Heavenly Jewel Change Chapter 51-60

Chapter 51 Top Peak of the North, Tian Er

He had actually mastered and could control the Demonic Change?! This was the true reason that Ming Wu was so shocked that his expression changed. Without question, any first generation Demonic Jewel Master who was in the Demonic Change was extremely dangerous, even with their disparity of power levels. When Zhou Weiqing lifted up the huge hammers in his hands, Ming Wu realised his mistake – Zhou Weiqing had sufficient Heavenly Energy to use more skills, otherwise, how could he possibly summon this Legendary Consolidated Equipment Weapon!?

At this moment, the Absolute Delay and Fetters of Wind was on the last second of its effect, and as the originally dark gold hammers smashed down towards Ming Wu, they went through an astounding change.

Two strange colours swirled around in a green and silver mix around the pair of hammers, brightening them up. Without question, Zhou Weiqing had set more skills onto it. This strike of his could be to said to be the most powerful strike he had ever done since he had become a Heavenly Jewel Master. In order to accomplish that, when the pair of hammers struck down, his entire body was drained of all his remaining Heavenly Energy. In that instant, Ming Wu’s heart was actually filled with fear! However, he was after all a powerful 9-Jeweled Zong Stage Heavenly Jewel Master, and despite his fear, he swiftly reacted. A massively thick wave of Heavenly Xu Energy burst forth from his body, forming into a glittering gold armour.

The Absolute Delay could only slow down Ming Wu’s speed or usage of skills, but would not be able to stop him from just unleashing raw Heavenly Energy or using his Consolidated Equipment… Not even when coupled with the Fetters of Wind.

The entire suit of gold armour he was wearing was a set made out of eight pieces of Consolidated Equipment. From the day he had Awakened as a Heavenly Jewel Master, this Set had been prepared for him. Helmet, breastplate, shoulder pauldrons, waist guard, and the four limbs. The most important eight parts of the body were entirely protected. On the golden armour, there was the symbol of the bright red Hades’ Flower embroidered upon, causing it to look extremely brilliant.

Ming Wu’s own power was already very synergized with his Consolidated Equipment Set because of that. As for Zhou Weiqing, being a Consolidating Equipment Master, he naturally knew the significance of such a completed Set. To have a 8- piece set, and an entire armour set to boot, it was definitely created by at least a Zong Stage Consolidated Equipment Master or greater. Alas, at this point there was no longer any time for him to sit back and ponder over the situation, but could only gather all his strength for this one ‘all-in’ blow. Indeed, just at the instant when the Absolute Delay ended, the hammer in his left hand slammed down hard onto Ming Wu’s head.

Ming Wu reaction speed was just too quick. Even though the Absolute Delay just ended, he still managed to get his hand up in time to block the blow just in time.

When the entire Consolidated Equipment Set coalesced around Ming Wu’s body, his released Heavenly Energy also underwent a change. The original white Heavenly Xu Energy turned into a glittering gold. As such, when he raised his hands to block the hammer, a brilliant gold light flashed out, filled with terrifying strength and pressure.

Ming Wu’s mouth curved into a slight smile. This little brat was indeed good, but he was just missing a little at the end, being off with the timing by just a sheer split second! If not, he might actually been able to cause some trouble.

Indeed, in Ming Wu’s eyes, Zhou Weiqing had made a slight misjudgement in not striking him before the Absolute Delay had ended. However, almost right after the smile appeared, his face froze in shock.

The fist, along with the strong gold light clashed with the hammer in Zhou Weiqing’s hands. However, the result was definitely unexpected, the fist passing right through the hammer! Such a powerful blow, spinning right into the air. At the same time, Zhou Weiqing’s right hammer was already just reaching his head.

The feeling of striking nothingness and losing his balance was something so surprising that even such a powerful person like Ming Wu could handle easily. Having such a powerful blow not land was already a blow to him, causing his entire body to freeze and slow for a split second.

Luckily, Ming Wu had not planned to kill Zhou Weiqing, thus the blow was not using his full strength. It was only because of that that he didn’t cause any self injury. However, at the same time, he was off balance as the hammer in Zhou Weiqing’s right hand was already at his head.

How could Zhou Weiqing make an error in calculation earlier? Especially in such a dire situation which concerned his life and death. That had all been his plan to trick Ming Wu, from the first three arrows, their skills all the way down to the end. His entire goal was to mislead Ming Wu into thinking his Heavenly Energy was lacking and make an error in judgement.

In the Heavenly Bow Unit, besides archery, the thing Zhou Weiqing had studied most under Mu En and the other members was human nature, and how people reacted to things.

The reason why the members of the Heavenly Bow Unit were such successful assassins, being able to take down those who were much more powerful than themselves was just due to that reason! All humans had a sense of ‘normality’ or common sense, and a certain line of thought. With his grasp on human nature, Zhou Weiqing had been able to create a trap in such a short period of time, step by step leading Ming Wu down a line of thinking and directing him along in the series of actions. The only thing that had gone awry was that Ming Wu had not used all his strength in that previous blow and inflicted some self-injury, if not he would have an even greater chance.

Right at that moment, a figure appeared from the distance. It was Ming Hua. The moment she appeared, what she witnessed was her father’s fist passing through Zhou Weiqing’s hammer and the other one striking his head! Ming Hua felt her mind go totally blank. She could never in her wildest dreams imagine that her father, with his 9-Jeweled cultivation level, being forced to use his Consolidated Equipment Set by the 3-Jeweled Zhou Weiqing! And not only that, he seemed to be on the defensive! How could this be possible?

In such a moment of critical danger, in a situation where it seemed Ming Wi had no room for escape, he burst forth with all the power of a Zong Stage Heavenly Jewel Master.

With all his might, he managed to lower his head slightly, at the same time forcibly twisting his body. At such a off balance position with his energy used wrongly, he was still barely able to twist his body, moving his right hand up to bring his shoulder up to receive the blow, avoiding his vulnerable head.

If it were any other ordinary Consolidated Equipment Weapon, with his own Consolidated Equipment Set, Ming Wu would have ignored it totally. However, at this point, Zhou Weiqing’s one was different. The hammers in his hand were created by a God Tier Consolidating Equipment Master, and he was also in the Demonic Change state, and it even had skills laid upon it! In such a circumstance, Ming Wu would not risk his own life to bet on it. *Bang!* The first hammer had indeed been fake, but the second was a truly huge blow. With a loud sound, it slammed savagely into Ming Wu’s shoulder.

Ming Hua was too far to do anything to help, and she could only hold her hand to her mouth helplessly in shock. Staring at such an unbelievable scene before her, she was struck dumbfounded.

When Zhou Weiqing’s huge hammer slammed into Ming Wu’s shoulder, the gold Consolidated Equipment Set Armour shimmered in a thick shield of gold light, attempting to block the attack from the huge hammer. Alas, the hammer shone with a green and silver light, emitting a loud earsplitting explosion as it tore through the layer of protection, slamming hard into Ming Wu’s shoulder.

In that vast explosion, Ming Wu was sent smashing right into the ground, embedding him deep in the hard rock floor, causing a ten metre wide crater on the road and stone chips to fly everywhere. The gold light around Ming Wu’s body also dimmed, almost extinguishing.

However, as the attacker, Zhou Weiqing was also in bad shape. As the hammer had struck Ming Wu, the powerful backlash had also sent him flying. In mid air, the hammers had vanished as he no longer had any energy left in his body to sustain them. He flew back, slamming hard into the wall behind, and with a *wah* sound, he vomited out a mouthful of blood.

Even with the Immortal Deity Technique supporting him, Zhou Weiqing had totally drained every last drop of Heavenly Energy from his body in this terrifying battle. In that last strike, for it to have such a destructive power, it was not just only because of the Legendary Hammers.

First of all, he still had the Tornado Strike skill from the Icy Soul Heavenly Bears on him, that he had used while charging towards Ming Wu. Its main effect was to double one’s speed in that instant, but its secondary effect was to double the strength of his next attack! Previously, the members of the Heavenly Bow Unit had suffered much under this very skill when they were fighting the adult Icy Soul Heavenly Bear King. As such, Zhou Weiqing had decided to Store this Skill from his little Icy Soul Heavenly Bears. This sudden burst of speed and strength, if used properly, could be one of the top supporting skills.

At the same time, due to his surging emotions earlier, faced with Ming Wu’s strong pressure and stress and thinking about the life and death of himself and Shangguan Bing’er, Zhou Weiqing had finally managed to activate the Demonic Change. That had also tripled his power once more, and also used up much of his Heavenly Energy.

Even then, that was not all. Even though the Legendary Hammers did not have sockets, they still had the ability to improve the skills of the Heavenly Jewel Master, increasing it by a level.

On the Tornado Strike, it had not improved the speed, but the strength increase was even further boosted. Of course, the Demonic Change could not be further boosted. Finally, the last bit of Heavenly Energy had been used by Zhou Weiqing to release two skills with the hammers. Both these skills were from the Silver Emperor, one was the Spatial Rend, and the other was the Wind Attribute Skill, the Silver Emperor Wing Slash. This was the reason why the hammers had turned green and silver from its original dark gold. At the same time, the two skills had fused together to form the Dual Attribute Skill Silver Emperor Spatial Rend Slash, the strongest final skill of the Silver Emperor!

Of course, Zhou Weiqing’s Silver Emperor Spatial Rend Slash was not comparable in any way to the Silver Emperor’s. If it were the Silver Emperor unleashing it, it would likely be able to heavily injure Ming Wu, or even kill him. However, the Hammer had at least boosted it by a significant amount, not to mention the original destructive power of the Hammer itself.

Just from the various boosts to strength alone, this strike by Zhou Weiqing was more than ten times his usual power. After absorbing the black pearl, he had already been stronger than any ordinary Strength Type Heavenly Jewel Master, let alone now with a ten times boost! Adding on to that the fearsome Silver Emperor Spatial Rend Slash being boosted by the Legendary Hammers… this blow was indeed powerful enough to injure Ming Wu.

Still, if not for his elaborate plan in making Ming Wu underestimate him, and most importantly that first punch which had resulted in Ming Wu striking nothing and using his strength wrongly and almost injuring himself, it was likely that this powerful blow could be easily blocked by Ming Wu. After all, the power difference between the two of them was just too huge. However, that was the true beauty of the hammers, being able to switch between real and fake. Once someone was tricked by it and used their strength wrongly, it would open them up to a true powerful strike by the other hammer. In Ming Wu’s case, it had been his sheer power that
saved his life by forcefully moving his head away from the

“Father!!!”  Ming Hua cried out loud, running towards the battle ground.

Zhou Weiqing did not try to make another move to escape. He knew clearly that it would be futile, he was utterly exhausted physically, mentally and also drained of all his Heavenly Energy, and even his Demonic Change had dissipated as he was no longer able to sustain it, and the black tattoos were disappearing slowly. From that, one could tell how much he had expended during that fight – not just in terms of energy, but also mentally.

A strong sense of exhaustion enveloped his mind and body, feeling an emptiness within him. Slumping down on the floor, he could not even gather the energy to get up. In the end, he had failed. The difference in power was just too huge. When he had succeeded in striking Ming Wu, Zhou Weiqing could feel that his attempt to kill Ming Wu had failed. The defense of the 8-piece Consolidated Equipment Set coupled with his massive Heavenly Energy was just too much.

Currently, his heart was filled with sorrow. Is this it? That was the difference in power! Will I be forced to join this Heavenly Demon Sect?

*Bang*! Another loud explosion rang out and a gold figure leapt up, shabby and disheveled. It was Ming Wu, but currently he looked nothing like the well groomed, calm and unflurried self that he was earlier. Although he was still wearing his Consolidated Equipment Set, its glow was dim and the right shoulder pauldrons was totally caved in, with several obvious cracks on it. His right arm was flopping uselessly at his side; although Zhou Weiqing had failed to kill him with that blow, it had still managed to totally destroy his shoulder bones. If not for their huge power difference, even if Zhou Weiqing had not struck his head, that blow might still have killed him.

The expression on Ming Wu’s face was extremely ugly now. After all, as a 9-Jeweled Heavenly Jewel Master facing a 3- Jeweled Jewel Master, for him to sustain such a heavy injury was almost unimaginable. Lifting up his left hand, a soft but thick green light covered his right shoulder. After all, his Elemental Jewel was of the Life and Demonic Attributes. However, even for such a powerful Life Attribute Heavenly Jewel Master, it would not be easy to completely recover from the injury on his shoulder. After all, the Legendary Hammer had pulverized the shoulder bones, and it would not be so easily dealt with.

“Little brat, you are so savage, my entire right shoulder has been shattered. If not for the fact I managed to dodge quickly, it would have been my head that was shattered.” Ming Wu said coldly to Zhou Weiqing.

Seeing her father injured so badly, Ming Hua’s eyes turned red. “I’ll kill you!” She cried out angrily as she charged towards Zhou Weiqing.

However, she was quickly stopped by Ming Wu, who held her back with his left hand. At this time, he actually smiled, causing the exhausted Zhou Weiqing to start in surprise.

“What are you smiling about?” Zhou Weiqing asked suspiciously. Ming Wu smiled and said: “I was too overconfident and underestimated you. I originally thought I could easily take you down without using any Skills or Consolidated Equipment, but never expected that you would trick me. It’s okay though, I can always recover from my wounds, but if I miss out on such a great talent like you, then I will regret it for the rest of my life. I broke my word, and you shattered my shoulder, I shall count it as even then. I will not pursue it further, as we will be comrades in the future. You are an intelligent young man, and
I need not say more.”

Although Ming Wu was furious that his shoulder had been shattered, but who was he? He was one of the top powerhouses in the world. As he thought further, his mood turned better. After all, the more talented Zhou Weiqing was, the greater the benefit it would be for his Heavenly Demon Sect right? No matter how amazing his talent was, Zhou Weiqing still had too much growing to do before he was strong enough. Earlier, if Ming Wu had taken him seriously and gone full out, Zhou Weiqing would not even have the opportunity to even take any action. Once he had gone through the ceremony of the Heavenly Demon Sect, he would be one of them, and Ming Wu felt that his wound was nothing in comparison. Furthermore, his status in the Sect would rise rapidly if he brought Zhou Weiqing in. What he admired most about Zhou Weiqing was not just his Heavenly Jewel Master talent, but more importantly his intelligence and steady mindset. WIthout question, being able to injure Ming Wu was the result of Zhou Weiqing’s almost perfect planning and control. Up until the final blow, Ming Wu had not felt anything amiss nor sensed any danger… to be able to do something like that, what kind of intelligence would it take?

Zhou Weiqing’s lips were pursed as his twelve energy whirlpools revolved at their maximum speed, attempting to recover as much as possible to his drained body. However, he was definitely not in a good mood right now.

By now, he felt totally at a loss, with nothing left to try. The exhaustion and dazed feeling he had was growing stronger by the minute. He wanted to try more, to escape, but alas the heart was willing but the mind was weak. He had done his best, put in everything he had, but the final result had not changed.

The anger in Ming Hua’s eyes also diminished slowly as she listened to her father’s words, and the surprise in her heart also grew. In that instant, Zhou Weiqing’s image in her mind changed, as he seemed so very different now. He no longer had that lascivious look on his face, fully expressionless. His eyes calm but the light in them seemed dimmer than usual. His face was pale, clearly showing how weak he was now. However, in such a state, it seemed as if all his masks were stripped off, and he seemed to have a strange charisma that somehow drew her to him.

“I  did  not  lose,  but  I’ve  still  lost.”   Zhou  Weiqing  said passively, his hands pressed against the wall to support his body as he struggled to get up.

Ming Wu looked at him with appreciation, saying: “Indeed, you did not lose to me. I have always thought that my son was the top of the younger generation. Now, when I look at you, I know how true the saying goes. There are mountains beyond mountains,and heavens beyond heavens. If one day you become more powerful than me, you can always kill me in revenge for what I did to you today, but for now, no matter what, I cannot let you go. Letting such a talent like you go is tantamount to giving up our Sect’s possible grand future.”

“Going back on your word, is this what the Heavenly Demon Sect is? So much for your insistence that you are not evil, but in  the  end  your  actions  show  your  true  colours.”  All  of  a sudden, a clear cold voice rang out in the air, seemingly insubstantial, and none of them could tell where it was coming from. Ming Wu’s face changed. “Who’s that?!”  He asked sharply. With his cultivation level, for him not to be able to detect someone getting close was extremely shocking. Furthermore, this person seemed to know who he was and his power levels, yet dared to speak up, that definitely showed a level of confidence.

After he asked the question, suddenly all three of their gazes were drawn to the side of the street, as if sucked in by a magnet.

In the quiet of the night, a shimmering white figure suddenly appeared there as if out of nowhere. The white seemed so pure and encompassing. A white dress, white hair, and fair and exquisite features. The only contrast was the two strips of dark blue hair lining the sides of the forehead, as well as a pair of glimmering deep purple eyes, injecting the entire image with colour.

This was a nigh perfect lady. Zhou Weiqing couldn’t help but stare, dazed. Perhaps, Shangguan Bing’er was equal in term of looks, but this lady seemed to have a very unique aura and quality that no other girl he had seen could compare to.

Even Ming Wu, with his power and steady character, couldn’t help but stare when he spotted this white clad young lady. As for Ming Hua, she almost had the feeling of being ashamed of her own appearance in comparison as she looked upon her countenance.

It was as if she didn’t take any steps, but she appeared right in front of them. Around her right wrist, Zhou Weiqing saw six Icy Jade Physical Jewels.

Upper level Zun Stage Heavenly Jewel Master!

Who is she? Without knowing why, when Zhou Weiqing looked at her, he felt a strange sense of familiarity. Yet, he was sure that he had never seen this lady before. However, from her words, it seemed that she was here to help him. Zhou Weiqing kept quiet. In such a circumstance, that seemed the best course of action for him, to wait and see how things played out.

Besides the six Icy Jade Physical Jewels, the white clad young lady did not cover the Elemental Jewels on her left wrist. Swirling around them were actually six Alexandrite Cat’s Eye Jewels, glittering rose red in the dark of the night… She had the same Jewels as Zhou Weiqing!

“Who are you?” Ming Wu asked once more solemnly. The white clad lady said passively in her clear, cold voice: “Top Peak of the North.”

Hearing the words, Ming Wu’s face changed once more, and he couldn’t help but exclaim: “Heavenly Snow Mountain?!”

Direct translation of the idiom, pretty much means there’s always someone better out there The young lady said passively: “It’s good that you know. You both  can  leave  now.  He  is  protected  by  us.”  Her  voice  was enchantingly beautiful, but had a cold within that seemed to chill the bone.

After a short moment of surprise, Ming Wu recovered and said in his deep voice: “This lady, your Top Peak of the North and our Top Demon of the West have always not interfered with each other, and have even worked together at times. Please do not interfere in our business… it will be much appreciated.”

The young lady gave a cold humph and said: “You do not have the qualification to say that to me… if Wu Xing Tian tells me that, then that’s a different matter.”

Ming Hua said coldly: “How arrogant, aren’t you just talking big?” As the saying goes, beautiful women will easily be jealous of each other. After the short moment of feeling inferior, her gaze towards the young white clad lady was filled with some jealousy and envy. However, when Ming Wu heard the young lady’s words, his face changed once more and he quickly asked: “May I know this young lady’s name?”

She replied passively: “My name is Tian Er…”

Upon hearing the name, Ming Wu’s facial expression grew even uglier, his brow knitted as he lapsed into deep thought.

Tian Er continued passively: “Our Heavenly Snow Mountain has taken notice of this person for a long time now. Although your cultivation level is higher than mine, you are currently heavily injured. Even if both of you take action together, you may still not defeat me. Furthermore, if you dare to take action against me… then your Top Demon of the West will no longer exist.”

As she said that, she lifted up her left hand and clapped it towards Zhou Weiqing.

As injured as he was, how could Zhou Weiqing avoid the blow. The only thing he saw was a flash of gold light and a warm feeling enveloped his entire body. The next moment, he lost consciousness. “The Divine Attribute!”  When Ming Wu saw the gold light flash from Tian Er’s hands, he finally made his decision with a deep sigh. “Fine…  enough is enough then. Since he is under the protection of the Heavenly Snow Mountain, there is nothing more for us to say.”

“Lady Tian Er , please ensure that he does not reveal anything about today.”

As Tian Er inclined her head slightly in agreement, Ming Wu looked at Zhou Weiqing once more unwillingly before grabbing onto his daughter and leaping into the air, quickly disappearing into the darkness.

Tian Er watched them leave calmly, before her eyes finally flashed in a brilliant gleam. With a flash of silver light, a little bird appeared on her shoulders – it was the Silver Emperor who had escaped from the Skill Storing Palace! If Ming Wu had shown any disrespect against the Heavenly Snow Mountain earlier, Tian Er wouldn’t have let him leave so easily.

Turning to Zhou Weiqing, the calm and passive look in her eyes disappeared suddenly, and she lifted up a slim leg to give his buttocks a few kicks exasperatedly. Finally, she grabbed hold of his ears and said: “Hmph! You bad little rascal, if I didn’t reach at the right time, you’d be finished. Your power is far from being sufficient, yet your talent for causing trouble certainly is unbelievable, even taking on the Heavenly Demon Sect. You big fool!” As she said that, she couldn’t help but kick his buttocks two more times before stopping.

The Silver Emperor looked upon her actions curiously, but she  just  shook  her  head  and  said:  “Little  Silver,  take  my personal token for authentication and head to the Heavenly Snow Mountain. Your aura is too obvious here, and the Skill Storing Palace will not leave matters be so easily. This is after all their territory, and if they find us, it will cause some trouble. Once you reach the Heavenly Snow Mountain, my father will take care of you. However, remember that you must no longer kill any innocents. Understand?”

*Chirp* *Chirp* The Silver Emperor called out softly twice, before flying off into the air, disappearing into the skies.

After watching it leave, Tian Er finally grabbed hold of Zhou Weiqing and disappeared into the darkness as well.

At the other end, Ming Wu brought his daughter back to their mansion with an ashen, livid face. As soon as they reached the safety of their home, he immediately focused on treating his shoulder. Although he had the Life Attribute, having his bone shattered wasn’t something that could be fixed easily, and taking care of it as soon as possible was important. With Ming Hua’s help, the bones were pieced back together, and healing Skills set upon it. Even so, it would take at least half a month of healing and recuperation for it to recover.

“Father, why didn’t you take action earlier? That so-called Tian Er was only six-Jeweled, even with your injury, you are still much more powerful than her!”  After helping her father with his wound, Ming Hua couldn’t help but ask.

Ming Wu shook his head with a bitter smile, saying: “If only it were that simple. If it was just about power, perhaps I could still defeat her despite my injuries, however it will not be so simple to kill or capture her. Top Peak of the North… the Heavenly Snow Mountain… do you think they are so easily dealt with? If we aren’t careful, it will even bring destruction to our Sect.”

Ming  Wu  said  dubiously:  “They  are  the  Top  Peak  of  the North, but we are also the Top Demon of the West, we are all considered one of the five Great Holy Lands in the continent, and can be considered equal, why should we be afraid of them?” Ming Wu said: “Equal? Perhaps we are equal in terms of name or notoriety. However, for those who know the truth, we are not even close in terms of power. Our Top Demon of the East is at the bottom of the five Great Holy Lands, while the Heavenly Snow Mountain is right at the top of the five. You are an adult now, and it’s time I told you some secrets. Do you know why the Wan Shou Empire is able to fight against so many of the other Empires of the continent by itself? It is because the Heavenly Snow Mountain is situated there, and are backing them. As such, none of the other Great Holy Lands dare join in the fight against them.”

“Earlier,  that  young  lady  called  Tian  Er  used  the  Divine Attribute, one of the rare three Saint Attributes. Furthermore, her Elemental Jewel was actually the Alexandrite Cat’s Eye! Add to that, the ‘Tian’ in her name, all of that points to her being of royal blood in the Heavenly Snow Mountain, perhaps even the Heavenly Snow Emperor’s daughter! It is rumoured that he only has the one daughter, and if we touch her… Let’s not talk about injuring her… even if we just snatch Zhou Weiqing from her, it might even cause a grudge that cause our Sect to be destroyed.”

Listening to her father’s explanation, only then did Ming Hua understand the implications of everything. “Father, but I am still not willing to accept defeat so easily. We were so close! Furthermore, Zhou Weiqing is clearly with the Demonic Attribute, and is a first generation Demonic Jewel Master… He should belong to us Heavenly Demon Sect.”

Ming Wu said passively: “Might is right. Previously, when I broke my word to Zhou Weiqing, wasn’t it because I was more powerful than him?”

“It is the same in this case. The Heavenly Snow Mountain’s power disparity with our Heavenly Demon Sect is just like the disparity between mine and Zhou Weiqing’s power levels. We do not have any other choice.”

“Is that it…  we just give up like that?”  Ming Hua thought about how she had been treated earlier in the tunnels, and gritted her teeth angrily.

Ming Wu sighed and said: “What else can we do? There is only one plan I have now. You should approach him now and try to get back on his good side… If possible… try to have his child… and that will at least be a second generation Demonic Jewel Master, which will still be of great aid to our Sect. That young man is just too talented and dangerous, we have already offended him. Since we can’t get him to join us due to the Heavenly Snow Mountain, we will have to ensure that our relations do not worsen further. You are his teacher, and it is up to you to try to mend the relations. Even if he doesn’t join us, we cannot afford to have him as our enemy.”

Ming Hua said unwillingly: “Father, I won’t do it! What’s so good about him? You even want your own daughter to give herself…”

Ming Wu gave an angry humph and said: “You little girl… normally you’re so intelligent, why are you so foolish when it comes to Zhou Weiqing? Haven’t you seen enough of his talent and intelligence? Even if you find ten thousand 3-Jeweled Heavenly Jewel Masters, all of them wouldn’t be able to hurt me. Yet, he managed to do so. In fighting with him, that little rascal has at least the Wind, Lightning, Spatial and Demonic Attributes. Without question, his Elemental Jewel’s true form should be an Alexandrite Cat’s Eye Jewel. Furthermore, he might even have another attribute, an unknown one. With his cultivation level, he could actually slow me down for three seconds, what kind of unbelievable skill is that? Also, looking at all the skills he has used thus far, none of them is lower than an eight star rating! Add to that the fact that he has a God Tier Consolidated Equipment… what else is there to be said about his future growth. Previously, I was wondering how it was possible he could have such accomplishments at such a young age, but now I understand. The Heavenly Snow Mountain is his true background. If I’m not wrong, that daughter of the Heavenly Snow Emperor has perhaps fallen for him. In any case, I do not care what you think about him, but in school, you better do everything you can to mend ties with Zhou Weiqing. Understand?”

Ming Hua pouted unwillingly, but nodded her head in agreement. As for what her true feelings for Zhou Weiqing were, perhaps only she herself knew deep inside.

When Zhou Weiqing awoke from a deep sleep, he felt his whole body warm and comfortable. As he opened his eyes, he started, blinking as he sat up. He was astonished to find that he was back in his own room, lying on his bed.

The room was quiet, and it was already dawn as the first rays of sunlight shone in. Fat Cat was lazing in its usual spot, sleeping deeply, and everything seemed perfectly normal, as if nothing unusual had happened last night.

“What’s going on… did I dream everything last night?” Zhou Weiqing muttered to himself. Right at that moment, there was a soft knock on the door. “Little Fatty, it’s time to get up. It’s the first day of lessons today, we shouldn’t be late. I’ll go make some breakfast now.” Shangguan Bing’er’s gentle voice came from outside, warming his heart.

“I got it, I’m up now.” Zhou Weiqing called out in agreement.

Gathering his energy to examine himself, he discovered that his Heavenly Energy was brimming. However, he was also certain that he had not dreamt the events of last night, and it was all real. He was still wearing the clothes he had gone out in last night, and they still had the faint scent of Ming Hua remaining on them when they had pressed against each other last night.

Who was that young white clad lady last night?! What was the Top Peak of the North and Top Demon of the West? From the words of that young lady Tian Er and Ming Wu, the Top Demon of the West should be the Heavenly Demon Sect. Apparently, the main force of the Heavenly Demon Sect should be in the west of the continent, which would be mainly the Bai Da Empire and Fei Li Empire.

Chapter 52 Ye Paopao and A Test

Towards the Heavenly Demon Sect, after the talk with Ming Wu and Ming Hua, Zhou Weiqing had some basic understanding of it. However, what was that so-called Top Peak of the North, or Heavenly Snow Mountain?

