Weiqing felt that his Heavenly Energy had been drained by a third, he heard a soft *Ting* sound, and the entire Socketing Scroll had melded into the Overlord Bow, the thick gold light instantly enveloping the entire bow before spinning around. In the next instant, the Overlord Bow vanished, turning back into the Icy Jade Physical Jewel and returning to revolve around his right wrist.
“Done!” Huyan Aobo exclaimed with relief. Although he knew that in theory his Socketing Scroll was supposed to have a 100% success, it was only until it had actually succeeded that he was reassured. “After adding the socket, you will not be able to use the Overlord Bow for the next 3 days as it needs a period of recovery to complete the 2nd socket.”
Zhou Weiqing laughed heartily and said: “Thank you teacher!”
Huyan Aobo waved his hands and said: “You’ve traveled a long way, go and rest for now. I also need some rest for today.” As he said that, he walked towards his bedroom. Zhou Weiqing could clearly see that even with Huyan Aobo’s high level of cultivation, his steps were rather shaky. That showed how much energy and heart he had expended these two years.
Originally, Zhou Weiqing thought that with Huyan Aobo’s state of exhaustion, he would need to at least rest for a few days. However, early next morning, he was awoken by his teacher at dawn.
After a simple breakfast, Huyan Aobo led Zhou Weiqing to the simple room which he had stayed before. There was a small table with a bunch of materials on it. Zhou Weiqing thought to himself: This teacher sure is eager!
Huyan Aobo was clearly still not in a good state, clearly the day of rest was insufﬁcient for him to recover completely. “Little Wei, your talent is just too outstanding, especially with the Alexandrite Cat’s Eye with that mix of superb elemental attributes. Teacher does not want to waste too much of your cultivation time as well, so I hope that you will only spend 2 hours a day practicing making Consolidated Equipment Scrolls. We will begin your lessons today.”
As soon as he started talking about Consolidated Equipment Scrolls, Huyan Aobo looked a lot more energetic, with a light in his eyes. “Before I teach you how to create Consolidated Equipment Scrolls, let me ask you. Do you know what our personal Power Jewels are? Or perhaps, use a simple line to describe our Power Jewels.”
Zhou Weiqing thought for awhile and said: “Our Power Jewels are part of our bodies.”
Huyan Aobo smiled faintly and said: “You’re right. The Power Jewels are indeed part of our bodies. In fact, they are full of life, and aren’t just simple, dead jewels, no matter Physical Jewels or Elemental Jewels. When our Power Jewels Awaken, it is actually our inborn innate essence being unlocked, granting us the power. I’ll talk about Elemental Jewels later, and concentrate on Physical Jewels ﬁrst. To me, Physical Jewels are like the meat, bones or even internal organs of our body, or they can even be likened to an embryo. As for our Consolidated Equipment Scrolls, what they do is to let them grow into their ﬁnal form. It can be said that we are like an architect, inputting our designs into the Physical Jewel, allowing it to grow and form into their ﬁnal forms according to our designs, trying our best to let it best release its hidden potential. As for this design, it requires Spatial Energy to be input into the Physical Jewels, that is the reason why the very basis of Consolidated Equipment Masters is the Spatial Attribute.” “Do you still remember how excited I was when I knew you had both Spatial and Wind attributes? That is because the Wind Attribute will allow you to increase your speed, and it is also much more controllable than just the agility boost from
Physical Jewels, as you can control it with your will. As such, as long as you can successfully complete a Consolidated Equipment Scroll, you will always be able to do it with increasing speed, and you will be able to improve more with practice, and it is considered to have the effect of half the work, twice the effect.”
“When many Consolidated Equipment Masters train, they focus and get gridlocked in a rather common misconception. That is the endless chase to improve quality and ignoring speed. However, I personally feel that this method isn’t correct, as my view is that speed and quality are equally important. For example, even if you can make the best Consolidated Equipment Scrolls, but you only make one in your whole life, what use is that? Although the number of Jewel Masters are much lower than any other profession, but they are still substantial, and the requirement for Consolidated Equipment is just too huge. Many Jewel Masters aren’t able to Consolidate Equipment for all their Physical Jewels because they aren’t able to afford the scrolls.”
As he said up till there, Huyan Aobo’s voice turned stronger: “My dream is that one day, every Jewel Master will have enough Consolidated Equipment Scrolls to use…”
“Little Wei, now, let me start telling you the basics of creating a Consolidated Equipment Scroll…” BOOK 6 – FEI LI MILITARY ACADEMY
Chapter 36 Freak Amongst Geniuses
In a blink of an eye, a week had passed. Huyan Aobo had taught all the basics of creating Consolidated Equipment to Zhou Weiqing, including the various methods as well as a lot of basic information.
Creating Consolidated Equipment Scrolls required the usage of a special type of paper, and this paper was called Consolidating Paper, and the main ingredient in creating that paper was the nucleus core of a Zong Stage Heavenly Beast. Of course, one nucleus core could be used to make more than ten thousand sheets of Consolidating Paper after being ground to dust, as each sheet only needed a small amount. The dust had to be combined with Cat’s Eye Jewels (that usually signiﬁed the Spatial Attribute in Jewel Masters) which also had been ground to dust, as well as several other rare and expensive items, in order to create the paper.
In general, the Consolidating Paper was usually only sold in some large cities, and a set of ten thousand of those would cost almost ﬁfty thousand gold coins. That was of course the price of the most basic ones, made from a Low level Zong Stage Heavenly Beast, and if it were from a higher level beast, the price would skyrocket higher. After having the Consolidating Paper, the next step would be to craft and draw out the design. To create a Consolidating Equipment Scroll, one had to ﬁrst design the equipment’s type, look, usage and various attributes. It could be said that this step was the most important step, and also an extremely
The ﬁnal step was of course the actual creation of the scroll, and it was also rather complex and required many intricate steps, of which the most troublesome was the blending of Consolidating Ink. Different Consolidating Equipment Scrolls would require different types and different blends of Consolidating Inks, which were usually a blend of Heavenly Beast blood, nucleus cores, various ground precious gemstones, ground herbs and various other precious materials. Just the numerous varied recipes and materials alone were almost countless.
Huyan Aobo was deﬁnitely a good teacher – he described in detail every step of the creation process of Consolidating Equipment Scrolls, and with some of his own simpler works as examples, he would show and tell the various design concepts, the theory behind them, how to blend the various Consolidating Inks and many other of the basics, ensuring that Zhou Weiqing understood the theory behind them instead of just memorising. After a week had passed, Zhou Weiqing had at least had a very basic understanding of how to create Consolidating Equipment Scrolls.
To Huyan Aobo, the blending of Consolidating Inks was actually one of the simpler steps, though troublesome. He himself had already mastered more than a thousand types of blending recipes, and within the next few years, Zhou Weiqing could slowly memorise and familiarise himself with them. The most important thing to learn now was the design, after all it was also the easiest to make mistakes on, as it was necessary to consider what Jewel Master was using the particular scroll.
Zhou Weiqing was deﬁnitely not stupid, but with such a vast and constant inﬂow of information, he felt as if his brain was always in a half dazed state. Luckily, he was not a person who dwelled upon things he couldn’t control, and he just tried his best to understand and absorb all the design concepts that Huyan Aobo was teaching him. After all, as Huyan Aobo said, he did not need to rush to memorise all the various blending recipes of Consolidating Inks now, as he could always slowly memorise them in the future. However, design was key, and some of the more intricate details were much better to be learned under the tutelage of a good teacher now, than him having to puzzle it out himself in the future. “Little Wei, over the past few days, I have taught you many things, and it will take you quite a while to digest it all. From today onwards, we will add an additional 4 hours of practice time. After all, you will be able to learn and digest everything quicker as you try out creating the scrolls yourself, as only
when you experience it and practice, will you be able to feel and perceive everything for yourself. One of the most important factors for us Consolidating Equipment Masters is the success rate of our creations. With my current standards, even when creating the most basic Consolidating Equipment Scrolls, my success rate is only about 30%. Do you know what is the signiﬁcance of success rate?” When Huyan Aobo was
teaching Zhou Weiqing, he was always deadly serious, and
could be deﬁnitely considered a strict teacher.
Zhou Weiqing immediately replied: “The signiﬁcance is money. Every sheet of Consolidating Paper wasted is 5 gold coins wasted. If we include the cost of the Consolidating Ink, that would be almost a dozen gold coins wasted in total.”
Huyan Aobo nodded in satisfaction, he was indeed a miser after all. “That’s correct. Every failure is a huge loss in gold, time and energy. As such, when you are creating the scrolls, you must have your full focus and concentration, even on every tiny detail. During this period, you should be at the peak for your spiritual energy and do so with your utmost enthusiasm, where the Consolidating Equipment Scroll is your everything.” Atop a table, there lay a sheet of Consolidating Paper spread out to reveal various lines and traces emanating energy, coming together to form a detailed design. This design was what Zhou Weiqing had created yesterday, and it was of a shield, done with Huyan Aobo’s Xuan Wu Shield as a base
design, and was mainly focused on defence. After the design
had been outlined and completed, the actual creation process would be to use the Consolidating Ink coupled with Spatial Energy, to meld together with the Consolidating Paper and form the ﬁnal product of a Consolidating Equipment Scroll.
Zhou Weiqing picked up a weasel hair brush with a jade body, dipping it into the Consolidating Ink which Huyan Aobo had prepared for him. Taking a deep breath, he released his Heavenly Jewels, spinning his attribute wheel to the silver area, and focusing his full concentration on the Consolidating Paper before him, he slowly dipped the brush down.
This Consolidating Ink was a pale gold colour, and as he slowly circulated his Heavenly Energy into the brush, it quickly started emitting a pale silver glow. Zhou Weiqing followed Huyan Aobo’s instructions, moving his brush slowly and ﬁrmly, moving it across the paper with strength, following the design’s trace. Huyan Aobo stood behind him, staring at his work without blinking, a satisﬁed look in his eyes. Zhou Weiqing’s Physical Jewel was strength, and that helped keep his hands steady without any trouble, and that was an unexpected satisfying ﬁnd.
At this point, Zhou Weiqing had barely drawn less than an inch when he suddenly felt as if something unknown broke, and the originally glowing trace of the design suddenly dimmed and vanished. “Stop.” Huyan Aobo said solemnly.
Zhou Weiqing lifted his head and looked at him, confusion in his eyes.
Huyan Aobo said: “You’ve just started creating the scrolls. Remember, you must deﬁnitely go slow, to allow the Consolidating Ink to properly combine with your Spatial Energy, before fusing completely with the Consolidating Paper; only then can you continue going forward. At the same time, you cannot go too slow as well, or too much of the Ink will be left at a particular spot, ruining it. To Consolidating Equipment Masters, the most difﬁcult thing is to grasp the perfect timing, and this can only be done by countless of hours of practice, until it is ingrained in your muscle memory. Different Consolidating Ink and Consolidating Paper will have a different level and rates of fusion, and the feeling of the complete fusion is also different. You have only just begun on your journey of learning, and you do not need to rush things. Without at least ten thousand sheets of practice, you will likely not be able to succeed. You must be patient.”
Zhou Weiqing said with a heartbroken look on his face: “Just like that, one sheet of Consolidating Paper is wasted? That’s 5 gold gone in an instant! This is literally burning money! Teacher, I no longer think the price you set for your Consolidating Equipment Scrolls are expensive!”
Huyan Aobo gave a humph and said: “Did you think grooming and developing a Consolidating Equipment Master is that easy?! It’s all a matter of burning time and money. You still have four months together with me, and I hope that by the time you have to leave for the Fei Li Military Academy, you can at least succeed once in creating a basic Consolidating Equipment Scroll. Once you succeed, you just need to maintain practice everyday, and hopefully you can become a Low Level Consolidating Equipment Master within 3 to 5 year. The basics are extremely important, so you need to ensure you master them well. Do not worry about the materials, I will prepare them for you.”
Zhou Weiqing nodded, and though he couldn’t bear the thought of such waste, he threw the ruined paper to the side. From the other side of the table, he took a new sheet from the stack that lay there. Huyan Aobo said: “You just keep practicing slowly, I will call you when it is time to eat.”
“At least creating Consolidating Equipment scrolls will not be a complete waste of time in terms of training; although it will not help you improve your cultivation level, it is very good training in terms of cultivating your heart and spirit, and will also improve the control of your Heavenly Energy. As you practice creating Consolidating Equipment Scrolls, you will also ﬁnd that your control over your Stored Skills will be much ﬁner. Alright, you go ahead and practice, I’ll go rest ﬁrst.” Huyan Aobo was no longer young, and he still needed time to recuperate from his two years of painstaking effort.
After Huyan Aobo left, Zhou Weiqing started on his second attempt at creating a scroll. This time, he still failed after barely an inch of drawing, though the failure was due to him being too slow and causing the Ink to gather. He could actually distinctly feel the time taken for the Consolidating Ink and Paper to fuse, and Huyan Aobo had also pointed out the several points he needed to take note of, but when he was actually doing it and when he circulated Heavenly Energy into the brush, he found that it wasn’t as easy to control as he felt. Just like what Huyan Aobo said, it was a rather strange and profound feeling when the two fused. It could be said that almost every Consolidating Paper, even when made from the same nucleus core, had a very minute difference, but sometimes even those extremely minute differences could cause the entire creation process to fail.
Zhou Weiqing continued trying for the next seven sheets, all resulting in failure, and by now his entire forehead was coated in sweat. Due to an over concentrating and focusing of his spirit, his eyes were stinging.
Putting down the brush, he muttered to himself as he thought through his experience: “The grasp of the timing… perception… timing… perception… How can I use my perception to master the timing? That’s too difﬁcult, no wonder Teacher said it requires at least ten thousand sheets of practice before having the possibility of success. I’ll need to rest my spirit for a while, so I can focus properly once again, otherwise there’ll be even less chance of success.”
As he thought that, Zhou Weiqing just lay back onto the ground, releasing his Heavenly Energy and Jewels. As he rested, a sudden ﬂash of brilliance struck him.
Colourless… Time. Zhou Weiqing suddenly ﬂipped back up into a seated position, glee in his eyes. “That’s right! Isn’t the key to this the grasp of timing? If I can’t control the perception, then why not control the time directly. My 6th Attribute is Time after all!”
As he thought of that, excitement ﬁlled him. Since he had gained his second set of Jewels, the Absolute Delay Stored in his ﬁrst Jewel had evolved, but its effect was still paled in comparison to his other Skills. Its range had increased from 5 yards to 6 yards, as well as improved in terms of the control time. The only good point about the skill was that its cooldown was very low, being only 3 seconds. However, it did take up quite some Heavenly Energy, and with his current cultivation level, he could only use it 8 times in succession; with the recovery of the energy whirlpools, it was still only 9 times at max. With such a range and only a second delay, Zhou Weiqing had not found much use for it in battles, at least not yet. He had always felt that there wasn’t much of a point with just a second of delay. However, perhaps now it seemed like this skill would be extremely useful to him. In his previous failures, it didn’t even require a second of control, even half a second of control or less would have helped him pass that one inch distance. Having two sets of Jewels had another beneﬁt, he could use two different elements at the same time. To an ordinary Heavenly Jewel Master, that might not be something they could use, but to Zhou Weiqing who had six attributes, it was very useful. After having his second Alexandrite Cat’s Eye, he was able to use two skills of different attributes at the same time, for example: Time and Spatial.
How will I know if this works if I do not try? Experimenting was the only way to test the theory, and Zhou Weiqing eagerly took another sheet of Consolidating Paper, closing his eyes for a bit to focus himself, before beginning once again.
Like the previous times, his Spatial Energy entered the brush tip, and he started moving it along the pre-drawn designs. Very quickly, he reached the area where he had problems with the rhythm.
Absolute Delay. Without hesitation, Zhou Weiqing released his 6th Skill, causing a large amount of Heavenly Energy to be expended, but the brush in his hand was able to move according to his wishes, the previous problem area was thus instantly passed and completed with a ﬂourish, almost reaching three inches.
Looks good! Having completed this section, the Consolidating Ink gathered and solidiﬁed, shining with a dim glow, signifying that the portion had already been fused as according to the rhythm. Zhou Weiqing was delighted, but he could not be careless at this point. After all, it took just one mistake for the entire scroll to be ruined and all previous effort to go to waste.
Every sheet of Consolidating Equipment Scroll was formed by many countless lines and traces to form the design, and within each brush stroke of the portion, one could not stop at all or it would be totally ruined. However, after completing the portion in the brush stroke, one could stop to rest. After all, there was a limit to the Consolidating Equipment Master’s Heavenly Energy, and to complete an entire Consolidating Equipment Scroll required a large amount of Heavenly Energy.
Seeing that his idea was actually effective, Zhou Weiqing was delighted. He dipped the brush once more into the Consolidating Ink, continuing with the second brushstroke. The facts showed that the Absolute Delay’s control of time was a perfect ﬁt when infusing Spatial Energy into the Consolidating Equipment Scroll. Whenever the brush reached a critical point and he was unable to properly handle the rhythm and timing, Absolute Delay was able to allow him to control himself and complete the brushstroke.
Although this made his overall speed much slower, and also greatly increased energy consumption, it at least led him step by step towards success. Alas, this Consolidating Equipment Scroll ended up failing near the end as well. It had been reaching the last few brushstrokes and Zhou Weiqing had gotten too excited, forgetting to factor in the amount of Heavenly Energy expended, and had started on the next stroke too quickly. As such, he had not been able to use Absolute Delay at a critical period and the entire sheet of Consolidating Paper was ruined once more.
However, he was not depressed by that loss at all, and staring at the ruined sheet in his hand, he started laughing smugly. The ﬁrst time was always the toughest, and the pain was perhaps greater than joy this round. However, now that he had the experience under his belt… Heh Heh.
Sitting cross legged, Zhou Weiqing focused his attentions on his eleven energy whirlpools, spinning them at the max to recover his Heavenly Energy. When he was fully recovered, he started on a new sheet once again, and this time he was much more experienced. After all, failure was the mother of success, and this time he felt in a much better position; for some of the previous bottlenecks, he even felt he had a 20% chance of success Equipment Scrolls without using Absolute Delay.
Zhou Weiqing’s perception was indeed correct. When creating a Consolidating Equipment Scroll, the most critical period was the ﬁrst time. As long as one succeeded once and managed to feel and understand the timing and rhythm, it could only get easier.
However, in order to successfully complete his ﬁrst Consolidating Equipment Scroll, Zhou Weiqing did not dare to be careless. He once again made use of Absolute Delay for any possible bottlenecks; ensuring he had sufﬁcient rest in between to recover his Heavenly Energy three times.
At long last, the ﬁnal brush was complete. A bright silver glow shimmered around the faint gold Consolidating Ink as it fused with the Consolidating Paper. Instantly the entire sheet ﬂashed in a golden light as a faint energy wave appeared, as if the sheet of Consolidating Paper had come to life.
Zhou Weiqing stared blankly at the completed Consolidating Equipment Scroll in front of him, feeling an indescribable sense of accomplishment welling up within him, as if he had created life! Indeed, created life, he felt as if he had granted that sheet of Consolidating Paper life, turning it into a Consolidating Equipment Scroll!
Without hesitation, Zhou Weiqing picked up another sheet of Consolidating Paper. Taking a deep breath, he closed his eyes and went through the entire process of his previous success once again, before starting on the next sheet.
This time, he took his time, not making use of the Absolute Delay for every brushstroke, and only for the ones which he felt he deﬁnitely had no chance. Still, he actually managed to complete this second Consolidating Equipment Scroll in half the time of the previous one!