Without question, since he had been returned to his room safely, it must have been that white clad young lady who had saved him. How could she possibly defeat the nine Jeweled Ming Wu with her own six Jeweled cultivation level? Also… Alexandrite Cat’s Eye Jewel… her Elemental Jewel was actually also the Alexandrite Cat’s Eye Jewel!

Zhou Weiqing’s mind wandered back to the beauty of the white clad young lady last night, and he subconsciously swallowed  a  gulp  of  saliva.  He  muttered  to  himself:  “That white clad young lady, it seemed she was beautiful and perky. Alas, I hadn’t been able to have a good look before she knocked me unconscious. What a shame… Hmm… I wonder why that lady from the Heavenly Snow Mountain would want to save me.”

He did not notice that Fat Cat who had been sprawled on the chair listening to him suddenly twitched a little. After thinking about it for a while, Zhou Weiqing shrugged, a smile on his face. He had the certainty regarding a few key points, and the rest wasn’t any issue as he could slowly figure them out in the future.

It was simple, since that Tian Er from the Heavenly Snow Mountain had sent him back home and not taken him away, it revealed one thing. She had either beaten or scared off Ming Wu and Ming Hua, and had somehow guaranteed that they would not take revenge. Otherwise, what would be the point of saving him at night and leaving him alone to fall once more?

Having thought it through, Zhou Weiqing decided not to continue dwelling on it. As for why the young lady from the Heavenly Snow Mountain wanted to help him, he didn’t try to think any further. Since she did not speak to him, he was happy to keep clear of them. After all, even though her beauty was exceptional, he was afraid that she might have a similar motive as the Heavenly Demon Sect, then he would be out of the frying pan and into the fire. Now that he could just act like he didn’t know anything, Zhou Weiqing naturally did so.

Flipping onto his feet, he changed into clean clothing after washing up. By the time he entered the living room of their house, a steaming hot breakfast was ready for him. It was a simple breakfast, a few eggs, a big bowl of porridge, some mantou, some pickled vegetables and several fruits.

Shangguan Bing’er had finished with her chores and saw him heading in. “Quick, eat up and we can head to the academy together.”

Zhou Weiqing quickly flashed towards her, appearing beside her. In mid air, he grabbed hold of her and as she let out a startled cry, he gave her a quick kiss on her mouth.

“Little Fatty! Hmph!”  Having succeeded in stealing a kiss, Zhou Weiqing quickly darted aside, not allowing her to take revenge. Seeing her huffy look, and the breakfast on the table, Zhou Weiqing felt a warmth and satisfaction in his heart.

“Little Fatty, if you continue being so bad, I won’t make breakfast   for   you   tomorrow!”    Shangguan   Bing’er   said exasperatedly.

Zhou Weiqing grinned, grabbing a mantou and said: “My precious Bing’er, could you bear to do that? It’s just a kiss, it is very normal for husband and wife!” Shangguan Bing’er glared at him and ignored him, sitting down and starting to eat herself.

As they ate, Zhou Weiqing suddenly said: “Bing’er, let me tell you a story okay? As an apology.”

Shangguan Bing’er looked at him dubiously as she continued eating, not knowing what he wad up to.

Zhou Weiqing toyed with the mantou in his hand, saying: “Heh heh. There was once this guessing game, and a man was in charge of hosting it, while two others would play the game. The host would take up something for one of the players to see, and the player would have to somehow use actions or words to describe the object, but would not be able to use the name of the object or things related to the name. The second player would have to guess what the object was, and if he guessed correctly, they would win.”

Shangguan Bing’er was drawn to the story, listening hard as she ate.

Zhou Weiqing rolled the round mantou in his hands, smiling broadly as he said: “This time, the two players were a husband and wife couple. The host took out a mantou and showed it to the wife, and it was up to her to describe it. The wife used her hands to gesticulate in a round motion, and said to her husband: ‘It’s round, it’s white, and you ate it last night.’ Bing’er, can you guess whether or not the husband guessed correctly?”

Shangguan Bing’er said: “He should have guessed correctly. The wife already described it so clearly, and the only thing that could have matched the description should be a mantou.”

Zhou  Weiqing  then  said  with  a  straight  face:  “Nope,  the husband guessed wrongly. After hearing his wife’s words, he guessed – Breasts.”

Shangguan Bing’er started a little, then her mouthful of porridge sprayed out as she turned beet red. Looking at Zhou Weiqing sitting there playing lasciviously with the mantou in his hands while staring at her chest, she realised that this rascal was teasing her.

“A beautiful lady spitting out porridge, that’s not good! What happens if you choke, slow down, slow down.” Zhou Weiqing said as he smiled beatifically, starting on his on food. After that, up until the time when the two of them reached the entrance of the Fei Li Military Academy, Shangguan Bing’er still pursed her lips and ignored Zhou Weiqing, although he was thick-skinned enough to just grab onto her hand and hold on.

“Wife, today classes are finally starting! You’ll have to study hard!” Zhou Weiqing held onto her hand and walked through the entrance grandly. Shangguan Bing’er tried to struggle free but couldn’t do so.

“I have to study hard? What about you?” Shangguan Bing’er said exasperatedly.

Zhou Weiqing grinned and said: “I’m different, I just need to be the man behind the scenes, controlling the talented generals.” Although he seemed relaxed on the surface, he was in truth in a large amount of stress. After all, Ming Hua was his class teacher, and he could not guess what she would do to him.

As they spoke, they entered the academy grounds. However, as soon as they entered the main building, they were halted It was a group of over a dozen students who stopped them. They were all noble students, and with their grand uniforms, they all had a superior air about them.

The one leading them was a youth of about twenty years old, and looking at him, Zhou Weiqing’s eyes flashed with a hint of surprise.

The features of the youth was rather ordinary, definitely the sort that one might overlook in a crowd. However, all the noble students treated him very respectfully. His gaze was rather gentle and seemingly flawless, his face in the pink of health, looking to be a cheerful person of sunshine. If it had been any other situation, he would seem to be a pleasant person who wasn’t any threat at all.

Ye Lou who had slunk away from the scene yesterday at the opening ceremony was standing beside this youth, his posture bowed and fawning.

“You are Junior Zhou Weiqing?”  The youth leader looked towards Zhou Weiqing with a faint smile. His voice was as peaceful and calm as his gaze. Zhou Weiqing inclined his head and said: “Yes, I am Zhou Weiqing. You are? What business do you have with me?” After last night, Zhou Weiqing decided to tone down his aggression. After all, this was the Capital City of the Fei Li Empire, and there were many powers at play that he would not be able to deal with. He had already made his mark, and it would be best to play safe for now. After all, he was not alone here, and Shangguan Bing’er was together with him.

“Junior Zhou, good morning. My name is Ye Paopao, and I’m a third year student. I’m here today specially to look for you, to apologise to you on behalf of my little brother and his actions yesterday.” As he said that, he gave a slight bow towards Zhou Weiqing in apology.

Ye Paopao? The name was alien to Zhou Weiqing, but without question, he had to be the boss that Ye Lou spoke of yesterday. Zhou Weiqing surmised that this Ye Paopao had to be one of the leaders amongst the entire noble student population.

“Senior, there is no need to do so. What’s in the past is in the past.”  Zhou Weiqing smiled and replied. Currently, there was no hint of the aggressive arrogance he displayed yesterday in the opening ceremony. Ye Paopao smiled and said: “My name might be a little strange to you. I am here today to not just apologise, but also to get to know Junior. After all, your actions yesterday at the opening ceremony was indeed surprising and impressive. I have so heard that you are a Mid Level Consolidating Equipment Master, and wanted to say that if in the future Junior has any Consolidating Equipment Scrolls for sale, I am willing to pay twenty percent above the market price for them.
Price is not a problem.”

This Ye Paopao was no simple person! Zhou Weiqing said calmly, unruffled. “That is great, I just happen to have a few Consolidating Equipment Scrolls for sale here. If Senior is interested, you can buy them.”

Since there was money to be earned, why not? Furthermore, it was clear that he was here to make peace, and Zhou Weiqing needed to stay in the academy for the next few years, and there was no need to make things difficult for himself by falling out with Ye Paopao without any reason. The most important thing was that Ye Paopao was extremely different from Ye Lou, literally heaven and earth. Although he might be not necessarily be a good person, he was at least not a disagreeable or hateful person. With that thought in mind, Zhou Weiqing reached into his Spatial Necklace and took out the Mid Level Consolidating Equipment Scrolls he had created yesterday.

Seeing Zhou Weiqing take out boxes of Consolidating Equipment Scrolls one after the other, Ye Paopao could not help but be taken aback. From Zhou Weiqing’s actions yesterday, he had not expected him to be so agreeable, as it seemed that both sides were on opposing sides. Indeed as Zhou Weiqing expected, he had come here today to make peace, but had not thought that Zhou Weiqing would trust him so easily.

Ye Paopao received the five wooden boxes from Zhou Weiqing’s hands, and opened one of them. With a single look, he immediately showed a surprised and pleased look on his face.

“A Mid Level Consolidating Equipment Scroll!”

泡泡 (Pao Pao) means bubbles, hence the comment Ye Paopao nodded in agreement, smiling happily as he said: “In that case, I’ll choose two. Speaking of which, Junior should indeed leave some for the academy. After all, our academy has indeed put in a lot of effort for Junior! I have never seen the academy take such large measures for a single student.”

Zhou Weiqing said in surprise: “Large measures?”

Ye Paopao nodded and said: “It looks like Junior hasn’t heard about the news yet. Yesterday, after the opening ceremony ended, the Academy looked for me and some of the other nobles who have commoner followers to give us a scolding, and also gave us a serious warning not to take any actions against to you. If not, we will be kicked out of school. To my knowledge, this has never happened in the history of the academy, and Junior can be said to have created history! That truly shows how much importance the academy places on you.”

Since Zhou Weiqing was agreeable and willing to accept his peace offering, and furthermore willing to sell him Mid Level Consolidating Equipment Scrolls, Ye Paopao naturally had to give a plum in return for a peach, and give him some news. He was very different from the short sighted Ye Lou, and was definitely thinking of the long term. After listening to Ye Lou’s description of what had happened yesterday, as well as being called by the Academy to speak, he knew that this junior of his, Zhou Weiqing, was definitely not to be touched. Whoever did so would definitely get into trouble of their own. Since that was the case, he might as well try to mend relations, and try to get on his good side. That would allow him to get the most value out of the situation. In this thinking, it was the same as Ming Wu. Originally, Ye Paopao was still a little worried, but now it seemed that this Zhou Weiqing was quite an intelligent person as well. It was naturally easier for two intelligent people to have dealings with each other.

Hearing Ye Paopao’s words, Zhou Weiqing was rather surprised. Although Dean Xiao had promised him to look into the matter, he had not expected that the Dean would actually go so far for him, to even warn the noble student leaders. That was indeed quite a favour that he would owe. Of course, in front of Ye Paopao, Zhou Weiqing did not reveal his feelings, and just smiled faintly and said: “That’s indeed the kindness and generosity of the teachers, I am embarrassed by such undeserved attention.”

Ye Paopao smiled as well, and said: “Well, we shouldn’t stay here and block the main entrance, let’s wrap this up. Out of the five sets of scrolls, I’ll pick two. Currently, the market price of Mid Level Consolidating Equipment Scrolls is around 150-200 thousand gold coins. Since Junior is so kind as to let me have two sets, I shall reciprocate with a good price. Will 450 thousand gold coins do?”

450 thousand gold coins? That was indeed a good price! It’s indeed true that the higher the level of Consolidating Equipment Scroll, the greater the profit margin! Even Zhou Weiqing was rather startled by the price, after all just these two sets of Mid Level Consolidating Equipment Scrolls had netted him a greater income than the ten lower level ones he had sold to the Skill Storing Palace. Furthermore, Mid Level Consolidating Equipment Scrolls were only a hundred scrolls per Set as compared to the thousand for the lower level. Although the materials required were more valuable and expensive, but overall it was even slightly lower cost per set.

“Senior, that price is a little high, 400 thousand gold coins will do.” Zhou Weiqing laughed heartily and said, feeling satisfied in his heart. Having one less enemy, and earning money at the same time, how could he not be happy.

Ye Paopao said seriously: “No no, I will not let Junior lose out as well, I ultimately still want to buy more Scrolls from Junior. In the future, I hope that when Junior becomes a greater Consolidating Equipment Master, you will still remember me. Although my price is higher than the market price, but currently the supplies of these Consolidating Equipment Scrolls are very low, and many of the rich are unable to buy them even though they can easily afford it. Such a price is definitely worth it to me, Junior does not need to be too courteous.”

As he said that, he motioned to the other noble students to help him hold the five boxes, and chose two from among them. After which, he returned the other three to Zhou Weiqing, with a little reluctance. At the same time, he also passed him a gold storage card.

“This  storage  card  can  be  used  anywhere  in  the  Fei  Li Empire, and there is 500 thousand gold coins stored within. The excess fifty thousand Junior does not need to return me, let’s count it as a deposit for future transactions.”

Accepting the remaining boxes and the gold storage card, Zhou Weiqing laughed and said: “In that case, I shall help myself. When my next batch of scrolls is complete, if there are any extras, I will definitely save some for Senior.”

The two of them exchanged more pleasantries, before Ye Paopao led his followers and walked off. Zhou Weiqing stood there watching them leave, before finally turning to Shangguan Bing’er beside him and asking her in a low voice. “Bing’er, what do you think?”

Shangguan Bing’er was still a little angry from earlier, and gave a humph before saying: “Two false fellows. You two are just in competition for who is more false.” She could naturally see that both Zhou Weiqing and Ye Paopao were dealing with each other courteously but without sincerity. After seeing Zhou Weiqing deal with Ye Paopao in such a manner easily, she was a little surprised. She originally thought that although her Little Fatty had a smart mouth, he was still relatively innocent. Now, she realised that the two years in the Heavenly Bow Unit, her Little Fatty had really grown up. Alas, as the saying goes, love is blind… She did not feel that Zhou Weiqing as scheming, but just intelligent and steady. Such a man would give her a sense of safety, at least they would not easily be taken advantage of.

Zhou  Weiqing  laughed  and  said:  “You’re  right,  this  is originally a game, and trickery is just means to an end. However, I never expected that the Dean yesterday would treat me so well. It looks like Consolidating Equipment Masters are indeed a rare resource in the entire Continent! My dear wife Bing’er, your husband is now an attractive treasure you know!”

“Let’s  go  already,  we’re  going  to  be  late  for  class  soon. Remember to spend wisely, if possible, we should bring some back   when   we   return   home.”    Shangguan   Bing’er   said exasperatedly as she pulled on him. The two of them then headed towards their classroom.

By now, most of their classmates had already reached, and seeing Zhou Weiqing and Shangguan Bing’er enter, they all revealed smiles. On seeing Zhou Weiqing, the few female students’ eyes lit up. As for Shangguan Bing’er, despite her great beauty, none of the other youths dared look at her.

Kou Rui approached them and greeted him: “Boss.”

Zhou Weiqing said: “Call me by my name, not Boss, I don’t want us to be like some mafia group.”

Kou Rui shook his head, saying: “How can I, since I have already said that I will follow you, then there are some rules to follow. Boss, you’ve just reached the academy for more than a day, and you’re already famous. Have you heard? Yesterday, after the opening ceremony, the academy called upon the noble student leaders and gave them a scolding, warning them to tone it down a little. More importantly, they warned them against taking action against you. In fact, currently, not just our academy, even the other two top academies have already heard of you, the Consolidating Equipment Master student in our academy.” Zhou Weiqing laughed and said: “You are truly an expert in information gathering! Have you completed collecting all the registrations from our classmates yesterday?”

Kou Rui took out a stack of papers and passed it to Zhou Weiqing and said: “All registered and collated. We have 29 students in our class. Beside you four Heavenly Jewel Masters, there are nineteen Physical Jewel Masters and six Elemental Jewel Masters. I have recorded all their current circumstances in detail on these papers, with each sheet for a student.”

Zhou Weiqing was growing to like Kou Rui, who was indeed giving him a good impression over the past 2 days. Although his Jewel Master talent in terms of cultivation was a little lacking, in terms of completing all his assigned tasks, he had done so quickly and efficiently. With such a competent assistant, it would definitely ease the pressure on him. Just like what he told Shangguan Bing’er, he did not need to be talented in everything, just to be able to gather and lead the talented people. If he had to do everything himself, he would be exhausted to death.

Moving his hand to his Spatial Necklace, a wooden box with a set of Consolidating Equipment Scrolls appeared in his hands, and he passed it to Kou Rui, saying: “This is for you. You still do not have any Consolidated Equipment, and when you go back to the dorm, you can Consolidate this.”

“Ah?” Kou Rui started, and the gazes of all the classmates were drawn to them. After all, talking was one thing, but having it actually happen in front of them was another matter. The other classmates were still relatively quiet and reserved, the main thing being that none of them had actually witnessed Zhou Weiqing giving them any Consolidating Equipment Scrolls. Now with Zhou Weiqing actually giving Kou Rui a set, even Yan Zhexi and Ma Qun stared at them with glowing hot eyes, let alone the other commoner students, some of whom hadn’t even seen a Consolidating Equipment Scroll before.

Zhou Weiqing winked at Kou Rui, smiling as he said: “You are the first one to join me, and to help me. Naturally, you should be the first to get a reward. I thought hard about your situation… You are a Physical Jewel Master, with half agility and coordination, which is actually quite an underestimated combination. The only issue with the combination is the lack of offensive power. Amongst all the Physical Jewel Consolidated Equipments, being both suited to your attributes and yet having a powerful attack, it is undoubtedly a bow. As such, I have designed and created this bow for you. I call it the Tyrant Bow.” As he said that, he opened up the box, taking out a single scroll and passing it to Kou Rui to see.

At the same time. He lifted up his right hand, and in a thick icy mist, the Overlord Bow appeared in his hand.

“This tyrant bow is based on my Overlord Bow, of course without the Sockets. After all, the sockets can only be used by Heavenly Jewel Masters. I also customized it a little based on your situation, changing it from the original Strength Attribute. As such, its offensive capabilities and draw power is a little weaker, but since it originally adds on an explosive nature, this point alone allows it to have sufficient attacking strength. At the same time, I increased its attack speed, and if used properly, can definitely be a very good Physical Jewel Consolidated Equipment.

Hearing Zhou Weiqing’s words, Kou Rui’s gaze turned fanatical, his hands even shaking. He had never dreamt before that he would get a Consolidated Equipment so easily. Furthermore, it was even custom designed for him! Feelings of gratitude overwhelmed him, and as he took hold of the wooden box, he was so excited that he was rendered speechless. The entire class was dead silent. Direct translation of 投桃报李, basically means return the favour Naturally, Zhou Weiqing giving Kou Rui the Scroll and giving the detailed explanation was part of his plan, designed for the rest of the class to hear. With Kou Rui as an example, no one would have any suspicions that Zhou Weiqing was lying to them.

Ma Qun was now filled with regret. He originally had the opportunity to be the first! Although he was a Heavenly Jewel Master, he was of common birth, and what he hated most was for his freedom to be restricted. As such, he had always depended on himself throughout his life in cultivating. He had worked hard and finally saved enough to Store the Stoneskin Skill on his first Elemental Jewel, but that had wiped out all his savings. Consolidating Equipment Scrolls were just too expensive, and he just could not afford them. Yet, Zhou Weiqing was willing to provide them with them as long as he was boss in school, and without requiring them to be Sealed or restricting them! This was just an opportunity that only came by once in a blue moon, yet he had not seized that opportunity, and perhaps even offended him. He was even worried that his future possible equipment might be in peril.

Just as the crowd were staring at Zhou Weiqing excitedly and fanatically, the classroom door opened. Ming Hua entered carrying a large stack of papers. As compared to the seductive look she had on yesterday, Ming Hua had a serious and even cold look on right now. When she spotted Zhou Weiqing, her body shuddered slightly, but she continued on towards the podium at the front of the class.

Zhou Weiqing’s face turned serious and he turned to the other students and said: “Classmates, class has started, let’s all go back to our seats. Do not worry, I will handle each and every one of your requests, it will not take a long time.”

After saying that, he walked towards Ming Hua, seeming the perfect image of a class monitor, as he took the stack of papers from Ming Hua.

At that point, he was barely a foot from Ming Hua, and his mouth twitched as he said in a low voice that only the two of them could hear: “Little Wife Teacher, how are you!”

Ming Hua froze instantly, and she glared at Zhou Weiqing. At that moment, she felt anger welling out in her again, and the instructions from her father last night vanished from her mind, and her usual calm also disappeared as she glared at him viciously, saying through gritted teeth: “If you talk more rubbish, I’ll pit my life to kill you.” Zhou Weiqing did not expect her to have such a huge reaction, and he grinned but did not say anything else, placing the stack of papers on the podium and turning back and was about to return to his seat.

“Stop. Monitor, give out the papers, one set per person. We are having a test.”

“Test?”  Zhou  Weiqing  stared  dumbfounded  at  Ming  Hua, muttering to himself: “Could it be a test on military matters?”

Ming Hua said coldly: “We are a military academy, what else can we be testing on?” Every year when class starts, we always test the freshmen first. We need to know your current standard of knowledge before we can design a proper teaching plan. You have entered our academy, and you don’t even know this most basic thing?” Seeing Zhou Weiqing’s frozen expression from her words, she felt a sudden rush of happiness. After all, it wasn’t easy to get one over this fellow with words.

Zhou Weiqing’s face twitched a little, and he thought to himself. Damn, I just managed to earn my status in class, if I get the lowest score in class, how can I keep my position as monitor! Looking at Ming Hua, he thought for the first time that perhaps it would be good to get on her good side as well. Smiling, he said: “Beautiful teacher, as the monitor, I think I should help you reduce your workload. How about, I help you invigilate this test?”

Ming Hua gave a humph and said: “Stop talking rubbish and give out the papers.” As she said that, she took her seat behind the podium, ignoring Zhou Weiqing. The anger within her had vanished by now, and seeing the gloomy expression on his face, she knew she had caught his weak spot. Hmph, you called me little wife teacher earlier, and now you’re trying to change to beautiful teacher?! Let’s wait and see!

Zhou Weiqing could only give out the papers helplessly before returning to his own seat.

Ming Hua said sternly: “Alright, now everyone has the test in hand. Today is the first day of school, and in schedule this is a class meeting. Now, everyone just answer your papers by yourself; this is to test your overall military knowledge, and I hope all of you take this seriously. I will be taking down the scores of all of you, and the lowest two will be in charge of cleaning the classroom for a week. That includes the toilet beside the classroom! Alright, enough said, let us begin. If anyone dares cheat, you’ll get a zero directly. And if there are many zeroes, I will extend the cleaning duties beyond a week.” Hearing there was a test, Zhou Weiqing was not the only one who was worried. Speaking of which, the one sitting right beside him at the back row, the large Ma Qun, also had a strange worried look on his face, his brow twitching.

“Boss Zhou.” Ma Qun sidled closer to Zhou Weiqing and said softly.

Zhou Weiqing was currently rather gloomy, and said rather bad temperedly: “What?”

Ma Qun gulped, saying nervously: “Boss Zhou, in the future, I’ll treat you as my boss okay. This time I am serious, and I will never go back on my word. Can you help me get through this test?”

Zhou  Weiqing  started.  “Haven’t  you  learnt  any  military knowledge?”

Ma Qun’s head drooped down. “In the past, I did attend a military high school, but in classes I was either trying to score with the girls or just sleeping. How could I possibly know how to answer these tests! I only got into this academy because I am a Heavenly Jewel Master, and I didn’t even take the military knowledge test.” Zhou Weiqing looked and him seriously and said: “I’m sorry, I really can’t accept you as a follower as I can’t help you. Damn, if you don’t know how to do it, do you think I will? At least you’ve been to a military high school, I haven’t even had that luxury.”
Ma Qun stared at him, his eyes wide. “What?! Boss, you…” Zhou Weiqing furrowed his brow and said: “I’m not all-
knowing.  It’s  up  to  yourself.”  As  he  said  that,  he  noticed
Shangguan Bing’er, who was seated at the front, look at him, worry for him displayed on her face.

Even if he couldn’t make it for the test, he didn’t want to lose face. Zhou Weiqing immediately gave her a reassuring confident smile, not showing his own worry.

“The test has started, if you all continue chit chatting, you’ll get  a  zero.”  Ming  Hua  stood  up  from  behind  the  podium, walking over. Currently, she looked every bit the stern teacher, a fierce light in her eyes as she looked across the class, and every student felt as if she were looking at them.

A test… so be it. Zhou Weiqing grabbed a pen from the desk and started writing helplessly. Although he did not have any professional knowledge, he could still write as he pleased. Looking at the questions, he started writing quickly, answering the questions with the best answers he could think off. The way he wrote so quickly, anyone would think he was a skilled scholar.

Ming Hua had been walking down towards Zhou Weiqing, hoping to look at him fail. However, seeing the way he was writing away, confident and quick, without any hint of wanting to copy from others, she started a little.

After all, from her experiences with Zhou Weiqing, he had just created too many miracles. Who knows whether this fellow had some other hidden talents or abilities she did not know about. Perhaps he was even well versed in military knowledge… that was totally possible. After all, he had been praised by her brother, who was usually too proud to do so.

There were eight pages to the exam, and the test took the entire morning. The more Zhou Weiqing wrote, the more confident he felt. Although he had not officially studied any military knowledge, he had after all spent two years in the Heavenly Bow Unit, and had developed his own way of dealing with things. The way he wrote, without any hesitation, caused Ma Qun beside him to stare in amazement. When Zhou Weiqing had first started, Ma Qun thought that he had lied to him, but with his height advantage, he was able to sneak a peek on Zhou Weiqing’s paper, and in doing so, he was even more confused.

This Boss Zhou was indeed impressive, he totally did not know military knowledge, yet he was still writing with such enthusiasm. What did I just see? He wrote that in military exercises, he would give a few beauties to the opposing commander the night before, causing him to be overly exhausted and not be able to concentrate. What sort of tactics was that? Ma Qun was speechless… he could only bow down to Zhou Weiqing.

In the end, Ming Hua still ended up standing next to Zhou Weiqing, putting up a look of a serious and fierce examiner, but her eyes were glued to Zhou Weiqing’s paper.

When she first looked at Zhou Weiqing’s answers, she almost burst out laughing. What was this rascal writing?! Even the easiest of the military knowledge questions, the answers he had written were donkey’s lips that could not fit into a horse’s mouth. Yet he seemed to be writing with such enthusiasm and ease, with such a look as if he were a top scoring scholar.

However, the more she read, the smile in her eyes slowly vanished, replaced by a grave look. Indeed, Zhou Weiqing did not know anything about these basic military knowledge, in fact it was almost to a point where he didn’t know many of the definitions of the military phrases. However, when it came to analysis of battles and simulations of battles, it was just unbelievably stunning.

No matter her father or her brother, they were famed generals in the Fei Li Empire. Naturally, she had spent a lot of time immersed in the military world, and was highly influenced by what she had experienced. In fact, Ming Hua’s talent and achievements in the military world were extremely high. However, it was just too difficult for a female in the military world, and her brother’s achievements were already extremely high, added to the Fei Li Empire rules about families, she did not go further into a military career. Even so, she had a much better and discriminating eye as compared to many of the professional teachers in the academy. In fact, before she became a teacher, during her time in the academy, she was a top student, the valedictorian of her cohort, with her results even surpassing that of her brother. That was also why she had been asked to stay as a teacher by the Academy.

Ming Hua found that Zhou Weiqing was a novice in terms of military knowledge, but his grasp on strategy, tactics and especially the big picture vision was extremely strong. The few large questions on battle analysis, tactics and battle simulations, he had always gotten to the heart of the matter easily, quickly finding the root issue, and his solutions were always unique and unrestrained. In the military world, her brother was known to be a rather wild and crazy person; but in comparison with Zhou Weiqing’s answers, he would be rather tame.

Direct Translation of the idiom 驴唇不对⻢嘴. Basically means rather inappropriate answers.

Chapter 53 Beautiful Lady Principal

The more she read Zhou Weiqing’s answers from behind, the greater Ming Hua’s sense of surprise. From his answers, she could easily tell that he had no knowledge about military matters, in fact this rascal likely hadn’t gone through any official schooling in the matter. However, his surprising and audacious answers were fresh and definitely provided a different perspective, not fettered by any conventions. At first glance, it might seem like a load of rubbish, but if you thought it through, it was surprisingly good in its own unpolished way.

Is this rascal really a well rounded genius?! Ming Hua sighed inwardly. Although she still held feelings of hatred for this rascal who had taken advantage of her, she had to admit feelings of admiration for this youth, his talents and accomplishments. After all, he was still much younger than her!