Once he completed the second sheet, he started on the third, then the fourth, and he got more proﬁcient with every successful completion of a Consolidating Equipment Scroll, and his speed grew faster and faster. After swallowing the black pearl, his senses were strengthened to far beyond that of any normal person, and that was extremely useful in the process of creating Consolidating Equipment Scroll. As soon as he felt something was amiss, he was able to instantly use the Absolute Delay to control it. This continued for the rest of the day, and besides a few times where he lost focus and failed, he actually managed to complete more than a dozen scrolls.
“Little Wei, it’s time for dinner.” Huyan Aobo’s voice rang out from outside. Although he was resting, his room was near enough to listen to Zhou Weiqing’s room, and seeing him practice without pause, he felt extremely satisﬁed.
Opening the door, Huyan Aobo entered the room, and as Zhou Weiqing looked up at him, he was given a huge shock. Zhou Weiqing’s eyes were streaked red, and his face was pale.
“Little Wei, you didn’t stop at all?” Huyan Aobo asked with concern, though his eyes were ﬁlled with pride and happiness. As a Consolidating Equipment Grandmaster, he was very clear that for a Consolidating Equipment Master to succeed, the most important thing was perseverance. Zhou Weiqing had only just started learning how to create Consolidating Equipment Scroll, and he was already so engrossed in it; as a teacher, he felt a sense of pride and satisfaction.
“It’s already time for dinner? That’s so fast!” Zhou Weiqing muttered to himself as he clambered up from the ground. All of a sudden, he felt the earth whirl around him as blackness threatened to invade his vision, and he stumbled backwards. Huyan Aobo quickly caught hold of him, circulating a strand of pure Heavenly Energy into Zhou Weiqing’s body. He was very familiar with such a condition, when the spirit was depleted and exhausted beyond the limits, and he had often lapsed into such a condition himself when creating
Consolidating Equipment Scroll. Helping Zhou Weiqing to lie down once again, he told him to rest, as that was the most important thing in such a condition.
Next, he randomly picked up one of the Consolidating Paper Zhou Weiqing had left strewn on the ground, hoping to see what progress his beloved disciple had made. Even if it was normal to fail all this while, he still wanted to see how much he had completed thus far; it was a good gauge of innate talent which was extremely important for Consolidating Equipment Masters.
“En?” As soon as the Consolidating Paper entered his hands, Huyan Aobo instantly felt that something was wrong. He was just too familiar with Consolidating Equipment Scrolls, knowing them just like the back of his hands, and the familiar energy ﬂow from the sheet made his ﬁngers tingle, and his eyes stared at the sheet in his hands, he was dumbfounded and silent for a moment.
“AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!” Feng Yu, who was sitting in the dining hall with his bowl, preparing to eat, was startled out of his seat by the sudden cry of shock, and with a quick ﬂash he had rushed to the room. “Huyan Old Man, what are you spasming about??” When he reached the room and saw that Huyan Aobo was alright, he couldn’t help but say angrily: “What’s wrong? Did you see a ghost?”
Huyan Aobo muttered to himself: “It’s scarier than a ghost. Look!” As he said that, he shoved the scroll in his hands into Feng Yu’s hands.
Feng Yu took the scroll and examined it closely, before saying casually: “It’s just an ordinary beginners Consolidating Equipment Scroll, what’s so special about it? Creating such an item, you still have the face to cry out loud?”
Huyan Aobo looked at him, then at Zhou Weiqing, speechless. Feng Yu could clearly see that this old friend of his had a twitching face, and all of a sudden, comprehension dawned upon him and his eyes widened as he exclaimed: “Wait… do you mean to tell me… this scroll… this scroll was done by him??!”
Huyan Aobo did not reply Feng Yu, instead rapidly picking up the various Consolidating Papers lying on the ground. Feng Yu also pressed closer, and together, the duo whose ages added up to more than a hundred years, looked at sheet after sheet of Consolidating Papers. As they did so, their expressions grew more and more colourful.
“This… is this for real?” As they ﬁnally ﬁnished looking at the last Consolidating Paper, Huyan Aobo almost collapsed onto the ﬂoor.
Feng Yu muttered: “If it isn’t you cheating, if it isn’t done by you, then it is indeed real. Besides the two of you, there aren’t any other Consolidating Equipment Masters. Huyan Old Man, I think you have really picked up a treasure this time.”
Under normal circumstance, when Huyan Aobo met with something exciting, he would laugh out loud heartily, just like when he created an extremely rare scroll. However, this time, he wasn’t even able to laugh, feeling a sense of weakness in his body.
“What happened to me? My head aches so badly.” At this moment, Zhou Weiqing slowly picked himself up from the ground. As a Heavenly Jewel Master, and having swallowed the black pearl, his physique and recovery rate was deﬁnitely at an ‘inhuman’ level. With two *swoosh* sounds, the two old men instantly surrounded him, and Huyan Aobo held out a shaking hand holding the Consolidating Equipment Scrolls, waving them before Zhou Weiqing and said: “Little Wei… are these done by you? You… you succeeded?”
Zhou Weiqing grinned and said: “Yup! I succeeded. That really felt good, just as if I was granting life to these Consolidating Papers. I’m almost addicted to that feeling! Ahhh, my head really hurts now though. Teacher, Senior Feng Yu, don’t stare at me like that! I know I’m a genius, but this genius is really hungry now. Huyan Aobo leapt forward, his large stomach bumping into Zhou Weiqing as he grabbed his shoulders. Huyan Aobo said excitedly: “How can genius describe you, you’re not a genius, you’re a freak amongst geniuses! Quick, tell me, how did you manage to do it? I can’t believe it, a person who has never created a Consolidating Equipment Scroll before can actually succeed after half a day of trying! Furthermore, with a success rate of over 60%!!”
“Teacher, it’s time to lose weight! Also, can we eat and talk, I’m really hungry!” Zhou Weiqing said helplessly. He was indeed famished, after a whole day of hard work and intense focus, where his Heavenly Energy had been drained and replenished several times over, and his vigor was totally drained; how could he not be hungry.
“Alright, alright, let’s go eat now. Even if you want to eat this fat body of teacher’s I will let you!” Huyan Aobo was almost dancing with joy now, waving the stack of completed Consolidating Equipment Scrolls, so excited that he didn’t even know what he was saying anymore.
If Mu En were here, he would deﬁnitely give Huyan Aobo this assessment: This old fellow, laughing until his chrysanthemum ﬂower has blossomed.
At the moment, Zhou Weiqing had a splitting headache, and he was still rather fuzzy. Hearing Huyan Aobo’s words, he subconsciously said: “Teacher, I don’t like to eat too oily foods.”
Huyan Aobo started, and Feng Yu had already burst out laughing. With Huyan Aobo’s normal temper, he would have sent a slap ﬂying over. However, this time, his hand raised up high but couldn’t land down; Zhou Weiqing in his eyes was more precious than a pot of gold!
After eating, Zhou Weiqing looked much better, having obviously recovered. Under Huyan Aobo and Feng Yu’s constant questioning, he told them about how he had succeeded. “What? Time? You actually have one of the three Saint Attributes, time?”
Zhou Weiqing asked in surprise: “Teacher, you know about the time attribute?”
Huyan Aobo said exasperatedly: “Even if I haven’t eaten pork before, I’ve seen pigs run before! Pretty much every experienced Jewel Master would have heard of the Saint Attributes.” As he said that, he sucked in a deep breath before saying: “Little Wei, don’t you know. In the Jewel Master world, as long as any Jewel Master appears with any of the Saint Attributes, even if it’s just a Elemental Jewel Master, he or she will be highly sought after by all the larger forces in the world. The Saint Attributes true power isn’t just on their combative strength, but they each also have some unique usages.”
Regarding the Saint Attributes, Zhou Weiqing had only heard Tang Xian mention them brieﬂy, and he did not know many details about them. Hearing Huyan Aobo mention them, he couldn’t help being curious and asked: “Teacher, so what are these unique usages of the Saint Attributes?”
Huyan Aobo said: “Let me give you a simple example. Each of the three Saint Attributes have their own unique innate skills. The Divine Attribute’s innate skill is resurrection, Spirit Attribute’s innate Skill would be glamour and hypnosis, while Time Attribute’s innate skill would be the control of time.”
“Wow! Resurrection?” Zhou Weiqing’s eyes widened as he exclaimed. “Doesn’t that mean the Divine Attribute should be the strongest?”
Huyan Aobo shook his head and said: “That’s not necessarily true, they each have their own strengths, and I am not certain myself. After all, the true profound mysteries of the Saint Attributes aren’t something that a mere Jewel Master of my level would know. Although the Divine Attribute has the resurrection innate skill, I have heard that there are many restrictions to it, and it isn’t as easy as you think.”
Taking another deep breath, Huyan Aobo’s little eyes were sparkling like two stars. “I have never imagined that one day, someone would actually have Wind, Spatial and Time attributes all by himself, and even more so that such a person would be my disciple! Little Wei, do you know? With your Time Attribute, as long as you master intricate control of time, then you have an advantage that no other Consolidating Equipment Master in the world has, that is, a 100% success rate! Furthermore, as long as you have enough Heavenly Energy to sustain yourself and sufﬁcient materials, given enough time you can deﬁnitely succeed in creating any Consolidating Equipment Scroll. Furthermore, as long as you successfully create one, you should be able to master it and continue creating them.”
“In addition to the increase in speed from the Wind Attribute, I cannot imagine any other person more suited to being a Consolidating Equipment Master.” Turning to Feng Yu, a strange note appeared in Huyan Aobo’s voice: “Seven days, in just seven days, he has done something that most ordinary low level Consolidating Equipment Masters aren’t able to do. The only thing he lacks now is knowledge, experience and sufﬁcient Heavenly Energy. All normal estimates are useless for him!”
“Before starting to teach him, I was worried he might take too long to learn and affect his cultivation. However, from now, I should be worrying that he learns too quickly, and this teacher will soon be useless to this little rascal.”
Huyan Aobo grabbed hold of Zhou Weiqing’s shoulder and said: “Little Wei, from today onwards, I ask that you spend the next four months focusing totally on training to be a Consolidating Equipment Master, and when you leave here, that should be the time that you graduate from my teachings. Everyday, you will only have 4 hours of rest, 8 hours to learn from me, and 12 hours to practice creating the scrolls. I want you to learn everything about Consolidating Equipment Masters in the shortest time possible, and hopefully become a low level Consolidating Equipment Master by then.”
“Yes!” A massive interest for the profession of Consolidating Equipment Master had been sparked within Zhou Weiqing as well. To anyone, to focus entirely on doing something, the most important thing was to have a sense of accomplishment, and to him now, that was deﬁnitely something he had in abundance.
Even Huyan Aobo did not realise currently that he was not just grooming an excellent Consolidating Equipment Master, but someone who would eventually surpass him… someone who would reach the heights of Consolidating Equipment Masters… someone who would be a human money printing machine. After all, with Zhou Weiqing’s speed and success rate of creating Consolidating Equipment Scrolls… Heh heh…
From that day onward, Zhou Weiqing’s schedule was packed to the brim. Everyday, Huyan Aobo was still able to get some rest after teaching him, but Zhou Weiqing only rested for 4 hours, including eating hours. Luckily, he had an extremely good physique, and his entire being was enjoying being immersed in the joys of the Consolidating Equipment Master profession.
Huyan Aobo did not try to pull up a seedling in the mistaken hope of helping it to grow, and did not jump the gun and allowing Zhou Weiqing to start creating high level Consolidating Equipment Scrolls. Instead, he instructed Zhou Weiqing to learn and practice every single one of the low level Consolidating Equipment Scrolls he had in his considerable memory. The mission he gave Zhou Weiqing was that before leaving for the Military Academy, he had to design and complete a set of 1000 Scrolls of all the 392 basic Consolidating Equipment Scrolls Huyan Aobo taught him.
As an experienced Consolidating Equipment Grandmaster, Huyan Aobo knew just how important establishing a strong foundation and good basics was. No matter how much of a genius Zhou Weiqing was, if he did not build a good foundation, he would never to go on to amount to great success. As such, although he transferred a considerable amount of knowledge to Zhou Weiqing, he stopped him from creating Mid Level Consolidating Equipment Scrolls and beyond.
According to Huyan Aobo, the higher level scrolls were all made up of mixing and matching of the basic scrolls, or could even be considered ‘leveled up’, more complicated versions of all the various basic skills. Even if Zhou Weiqing had the terrifying ‘cheating’ Time Attribute, if he did not have the solid foundation with a bedrock of basic skills, he would only amount to a copying machine, and not a creator.
4 Months Later. “Teacher, what will you be teaching me today?” Zhou Weiqing had an eager look on his face as he looked at Huyan Aobo. In these four months, he had noticeably lost a large amount of weight, going down an entire size, with sunken eyes and obvious dark circles around them. His skin was no longer the healthy bronze, but rather pasty and white after spending 4 months without seeing the sun.
However, if one examined closely, they would notice that although his body was abnormally fatigued, his eyes were much more brilliant than four months ago, ﬁlled with the desire for knowledge. In his mind, it was ﬁlled with the profound secrets of Consolidating Equipment Masters.
In the past four months, this pair of master and disciple had not left the house, one teaching and one learning with all their hearts and minds. Huyan Aobo, despite his miserly ways, had spent all his life savings buying Consolidating Paper and the various materials needed for all the different Consolidating Inks.
As for Zhou Weiqing, he had also managed to learn pretty much everything about the basics of Consolidating Equipment Masters, mastering the various knowledge and skills; from design, to creation, to memorising all the various Consolidating Ink Recipes, as well as other tips and tricks. “Today, we will not be learning anything else.” Huyan Aobo looked at Zhou Weiqing with a faint smile on his face. He was sitting cross legged in front of Zhou Weiqing; though of course his stomach was almost sagging to the ﬂoor.
Sensing the kind benevolence of his teacher’s eyes, Zhou Weiqing was rather surprised by Huyan Aobo’s words. “Not learning anything? But… Teacher, I have to leave for Fei Li City in just a few days, there’s no time to waste!”
Huyan Aobo smiled and said: “Haha… you little fool, Teacher no longer has anything left to teach you; I have already passed on everything I know to you in this four months. Although you still need a long period of time to digest all my teachings, and need a lot more practice, it is indeed true that I have nothing new left to teach you.”
Zhou Weiqing was stunned, and he could sense the complicated feelings from Huyan Aobo. “Teacher…”
Huyan Aobo said: “Little Wei, I was never ever able to become a Zong Stage Consolidating Equipment Master. Not because I didn’t have enough talent, or because I didn’t work hard enough, but because my cultivation level was never enough. My body and my Heavenly Energy was never sufﬁcient for me to create anything more than a single socketed Consolidating Equipment Scroll.”
“Creating a Zong Stage Consolidating Equipment Scroll has always been my dream, alas I was restricted by being a mere Elemental Jewel Master. However, you are different, you are a Heavenly Jewel Master, and not just an ordinary Heavenly Jewel Master, but one richly endowed by nature, with six elemental attributes, of which many are rare. I hope that even when you go to the Fei Li Military Academy, you still spend 2 hours a day on practicing to be a Consolidating Equipment Master. With your talent, 2 hours is more than enough.”
“In any case, you are leaving soon, and I have a gift for you.” euphemism for anus
Literal translation of an old proverb 没吃过猪⾁难道还没⻅过猪跑么. The basic meaning is usually to describe that although someone might not have experienced something / have something, but he has heard of it/ have some understanding of it. Basically in ancient times, pigs were often reared as food, but many of the poor would not be able to afford to eat pork, but they can easily see pigs running around Literal translation of 拔苗助⻓, basically meaning to spoil
something by excessive enthusiasm (descriptive of a person so impatient for success that he acts to destroy the very conditions upon which success depends).
Chapter 37 Legendary Consolidated Equipment Set
Zhou Weiqing started. “Teacher, you have given me so much already, how can I accept anything else from you?”
Huyan Aobo laughed and said: “Well, you can consider it an exchange instead then. In about 3 days time, you should have ﬁnished all sets of the 392 types of basic Consolidating Equipment Scrolls right? I’ll use this gift to swap with your 392 sets of scrolls. Your teacher’s life savings have been wiped out by you, if I don’t sell any scrolls, I’ll be destitute.”
Zhou Weiqing grinned and said: “How about leaving me a few? As you know, I’ll need to spend in the Fei Li City as well. Furthermore, I plan to Store some Skills on my second Elemental Jewel before leaving.”
Huyan Aobo laughed and said: “Little brat, you’re still haggling with me. Alright, I’ll leave you 10 sets, that should be sufﬁcient for your needs. Furthermore, I recommend you do not Store Skills in the Flying Hill City Skill Storing Palace, just head directly to the Fei Li City. It is after all the capital city of Fei Li Empire, and it has the largest Skill Storing Palace in the entire empire, and it is also the main headquarters. There should be much higher grade Heavenly Beasts there. With your
speed and success rates of creating Consolidating Equipment Scrolls, you are a human money-printing press, how can you be worried about not having enough money in the future? Alright, here is the gift.” As he said that, Huyan Aobo took off a necklace from his neck, handing it to Zhou Weiqing.
The necklace was glowing with a dim gold light, looking simple and unadorned. From a single glance, it was really old and unassuming, with only the round gold-green cat’s eyes jewel embedded in the middle being of value. However, it held a thick aura of spatial energy, and Zhou Weiqing guessed it would be a Spatial Object of some sort.
Teacher is giving me this necklace? The thought ﬂashed in Zhou Weiqing’s mind. After all, the nearly 400 sets of basic Consolidating Equipment Scrolls which he had created painstakingly were worth quite a bit. Although the scrolls were just basic low level ones, and even with 1000 of them they did not guarantee success in Consolidating, but it shouldn’t be any issue selling each set for 30000 gold coins. With so many sets, it would at least be more than 10 million gold coins, was that necklace worth that much?
Zhou Weiqing was not trying to quibble with Huyan Aobo about this exchange, but was only just curious about it. After all, Huyan Aobo had invested so much money and resources into him, just in terms of raw materials he had spent more than 6 million gold coins worth, wiping out Huyan Aobo’s savings. As Huyan Aobo had mentioned earlier, it wasn’t that easy to become a Consolidating Equipment Master, and in general even low level Consolidating Equipment Masters barely made money; as the materials were just too expensive. it was only until mid level Consolidating Equipment Masters or beyond where the income would start to pick up. Of course, often objects are valued according to their scarcity, and with the low numbers of Consolidating Equipment Masters, that also drove the price of low level Consolidating Equipment Scrolls up higher.
Huyan Aobo personally put the necklace on Zhou Weiqing’s neck and sad: “The gift for you is inside that necklace.”
Realisation dawned upon Zhou Weiqing; the necklace was just a container for the gift.
Huyan Aobo said: “Do you remember why I told you not to Consolidate Equipments for your second set of Jewels?”
Zhou Weiqing nodded and said: “You mentioned it was because of Consolidating Equipment Sets.” Huyan Aobo nodded and said: “That’s right, Consolidating Equipment Sets. The gift I have for you is a set of design drawings for a Consolidating Equipment Set. It’s value cannot be priced by mere gold. Little Wei, let me ask you, do you know how Consolidating Equipment Scrolls are classiﬁed?”
Upon hearing a test, Zhou Weiqing quickly sat up straight and said: “The classiﬁcation of Consolidating Equipment Scrolls are according to the levels of the Masters who create them. From low to high, they are – Low Level Consolidating Equipment Scrolls, Mid Level Consolidating Equipment Scrolls, High Level Consolidating Equipment Scrolls, Grandmaster Consolidating Equipment Scrolls, Zong Stage Consolidating Equipment Scrolls and ﬁnally God Tier Consolidating Equipment Scrolls. In terms of Consolidating Equipment Scroll Sets, they can be considered one level higher than their base; for example a Grandmaster Consolidating Equipment Scroll Set can be considered Zong Stage Consolidating Equipment Scrolls, but it has to be an entire set.”