Naturally, Zhou Weiqing knew that Ming Hua was standing beside him, but he couldn’t care less. At most, he would just have to clean the toilets, and though it might be a little humiliating, as compared to the luck he had in escaping the perils of last night, he decided he didn’t really care. After all, if not for the white clad young lady called Tian Er, perhaps he would already be enslaved to the Heavenly Demon Sect by now. It was still barely halfway through the morning when our dear student Zhou Little Fatty completed his entire paper, and Ming Hua stood right by his side the entire time. Of course, the person who suffered most wasn’t Zhou Weiqing, after all the position she stood in was with Zhou Weiqing to her left, and
Ma Qun to her right. Under normal circumstances, Ma Qun would be more than happy to have such a beautiful teacher standing right beside him, but this was during an examination! His knowledge on military matters was no stronger than Zhou Weiqing’s, and with Ming Hua by his side, he couldn’t even
copy from someone else no matter how much he wanted to. As
such, his entire face was as bitter as a bitter gourd, and he had bitten the pen in his hand so many times that bite marks were left on it.

“Teacher,  I’ve  finished  my  paper.  Can  I  hand  it  in  in advance?” Zhou Weiqing struck the paper in his hands, taking a smooth deep breath as he relaxed back into his seat. He did not know the result whether or not he had to clean the toilet, but he had a great time answering the paper, writing as he felt, whatever he thought… Being able to do so, was indeed a soothing feeling.

“No.” Hearing Zhou Weiqing’s words, Ming Hua finally recovered herself. Looking at Zhou Weiqing’s paper once more, she stifled laughter again. Not speaking of his answers, even the spidery scrawl of his ugly handwriting made her want to laugh. “Student Zhou Weiqing, didn’t your previous teachers teach you to examine your answers after completing, to think over what you have written? No matter as a student or a future soldier, you should always be serious about what you do, and attitude is extremely important. This is what we are trying to
cultivate in all our students here at the Fei Li Academy. As a military talent, if you are careless and negligent in the details, you could cause a disaster!”

Zhou Weiqing rolled his eyes, this Flower of Hades’ Underworld sure did not let go of any opportunity to put him down! Couldn’t she see that his answers were just his own ramblings? He did not even know the right answers, what was the point of examining?! However, she was his teacher after all, and he had just become the class monitor, he naturally could not rebut her in public. As such, he could only rein it in helplessly.

Of course, for him to reexamine his own answers, that would not be possible. Zhou Weiqing tossed his paper to the corner of his table, and sprawled down onto it, closing his eyes. Since you aren’t going to allow me to submit my paper and leave early, I’ll just take a nap here!

Ming Hua was on the verge of scolding him once more, but she finally remembered her father’s words, glaring at him once more before walking around the class again.

Zhou Weiqing fell into a deep sleep. Although this rascal might be getting stronger at being sneaky and cunning, he had an unbelievably strange optimism and carefree-ness about him. Such a person naturally could get great sleep at any time, any place. Luckily, he did not have a snoring problem, though he did drool a little onto his sleeve as he slept.

As the lesson finally ended with a ear-splitting shrill of the school bell ringing, the students of the commoner class one felt as if their heads were spinning after the entire morning of being tested. That test was just so long, and besides Zhou Weiqing who just wrote whatever he wanted, there were few other students who actually managed to finish everything, and most of their faces were rather black.

“Little  Fatty,  class  has  ended.”  Shangguan  Bing’er  walked over to his table and called out to him. Zhou Weiqing was still sleeping soundly, and even that loud bell had not awoken him.

Ma Qun, who was sitting on the other side, said rather jealously: “Boss Zhou is indeed different from us all! He can even fall asleep so soundly during an examination.” Shangguan Bing’er glanced at Ma Qun, but ignored him. She did not really like this big fellow, a duplicitous guy who often spoke and acted different from his thinking, quite the same type of person as Zhou Weiqing.

Seeing no reaction from Zhou Weiqing, Shangguan Bing’er shouted out exasperatedly: “Little Fatty, time to eat!”

“Ah?!  Eat?  What’s  there  to  eat?”   Zhou  Weiqing’s  eyes snapped open, drool at the side of his mouth. His eyes were still blurry as he looked around for the food, causing some of the nearby students who had heard Shangguan Bing’er to giggle away.

Shangguan Bing’er took out her handkerchief to wipe his mouth. “Look at you sleeping away, come on let’s go, it’s time for lunch. Did you exhaust yourself making Consolidating Equipment Scrolls last night? We should go back to rest early after school today. You do not have to rush to create the Consolidating Equipment Scrolls, we have more time… Your health is more important.” After wiping away his drool, Shangguan Bing’er helped him up, looking concernedly at him. Seeing his healthy look, she finally relaxed.

Zhou Weiqing grinned and said: “No problem, no problem. As long as some fox spirits do not come at night, how could I have any problems?”  When he said this, he spoke loudly on purpose, and Ming Hua, who was almost done collecting the papers, froze imperceptibly.

Right at that moment, a solemn dignified voice rang out from outside the door. “Zhou Weiqing.”

“Ah?” Zhou Weiqing called out as he looked towards the voice, only to see the classroom door open and Dean Xiao walk in, smiling as he waved towards Zhou Weiqing. “Come out a while please.”

Naturally, Zhou Weiqing did not dare delay, turning to Shangguan BIng’er to say: “Bing’er, you go eat in the canteen first, I’ll join you later.”

Shangguan Bing’er nodded slightly, and Zhou Weiqing followed Dean Xiao out of the classroom.

Ma Qun could only look from the side with a face full of envy! Look at his girlfriend, that rascal falling asleep during a test and she’s still so concerned about him, even wiping his saliva for him. Ahhh… Jealousy, Envy, Hate! Why can’t I find a good girl like that? And such a beauty to boot… As Zhou Weiqing followed Dean Xiao out, another visitor arrived at the door of the commoner class. This time, it wasn’t another teacher, but a noble student. To be exact, it was a young beautiful girl. This red-headed girl directly entered the commoner classroom, heading towards Ming Hua and asking
her softly. “Ming Hua Elder Sis, where is Ming Yu? I haven’t seen him in a few days.”

Ming Hua glanced at her rather impatiently, saying: “My brother went back to the frontlines. Why are you still looking for him? Didn’t he state things clearly to you? He won’t have any more connection with you from now on, do not pester him any further.”

“You… you’re Princess Difuya?” Shangguan Bing’er immediately recognized the red head. She was indeed Princess Difuya of their Heavenly Bow Empire, and also Zhou Weiqing’s fiancee! With her pitiful look as she stood beside Ming Hua, she currently looked nothing like a princess.

Hearing someone call out her name, Difuya was started in surprise, turning her head to look. On seeing Shangguan Bing’er, she immediately called out in surprise. “Bing’er? What are you doing here?”  Towards this top beauty and genius of their Empire, she naturally recognized her as well. Although she was rather arrogant in nature, she was also clear that her status in the Heavenly Bow Empire was not comparable to Shangguan Bing’er. As such, despite her domineering and rude character, she had a relatively good relation with Shangguan Bing’er. Well, at least, she used to.

Shangguan Bing’er pointed to her own uniform and said: “I’m here with Zhou Weiqing to study in the academy! He was just here earlier, didn’t you see him?” As she said that, she felt her guard raise up. Although Zhou Weiqing had told her earlier that Difuya was in the same academy, knowing was one thing, and seeing was another. She was currently wary of Princess Difuya. After all, she was still considered Zhou Weiqing’s official fiancee now!

Hearing Shangguan Bing’er mention Zhou Weiqing, Difuya’s expression turned ugly. Glancing at Ming Hua, she also saw Ming Hua’s face turn concerned, and she furrowed her brow and said: “Bing’er, how can you be close to Zhou Weiqing? That fellow is shameless and despicable! In the past, he was still the notorious trash of our Heavenly Bow Empire, and even though his Heavenly Jewels have Awakened now, he likely isn’t strong. Do not be fooled by his honest outlook! He is the sort of person who acts proper on the surface, but is a scoundrel in the inside. I do not know why father likes him so much!” Hearing Difuya’s words, both Shangguan Bing’er and Ming Hua were rendered speechless. Ming Hua had a strange expression on her face, looking at Difuya as if she was an idiot. She thought to herself: Even if you are ignorant, you can’t be THAT ignorant! Saying he is a scoundrel, that I agree a hundred percent. But to say he is a trash, then most of the people in the world would all be trash! This Princess… is literally a fool.

Shangguan Bing’er had something different in her mind. When Difuya first opened her mouth and called Zhou Weiqing shameless and despicable, she actually relaxed a little in relief. At least, that showed that Zhou Weiqing had not lied to her, and Difuya did not like him the slightest bit. However, as Difuya continued scolding him, Shangguan Bing’er’s expression  also  turned  uglier.  Even  if  my  Little  Fatty  isn’t anything good, he is still MY Little Fatty. How can you scold my husband like that? No wonder Little Fatty doesn’t want you at all, now I understand! “Princess Difuya, how can you say that about him. No matter what, he is still currently your fiance!”  Shangguan Bing’er’s voice was rather cold.

Alas, when Difuya heard the word fiance, she felt a rush of worry in her heart, totally missing the expression on Shangguan Bing’er’s face. After all, this was right in front of Ming Hua! The Prince Charming in her mind’s only younger sister! How could Difuya not be worried about Shangguan Bing’er mentioning the fact about their betrothal in front of Ming Hua.

“Bing’er Little Sis, you can’t speak nonsense like that… who is his fiancee? That’s just a political betrothal arranged by my father. This time I left home, I never planned on returning. I do not want that betrothal, even if I must marry a pig or a dog, I would not marry him!”

Shangguan Bing’er’s face turned frosty. “Difuya, you’re too much! What’s wrong with Little Fatty, that you must treat him like that?”

“What’s wrong with him…?” Difuya started a little. For her to actually state out what was wrong with Zhou Weiqing, she was also at a loss momentarily. At that point, she could only say stubbornly: “No matter what, I already have someone else I like. Do not mention that Zhou Weiqing, as useless as he is, even if he were a top genius in the world, I would still not like him…”

Ming Hua said impatiently: “Enough. You can stop trying to proclaim your love and loyalty in front of me. It’s useless. I know my brother best, and once he has decided on something, he will never change his mind. In any case, I know why he doesn’t want you… you are indeed a fool. In front of someone’s girlfriend, you keep insulting him, I really do not know how to describe a fool like you. Also, there is one thing that you got correct. Indeed, I have never seen a greater talent and genius than that little brat Zhou Weiqing, not even my brother.”

After saying that, Ming Hua took her papers and left. She had no mood to talk to a foolish girl like Difuya.

Hearing Ming Hua’s words, Difuya went into shock. Seeing Shangguan Bing’er with a cold look on her face, she said inconceivably:   “Bing’er,   you…    You   actually   became   his girlfriend? Is that for real?”

Shangguan Bing’er said solemnly: “Why can’t it be for real? I have been together with Little Fatty for two years. Difuya, you may not like him, but it doesn’t mean everyone does not like him.”

“The  Little  Fatty,  who  is  useless  in  your  eyes,  is  an exceptional man in my eyes. I will not speak with you further on this, I am heading to the canteen to wait for him.” As she said that, she headed out.

“I got it.” Difuya said as if in sudden comprehension. “It must be because of Admiral Zhou, right?”

Shangguan Bing’er stopped in her tracks, turning back towards Difuya and saying in an icy cold voice: “Your Highness, please do not insult me, and do not insult yourself. From today onwards, we are no longer friends. Also, I hope that you remember every word you said today. I will never let you have Little Fatty…” Though at first she felt ashamed and guilty towards this official fiancee of Zhou Weiqing’s, now Shangguan Bing’er did not feel that anymore. In fact, she even felt that it wasn’t even important to try to dissolve the engagement anymore, as she knew Zhou Weiqing would never like a person like that.

Of course, Zhou Weiqing did not know what had happened in the classroom, as he was currently walking together with Dean Xiao. As they walked, he said sincerely: “Dean Xiao, thank you so much for everything you did yesterday.”

Xiao Shi smiled faintly, saying: “You little brat, you are rather well informed! Well, you do not need to thank me, that was all your own capabilities. If you weren’t outstanding, I wouldn’t even have noticed you, let alone protect you…”

Zhou Weiqing was rather surprised at Xiao Shi’s directness. He found that he was growing to like this Dean of Students even more.

Zhou Weiqing continued asking: “Dean Xiao, why did you look for me?”

Xiao Shi laughed and said: “It’s not me who is looking for you. It is our Principal who wants to meet such an outstanding and talented young genius like you.”

Hearing the words genius, Zhou Weiqing thought about the test they had just taken and how he had not known anything. In a rare sight, he flushed red in embarrassment, saying: “I am far from being any genius, I will have to depend on Dean Xiao in the future to take care of me.” Xiao Shi said: “If you aren’t considered a genius, then there aren’t any genius in the world. According to your registration records, you still haven’t reached the age of seventeen, and you are already a Mid Level Consolidating Equipment Master. Not only are you the first Consolidating Equipment Master in our
school, you are also the youngest Mid Level Consolidating Equipment Master I have ever heard of. Even those who inherit the heritage of famed Consolidating Equipment Masters, they are still mostly Low Level Consolidating Equipment Masters at such an age. We have indeed high hopes for your talent.”

As they spoke, Xiao Shi led the way up the stairs. The principal’s office was at the fifth level of the main building, which was also the highest level.

Hmm… Principal? Zhou Weiqing’s mind was instantly filled with images of that distinguished and elegant beauty he had seen the other day. She had definitely left an impression on him.

Very soon, they had reached the fifth level, which was obviously a lot quieter than the rest of the academy. This was the level where all the high ranking members of the academy had their offices. Leading Zhou Weiqing to the deepest parts of the level, Xiao Shi finally stopped at a door with a sign portraying the Principal’s Office. With a respectful expression on his face, Xiao Shi knocked softly twice on the door.

A calm, elegant voice came from within. “Please enter.”

Only then did Xiao Shi push open the door and enter together with Zhou Weiqing.

The office was rather large, almost three hundred square metres, and was entirely adorned in a pale yellow look, giving a peaceful yet refined feel. All the furnishing in the room was meticulously designed and well thought out, and right behind a large semi-circular table sat the beautiful lady Principal, Cai Cai.

Just like yesterday, she was dressed in her unique black teacher robes, her long hair bundled up to her head. She had a small, pleasant smile on her face, and her expression was peaceful and calm, without an imposing aura like one might expect from someone of her position.

“Principal, I’ve brought Zhou Weiqing before you.” Xiao Shi said to her with a slight bow. Cai Cai smiled and inclined her head in greeting: “Thank you Dean Xiao, I have troubled you.”

Xiao Shi smiled in return and said: “It was no trouble at all, Principal. I shall take my leave now, you can have a good talk with him.” He bowed once again before leaving the room. Before he did so, he gave Zhou Weiqing an encouraging look.

As Xiao Shi left, he closed the door behind him, and there was only the two of them left in the office. When Zhou Weiqing had seen Cai Cai from afar previously, he had been awestruck by her beauty. Now, to see her at such a close range, he almost felt a little uncomfortable.

This Principal Cai Cai gave him somewhat of a feeling like a goddess who shouldn’t be sullied, giving forth a natural, untouchable aura. That invisible stress seemed to have a presence in the room itself, and her noble grace seemed inbred into her very bones, making others feel a strange sense of inferiority despite the lack of arrogance.

According to Kou Rui’s information, this beautiful lady principal was already thirty-five years old. However, just from outward appearance, she looked barely twenty years old. Yet, her aura and presence seemed to be that of a person in power of fifty to sixty years of age. Such a unique combination of presence was more than sufficient to draw the eye of anyone.

“Student Zhou Weiqing right, please have a seat.”  Cai cai pointed to the high backed chair in front of her desk.

Zhou Weiqing did not hesitate, pulling back the chair and sitting down in it, not really caring about any noble etiquettes. After all, he was a commoner student in the academy… Furthermore, to compare noble etiquettes with this lady, that would be something useless to do.

In front of a beautiful lady, in order to draw attention to yourself, you must either be stronger than her, otherwise the other route is to just be something extremely unique and different. This was Mu En’s teachings to Zhou Weiqing.

“Greetings,  Principal  Cai  Cai.”  Zhou  Weiqing  said  with  a smile.

Cai Cai started a little, even the teachers of the academy did not usually call her by her full name. Furthermore… This youth, Zhou Weiqing, was a lot more mature and stable than she had expected. Naturally, what Zhou Weiqing had done at the opening ceremony yesterday was not hidden from her. In fact, every detail of the entire incident was reported to her. In this academy, she held the ultimate authority.

“Zhou Weiqing, do you know why I asked Dean Xiao to call you here?” She asked passively.

Zhou Weiqing shook his head and said: “No, I do not.”

Cai Cai said: “I saw your entrance exam, and I heard that General Ming Yu right?”

Zhou Weiqing nodded and said: “Yes, the examiner teacher then did not like my answer, and General Ming Yu passed by and saw it, and he thought it was still okay, and gave me a pretty good score.”

“Okay? In my view, your answer deserved a zero.” Cai Cai’s voice suddenly turned cold, so much so that Zhou Weiqing felt as if the entire temperature in the room dropped a few degrees.

Zhou Weiqing started a little. It seems this Principal wasn’t too friendly towards him. Cai Cai said solemnly: “In your answer, I saw an unbelievable amount of bloodshed and death, and the suffering of countless citizens. Perhaps, your tactics might be successful, bringing victory. But at what cost? How many will die with you commanding? Every life only has one chance to live here, and
no one should have the right to strip them of this right. When someone dies, it also brings suffering to their families. Perhaps you might think it’s a petty kindness, but what I want to tell you is that a commander who does not care about the lives of citizens will never be a true leader, and his army will never be a
champion army.” “In a battle, what’s the most important thing? Opportunity, favourable terrain, and the people. For the first two, it’s still possible to determine using your experience and knowledge, but the last is not possible. The person who holds the hearts of people will rule the lands. Let me tell you one thing for certain
– although Ming Yu is a famous general, he will never be granted the highest accolades and awards, nor will he ever become the Commander-in-chief. That is because for him now, no matter where he goes, he brings fear, not just the enemies but even our own countrymen. Those that remember his
victories are few, but many call him an executioner and slaughterer. Alas, despite all his abilities and military talent, he will never be a loved general.”

Hearing Cai Cai’s strict and serious words, only then did Zhou Weiqing finally realise the situation. It seemed he had been taking the hit for someone else! Ignoring the rumour about their possible relation, it was likely that Cai Cai and Ming Yu had many differences regarding their outlook on military command. Although deep in Zhou Weiqing’s heart, he was more agreeable to Ming Yu’s way of thinking, he could also hear some reason in Cai Cai’s words. Just like the debate whether might is right versus winning people over with benevolence is better, it was never a debate that could be resolved easily with a simple answer. “Principal, wait a minute, how about letting me say something?” Zhou Weiqing said helplessly.

Cai Cai resumed her previous smiling poise, though there was a hint of stern coldness in her eyes.

Zhou Weiqing smiled bitterly and said: “Principal, let me be honest. In truth, that day while going through the exam. i was totally writing rubbish. I have never ever attended any official military training in my life, let alone a military academy.”

“Who knew that I would coincidentally have the same answer as General Ming Yu. I am here just for that, to learn! I am not set in any ways, nor am I close to commanding any battles any time soon. To say that I will end up like General Ming Yu is way too early. As such, you do not have to worry so much, after all I still have four years of studying and learning to go through. Isn’t that the purpose of the academy, to let me know all the possible ways and methods to approach various problems, even to resolve without bloodshed? I can only say that you are thinking too much. No one can be a copy of another person. I will not be a second Ming Yu. To put things bluntly, I wouldn’t even want to be him, he is not worth it for me.” As he said that, Zhou Weiqing’s rogue-ish nature was revealed once more. He was rather exasperated and speechless, it was noon and lunch time, and yet he was just called in to be scolded for nothing? What was that all about?

Hearing Zhou Weiqing’s words, Cai Cai suddenly burst out laughing, yet without destroying any of her noble grace, instead adding a vivacious charm to her.

“You are a man after all, how could you be attracted to another man?” Cai Cai said passively. Her voice remained calm and peaceful despite the wide smile on her face, and Zhou Weiqing couldn’t help to stare at her. If not for the fact that he had indeed seen many beauties, he might have been enamoured by the sight.

“You do not have to explain anything to me. My words earlier were just to tell you that you shouldn’t learn too much from Ming Yu’s example. Next, let’s talk about you. During the opening ceremony yesterday, I shall not pursue the matter about you hitting another student any further. You are a 3- Jeweled Heavenly Jewel Master, and not even seventeen years of age yet. You are also a Mid Level Consolidating Equipment Master. What I really want to know is why did you choose our Fei Li Imperial Family Military Academy instead of the Heavenly Jewel Master Academy?” Cai Cai’s gaze seemed to turn sharp as she focused upon Zhou Weiqing’s face, as if she could see right through him.

Zhou Weiqing said rather helplessly: “I did not choose it! That was all arranged by my family back home, and I didn’t really have a choice. Furthermore, it’s always good to learn something else, I will probably have to join the army eventually, so it’s good for me to learn something about military matters now. Furthermore, doesn’t our academy teach us regarding Heavenly Jewel Masters as well?”

Cai Cai shook her head gently, saying: “You are here because your father is the commander in chief of the Heavenly Bow Empire. As his son, and a Heavenly Jewel Master yourself, you will probably have to succeed him in the future. In truth, this academy may not really be suitable for you. Although your father is one of the few people in the world today that I admire, I still have to tell you this.”

Zhou Weiqing was stunned in his heart. “You know my father?!”

Cai Cai said passively: “We’ve met once in passing. It was just an easy matter for me to know who you really were, after all the Heavenly Bow Empire is allies with us Fei Li Empire. However, these few years, due to the pressure from the Wan Shou Empire, we have not been able to aid your Heavenly Bow Empire as much as we would like to. Regarding this, I have to give my apology. Under such a circumstance, if not for your father Admiral Zhou holding his ground, I’m afraid the Heavenly Bow Empire would have fallen long ago.”

Zhou Weiqing furrowed his brow and said: “In that case, it is even more imperative that I learn more about military matters, to go back home and help my father, and ease his load.”

Cai Cai said: “There is a phrase called ‘Do not bite off more than you can chew’. It’s always good to learn new things, but it is usually related for the sake of survival. In your case, that isn’t true. After all, you have an amazing talent in other matters. A Consolidating Equipment Master of less than seventeen years of age, how often is that seen? According to Dean Xiao, you definitely have much talent in that area, and aren’t just someone who had just barely made it to the rank. Add on to that your Spatial Heavenly Jewel Master status… If you spend too much time and effort on military matters, you might disrupt your progress in being a Heavenly Jewel Master or Consolidating Equipment Master. Do you understand what I mean?”

As she spoke up to this point, Cai Cai paused a moment before continuing gracefully: “If not for the fact that you are Admiral Zhou’s only son, I would be trying my best to persuade such a talent like you to join our Fei Li Empire. Alas, that is obviously not going to be possible. To be honest, to your Heavenly Bow Empire, an outstanding Consolidating Equipment Master is much more meaningful and important
than another outstanding general or commander. I think you should understand what I mean. Furthermore, your father is still in his prime, and should not require you to succeed him in the next twenty years or so. If you are willing, I can write you a letter of recommendation to the Heavenly Jewel Master Academy and have you transfer over. Not only are they more well versed in training Heavenly Jewel Masters, they also have a specialised course for Consolidating Equipment Masters, and the teacher in charge is even a Consolidating Equipment Grandmaster.”

Zhou Weiqing’s eyes glittered. He was rather unsure of what Cai Cai’s actions meant. With his status as a Consolidating Equipment Master, shouldn’t she be more than happy to leave him in the academy? Why did she seem like she was trying to chase him away?

Cai Cai looked at him steadily and smiled. “I know what you are thinking. I can tell you directly. Indeed, you are correct, I do not want you to continue staying in the academy. The reason is simple, I do want to wait for your graduation to see you pull all the commoner students to the Heavenly Bow Empire.”

As soon as Cai Cai said those words, Zhou Weiqing felt a chill run down his spine and his heart sink. He had never expected that all his actions would be so easily read. Without question, before calling him here today, this Principal had looked into all his actions in detail, from the second he had entered the academy.

Another scarily intelligent person. Perhaps, in terms of power, Cai Cai might not be a match for Ming Wu. However, the impression she gave Zhou Weiqing was even more terrifying. The sort of pressure that she gave him with just a few simple words, the feeling of her having everything in her grasp, that was undeniable, without giving Zhou Weiqing any room to manoeuvre.

Zhou Weiqing drew in a deep breath, suppressing his fear and rage within his heart. His gaze also turned icy, far different from his usual easygoing manner.

He had barely stepped into this academy for two days, and had barely shown himself to be above average, yet he had already met with so many problems. Without even speaking about the problems from other students, just the problems from the Heavenly Demon Sect and from the academy itself now, it was quickly eroding his patience. Do not forget that after all the Zhou Weiqing now was no longer the youth that hadn’t Awakened his Heavenly Jewels a few years back. All these years, he had steadily been absorbing and bonding with
the black pearl he had swallowed. At the same time that he had gotten all the various benefits, his character was also subtly influenced. He was originally the sort of person to lash out harder the more pressure he was under, and under such a threat, he no longer wanted to hold back.

“Principal  Cai  Cai,  let  me  show  you  something.”   Zhou Weiqing said calmly. As he said that, he took out a sheet of paper from his Spatial Necklace, passing it to Cai Cai.

Cai Cai started a little. She had originally thought she had everything under control. In her view, Zhou Weiqing would either have to leave, or to back down and compromise with her. She had not expected him to have this reaction instead.

Taking the paper from Zhou Weiqing, Cai Cai held it before her. When she looked upon it, her calm and peaceful figure actually shuddered violently, her eyes revealing her shock.

Zhou Weiqing stood up, pressing his hands to the table, looking down onto Cai Cai. “Principal Cai Cai, this design… With your intelligence, I’m sure you can tell what it is.”

Cai Cai struggled hard to control the shock in her heart, saying coldly: “A God Tier Consolidating Equipment Scroll Design.”

Indeed, what Zhou Weiqing had passed to her was a God Tier Consolidating Equipment Scroll design. Of course, he wasn’t foolish, and the one he passed to her was the twin hammers that he had already Consolidated. Even if Cai Cai tried to forcefully steal it, he wasn’t afraid. Furthermore, he was rather confident that she would not do so, or would not dare to do so.

Zhou Weiqing said proudly: “Indeed, you are right, it is a God Tier Consolidating Equipment Scroll design. Now… do you still think I need a Consolidating Equipment Grandmaster to teach me?”

I translated this not-literally, as the literal meaning is ‘attracted to him’.

Chapter 54 We need to cry out, as if in greater misery!

Cai  Cai  said  coldly:  “Indeed,  a  God  Tier  Consolidating Equipment Scroll design can be said to be priceless. However, it is still just a design. As a Consolidating Equipment Master yourself, you should be clear that having a design is one thing, and actually creating it is another matter. Do you mean to tell me you have the ability to create this Scroll? Do not joke with me.”

Zhou Weiqing shook his head and said: “Of course not, I definitely do not have the ability currently. However, Principal, I do want to tell you two things.”

“First of all…  in the near future, I have a hundred percent confidence of being able to create this God Tier Consolidating Equipment Scrolls. Do not ask me why, as that is my own personal secret, and I’m sure you aren’t willing to bet. Secondly, although I am currently unable to create the scrolls, that doesn’t mean my teacher isn’t able to. Oh right, I forgot, there is a third thing. I forgot to mention that the design in your hands is just the first of a set. As for this set… in the Consolidating Equipment Master world, there is something that everyone has heard of but no one has witnessed personally
– Legendary Consolidating Equipment Set.” “What did you say?” Cai Cai finally lost her cool, standing up suddenly and staring at Zhou Weiqing. Her eyes seemed to glitter as she stared at him, an intense pressure emitting forth from her body.

A thick aura of Heavenly Energy seemed to surround him. Although it did not seem as irresistible as Ming Wu’s, Zhou Weiqing could still clearly feel that her cultivation level was way above his own.

Seeing her stand up, Zhou Weiqing sat back down coolly instead, his fingers drumming lightly on the arms of the chair as he smiled faintly and said: “I am just telling advising you, Principal, that you shouldn’t let the Fei Li Empire treat a possible God Tier Consolidating Equipment Master as an enemy… especially one who has a Legendary Consolidating Equipment Set. Such a scenario, I’m afraid you might not be able to take responsibility. Furthermore, in this world, a God Tier Consolidating Equipment Master will never be alone. I think you know what I mean.”