Huyan Aobo nodded in satisfaction, saying: “You’re right. The gift I have for you is a set of design drawings for a Set of ten Consolidating Equipment Scrolls. These were designed by an extremely skilled God Tier Consolidating Equipment Master. However, when he ﬁnished designing this set, he had been overly exhausted, having spent all his life vigor in doing so, and had passed away. However, each design from a God Tier Consolidating Equipment Master is worth as much as a God Tier Heavenly Beast’s nucleus core.
Upon hearing the words God Tier Heavenly Beast, Fat Cat, which had been snuggled up next to Zhou Weiqing and snoozing away, moved slightly, opening its eyes and glancing at Huyan Aobo. At the same time, Zhou Weiqing also asked curiously: “Teacher, what is a God Tier Heavenly Beast? Is it stronger than a Zong Stage Heavenly Beast?”
Huyan Aobo gave a disdainful humph before saying: “In front of a God Tier Heavenly Beast, what is a Zong Stage Heavenly Beast? They cannot even be compared! As you know, when a Heavenly Jewel Master reaches 9 Sets of Jewels and the Zong Stage, he still has 3 more stages ahead of him. The Heavenly Jewel Master with a 10th Set is called a Heavenly King, with an 11th Set, Heavenly Emperor, and with the 12th Set, Heavenly God. The Heavenly Beasts also have a corresponding level.”
Zhou Weiqing was shocked and said: “Then the God Tier Heavenly Beast you mentioned is equivalent to a 12 Jewelled Heavenly Jewel Master?”
Huyan Aobo nodded slowly and said with pride: “Now, do you know what the 10 designs I am giving you represent? They aren’t just the designs, but also include the recipes of the Consolidating Ink required. most importantly, this set of God Tier Consolidating Equipment Designs are speciﬁcally created for Strength Attribute Heavenly Jewel Masters; and furthermore it is an entire set.”
Zhou Weiqing could only stare dumbfounded before he ﬁnally said: “God Tier design, and also a set? Since sets are considered one level higher, what kind of classiﬁcation is that?”
A gleam appeared in Huyan Aobo’s eyes: “In this world, we have a saying: Legendary. There are less than 10 Legendary Sets which have been passed down through the ages, of which I’m not sure which are even complete. Although I dare not say that ours is the one and only set, it is still a masterpiece from time immemorial. This great God Tier Consolidating Equipment Master is our great ancestor, the founder of our particular sect of Consolidating Equipment Masters. The reason why I hoped that you would one day become a Zong Stage Consolidating Equipment Master is because the minimum requirement for creating these Designs is exactly to be a Zong Stage Consolidating Equipment Master. Little Wei, this set of designs have been passed down through the ages from master to disciple, yet none of us have ever successfully created the entire set. Now, I am passing it to you in hopes that one day, I can witness you creating this Legendary Set.” Shock, a strong mind blowing shock reverberated in Zhou Weiqing’s heart, as he subconsciously lifted his hand to hold the necklace, as his breathing grew ragged and rapid.
Huyan Aobo said solemnly: “The entire set of 10 designs have been examined in detail and researched, and all of them have agreed that they are designed in sequence and should be created and used in sequence, from easy to hard. The ﬁrst 3 design drawings can be created by Zong Stage Consolidating Equipment Masters. While the fourth can still be created by a Zong Stage Consolidating Equipment Master, though it has to be backed up with the power of a Low Level Zong Stage Heavenly Master. The ﬁfth will require a Mid Level Zong Stage Heavenly Master, while the 6th requires a High Level Zong Stage Heavenly Master. The last four scrolls actually require a God Tier Consolidating Equipment Master, backed up by at least a Heavenly King level of power. Furthermore, that isn’t the most difﬁcult portion.”
Huyan Aobo’s last line almost made Zhou Weiqing puke blood, as he said in a quavering tone: “That’s not the most difﬁcult portion?? Then what is the most difﬁcult?”
Huyan Aobo said with a bitter smile: “The most difﬁcult thing is actually the sheer amount of rare and expensive materials needed for the Consolidated Ink required for this set of Scrolls. In fact, after looking at the materials required, I have pretty much lost the will to even collect them. This set of designs have been passed down through 1100 years, and have gone through 21 generations of master disciple Consolidating Equipment Masters. However, out of them, only 4 of our ancestors who had reached the Zong Stage Consolidating Equipment Masters attempted to create this, and of them all, only one actually succeeded. Furthermore, he only managed to create a single scroll before wiping out his life savings. Even with the Zong Stage Consolidating Equipment Scrolls having a ten percent success in Consolidating, but just a single one isn’t much of a use, and has always been stored in this Spatial Necklace ever since.”
Zhou Weiqing drew a cold breath as he said: “Teacher, does that mean that over the past thousand years, of all our ancestor teachers, besides our Founder, there haven’t been any other God Tier Consolidating Equipment Masters?”
Huyan Aobo said exasperatedly: “Did you think that God Tier Consolidating Equipment Masters are cabbages that grow on the roadside? Did you think they appeared that easily? In our three thousand years of Consolidating Equipment Master history, there have only been about a dozen or so God Tier Consolidating Equipment Masters recorded, of which, all of them have been famous names. For our sect, only the honoured founder who designed this Legendary Set was a God Tier Consolidating Equipment Master. After which, there has only been one other person who has the chance of becoming a God Tier Consolidating Equipment Master.”
Zhou Weiqing asked: “Who is that?”
Huyan Aobo looked at him steadily before saying: “It’s you.” Zhou Weiqing started. “Me?”
Huyan Aobo said solemnly: “Yes that’s right, it’s you. Not even the great founder’s innate talent was comparable to yours. Do you know how long I took to complete all 392 sets of beginner Consolidating Equipment Scrolls?”
Zhou Weiqing shook his head.
Huyan Aobo said: “Ten years, it took me a whole ten years, and I was praised by my teacher for being a genius. If not for the fact that I was restricted by not being a Heavenly Jewel Master, I would deﬁnitely have been able to become a Zong Stage Consolidating Equipment Master. However, what about you? You took a mere four months to complete what I did in 10 years. The set of basic Consolidating Equipment Scrolls is actually the most important test for our sect of Consolidating Equipment Masters, and we are only considered graduated once we have completed this test. That means, having done so, you have actually already reached a Mid Level Consolidating Equipment Master. Taking four months to train into a Mid Level Consolidating Equipment Master, that is unprecedented in the entire history of Consolidating Equipment Masters, and you are indeed unique in that sense.”
“In the past, this set of design drawings were passed down to disciples only when the Master was about to pass away. However, I feel your talent is just too great, and I truly believe that it will be able to be used to its maximum capabilities in your hands. As such, I am passing it down to you now. I hope that in the future, you will be able to create this set and use it for your own Physical Jewels Consolidated Equipment. If in the future, you ever do complete this set, then you will be the ﬁrst Consolidating Equipment Master with a full Legendary Set.”
Zhou Weiqing said: “Teacher, hasn’t anyone else been able to use a full Legendary Set before?”
Easily found/common Huyan Aobo sighed and said: “Yes there are, but those are the combined efforts of several God Tier and Zong Stage Consolidating Equipment Masters, and not a single one. Furthermore, this is the ﬁrst time there has been a Legendary Set consisting of 10 pieces. In the past, our Founder was too proud and wanted to aim for something that had never been done before, otherwise he would probably not have created such a Legendary Set that is just so difﬁcult to create.”
Huyan Aobo’s words caused Zhou Weiqing’s heart to race in excitement. Indeed, as compared to traditional Heavenly Jewel Masters who Consolidated Legendary Sets, he had a huge advantage. Whether or not he could become a god tier Consolidating Equipment Master, he would at least be able to save an immense amount of materials. After all, for him, a single scroll was sufﬁcient to Consolidate Equipment; thus saving a large amount of Consolidating Ink.
Just like the current single scroll they had, to others it was perhaps of not much use, but to him, it was sufﬁcient to guarantee success. Huyan Aobo stood up and said with a faint smile: “Alright, you’ve gone through a lot these few months and must be exhausted. You will be leaving in a few days, so you should get a good rest as well. Completing the last few sets of basic scrolls is important, but my precious disciple’s body is just as important. You should cultivate your Heavenly Energy while resting, that will aid in your body’s recovery as well.”
After Huyan Aobo left, Zhou Weiqing gave a bitter smile. Cultivate Heavenly Energy? He really didn’t dare to focus too much on his cultivation any longer. After staying the Flying Hill City for four months, although most of his time had been spent focusing on creating Consolidating Equipment Scrolls, however, that required him to use an immense amount of Heavenly Energy, nearly draining himself, before recovering and repeating the process once again. That, in itself, was a method of cultivation. Furthermore, his Immortal Deity Technique was different from other cultivation techniques, and even if he did not focus on cultivation, it would still improve on its own. During these four months, he was unexpectedly closing in on the maximum point of his level, and he did not know when he would have to breakthrough the twelfth Death Acupuncture Point.
However, the sheer pain from breaking through Death Acupuncture Points had left a shadow in his heart. Furthermore, with Shangguan Bing’er not by his side, he did not dare to breakthrough the Death Acupuncture Points, fearing that he would not be able to withstand the pain. Even with her by his side, the previous times he had barely been able to get through it, and his character was originally already afraid of pain and death. As such, he naturally did not want to focus on cultivating now, and he would only do so after reaching the Fei Li City and reuniting with Shangguan Bing’er. As such, he decided to complete the last 3 sets of basic
Consolidating Equipment Scrolls.
Over the next few days, Zhou Weiqing slowed down the speed and length of time he used to create the scrolls, ensuring he got sufﬁcient rest. Just like that, in a blink of an eye, the three days had passed, and when night fell, he had ﬁnally completed the last sheet of Consolidating Equipment Scrolls.
A dim green light surrounded his body as the brush tip ﬂowed in a silver light. At this moment, the two Elemental Jewels at his right wrist was glowing silver and green respectively, representing the Spatial and Wind attributes he was using. Under the two attributes, his movements were like ﬂowing water across the surface of the Consolidating Paper. He had already created nearly a thousand of this particular design, and was already very familiar with it, and as he ﬂourished the last brushstroke, the ink and paper melded perfectly in a dazzling ﬂash of gold light. Completion! “The 1000th scroll! Hahaha! I’m ﬁnally done!” Zhou Weiqing threw the brush in his hands, falling backwards, and lying down without a care about his looks. As he fell back right in the middle of the room, he greedily took in gulps of air as he ﬁnally relaxed.
Finally, he had completed all 392 sets of basic Consolidating Equipment Scrolls! 4 months of non stop effort and focus, he had ﬁnally succeeded. A sense of accomplishment ﬂooded his heart, and he felt a sense of relaxation he had never felt before as his tense muscles relaxed. The events of the past four months scrolled past in his mind as he lay on his back, thinking.
Closing his eyes, Zhou Weiqing could clearly feel the blood circulating in his body, and he felt as if he did not even want to move a ﬁnger, just lying there comfortably.
The vision blurred before him as his whole body relaxed, as exhaustion ﬂooded every cell of his body, his breathing steadied and he slowly fell asleep there.
After an unknown amount of time, the cute little white tiger Fat Cat, which had been sleeping beside Zhou Weiqing snuggled up to him, suddenly stood up. Its pale purple eyes were excited, as they focused on Zhou Weiqing, as the ‘King’ tatoo on its head seeming to move a little. All of a sudden, it seemed to discover something, jumping to Zhou Weiqing’s head and placing its front paw onto Zhou Weiqing’s face and pushing at him, all the while giving out a low roar.
“Stop it, Fat Cat.” Zhou Weiqing turned around lazily and pushed it aside, settling back to sleep. However, it insistently jumped back to the other side and continued pushing his head.
This time, Zhou Weiqing woke up a little. “Eh? Why is it so hot.” He furrowed his brow, pulling at his shirt. However, the next instant, his eyes shot open wide in surprise.
With a soft *poof* sound, Zhou Weiqing’s clothes almost disintegrated into dust, surprising Fat Cat which was beside him, and causing it to roll a few yards away.
Just an instant ago, Zhou Weiqing was deep in sleep, but right at this point, his entire body was bathed in cold sweat, a sense of terror invading his heart. The black tiger tattoos sprang back onto the surface of his skin like magic, seeming to ripple like a shockwave around his body. The Heavenly Energy within his body seemed to surge forth like boiling water, raging turbulently throughout his body, heading towards the 3rd section of the spinous process of his lumbar vertebra, targeting the Qi Hai Acupuncture Point, which was the 7th Death Acupuncture Point of the second portion of the Immortal Deity Technique.
What Zhou Weiqing had feared the most had happened after all. Just half a year had passed since he had last broken through the 6th Death Acupuncture Point, and in this last four months, although he had not focused on cultivation, the incessant usage of Heavenly Energy had caused his energy whirlpools to spin at max speeds in drawing energy in replenishing his constantly drained reserves. As such, although he did not attempt breaking through his Death Acupuncture Points, his Heavenly Energy had already reached its maximum capacity. Previously, when he had completed the ﬁnal scroll, his consciousness had relaxed totally and falling asleep, he had forgotten to continue controlling his Heavenly Energy. As his Heavenly Energy circulated naturally, they reached their ‘limit’ and started circulating savagely and automatically breaking through his next Death Acupuncture Point.
Fat Cat had felt something wrong with his body which was why it started trying to wake him up. Under no preparation, the surging Heavenly Energy charged forth towards his 12th Death Acupuncture Point.
“Damn! Isn’t this forcing a young girl into prostitution?” Zhou Weiqing cried in grief and indignation in his heart. At this time, he wasn’t even able to call out as the surging Heavenly Energy had torn away from his control, forcing its way towards the Qi Hai Acupuncture Point, like a slowly advancing army.
As the second portion of the Immortal Deity Technique had the Death Acupuncture Points all situated at the back, as such, as his Heavenly Energy advanced towards the Qi Hai Acupuncture Point, it passed by the previous six Acupuncture Points on the back, and every time it passed through one, the Heavenly Energy would be boosted by the energy whirlpool and become wilder and more frenzied, and it seemed to be an unstoppable advance.
By now, Zhou Weiqing felt as if his spine was like a red hot rod, feeling an unbelievable pain! How many nerves were there in the spinal vertebra? They were all being jarred by the terrifying surge of Heavenly Energy, and such a feeling was deﬁnitely not for humans. He was almost unable to stand the pain, his body writhing on the ground uncontrollably, each time he shuddered, the black tattoos on his body seemingly growing more obvious, and the muscles on his body seemed to grow larger, the veins under his skin bulging out obviously. As he writhed on the ﬂoor, the sheer pain caused his Demonic Change state to activate, but even under that state, he was still disabled by the agony, the only change being the increased recovery, which actually seemed to make the agony even worse.
The Qi Hai Acupuncture Point was one of the most important Death Acupuncture Points in the entire body, the main reason was because it was where the Heavenly Energy was usually stored. The Qi Hai was at the Dantian, and that was where the Heavenly Energy coalesced! Currently, all his Heavenly Energy was rushing in front every other part of his body, charging down towards the Qi Hai Acupuncture Point. Zhou Weiqing believed that if not for the Demonic Change state regenerating his meridians; if not for the improved physique and toughness he had after swallowing the black pearl, his Qi Hai and Dantian would have already exploded by now.
At this moment, Zhou Weiqing was cursing the creator of this goddamn Immortal Deity Technique, insulting all his ancestors down 18 generations. Alas, he could do nothing but watch as the raging Heavenly Energy headed down slowly, reaching his Qi Hai Acupuncture Point.
“Come then, if I had to die then so be it.” The intense agony caused him to go crazy; at this time his heart was longing for Bing’er, such a crazed longing that was unbelievably intense. If only Bing’er was at my side… *BANG*! His Heavenly Energy was like the ocean with many rivers ﬂowing into it, and it ﬁnally reached the Qi Hai Acupuncture Point. As his Heavenly Energy was already long maxed, as soon as it entered the Qi Hai Acupuncture Point, it broke through almost instantly.
Zhou Weiqing felt as if something exploded apart in his body, although his Dantian did not disintegrate directly, holes were torn into it by the explosion. The raging Heavenly Energy did not stop there, continuing on towards the rest of his body, causing his entire skin to erupt with a layer of blood.
*Peng* The door was knocked open, and Huyan Aobo and Feng Yu rushed in. However, as soon as they entered the room, they halted in shock. Zhou Weiqing’s current situation was just too horrifying.
His entire body was covered with a layer of blood, his muscles torn and veins rippling, while the black tiger tattoo was thick and obvious around his body, seeming to move constantly, while a thick Heavenly Energy surged uncontrollably within his body.
In Huyan Aobo and Feng Yu’s eyes, something had clearly gone wrong with Zhou Weiqing’s cultivation. Qigong Deviation!, Both of them stared in shock at Zhou Weiqing. With their own cultivation level, they could clearly feel that his Heavenly Energy was raging through his body wildly. “What… what’s going on?” Huyan Aobo’s face was red with urgent worry, almost charging forward to help. However, he was quickly held back by Feng Yu.
Direct Translation – basically meaning being forced into a corner
Qi Hai literally means Qi Ocean
Direct translation of an idiom 海纳百川 – pretty much as translated, just that it’s rather awkward in english
⾛⽕⼊魔 (Zuo Huo Ru Mo) which is a very common term in wuxia/xianxia, meaning something terrible going wrong during cultivation, causing problems with consciousness or even the mind. Alas, there is no direct english translation as the normal/original meaning could actually just be being obsessed with something, or even being possessed. “Stop! Don’t go there, we can’t do anything.”
“Little Wei’s Dantian has broken. If we try to use Heavenly Energy to help him, it will just have the reverse effect and make things worse.” Feng Yu’s brow furrowed tightly, a vein clearly throbbing on his temple.
Huyan Aobo said angrily: “But… we can’t just watch him die like this! How could this be… how could this be?! It’s all my fault, I kept chasing the poor boy to work so hard… if not he wouldn’t have lost control of his cultivation and entered qigong deviation.
Just as they stood there not knowing what to do, the little white tiger which had been thrown aside by Zhou Weiqing earlier suddenly pounced on him.
The originally tiny body expanded suddenly in mid air, turning into a huge white tiger once again. As it landed down, its front paws landed directly on Zhou Weiqing’s shoulders, its huge body pressing down and preventing Zhou Weiqing from struggling. The sudden transformation of Fat Cat gave Huyan Aobo and Feng Yu a shock. Feng Yu was about to launch an attack, but this time he was stopped by Huyan Aobo. “Don’t move, it’s helping Little Wei.”
A bright white light emitted from Fat Cat’s body, covering Zhou Weiqing’s entire body, while its huge tiger’s head faced Zhou Weiqing directly, using its considerable weight and strength to hold down his four limbs. At the same time, its body had been stained red by the blood mist emitting from Zhou Weiqing.
The deep blue ‘King’ tattoo on Fat Cat’s head seemed to light up as it slowly lowered its head, pressing it down onto Zhou Weiqing’s head, causing their ‘King’ tattoos to meet. A thick white mist was breathed out through its mouth, wafting into Zhou Weiqing’s oriﬁces as the white light enveloping Zhou Weiqing’s body seemed to seep into his pores.
Zhou Weiqing did not even feel the pressure that Fat Cat put on him, all he felt was a sudden sense of cool and refreshing comfort ﬁlling him, and it was as if his torn dantian was stoppered up somehow. Slowly, the pain was being reduced by the cooling feeling. Maniacal bloodlust, evil, all sorts of negative emotions welled up within him, but at this moment, he was being suppressed down by Fat Cat and was totally unable to move. Slowly, the raging Heavenly Energy was calming down with the inﬂuence of the white mist, and the normally gaseous form of the
Heavenly Energy was starting to condense into small drops of liquid, slowly ﬂowing in his meridians like mercury.
Perhaps, even without Fat Cat’s help, Zhou Weiqing might have been able to get through this himself, after all his body’s recovery rate was just too strong. However, across these last four months concentrating so hard on creating Consolidating Equipment Scrolls, it had been much too taxing on his spirit. Furthermore, after experiencing such pain, it almost caused his entire consciousness to collapse and him to go crazy; if that happened, even if he successfully broke through the 12th Death Acupuncture Point, he would perhaps become a retard or even a vegetable! It was because Fat Cat realised that such a possibility might occur that it took action.
However, very quickly, panic entered Fat Cat’s eyes as it realised Zhou Weiqing’s body was starting to produce an extremely strong suction force, greedily drawing in the white mist it had released. This was even more so at both their foreheads, and now when it tried to break free, it wasn’t able to do so. The bloodshot look in Zhou Weiqing’s eyes grew deeper. In Fat Cat’s heart, it was thinking: Bastard! I’m saving his life and he is Devouring me. Bastard! Although it knew that Zhou Weiqing had deﬁnitely lost consciousness by now and was doing all of that subconsciously, it was still in grave danger. After all, in this process of Devouring, they would not be able to control their energy and if it got beyond Zhou Weiqing’s control, not only would Zhou Weiqing Devour too much energy and self implode, Fat Cat would also be drained dry, just
like those Forest Direwolves previously.
Without any alternative, Fat Cat’s eyes ﬂashed in a bright purple light, and the two beams of purple light pierced into Zhou Weiqing’s bloodshot eyes. A strange sound emitted from its mouth, rising up and down in measured tones as if intoning a unique language.
After his bloodshot eyes were pierced by the purple light, Zhou Weiqing’s body shuddered, and the Devour Skill actually stopped automatically. The next moment, a thick blood light seeped from his body, mixing with the white light surrounding Fat Cat which had turned a purple hue.
The purple and blood red colours mixed together, forming a strange symbol. The symbol seemed to resemble those used in music scores, and when it was formed, both Zhou Weiqing and Fat Cat’s bodies shuddered simultaneously, both breathing out at once as if something was being expelled from their bodies, coalescing in the air and converging onto the reddish purple symbol.
In a ﬂash, the symbol turned golden, causing the entire room to be lit up in a bright, resplendent gold, seemingly focused on their bodies. All of a sudden, the symbol split into two once more, and when Fat Cat lifted up its head, the two halves shot forth into Fat Cat and Zhou Weiqing’s foreheads, right straight into their respective ‘King’ words on their forehead.
As that happened, Feng Yu nudged Huyan Aobo, asking: “Huyan Old Man, do you know what’s going on?”
Huyan Aobo shook his head in confusion, saying: “I do not know, I’ve not even heard of such a thing. However, it does seem like an ancient ritual. Little Wei’s tiger seems to have a very strange aura.” Stopping suddenly, he and Feng Yu exchanged sudden startled looks. They were able to see the shock in each other’s eyes.
Feng Yu’s expression had changed, and his emotions were obviously nervous and uptight. “Do not say anything, or it will bring us huge trouble. No matter what, this can only be a good thing for the current Little Wei. He should be ﬁne, let’s go right now.” At this point, a name had popped up in Feng Yu and Huyan Aobo’s hearts, a name that they dared not even mention out loud.
As Huyan Aobo and Feng Yu left the room, the gold brilliant slowly dimmed as well. Fat Cat seemed to have expended all its energy, as it collapsed onto Zhou Weiqing, its eyes closed as if it had fainted.
Zhou Weiqing was in exactly the same condition, feeling a splitting headache. Earlier when the symbol had entered his forehead, he had felt as if his brain had been pierced through savagely by a sharp needle, and after the sharp spike of pain, he had blacked out.
Of course, Zhou Weiqing lapsing into unconsciousness did not affect his body’s changes. The Heavenly Jewels on his wrists lit up, slowly splitting up. As his Heavenly Energy broke through the 12th level, it slowly condensed from gaseous form into liquid form, and this was a lengthy process. This was also the process where his two sets of Jewels evolved into three, with sufﬁcient Heavenly Energy coalescing into a new set of Jewels.
Zhou Weiqing had ﬁnally completed one of the four great Stages of cultivation, the ﬁrst Stage of Heavenly Jing Energy, entering the Heavenly Shen Energy Stage which signiﬁed the liquid form of Heavenly Energy. From this point onwards, he was no longer a novice Heavenly Jewel Master, having left the ranks of the newbies and was now considered relatively strong!
The black tiger tattoos on Zhou Weiqing’s body were constantly moving, while the mercury-like Heavenly Energy in his body was also moving slowly but constantly. The freshly broken through Qi Hai Death Acupuncture Point had formed a huge energy whirlpool, which was even larger than any of the previous eleven. No only did it greatly increase the amount of energy absorbed from the atmosphere, it had soon become the central point of the other eleven energy whirlpools.
Zhou Weiqing’s body was slowly being evolved and reconstructed again by the mercury-like Heavenly Energy. The process of breaking through from Heavenly Jing Energy to Heavenly Shen Energy, from two Jewels to three Jewels, was a major jump in quality for Heavenly Jewel Masters.
After an unknown length of time, Zhou Weiqing ﬁnally awoke. His body convulsed a little as he did so; in his memory, just before he lapsed into unconsciousness, he was suffering an intense agony, and when he awoke, that was the ﬁrst thing he remembered. Ahhh… so comfortable. A sudden sense of great strength ﬂooded his body, and a indescribable comfort eased his heart, and he quickly came to his senses.
Just as he was about to stretch his body and get up, he realised he was being held down by something. Blinking, he was greeted by the site of a huge tiger’s head.
Fat Cat was also awoken by Zhou Weiqing’s convulsions, and was now staring at him without blinking. Zhou Weiqing could see the sorrow and anger in its eyes.
As his memory slowly returned, he seemed to vaguely recall that it was Fat Cat who had helped him through the most difﬁcult time. “Ooof! Fat Cat, it’s time for you to lose weight. Get down, I’m being squished out of breath by you!”
Roar– Fat Cat gave a low roar, gaping its jaw wide and revealing its eerily sharp teeth. It felt like biting down once and for all, ending this rascal’s life, but it couldn’t bring itself to do that now. Originally, it had followed Zhou Weiqing in order to take advantage of him, but who knew that it had ended up this way, with that rascal taking advantage of it instead. Alas, at that time, there had been no other choice but to do so in order to avoid both of them perishing to the Devour. Hate… hate! This rascal, still calling me fat, he has no conscience!
With a *Swoosh*, Fat Cat jumped to the side, its body shrinking once again into its tiny little cute form.
Zhou Weiqing ﬂipped himself over and sat up on the ground. Looking at his naked body, ﬁlled with dirt and blood, he couldn’t help but curse out loud. “This damn bullshit Immortal Deity Technique, it will be the cause of my death! Although the cultivation is fast, but damn! Every time I level up it feels like I’m dying all over again.”
As Zhou Weiqing muttered to himself to expel the gloom in his heart, he grabbed the little white tiger in his hands, bringing it up to his face, giving it a loud kiss on the forehead. “I know you saved me, thanks!” As he said that, he hugged Fat Cat in his arms, ignoring its complicated eyes, instead looking happily at the fresh set of Elemental and Physical Jewels around his wrist.
The Alexandrite Cat’s Eye Elemental Jewel and Icy Jade Physical Jewel had each increased by one to form a third set, and the most obvious change he felt was the sheer increase in physical strength. With three Pure Strength Physical Jewels, his physical strength had increased by an additional 1.5 times, along with the improvement to his physique by the black pearl, his arm strength was more than 3000 jin!
Chapter 38 Spatial Attribute King Stage Heavenly Beast
Carrying the little white tiger who was also covered in blood and grime, Zhou Weiqing went to look for a clean set of clothes, running buck naked to clean himself off. After all, the rest of the people living in the house were all men, and he wasn’t afraid of being seen. Furthermore with his character, even if he were seen by women, would this little rascal mind? Who knows if he would come up with something like charging to be seen!?
Filling up a large tub with water, he held little Fat Cat and jumped right into it. Poor little Fat Cat had no choice but to dog paddle to stay aﬂoat, mewing in anger.
Zhou Weiqing gave a hearty laugh, washing the blood and grime off its matted fur before saying softly: “Fat Cat, no matter what, you are a female… Does this count as a Yuanyang Bath? Heh heh heh heh.”
Hearing his words, Fat Cat had the urge to hit its head on the wall, as it struggled hard with its paws ﬂailing around cutely, Zhou Weiqing could only laugh and ﬁnish giving it a clean bath before putting it outside, before starting to scrub himself clean. Zhou Weiqing’s nerves were indeed made very different from normal. Despite experiencing the horrifying pain from the previous night, now that he had taken a good bath and was feeling comfortable all over, he almost dismissed the pain from yesterday, truly a character that forgot the pain as soon as the
scars healed. In truth, it was such a character that allowed him to continue with the Immortal Deity Technique without going insane.
Previously, the creator of the Immortal Deity Technique had been a powerful genius who had an unimaginable talent and many fortuitous encounters, before ﬁnally dying to the Immortal Deity Technique that he had created. It wasn’t that his body wasn’t able to take it, rather his spirit not being able to take the ever-increasing pain and his consciousness collapsing from it. In the end, he had perished while breaking through the Qi Hai Death Acupuncture Point, which was a marked increase in agony and suffering.
After washing and changing to a fresh set of clothes, Zhou Weiqing found a huge stack of food and had his ﬁll. Satiated, he sat back, feeling full of spirit and energy, as if the months of exhaustion had been wiped away.
“Little Wei, come here a while.” After he had ﬁnished eating, Huyan Aobo’s voice sounded out. Huyan Aobo and Feng Yu had both spent a sleepless night, and they had actually been alerted as soon as he had gotten up. However, they did not disturb him up till now, and seeing his lively self brimming with vigour, they were speechless. They could not envision how someone who had been in such a serious state of qigong deviation and been in such agony the previous day, could actually recover so quickly and look as if nothing had happened.
“Teacher, I ﬁnished the ﬁnal scroll last night!” Zhou Weiqing ran to Huyan Aobo’s room excitedly, though he did not mention anything about the pain and suffering he had gone through from the Immortal Deity Technique last night.
Huyan Aobo and Feng Yu looked at the little white tiger sleeping in Zhou Weiqing’s arms with some trepidation. They did not want to talk about yesterday as well, and since Zhou Weiqing did not mention it, they were happy to oblige.
Huyan Aobo smiled and said: “Very good, very good. In just a few short months, you have completed the most difﬁcult stage of our sect of Consolidating Equipment Masters. Well, it is almost time for you to head to Fei Li City, you should pack up and leave as soon as possible.” Upon hearing Huyan Aobo’s words, the excited look on Zhou Weiqing diminished. Placing Fat Cat gently on the ground, he knelt down suddenly in front of Huyan Aobo and Feng Yu, and gave them 3 kowtows.
Huyan Aobo did not stop him, currently, his eyes were ﬁlled with pride and joy. To any teacher, the greatest feeling was to have such an accomplished disciple, and it was deﬁnitely the feeling he had right now.
After kowtowing, Zhou Weiqing stood up once again. He did not have his usual jovial smile on his face, instead saying seriously: “Teacher, do not worry. I will deﬁnitely accomplish your dream!”
Huyan Aobo felt his eyes misting over, and he took a deep breath, trying his best to suppress his tears. Laughingly, he scolded: “Get lost quickly! Pack up the remaining Consolidating Paper and Consolidating Ink as well, and make sure you get some practice. Just leave the completed Scrolls. I, Your Father, will be retiring after this. After working hard for so many years, once I ﬁnish selling all the scrolls you made this time, I will travel the world with Old Feng, perhaps one day we will meet again.” Zhou Weiqing grinned and said: “Who knows, perhaps by then I will already be a Zong Stage Consolidating Equipment Master! Goodbye teacher, goodbye Senior Feng Yu!” After saying that, he turned to leave quickly. However, Huyan Aobo and Feng Yu could clearly see that after he turned around, his shoulders started to shake slightly.
Zhou Weiqing quickly rushed back to his room, and after closing his door, he wiped at his eyes vigorously. “Why did the sand get into my eyes…” he muttered.
Although he normally acted like he didn’t care about others and had learned how to be a scoundrel from Mu En, that did not stop Zhou Weiqing from knowing who treated him well, or stop him from having true feelings.
Although he had only spent a mere 5 months learning and living together with Huyan Aobo, Zhou Weiqing could clearly feel how much his teacher had done and cared for him. No matter the socketing scroll, or the way he had spent all his savings to get him materials, or the way he had patiently taught him, it could be said that Huyan Aobo had done everything a teacher needed to do and much more beyond. If not for Huyan Aobo’s detailed teachings and unrestrained support in materials, he could not possibly have become a Consolidating Equipment Master in such a short time, no matter his talent. Zhou Weiqing’s code had always been – If someone treats him well, he will treat them a hundred times better. If someone treats him badly, he will take revenge a hundred times worse!
At the other side, Huyan Aobo’s body also shook a little after Zhou Weiqing left, and he took in a deep breath and muttered to himself: “He is deﬁnitely the greatest pride of my life, bar none.”
Zhou Weiqing left, and this time he did not bid farewell to Huyan Aobo and Feng Yu. He was just too afraid of the moment of farewell. However, after he left the courtyard, he knelt down at the door and kowtowed three more times, before hugging Fat Cat in his arms and leaving.
After a while, the door opened, and both Huyan Aobo and Feng Yu appeared outside, watching Zhou Weiqing’s disappearing ﬁgure. After he had vanished into the distance, Huyan Aobo heaved a great sigh, the look on his face showing how much he did not bear to part with his beloved disciple.
“Why didn’t you ask him to stay? If you did, he probably would have stayed.” Feng Yu said. Huyan Aobo shook his head, saying: “I cannot be that selﬁsh. Consolidating Equipment Master is deﬁnitely just a side profession for him. How many Heavenly Jewel Masters do the Heavenly Bow Empire have? Furthermore, with such a talent and his attributes, he will go very far as a Heavenly Jewel Master.”
Feng Yu smiled and said: “Huyan Old Man, it’s only now that I realise you also have a cute side to your nature. Are we really going to travel the world like you said?”
Huyan Aobo laughed heartily, saying: “Why not? I have already reached the pinnacle of my possibility as a Consolidating Equipment Master and have not much room to grow any further. Now that I have such an outstanding disciple, what more do I have to work hard towards? It’s time for me to enjoy life, to travel the world and experience life! Let’s go, we can pack up and leave soon.”
Fei Li City was situated at the north of the Fei Li Empire, and was about two times the distance from Flying Hill City as the Flying Hill City was from Heavenly Bow Empire. After exiting the Flying Hill City, Zhou Weiqing did some estimations and realised that he was indeed on a tight schedule to get to Fei Li City in time to meet up with Shangguan Bing’er as planned. He had no choice but to travel through day and night.
As such, he instantly released his Heavenly Jewels, quickly moving the attribute wheel to the green area, and like a bolt of lightning, he shot off towards the Fei Li City.
Following the map, he found it was a pretty straightforward path. Running at full speed, he also found that this was very beneﬁcial to him. Having just reached the 3rd Jewel, Zhou Weiqing was still not familiar with his new abilities and physique. As such, now that he used his Wind Attribute Heavenly Energy to run, he was surprised to ﬁnd that the rise in power was not a simple matter of just ﬁgures.
Every time his feet touched the ground, even when he wasn’t using the power of the Demonic Right Leg, he could feel as if he was light as a sparrow. The greatest surprise was a pleasant one – he found that the control of his speed was much ﬁner than previously, being able to manipulate the Wind Attribute Heavenly Energy with a heretofore unheard of precision. This was likely the result of his continuous usage of Heavenly Energy during the 4 months of creating Consolidating Equipment Scrolls, and the precision it required, and the strengthening of his consciousness as well. Furthermore, with the breaking through of the Qi Hai Acupuncture Point, it was quite different from the previous 11 Death Acupuncture Points. Although he had suffered a lot more, the beneﬁts he had received were equally great. Previously, the energy whirlpools of the various Death
Acupuncture Points were rather isolated, and there wasn’t much connection between all of them. However, with the Qi Hai Acupuncture broken through, it was very different. The energy whirlpool in the Qi Hai Acupuncture Point was like the central hub of his body where all the Heavenly Energy gathered
and was transferred out once more. The other 11 energy whirlpools were now linked to it and with each breath he took, the Qi Hai Energy Whirlpool would spin and they would all draw in increasing amounts of Heavenly Energy from the atmosphere, and his Immortal Deity Shield was obviously stronger than before.
At the same time, Zhou Weiqing’s Heavenly Energy was starting to evolve from the Heavenly Jing Energy to the Heavenly Shen Energy Stage. Although he had not reached the ﬁrst level yet, his Heavenly Energy was already able to exhibit some of the unique qualities of Heavenly Shen Stage – to release it outside the body.
Focusing his will, even without releasing his Heavenly Jewels, he was able to warp his Heavenly Energy into a white light out of his body, for either offense or defence, and this was deﬁnitely a big difference from previously when it was conﬁned in his own body. Furthermore, with the Heavenly Energy in liquid state, the amount used for Skills was also reduced by a fair bit. It could be said that this 3rd Set of Jewels was a huge jump in power levels for all Heavenly Jewel Masters, in not just quantity but also quality; and it was even more so for someone like Zhou Weiqing whose innate talent was so high.
The only thing he was lacking now was to ﬁnish Skill Storing and Consolidating Equipment. After all, for Consolidated Equipment, he only had a single one currently – the Overlord Bow on his ﬁrst Physical Jewel. However, since he had spent all his time creating Consolidating Equipment Scrolls, he had not been able to Consolidate the gift from Huyan Aobo – the ﬁrst piece of the Legendary Set passed down from the ancestors, and he would only do so after reaching Fei Li City.
Basically, mixed bath. Usually denotes a loving couple or more… As for Zhou Weiqing’s Elemental Jewels, only his ﬁrst Jewel had completed Storing all Skills. As for his second Jewel, he had only Stored a Wind Attribute skill which he had liked from one of his Icy Soul Heavenly Bears. Shangguan Bing’er had also done the same in this regard.
In order to fully make use of his powers, he would still need to go through a large amount of Skill Storing. However, some Attributes like Darkness or Time, it would be almost impossible to Store Skills, and he could only depend on luck; just like for his ﬁrst Jewel. Despite that, his power was not inferior to any ordinary 3-Jeweled Heavenly Jewel Master. After all, he had many attributes and the high Star Skills Stored in his ﬁrst Jewel were already evolved to the 3 Jeweled State. Although it was rather troublesome to Store Skills, Zhou Weiqing deﬁnitely enjoyed the fact that they evolved every time the number of Jewel increased.
After a few days of rushing along, Zhou Weiqing found that if he was just using the Wind Attribute Heavenly Energy to speed himself up, with the insane recovery rate of the Immortal Deity Technique, he would almost never run out of Heavenly Energy! Under the Qi Hai Acupuncture Point’s inﬂuence, the unbelievable recovery rate of the Immortal Deity Technique was showing its ever improving use.
The most inconceivable change for Zhou Weiqing was the immense boost to his strength. He did not know what it was like for other Strength Heavenly Jewel Masters, but he was very sure that the boost he received was deﬁnitely out of the ordinary. The earlier estimate he had of 3000 jin was deﬁnitely on the low end, and he still had not found his maximum capacity yet. All he knew was that he was easily able to tear up a huge tree with his bare hands.
In order to ensure that he did not miss the meeting time with Shangguan Bing’er, Zhou Weiqing ran day and night with minimal rest, and even ate his meals on the run. At the same time, he used the opportunity to familiarise himself with the various improvements in his physique and abilities. Finally, on the fourteenth day, he ﬁnally reached the capital of Fei Li Empire, Fei Li City.