Looking at Zhou Weiqing, Cai Cai’s expression was rather ugly as her eyes glittered, staring at him. She had never expected that this little fellow from the Heavenly Bow Empire would actually be able to take out a God Tier Consolidating Equipment Scroll Design, and even proclaiming that it was part of a Legendary Set! Naturally, she knew what that entailed, and if what Zhou Weiqing said was true, when he grew to his full power, he could possibly bring irreparable damage to the Fei Li Empire just through his power alone. Furthermore, just like he said, a God Tier Consolidating Equipment Master was not alone… and even worse, for his
teacher to be able to bring up someone like Zhou Weiqing, and
to even give him a Legendary Consolidating Equipment Set Design, it was definitely someone with much status and power, perhaps even a group or family! In such a time when Consolidating Equipment Scrolls were in short supply, it would be literally suicide for the Empire to offend such high level Consolidating Equipment Masters. To do so for just Zhou Weiqing, Cai Cai was definitely not about to do that.

However, in the next few moments, Cai Cai calmed down, taking her seat once more and giving a cold laugh. Throwing the design back to Zhou Weiqing, she said coldly: “Are you trying to throw me off with just a piece of paper? If this is just something that you or your teacher picked up somewhere by luck, wouldn’t that make me a laughing stock?”

Zhou Weiqing thought to himself: What a problematic person to deal with. Luckily, I’m well prepared. Nodding, Zhou Weiqing gave a confident look as he said: “You’re  right,  Principal.  As  they  saying  goes,  seeing  is believing. I believe you should have noticed what the God Tier Consolidated Equipment was in the design right?”

Cai Cai inclined her head and said: “A pair of hammers…”

Just as she finished speaking, Zhou Weiqing’s right hand waved outward, though not in her direction. A thick dark gold light sprang forth, instantaneously enveloping Zhou Weiqing’s entire body.

“Consolidating Equipment God Protective Aura?!”  This was the second time Cai Cai had lost her composure and exclaimed out loud since meeting Zhou Weiqing. The next moment, she saw a pair of exaggeratedly huge hammers appear in Zhou Weiqing’s hands. As soon as they appeared, there was no need for Zhou Weiqing to show further, and Cai Cai knew it was definitely a God Tier Consolidated Equipment. After all, that aura wasn’t something that any ordinary equipment could display.

Zhou Weiqing struck the hammer on the table lightly, causing a soft *bang*. When he lifted it back up, the solid table had a mark left on it. The mark seemed to hold strange elaborate meanings, though it only came from the inscriptions on the hammer shaft.

“Principal Cai Cai can verify that with a Zong Stage Consolidating Equipment Master. He will tell you what it means. Ah, I can tell you now as well, what it means is it is the first of a Legendary Consolidated Equipment Set… and there are a total of ten in the entire set.”

As he said that, Zhou Weiqing kept the hammers with the wave of his hands, at the same time retrieving and keeping the design sheet which was on the table. Standing for a second time, he glanced at Cai Cai, whose brow was furrowed in deep thought, and turned to leave. As he did so, he thought to himself: I’m hungry, I’m going to eat now! Who asked you all to try to pressure me, threaten me! Hmph, I’ll scare you all away. Zhou Weiqing did not hesitate to show his hammers in order to win the battle of spirits with Cai Cai, letting her know that even though he came from Heavenly Bow Empire, he wasn’t someone she could easily bully. He wanted to show that he had a background that wasn’t easily trifled with, even for the Fei Li Empire. Only then could he reverse his untenable position into one where he had a driving seat of sorts. Furthermore, he was not totally lying. Indeed, this time if he was really chased out, when he grew to his full power, he would definitely take revenge on the Fei Li Empire. This was undoubtedly the truth, as he was not some goody goody two shoes.

“Wait a while.” Just as Zhou Weiqing was about to reach the door, Cai Cai suddenly called out to him.

Zhou Weiqing turned back around, his face expressionless and calm as he said: “Ma’am Principal, is there anything else?”

Cai  Cai  smiled  and  said:  “Student  Zhou  Weiqing,  in  the future when you create Consolidating Equipment Scrolls, can the academy reserve some… as well as our Fei Li Empire?”

Zhou Weiqing shrugged and said: “Why not?” After saying that, he pulled on the door and left swiftly.

In truth, he had a strong urge in his heart to just reject her outright, and not give her the face to back down simply. However, he knew that he had already scored the minor victory, and her position was after all just much stronger than his. This was the Fei Li Empire, and he was still going to study in the academy for four more years. Furthermore, it was just him and Shangguan Bing’er alone here, and it would definitely be unwise to alienate the entire upper echelons of the academy, and cause himself more trouble. As such, he finally let her have the face, after all overall he had gotten the upper hand in this round. If he truly wanted to totally beat or suppress this woman, it would only be possible one day when his power was totally beyond hers.

After Zhou Weiqing had left her office, Cai Cai still stood there silently. After a while, she finally shook her head and sighed, muttering to herself: “It looks like the Heavenly Bow Empire will have the chance to rise up. I’ll have to tell the military headquarters to perhaps give some aid to them. As for this little brat, I’ll have to keep my eye on him. God Tier Consolidating Equipment Master… Legendary Consolidating Equipment Set… Zhou Weiqing, you have indeed made me look at you in a different light.”

By the time Zhou Weiqing reached the canteen, most of the people had already finished eating. Shangguan Bing’er sat alone at a table, silently waiting for him. Kou Rui stood at the side not far from her, and Yan Zhexi was also actually standing together with him. With Shangguan Bing’er’s beauty, there was naturally no shortage of people trying to approach her, but the two of them stopped all of them. Normally, this would have been impossible, but the nobles had just been warned by the academy authorities yesterday. “Bing’er,  you  haven’t  eaten  yet?”  Zhou  Weiqing  saw  two plates of food on the table, and asked curiously.

Shangguan Bing’er smiled faintly and said: “I wanted to wait and eat together with you.”

After arguing with Cai Cai, Zhou Weiqing had felt a little tired in his heart. However, looking at Shangguan Bing’er’s peaceful gaze and hearing her words, he felt a warmth calm his heart. No matter what or when, she was there to support him, any amount of suffering and fatigue on his part was worth it!

“Let’s eat then.” Zhou Weiqing gazed deeply at her, and did not attempt to seize the opportunity to tease her. At this moment, his heart was filled with love and warmth, feeling the need to protect this girl in front of him forever.

Kou Rui and Yan Zhexi both left quietly when they saw Zhou Weiqing reach the table, and as the other students slowly drifted out of the canteen, it seemed to Shangguan Bing’er and Zhou Weiqing that they were alone in the world.

After their lunch, the two of them headed to the main square on the academy grounds, finding a bench and basking in the sun. “Bing’er, are you tired after this morning’s test?” Shangguan Bing’er said: “No, I’m not tired. How can us Heavenly Jewel Masters be tired so easily? How was your test?”

Zhou Weiqing said rather helplessly: “Looks like I have a high chance of cleaning the toilet.”

Shangguan Bing’er furrowed her brow and was just about to say something, but Zhou Weiqing held a finger to her red lips. “Do not worry for me, I will handle it. Now your mission is… an afternoon nap.”

Domineeringly pulling her into his arms, he let her lean into her arms, smiling in satisfaction.

Shangguan Bing’er did not tell him about what happened with Difuya earlier, as she knew very clearly his temper. If Zhou Weiqing found out what happened, he would not let things go easily. Now, leaning on him, she felt a sense of security, and as they relaxed under the warm sun rays, her long eyelashes slowly closed, and soon enough, her breath settled and evened.

It was only when it was time for the afternoon class when Zhou Weiqing woke her up. Although he did not sleep, hugging her through the noon period, he felt rested and his mind refreshed, with a sense of clarity. Although his past two days had been filled with much danger, he had at least gotten through it relatively unscathed. For now, the Heavenly Demon Sect and the Academy would not come after him, and as long as he kept a lower profile, there shouldn’t be any major problems. The most important thing now for him was to quickly purchase the various materials and ingredients for him to continue creating Consolidating Equipment Scrolls. After all, these scrolls were just pure profit, and he needed to keep earning as much as he could so that he had the finances when he eventually returned to the Heavenly Bow Empire.

The other reason why Zhou Weiqing had taken it upon himself to create Consolidating Equipment Scrolls for his classmates was a form of training. Just simply following the steps or the previously designed Scrolls which Huyan Aobo had taught him, there wasn’t much to improve besides increasing experience in creating them. However, to custom design and create Consolidating Equipment Scrolls for others, it was a whole different ball game. It would need him to actually fully understand the basics, to design everything from the start. For example, among the six sets of scrolls he had created yesterday, the one which had taken him to longest to create was the one he had custom designed and created for Kou Rui. In fact, almost half the entire time he had used was spent on that set.

Ever since he had entered the Fei Li Military Academy, Zhou Weiqing had increasingly recognized the true importance of a Consolidating Equipment Master. Previously, he had known they were important in theory, but had not recognized the extent until he had witnessed it for himself. As such, becoming an outstanding Consolidating Equipment Master was now of even more importance to him than even becoming a powerful Heavenly Jewel Master. After all, only an outstanding Consolidating Equipment Master would be able to recruit many powerful Jewel Masters to stand by his side… and this was just exactly the key to the Heavenly Bow Empire’s growth in the near future. Although the Fei Li Empire was much stronger, it was not his home, and in Zhou Weiqing’s heart, no country in the world could replace the standing of the Heavenly Bow Empire. That was the beauty of one’s motherland.

“Dearest, it’s time for class…” Zhou Weiqing dipped his head down and kissed Shangguan Bing’er on the cheeks.

Shangguan Bing’er opened her eyes blurrily to see a mouth heading down towards her, and in shock she quickly dodged aside. Jumping up, she remembered where they were, and blushed deeply as she told Zhou Weiqing: “Little Fatty, this is in academy grounds, you should control yourself…”

Zhou  Weiqing  was  delighted,  saying:  “Does  that  mean… when we’re home later at night, I do not need to control myself…?”

Shangguan Bing’er giggled and said: “Enough of that, I’m immune to your tricks now. Let’s go to class now, come on!”

The class in the afternoon was personal military training, and was held right in the main square. Personal military training was to build up their solo fighting capabilities, and not just in terms of Jewel Masters fighting. Among other things, there was fighting styles, hand to hand combat, hiding and concealment, ambushes, sniping and assassinations, luring the enemy and other various individual combat tricks and capabilities. In the Fei Li Military Academy, this was one of the most important classes. Every year, this was one of the three most important exams to pass, with the other two being battle analysis and strategy, and they had to be passed with a single try. For other classes, there was still the opportunity of a re- exam, while if any student failed any of this three main classes, they would be expelled from the academy. The Fei Li Military Academy Main Square was extremely huge, and the commoner class one’s students were gathered on the left side of it. On the other side, there was another class gathered there… clearly they were also there to take the personal military training class. It was a senior noble class of around 40 or so students, and many of them looked towards Zhou Weiqing’s class when they gathered.

“Form Squad…  Attention!”  Ming Hua’s voice rang out, and all twenty nine of the commoner students immediately arranged themselves into two rows. Zhou Weiqing and Ma Qun naturally ended up at the back of the rows.

When Zhou Weiqing looked at Ming Hua, his eyes lit up. She had changed into a rose red attire, with her hair tied behind her head. At this point, she no longer had any hint of her previous seductive look, but had a valiant, battle ready look, full of fighting spirit.

Ming Hua’s gaze swept across the faces of her students, and after confirming that they were all present, she nodded and said: “This morning’s test will be graded and returned to you within two days, though I believe many of you know how you have done deep in your hearts. I do not care what school you are from previously, but from now on, you are part of our illustrious Fei Li Military Academy, and you will study hard according to my requirements. Otherwise, I will not hesitate to expel anyone who fails at the end of the year. The students who do not finish their entire four years will not be allowed to mention that they are from our academy. Class Monitor…”

Zhou Weiqing quickly stepped forth. “Here!”

Ming Hua glanced at him and said: “Lead everyone to run ten rounds around the main square. You all have fifteen minutes to complete the rounds, and those who do not finish within the stipulated time will have to run another ten rounds.”

“Yes.”  Zhou  Weiqing  agreed.  The  main  square  was  about eight hundred metres per round, though that was quite some distance, but to him, the ten rounds would be as easy as taking a stroll.

“Teacher,  do  we  Elemental  Jewel  Masters  have  to  run  as well?” At this moment, a soft, timid voice sounded out. It was a young girl, one of the students whom Zhou Weiqing remembered vaguely as one of the rare Elemental Jewel Masters in the class. She was of the Water Attribute, and her name was Ye Tingxue. Her looks were just above average, and she was a gentle, timid girl, her frail appearance seeming as if a gust of wind would blow her over. Ming Hua glanced at her and said passively: “I said everyone, didn’t you hear?”

Ye Tingxue was startled into almost crying. She was a two- Jeweled Water Attribute Elemental Jewel Master, and though her physique was stronger than an ordinary human with her Heavenly Energy, she knew it would be impossible for her to run eight thousand metres in fifteen minutes. With the addition of the ten rounds penalty, she would be in deep trouble.

It wasn’t just her. All the six Elemental Jewel Masters in the class revealed troubled looks on their face.

“Attention!  Right  Turn.”  Zhou  Weiqing  shouted  out  loud, glancing at Ming Hua. He laughed in his heart, thinking to himself:  Is  this  the  ‘problem’   you  have  set  me?  You  have severely underestimated me!

“Ma Qun, Kou Rui, Yan Zhexi, Shangguan Bing’er, each of you bring along a Elemental Jewel Master classmate, while I will bring two.” Zhou Weiqing called out, before picking two of the male Elemental Jewel Master youths. His method was rather simple, grabbing each of them under his arms, before running at the head of the class. The four he had called out did not hesitate – Shangguan Bing’er went to Ye Tingxue, while Yan Zhexi and Kou Rui each quickly went for the last two female students. As for Ma Qun, he was too slow, left with the last student who was a rather heavyset male. Ma Qun scolded inwardly: Ugh, I’m just a little too slow, such a disadvantage! However, he did not hesitate as well, pulling that classmate along as he ran on. As for the rest of the Physical Jewel Masters, they naturally had no problem running, and all twenty nine of them charged forth along the running track.

A hint of surprise appeared in Ming Hua’s eyes. She had not expected Zhou Weiqing to react so quickly, and with a wry twist to her mouth, she stood there recording the rounds.

As Zhou Weiqing ran, he called out to the rest: “Our commoner class one is an entire group which works as one together. No matter what we do, we cannot leave anyone behind. If we are on the battlefield, our backs are given to our most trusted comrade in arms. Perhaps, we are still unable to reach that state, but let us work towards that together. Everyone just needs to remember that we are one. One for all, and all for one!”  As he said that, he thought to himself: The best will be for all of us to move over to our Heavenly Bow Empire together too! Heh heh! Before long, they had completed the first round. Just as they were starting on their second round, all of a sudden, there was a loud ‘Aiyah’ sound, and one of the students fell down.

Although Zhou Weiqing was right in front, he has been keeping track of his classmates behind him. Turning around, he saw one of his male classmates fallen on the floor, his hands clutching his belly, his face a mask of pain. In front of him lay an arrow without the arrowhead.

“Stop!”   Zhou  Weiqing  shouted  loudly,  and  all  of  them stopped, turning to the other class also going through the lesson at the other side of the main square.

The noble class was currently practicing their archery, and their target was about a hundred yards or so away, while their entire class was at the side of the main square. No matter how you looked at it, it was impossible for them to have shot in this direction. Even if there was no arrowhead, but being shot at such a close distance, one could imagine the pain.

The next moment, on of the noble students shouted over mockingly: “Aiyyaahh… I’m so sorry, my arrow went astray. This junior, are you okay?” The teacher of the noble class was not around, and they had been practicing their archery by themselves. After saying that, the noble student continued mockingly: “A moving target is indeed much more fun than a boring set target. If you all are interested, you can try! Haha!”

His words caused the rest of the noble students to laugh uproariously, while the commoner students glared angrily at him.

Ming Hua was currently in the midst of recording the rounds ran, and was also startled by the sudden incident. Luckily, the arrow had no arrowhead, or the student might have been heavily injured or killed.

“Bastards,  are  you  asking  for  death?”  Ming  Hua  shouted angrily.

The noble students were rather afraid of her. After all, the name of ‘Flower of Hades’ Underworld’ was notorious, and they immediately quietened down.

Right at that moment, Zhou Weiqing walked towards Ming Hua, murmuring something in her ears. Ming Hua furrowed her brow for a second in thought, before nodding to him. All of a sudden, she turned and walked off. Some of the more quick thinking members of the commoner class one revealed evil smiles as soon as they saw that.

Zhou Weiqing returned to his classmates, picking up the arrow and walking to the noble student who had spoken and calling out in a fake, kindly voice. “Senior, here is your arrow. I’ve picked it up for you.” His words were slow and with a hint of flattery, as if trying to fawn on the noble senior; and he had a big smile on his face. All of a sudden, he flicked his hand, sending the arrow forward.

At that point, he was fifty feet from the noble students when he threw out the arrow. To the surprise of the commoner class one students, the arrow seemed to be even faster than when shot from the bow earlier, and it sped through the fifty yards in the blink of an eye.

A loud pained cry sounded out as the arrow shot forth right into the noble student who had just turned around, and furthermore, it embedded itself right deep into an unmentionable place… “Ahhhh!!!” The scream seemed inhuman as the noble student jumped up almost two metres into the air, his entire body shuddering while in mid air while his cries were like that of a pig being butchered.

Zhou Weiqing stared at noble students in shock, exclaiming in surprise: “Aiiyahhh, what is going on? I was so kind to help you pick up the arrow, why did you use your buttocks to receive it?! That must be some special martial arts you have trained in… Respect, much respect, it is amazing! Just too amazing!”

Everybody stopped, shocked. The students of commoner class one had a very strange look on their faces. Looking at the honest looking smile on Zhou Weiqing’s face, all of them were delighted snidely in their hearts, but at the same time feeling a cold in their heart. That was indeed the smile of the devil!

Ma  Qun  muttered:  “Is  this  the  legendary  ‘Breaking  the Chrysanthemum’ ?? Boss Zhou, you are too savage!” Zhou Weiqing glanced at him and said: “You can eat anything, but you can’t anyhow spread rumours!”

“I was just returning the arrow to him. Who knew that this dear Senior of ours had such a powerful martial arts, to actually use that body part to receive the arrow… What has that got to do with me?”

Right at that moment, someone among the noble students shouted out: “Shoot the bunch of common bastards!” And the other noble students actually picked up their bows and shot towards the commoner students.

Although all the commoner students were Jewel Masters, yet the nobles still looked down upon them. In their eyes, for these lowly commoners to retaliate against them, it was unforgivable. Despite the arrows in their hands being mere training arrows, with over forty of them firing, it was still a rather powerful and frightening sight. This was especially so with them being so close to each other, and immediately the commoner students were aghast, with some of the more quick thinking ones dropping down and covering their heads, reducing their likelihood of being shot. Some others just glared angrily at the noble students. After all, although these commoner students were Jewel Masters, very few amongst them actually had Consolidated Equipment or Stored Skills.

Right at the moment, a sudden figure flashed like a shadow, and everyone else could only see a green brilliant light in the air, and the rain of arrows disappeared.

Shangguan Bing’er landed softly beside Zhou Weiqing, her hands full of arrows, not a single one missing.

Ever since they had entered the Fei Li Military Academy, Zhou Weiqing had drawn all the attention, and everyone had overlooked Shangguan Bing’er as just a pretty face. Now, as she displayed her power, only then did everyone realise that this beauty who had been under Zhou Weiqing’s protection could more than hold her own ground.

Catching an arrow in mid air was not as simple as firing one, not to mention the fact it was a whole rain of arrows. Not only did it require an unbelievable speed, it was also the vision, judgement, type of movement, consciousness; all of that together in an impressive mix. Furthermore, when she did so, she still looked amazing and it seemed so easy, as if she had done something trivial. “You all are too much! We’re all schoolmates, and yet you actually fired arrows at us. What happens if someone gets hurt!?”   Shangguan  Bing’er  was  very  even-tempered  and seldom got angry. However, this time, seeing how far these noble students had went, she couldn’t help but take action.

Zhou Weiqing was also amazed. In terms of long distance, straight-line running, with his Demonic Right Leg he was able to keep up with Shangguan Bing’er. However, in terms of short distance, dodging and rapid changes in movement, he was far from her capabilities. After all, Shangguan Bing’er was a three- Jeweled pure agility Heavenly Jewel Master.

However, the noble students did not seem to hear her words, and already their second salvo of arrows had already been launched. It was as if they had already fixated upon the commoner class one students as their targets.

Shangguan Bing’er moved swiftly once more in a flash, she threw out the arrows in her hand, and they flew out in, separated in mid air, and all everyone heard was a continuous chain of *ting* *ting*, as each and every one of the arrows she threw out actually struck an enemy arrow.

This time, even the noble students started, shocked. Was this even humanly possible?! “Boss, what do we do?” Kou Rui asked Zhou Weiqing softly.

Zhou Weiqing said coldly: “Beat them up! Whoever doesn’t take action, you can get lost from our class now, our commoner class one does not have useless cowards!”  As he said that, he charged forward in front of everyone. While in mid air, he actually managed to catch up to the arrows which had collided in mid air and were falling down, catching some of them and flung them out. Another few cries of pain sounded out.

“Beat them up!”  Ma Qun roared in anger, charging closely behind Zhou Weiqing. The other commoner students were already boiling in rage from the attack; after all, which of them had not been bullied by nobles from young, even after they had become Jewel Masters? Currently, being used as targets by these arrogant nobles, they couldn’t contain the anger anymore. With Zhou Weiqing at their head, all twenty nine of the students, even the Elemental Jewel Masters, charged forth towards the noble students.

A distance of fifty yards, Zhou Weiqing closed the gap in two large bounds. Seeing him charge forth so quickly, the noble students tried to shoot him. Alas, who was Zhou Weiqing? He and Shangguan Bing’er had definitely not wasted their two years in the Heavenly Bow Unit. He was at the core a Heavenly Jewel Master Archer, and in terms of just archery alone, it was possible that there wasn’t anyone in the Fei Li Empire who could match him!

Arrow after arrow reached him, was caught in his hand, and flung back to their source. By the time he had reached the nobles, almost half of them were already on the floor.

Amongst the noble students, barely a quarter of them were Jewel Masters, and most of them were not of high cultivation level. In fact, this class was one of the weakest amongst the entire second level classes. Shooting arrows from afar was still something they could handle, but once it came to close combat, they were almost pushovers in comparison.

Zhou Weiqing was the first to smash into the enemy lines, almost like a tiger dashing into a crowd of sheep. He did not even make use of any Heavenly Energy, in fact reining in some of his physical prowess. Even so, every noble student he struck flew back!

There were eleven Jewel Masters in total amongst the noble students, but none of them were three Jewels. The highest cultivation level amongst them was two Jewels, and they were also all either Physical Jewel or Elemental Jewel Masters, with not a single Heavenly Jewel Master. As Zhou Weiqing flew deeper into their crowd, he activated his Touch of Darkness Skill.

This was one of his first few Skills, and was also one that he was most practiced and well versed at. As the darkness tentacles shot forth from the ground quietly, in such a chaotic mess, almost nobody noticed him releasing the skill. Before any of the eleven noble Jewel Masters had released a single skill or Consolidated Equipment, they had been gripped by the tentacles and bound together. With their cultivation level, they were unable to resist his skill. For ordinary Jewel Masters, even a five or six Jeweled Master would be hard pressed to give Zhou Weiqing a lot of trouble.

What happened next was naturally our dear Zhou Little Fatty charging amongst the rest of them like a bull in a china shop. His strength was tyrannical, and one strike caused the eleven Jewel Masters to fly apart, all injured to different extents. How could they possibly put up any other resistance after that?

“Beat them up!!!”

By this time, the rest of the commoner class one reached, the anger burning in their hearts causing them to forget their fear, and Zhou Weiqing’s ferocity also sparking the excitement in their hearts. In a matter of moments, the entire main square was filled with chaos, cries of pain sounding out all around.

Without question, it was a one sided massacre, and before long, all forty of the noble students were fallen on the ground.

Ming Hua was hidden at the side, staring dumfounded. Earlier, Zhou Weiqing had just told her that he wanted to teach them a little lesson, and asked her to hide away for a while. This had originally only been a minor conflict between two students, but somehow it had escalated into a mass battle in a blink of an eye. Such a clash between classes was unheard of since the start of the Fei Li Military Academy!

Seeing all the noble students had been knocked down onto the ground, groaning away in pain, Zhou Weiqing stopped. Looking around at the main school building, he immediately shouted out: “Everyone, stop now! It’s time! Quick, everyone lie down on the ground and roll around.”

“Huh? What? Boss, what are we doing?” One of the male students asked curiously.

Zhou Weiqing said exasperatedly: “Are you a fool?! We are the victims! How can it be that the victims are fine, and the culprits are beaten up?”

Ma Qun was the first to fall down onto the ground, laughing with glee in his heart. This Boss Zhou is certainly bold, beating up these nobles and acting the victim in the next instant! I love it!

As comprehension slowly dawned upon the class, they quickly followed suit. Although many of them felt this was rather shameless, none of them wanted to be expelled from school after all, and they all listened to Zhou Weiqing’s instructions, falling onto the ground and rolling around. Only the few female students were too embarrassed to do the same, looking at Zhou Weiqing pitifully.

Zhou Weiqing: “Alright, fine, the girls can just sit on the floor. However, you all need to cry and call out… as loud as possible. Boys, all of you roll around as much as possible! Make yourselves as dirty as possible! Oh right, quick, use some of their blood and rub it over yourselves! We need to cry out, as if in greater misery!”

As he said that, the class monitor had led by example. Rolling around on the ground, crying out aggrievedly at a huge volume. Shangguan Bing’er’s voice drifted into his ear: “You better not dirty your clothes too much, if not you wash your own clothes later!”

Only then did Zhou Weiqing stop his plan to wipe mud and blood onto his clothes, but his cries just turned more real. If anyone heard it, it was so sorrowful that they would weep in compassion! Such a skill was something he had trained since young age under the ‘tutelage’ of his father, Admiral Zhou. Currently, he took up his act once more, his experience in acting showing!

Influenced by their monitor’s amazing acting, all of the commoner class students starting crying out exaggeratedly. The entire main square of the Fei Li Military Academy seemed like a battlefield, filled with pained cries and sobbing.

At the side, Ming Hua closed her eyes helplessly. The only thought in her mind was: Holy Heavens! How am I going to clean up this mess…

Just like what Ming Yu had predicted previously… Zhou Weiqing’s arrival had indeed made things at the academy really… interesting.

Chapter 55 Consolidating Equipment Master Followers

One hour later, both Zhou Weiqing and Ming Hua were standing in the Principal’s office. Along with them were two others, one was the noble student who first had his buttocks pierced by Zhou Weiqing’s arrow, while the other was the class teacher of the noble student class.

At the moment, the only sound was the noble student’s moans. Perhaps because this fellow had been struck in such a position, he had gotten relatively lucky during the beating earlier, as no one else touched him. At least, he had gotten off without any other bruises or broken bones.

Principal Cai Cai’s expression was her usual calm, and her expression was unreadable. “Alright, tell me what went on?”

The noble student immediately cried out: “Principal, it’s him! He instigated those commoner bastards to beat us up! And… and… he … he used an arrow to shoot my buttocks… he shot it all the way in… so deep!”

As soon as he said that, not just Cai Cai, Ming Hua and the noble class teacher’s faces changed, even Zhou Weiqing’s face twitched as he held in laughter.

Zhou Weiqing thought to himself in his heart: Bro, please do not say it in such a misleading manner… what shot it all the way in…

“Get out!”  An angry light sparked in Cai Cai’s eyes and she said solemnly.

The noble student wanted to say something else, but was quickly forced out by his class teacher.

Silence fell upon the entire office, so much so that even a pin dropped would have been heard. Cai Cai turned her gaze to Zhou Weiqing and said: “I never expected that we would meet so soon again, Zhou Weiqing. Speak then, what happened.”