When Zhou Weiqing looked upon Fei Li City, he couldn’t help but feel a sense of surprise and awe. This was truly the largest city he had seen since he was born. From the distance, Fei Li City looked like an enormous beast lying there on its side. It had an excellent geographical position; the entire western and northern side was covered in tall mountains, while to the east was the famous Fei Li Lake. Being situated by mountains and lakes, it was considered the center of communications, politics and military of the entire Empire.
The city walls were almost a hundred metres tall, with a watchtower equipped with a large ballista every 20 metres. On the southern side of the city, which Zhou Weiqing was facing, it was a wide open plains, and there were 6 large city gates. The moat which was linked to the Fei Li Lake was almost a hundred metres wide, and the 6 gates each had large drawbridges along the moat.
On the otherwise simple and unadorned walls, there was a large symbol of the Saint Cross Sword which was the glory of the Fei Li Empire. The symbol was painted gold, and it glittered in the sunlight.
Zhou Weiqing had heard that the population in Fei Li City was already more than the entire population of the Heavenly Bow Empire. Even among the entire Boundless Mainland, it was one of the top ten cities, and was deﬁnitely one of the top in the entire West, equal to Bai Da Empire’s Bai Da City. Holding in his shock, Zhou Weiqing walked across one of the drawbridges, and he immediately saw over a hundred guards at each gate. However, the gates were wide open and there were no checkpoints.
The guards at the gate were all carrying long spears and dressed in a ﬁne coat of armor, each standing proud and tall with a slight killing aura. They were clearly experienced and elite soldiers.
Is this the sign of a great empire? I wonder when our Empire can have a city like this! Zhou Weiqing thought to himself with a sigh. In comparison to the large Empires like the Fei Li Empire, the Heavenly Bow Empire was just too weak. Even if the Fei Li Empire was their ally, so what? Nothing is better than having it for yourself.
With thoughts ﬁlling his mind, he entered the Fei Li City. What entered his vision was an immense avenue with a width that could hold 15 horse carts side by side! The granite paving on the ﬂat wide path, along with 3 storey shops lining both sides of the road. The road was long, with the end of it not in sight, and the roads and shops were all bustling with people. It was indeed a prosperous city. With a quick count, Zhou Weiqing estimated that he still had two days before the stipulated meeting time with Shangguan Bing’er. Previously, they had agreed to meet directly at the entrance of the Fei Li Military Academy on registration day, and head in together for registration.
Both of them did not have any knowledge about the academy at all, and the only thing they knew was that it had very stringent requirements, and was one of the top military academies in the Fei Li Empire. No matter commoner or noble, to enter the academy, they had to pass a rather tough examination. Furthermore, there was an age restriction of twenty years. Other than that, neither Zhou Weiqing nor Shangguan Bing’er knew any of the other requirements, nor did they know the details of the examination and could not make any advance preparations.
Feeling glad he was not late, Zhou Weiqing felt a sense of relief after ﬁnally reaching Fei Li City. Hmmm, I have two days, what should I do? Heh heh, I shall have a good meal ﬁrst!
While pondering his next move, Zhou Weiqing decided to grab a good meal ﬁrst as he walked deeper into the city, before looking for a place to stay and ﬁnding out where the Fei Li Military Academy was. He still had some money left on him, but it wasn’t much for everything he needed to do. After all, he had two other things to accomplish as well – ﬁrst of all, to sell the ten sets of basic Consolidating Equipment Scrolls he had for funds, and the second was naturally to head to the Skill Storing Palace. Of course, to actually ﬁnish Storing all the Skills he required, it wasn’t something that could be accomplished in two days. With his Consolidating Equipment Master profession as a backup, he was not worried that he would lack money in the future.
If I can rent a good apartment close to the academy… and live together with Bing’er. Heh heh. That would be perfect! As he thought of that, a lustful grin appeared on his face uncontrollably.
After having a good meal at one of the inns, Zhou Weiqing asked for directions to the Military Academy and the Skill Storing Palace. Coincidentally, they were both in the east portion of the Fei Li City! The east portion of the Fei Li City was near the Fei Li lake, and was the busiest and most ﬂourishing portion of the city. The Fei Li Emperor’s Palace was on the other side – at the northern portion and facing the south.
Zhou Weiqing rushed to the east excitedly, constantly asking for directions as the city was just too big. Even so, he actually ran around for 4 hours before he ﬁnally found his way! The Skill Storing Palace in front of him now looked exactly the same as the one in Flying Hill City – just on a much larger scale.
The huge building was about 30 metres tall, more than double of the one in Flying Hill City. It was supported by 36 huge stone pillars which were large enough for 5 men with arms linked to surround it. There were various sculptures around the building, each representing some different Heavenly Beasts.
The large dome of the Palace also had the glowing symbol of the country – the Saint Cross Sword, giving forth a formidable aura. This was indeed the headquarters of the Fei Li Empire Skill Storing Palace! Such a grand atmosphere, it was even more awe-inspiring than the Emperor’s Palace back home! Zhou Weiqing thought to himself as he entered the Skill Storing Palace.
Before he could enter it, he was blocked by four heavily armed guards dressed in impressive gold splint mail, like an armed wall.
“Oh, right.” Zhou Weiqing started for a second, before remembering the requirement. Lifting his right hand and focusing his will, the three Icy Jade Physical Jewels appeared around his wrist, white mist swirling around.
The four armed guards blocking Zhou Weiqing were clearly startled. In truth, the current look of Zhou Weiqing was very shabby. After more than a dozen days on the road without rest, he looked travel-worn and weary, with a messy head of hair and stubbles on his unshaven chin. With such an appearance, he did not look anything like his 16 years of age, and perhaps more like a 30 year old vagabond. Luckily he had stored his bags into his Spatial Necklace, or perhaps he would look even worse; and he totally did not look like a Heavenly Jewel Master.
After a slight hesitation, the four guards gave way, saying respectfully: “Welcome, Upper Level Shi Master.”
Zhou Weiqing grinned and said: “Thank you, thank you.” As he said that, he entered the main hall of the Skill Storing Palace.
Just like the outer look, the inside of the Skill Storing was also a larger copy of the Flying Hill City’s Skill Storing Palace. After some hesitation, Zhou Weiqing walked towards the doorway leading to the Spatial Attribute Heavenly Beasts enclosure. With the Ring of Concealment that Tang Xian gave him, Zhou Weiqing had his Elemental Jewel permanently in the disguise of a Spatial Attribute Jewel Master – the gold green Cat’s Eye Jewel. After all, he deﬁnitely needed to use his status as a Consolidating Equipment Master. As such, he decided to complete Storing the Skills for his Spatial Skills, to enable him to put up a better disguise while having sufﬁcient power.
As he followed the path forward, he noticed it was once again sloping downwards. After about 300 metres, and two twists in the paths, he ﬁnally reached another large hall. Zhou Weiqing knew that this was where he could choose the Heavenly Beasts for Skill Storing.
At the side of a hall, there was a table with two middle aged men seated. Looking at Zhou Weiqing’s travel worn attire, the two of them furrowed their brow. However, Zhou Weiqing ignored them as his attention was drawn by something as soon as he stepped into the hall, startled.
Zhou Weiqing could clearly see that there weren’t three paths like in the Flying Hill City, but four! Besides the usual Shi, Zun and Zong paths, there was an additional path with the word ‘King’ on it. From the looks of the path, it was a lot newer than the other 3 paths as well. King? Could this be a King Stage Heavenly Beast? “If you want to go about Skill Storing, you will have to pay the entrance fee.” A cold voice interrupted Zhou Weiqing’s thoughts. He quickly turned around and headed to the two middle aged men, asking curiously: “Seniors, this is my ﬁrst time in the Fei Li City. That path with the word ‘King’, could it
be a King Stage Heavenly Beast?”
The man on the left nodded and said proudly: “Indeed, that is a King Stage Heavenly Beast. Not only is it a rare sight in our Fei Li Empire, it is probably the only one in the entire Skill Storing Palaces of the entire Western half of the continent. Young man, you are a Spatial Attribute Heavenly Jewel Master?” Zhou Weiqing nodded with a honest look on his face, saying: “Yes Senior! Do the other attributes have King Stage Heavenly Beasts as well?”
The middle aged man scoffed disdainfully: “What do you take King Stage Heavenly Beasts for? Let me tell you, this is the only one, and it’s for us Spatial Attribute Heavenly Jewel Masters! It’s the only unique King Stage Heavenly Beast in the whole Skill Storing Palace. Let me tell you, 3 months ago, our Palace Master and twelve Elders had to work together to capture it, at the cost of 4 elders before succeeding!”
Zhou Weiqing cried out in delight: “Senior, if I want to Store Skill for the King Stage Heavenly Beast, how much will it cost?”
Listening to his words, the two middle aged men exchanged a strange look, and the man on the right muttered: “This is the seventh one…”
The one on the left said: “It costs 100,000 gold coins for a single try, and you can go in as soon as you pay.” “What? 100,000!?” Zhou Weiqing stared dumbfounded at the two middle aged men in front of him. Although he had some money on him, the ten thousand or so gold coins that his mother had given him before he left the Heavenly Bow City. His cut from the Heavenly Bow Unit was all used for the
Special Spatial Ring for the two Bears, how could he possibly have 100,000 gold coins!
The middle aged man on the left gave a cold humph and said: “If you want to experience the sights and power of a King Stage Heavenly Beast, then you need to pay accordingly. If you do not have enough money, then keep your curiosity to yourself.”
Zhou Weiqing hesitated for a while before gritting his teeth, thinking to himself: Fine, 100,000 gold coins. So be it! “Seniors, how about this, I do not have that many gold coins, could I use Consolidating Equipment Scrolls as barter instead?” he asked tentatively.
Hearing the words Consolidating Equipment Scrolls, the faces of the two men changed instantly, and the disdain in their looks at Zhou Weiqing immediately lessened considerably.
The man on the right asked with some surprise: “Young man, you are a Consolidating Equipment Master?” If it were at any other Attribute Hall, the person in charge would probably not have asked such a question, but this was the Spatial Attribute Hall, and any Jewel Master with the Spatial Attribute had the possibility of becoming a Consolidating Equipment Master. As he asked that question, his attitude towards Zhou Weiqing was clearly a lot better.
Zhou Weiqing nodded and said: “Yes! I am a low level Consolidating Equipment Master, and thus I only have the low level Consolidating Equipment Scrolls. Is that okay?”
“Yes, of course.” The man on the left said rather eagerly. By now, his attitude towards Zhou Weiqing had taken a 180 degree change, and was respectful. “However, if it is low level Consolidating Equipment Scrolls, they have to be in an entire set. At the Skill Storing Palace, we will purchase each set for 50,000 gold coins. If you have two sets, you can enter to see the King Stage Heavenly Beasts.”
“50,000 gold coins?” Zhou Weiqing was taken aback. Previously, Huyan Aobo had told him that the price of low level Consolidating Equipment Scrolls were around 30,000 gold coins!
The two men thought he deemed the price too low, and the man on the left quickly said: “Young friend, although the supply of Consolidating Equipment Scrolls have dropped recently and causing the price to shoot up, but as you know, Low Level Consolidating Equipment Scrolls sets do not have a guaranteed chance of success. Our price of 50,000 gold coins is deﬁnitely a fair one. Even if you bring it to the auction house to
sell, it will likely only be slightly higher; however after the
auction fees, it might even come down to about the same.”
Zhou Weiqing recovered himself and said: “Does that mean the Skill Storing Palace will purchase Low Level Consolidating Equipment Scroll sets?”
“Of course, all of the Skill Storing Palaces will purchase Consolidating Equipment Scroll Sets of all types!” The two men stared at him helplessly. From his questions, they could tell that even if this young man in front of them was really a Low Level Consolidating Equipment Master, he was deﬁnitely a newbie, not knowing even where to sell the scrolls. Even so, they were extremely polite to Zhou Weiqing, as no one would want to offend a Consolidating Equipment Master for nothing.
“Alright, I have some to sell.” Before entering a big city, Zhou Weiqing never thought much about the importance of money. Just Skill Storing a King Stage Beast once needed 100,000 gold coins, and Zhou Weiqing was in rather dire need of money. Lifting his left hand, he placed his hand on the Spatial Necklace on his neck, and circulating his Heavenly Energy, he took out wooden box after wooden box.
If the two middle aged men had any remaining suspicions, they were all erased as soon as they saw Zhou Weiqing had a Spatial Necklace. Right before their surprised eyes, Zhou Weiqing took out all ten sets of Consolidating Equipment Scrolls and placed them on the table before them.
Without further ado, the two men quickly examined the scrolls in the boxes, easily verifying that they were all low level Consolidating Equipment Scrolls, and in sets of 1000s.
“These are all created by you?” The man on the left asked with some surprise.
Zhou Weiqing replied with a naive grin on his face: “Yes! Senior, if I sell all ten sets, can I get a little more? You know, Skill Storing is rather expensive.”
The middle aged man hesitated a moment before saying: “I will need to ask my superiors. To be honest, young man, you shouldn’t waste your money on trying your luck on the King Stage Heavenly Beast, there isn’t a chance you will succeed. 100,000 gold coins isn’t a small sum, and even though you are a Consolidating Equipment Master, you still shouldn’t waste your hard earned money like that.”
Zhou Weiqing laughed and said: “As you said, it’s only our Spatial Attribute Hall which has this one and only King Stage Beast, perhaps the only chance I will ever get to see one in my life. Although 100,000 gold coins is expensive, I still want to have a look for myself and experience what it is like. As for Skill Storing from it, of course I know it isn’t possible.”
Seeing that his persuasion was to no avail, the middle aged man said: “Alright, if that is so, you can just head in ﬁrst. I will bring your Consolidating Equipment Scrolls to my superiors, and when you come out, we will give you the remaining gold coins.”
Zhou Weiqing said bashfully: “Senior, you wouldn’t not acknowledge the scrolls after I come out right?”
Black lines instantly appeared above the two middle aged men’s heads, and the one on the left said angrily: “Where do you think this is? This is the Fei Li Empire’s Skill Storing Palace Headquarters, not some common conman’s shop. If you weren’t a Consolidating Equipment Master, just those words alone will be enough to blacklist you forever.” “Ehh… I’m sorry, I was wrong… I’ll just head in now.” Inside, Zhou Weiqing was laughing to himself, but he kept up a fearful expression as he turned and hurried into the path with the ‘King’ word.
As the two men watched his disappearing ﬁgure, the one on the left said: “There are just so many people curious about the King Stage Heavenly Beast, willing to splurge even when they know it is impossible to succeed in Skill Storing, it’s literally giving us money. It’s only been three months and already 700,000 gold coins from that. Still, I did not expect that the little brat was a Consolidating Equipment Master.”
The man on the right signalled him to keep quiet: “Talk less, it wouldn’t be good if he hears it. No point offending a Consolidating Equipment Master for nothing, especially one who has managed to become a Low Level Consolidating Equipment Master at such a young age, he is likely a Heavenly Jewel Master as well. I’ll go report to our superiors about these scrolls.”
After entering the path, Zhou Weiqing’s expression quickly changed. Excitement and adrenaline ﬁlled his body, and he clutched his ﬁsts with all his might. A King Stage Heavenly Beast, what strong Skill would be able to Store? Perhaps it might be beyond even 9 Stars Rating! Heh heh, 100,000 gold coins might be expensive, but if he could get himself a strong Skill, it would be totally worth it!
As he followed the path forward, he noticed the surrounding rocks were new; this was deﬁnitely a freshly made path. As he continued downwards, Zhou Weiqing could feel an eerie, deadly cold feeling, as if an unseen pressure was in the atmosphere, sending hills down his spine.
However, he ignored the pressure, continuing along the path. After all, he had already spent 100,000 gold coins on this, and he would not back down easily.
After heading down about 500 metres, the path ahead ﬁnally widened into a stone chamber.
Entering the chamber, Zhou Weiqing could feel that the oppressive pressure had strengthened manifold, and he had to circulate his Heavenly Energy to resist. A familiar aura ﬁlled his senses.
“Darkness attribute?” The entire stone chamber was lined with black rocks, with strange inscriptions etched on them. There were torches lining the chamber, illuminating it. Indeed, the familiar aura that Zhou Weiqing felt was that of the Darkness Attribute, after all the Darkness Attribute was the best at Sealing. Without a doubt, there were many strong Darkness Attribute Seals suppressing the King Stage Heavenly Beast.
After feeling out the Darkness Attribute aura for a while, Zhou Weiqing’s gaze ﬁnally rested upon the King Stage Heavenly Beast, and he couldn’t help but be astounded as he did so.
In the corner of the stone chamber lay a silver coloured little bird. It was extremely tiny, its body less than one chi long, and its entire body was even smaller than Fat Cat. This was why Zhou Weiqing did not spot it instantly upon entering the chamber.
The little bird was covered with silver and white feathers, but it lay on the ground with its head hanging low, its feathers lustreless and its eyes closed. There was a black symbol on its forehead and its two wings, and its claws were each bound by a thin black chain.
This is a King Stage Heavenly Beast? It looks so unassuming?
Besides the colour, it looks the same as an ordinary bird. Zhou Weiqing thought to himself as he walked forward. As the stone chamber was not well lit, he was only able to see the stone plaque on the ground next to little bird when he got closer. There were words inscribed upon the plaque, and having been to the Skill Storing Palace before, Zhou Weiqing knew that this was the record of the Heavenly Beast’s abilities.
On top of the plaque were the following words: The Silver Emperor, Wind and Spatial Dual Attribute Heavenly Beast, King Stage. Although this Heavenly Beast is not large, it is extremely fast and dangerous, and is usually not visible by the naked eye. The lord of the skies. It is well versed in Spatial Attribute Skill – Spatial Rend, which can counter most Spatial Attribute Skills, and has an astonishing destructive capability. It is extremely powerful, feeding normally on the brains of ordinary Heavenly Beasts or humans, and is extremely aggressive and destructive in nature, known for bringing death and destruction wherever it goes. As such, it is also known as the Bird of Calamity, one of the most vicious King Stage Heavenly Beasts.
Silver Emperor’s Skills: Spatial – Spatial Rend. Wind – Illusionary Duplicates, Silver Emperor Wing Slash, Silver Emperor Lightning Pierce. Zhou Weiqing muttered to himself: “This King Stage Heavenly Beast doesn’t have many Skills! Only four, and only one of which is of the Spatial Attribute.” As he said that, he continued reading the skill explanations below.
Spatial Rend: The most famous skill of the Silver Emperor, its impressive manipulation of Spatial Energy. Instantly splits apart and distorts the spatial dimension; at close range, it is able to break invisibility or stealth skills, as well as Blink skills. At the same time, it also has an extremely strong slicing power. When the Spatial Rend has been used, it also distorts space, which can cause enemies’ long ranged attacks to miss their targets. The Spatial Rend’s range, area of effect and length of time depends on cultivation level.
Chapter 39 Skill Storing, Silver Emperor
Below the Spatial Attribute Skill were the descriptions for the 3 Wind Attribute Skills.
Illusionary Duplicates: Using the Wind Attribute to instantly bring forth several duplicate images. User is able to instantly swap positions amongst the duplicates. Number of duplicates and time they last depends on cultivation level.
Silver Emperor Wing Slash: Extremely strong destructive capabilities. Coupled with Spatial Rend to become the Dual Attribute Skill Silver Emperor Spatial Rend, which is nigh invincible. Destructive capability depends on cultivation level.
Silver Emperor Lightning Pierce: Able to warp into a silver point, instantly piercing through anything. At the same time, moving at 300% speed. This is a skill that can be used for both offense and defense, and the Silver Emperor uses it for both attacking and ﬂeeing.
After looking at the skills descriptions, a chill ran down Zhou Weiqing’s spine. Although this Silver Emperor did not have many skills, but they were all unbelievably destructive and powerful. The scariest thing was, this unassuming little fellow was actually a violent bird which fed on brains!
Wind and Spatial Attributes! Zhou Weiqing couldn’t help but feel an itch in his heart. Without a doubt, the Silver Emperor’s skills were extremely powerful. Without a doubt, the only Spatial Skill – the Spatial Rend, was something he had to Store! As for the other three Wind Attribute skills, they were also extremely attractive to Zhou Weiqing. As the two middle aged men outside had said, it was extremely rare to ﬁnd a King Stage Heavenly Beast! Now that he had met one, he would deﬁnitely not waste the opportunity.
However, each Skill Storing try cost 100,000 gold coins, and Zhou Weiqing did not bear to spend so much. Furthermore, amongst his three Elemental Jewels, he had already Stored 2 Wind Attribute Skills, and only had one Jewel available for Storing Wind Attribute Skills from the Silver Emperor.
After some thought, Zhou Weiqing said to himself: I shall not care so much and leave it to chance. I’ll just try to Store the Spatial Rend skill ﬁrst. After that, I’ll see if the recovery rate of the Immortal Deity Technique is sufﬁcient to allow me Store a second Skill, and if so, I’ll just try for another Wind Attribute Skill. After all, any of the three Wind Attribute Skills of the Silver Emperor is great, and I can leave the other 2 for my 4th and 5th Jewel.
As such, Zhou Weiqing raised his left hand, removing the Concealing effect of his ring and revealing his Alexandrite Cat’s Eye Elemental Jewel. As there was no sunlight, it looked like a brilliant blue-green Cat’s Eye Jewel, gleaming in the dim torch light.
The attribute wheel spinning to the silver area under Zhou Weiqing’s control, the second Jewel ﬂoated into his palm and he pressed it down with a silvery glow onto the Silver Emperor’s forehead.
He still remembered his ﬁrst foray in the Flying Hill City’s Skill Storing Palace clearly, and the key to his success there. To ensure a better time this round, he circulated Heavenly Energy into his right leg, ensuring the unique aura of the black winged tiger was on full blast.
The moment Zhou Weiqing’s left palm touched the Silver Emperor’s forehead, the Sealed Silver Emperor shuddered involuntarily and its eyes opened wide suddenly. Looking into the Silver Emperor’s eyes, Zhou Weiqing almost lost control of his senses. Its eyes were milky white, with only a hint of grey where the pupils were supposed to be. In that instant when it opened its eyes, a terrifyingly strong aura of death exploded forth from its body. It felt extremely different
from the evil, overbearing aura of Zhou Weiqing’s, instead having an icy cold feeling of death and desolation, as its eyes locked coldly onto Zhou Weiqing.
With a ﬂash of silver light, Zhou Weiqing’s Heavenly Energy surged forth in a huge wave from his body, as he circulated it into his left palm and into the Silver Emperor to begin the Skill Storing. However, things didn’t go as he expected. Unlike the previous times when he Skill Stored the Zong Stage Heavenly Beasts, Zhou Weiqing was stunned to ﬁnd that his Heavenly Energy was unable to enter the Silver Emperor’s body no matter how much he tried, and he was not able to continue Skill Storing. It was as if his Heavenly Energy was blocked by a barrier of strange power. As for the Silver Emperor, it was staring at him coldly, without any of the fear that the Zong Stage Heavenly Beasts displayed.
What Zhou Weiqing did not know was that for the Zong Stage Heavenly Beasts he had Skill Stored, they had actually been afraid of not just the aura of the black pearl’s original owner, but also its Devour Skill, fearing they would be Devoured to death. However, for the Silver Emperor in front of him now, not only was it an entire stage higher, it was also unique in the sense that its Spatial Rend ability would counter the Devour Skill, and it was one of the rare Heavenly Beasts which were not too afraid of such a skill. This was one of the true strengths of the Silver Emperor – no matter how powerful
a skill was, as long as it wasn’t able to overcome the Spatial
Rend, it was totally useless against the Silver Emperor. Even with its current status being sealed and imprisoned, it was even more difﬁcult to Skill Store from it compared to perhaps even a Emperor Stage Heavenly Beast with a higher cultivation level!
Just as Zhou Weiqing was feeling disbelief and gloom in his heart, the hope in his heart turning cold, a low roar suddenly sounded out from his arms.
In a ﬂash of white light, Fat Cat appeared all of a sudden in front of the Silver Emperor. Its deep purple eyes focused straight at the Silver Emperor’s eyes, its low roar instantly attracting the Silver Emperor’s gaze.
The moment it saw Fat Cat appear, the Silver Emperor’s body convulsed once more, its entire body shivering as its eyes contracted in shock, and a soft keening issued from its mouth, sounding rather urgent and pleading, as if begging for help. Fat Cat roared lightly once again, shaking its head at the Silver Emperor. The hope which had sprung up in its eyes was extinguished, and as the light in its eyes dimmed, Zhou Weiqing felt the barrier which had been blocking his Heavenly Energy vanished, and in the next instant, without him doing anything, a cold mass of energy welled up into his hand, entering his second Elemental Jewel in his palm.
Not only that, as the gust of cold shot through Zhou Weiqing’s body and incited his Jewels, he suddenly felt his senses blur for a moment, and in the next instant, the attribute wheel which was originally at the silver area suddenly moved to the green area, and a feathery light feeling entered him. The second Elemental Jewel in his palm was quickly replaced with the third Elemental Jewel, and he suddenly felt a Skill being Stored upon it as well – a Wind Attribute Skill!
What was going on? Zhou Weiqing was ﬁlled with shock. To him, he felt as if he had been trying to seduce a girl, and ending up getting ‘raped’ by her instead! The Silver Emperor had actually forced its Skills onto him and Storing them onto his Elemental Jewels! The strength of a King Stage Heavenly Beast was not something that could be explained by common logic.
Before Zhou Weiqing could react, his third Elemental Jewel had completed Storing, and returned back to his wrist in a bright ﬂash of light, resuming its silent revolving.
Fat Cat gave another low roar, this time sounding satisﬁed, with a smug gleam in its eyes, it nodded towards the Silver Emperor.
The Silver Emperor looked over and gave a sad cry, its white little eyes ﬁlled with hope once again. Fat Cat took a pause before giving another two small short roars. The Silver Emperor’s eyes immediately lit up in glee, lying back down on the ground and closing its eyes happily. Fat Cat leaped back into Zhou Weiqing’s arms, lifting its head up high proudly, as if asking for praise.
Zhou Weiqing pinched its cute little nose gently, grinning as he said: “It seems rather scared of you! Alas I can’t understand what you two said. Fat Cat, your little nose is so meaty, it feels so good to play with.”
Fat Cat’s eyes widened in indignation and it couldn’t help but think to itself: This heartless little scoundrel… Hmph!
Tucking Fat Cat back into his shirt, Zhou Weiqing rubbed his face, putting on a depressed look as he headed back out. This was not the time to be excited about his new Skills, or to try them out. After all, if anyone found about him Skill Storing the Silver Emperor’s skills, his secrets would likely be all overturned and his days likely numbered. As he returned to the Spatial Attribute main hall, the two middle aged men were already waiting there. “You’re done so quickly?” The man on the left asked.
Zhou Weiqing said with a gloomy look on his face: “What else can I do but come out? My Heavenly Energy wasn’t even able to enter its body, let alone attempt to Skill Store. That Silver Emperor is indeed impressive despite its diminutive size! I only knew how strong it was after reading the introduction plaque; i always thought size was equivalent to power for Heavenly Beasts, at least I learnt something new! I’ll be be back to try again when my cultivation level is higher!” He said the last line in preparation for the future, after all he was still eying the last two Wind Attributes Skills!
The two men smiled; Zhou Weiqing’s predicament was very expected in their minds. After the Silver Emperor had been captured, almost every single Elemental and Heavenly Jewel within the Skill Storing Palace had tried Skill Storing, and all of them had met with the same issue as Zhou Weiqing said – not being able to penetrate the protective barrier of the Silver Emperor. The Palace Master had said that in order to succeed Skill Storing on the Silver Emperor, they needed to be at least of the Heavenly Xu Energy stage or higher to even break the barrier and having even a chance of success. Little did they know that Zhou Weiqing had actually succeeded, not only in Skill Storing the Spatial Rend, but also one of the Wind Attribute Skills under the cooperation of the Silver Emperor!
As they passed Zhou Weiqing a Gold Coins Storage Card, the man on the right said: “Little brother, do not feel so dejected. After all, you Consolidating Equipment Masters do not really need any powerful skill. Here is 450,000 gold coins; we have spoken with our superiors and since you have sold so many sets this time, we will give an extra 50,000 gold coins. We hope that you in future if you have more Consolidating Equipment Scroll sets to sell, you can come here to look for the two of us, and we will try to give you the best possible price.”
“Furthermore, if you complete a certain amount of trades, in the future if you come to Skill Store Shi Level Heavenly Beasts, we can allow you to do so for free.”
Consolidating Equipment Masters were rarer and perhaps even more valuable than Heavenly Jewel Masters; especially someone like Zhou Weiqing, who had already become a low level Consolidating Equipment Master at such a young age, and the future ahead of him was indeed very bright and ﬁlled with many prospects. Although the Skill Storing Palace was extremely powerful and had much inﬂuence, it still did not dare to try using strong-arm tactics against Consolidating Equipment Masters; or they might offend all the Physical and Heavenly Jewel Masters in the Empire. As such, they could only use softer tactics and get onto their good side with many beneﬁts. As for recruiting Zhou Weiqing, they did not even
consider such a thing. After all, such a young Consolidating
Equipment Master could only have been trained by a powerful force or inﬂuence, as the sheer amount of resources required was extremely high. They would not waste their time and resources on doing something so pointless. After receiving the Gold Coins Storage Card, Zhou Weiqing couldn’t help but reveal some of the excitement he had been feeling. After thanking the pair of middle aged men, he quickly exited the Skill Storing Palace.
Standing at the entrance of the Skill Storing Palace, he truly wanted to burst into maniacal laughter. I, Your Father, am a rich man! 450,000 gold coins! Being a Consolidating Equipment Master is indeed a great profession! Bing’er, in the future, if you want to Skill Store anything, I can even dump a few hundred thousand and let you try your heart out!
“Don’t block the way, move aside.” Just as Zhou Weiqing stood there with a foolish grin on his face, a sudden cold, clear voice sounded out in front of him, breaking him out of his reverie. It was only at that point that he realised he was standing right in the middle of the entrance of the Skill Storing Palace, blocking the route. However, the Skill Storing Palace entrance was actually very huge, and there was more than enough space to walk past him.
There were two people standing in of him, a man and a woman, and the one who had spoken was the woman. She had her arms linked to the youth beside her, her face proud, and the ﬁery red long dress accentuating her enchanting ﬁgure, with her ﬁne features proving to be very attractive, framed by the head of long red hair which fell to her shoulders. The only thing that marred her face slightly was the look of disdain and the prideful air around her brows.
The youth standing beside the red-dressed young lady was clothed in a suit of black, with only a sparse few golden lines adorning the sides, giving the impression of a low proﬁle yet high class look. His head of short dark blue hair was neat and clean cut, with a high nose, brilliant blue eyes which seemed warm. Currently, his brow was furrowed as he heard the young lady’s words.
His bearing and aura was far above what the young lady displayed, and even though he seemed only slightly over twenty years of age, he seemed to possess a natural grace and poise beyond his years.
Zhou Weiqing did not want to cause trouble, and he knew that it had been wrong of him to stand right in the middle of the entrance for so long. However, when he saw the young lady, his steps halted, a cold light appearing in his eyes. Indeed, he knew this young lady in the red dress! “You uncouth bumpkin, what are you staring at, move out of the way!” The young lady cried out once more in anger. If not for the black clad youth beside her, perhaps her words would be even more venomous.
Zhou Weiqing laughed, a simple good-natured laugh. “My dear ﬁancée, it’s been a long time! We still haven’t dissolved our engagement yet, and you’ve already found a new target? Very good, very good.”
Clearly, the young lady holding onto the black clad youth was the Princess of the Heavenly Bow Empire, Zhou Weiqing’s ﬁancée, Princess Difuya.
After two years, Difuya looked even more beautiful than before. At the age of 19, she was at the prime of her youth and beauty. Alas, no matter how beautiful she was, in Zhou Weiqing’s eyes she was unbelievably ugly. Thinking back to how he almost died in her hands, and looking at how she held another man’s hand, Zhou Weiqing’s hands curled into a ﬁst subconsciously. Although he was looking to dissolve the engagement, she was still currently his ﬁancée, only to see her holding another man’s hand so intimately. Such a circumstance, any man would not be able to take it. Hearing Zhou Weiqing’s words, Difuya’s body shuddered as a look of disbelief entered her eyes. After more than two years, the change in Zhou Weiqing’s look was considerable; just the change in his stature alone was rather unbelievable. That, in addition to his shabby and travel worn look, as well as Difuya not expecting to see him here, had caused her not to recognize him. After taking a closer look, she realised who he was.
“You… What are you doing here?” She asked, a look of embarrassment on her face, before a ﬂash of worry entered her eyes. Of course, the worry was not for Zhou Weiqing.
“Fiancée?” The black clad youth said, with a strange tinge of amusement in his voice, as he turned to look pointedly at Difuya.
Difuya was instantly at a loss: “Brother Yu, don’t misunderstand, I have nothing to do with him. He is only a useless son of a high ranking ofﬁcial, and our engagement is only because of my father’s orders. I’ve always been trying to dissolve the engagement.”
The black clad youth skillfully extracted his arm from Difuya’s arms, giving a graceful smile as he said: “That’s your issue with him, but you should know my character. I do not want my women to have any implications with other men. Princess Difuya, our relationship ends now.”
As if he had just done something inconsequential, the black clad youth walked off into the Skill Storing Palace, not caring about Difuya who was standing there stunned. As he passed by Zhou Weiqing, he smiled and said: “Little bro, not bad, you’re in luck! Don’t worry, I haven’t touched Difuya yet, she’s still a virgin.”
“Virgin your younger sister.” Zhou Weiqing retorted passively, standing still without moving.
The black clad youth’s calm and elegant smile froze in that instant, and his voice turned ice cold as if ﬁlled with killing intent. “What did you say?”
In that moment, Zhou Weiqing felt as if he was trapped in the midst of a sea of blood and corpses. That killing intent was rather familiar to him, as he had once sensed a similar aura from his father. Even still, when he turned towards the black clad youth, he had a bright and naive smile on his face, his voice crisp and clear as he said pronouncedly: “Virgin – your – sister.” Their two gazes met in midair, clashing as if lightning was crackling between the two of them. All of a sudden, the black clad youth’s right hand lashed out in a blur, heading towards Zhou Weiqing’s face. At the same time, Zhou Weiqing lifted his right hand.
*PAA!* A loud explosive sound rang out, seemingly causing a detonation in the very air. Difuya, who was just standing a few yards away, was actually knocked a few steps back by the shockwave, almost falling off the steps.
Zhou Weiqing was also forced back two steps before he regained his balance, but the black clad youth only wavered a bit, his shoulder trembling slightly as it absorbed the blow, and only taking a half step backwards before regaining his balance.
Zhou Weiqing’s eyes narrowed, a ﬁerce light springing forth in them, as if a ferocious beast was hidden within, ready to pounce at any time. As for the black clad youth, there was a hint of surprise on his face. Earlier, he had not used much strength, but this fellow in front of him, who deﬁnitely looked much younger than him, had unexpectedly been able to take the blow, even causing him to take half a step back. Such a strength was deﬁnitely beyond what he had anticipated. This man deﬁnitely has a much higher cultivation level of Heavenly Energy than me! Zhou Weiqing instantly determined. After all, his Physical Jewel was a pure Strength boost, and coupled with the black pearl, his strength far surpassed that of any ordinary Heavenly Jewel Master. Under such a circumstance, he had lost the contest of strength, that could only mean that the youth was deﬁnitely of a much higher cultivation level.
Without skipping a bit, Zhou Weiqing stepped forward with his left leg, his right ﬁst ﬂying forth brazenly. At the same time, the twelve energy whirlpools at the Death Acupuncture Points started spinning at maximum capacity, and a white light enveloped his ﬁst as it sped towards the youth.
The black clad youth did not retreat, lifting his ﬁst as well, and white light enveloped it as he too punched forward. However, the white light around his ﬁst was a lot thicker and more solid than Zhou Weiqing’s.
Just as their ﬁsts were about to meet, the black clad youth suddenly sensed something amiss. Right in the next instant, Zhou Weiqing suddenly disappeared from in front of him
Five brightly glowing glass-looking Elemental Jewels as well as ﬁve similar Icy Jade Physical Jewels appeared at the same time around the black clad youth’s wrists. As his 3rd Elemental Jewel ﬂashed in a blinding brilliance, a layer of white light enveloped him. Right at the same time, an explosion sounded out behind him.
The black clad youth staggered a step forward, his body shuddering with the impact, before he took yet another step forward. The shield of white light seemed to give forth a sound like that of glass shattering, and by then he had already spun around, looking with surprise at Zhou Weiqing who had appeared behind his back. At this time, Zhou Weiqing had also been knocked backwards by the sudden appearance of the white shield of light.
“Blink! You’re a Spatial Attribute Heavenly Jewel Master.” The black clad youth’s look at Zhou Weiqing had obviously changed. His surprise was of course not because of Zhou Weiqing’s status of Heavenly Jewel Master or that he had the Spatial Attribute, but rather that he had the Blink skill. After all, in the Fei Li Empire, Heavenly Jewel Masters were deﬁnitely not as rare as in the Heavenly Bow Empire, and there were also a few Spatial Attribute Upper Level Heavenly Jewel Masters. However, even among them, those who actually had the Blink skill was extremely limited. This was further emphasised by the fact that Zhou Weiqing was so young! In the world of Heavenly Jewel Masters, the cultivation level of Heavenly Energy and number of Heavenly Jewels were the mainstay on how to judge the power of a Heavenly Jewel Master, but the type of skills were also extremely important. At times, perhaps even more important than cultivation level. After all, a Heavenly Jewel Master with high rating skills could easily defeat those of the same cultivation level, or perhaps even those of a little higher level.
Zhou Weiqing eyed his opponent, feeling just as stunned in his heart. Light Attribute, Protection of Light Skill, Strength Physical Jewel! A 5 Jeweled Mid level Zun Stage Heavenly Jewel Master!
The black clad youth in front of him barely looked about 26 to 27 years of age, and yet his cultivation level had already reached the Mid Level Heavenly Zun Stage! Zhou Weiqing knew that even his father had not reached such a level at such an age.
In the short amount of time that they had exchanged blows, more than ten of the golden armored guards of the Skill Storing Palace had surrounded them. “Honoured Jewel Masters, please do not cause a disturbance at the Skill Storing Palace.”
The black clad youth nodded to Zhou Weiqing, saying: “My name is Ming Yu. I believe we will meet again. I will remember your insult to my younger sister.” After saying that, he turned and headed into the Skill Storing Palace.
Zhou Weiqing gave a cold humph, not wanting to let him have the last word, saying: “My name is Zhou Weiqing. Insult your younger sister? Hmph, be careful that you don’t become my brother in law.”