Zhou Weiqing used his sleeve to wipe his ‘tears’ as he said mournfully: “Principal, you must give us commoner students justice! You’ve heard that senior calling us commoner bastards… you can see what kind of attitude they have towards us. At that time, we were listening to Teacher Ming Hua’s instructions to run around the main square’s running track. At first, there was no issues, but all of a sudden, the seniors suddenly shot an arrow at one of our classmate. Even then, we did retaliate, and I even returned him the arrow. Who knew that the seniors suddenly said that moving targets are more fun than a set target. After that, they started shooting at us. I have to admit my mistake after that; as the class monitor, I needed to protect my classmates, as such I braved the arrow rain to argue with that. Who knew that the seniors said I was inciting trouble and starting beating me until I fell down. Under such circumstances, my classmates ran over to try and stop the fight, but was also beaten by the seniors. Alas, I have
to say that these seniors do not have good physiques, although
they were beating us up, they even fell down. Of course, I also have to admit that when we were being beaten, some of us resisted in self defence. Luckily, Teacher Ming Hua returned at the right time, otherwise I’m afraid…”

As he said that, our Class Monitor Zhou started sobbing, tears streaming down his cheeks. If the noble class teacher hadn’t seen the injuries on his students, he might have even believed Zhou Weiqing.

Cai Cai looked towards Ming Hua and the male teacher and said: “Ming Hua, Wu Zhengyang, what about you two? What happened? As teachers, why weren’t you there during class, allowing the two classes to fight?! Such a terrible situation has never happened in all the long history of our academy!” Ming Hua lowered her head, with an aggrieved, wrong expression on her face, but did not say anything. Zhou Weiqing quickly said: “Principal, you cannot blame Teacher Ming Hua for that. Her ‘Aunty’ came, and she had to go to the toilet. You know…”

Ming Hua and Cai Cai both flushed red, both glaring at him angrily. Cai Cai said angrily: “Why do you know everything huh? You get lost too!”

Zhou Weiqing quickly said: “Wait a minute, Principal. How about this? Although this situation isn’t our class’ fault, the noble seniors were still injured. I will pay all their medical fees, and will also bear all the punishment. Please do not punish my classmates, after all they were only dragged into the matter to save me. I’ll also pay for my classmates’  medical fees.”  As he said that, he placed a wooden box containing a set of Mid Level Consolidating Equipment Scrolls on the table. He then gave a polite bow towards Cai Cai before leaving the office.

The male teacher, Wu Zhengyang, furrowed his brow and said: “Principal, I have also looked into the situation and understood what happened simply. This situation is indeed started by my students, and it is their fault for starting it. However, these commoner students are indeed too savage. Out of the over forty students in my class, more than twenty have bones broken, and a few of them were severely injured. Even if they were in the wrong, there was no need to be so savage. The words of that student cannot be believed, when I reached the main square, although the commoner students seemed miserable, but their wounds were not serious at all. In the end, all of them managed to walk off themselves, while my students had to be carried away.”

Ming Hua gave a cold laugh and said: “Teacher Wu, are you trying to say that my students should have been carried away, both sides to the point of death, before the situation is fair?!”

Wu Zhengyang said angrily: “Ming Hua, do not try to obscure the matter! Even if this situation has a wrong-doer, it is on both sides! Furthermore, my students have taken such a loss and injuries! All of them are from noble families, and if this isn’t handled properly, it might give our academy a bad reputation.”

“Enough…” Cai Cai interrupted Wu Zhengyang, saying passively: “I have already heard enough. Here is my decision.”

Both Ming Hua and Wu Zhengyang immediately had a stern expression on their faces. Cai  Cai  said  sternly:  “The  noble  student  who  started everything with the first arrow shall be expelled from the academy. As for the rest of the noble students, they will be given a big warning mark. If they break any other school rules, they will not be given another chance and expelled instantly. As for Zhou Weiqing, he will also be given a warning mark. As for the rest of the commoner class one, they will be given a scolding.”

“What? Principal, that is not fair!” Wu Zhengyang cried out angrily: “My students’ wounds are so heavy, yet their punishment is heavier! Principal, you…”

A cold light flashed in Cai Cai’s eyes and she said coldly: “Wu Zhengyang, are you questioning my decision? Yesterday, Dean Xiao gave the order for the noble students not to touch the commoner students, and even gave a serious warning to their heads. Yet, today this happened. What does that mean? It means that these noble students aren’t taking us seriously. If we do not deal with them seriously, where will our authority be? Since you already said that the matter started with your student, then what else is there to say? Furthermore, Ming Hua had a reason to not be there… but what about you? What is your reason for not being with your students during class times? If you were there, would this have happened? You now have two choices, the first is to take a pay cut for a year, and be investigated by the academy. The other is, I will allow you to tender your resignation.”

When she said those words, Cai Cai’s tone was stern and resolute, a cold light dancing in her eyes.

Wu Zhengyang’s face changed quickly, and he finally said weakly: “As per Principal’s instructions.”

“Leave  then.”   Cai  Cai  waved  her  hands.  Wu  Zhengyang turned to leave, and as he did so, Ming Hua could clearly see his body quivering a little.

After Wu Zhengyang left, only Ming Hua and Cai Cai were left in the office. Ming Hua sat down onto the chair, saying exasperatedly: “Sister Cai Cai, that little brat Zhou Weiqing is just such a trouble maker. How could you let him off so easily?”

Cai Cai said: “What else could I do but to let him off? Whether or not he was faking it, at least in terms of the basic reasoning, he is still on the side of reason. Hua Hua, you really had it today?” “No, that little rascal was just talking rubbish.”  Ming Hua flushed red.

Cai Cai’s brow furrowed. “That Zhou Weiqing is really not anything good as well. If not for the fact he is a Consolidating Equipment Master, I would have sent him to the Heavenly Jewel Master Academy. Go back and give him a serious warning, if he causes trouble again in school, I won’t forgive him so easily.”

As she said that, Cai Cai opened the wooden box that Zhou Weiqing had left behind, taking out a scroll to have a look. “Mid Level Consolidating Equipment Scroll… He sure is willing to spend on that. I heard that he also sold two sets to Ye Paopao this morning. Hua hua, you need to keep a close eye on him, and if he causes trouble again, I will deal with him seriously!”

When Zhou Weiqing returned to the class, he was greeted by cheers and hails like a returning hero.

“Boss, you are just too great! I have always wanted to beat up those noble bastards! This time I really had a great time, I even broke two of their legs.” “Haha, indeed! That felt so good. Especially when those teachers ran over to see us crying on the ground, and thought what had happened to us.”

“Damn, I was too kind! I should have used Heavenly Energy when hitting them. Next time, if there is another opportunity, I shall not let it go!”

If the original relation between Zhou Weiqing and his classmates was just a matter of getting benefits from him, then this brawl had changed it. Everyone seemed closed to one another, especially after Zhou Weiqing had led them in that final acting scene that was still so fresh in their minds. They were also given the image that following Zhou Weiqing not only meant no worries for Consolidating Equipment, Skill Storing, but also being free of bullies! In that instant, Zhou Weiqing’s image and presence in their hearts grew immensely.

“Little Fatty, is everything okay?”  Shangguan Bing’er asked concernedly.

Zhou Weiqing laughed heartily and said: “It’s all settled, do not worry, there should be no big problems. After all, they were the ones who started the trouble. In any case, if any teachers ask you about your injuries or status, all of you just insist that you sustained internal injuries. Hmph. Whoever dares to provoke and come after our class, we will let them get more than what they bargained for. Only if we hit them where it hurts, then will they learn to fear us. Alright, since we can leave early today, let’s all leave then. Remember to train and cultivate hard when you return to your dorm rooms; if you
want to feel good like today, the most important thing is strength! After all, might is of extreme importance in this world. As for Consolidating Equipment and Skill Storing, do not worry about it as you can leave it to me, you all just have to concentrate on cultivating hard.

“Yes, boss!”  Everyone shouted out almost at the same time, giving Zhou Weiqing a scare. In the next instant, the entire class was filled with joyous cries. That cry of boss was indeed heartfelt.

Slang in China for period After milling with their classmates for a while, Zhou Weiqing and Shangguan Bing’er left the academy. He knew that this turn of events would spread his name even further throughout the academy, and the noble students would hate him even more. WIthout question, this would bring him some more trouble, but at the same time, it would also hasten the process of bringing the commoner students to his side. Alas, he would not know until the time came whether or not how many of them would actually follow him back to the Heavenly Bow Empire. Well, he had planted the seeds and placed his bets, and he could only take things step by step from now on. The ultimate key still lay in him improving his Consolidating Equipment Master level. With his Spatial, Time and Wind Attributes combination, with sufficient Heavenly Energy, it was possible for him to start working towards becoming a High Level Consolidating Equipment Master. As for being a Consolidating Equipment Grandmaster, it would at least require him to be at minimum the four-Jeweled cultivation level, while a Zong Stage Consolidating Equipment Master would have to be at least six-Jeweled. That was something that would not be possible in a short period of time.

“Bing’er,  let’s  find  some  place  to  buy  more  materials  for Consolidating Equipment Scrolls, I’ve finished all of my current materials…” Zhou Weiqing told her.

Shangguan Bing’er said: “Then we need to go home first… look at you, all dusty and dirty, how can you go out and buy things like that!”

Zhou Weiqing looked at Shangguan Bing’er who was also covered  in  dust,  and  grinned:  “Bing’er,  shall  we  two  bathe together?”

Shangguan Bing’er looked at him exasperatedly and said: “You can bathe together with Da Huang and Er Huang!”

Very quickly, both of them returned to their home. Naturally, such manual work like drawing water was taken up by Zhou Weiqing; there was a well in the courtyard where he could draw the water from. He first helped Shangguan Bing’er draw a bath full of water so she could start bathing first. Of course, this fellow had thoughts of peeking, but Shangguan Bing’er’s hearing was too good, and she had been well trained and experienced in the Heavenly Bow Unit, and his success rate was just too low.

By the time he had drawn a bath for himself, he returned to his room, grabbed hold of the little white tiger Fat Cat, and threw it into the bath.

“Wuuu Wuuuu” Fat Cat cried angrily, struggling to get out, but Zhou Weiqing had quickly stripped off his clothes, jumped in and hugged it.

“Little Fat Cat, it’s time for you to get a bath! You’re much cuter when you’re washed a nice clean white! Sigh… Bing’er refuses to take a bath with me, so I’m left with you to join me. After all, you’re at least a female. Arrghhh, how can you bite me! See if I don’t smack you good…”

After playing around for a while, Zhou Weiqing finally finished his bath. As soon as he opened the door, Fat Cat bolted like a bolt of lightning back into the room, ignoring Zhou Weiqing’s calls.

Zhou Weiqing was wearing a fresh set of clothings, and he twisted his mouth in disdain and said: “It’s just a bath, what’s there to be embarrassed about.”

Shangguan Bing’er stood in the courtyard combing her long hair, and said to him exasperatedly: “You’re bullying little Fat Cat again! You’re so bad, hmph. Be careful one day it turns big and beats you up!” Zhou Weiqing grinned and said: “No it won’t, Fat Cat’s my beloved pet. No need to fret, it will forget by the time we return.”  As he said that, this rascal looked upon Shangguan Bing’er’s fresh beauty after her bath, and couldn’t help but take a big gulp of saliva. Moving closer, he tried to get intimate with her, but she quickly sidestepped him swiftly.

“Wuuu wuuu, wuuu wuuu…” Fat Cat cried out angrily in the room, scratching the walls with its claws. Ahhh! AHHHH! I want to kill that shameless rascal!

Zhou Weiqing said to Shangguan Bing’er: “We should bring Da Huang, Er Huang and Fat Cat along when we go out, just in case those noble students try to take revenge, we will still be able to fight back.”

Shangguan Bing’er nodded and headed back in with the Spatial Ring to store Da Huang and Er Huang. As for Zhou Weiqing, he grinned and headed back into his room.

“My dear Fat Cat, come on, come to bro’s embrace… Bro will bring you out to play!”

“Wuu wuu.” Fat Cat turned its head around, ignoring him. Zhou Weiqing gave a humph and said: “Hurry up, don’t make me repeat myself, or when we return tonight, I’ll give you a biology lesson!”

Fat Cat glared at Zhou Weiqing for a moment, but gave up in the end, jumping onto his shoulder unhappily before dropping down into his arms.

After the bath, Fat Cat smelled good, and was soft and comfortable in his arms. Twitching a little, it settled comfortably, and did not make any other sound. Only then did Zhou Weiqing walk out satisfied.

The reason why he wanted to bring along the two Icy Soul Heavenly Bears and Fat Cat was due to his fight with Ming Wu. He had truly realised how weak he was compared to many in the world. The two bears were at least Zun Stage Heavenly Beasts, and in terms of combat potential, they were no weaker than he or Shangguan Bing’er. As for Fat Cat, it was even stronger, having given him many surprises before. With them along, if any unforeseen dangers arose, they would at least be better able to react and escape.

In such a large city like the Fei Li City, it was definitely not difficult to find a place to buy things. After asking around, Zhou Weiqing quickly found a suitable place. Right in the east of the city, there was an area where all Jewel Masters gathered to trade, and was commonly called the Jewel Master Trade Center. It was set up by the Fei Li Empire, and was used by all Jewel Masters to trade for all their requirements, and had almost everything stocked up. In fact, even the Skill Storing Palace sold Skill Storing qualifications

The Jewel Master Trade Center was not a single building, but was an entire area. Within this area, there were over a hundred shops selling various goods or materials that Jewel Masters required, just like a bustling market area. It was barely 2 kilometres from the academies, after all the academy students were also a big portion of the market.

“Hello,  may  both  of  you  please  show  your  membership cards?” Zhou Weiqing and Shangguan Bing’er had just reached the entrance of the Jewel Master Trade Center when they were stopped by the employees. The entire Trade Centre was surrounded by a tall wall enclosure, and the only way to enter was through the four large doors each on a side of wall. The one they entered through was the south door.

“We need membership cards to buy from this place?”  Zhou Weiqing asked the employees curiously. The employee saw their academy uniforms and smiled, saying: “Yea, all the guests purchasing anything from this area require a membership card. It also acts as a gold storage card, and all transactions here can only be done using it. This is to prevent anyone from causing trouble in the area, especially in
the auction houses. It is extremely easy to register for a membership card, with the membership fees of a basic level member being a thousand gold per annum. The membership fees are waived for Heavenly Jewel Masters, however no matter what, there is a requirement to top up at least ten thousand gold coins. If you top up more than a hundred thousand gold coins at once, you will be upgraded to a mid level member; so on and so forth.” Seeing that Zhou Weiqing and Shangguan
Bing’er were wearing commoner uniforms, he did not
elaborate further on the expenses of a high level member or beyond.

Zhou Weiqing said exasperatedly: “They sure know how to earn money! Well, we’ll register for two mid level member cards.”

The employee was rather surprised that commoner students would have so much on them, but quickly and efficiently registered the cards from them. Zhou Weiqing planned to buy quite a lot of things, so he decided to top up two hundred out of the five hundred thousand he had gotten from Ye Paopao today, in preparations for his massive purchases later. Holding the blue mid level membership cards, the two of them finally entered the Trade Center.

The buildings of the shops within the Trading Center all looked alike, all two-storey little buildings with a red roof and white walls, rather unique from the rest of Fei Li City. Of course, they did differ in size, but none of them actually had names, with just a big number in front of their shop. The lanes in the Trade Center were rather wide, paved in brick. Horse carriages were not allowed in here, as such there was a lot of space on the roads, and on the crossroads there were some simple but elegant carvings erected, adding some culture to the overall look.

Zhou Weiqing and Shangguan Bing’er had just started looking for a shop to enter when they were attracted by a small crowd in front of them. There weren’t that many people in the trading center, but they saw a crowd of several dozens when they turned a corner.

“Let’s  go  have  a  look  as  well.”   Zhou  Weiqing  pulled Shangguan Bing’er forward excitedly. Although their fees seemed rather exorbitant, he still had quite a good impression of the entire area, at least there was some guarantee of the quality of items purchased, at least in terms of no fakes. As the two of them quickly walked towards the crowd, Zhou Weiqing was able to easily see what was going on due to his height advantage. It was a shop, numbered 76, and there was a sign hung outside the door, with the words – ‘High Level Consolidating Equipment Master Yun Li, Lower Level Zun
Stage Heavenly Jewel Master – Accepting Followers.’

Under the sign, there was a long wooden desk, and the person seated behind was a man of around thirty years of age. He was dressed in a Heavenly Jewel Master robes, with short black hair and relatively handsome features. His eyes had an arrogant hint in them, and as he sat on the chair looking upon the crowd.

On the table, there was also a small wooden sign, with this written upon it: “Followers Requirement: 3 Jeweled or higher Heavenly Jewel Masters, or Five Jeweled or above for other Jewel Masters. Priority for Lifetime followers, those below thirty years of age, or ladies. Accepting five followers in total.”

This was the first time Zhou Weiqing and Shangguan Bing’er had seen something like this, and they were extremely curious. Zhou Weiqing turned to a middle aged man near him and asked:  “This  big  bro,  what  does  he  mean  by  that?  I  can understand accepting followers, but why are there so many restrictions? What does Lifetime Followers mean, and are there different sorts?”

The middle aged man said in reply: “Master Yun Li is the youngest High Level Consolidating Equipment Master in our entire city; naturally he has the draw to have more stringent requirements for his Followers. There are two types of Followers usually, the first is Temporary Followers, and the other would be Lifetime Followers. For the former, they would only sign a temporary contract, sealed by a Darkness Attribute Heavenly Jewel Master, and would only be a follower for a certain stated period of time. As for Lifetime Followers, as the name suggests, it would be similar to the lifetime bonds that entail entering the Skill Storing Palace. Naturally, the higher level or higher the potential of a Consolidating Equipment Master, the higher the requirements they have for Followers. Master Yun Li is still so young, and will definitely become a Grandmaster or even a Zong Stage Consolidating Equipment Master in the future.”

“To become his follower is definitely an honour. Little brother, you are also a Jewel Master right, but it’s likely that your cultivation level isn’t sufficient for Master Yun Li. What a shame, Master Yun Li has just started his look, and it’s likely that before long, those who want to apply will likely flock here, and must pass Master Yun Li’s test first… A notion struck Zhou Weiqing and he asked: “Is there some limit to the number of Followers a Consolidating Equipment Master can bind?”

The middle aged man replied: “Not really, there isn’t a direct limit. However, a follower’s cultivation requirements and daily needs are paid for by the Consolidating Equipment Master. As such, it is very rare that a Consolidating Equipment Master would bind more than five Followers, as it would put too much pressure on them as well. However, their Followers are likely powerful beings in their own right. For example, those Zong Stage Consolidating Equipment Masters, most likely their Follower are also Zong Stage Heavenly Jewel Masters or the like, and they may not even want ordinary Jewel Masters as their Followers. It’s possible Master Yun Li has something urgent to do, otherwise with his potential, he wouldn’t be accepting ordinary Jewel Masters to be his Followers.

Zhou Weiqing and Shangguan Bing’er exchanged looks, and he muttered to himself: “That’s possible?! Damn! I have lost out indeed!”  If he had known this earlier, he wouldn’t have given his classmates such a great deal, instead coming out to gather more Followers! Although he was currently only a Mid Level Consolidating Equipment Master, he was not far from reaching the rank of High Level, and would not take much time in doing so. Furthermore, his speed in creating Consolidating Equipment Scrolls far outstripped any others, and was more than sufficient to support a large number of Followers.

“Lost out in?” The middle aged man looked at Zhou Weiqing curiously.

Zhou Weiqing said: “Big bro, is it that every shop can display a sign like that to gather Followers?”

The middle aged man nodded and said: “Yes, it is a great way for the shop to gather fame and more business, of course every shop would want to be chosen by a Consolidating Equipment Master to host them.”

Zhou Weiqing’s eyes twirled as he said: “Then I shall look for a shop too.” As he said that, he grabbed hold of Shangguan Bing’er and turned to leave.

“Wait, wait. Little bro, what do you mean?” The middle aged man held hold of Zhou Weiqing in surprise. “Do you mean to say that you are also a Consolidating Equipment Master? You’re looking to get some Followers?”

Zhou Weiqing grinned and said: “Yup! Why? Do I not look the part?”

The middle aged man furrowed his brow and said: “You really do not. Little bro, you look to be barely twenty. Let me tell you, normally Disciple level Consolidating Equipment Masters aren’t able to attract many Followers. After all, no one can be certain of your future potential. It is only at least a Mid Level Consolidating Equipment Master that has qualification to start attracting Followers. Naturally, the younger and the higher rank, the higher quality the Followers attracted.”

Zhou Weiqing stuck his chest out and said proudly: “I AM a Mid Level Consolidating Equipment Master. Who made the rule that someone young cannot be a Consolidating Equipment Master? Big Bro, thanks for your tips, but please do not hold me back. I’m going to look for a shop to do the same, otherwise all the outstanding Heavenly Jewel Masters might be taken up!”

The middle aged man stared in shock before saying: “You… you’re really a Mid Level Consolidating Equipment Master?” In his memory, he had never seen or heard of such a young Mid Level Consolidating Equipment Master.

Zhou Weiqing said: “Of course!”

The middle aged man said: “Then come with me.” As he said that, he turned around, leading Zhou Weiqing and Shangguan Bing’er to the shop right beside, with the number 77 on it.

“Little bro… let me ask you one more time… you really are a Mid Level Consolidating Equipment Master? Do not joke around with me okay, or my face will be all thrown out!”

Zhou Weiqing looked at the shop numbered 77, and said: “Big Bro, this shop is yours?”

The  middle  aged  man  nodded  and  said:  “Yes  it  is.  Sigh, today’s business is terrible, that lucky fellow from 76 has gotten it all. If you really are a Mid Level Consolidating Equipment Master, then there’s nothing else to say. If you open your stand in front of my shop, I will give you a 20 percent discount from now on when you buy from me… that’s the treatment of a High Level Membership Card!” Zhou Weiqing grinned and said: “Alright, that sounds good. I’ll set up a stand in front of your shop then. I’ll need a table like that, and the sign can just be the same as his. Besides that, could you please get me a small wooden sign like his, but I’ll write that one on my own.”

The middle aged man nodded and said: “That’s simple, I’ll go prepare it now. Let’s introduce ourselves first, My name is Qin Feng, you can just call me Bro Qin.”

Zhou Weiqing said: “My name is Zhou Weiqing, you can just call me by my name. Bro Qin, I’ll trouble you to help me prepare the items then.”

Qin Feng looked deeply at Zhou Weiqing, his heart rather perturbed. If this young man was lying to him, then his reputation would be ruined. However, he was also under much stress, as lately the shop 76 had been taking all the business around due to the influence of Master Yun Li. In the past month, he had barely gotten ten customers. The rent in this Trading Center was after all extremely expensive, and his number 77 shop was one of the larger ones, and had a rather frightening monthly rent. If this lack of business continued for too long, he would have to close down. Naturally, Zhou Weiqing saw the hesitation in his eyes, and smiled. Lifting up his hands, he circulated his Heavenly Energy and released his Heavenly Jewels.

Three Icy Jade Physical Jewels appeared on his right wrist, and three Gold-Green Cat’s Eye Jewel (disguised) appeared on his left wrist, displayed out for Qin Feng to see.

“Upper Level Heavenly Shi Master, Spatial Attribute, that is at least the basis of a Mid Level Consolidating Equipment Master, right?” Zhou Weiqing smiled and said.

Seeing the three pairs of Heavenly Jewels on Zhou Weiqing, Qin Feng’s eyes brightened. In the Jewel Master world, power was of utmost importance, and for Zhou Weiqing who looked so young to already have three Jewels already spoke volumes. A Heavenly Jewel Master wouldn’t usually go around lying to others, let alone when there wouldn’t be any self benefit in doing so.

“It’s my fault for being too suspicious. Little brother, wait here, I’ll prepare everything quickly.” After saying that, Qin Feng rushed into his shop. As soon as he left, Shangguan Bing’er turned to Zhou Weiqing  and  asked  uncertainly:  “Little  Fatty,  why  are  you looking for Followers now? We currently do not need any Followers right?”

Zhou Weiqing grinned and said: “There aren’t that many Heavenly Jewel Masters, and if they Follow someone else, they will be lost to us. Since we are already here, we might as well get a few Heavenly Jewel Master Followers, that will also be the roots of our Heavenly Bow Empire’s future. Bing’er, do not worry, your husband is extremely talented, and my speed at creating Consolidating Equipment Scrolls is also much faster than normal. Even with a conservative estimate, I can easily maintain a hundred Jewel Masters’ Consolidating Equipment and Skill Storing needs without any problems.”

Shangguan Bing’er looked at Zhou Weiqing and said gently: “I just do not want you to experience so much hardship. Little Fatty, I can feel that you are under a lot of stress, and if possible, let me share some of it okay?”

Zhou Weiqing fell silent a while, before saying solemnly: “Bing’er, do you know the feeling I had when I see how weak our country is? That feeling of urgency? Everybody looks down on us, even when we come to our ally, Fei Li Empire, our nobles are treated as commoners. I do not know what I can do in the future, or how well I can do, but I will do my utmost to strengthen our Heavenly Bow Empire. My father said to me once, only when there is stress and pressure will you have the motivation to work hard, and this is so true. In truth, you do not have to do anything else, just staying by my side and letting me see you everyday eases my fatigue and makes me feel much better.”

Shangguan Bing’er held hold of Zhou Weiqing’s hands, smiling gently.

Qing Feng was indeed extremely efficient in doing things, and very soon the table Zhou Weiqing had requested for was placed out, along with the small wooden board, brush and ink for him to write. As for the large sign to be hung outside, it was being created in the shop, and should be done pretty soon.

There were more and more people gathering around Yun Li to watch, and the interviews and tests had begun. Zhou Weiqing thought for a while, before picking up the brush and writing furiously.

As soon as the large horizontal sign was complete, Qin Feng got his two employees to hang it up. On it was written: ‘The Continent’s youngest Mid Level Consolidating Equipment Master, Zhou Weiqing, is recruiting Followers!’ The sign was not exaggerated at all, at least it was what Qin Feng had determined with his own eyes. However, when he saw what Zhou Weiqing had written on his wooden board, he sucked in a deep breath, thinking to himself in exclamation: That’s too exaggerated!

“Accepting Followers, no limit on numbers, but only looking for 2-Jeweled Heavenly Jewel Masters and higher. Want to have Consolidating Equipment Sets? Want to have Socketing Scrolls? A future God Tier Consolidating Equipment Master is now before your eyes. Your opportunity is here, do not miss it!”

For the rest of the words, it was still fine, but Zhou Weiqing had written the words ‘God Tier’ in an extra huge font. If it were up to Qin Feng to describe, this little rascal was literally treating God Tier Consolidating Equipment Masters like cabbages!

Alas, before Qin Feng could persuade him to change the words, Zhou Weiqing had already started shouting into the crowd: “Come, have a look! A Future God Tier Consolidating Equipment Master is looking for Followers! It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, if you pass this up, you will regret it for life!” As Zhou Weiqing shouted, he swaggered over to his seat behind the table to sit down, with an arrogant air that was more than a match to the High Level Consolidating Equipment Master Yun Li at the other side.

With his shouting, he actually managed to draw much attention. However, most of the people swept a glance at his sign and turned back disdainfully. The words ‘God Tier’ had in fact gotten the reverse reaction.

“I say… Old Qin… where did you get this clown? Let’s not say whether or not he is even truly a Mid Level Consolidating Equipment Master, even if he is, what does he take God Tier Consolidating Equipment Masters as? Even if he wants to blow his own trumpet, he should boast about something more believable!”

Right at that moment, a middle aged man of over forty who was not far from them sniggered and mocked at Qin Feng.

Qin Feng glanced and him and gave a cold humph: “Zhou Changxi, can you tell the future? How do you know that my little bro here cannot become a God Tier Consolidating Equipment Master in the future? Have you ever seen such a young Mid Level Consolidating Equipment Master? I’m afraid that even Master Yun Li wasn’t the same level as him at this age.” By now, Qin Feng was already forced into the same boat as Zhou Weiqing, and had no choice but to defend him. After all, he had already brought him out to fight, naturally he would do so to the end. This Zhou Changxi was the boss of the shop number 76.

Zhou Changxi laughed and said: “Very good, very good. Bro Yun Li, did you hear that? They claim that there’s a genius Consolidating Equipment Master here that’s even more talented than you!”

“Oh?” A cold, proud voice sounded out, and as the crowd parted, Yun Li walked over, an arrogant look on his face.

basically a term to signify being common or easily found

Chapter 56 Battle Between Consolidating Equipment Masters!