Ming Yu, who had almost entered the Skill Storing Palace by then, almost stumbled and fell upon hearing those words. By the time he had turned around, Zhou Weiqing had already walked off, not even turning to look at Difuya. Without knowing why, Ming Yu felt a strange sense of laughter bubbling up. It had been a long time since a young kid has dared to speak like that to me. That little fellow is indeed rather strange and interesting. However, his cultivation level is indeed terrifying; I doubt he is even twenty years of age, yet being able to manipulate his Heavenly Energy out of his body, he is deﬁnitely of the Heavenly Shen Energy Stage. Although he probably just entered the stage, it was still an impressive feat. Furthermore, it seems his strength is rather out of the ordinary. Zhou Weiqing… hmm… we will meet soon.
Basically, xx 你妹 （or xx your younger sister), where xx can be any subject, is a slang that the chinese use to convey derision, usually similar to how we use xx Your Ass in english, and can only be considered a very mild insult at best. The reason I chose to do a direct translation is because the youth actually chooses to treat it literally later as well “Brother Yu, wait for me!” After Difuya had watched Zhou Weiqing walk off in a rather dumbfounded state, she suddenly awoke to the situation. Taking a few steps, she chased after Ming Yu. “Brother Yu, I really do not have any connection to him.”
Ming Yu said passively with a slight smile: “Difuya, you should know my temper and character. I do not want the possible name and reputation of being called a wife stealer. Furthermore, I have always kept my word on the things I said. I will overlook the fact that you lied to me, but do not look for me again. Otherwise, you know what will happen.” After leaving those words, he walked into the Skill Storing Palace without looking back, leaving the stunned Difuya standing in stupefaction.
Zhou Weiqing’s original good mood had been totally ruined by the meeting with Difuya, and walking along the Fei Li City’s streets, he felt rather irked and irritated. Godfather ahh godfather, it’s not that I don’t want to give you face, but compared to Bing’er, I can never accept Difuya. The last remaining guilt in his heart towards Di Fengling regarding dissolving the engagement had been wiped out now, and he shook his head vigorously. With a cold humph, he muttered to himself: “It’s not worth it to get angry over her!”
However, having experienced the two clashes with a young mid level Zun Stage Heavenly Jewel Master, it made Zhou Weiqing feel his severe lack of power. That Ming Yu’s Heavenly Energy was likely at the eighth level of the Heavenly Shen Energy, and was a lot stronger than him. If not for the fact that Zhou Weiqing’s physical strength was extraordinary, he would likely have taken a bigger loss earlier.
As he mused about what happened earlier, Zhou Weiqing looked for a nearby inn to stay. He decided to recover his Heavenly Energy ﬁrst before Consolidating the Legendary Set Equipment Scroll that he had. He would head to the Skill Storing Palace again tomorrow; with his Immortal Deity Technique’s fast recovery rate, he would likely be able to attempt skill storing twice without any issues.
Two Days Later.
The eastern part of the Fei Li City was originally already the most prosperous part, and it seemed especially crowded and lively today. This was especially so around the academy district which was close to the Skill Storing Palace, where there was a massive bustling crowd. The main reason being that today was the start of the annual registration date for many of the large academies.
The registration period was 3 days in total, with each academy having a different intake number and requirements. However, there was just a single rule in the Fei Li Empire – no matter commoner or noble, all would have to take the respective academy’s registration tests before being able to join.
There were over a dozen various academies, of which the most famous were the three top academies, namely: Fei Li Imperial Family Military Academy, Fei Li Empire Heavenly Jewel Master Academy, and the Fei Li Palace Academy.
Of which, the Fei Li Palace Academy was famed for being the place which had nurtured many top civil ofﬁcials. They also had the most stringent requirements amongst all the academies, all their students were restricted to only Fei Li Empire Citizens, and there were 3 days worth of examinations with 9 in total, each on various different aspects. Only the cream of the crop would be admitted. It also had the most registrations amongst all the academies, but their entrance rate was less than one in a hundred.
Over 80% of the civil ofﬁcials in the Fei Li Empire had graduated from this academy; from that you could tell the sheer amount of inﬂuence the academy had.
On the other hand, the one with the relatively ‘easiest’, yet with the least amount of registrations, was the Fei Li Empire Heavenly Jewel Master Academy. There was only one requirement for registration – to be a Heavenly Jewel Master; while citizenship did not matter. However, if they were citizens of another empire, the requirement was to pledge allegiance to the Fei Li Empire. There were only a hundred or so current students in the academy, and it was usually considered good if they could get 8-10 new students every year. The Heavenly Jewel Master Academy was famed for being the cradle for cultivating many a powerful Heavenly Jewel Master. After all, the students in the academy were able to enter the Skill Storing Palace and go about Skill Storing for free during their study period. Such a favourable condition alone was more than sufﬁcient to draw many young Heavenly Jewel Masters to register.
The ﬁnal one was of course the Fei Li Imperial Family Military Academy. The registration numbers were usually about a third of the Fei Li Palace Academy, but their acceptance rate was much higher, about one in thirty, and they were famed for nurturing many famous generals and military ofﬁcials. This was the academy which Zhou Weiqing and Shangguan Bing’er were applying to join.
When Zhou Weiqing arrived at the entrance of the Fei Li Imperial Family Military Academy early in the morning, he was dazed. The entire street was ﬁlled with people, how could he possibly look for Shangguan Bing’er in such a crowd! With no better idea, he could only stand helplessly near the queue, his gaze constantly scanning the crowd for a sign of Shangguan Bing’er.
While he was waiting anxiously, all of a sudden, a young skinny youth sidled up to him and said: “Bro, want a copy of the examination requirements and rules? With this, you will be better prepared for the exams. This is only sold today, only 10 gold coins!”
Looking at the sheet of paper in his hands, Zhou Weiqing said exasperatedly: “One sheet of paper and you’re trying to sell it for 10 gold coins? Why don’t you go rob someone.” Who knew that the skinny youth said: “How can robbing compare to doing this, this earns much more and is a lot safer.” Zhou Weiqing couldn’t help but laugh at that. “Fine, give me one.” He was just standing here idly anyway. He had decided to just stand here; after all he was very tall at 1.9 metres, and was standing in a rather obvious place, so it would be a lot easier for Shangguan Bing’er to see him than for him to look for her.
After paying the 10 gold coins for a copy of the rules, he stood there and opened it to read. After he looked at the contents of the paper, he instantly realised he had been cheated. The header of the paper’s contents was titled ‘General Regulation for Enrollment’. Clearly, this was given to everyone who registered, yet it had cheated him out of 10 gold coins. However, it would be impossible to look for the same person in the crowd.
Zhou Weiqing was speechless for a second, thinking to himself: If Old Scoundrel were here, he would scold me to death!
In truth, the reason he got cheated wasn’t just because he was careless, but rather because he had been so anxious while waiting for Shangguan Bing’er, and feeling discomforted in his heart, he didn’t think much more. Furthermore, with several hundred thousand in his pocket, he naturally didn’t really care that much about the relative small sum of money. After header, the following was written: “After registration, applicants should bring their admission identiﬁcation card and enter the academy to go through their exams. The exams are split into three portions, each worth a hundred marks. The tests are personal combat strength, written test on military knowledge, as well as a direct face to face interview. At the same time, it was also written that if someone managed to score full marks for any particular test, they could be admitted regardless of the results of their other two tests.
Right below that were the required acceptance scored. For nobles, a total score of 150 was required, and for commoners, a total score of 180 was required.
As soon as he saw that, Zhou Weiqing’s brow couldn’t help but furrow. So much for the Fei Li Empire’s pretty words, that no matter status or rank, they would all have to take examinations. In the end, the differentiation was after the examinations. I wonder if my rank of Viscount in the Heavenly Bow Empire counts as a noble or a commoner? He thought to himself.
“What are you looking at?” Just as Zhou Weiqing was examining the rules, he felt his shoulder get tapped by someone. As soon as he turned around, he was greeted by a beautiful smiling face. It was Shangguan Bing’er. Zhou Weiqing was stunned for a second, and in the next instant, he unhesitatingly pulled her into his arms, hugging her tightly, drawing the gazes of everyone nearby.
From the time he had met Shangguan Bing’er up til now, this was the ﬁrst time that he had parted with her for such a long period of time. Previously, while training with Huyan Aobo, the feeling had not been so obvious as he had been so focused on learning and practicing. However, when he left the Flying Hill City, his heart and mind had always been with Shangguan Bing’er. That was the reason why he had been so anxious just now. Furthermore, having met Difuya two days earlier, that strong contrast between the two had just made him miss Shangguan Bing’er more, making him wish he had wings and could ﬂy to her there and then. Now that he was ﬁnally reunited with her, how could he not be excited.
Being hugged all of a sudden, Shangguan Bing’er was very embarrassed. However, feeling his rapid heartbeat and the arms holding her tightly, the bashfulness in her heart softened, and she slowly hugged him back as well, feeling peace in her heart.
In truth, the past few months were also uncomfortable for her. Previously, when Zhou Weiqing was by her side, she did not feel so strongly about it. After all, he often made her angry when he teased her. However, after he had left, she had been left in peace, but this peace just made her think of him all the time. Even though she spent most of her time accompanying her mother, she still felt rather restless and ﬁdgety. If not for the fact she was afraid of affecting Zhou Weiqing from
learning how to create Consolidating Equipment Scrolls, perhaps she would have gone to look for him earlier at the Flying Hill City.
Earlier, she had seen Zhou Weiqing from the distance, standing there foolishly and looking around anxiously. At that moment, she had felt a warmth invading her heart, ﬁlling her with a sense of satisfaction that she had never had before. It had taken her some time to squeeze through the crowd to reach him.
Now that they had reunited in the midst of the crowd, that sense of joy and excitement was released, and the two of them totally ignored the rest of the crowd, lost in their own world.
“Bing’er, I’ve missed you. Especially these few days, I’ve really really missed you so much.” Zhou Weiqing lifted his head, looking at the blushing beauty before him. All of a sudden, he felt as if his mind was blank, having forgotten why he was even here. Shangguan Bing’er gave a soft sound of acquiescing, saying softly: “I’ve missed you too. Little Fatty, you’ve lost so much weight.”
I’ve missed you. When Zhou Weiqing heard those words, he felt as if a gust of wind had blown the luck of the world into his face. Grinning, he said: “Can I kiss you?”
Shangguan Bing’er was taken aback and said quickly: “No.”
Looking at Zhou Weiqing’s crestfallen look, she looked down and said softly again: “Not here.”
Zhou Weiqing’s eyes lit up, and he snuck closer to her ear and whispered: “I understand.”
Shangguan Bing’er blushed, and hit him on the shoulder: “What do you understand?”
Zhou Weiqing puffed up his chest, laughing as he said: “Understand means understand. Come on, let’s go register.” As he said that, he held Shangguan Bing’er’s hand and started squeezing deeper into the crowd towards their target. He was tall and strong, and before long they had managed to squeeze into one of the registration points.
Speaking to the senior year student who was in charge of registration, he said: “Beautiful lady, we are here to register.”
Chapter 40 Fei Li God General
The girl sitting behind the desk was of rather average looks, and being called that by Zhou Weiqing, she was rather pleased, and her attitude was extremely nice. “Alright, what’s your name, age, gender… uh, that one isn’t necessary. Also, your ﬁeld of study and whether or not you are a noble.”
“I’m Zhou Weiqing, 16 years old… uhh… ﬁeld of study… wait, let me ask.” Turning his head around to Shangguan Bing’er, he asked: “What are we registering as our ﬁeld of study?”
Shangguan Bing’er was struck speechless by him, sighing in resignation as she replied: “Military Command.”
Zhou Weiqing turned back and said: “Military command. I’m also a Viscount in the Heavenly Bow Empire, does that count as a noble?” His father was after all the Commander-in-Chief of the Heavenly Bow Empire, and he had nothing against nobles; furthermore, it meant lowering the acceptance score.
The girl in charge of registration said apologetically: “I’m sorry, only nobles from the Fei Li Empire are recognized as nobles, for other countries, only the royal family will be considered nobles. Unfortunately, you can only register as commoners.”
A cold light ﬂashed in Zhou Weiqing’s eyes, and he said passively: “Commoner it is then.” A sense of humiliation and sorrow welled up in his heart, as a weak country, even their noble status weren’t recognized; this was even in their ally Fei Li Empire. With their country so weak, they weren’t even able to hold their heads up high as citizens. In that very instant, he suddenly understood why his father spent all his time training his soldiers and battling. This was all to strengthen their own country!
Shangguan Bing’er sensed the change in Zhou Weiqing’s emotions, quickly registering as well before they headed into the academy.
“Little Fatty, don’t think so much. We are here for the sake of making our country stronger in the future! We need to endure and tolerate everything, we are here to learn, and once we have grown stronger, only then can we repay our country and strengthen it! Your talent is so high, in the future, you will deﬁnitely be able to lead our country into prominence.”
Zhou Weiqing nodded his head, holding Shangguan Bing’er’s hands and said: “Not me, it’s us. No matter where I am, I will not allow you to leave me.”
Shangguan Bing’er saw the resolution in his eyes, and she suddenly realised that, her Little Fatty had somehow changed in that instant, no longer just that Zhou Little Fatty who was joking around all day. With a tremor in her heart, she couldn’t help but think: My Little Fatty has grown up!
The registration point was at the entrance of the Fei Li Imperial Family Military Academy, while the actual examinations were within the academy itself. With the admission identiﬁcation card in hand, Zhou Weiqing and Shangguan Bing’er entered the Academy.
As soon as they entered, they saw a wide open main square, just like a drilling ground, and this wide main square was surrounded by a 800 metre long running track. On the other end of the main square, there was a huge 6 story building which was more than 300 metres wide – it was the main academy building. The entire building was a metallic grey colour, giving forth a thick and serious killing aura.
The three registration examinations were all held in the large main square, and the outcome would be determined there and then, as such there were very clear speciﬁcations for the new registrees. Zhou Weiqing looked towards Shangguan Bing’er and asked: “Bing’er, what shall we go for ﬁrst? Looks like you will not have any problems with the registration examinations, sigh, but I’m not so certain about myself.”
Shangguan Bing’er said curiously: “Why wouldn’t I have any problems?”
Zhou Weiqing said: “Didn’t you see that one of the examinations is a face to face interview? With our Bing’er’s top beauty, that should be a full marks! As for the other two, you can just casually get any marks and you will still pass. Sigh, as for me, with this face of mine, I doubt I will score high. As for the written military examination, I’ll be happy if I do not get 0 marks.”
Shangguan Bing’er giggled, hitting him on his shoulder: “Do not put yourself down, how would you know without trying. Come, let’s try the military examination ﬁrst then, since you aren’t conﬁdent.”
The written examination on military affairs was in the east side of the square, while the personal combat ability examination was on the west. The central portion of the square was where the interviews were held; this would prevent the noise from the combat examination from affecting the written examinations.
As the two of them entered the written examination area, they noticed that there were only a few empty seats left. Someone passed them a copy of the examination, and the teacher in charge told them no communication was allowed as soon as the tests started, and they could hand in their paper after they had ﬁnished. At the front, there were over a dozen teachers reading some completed papers. Clearly, the papers would be graded there and then, so the results of the examination could be received as soon as possible.
There were stationary provided on the table, and Zhou Weiqing sat there and looked at the paper, and he was given a pleasant surprise. If the examination were to be on details of military command like the formation of troops, he would deﬁnitely score a big zero. After all, in his younger years when his meridians were still blocked and he did not have his Heavenly Jewels Awakened, Admiral Zhou did not hope for him taking over and inheriting his duties. As a result, he had not been taught anything about the military. However, the question in the paper was not about the normal military knowledge, but an example of a battle situation. The question was as follows: An isolated little city has been surrounded by enemy troops. Currently, there are only 5000 troops guarding the city, and several hundred thousand citizens, with many young and old dependents. The enemy troops number a hundred thousand, and they have completely surrounded the city. Reinforcements can only arrive in at least
3 days. Under such a circumstance, the enemy has driven citizens from the surrounding villages and used them as the vanguard in attacking the city. As the general in charge of the defence of the city, what would you do?
The examination consisted of only this one single question, and the rest of the paper was blank for their answer.
Zhou Weiqing hesitated for a moment, then started writing furiously, his pen ﬂying over the paper. Perhaps because of the constant creation of Consolidating Equipment Scrolls recently, even his handwriting seemed a lot better.
Before long, he had completed a long section of words. He did not even read through it again, instead standing up in satisfaction, looking at Shangguan Bing’er at the side who was still writing, he headed to the front to hand in his paper.
The teachers at the front were busy grading, but since there was only one question, and these teachers were all experienced members of the Fei Li Imperial Family Military Academy, the grading was done pretty quickly. Zhou Weiqing had only queued for a short while before it was his turn.
The teacher who took his paper was a male of around 50 years of age. As soon as he read the ﬁrst line, his brow furrowed. On Zhou Weiqing’s paper, the ﬁrst line was: Kill! Kill! Kill!
As the teacher read on, he saw the following: If I were the general of the little city, I would unhesitatingly issue the order to kill. The civilians outside are the citizens of our country, but so are the citizens and troops in the city wall. At this time, any hesitation might cause the city walls to be destroyed, and countless of lives lost. At that point, would the enemy let those civilians they used as the vanguard go? Perhaps they might, but as the general in charge, I cannot take that risk, take the gamble, betting the lives of several hundred other civilians and my thousands of troops.
To defend the city, that is my ﬁrst duty. The civilians who were forced to become the vanguard are innocent, alas, if I do not kill them, as a soldier, I have failed in my duty. Perhaps, the little city I am guarding is just a small one of no major consequence to the overall picture of the war, but as a general, I cannot think like this. I must do what I can to complete my task of defending the city, and to do so, I will not hesitate to kill and ﬁght with all my might, down to the very last soldier.
If the enemy’s attack isn’t able to destroy the city, then during the night, I will pass on my duties to my vice commander, and go alone out of the city to attack the enemy, to take responsibility and revenge for the civilians outside. I will kill as many as I can. However, before I do so, I will ensure that the city has sufﬁcient fuel and combustibles, and give my vice commander a ﬁnal command. As soon as the enemy breaks into the city, then light up and burn the whole city, and ﬁght to the death with the enemy. Even if the city is broken and everyone perishes, we will not leave them with a single grain of food, nor leave them with any living humans to use on the next city. Casualties are unavoidable in war, and I can only do the best I can to provide the best possible outcome in the ﬁnal war. As to regards on how many people will die, I can only do my best to reduce it, but beyond that, I cannot do anything.
Looking at Zhou Weiqing’s answer, the teacher’s face grew ugly, feeling a sense of blood from it, he couldn’t help but cry out angrily: “Nonsense! This is absolute nonsense!”
Looking up at Zhou Weiqing, he said: “This is your ideal answer? I cannot imagine, if you truly become a general, how many people would die because of you. Your answer, gives me the images of mountains of corpses and blood. A general who doesn’t care about life, who can kill and cause destruction and doesn’t care about civilians, such a general would never be loved by the troops and civilians. Aren’t you afraid of a mutiny?”
Zhou Weiqing shrugged and said: “Mutiny? Why would there be one? Couldn’t I tell them those civilians are enemy troops in disguise? If I am the general, my duty is to protect the country, not just those particular civilians. I believe that no general in the world will be able to save every civilian. I do not need their love, I just need to ensure most of them stay alive. There are always sacriﬁces in war. What, should I have surrendered instead?”
The teacher cried out angrily: “Even surrendering would be better than your answer. No matter what your excuses are, I will give you a zero for this answer. In fact, from my perspective, I deﬁnitely do not hope that a young man with a character like yours will enter the academy and eventually go on the battleﬁeld.”
Zhou Weiqing’s lip curled in scorn. “Pedantic fool.” Towards this exam, he had never expected much anyway. Zero, so be it. Besides, as long as he managed to get full marks for another paper, he should be able to pass. He was rather conﬁdent in the personal combat ability examination.
Just as the teacher was about to put a zero on the paper, all of a sudden, a clear voice sounded out. “Wait!” Zhou Weiqing lifted his head, and his brow furrowed instantly. A youth walked up to the teacher, picking up Zhou Weiqing’s paper. That youth was none other than the one he had met two days ago, the black clad youth who had been with Difuya, Ming Yu.
He was still clad in black, his face passive as he looked at Zhou Weiqing, as if he did not recognize him.
Zhou Weiqing thought to himself: Is that fellow a teacher in this Fei Li Imperial Family Military Academy? If that is so, perhaps I’m in trouble for today’s examination. Furthermore, he had noticed the look of respect that had ﬂashed onto the teacher’s face when Ming Yu had taken the paper from him, even standing up and giving up his seat.
By this time, Shangguan Bing’er had completed her answer as well, coming to Zhou Weiqing’s side. Earlier, the teacher had been rather loud and thus she had heard the commotion, and was now looking worriedly at Zhou Weiqing.
Ming Yu sat there reading through the paper attentively, and when he ﬁnally raised his head to look at Zhou Weiqing once again, the expression on his face revealed much surprise. “Good… good… very good.” Ming Yu nodded towards Zhou Weiqing, saying: “This answer is the best I have seen all day. Although it is still a little naive and not detailed, but as an examinee who is registering to attend the school, it is already perfect. Teacher Ao Le, I recommend that this freshman should be given the full marks.”
“What? Full marks?” The teacher’s face immediately turned red. “Sir Ming Yu, that shouldn’t be right. This student’s answer is just too absurd. He actually wanted to kill the civilians! Furthermore, at the end there’s even more bullshit. To attack the enemy camp alone, what a foolish idea. How can this answer even pass the exam, let alone get full marks?” Looking at Ming Yu, he had an incredulous look on his face. If the person in front of him wasn’t Ming Yu, he would have accused him of favouritism.
Ming Yu said passively: “Teacher Ao Le, you have always been researching all forms of military knowledge, but you have after all never been on an actual battleﬁeld. War is after all forged by blood and life. This freshman’s answer is indeed the best answer. In order not to inﬂuence the other examinees, I will not explain any further. After the examination has ended, I will personally give you an explanation. However, regarding this answer, I stand by my words, to give him full marks. As for your query about launching a sneak attack on the enemy alone being naive and foolish, what if that person is a powerful Heavenly Jewel Master? Would you still think of that as naive and foolish?”
As he said that, he actually took up the red pen beside the teacher, and wrote a big red 100 on the paper.
“Wait, who are you? You aren’t even an examiner, how can you even correct my paper.” Zhou Weiqing did not feel grateful; towards this man who had been with his ﬁancee, he did not feel any favourable impression.
Looking at the obvious enmity in Zhou Weiqing’s eyes, the teacher Ao Le ﬁnally determined that Ming Yu did not have connection to this little fellow. After all, he had never seen anyone dare rebut Ming Yu like that in public, not even the Academy Master of the Fei Li Military Academy had ever done so. He couldn’t help but say: “You have registered to study at the Fei Li Imperial Family Military Academy, and yet you do not know him, the Fei Li God General, Sir Ming Yu?!”
Zhou Weiqing turned towards Shangguan Bing’er and said: “Fei Li God General? Is he famous?”
Shangguan Bing’er looked absolutely dumbstruck, staring at Ming Yu sitting there, her eyes ﬁlled with respect and worship. As for the other examinees also stood up with shock and joy in their eyes as soon as they heard that, some even squealing out loud. Only under several reprimands from the examiners did they sit back down to continue their examination, though their gazes often ﬂoated back to the front.
Ming Yu looked at Zhou Weiqing, not hiding the approval in his eyes. “Little rascal, your answer has made me look at you in a different light! If not for that battle report only being known to a few of the top military commanders, I would have suspected you actually knew the truth about that battle. You do not need to suspect my motives – what happened two days ago is one matter, today is another matter. As for my qualiﬁcation to correct your paper, I think I do have that, as I am the overall supervisor of this year’s registration. At the same time, I was the one who came up with this question.”
As he said that, he turned to Shangguan Bing’er who was standing beside Zhou Weiqing, a look of surprise at her beauty. “This young lady, can I have a look at your paper?”
Shangguan Bing’er subconsciously passed her paper and her admission identiﬁcation card to Ming Yu, who took up her paper and started reading it leisurely. Only then did Shangguan Bing’er awaken, moving to Zhou Weiqing’s ear and saying in a low voice: “Little Fatty, this Ming Yu God General is extremely famous in the Fei Li Empire, and is one of the top members of the aggressive faction in their army. He is also one of the youngest and most famous generals of his generation, and idolised by many of the young Fei Li Empire citizens. He is considered a legend in the military world, and his battles have been considered almost myths.
Zhou Weiqing curled his lip, saying: “That legendary?”
Shangguan Bing’er continued: “He should be around 30 years old this year, but do not be misled by his age – he is extremely formidable. It is rumoured that he has been following his father, the famous general, Ming Hong since the age of six, learning all sorts of military knowledge and how to command troops. At the age of ten, his Heavenly Jewel Awakened, and at the age of twelve, he joined his father in a military exercise war game, he surprised and awed the entire military upper echelons. When he was fourteen years old, he was given the chance to enter the army early, and he worked his way up from a common soldier. In just two years, he had worked his way to Battalion Commander on his own merits, and at the age of sixteen, in a war with the Wan Shou Empire, he led his lone Battalion against 6 enemy Battalions in a classic guerrilla battle, delaying them for more than 8 hours and buying time for the rest of the Fei Li Empire armies to reach and ﬁnally winning them the battle by a huge margin. That was the battle that ﬁrst propelled him to fame. After that, he returned to the Empire, and studied at this Fei Li Imperial Family Military Academy for two years, earning all the accolades possible in this academy. At the age of eighteen, he returned to the
battleﬁeld, being in more than a hundred battles both big and small, and has never suffered a loss since. By the time he was twenty eight, he had amassed enough military exploits to be promoted to Regimental Commander. With a hundred thousand troops under his command, he is one of the top
generals stationed at their northern border. Everytime he ﬁghts a battle, he never leaves his enemies alive, and he is also known as the God of Slaughter. The Wan Shou Empire hates his guts, and they have sent assassins after him, and also organised large scale battles just in order to trap and kill him.
Despite that, he is still alive and well. Countless of Fei Li Empire citizens, and even citizens of other countries, idolize him. Such an experience, shouldn’t it be counted as legendary?”
Zhou Weiqing’s eyes whirled in their sockets as he held Shangguan Bing’er overbearingly, whispering into her ear: “I just want to know, is he your idol?”
Shangguan Bing’er looked at him exasperatedly, rolling her eyes as she said softly: “I only admire his military genius, but he isn’t my idol. He is ﬁckle and indiscreet, rumoured to be very lustful.”
“Why is being lustful considered ﬁckle and indiscreet?!” Two indignant voices sounded out almost at the same time. One of which was naturally the one who was being evaluated, Ming Yu; while the other was Zhou Weiqing. After they both said it, their eyes met, with Ming Yu smiling as he shook his head, while Zhou Weiqing giving a cold humph.
Ming Yu held Shangguan Bing’er’s paper and smiled, saying: “Beautiful lady, do not worry, even though you said I am ﬁckle and indiscreet, I will still be fair in my grading.”
“Your answer was too straightforward and rather textbook, I’m sure that out of a hundred applicants, 90 of them will have a similar answer. As such, I can only give you 50 marks. To be honest, in terms of military command, inborn talent is of the utmost importance, and makes all the difference. Although I do not like to admit it, this little fellow beside you has an impressive talent, obviously higher than yours unfortunately. I have a simple evaluation for him – resolute and willing to kill. If he is truly 16 years old as he wrote on his registration, then in terms of talent he is ahead of even me. At least, at that age, I would not have thought of burning down my own city to stop the enemy’s advance.” Upon hearing Ming Yu’s evaluation of them both, Shangguan Bing’er ﬂushed a little and bowed respectfully: “Thank you, General.”
Ming Yu stood up, his gaze returning to Zhou Weiqing, and he smiled faintly before saying: “I’ve discovered that you are very similar to me, and I am getting more and more interested. I’ll be back to look for you.”
Zhou Weiqing gave a cheh sound, and spat out: “I, Your Father, am not interested in you. I’m only interested in women.” After saying that, he grabbed his paper and identiﬁcation card and ran off with Shangguan Bing’er.
A look of embarrassment ﬂashed across Ming Yu’s face, and he shook his head helplessly. “That little rascal seemed honest, but he is indeed a rash and rebellious youth. Looks like it’s gonna be an interesting few years in the academy!”
Right at this moment, a soldier rushed to Ming Yu, saluting and saying: “Reporting, Sir.”
“Yes, speak.” Ming Yu said calmly. Although he was only 32 years old, he had a digniﬁed aura that deﬁnitely displayed the stateliness of a general. “Orders from the headquarters for the general to head back and report to them.”
“En… I understand.” Ming Yu waved his hands and nodded to the teachers as he strode off, leaving behind many envious, respectful and even jealous looks.
Shangguan Bing’er was pulled by Zhou Weiqing to the other end of the main square. She couldn’t help but say worriedly: “Little Fatty, do not think too much. After all, General Ming Yu is already over 30, and you are only 16 years old. I believe that my Little Fatty will overtake him in the future.”
Zhou Weiqing looked at her in surprise, saying: “Think too much? I didn’t think of anything ah?! I have nothing to do with that cocky fellow, why should I overtake him? He is himself, and I am my own person.”
Shangguan Bing’er was speechless, thinking to herself: Looks like I was worried for nothing. “Your military examination is already with the full marks, and you don’t have to take any other exams. Just wait for me, I’ll go for the personal combat strength examination.” Zhou Weiqing gave a cold humph and said: “Who wants that fellow’s full marks. I’ll take the test with you. Your husband’s personal strength is still powerful!” As he said that, he gave a muscle ﬂexing pose, causing Shangguan Bing’er to laugh. There were relatively fewer people gathered around the personal combat strength examination, and there were ten teachers acting as examiners there, each of them exchanging some simple blows with the students before evaluating them with a score.
Zhou Weiqing and Shangguan Bing’er found a queue to join. The two of them had been parted for months and had many things to talk about. Zhou Weiqing had just been calling Ming Yu cocky a minute ago, yet at that moment, he couldn’t help but brag to Shangguan Bing’er about his talent as a Consolidating Equipment Master.
Shangguan Bing’er listened to him with a faint smile on her face, being his best audience. Just as Zhou Weiqing was describing the pain he had been in during the breaking through of the twelfth Death Acupuncture Point, he was interrupted by a cry of shock.
Their gazes were drawn in the direction, only to see that the cry had originated from one of the queues of waiting students, and it had been one of the appliants taking the examination who had caused the outcry. The applicant was indeed eye-catching, as he was simply so huge. Zhou Weiqing’s 1.9 metre height and muscular frame was considered large amongst normal people, but when compared to that applicant, he was probably one size down!
He seemed to be at least 2.1 metres tall, his well build body almost akin to a small hill! At the moment, he was saying: “Teacher, your attacks do not hurt at all! By the way, can I get full marks? I got 0 from the military examination, if I do not get full marks here, I’ll probably not be able to get in.”
The teacher in charge of his examination said solemnly: “Applicant Ma Qun, release your Power Jewel and let me have a look.”
“Oh okay.” The large youth called Ma Qun lifted his hands honestly and in a ﬂash of light, a set of Heavenly Jewels appeared around his wrists. On the right, there was a yellow jade glowing, signifying toughness or defence. The purity of the yellow jade naturally showed his status as a Heavenly Jewel Master. As for his left wrist, there was a brilliant gold gemstone.
“Gold diamond, earth attribute!” Shangguan Bing’er gave a small cry of shock, saying with much surprise: “That is a good combination. The Earth Attribute is already very good for defence, and his Physical Jewel is also the toughness attribute. His defensive capabilities must be rather crazy! Such a combination of Heavenly Jewels is known as pure defense, and is even rarer than my pure agility type.”
Zhou Weiqing laughed and said: “Alas, his cultivation level is much lower than yours. After all, he is only a low level Shi Master with just a single set of Jewels, and is at max of 7th Level Heavenly Energy.”
As the two of them were chatting, the examiner said with a gloomy face: “Applicant Ma Qun, since you are a Heavenly Jewel Master, why did you attend the examinations? Don’t you know that no matter which academy, all Heavenly Jewel Masters can enter without examinations? Alright, you just need to register it here with me. Not bad, not bad, the crop of students this year is really good! You are already the second Heavenly Jewel Master this year.”
“Ahh??” Three surprised voices rang out simultaneously. It was naturally Ma Qun, Zhou Weiqing and Shangguan Bing’er.
Both Zhou Weiqing and Shangguan Bing’er exchanged looks, bemusement and laughter well up within them. No wonder Hua Fen had not mentioned anything about the registration exams, since Heavenly Jewel Masters did not even need to take them. That was actually an even better treatment than nobles received.
Zhou Weiqing and Shangguan Bing’er quickly walked up to the examiner and said: “Teacher, we are also Heavenly Jewel Masters, could you help us register as well?”
All the other teachers and applicants turned to look at them, including the large Ma Qun turned around to do so.
The large fellow looked even more honest and naive than Zhou Weiqing, and as soon as he saw Shangguan Bing’er, he broke out in a grin and said: “Elder sis, you are so beautiful.”
Shangguan Bing’er smiled faintly and nodded to him.
Zhou Weiqing looked on coldly from the side. He noticed that this seemingly honest and naive big fellow was more than he looked – when he called Shangguan Bing’er beautiful, he noticeably swallowed a gulp of saliva. As a master of acting himself, Zhou Weiqing immediately spotted this fellow’s true colours. The examiners naturally did not notice such a minuscule detail, and after helping Ma Qun to register, the teacher said to them: “Please show me your Power Jewels.”
Zhou Weiqing and Shangguan Bing’er did not reveal all their secrets – they both lifted up their respective right hands, using their bodies to block the view from the other applicants as they revealed their Physical Jewels.
All the waiting applicants heard an obvious string of breath intakes, but despite craning their necks, they were unable to see anything. As the teachers saw their both of them having three sets of Heavenly Jewels, they naturally kept their silence after that, rushing to help them register. Shangguan Bing’er looked at Zhou Weiqing in surprise, saying: “Little Fatty, you improved again?”
Zhou Weiqing said with a bitter look: “I totally did not want to! I almost died at Teacher Huyan’s place. Without you by my side, breaking through the Death Acupuncture Points is just too painful.”
After just a short while, their registration was complete. The efﬁcacy of the Fei Li Imperial Family Military Academy was extremely high, and the 3 of them received their entrance notiﬁcations immediately. The examiner also told them they could report 3 days later after all the entrance exams had ended and be assigned to their classes.
“Big sister, I’m called Ma Qun, what is your name? You’re so beautiful, you’re the most beautiful sister I have ever seen.” Just as Zhou Weiqing and Shangguan Bing’er were walking off from the personal combat strength examination area, the large Ma Qun had followed them, asking with an honest looking face.
Shangguan Bing’er was about to reply him, but she was pulled aside by Zhou Weiqing who eyed the huge Ma Qun and said: “You big fool, in front of your big brother, your acting is too unskilled. Get lost, otherwise, I’ll beat you up.”
“Little Fatty.” Shangguan Bing’er nudged him admonishingly.
Ma Qun laughed heartily, saying: “This big brother, I’m very tough, you can’t really beat me up, even if you are also a Heavenly Jewel Master.”
“Oh? I can’t beat you up?” Zhou Weiqing looked at him with interest. This time, Shangguan Bing’er seemed to know what was up, and didn’t make any further comments. Ma Qun gave a foolish grin as he laughed and said: “How about we have a bet. If you can beat me up and hurt me, I’ll get lost. If not, you let me have this beautiful big sister.”
Zhou Weiqing laughed: “You have some audacity! No matter what, you do not lose. Haha… alright, it’s a rare moment that I will take the disadvantage in a bet, but I agree. Ready?”
Ma Qun stood there, legs apart in a ready stance. He might look foolish and naive on the outside, but he was deﬁnitely not so, and was fully prepared, even releasing his Heavenly Jewels. The Earth Attribute Gold Diamond ﬂashed, and a dim gold light surrounded his skin, and his already huge body seemed even larger than before, his skin seemingly rougher as well. “Alright, I am ready. Come then.”
Zhou Weiqing smiled and said: “Not bad, stone skin. In addition to your toughness Physical Jewel, that is not bad at all. Since you called me big brother, if I use my Heavenly Jewels, that would be bullying you too much. Look carefully, I am not using my Heavenly Jewels.”
As he said that, he lifted his hands towards Ma Qun to see, and the instant that Ma Qun’s gaze landed on his wrists, Zhou Weiqing’s leg ﬂashed out like lightning, his right leg smashing savagely into Ma Qun’s abdomen. With a huge *Bang*, that huge and heavy Ma Qun ﬂew off even despite all his defenses.
Indeed, he actually ﬂew all the way back. His body being kicked into into a bow shape before ﬂying back, and in a series of explosive sounds, the stone skin around his body actually shattered as he was knocked back almost 30 metres.
In a ﬂash, Zhou Weiqing disappeared from beside Shangguan Bing’er. By the time he reappeared, he was above Ma Qun’s ﬂying body. Once again, the right leg ﬂashed out, this time in a downward strike from above, once again smashing savagely into Ma Qun, this time onto his back. His body in midair instantly crashed down, landing heavily into the granite pavement. And, Ma Qun disappeared like that…
The huge commotion drew the attention of many standing around the main square as Zhou Weiqing landed gracefully on the ground. Indeed, he had not even unleashed his Heavenly Jewels, let alone any skills, and had only depended upon the terrifying strength and explosive power of the Demonic Right Leg. With a single blow of his leg, he had knocked Ma Qun back, before catching up with him and smashing him down with another blow. At this moment, Ma Qun’s hulking body was actually embedded inside the granite pavement. Zhou Weiqing was standing on Ma Qun’s back, smiling as he said: “Big Fool, this big brother will teach you a lesson today. Liking women is not a bad thing, but don’t you try to target this big brother’s women. Tell me, does it hurt?”
Two days ago, when he saw Ming Yu and Difuya together, although Zhou Weiqing was a little gloomy, as Difuya was after all his ﬁancee in name, he did not really care a whole lot. However, when this big fellow was trying to put the moves on Bing’Er, that was not something he could stand. Shangguan Bing’er was the soft spot in his heart, and was his weakness! He wanted to kill off any notion in this Ma Qun’s heart before it could grow any further. To such a fellow who knew how to act and chase girls, the best way was to beat him till he was afraid of continuing.
“Yes, it hurts. Big brother, I’m wrong.” Ma Qun lifted up his head, shaken. This fellow’s defense was indeed stunning though, despite being knocked right into the granite, his skin was not even bleeding at all. Of course, he was still hurting all over, especially that searing pain in his gut where Zhou Weiqing had kicked him, and at the moment he felt as if his insides were ﬂip ﬂopping around. Ever since his Heavenly Jewels had Awakened, he had never felt such a feeling. How could he not know that he had met someone he could not possibly deal with. Zhou Weiqing lifted up his leg, looking at the teachers running over, he quickly ﬂipped Ma Qun up and out with his leg, patting the dust off Ma Qun’s body with a sincere smile on his face.
“What happened?” A teacher approached, asking angrily as he looked at the fearsome man-shaped hole in the ground.
Zhou Weiqing smiled faintly: “It’s nothing, we just got accepted into the academy, and were too excited. We were just sparring a little, right, Comrade Ma Qun.”
Ma Qun glanced at Zhou Weiqing, a strange expression on his face, but he immediately nodded and said: “Indeed! We were just sparring. Apologies teacher, I will pay for the broken granite.”