As Master Yun Li walked slowly towards Zhou Weiqing’s desk, he saw the words written on the sign, and a look of scorn and disgust appeared in his expression. Lifting his hands, the air seemed to twist and ripple, and the sign was actually torn into pieces.

“What are you doing?” Shangguan Bing’er cried out angrily, but was held back by Zhou Weiqing.

Zhou Weiqing looked at Yun Li lazily, and Yun Li said coldly: “I could not care less whether or not you want to gather Followers here, but do not insult the name of God Tier Consolidating Equipment Masters. How old are you? Are you even twenty? You dare claim you are a Mid Level Consolidating Equipment Master?”

Zhou Weiqing smiled and said: “Claim? Have you even tested the fact?” Yun Li scoffed disdainfully, turning to leave, as if speaking to Zhou Weiqing was an insult to him.

Zhou Weiqing laughed and said loudly: “So you’re just a braggart who talks loudly but has no real ability.” Yun Li turned back savagely, a cold light in his eyes. Around his right hands, four pure Dragonstone Jade Physical Jewels appeared, denoting his Attribute of Agility, just like Shangguan Bing’er. As for his left hand, he did not hide his Elemental Jewels, it was naturally four Gold-Green Cat’s Eye Spatial Jewels.

“Little Brat, what did you call me a useless braggart?”

Zhou Weiqing twisted his mouth and said: “Yes, I did. You’re just a High Level Consolidating Equipment Master, yet you’re so arrogant, who do you think you are?”

Yun Li’s right hand lifted up swiftly like a bolt of lightning, as if wanting to take action, but he forcibly stopped himself. With a deadly cold in his eyes, he snarled: “If this wasn’t in the Trading Centre where we aren’t allowed to take action, I would have made you pay for your words. If you dare, come out with me.”

Zhou Weiqing laughed heartily and said challengingly: “Why? You can’t rebut my words and you want to kill me off instead? To think you call yourself a Consolidating Equipment Master. If you dare, let’s compete with our Consolidating Equipment Master skills.” Hearing his words, Yun Li calmed down instead, saying solemnly: “How do you want to compete?”

Zhou Weiqing said: “I’ll come up with the competition. If I lose, I do not need you to take action, I will commit suicide. If you lose, I want you to become my Lifetime Follower. I’m using my life to bet against your freedom. My Consolidating Equipment Master rank is lower than yours, it isn’t a stretch for me to be the one to come up with the competition right? Of course, if you do not dare, you can just get lost, and stop acting like a big shot in front of me.”

“Bro Yun Li, calm down, do not fall for his tricks.” The boss of shop 76, Zhou Changxi, had arrived beside Yun Li, whispering to him in caution.

Yun Li waved his hands, stopping Zhou Changxi. He was extremely confident in his own abilities as a Consolidating Equipment Master. After all, he had the name of the youngest High Level Consolidating Equipment Master, and it had boosted his confidence to the peak.

“Alright, I will bet with you. As long as it is a competition to do with Consolidating Equipment Scrolls, I will accept it.” Although Yun Li was rash, he was no fool, ensuring that Zhou Weiqing could only come up with a competition regarding Consolidating Equipment Scrolls. In his eyes, even if Zhou Weiqing was really a Mid Level Consolidating Equipment Master, he would still not be able to compete with him in this regard.

Zhou Weiqing smiled and said: “Alright, in that case, I won’t take advantage of you as well. We should compete in three different competitions, and whoever wins two will win it all. I will come up with the first two competitions, and you will come up with the last one, that is fair right? Everyone around here shall be our witnesses. I believe that with Master Yun Li’s status, he will keep his word right.”

Yun Li gave a cold humph and said: “I agree, you can come up with the first competition now. Just do not be too afraid to commit suicide later.”

Zhou Weiqing was just about to open his mouth, but was suddenly stopped by the worried Shangguan Bing’er. “Little Fatty, how can you bet your life with him… you…”

Zhou Weiqing’s face changed and he said angrily: “When men are speaking, why are you interrupting, move aside.”  As he said that, he gave Bing’er a signal with his eyes. Despite that, Shangguan Bing’er was still uneasy, and wanted to continue saying something, but Zhou Weiqing had already spoken out on the first competition.”

“Old Bro Yun Li, I am a Mid Level Consolidating Equipment Master, while you are a High Level one. As such, let’s compete on creating a set of Mid Level Consolidating Equipment Scrolls

Originally, Yun Li thought that Zhou Weiqing would give some weird problem, and didn’t expect such a normal competition. As such, he couldn’t help but feel that victory was going to be easy, and gave a cold humph before saying: “Fine, as you wish. How about this, as long as you prove that you are a Mid Level Consolidating Equipment Master, even if you lose, I do not want your death. Let’s change it to the same bet, you will become my Lifetime Follower, lest anyone says I am taking advantage of you.” He had calmed down a little, and if Zhou Weiqing was really a Mid Level Consolidating Equipment Master, it would be much more beneficial for him to have him as a Follower than to kill him off.

He was still sneering scornfully in his heart, after all creating Consolidating Equipment Scrolls quickly was his speciality, after all he was an Agility Physical Jewel master. Adding to the fact he was of a higher rank, he could not see any possibility that he would lose this first competition. Hearing Yun Li say that, Shangguan Bing’er relaxed a little, finally giving up the notion of stopping Zhou Weiqing. Although she knew in her heart that Zhou Weiqing would not bet his life without absolute confidence, she was still extremely nervous. Now that she heard Yun Li say that he wouldn’t take
Zhou Weiqing’s life, she finally calmed down and would no longer try to convince him. From Zhou Weiqing’s trademark smile on his face, she could tell that he had some sneaky plan up his sleeve.

Zhou Weiqing turned towards Qin Feng and said: “Big Bro Qin, could you please prepare the required Consolidating Paper and materials for Consolidating Ink? I will create it myself later, and I’ll pay for them.”

Qin Feng laughed heartily and said: “That small amount of money isn’t anything, our Shop 77 will provide the materials for free.”

If one had to pick the happiest person in the entire area, it would definitely be Qin Feng. No matter who ultimately won the competition, it had no great effect on him. However, this bet between two Consolidating Equipment Masters would naturally draw a huge crowd, and his shop 77 would naturally benefit from the attention as well. With that increase in business to look forward to, it was an easy decision to just provide some free materials. Naturally, Zhou Changxi would not lose to him, and also provided Yun Li with free materials as well.

In a matter of minutes, Yun Li’s table had been moved over, and both sat down facing each other. Without further words, both took out a sheet of Consolidating Paper, and started their designing a Mid Level Consolidating Equipment Scroll.

The design that Zhou Weiqing drew was the bow he had made for Kou Rui yesterday. That bow was modified from his Overlord Bow, removing the socket, reducing some power and draw. The Overlord Bow was a Grandmaster level Consolidating Equipment Scroll, and even after modification, it was still one of the more complicated ones amongst Mid Level Consolidating Equipment Scrolls. Seeing Zhou Weiqing focus fully on designing a Consolidating Equipment Scroll, only then did the surrounding audience believe in his Consolidating Equipment Master status. Originally, none of the audience had believed he could win, but now their hearts were rather shaken. After all, Zhou Weiqing looked unbelievably young for a Mid Level Consolidating Equipment Master. His future potential was immeasurable.

In terms of design, as a High Level Consolidating Equipment Master, Yun Li was naturally quick to complete a Mid Level Consolidating Equipment Scroll Design. As for Zhou Weiqing, he also slowed down on purpose, completing his design a few minutes after Yun Li.

As the two exchanged their designs and examined it closely, both their faces changed. Zhou Weiqing’s design was naturally rather complicated, but Yun Li’s design was no simple one either, a huge shield. Zhou Weiqing could instantly see that it was a shield suited for an Earth Attribute Heavenly Jewel Master, and only for Heavenly Jewel Masters. It was right at the limit of Mid Level Consolidating Equipment Scrolls, just a fine line from being a High Level Consolidating Equipment Scroll. This Yun Li might seem arrogant and rash, but he was in truth very cautious. After all, this bet was regarding his own freedom.

Yun Li lifted his head to look at Zhou Weiqing, and Zhou Weiqing did the same thing. As they looked at each other, Yun Li said solemnly: “Let’s begin then.”

Zhou Weiqing said: “Alright.”

After the simple agreement, both turned around simultaneously, each telling the respective shopkeepers the required ingredients.

“3 Plumed Feathers from the Red Sword Bird, a Blue Peak Stone, a Waxy Jade, a gram of diamonds, a Heavenly Core from a Great Earth Monitor Lizard…” Zhou Weiqing quickly listed out the various items that he needed. “… they need to be ground together into dust, and also prepare a bowl of Great Earth Monitor Lizard Blood.”

Qin Feng quickly noted down the materials required, and headed back into the shop to prepare them. After all, these were just the materials for Mid Level Consolidating Equipment Scrolls, and this was the heart of the Trading Centre, and they definitely had many materials stocked up. At the other side, Yun Li had also told Zhou Changxi the materials he required, and while Zhou Changxi and Qin Feng were busy preparing the materials, Zhou Weiqing and Yun Li both looked at each other once more.

Yun Li said calmly: “Looks like I have underestimated you. Just from the design alone, I admit that you are truly a Mid Level Consolidating Equipment Master.”

Zhou Weiqing laughed heartily and said: “Then do you want to know how old I am? I don’t mind telling you… I am not even seventeen years old yet. Have you ever seen a sixteen year old Mid Level Consolidating Equipment Master? If you haven’t, what basis do you have to say that I won’t become a God Tier Consolidating Equipment Master in the future?” Zhou Weiqing naturally did not waste the chance to strike at his opponent’s confidence.

Yun Li’s face changed slightly, but he continued saying coldly: “It’s still too early to say anything. We shall know after our bet is concluded.”

Zhou Weiqing grinned, a sly look on his face. After a short wait, both sides had finally prepared the ingredients for the Consolidating Ink, and the final preparation of the Ink had to be done by the respective Consolidating Equipment Masters. This was one of the most important skills of a Consolidating Equipment Master, not only having to infuse the Spatial Attribute Heavenly Energy at the right times, and having the exact right amount to join the mix.

In this aspect, naturally Zhou Weiqing could not compare to Yun Li. After all, he had more than ten years experience ahead of Zhou Weiqing.

By the time Yun Li had completed his Consolidating Ink and had started on his first scroll, Zhou Weiqing was still carefully creating his Consolidating Ink. Shangguan Bing’er and Qin Feng furrowed their brows in worry. As for the surrounding audience, all of them remained dead silent, knowing that under such a circumstance, they should definitely not do anything to disturb either of the Consolidating Equipment Masters hard at work. Not to mention the fact it was common courtesy, just the danger of offending a talented Consolidating Equipment Master was not something that they could afford to do.

In creating any new set of Consolidating Equipment Scrolls, the first sheet was naturally the most difficult. Seeing that he had completed his Consolidating Ink way before Zhou Weiqing, Yun Li felt at ease. He did not try to rush things, and took his time to carefully draw the first Consolidating Equipment Scroll. He wanted to put stability as his priority, at least for the first one, and once he got used to it, he could pick up his speed.

According to his estimate, to complete such a set of Consolidating Equipment Scrolls would take him about eight hours. This was already the limit that a High Level Consolidating Equipment Master like him could reach, and in expending such energy and effort in doing so at such high speeds, he would have to rest at least half a month to fully recover to his peak.

After all, creating Consolidating Equipment Scrolls took a toll on the spirit, otherwise Huyan Aobo would not be just creating 2-3 sets per year.

Zhou Weiqing was the only exception to this. To him, as long as he had completed a Consolidating Equipment Scroll once, from the second onwards it was a robotic process. With his Time Attribute’s fine control, he did not need to put his full concentration, that was the reason why he could churn them out at such speeds. Unless another person had to two great attributes like him, Time and Spatial, only then would they be able to duplicate his process. Yet, the Time Attribute was one of the rarest attributes, and how could Yun Li possibly guess that he had it.

Soon, an hour had passed. By then, Yun Li had already spent much time just drawing the scroll, and Zhou Weiqing had just managed to finish creating the Consolidating Ink.

Just like Yun Li’s focus on stability, Zhou Weiqing was the same. However, his stability was focused on creating his Consolidating Ink; after all, as long as he did not have any errors with his Consolidating Ink, how could anyone compare in speed to his creating of Consolidating Equipment Scrolls?

Besides Qin Feng and Shangguan Bing’er who were worried for Zhou Weiqing, and Zhou Changxi on the other side who was full of glee, all the other audience members were just watching happily, glad to widen their horizons. After all, it was a rare chance to be able to just watch a Consolidating Equipment Master at work, let alone two! As such, no one was willing to leave, and as more people gathered to watch, a huge crowd was soon present.

Zhou Weiqing soon started on his first scroll, while Yun Li was already more than halfway through his first. It had to be said that Yun Li was indeed very talented in creating Consolidating Equipment Scrolls, with nary a sign of making a mistake despite it being his first time. His hands were stable and firm, unwavering and calm. It seemed that it would not be long before he completed his first scroll. He truly befitted his reputation in the Fei Li City.

Zhou Weiqing did not have the time to watch his opponent. After all, creating the first scroll was something just as important to him. Taking a deep breath, his twelve energy whirlpools at his opened Death Acupuncture Points whirling at top speed, frantically drawing in energy from the atmosphere, as his attribute wheel moved to the silver area, and a dim silver light dimly encircled the tip of his Consolidating Brush. Dipping it slightly into his Consolidating Ink, he started on drawing on the first scroll.

When creating the first scroll, despite having the Wind and Time Attribute to aid him, Zhou Weiqing was no faster than Yun Li. This was the difference in experience between a Mid Level and High Level Consolidating Equipment Master.

Another hour passed…

A gold flash filled the area, and Yun Li let loose a breath. His first Scroll was finally complete. Due to the pressure from the bet, Yun Li felt like this was the first time he had concentrated so hard, and gone so fast in creating a new Consolidating Equipment Scroll. He felt that he had improved. He mused to himself that he was yet another step closer to reaching the status of Grandmaster, wondering if
he could do so before the age of thirty-five. If he managed to do so, he might even have the chance to attempt to break through to the Zong Stage Consolidating Equipment Master before the age of fifty, which would even give him the chance to attempt at reaching God Tier!

He took a quick glance at Zhou Weiqing. Being very experienced with the design that he had given Zhou Weiqing, he naturally could tell with a glance that Zhou Weiqing was only a third into the scroll.

Filled with a fresh burst of confidence, Yun Li was confident he had the win in his grasp. In his happiness, he did not even stop to rest, starting immediately on his second scroll. There was an obvious increase in speed when he did so, as his brush swiftly swept across the scroll, silver light flashing. In a matter of minutes, his second scroll was complete.

In creating a set of Consolidating Equipment Scrolls, he naturally grew faster as he gained more experienced. Another hour passed, and Yun Li had just finished his sixteenth scroll, while Zhou Weiqing had only just finished his first scroll.

At this moment, everyone, even Shangguan Bing’er and Qin Feng, were sure that Zhou Weiqing had lost. After all, Shangguan Bing’er had never personally seen him creating Consolidating Equipment Scrolls.

Lifting his head, Zhou Weiqing let loose a breath of relief. Looking at Yun Li, he was also rather surprised, thinking to himself – That guy is really something, being able to make almost twenty scrolls in such a short time! Turning his head, he saw Shangguan Bing’er with a concerned, almost despairing look on her face. He flashed her a sneaky grin, before turning to his second scroll.

With a thought, under the cover of his sleeve, the three Elemental Jewels of his lit up. Of course, with the Ring of Concealment’s effect, their glow was changed to that of the Spatial Gold-Green Cat’s Eye.

In Zhou Weiqing’s eyes, three superimposed attribute wheels appeared, resting in the green, silver and colourless areas respectively. Amongst his six attributes, his Wind, Spatial and Time Attributes were activated. Without question, this took up much Heavenly Energy, but with his Immortal Deity Technique regenerating at max speed, he had no issues supporting himself for the next two hours. With a quick dip of his brush, he refilled it with Consolidating Ink, and as the entire process of creating the first scroll flashed through in his mind, in the next instant, his entire body seemed to become a robot as it moved swiftly.

His right hand moved quickly, under the increased speed of the Wind Attribute, the control of the Time Attribute, it was as if his brush came to life, moving like lightning. Within ten breaths, a gold light flashed, and his second Consolidating Equipment Scroll was complete.

Chapter 57 Legendary Sets, Ten vs Nine! 

As the gold flash of completion appeared and disappeared swiftly around Zhou Weiqing’s hands, almost nobody noticed it. After all, most of the surrounding audience were focused on Yun Li, who seemed the much stronger Consolidating Equipment Master, watching his flowing motion as he created Scroll after Scroll.

Only Qin Feng and Shangguan Bing’er noticed Zhou Weiqing’s second scroll’s completion, especially the vast disparity in speed between the first and second. Both of them started, their faces changing. Before they could react, another gold light flashed, and Zhou Weiqing’s third Consolidating Equipment was complete.

In terms of being pleasing to the eye, Zhou Weiqing’s actions were definitely not comparable to Yun Li’s, which was smooth like flowing water. Instead, his was rather stiff and somewhat robotic. However, in terms of speed, he had shot way above Yun Li, completing an scroll seemed to be just going through the motions, without needing any gathering and focus of spirit. Not only did it greatly conserve his spirit, it also was unbelievably fast. Shangguan Bing’er’s hands flew to her mouth, while Qin Feng’s eyes almost fell out of their sockets. At this time, he suddenly felt that the unbelievably arrogant words of Zhou Weiqing’s signs were not arrogant or exaggerated after all.

The current Zhou Weiqing was like an assembly line, churning out Consolidating Equipment Scrolls. His face was expressionless, his eyes narrowed in concentration, and his hands were in a steady rhythm as sheet after sheet of Consolidating Equipment Scrolls were completed in his hands, the gold light signifying the completion constantly lighting up. The constant flash of gold light was just too frequent, and soon attracted the attention of some of the audience. As more gazes turned towards Zhou Weiqing, their eyes remained frozen upon him, even the boss of shop 76, Zhou Changxi.

Yun Li was currently deeply immersed in the creation of Consolidating Equipment Scrolls, his entire body, mind and soul engrossed in the process as he grew more adept with each completion. As such, he was not aware of anything else around him. Before long, he had completed his twenty fifth scroll. In his heart, he was still thinking that he should start looking for other Consolidating Equipment Masters to compete in such a way. Under such stress and pressure, he could clearly feel that his technique was improving, in such a vast amount that normally was only accompanied by a huge amount of experience. Of course, even if he looked for others to compete with him, he wouldn’t place such a heavy bet.

After completing his twenty fifth scroll and placing it at the side, Yun Li gave a small sigh of relief. In his mind, Zhou Weiqing should be much slower than him, and he did not feel any sense of urgency. Lifting up his head towards Zhou Changxi, he said: “Bro Zhou, could I get some water please?”

Alas, when he lifted up his head, he immediately realised that the atmosphere around him was extremely weird. Furthermore, Zhou Changxi, who was standing close by, seemed to not even hear his words, his eyes transfixed on the opposite side. It wasn’t just Zhou Changxi, as everyone around was staring dumbfounded and dazed at the other side, many of them revealing looks of disbelief.

Yun Li’s heart sank suddenly, and he hurriedly turned to look as well. When he did so, he just happened to see a flash of gold light, and Zhou Weiqing placed a completed scroll at the side. Not only that, he clearly saw a stack of completed scrolls there, more than double what he himself had completed.

This isn’t possible! That was the first notion that appeared in his mind. He almost slammed the table and walked off, but he quickly stopped when he saw Zhou Weiqing creating his next scroll.

It was a machine-like movement with seemingly nothing to praise, yet what made Yun Li’s jaw drop was the sheer speed of his movement. In barely the time it took to take ten breaths, another flash of gold light appeared around the Consolidating Paper once more, and yet another Scroll was completed.

By this time, Yun Li did not even bother continuing creating his own Scrolls. Standing up suddenly, he strode towards Zhou Weiqing’s side. He could not believe his own eyes, could not believe that Zhou Weiqing’s speed could actually reach such an unbelievable pinnacle. Although they were only creating Mid Level Consolidating Equipment Scrolls, Yun Li was sure that even Zong Stage Consolidating Equipment Masters would not be able to create them at such speeds! This totally overturned all his knowledge about creating Consolidating Equipment scrolls… the knowledge and experience that he had immersed himself in for more than sixteen years!

Zhou Weiqing’s creation continued. This time, Yun Li saw it clearly. Zhou Weiqing’s motions were fast, but he still managed to intricately pause at the areas which required it. Although it did not have a smooth, flowing feel to it, the truth was that it was successful! Yet another scroll was completed. No matter how much he did not want to believe it, the truth was displayed in front of his eyes. Yun Li had already expended much of his spirit, and now he felt his brain go dizzy. He wished that he was dreaming, yet it was so clearly displayed before his very eyes. He suddenly thought that perhaps agreeing to this bet had been the worst decision of his life.

This young man in front of him had a strange method of creating Consolidating Equipment Scrolls, a method he had never even heard of before. If he had to describe it, there was only one word: Insane!

Zhou Weiqing’s creation method naturally did not consume much spirit, and he knew that Yun Li had come to his side. In the middle of creating his next scroll, he was still able to look up and smile at him.

Six Scrolls per minute, this was Zhou Weiqing’s absolute limit. From the time it took from the completion of the first scroll to the last scroll, he had taken less than half an hour.

Putting down his brush, Zhou Weiqing noticed the deafening silence around. After packing up the completed scrolls and stacking them neatly, he looked up once more towards Yun Li and gave a confident smile. “Bro Yun Li, how is it? Have you already completed your set?” Yun Li did not even return to his seat. After all, he had only finished 25 Scrolls. At this moment, his face was deathly pale, looking at Zhou Weiqing with a strange expression on his face. His lips were tightly pursed, and his hands gripped tightly in fists. After a moment, he finally let loose a sigh.

“I have lost. Although I do not know why or how exactly I have lost, I have to admit it. Can you please tell me how you did it? In my nearly twenty years in the Consolidating Equipment Master world, I have never seen or heard of anyone who can create Consolidating Equipment Scrolls at such a speed. That is already beyond the realms of common logic.”

Zhou Weiqing smiled faintly and said: “I’m afraid that sometimes common logic isn’t always accurate. If I told you that this is an innate talent of mine, do you believe me?”

Without hesitation, Yun Li said: “I believe you. Looks like I have underestimated the people of the world. I sincerely apologise for tearing your sign early. I admit that you truly have the potential to become a God Tier Consolidating Equipment Master in the future.”

The moment Yun Li said that, there was an uproar in the surrounding crowd. By now, the audience had come to their senses from the shock, and their looks at Zhou Weiqing had all changed. Originally, there had been barely about twenty to thirty people watching the start of the competition, but the number had now grown to almost sixty! This was quite a huge number, after all the people who could enter the Trading Center were mostly Jewel Masters, each of whom had paid the membership dues! Under normal circumstances, it was nearly impossible for so many people to gather in front of a shop. However, none of them felt that this had been a waste of time. Not only had they witnessed an epic battle between two Consolidating Equipment Masters, the rare opportunity to actually see them at work, and even more so, they had witnessed the birth of a miracle!

When the words ‘God Tier’ came out of Yun Li’s mouth, some of the younger Jewel Masters were eager and itching to sign up. If they could become a Follower of a future God Tier Consolidating Equipment Master, that was an absolute honour. This would be the same in the entire Boundless Mainland, no matter where they were.

Hearing Yun Li’s words, Zhou Weiqing laughed heartily and said: “Thank you Bro Yun Li, however, losing confidence is not a good sign just before a fight. Our bet is after all being a Lifetime Follower. Bro Yun Li, if you lose confidence now, you will have already lost half the battle.” Yun Li took a deep breath, closing his eyes. When he opened them again, they were filled with an unprecedented fighting spirit. In a solemn voice, he said: “Before the final result is out, none of us can say who will win. Come on then, let’s see what your second competing topic is?”

Zhou Weiqing nodded and said: “Very well, we can always exchange pointers after this duel is over. As for the second competition, it shall be our creation ability. Each of us shall take out a design that we believe is the toughest we have, and we will create each other’s design, and use that as a comparison. We do not have to succeed, but whoever is closest will win.”

Yun Li’s eyes narrowed and he said: “You want to fight based on our teachers?”

As soon as Zhou Weiqing gave the topic, Yun Li had understood the underlying meaning. Every Consolidating Equipment Master had a few designs that they were unable to create yet, mostly from their teacher, school or clan, and it was usually what they were working towards as well. As such, when Yun Li mentioned competing teachers, it would mean comparing who had the higher quality design. The higher ranked and quality the design, the tougher it would be to complete, perhaps not even being able to create the Consolidating Ink. In that case, it would be an even higher chance of winning.

Yun Li drew a deep breath, a light shining in his eyes. Zhou Weiqing suddenly had a bad feeling, as he could see a massive confidence suddenly fill Yun Li’s eyes. Hmmm… Could this fellow also have designs for a Legendary Set? Zhou Weiqing thought to himself. If that were true, he could be in trouble! After all the third round would be Yun Li coming up with the topic! However, after a split second of panic, he calmed down once more. After all, even if they both had Legendary Set designs, as unlikely as it seemed, the worst case scenario would thus be a draw. If he then lost the 3rd battle, the overall result would still end up as a draw.

Just as Zhou Weiqing thought his way through that, Yun Li said solemnly: “What if we both aren’t able to even create the Consolidating Ink?” Zhou Weiqing said passively: “Then we shall compare the quality of both designs, the one with the higher quality shall win.”

Yun Li nodded and said: “Indeed. However, I do not want anyone else besides us to see my design, and I believe it should be the same for you. Let’s find a quiet place.”

“Our shop 77 has specialised quiet chambers, both Masters can go there for the competition and not be disturbed.”

Qin Feng’s reaction was indeed extremely fast. When Zhou Weiqing had won earlier, his heart had been beating crazily fast, thinking to himself that he had struck the lottery today to have bumped into such a talented genius Consolidating Equipment Master. No matter what, he had to make him his customer! He swore to himself that if Zhou Weiqing had any requirements in the future, he would sell it at cost price. As long as he could have such a talent as his honoured guest, it would be a huge draw to others, and his business would definitely enjoy a large boost. In the future, when Zhou Weiqing became a God Tier Consolidating Equipment Master, his shop would have a link to a God Tier Master, and perhaps even be known as the birthplace!

As such, when he heard that Zhou Weiqing and Yun Li needed a quiet place, he immediately jumped out to offer a place before Zhou Changxi could.

Zhou Changxi was full of regret, staring at Qin Feng in anger. Alas, no matter what, he was a man of status, and he quickly restrained himself from bursting out in anger. After all, to have gotten Yun Li’s recognition, he wasn’t any simple person.

Zhou Weiqing gave a motion inviting Yun Li to go ahead, and Yun Li nodded and said: “Please.”  Both of them followed Qin Feng into the his two-storeyed shop number 77.

Only after both had disappeared into the doors of the shop did the surrounding crowd burst into angry mutters. They did not dare to offend Zhou Weiqing and Yun Li, but they truly wanted to witness the competition, to see what would make two Consolidating Equipment Masters so anxious to hide. Some even tried to follow them in, but they were blocked by the employees of the shop 77. “I’m sorry everyone, our Boss has given us our instructions. If any of you wish to purchase any goods, please wait until the two Masters have finished their competition.”

Only Qin Feng and Shangguan Bing’er followed the two Masters in, and even Zhou Changxi had been blocked outside.

After entering the shop, both did not have the mood to admire the many goods displayed in the shop. Following Qin Feng, they entered the second level, and headed to the deepest room within. After Qin Feng brought them there, he said: “Masters, please enter, that is my usual personal rest room, and you will not be disturbed in there. I will remain outside to guard the place for you two.” He knew his place, and did not try to go in and watch as well.

Shangguan Bing’er also stopped outside. She was now fully confident in Zhou Weiqing, but her heart was still racing in excitement, her beautiful face flushed red from the emotional upheaval earlier. She still could not believe what was happening. If Zhou Weiqing truly won this bet, then their Heavenly Bow Empire would have a High Level Consolidating Master along with Zhou Weiqing… And the Fei Li Empire’s youngest High Level Consolidating Equipment Master to boot! After entering the chamber, both Zhou Weiqing and Yun Li couldn’t help but give a soft exclamation of praise. The chamber wasn’t very large, only about 50 square metres, but it was very intricately designed and furnished. The floor was totally carpeted, and even without examining it closely, just from the feel of it they could tell it was carpeted in Heavenly Beasts fur! To use Heavenly Beasts’ fur as a carpet, that was such an extravagance! Even the cheapest among that was definitely not cheap; furthermore the entire carpet was from the same type of Heavenly Beast, with the same colour.

Besides that, there was a grand and elegant looking white leather sofa, and deeper inside there was a large bed. This was the main furnishing in the entire room. On the left, there was also a row of cabinets with intricate designs carved in, along with a few other refined, artistic designs. On the ceiling of the room, there was actually a Heavenly Core of a Zun Stage Heavenly Beast lighting up the room!

Yun Li twisted his mouth and muttered to himself: “This shopkeeper Qin sure knows how to enjoy himself.”

Zhou Weiqing did not hesitate and sat down on the sofa, saying: “Bro Yun Li, shall we begin then?” Yun Li’s expression turned solemn, and he turned to Zhou Weiqing, saying in a serious tone: “From the sound outside, your name is Zhou Weiqing right? Bro Zhou, after today’s bet, no matter who wins or loses, I’d like to ask that you keep the contents of this competition a secret. After all, the design I am
about to bring out is of extreme importance. We are both Consolidating Equipment Masters, and I believe you know how I feel. Of course, it will be the same for me, I will definitely not say anything about the design that you are taking out.”

Zhou Weiqing nodded and said: “Agreed.”

Yun Li also sat down on the sofa facing Zhou Weiqing. After all, it did take much spiritual energy to properly examine a new design, especially for the high level, intricately confusing ones, and could not be done in a short time.

In a bright flash around Yun Li’s hands, an ancient looking Consolidating Paper appeared. Zhou Weiqing waved his hands around his Spatial Necklace, and also took out a design paper.

They exchanged looks, simultaneously handing over their designs to each other, while receiving the other’s design with the other hand. In that moment, a sense of bonding and mutual appreciation rose up in them. Of course, appreciation was one thing, but a bet was another. Both of them wanted the other as a Follower, especially since they were so outstanding. Though rare, it was not unheard of for someone to get a Consolidating Equipment Master Follower, but it was usually an extremely powerful person of much greater cultivation level.

Both their gazes dipped down to the design in their hands. In the next instant, an almost amusing sight appeared as both did the exact same thing – their hands shaking as a look of disbelief crossed their faces.

Just like Zhou Weiqing had guessed earlier, Yun Li had passed him a God Tier design. Whether or not it was a Legendary Set could only be determined after more examination.

Yun Li’s shock was no lesser. He had also not expected that Zhou Weiqing would also bring out such a design. Once again, both lifted their heads at the same time, looking at each other. Though they did not say anything, they could see a tense, serious look in each other’s eyes.

Since they were both God Tier designs, what happens next would be to compare quality. As Consolidating Equipment Masters, they did not need an outside judge, as they would know within their hearts the truth.

Their gazes dipping downwards once more, they focused their concentration on the design in their hands. Both were extremely nervous. After all, this was an extremely important competition for both. Especially so for Yun Li, as this lost would mean he would become a Lifetime Follower to Zhou Weiqing, losing his freedom. With the large amount of witnesses outside, and his own pride as a Consolidating Equipment Master, he would definitely not be able to go back on his word. As such, he could only do his best. As long as he could bring it to the third competition, he was confident in taking that win.

A God Tier design was just too complicated, and such a level of design held a large amount of powerful spiritual energy within as well.

It was slightly better for Yun Li, after all his cultivation level was already at the fourth Jewel cultivation level, and was also a High Level Consolidating Master. He did not complete the entire set in the previous round, and thus after a short moment of being dazed, he was able to keep on concentrating on it. However, Zhou Weiqing ran into some trouble. He had not been a Consolidating Equipment Master for long, and in terms of spiritual training, he was much weaker as compared to Yun Li. When he looked at the God Tier design in his hands, he felt a sense of dizziness overwhelm him, as his chest tightened, causing him to almost spit out a mouthful of blood. He could only see stars, and could not look clearly at the design.

As the saying goes, ‘Man proposes and God disposes’. How could Zhou Weiqing expect something like this to happen. If he could not even examine the design, how could he possibly compare their quality? In the next few moments, he tried to force himself to concentrate and focus on it, alas Spiritual Energy wasn’t as easy to force just like that. No matter how hard he tried, it only caused the tight feeling in his chest to worsen. If he continued trying to force it through, he might even get into deep trouble.

All of a sudden, Zhou Weiqing felt Fat Cat, who was snug in his bosom, wriggle around. In the next instant, a gust of cold invaded his brain. Instantly, a sharp piercing pain shot through his dazed mind, causing him to almost cry out. However, the cold spread through his mind along with that piercing pain, causing him to be shaken awake, and his eyes lit up. The design, which had seemed so blurry and caused him to go dizzy just a moment ago, turned clear, and Zhou Weiqing could finally examine it fully.

Zhou Weiqing was extremely pleased, patting Fat Cat happily, thinking to himself. Ahhh, its great to have a Fat Cat at home!

After that short little incident, the entire room turned dead silent as both of them focused all their minds onto the designs in their hands. Their expressions kept changing as they continued looking, although the one that appeared the most frequently was a look of admiration and praise. Sometimes, they couldn’t help but shake their heads to clear their thoughts.

For the first time, Zhou Weiqing realised how much inspiration he could get just from looking at a God Tier design, as if a new door was opened into a whole new horizon. Very quickly, he was fully immersed into his examination, as if he had forgotten he was in the midst of a bet.

As the sky darkened outside, it was soon evening time. By now, Zhou Weiqing and Yun Li had already spent two whole hours in the chamber.

Zhou Changxi was not able to enter the shop 77 to watch, but he was an intelligent person who was quick to take action as well. As he saw the skies darken, he immediately got his employees to prepare some food and drinks to serve the crowd waiting outside.

Although they could not see what was going on inside, none of them had left, as everyone wanted to know the final result.

Back within the chamber.

“Phew.” Yun Li gave out a sigh, finally forcing his gaze away from the design in his hand. His spiritual energy was almost fully expended, and if he continued examining it, it would cause him some damage.

the chinese phrasing is literally translates as plans can never catch up to change To his surprise, Zhou Weiqing, who was just a Mid Level Consolidating Equipment Master, was still examining his design. With the infatuated, besotted look on his face, he did not look like he was going to stop anytime soon.

Could that youth’s spiritual energy be even greater than mine? Yun Li was truly shocked. He was extremely confident in his own spiritual energy; after all, even though he hadn’t reached the level of Grandmaster yet, he was not far from it. His sixteen years in the Consolidating Equipment Master world was not for nothing.

Alas, how could he know that Zhou Weiqing was being supported by Fat Cat’s spiritual energy to be able to last so long. However, after Yun Li had watched him for a while, Zhou Weiqing suddenly felt the ice cold feeling in his mind disappear, and he was shocked out of his reverie.

“En?” Only the did Zhou Weiqing look around at his surroundings blurrily, as if suddenly recalling where he was, and what he was doing. “Bro Zhou, how is it?” Yun Li saw that he had awoken, and quickly asked urgently.

Zhou Weiqing’s expression was full of admiration, and he gave a big thumbs up as he said: “A peerless piece of work, a peerless piece of work! If I am not wrong, this should be the first of a Legendary Set, meant for Agility type Heavenly Jewel Masters.” Indeed, Yun Li’s design was the first of a Legendary Set, which was suited for Heavenly Jewel Masters with the Agility Type Physical Jewel, like Yun Li or Shangguan Bing’er.

Yun Li nodded and said: “Bro Zhou indeed has good judgement. Your design is also another peerless work! It is also the first of a Legendary Set right! Looks like this is truly a draw indeed. Amongst Consolidating Equipment Masters, I dare to say that those who have Legendary Set designs number less than ten! I really did not expect that we would meet like this, no wonder Bro Zhou had so much confidence to bet with me.”

Zhou Weiqing laughed heartily and said: “Indeed, indeed! My luck sure is bad. However, although our designs are both the first of Legendary Sets, there still remains to see which Legendary Set is of higher quality.”

Yun Li started, saying: “How do we compare that though? Unless we can Consolidate all of them, otherwise there is no real way of comparison. After all, they are of different attributes, and I can argue that I have the advantage of speed, while yours can be argued to have the advantage of strength.”

Zhou Weiqing shook his head and said: “That’s not what I mean. There is one more point that Bro Yun Li has forgotten, and that is the quantity. Another way to determine the quality of a set is naturally the quantity of it as well. When a Set is made out of more Scrolls, its power is naturally stronger. Am I right?”

Fear suddenly gripped Yun Li’s heart, as he said: “You are right, that is indeed true. However, the God Tier Legendary Sets are all 9 pieces… could it be that yours is… different?”

Zhou Weiqing grinned and said: “Heh heh… I’m sorry about this.”  As he said that, he waved his hands around his Spatial Necklace and took out his entire set design, placing it on the table in front of the sofa.

Yun Li swept his gaze on them, and he froze in shock. “Te… Ten… Ten pieces?”

Zhou Weiqing’s face was filled with pride as he said: “In the past, when my Founder Teacher designed this Set, he did not even manage to attempt creating it as he passed away due to over-expenditure of spirit during the creation. He was a respected God Tier Consolidating Equipment Master, and this set of 10 pieces can be said to be one of a kind. It is extremely difficult to create, but at the same time, it should be at the peak
of Consolidating Equipment Scroll Sets! As such, just
comparing quality of designs alone, I’m afraid that the win is mine.”

When Zhou Weiqing saw that the design that Yun Li had brought out was also a God Tier Legendary Set, he had been stunned for a moment. However, he had calmed down quickly. After all, even if this was a draw, he still would not lose to Yun Li in the end, as the worst case scenario for him was a final draw. After calming down, he finally thought of what Huyan Aobo had told him in the past – that although his Legendary Set had not been created before, it was one of a kind! It had even expended the spirit and life blood of a God Tier Consolidating Equipment Master to design, and prior to this, a set of ten was hitherto unheard of.

A Legendary Set referred to a set designed by a God Tier Consolidating Equipment Master with at least eight pieces to it. Usually, they were made out of nine pieces. Do not underestimate the difference that just one piece could make. It was just the addition of that one extra piece that caused the Founder of Zhou Weiqing’s teaching sect to expend all of his energy and spirit, even so much so to his death, from that one could see how difficult it had been to create this set.

Hearing Zhou Weiqing’s words, Yun Li’s expression turned ugly, a dark, uneasy look appearing in his eyes. At this moment, their competition was over. However, for a person like him, who also had a God Tier Founder Teacher, how could he be willing to just become Zhou Weiqing’s Follower just like that? That would be a disgrace and humiliation that he would never be able to wash clean, furthermore there would never be any escape from it. Lifetime Follower, that meant being Sealed for his entire life as well. Upon thinking about it, his heart hurt, as if it were being gnawed upon by thousands of snakes. Slowly, his face grew fierce, even savage, as he gripped his fists tightly. Staring at the ten designs on the table, he warred internally within his own mind.

Kill him, kill him! A voice kept yelling in Yun Li’s mind. As long as he killed off this Zhou Weiqing in front of him, not only would he escape the terms of the bet, he would also gain this unbelievable Legendary Set design, a one of a kind, ten piece set! At the most, he would have to move out of the Fei Li Empire forever, never to return; with his skills and talent, wouldn’t it be easy to find another place to accept him? As the darkness in his heart erupted forth, savagely clashing against the morals and ethics in Yun Li’s heart. As soon as that broke through, he would take action against Zhou Weiqing. In his eyes, with his four-Jeweled cultivation level, it would be extremely easy to kill off the three-Jeweled Zhou Weiqing.
Both were Spatial Attribute Heavenly Jewel Masters, and he himself had the Agility Type Physical Jewel. After killing him, it would be easy to escape.

However, despite the thoughts, Yun Li still did not move. As he battled himself within the deepest reaches of his heart, his body was trembling, his eyes revealing a blood lust. Yet, he did not move.

Although he was filled with pride, but he had also never been a person who would break his word! Despite all the unwillingness in his heart, the unreconciled feelings he had, he still wasn’t willing to become a treacherous, disloyal person, a person who would be scoffed at by any others. After all, there was a huge crowd outside who had witnessed the bet. Could he really just go back on his word like that? More importantly, even if he did so, that would leave a mark, a shadow in his heart. With such a shadow in his heart, he would never be able to reach the peak of Consolidating Equipment Master… the peak that he had always longed for… to be a God Tier Consolidating Equipment Master. Zhou Weiqing stood there silently, a faint smile on his face. He did not try to force Yun Li, or influence him in any way, but just stood there waiting for his own decision. Even with a Seal to restrict a person, it definitely wasn’t what he wanted. After all, there was a big difference between a willing Follower, and a Follower who complied in appearance but secretly opposed it in his heart. What Zhou Weiqing wanted was a Follower who truly worked for him with all his heart. In fact, Zhou Weiqing was extremely nervous. Naturally, it wasn’t due to fear that Yun Li might attack him. According to Zhou Weiqing’s estimation, although Yun Li was four-Jeweled, he did have a Legendary Set design. That meant that it was likely he only had two Consolidated Equipment. Even Ming Hua, who had four pieces of a Set Equipment, wasn’t a match for Zhou Weiqing, how could Yun Li be! If they truly had to fight, Zhou Weiqing had the confidence to beat, or even kill him off.

“I have lost.” Those three words finally came out of Yun Li’s mouth, with much difficulty and bitterness. After saying those words, he folded down into the sofa behind him, like a deflated balloon, his eyes closed as tears streamed down his cheeks uncontrollably.

“It’s my pride that destroyed me. Teacher, I have shamed you. I’ve lost… I’ve lost to a Consolidating Equipment Master whose cultivation level and rank is lower than mine.”  Yun Li suddenly burst out crying, his body shaking as he lost control of his emotions.

As compared to Yun Li’s crying, Zhou Weiqing was smiling, relaxedly. With that, he knew that he had gotten his first Follower. This was indeed a companion he could trust. Under such a circumstance, Zhou Weiqing was not confident that he could make the same decision, and that he might even break his own word. Yet, Yun Li had made the difficult choice. After all, there was no signed contract or bond they had done for this bet. If he had really wanted to run away, Zhou Weiqing might not have been able to stop him.

Zhou Weiqing sat down silently once more, slowly keeping his own designs.

He was not in a rush, allowing Yun Li to cry his heart out. After all, the poor fellow had just lost his lifetime freedom, how could he not allow him some time to vent?

Currently, our dear Zhou Weiqing was grinning away in his heart. Although it had taken much effort, he had finally gotten a High Level Consolidating Equipment Master follower! Such good luck might never happen a second time, at least not before he became a lot more powerful than he currently was. Qin Feng and Shangguan Bing’er, who were outside, were startled by the sudden crying sound that came from within. Shangguan Bing’er could instantly tell that the crying sound was not Zhou Weiqing’s, but that did not stop her from feeling anxious and worried.

“Young lady, calm down, we can’t enter right now.” Qin Feng quickly stopped her from trying to rush in. After all, he had given his word that they would not be disturbed in that chamber.

Shangguan Bing’er was extremely worried in her heart, but right at that moment, a soft voice suddenly entered her ears. After a short, startled moment, she finally quietened down. Her pale, frightened face turning rosy red once more, and a faint smile crossed her lips.

Chapter 58 Blood Rites – Seal of Darkness!

After crying for a while, Yun Li finally stopped. As he lifted his tear streaked head up, he saw Zhou Weiqing lounging on the sofa on the opposite side, looking at him with a smiling face.

“Sigh, a loss is a loss, let’s find a place to go through the Sealing then.” Yun Li said with an angry hmph, before keeping his own design from the table.

Zhou Weiqing smiled faintly and said: “Bro Yun Li, I know you are angry and unreconciled in your heart, perhaps extremely unwilling. However, I can give you two opportunities to escape your fate; as long as you reach any one of them, I will dissolve our agreement and any Seal on you…”

Yun Li started, his eyes filled with wariness as he said cautiously: “What else do you want? I’ve already lost my entire self to you, isn’t that enough?”

Zhou Weiqing shrugged and said: “As you said, your whole self is lost to me already, what else do you have to lose? What I want to say is, if your Heavenly Energy cultivation level can ever reach twelve levels above mine, I will dissolve the agreement. The other option is, as long as you can reach God Tier Consolidating Equipment Master before me, I will also dissolve the agreement. How about that?”

The wariness in Yun Li’s eyes turned to surprise, and he stared at Zhou Weiqing for a while. “… Why? You do not need to do that. My bet with you is a Lifetime Following. Since I have already admitted my loss, I will not go back on my word…”

Zhou Weiqing stood up and walked over to Yun Li, laughing heartily as he said: “What I want is a Follower who is talented, outstanding, and can possibly become a God Tier Consolidating Equipment Master. I do not want a person who has lost his soul just because he lost a bet, a trash who has given up on himself. If I do not give you hope, how could you possibly continue working hard in training and cultivation? However, do not think that these two conditions are easy at all.”

Yun Li was dazed for a moment, and after a while, he finally gave a long drawn sigh before saying: “Although you are much younger than I am, your intelligence and foresight is beyond mine. Alright, I accept your proposal. Surpassing you by twelve levels of Heavenly Energy is probably beyond me, but I will definitely work hard and become a God Tier Consolidating Equipment Master before you! Do not forget that I am already a High Level Consolidating Equipment Master, a step ahead of you, so the advantage is mine.”

Zhou Weiqing laughed and said: “I do wish that you can become a God Tier Consolidating Equipment Master as soon as possible. That way, even if you aren’t my Follower, we can still be friends. I, Zhou Weiqing, swear by my Personal Jewels. If in the future Yun Li becomes a God Tier Consolidating Equipment Master before I do, then I will personally release him from his Seals. If I break my word, my Personal Jewels will explode and destroy me…”

Yun Li’s emotions calmed down, and the look in his eyes were resolute. He had made up his mind to work hard to reach the rank of God Tier before Zhou Weiqing, to regain his freedom.

Zhou Weiqing lifted his left hand and grinned, saying: “Alright, I have given my promise, now it’s time for you to complete yours. Shall we begin Sealing then, I will need your complete cooperation for it.”

“… Sealing…?” Yun Li stared at Zhou Weiqing in shock. “Are you saying that you can do the Sealing by yourself? Do you mean to say that you have Stored a Sealing Skill? That’s impossible! Even though it is rumoured that our Spatial Attribute does have Sealing Skills, they are extremely rare. Furthermore, each and everyone of our Skills are so important to us; besides the Darkness Attributes which major power lies
in Sealing, who else would waste an opportunity to Skill something else?”

Zhou Weiqing gave a faint smile, moving his left hand in front of Yun Li, before saying carefully: “Look closely now, there is definitely no shame in losing to me.”

As he said that, he circulated his Heavenly Energy, and a dim black light shone forth from the Ring of Concealment on his left hand, shining upon his Elemental Jewels. Instantly, they changed back into their original form; although they were still Cat’s Eye Jewels, in the dimly lit room, they changed to the rose red of the Alexandrite Cat’s Eye for Yun Li to see.

“This… what is this?”

Another black light shone from Zhou Weiqing’s left hand, turning his entire index finger black, and at the tip a blood-red light shone from within. “… Alexandrite Cat’s Eye?” Yun Li suddenly raised his head, staring at Zhou Weiqing in shock.

Zhou Weiqing nodded and said: “Indeed. Come then, let us complete our Seal of Agreement. This is the Skill, ‘Blood Rites
– Seal of Darkness’. Now, you should believe that if your Heavenly Energy surpasses me by twelve levels, it will automatically dissolve right.”

After arriving in the Fei Li City, Zhou Weiqing had gone through Skill Storing in the Skill Storing Palace. For his second Darkness Skill, he had chosen to Store this Blood Rites – Seal of Darkness. This was one of the Darkness Seals that was specially targeted at Sealing servants or slaves. Once the master died, the Sealed servant would also perish. The only escape from that was what Zhou Weiqing had promised Yun Li
– a secondary contract.

The Blood Rites – Seal of Darkness wasn’t the most powerful Seal amongst the Darkness Attribute Sealing Skills, but it had one of the strongest binding effects. If the servant disobeyed the master, a single thought from the master could cause untold pain to the servant, and was one of the more vicious of the Sealing Skills. At the same time, it was also one of the most widely used of the Darkness Seals. Yun Li nodded somewhat woodenly, closing his eyes. In the next moment, Zhou Weiqing’s left hand reached his forehead, pressing his index finger onto the center between Yun Li’s eyebrows.

Instantly, a thick dark red light enveloped both of them. Although this Seal was extremely powerful, it had severe restrictions as well – the person it was being used on had to accept it by his or her own free will, and any resistance would break the Skill while it was being cast.

As the dark red light thickened, a red light also flashed in Zhou Weiqing’s eyes, as the blood-red light from his finger also brightened.

Yun Li grunted involuntarily, his entire body convulsing violently as the dark red light was sucked into his body. At the same time, it subsided from Zhou Weiqing, being drawn towards Yun Li.

This was Zhou Weiqing’s first time using the Blood Rites – Seal of Darkness. He felt as if more than a third of his Heavenly Energy being drained from him, clearly showing how much Heavenly Energy this Seal required. By the time all the dark red light had entered Yun Li’s body, Zhou Weiqing could vaguely feel a connection within his mind, like a string, linking him to Yun Li’s life.

Although this Seal did not telepathically link them, Zhou Weiqing could still feel the frailness of Yun Li’s life in his hands… This was the tyranny of the Blood Rites Seal.

Slowly lifting his left hand, Zhou Weiqing could see a small drop of fresh blood on his left index finger tip. That was Yun Li’s blood, and was also the medium for the Blood Rite. As the drop of blood slowly seeped into Zhou Weiqing’s hands and into his body, a strange, dark red symbol formed on Yun Li’s forehead.

The Darkness Aura in the room slowly diminished, and Yun Li finally opened his eyes, his body no longer shuddering. Everything seemed to return to normal, even the dark red symbol sinking into his skin, hidden from view. However, both he and Zhou Weiqing knew that this would accompany him for life, unless he could reach the terms of the agreement that he and Zhou Weiqing had made; only then would it dissolve.

Yun Li stood up. Although he still wasn’t used to this yet, he still turned to Zhou Weiqing and bowed deeply, saying: “Master…” Zhou Weiqing laughed and said: “You are the first person I used this Blood Rite – Seal of Darkness on. I never expected my luck to be so good. You do not need to call me Master, you can just call me by name. I have never thought of treating you like a slave or servant, and I hope that we can become friends instead, and we can exchange ideas and learn together on Consolidating Equipment Scrolls.”

Yun Li gave a humph and said: “Friends? If you wanted to be friends with me, why did you use that bet to cheat me!? Hmph. In any case, from now, you’re in charge of providing me with food, drink, lodging, and all my expenses. All the expenses for my materials on researching High Level Consolidating Equipment Scrolls should be paid by you too…”

Zhou Weiqing started a little, before saying exasperatedly: “Why does it sound like I’m the one who has been enslaved…”

“Oh right, Yun Li, when we leave later, do not tell anyone else that you have lost to me. Just say that we had a draw for our bet, and none of us will be the Follower of the other.”

Yun Li asked curiously: “Why?” Zhou Weiqing grinned and said: “It’s good to keep a low profile, understand? If the word gets out that you have become my Follower, I will never ever have a peaceful time in my time here…”

“Hah. You still know about keeping a low profile? Challenging me to such a bet in front of so many people, how can  you  possibly  keep  a  low  profile?”   Yun  Le  was  rather speechless.

Zhou Weiqing patted him on the shoulders and said: “If I didn’t do that, how could I get you to take the bait; hook line and sinker! In truth, I am usually a person who loves to keep a low profile. Heh heh. Come on, let’s go now, I’m sure all of them are anxiously waiting.”

Since he had entered the Fei Li City, besides the first moment that he had been reunited with Shangguan Bing’er, this was probably the best day of Zhou Weiqing’s life. Now, including himself, his Heavenly Bow Empire had two Consolidating Equipment Masters! Furthermore, they were both talented genius who each had a Legendary Set Design!

… Outside the door, Qin Feng was a little puzzled why the anxious Shangguan Bing’er suddenly seemed so relaxed. All of a sudden, the doors of the chamber opened, and both Zhou Weiqing and Yun Li walked out from within.

Qin Feng asked curiously: “Masters, your fight is over? May I know who is the victor?”

Zhou Weiqing laughed and said: “Master Yun Li is indeed of an extremely high level. I barely managed to drag our second round to a draw, and alas I lost the third round. As such, our final result is an overall draw. It looks like even the Heavens do not want us to become each other’s Followers. Oh well… what can we do?” Listening to Zhou Weiqing’s words, Qin Feng also heaved a small sigh of relief. In his, and most others’, eyes, if a Consolidating Equipment Master became a Follower of another Consolidating Equipment Master, it was something rather inconceivable.

The only thing that was in Yun Li’s mind now was a patch of sorrow: So fake, so hypocritical! This guy is truly so fake! Sigh… I wonder how my future will be like under him…

After replying Qin Feng’s question, Zhou Weiqing held Shangguan Bing’er’s hand, and they exchanged looks. Zhou Weiqing wriggled his brow at her in a joking manner. Shangguan Bing’er did not resist, smiling happily at her future husband, her heart full of pride. Right just now, Zhou Weiqing had already used Heavenly Energy and their secret code from the Heavenly Bow Unit to give her a summary of what had happened.

As a Mid Level Consolidating Equipment Master, to be able to beat a High Level Consolidating Equipment Master, wasn’t that something to be proud of? An outstanding, talented man was definitely attractive to women. As the four descended the stairs, the sky had already darkened outside. However, the entire trading center was lit up during this time, as it was usually more crowded during the night. By now, there were more than a hundred onlookers surrounding the area.

Seeing the four walk out of the shop, the crowd immediately burst forth with questions. Everyone was curious about the victor of this match; after all, it would determine the Following of this two talented Consolidating Equipment Masters!

“Big bro Qin, you can announce it.” Zhou Weiqing was happy to be the good guy and let Qin Feng have the honour. At the same time, he whispered to Yun Li: “Stop giving that bitter expression, how could we let others believe we had a draw if you keep that up.”

Yun Li glared at him, his mouth about to say something, but he finally managed to squeeze out a smile.

Qin Feng said loudly: “Our shop 77 was very honoured to be able to host this competition between this two young and talented Consolidating Equipment Masters. After a long fight, we have finally proven that they are evenly matched, and both of them indeed admire each other a lot. The bet is over, and the final result is an overall draw. I believe that from the first competition, everyone has seen how talented both these Masters are. If any of you are interested in being their Followers, do hurry up! The opportunity will not last long!”

Just as some of the Jewel Masters were rather interested, Yun Li suddenly interrupted: “That will not be necessary. I am very tired after the battle today. Furthermore, after the duel with Master Zhou, I have had some further understanding and fresh ideas, and I will be going through some close door cultivation for a while, and will not be taking on Followers for now.”

Zhou Weiqing laughed and said: “In that case, that’s all for today. When we are ready to accept Followers once more, we will come back here to inform everyone.” It was not good to be greedy, and his gains today was already unbelievably fortuitous. Furthermore, he still had a whole class of commoner students to support. With such a Follower like Yun Li, Zhou Weiqing was already very satisfied, and he didn’t need to rush into getting more Followers. After that battle with Yun Li, Zhou Weiqing had managed to think things through. When his cultivation level was higher, and his Consolidating Master rank higher, he would naturally be able to attract stronger Followers, and there was no need for him to rush into things. With that thought in mind, Zhou Weiqing decided not to continue.

Sighs of regret sounded out from around the crowd, as they started to dissipate. Of course, whether or not the sighs were due to the lack of an actual victor, or because they were no longer accepting Followers, only they themselves knew.

“Hello Master Zhou, I’m very pleased to meet you. My name is Zhou Changxi, we share a common ancestor! I’m the boss of the shop 76.” Seeing that both sides had drawn, Zhou Changxi also heaved a sigh of relief. After all, he was afraid that Yun Li might have lost.

Zhou  Weiqing  smiled  and  said:  “Nice  to  meet  you  Boss Zhou.”

Zhou Changxi then turned to Yun Li and said: “Bro Yun, if you want to go about closed door cultivation, you can head over to my place.”

Yun Li shook his head and said: “That will not be necessary. I have become good friends with Weiqing, and we are prepared to exchange pointers and train together regarding Consolidating  Equipment  Scrolls.”   He  had  already  become Zhou Weiqing’s Followers, naturally he would be going together with Zhou Weiqing. Although he felt that Zhou Weiqing trying to hide the truth was extremely fake, in truth he also did not want it revealed to the world that he had lost. Especially, since he had lost to a person with lower cultivation
level and Consolidating Equipment Master Ranking. That would be extremely humiliating.

In fact, what was at the forefront of his mind was still that rose red Alexandrite Cat’s Eye Jewel. Just like what Zhou Weiqing said, there was indeed no shame in losing to that. He was also extremely glad that he has resisted his own thoughts to break his own word, as he knew that he would have had no chance against a Heavenly Jewel Master with the legendary Alexandrite Cat’s Eye.

Hearing Yun Li’s words, Zhou Changxi was rather surprised, but he did not say anything. After all, he was friends with Yun Li, not his boss.

Seeing Yun Li’s gloomy face, Zhou Weiqing grinned. Just as he was about to tell Qin Feng what he needed to buy, a rather strange voice sounded out all of a sudden.

“Is  it  possible  for  me  to  also  have  a  bet  with  the  two Masters?” The reason why the voice was described as strange was because it had a very metallic feel. Thick, strong. Even before seeing the person speaking, the voice had already given them such an impression.

Zhou Weiqing and Yun Li immediately turned towards the direction of the voice, only to see a large man in front of them.

This man was even taller than the 1.9m tall Zhou Weiqing, his shoulders broad to an almost exaggerated state. Zhou Weiqing was already considered very well built, but in comparison to this man in front of them, he seemed almost slender and thin. One could almost see the bulging muscles of his shoulders, almost as if there was a metal ball shoved in there.

With round eyes and well-formed forehead, and a full beard and whiskers which hid his actual age from them, and a head full of short red hair. All of that combined to give a fierce look. However, he had a pair of deep blue eyes, calm as the sea. Standing there, he seemed like an immovable mountain.

Looking at this person, Zhou Weiqing, Yun Li, Shangguan Bing’er and Qin Feng all revealed uncertain, confused looks. Only Zhou Changxi had a rather surprised look in his eyes, his brow furrowing as a cold light flashed momentarily in his eyes, though it quickly vanished. However, nobody noticed the quick change of expression on his face.

“Who are you?” Zhou Weiqing asked curiously.

The bearded man said in his powerful voice: “My name is Lin TianAo. I am a Mid Level Zun Stage Heavenly Jewel Master with the Earth Elemental Attribute and Defense Physical Attribute, and I wish to have a bet with the two Masters.”

Mid Level Zun Stage? A five-Jeweled Heavenly Jewel Master! Zhou Weiqing was no stranger to a pure defense Heavenly Jewel Master like that, as Ma Qun had the same combination. However, Ma Qun was only had a single set of Jewels, while the man in front had five. The difference between them would be like heaven and earth.

Yun Li was about to say something, but Zhou Weiqing quickly said with an expressionless face: “What do you wish to bet with us?”

Lin TianAo said in a serious tone: “I wish to bet in a similar bet like the two Masters had earlier. If I win, I want both of your Lifetime Following. If you win, I will lose my lifetime Following to both of you. With both your current cultivation levels, it is unlikely you will be able to get Followers of my level and calibre. Furthermore, I am an Ultimate type Heavenly Jewel Master.”

An ‘Ultimate’ type Heavenly Jewel Master referred to having the Physical Jewel and Elemental Jewel were boosting a similar type, bringing it to the maximum possible. For example, Shangguan Bing’er would be considered a speed and agility Ultimate Type Heavenly Jewel Master, and this Lin TianAo would be an Ultimate Defense Heavenly Jewel Master.

Zhou Weiqing laughed and said: “I guess that you will be wanting to bet in terms of combat prowess. However, we are both just a Upper Level Shi Heavenly Jewel Master, and a Lower Level Zun Stage Heavenly Jewel Master, why would we bet with a Mid Level Zun Stage Heavenly Jewel Master like yourself? Don’t you think your bet is too much of a joke?”

Lin TianAo was not put off by Zhou Weiqing’s mocking words, his eyes remaining calm and solemn. “Since this is a bet, it naturally has to be fair. What you said is indeed correct, if it was just a normal fight, it will definitely not be fair. Even if both of you came at me together, you will not be able to take me down. However, my bet is as follows – I will stand there without returning blows, and both of you can attack me all you want in the time for an incense stick to burn. As long as you can cause me to move my feet at all, it will count as your win.”

As soon as he said that, Zhou Weiqing was extremely surprised, and an anger rose in Yun Li’s eyes. Even Qin Feng and Shangguan Bing’er had a look of shock on their faces. Only Zhou Changxi had his brow furrowed, his expression changing.

Zhou Weiqing’s surprise naturally had a reason behind it. Without question, this Lin TianAo had given extremely favourable conditions for them, so much so that it would be difficult for them to refuse.

For both of them to attack for the entire time of an incense stick to burn… to be able to give such a conditions for a bet, how much confidence did he have in his own defence! After all, both of them were Spatial Attribute Heavenly Jewel Masters, and the Spatial Attribute attacking skills were extremely damaging. Furthermore, his own Physical Jewel was that of the Strength Attribute. To say that they could defeat him was highly unlikely, but to not even be able to even make him move, that was something that both Zhou Weiqing and Yun Li could not believe.

“Are you looking down on us?” Yun Li cried out angrily. Lin TianAo said passively: “This is just a bet, and it is up to both of you to accept it. No matter which one of you, to be able to get a Follower like me, in future when killing Heavenly Beasts to Store Skills, it will be of immense help. Furthermore, as my strength and cultivation level grows, my defense will
keep growing. In future, I might even be able to block a dragon’s blow.”

Hearing his words, Yun Li almost agreed rashly, but he was quickly stopped by a look from Zhou Weiqing. Only then did he remember that he was no longer a free man, and couldn’t help but feel a sense of dejection in his heart. However, the fighting spirit in his eyes did not falter, as he looked at Zhou Weiqing, hoping that he would agree with this bet. After all, Yun Li did not believe that he could possibly lose this fight.

literally says face shaped like a leopard’s Zhou Weiqing looked at Lin TianAo and smiled, placing his hand on Yun Li’s shoulder, he said with a faint smile: “I’m sorry, we reject the bet.”

Lin TianAo started before saying: “Reject? Why? Aren’t my conditions favourable enough? When you are attacking, I will not counter attack at all.”

Zhou Weiqing shook his head and said: “Bro Lin, I’m afraid you haven’t seen things clearly, or perhaps you are treating us like idiots. You are a Ultimate Defense Type Heavenly Jewel Master… how much attack power do you even have anyway? Of course, you can easily say that you will not counter attack, after all, probably more than 90 percent of your power is held up in defense right. Naturally, you can pretend to be generous in that matter. Our cultivation levels are below yours, and you are also a pure Ultimate Defense type. If we can’t move you, we will have to be enslaved to you for life. Such a bet where I have no confidence, I will not go through. Come on Yun Li, let’s go back to the shop, I still have things to buy.”

No matter Lin TianAo or Yun Li, no one had expected Zhou Weiqing to reject it so easily. Even Shangguan Bing’er and Qin Feng were also a little puzzled. After all, earlier, when Zhou Weiqing had placed his bet with Yun Li, none of them had actually thought he would win, yet Zhou Weiqing had insisted in doing so. Now that a bet was placed in front of him that seemed so favourable, he had instead avoided it. None of them could understand what was going on.

On the other hand, Zhou Changxi’s look towards Zhou Weiqing had changed, nodding his head inwardly to himself, thinking: What a clever little scoundrel. It looks like perhaps the bet between him and Yun Li is not as simple as a draw.

Seeing that Zhou Weiqing was pulling Yun Li away, Lin TianAo couldn’t help but feel a sense of urgency. “Wait, what terms do you need for you to be willing to bet with me?”

Zhou Weiqing laughed heartily. Just as he was about to reply that he wouldn’t bet with him no matter what, a sudden voice rang out in his voice, causing his heart to shake in shock, causing him to swallow the words that were on the tip of his tongue.

“Bet with him, I will help you secretly. You definitely must win, this person will be of great use to you. I am Tian Er.” The voice that sounded out in Zhou Weiqing’s ear spoke out. He did not know where it came from, but he could tell the owner of the voice was the mysterious white clad young lady Tian Er, who had saved him from Ming Wu the other day.

If we were to say that previously Zhou Weiqing’s memories of this Tian Er were somewhat unreal, almost like she was an illusion, he finally could confirm her existence.

“Well…  it’s not impossible for me to take this bet…”  Zhou Weiqing had not thought things through, after all he had just gotten word from Tian Er barely a moment ago. However, he had always been quick thinking, and with a short pause, an idea came to his mind. “My terms are that you have to only use one hand to fight with us; furthermore, both of us can attack you at the same time.”

Hearing Zhou Weiqing’s words, not just Qin Feng and Yun Li, even Shangguan Bing’er felt that he was asking for too much. Even if this Lin TianAo had one more set of Jewels than Qin Feng, they were after all fighting him 2 versus 1, with him not even counter attacking, yet he still wanted him to only use a single hand?

After all, Lin TianAo’s bet with them was that his feet would not leave the ground. That was to say, in the fight, he would not even be able to use his feet as weapons. Under such a circumstance, to only be able to use a single army in the fight, it would hardly be fair.

Yun Li closed his eyes, sighing inwardly. Ahhh, how could I lose to such a shameless fellow! My good name, its all ruined now!

However, to everyone’s shock, when Lin TianAo heard Zhou Weiqing’s request, he only thought for a while before nodding. In a solemn tone, he said: “Alright, I agree to your request.”

“En?” Beside Zhou Changxi, everyone stared at Lin TianAo in shock. Even Zhou Weiqing had not expected him to agree to his terms. His original thinking was that if this Lin TianAo did not agree, he would just go with the original terms. After all, with Tian Er helping him secretly, he was confident of the win. That Tian Er Beauty was from the something something Snow God Mountain, and had six sets of Alexandrite Cat’s Eye Jewels. Such a powerful being, no matter how powerful this Lin TianAo was, he would likely not be a match for her. After all, she had been able to scare off Ming Wu. However, Lin TianAo had given him a surprise and agreed to his terms.

Just a second ago, Yun Li had still been thinking of how shameless Zhou Weiqing was. Yet now, his heart was racing in fear. He was also an intelligent person, and when Lin TianAo agreed to Zhou Weiqing’s outrageous request, he immediately calmed down. Yun Li realised that perhaps this Mid Level Zun Stage Heavenly Jewel Master was not as simple as he thought.

“Let’s go to the Underground Arena then. After all, once we are there, none of us can break our word. Otherwise, if after the bet, you two wish to run, I will definitely not be able to catch up.” Lin TianAo said passively.

Zhou Weiqing looked at Yun Li curiously: “What is this Underground Arena?”

Yun Li said: “There is an underground arena in our Trading Center, and it is a fighting ground usually used by Jewel Masters to settle their scores. It is also used to place bets, and many Jewel Masters like to go there to indulge in betting. This Underground Arena is secret from the Fei Li Empire, and the only thing we can be sure of is that it is definitely upheld strictly, and both sides will have to sign a contract before starting any fight. Anything can be used as a bet, items or even your own life. As soon as the fight is over, the bet contract has to be settled, otherwise the owner of the arena will carry it out on your behalf. It is rumoured that there was once a nine- Jeweled High Level Zong Stage Heavenly Jewel Master who tried to break his word and not honour the bet. The next day, his corpse was found hung on the east gate.” “Damn,  that  is  a  great  place.”   A  light  shone  in  Zhou Weiqing’s eyes, as he thought to himself. Even a High Level Zong Stage Heavenly Jewel Master was not able to run, that showed how powerful the master of the Underground Arena was. However, if that was so, would Tian Er really be able to help him cheat? If not, what would happen if he lost?

Tian Er’s voice sounded out once more, with a hint of disdain at him, as if she had read his mind. “Do not worry, just go ahead.”

Zhou Weiqing did not try to talk to her, but hearing her words affirmed his confidence. His trust in Tian Er was extremely simple. With her cultivation level and power, if she wanted him dead or to enslave him, she could have easily done so, especially after saving him from Ming Wu. Why would she need to go through such trouble?

“Please lead the way then.”  Zhou Weiqing motioned to Lin TianAo politely.

Lin TianAo walked in the front, leading Zhou Weiqing and Yun Li along as they rushed to follow. Just as Shangguan Bing’er was about to follow them, she was stopped by Qin Feng. “Young lady, I’m afraid you’ll have to wait for them here. The Underground Arena rules are such that no audience is allowed, and only those who are undergoing the bet can enter. With such favourable conditions, I believe that Bro Zhou and Master Yun Li should have no problems winning.”

Zhou Weiqing turned around and nodded to Shangguan Bing’er, and she stopped as well, pursing her lips at him with a dissatisfied look on her face, as if saying. You are always making me worry!

As Lin TianAo led the two of them deeper into the heart of the Trading Center, he kept silent all the way. Yun Li’s brow was furrowed, and the three of them walked along in an awkward silence.

Very soon, Lin TianAo stopped right in front of a large circular building. Without being told, Zhou Weiqing knew that they had reached. The building was only a single level, and seemed rather nondescript, except for the two large bright red words on the front: Underground Arena.

The door was wide open, looking like the gaping maw of a man-eating beast. Lin TianAo motioned towards Zhou Weiqing and Yun Li, before heading in ahead, with the pair following close behind. After entering, Zhou Weiqing was a little surprised. Here, the entire floor was black, but the walls and ceiling were all blood red, and the entire area seemed to be permeated with a rather eerie and forbidding air around. After concentrating a little, he noticed a stairway leading down.

In front of the stairs, there was a red table, with an one-eyed old man sitting behind. The old man looked aged and frail, as if he was barely alive.

Lin TianAo took a big stride forward to the old man, giving a slight bow before saying: “We wish to fight and place a bet.”

The old man nodded, saying: “You know the rules then, please pay up.”

Lin TianAo did not say anything further, taking out a blue membership card like the one Zhou Weiqing had, passing it to the old man, who swiped it along a unique looking item, before returning the card along with a plaque to Lin TianAo. Waving his hand, he motioned the three of them to go ahead.

Yun Li quickly explained to Zhou Weiqing: “The fee is ten thousand gold coins for using the arena once, non-negotiable. Due to the authority and power of the Underground Arena and the securities it provides, the fee is not considered high.”

Zhou Weiqing inclined his head in agreement, and the two of them continued following Lin TianAo down the stairs.

At the start, it was pitch black, but as they continued along after two bends, it gradually brightened. However, even the lighted walls were all blood red, and as they continued along, the eerie feeling grew stronger.

After they had descended more than thirty metres down, a tunnel finally appeared. Lin TianAo looked at the number of the plaque in his hands, and walked down along the path. He moved rather quickly, and it was obvious that this was not his first time here.

Zhou Weiqing could see that along the two sides of the walls of the tunnel, there were thick large doors, with a number on each of them. From the look of it, they corresponded with the plaques, and each should have an individual arena ring behind them.

Lin TianAo stopped right in front of the door with the number seven on it. Pushing open the door, they entered together.

In contrast to the dimly lit corridor outside, the large room was brightly lit, causing Zhou Weiqing to squint involuntarily for a while.

It was a huge round room, with a red robed man standing silently behind the door, his face covered in a cloth mask which hid his features. Seeing the three enter, the man said solemnly: “Do you require a betting contract before starting the fight?”

Chapter 59 Ultimate Defense – Shield Assembly!

The red robed man’s voice was rather strange, sounding rather inhuman with a very low, deep, raspy and even slightly warped feel. After listening for a while, Zhou Weiqing finally realised that it was done on purpose, and coupled with the cloth masked, it was clearly done to hide his identity. It was clear that this person had another identity outside of the arena, otherwise he had no need to go through such measures to hide himself. Zhou Weiqing couldn’t help but feel his curiosity rise about this Underground Arena.

Of course, being curious was one thing, and actually investigating it was another. Zhou Weiqing was not foolish enough to pry into the matters of a mysterious place which could easily finish off a High Level Zong Stage Heavenly Jewel Master. At least, for him, the most important thing no was to ensure he could win the upcoming bet.

Having finally won this Yun Li, and gotten a Consolidating Equipment Master Follower, if he were to lose this fight, that would wipe out everything he had worked for, and even lose his own freedom to boot. “Yes, we would like to sign a contract…”  Lin TianAo said solemnly.

“Alright, please sign…”  As he said that, the red-robed man took out a piece of white paper, placing it on a table by his side. Lin TianAo walked forward and quickly wrote their agreement on the paper according to what they had discussed. After examining it, Zhou Weiqing, Yun Li and Lin TianAo all signed on the paper.

After looking through the contract, the red robed man kept the paper and said: “You may all begin then.”

Only then did Zhou Weiqing start examining the fighting area.

The fighting area was actually the large room, which was wide, spacious and brightly lit from all sides, though the light source could not be seen. On the floor of the round room, there were quite a lot of blood stains. On the walls and floor, there was a slight metallic glow.

The entire circular room was about thirty metres in diameter, and with it as the fighting area, it was considered very huge. Lin TianAo walked to the center of the room, and as soon as he stood there and widened his stance, his entire aura changed. Currently, he seemed to give a feel of being totally melded with the room, like a statue there instead of a man, an inner glow shining forth from his eyes.

“Please.”  Lin  TianAo  cried  out  softly  towards  the  two  of them, who could clearly see the muscles bulging out exaggeratedly under his shirt, the sheer strength and power almost breathtaking.

Yun Li glanced towards Zhou Weiqing, a questioning look in his eyes. Zhou Weiqing raised a brow, saying: “You test his defences first.”

Right at that moment, the red robed man said coldly: “The moment the both of you start your attack, the timing for the bet will begin. The time is the amount for a single stick of incense to burn down.” As he said that, an incense stick appeared in his hands.

Yun Li took a deep breath and stepped forward, his Heavenly Jewels appearing around his wrists, glittering. His gold-green Cat’s Eye and Dragonstone Jade shining with their respective colours, he struck the ground with his right foot, and his entire body shot forth like an arrow shot from a bow. Due to his speed when cutting through the air, a shrill sound ensued as he flew towards Lin TianAo.

“Haaaiiii….” Lin TianAo gave a low shout as he lifted up his left hand, the five Yellow Jade Physical Jewels shining brilliantly. The Yellow Jade depicted toughness, or defense, and immediately the first one coalesced in a burst of light into his first piece of equipment.

It was a piece of equipment that Zhou Weiqing had always wanted – a shield. Lin TianAo’s first shield was round in shape, almost 1 feet and 5 inches in diameter. It was not decorated or having any elaborate designs, with only a single socket right in the middle of the shield.

Yun Li’s Physical Jewel was the Agility based Dragonstone Jade, and with a flash, he appeared right in front of Lin TianAo. With a glow of his first Cat’s Eye Jewel, his entire right fist was enveloped in a silver light which was almost a foot thick. With the advantage of his speed, just as he was about to reach Lin TianAo, he suddenly vanished, appearing right above Lin TianAo, his fist slamming towards his head.

By now, Zhou Weiqing was no longer the little newbie that he had been a few years back. With a single look, he had recognized the Spatial Skill that Yun Li was using. The silver light around his right fist was a skill called the Compressed Spatial Cannon, and was an extremely powerful attacking skill. In terms of single target damage, it was perhaps stronger than even some of the seven star rated skills. Its only drawback was that it could only be used in close combat, but in
combination with Yun Li’s speed and agility from his Physical Jewels, it was a perfect match. Such a choice of skill was indeed a great choice for Yun Li.

His four-Jeweled Heavenly Energy was infused into the Compressed Spatial Cannon, and even a thousand jin rock would have been easily shattered by the blow. The use of the Skill was to instantly compress all the air in the atmosphere around, causing a huge explosive impact as well as its consecutive concussive power, combining to cause extreme destruction.

Although Lin TianAo’s tone earlier was not very arrogant, his terms of allowing Zhou Weiqing and Yun Li to attack him together with all the restrictions on himself had truly angered Yun Li. This was especially so after having lost to Zhou Weiqing earlier, and having all the pent up anger within. As such, he had used his full strength in this blow.

Besides a quick note on Yun Li’s attack, most of Zhou Weiqing’s focus was on Lin TianAo. When Yun Li had charged forward, Lin TianAo had already placed his left hand behind his back. Clearly, that was to signal that he would not be using that hand. Of course, not using the hand did not mean his Elemental Skills could not be used.

Facing Yun Li’s speed and sudden swift direction changes, Lin TianAo had a very simple and direct method to deal with it. Lifting his right arm, the round shield was quickly raised above his head. Zhou Weiqing could clearly see a thick yellow light shine forth from the shield, and right in the midst of the socket appeared a glowing gold diamond. That was the Diamond Elemental Jewel – the Earth Attribute type.

*BANG* The Compressed Spatial Cannon slammed savagely into the shield, and Yun Li’s body was sent flying back from the backlash. As for Lin TianAo, he stood there unmoving, his expression unchanging.

The red robed man in charge of the room seven had already lit the incense in his hands, and the bet had begun in that first clash.

Yun Li’s body spun in mid air, as he flew towards the ceiling. He quickly made use of the movement to twist himself, and the first Dragonstone Jade on his right hand flashed in a momentary brilliance, and a spike appeared in his grasp – his first Consolidated Weapon.

Watching up to that point, Zhou Weiqing couldn’t help but furrow his brow. After looking at Yun Li’s weapon, he realised a problem they had.

Yun Li was in the same state of him, both of them having a Legendary Set Design. Under such a circumstance, it was impossible that Yun Li did not plan to make use of the Legendary Set! That meant that it was definitely impossible that Yun Li had Consolidated all four of his Jewels, and could at most have only two Consolidated. That was because he had to reserve more chances for his future Legendary Set. This was the same issue as Zhou Weiqing, whose third Jewel was also not Consolidated.

Very quickly, Yun Li charged forth a second time. This time, his speed was even faster than before, with three of his four Gold-Green Cat’s Eye actually lighting up, a thick silver glow enveloping his entire body.

The sharp spike in Yun Li’s hands also turned silver, and the air around his body was shuddering violently as he sped along. Lin TianAo’s expression finally changed a little, and he cried out: “Double Compression!”

Indeed, Yun Li was currently using three Spatial Skills, one of which was the Double Compression. Naturally, the Compressed Spatial Cannon was used once more, but this time it was used in conjunction with a powerful Spatial Support Skill, the Double Compression – which actually condensed it entirely into the sharp spike. Not only that, the third Skill that Yun Li had used was called the Spatial Blast Acceleration.

The Spatial Blast Acceleration was an extremely powerful support skill, and it made use of an instantaneous burst of air and explosion to give a quick immense burst of acceleration to the user. At the same time, it also gave a burst of improved Spatial Strength to the user, almost an increment of thirty percent. As such, it was a skill that was extremely useful, not just for attacking, but also for escaping.

After all, Yun Li was currently only of a four-Jeweled cultivation level, and could only Store four Spatial Skills. Under such a circumstance, for him to choose two Support Skills, that clearly showed how powerful and useful these support skills were. When he used the two skills in conjunction, Zhou Weiqing almost felt a little envious. Both the Double Compression and Spatial Blast Acceleration were powerful Seven Star rated Skills.

Under the two support skills, Yun Li’s attack could be said to be extended to his maximum possible power. The bet had just started, but he had already displayed his full strength, without leaving anything behind. His intention was to end this quick, and the other meaning was also to catch Lin TianAo off guard.

“Great!” Lin TianAo gave a loud shout. However, he still used a single hand, both feet still standing stably on the ground, but the round shield in his hands underwent a massive change as two intense bright lights shone forth.

The original round shield of about one foot and five inches diameter actually changed form totally, under the infusion of the two yellow lights, it turned into a unique triangular shield of about two feet width and five feet height.

Witnessing such a sight, not only Yun Li in mid combat, but also Zhou Weiqing who was watching from the side, were both caught by surprise. Both were Consolidating Equipment Masters, and they knew what this meant. The two yellow lights that had melded into the round shield had originated from Lin TianAo’s right hand, his Physical
Jewels. That meant that he had used two more of his
Consolidated Equipments, and the two were actually not
individual equipment, but were used on his original round
shield. The three pieces of equipment had actually fused together, forming a single, unique piece of equipment! Consolidated Equipment Assembly Set! The phrase appeared instantly in both Zhou Weiqing and Yun Li’s hearts.

A Consolidated Equipment Set and Consolidated Equipment Assembly Set might sound the same, with barely a single word difference, but in truth they were both differed greatly. The former referred to a full set of armour, made up of many different pieces of equipment including a weapon to form a comprehensive and complete package. The latter was instead several equipment combining together to form a single piece of equipment in a unique method. That was to say, after the Assembly of the pieces, the user would end up with only one equipment! What Lin TianAo had Assembled together was the shield in his hands.

A Physical Jewel had a limited amount of mass when Consolidated into Equipment. For example, Zhou Weiqing’s large dual hammers, they were God Tier Consolidated Equipment, thus their mass was a lot larger than most other Consolidated Equipment. Even so, they had to be one solid and one without mass, and not just two solid ones! However, that was also the genius of the design, making use of this one real and one fake to overall increase the power of the entire set. A Consolidated Equipment Assembly Set was a type of Consolidated Equipment that was being carried to the extremity. It was sacrificing much of the mass of the Physical Jewels used to greatly boost the power of a single piece of equipment. However, as far as Zhou Weiqing and Yun Li knew,
it was usually used for weaponry. For it to be used in such a way like what Lin TianAo did, using 3 Physical Jewels to form a shield, they had never heard of such a thing. After all, even a Heavenly Jewel Master who could reach the highest possible cultivation level would only have twelve possible Consolidated Equipments. With that in consideration, who wouldn’t want to
have a full proper set of Consolidated Equipments!

Besides the fact it was being such an extreme, the other reason why Consolidated Equipment Assembly Sets were so rare was also due to the difficulty in creating the scrolls. These scrolls were a lot harder to create than normal Consolidating Equipment Scrolls, after all it was complicated to merge several Consolidating Equipments into a single one. The more the combined equipments, the more complicated and the harder it would be to create. Usually, it would only be made of two pieces, with five being the maximum, at least anything above five had not been seen before in history. Even the most extreme of Heavenly Jewel Masters would not want to expend so much on just a single piece of equipment, not even considering the difficulty to create the scrolls. Even a three set assembly required a Consolidating Equipment Grandmaster to create, and a five set would need a Zong Stage Master to complete. Of course, under such a pursuit of extremes, a Consolidated Equipment Assembly Set was extremely powerful. This was one time when such a power was displayed.

Seeing Lin TianAo actually using such a three-Jeweled Assembly Set, Yun Li’s expression changed instantly. For such a shield to be made out of three Physical Jewel Consolidated Equipments, it wasn’t just as simple as a one plus one plus one sort of relation, but rather an exponential increase in power. Furthermore, this also caused the shield to have three sockets for Elemental Jewels, from just that alone one could imagine the sheer defensive power of this shield.

Although Yun Li’s attack had been with all his might, he now had no confidence to even break through Lin TianAo’s defense.

In such a critical moment with his back to the wall, Yun Li displayed a rather stunning combat talent. His body in midair, he actually managed to twist himself, forcibly changing the direction that his Spatial Blast Acceleration was bringing him in. Originally, his attack towards his opponent’s chest was pulled back a few inches, causing him to land onto the ground. Instantly, the sharp spike in his hands struck towards Lin TianAo’s legs instead. Didn’t you bet that your feet wouldn’t move? Fine, I’ll just attack your feet with all my might. The bottom of your shield is a sharp point, you shouldn’t be able to block it so easily right.

Also, at the instance when they both met, Yun Li’s fourth Elemental Jewel also lit up, and the pure silver sharp spike immediately shone forth with an illusory light, and instantly a silver shadow seemed to fly off from the spike, and as soon as it hit the air, it changed into a deep black.

“Dimension Slash.” Zhou Weiqing was surprised in his heart. It was the eight star rated Spatial Skill – Dimension Slash, which was a lot stronger than the Compressed Spatial Cannon. All things considered, it was a skill that was rather similar to Zhou Weiqing’s own Spatial Rend, but the Dimension Slash would only last for a split second, while the Spatial Rend would stay in mid air for a while, and also had other uses like its suction power as well as defensive usages.

Even so, without question, the attacking power of the Dimension Slash was extremely terrifying, and it was Yun Li’s true ace in hand for this fight.

What was a Heavenly Jewel Master? A true powerful Heavenly Jewel Master was able to instantly unleash all his strength in a single blow, a single quick instant. Yun Li’s strike was already boosted by his two support skills, and under the boost of the Compressed Spatial Cannon, the Dimension Slash was now a whole different level. Not just a five-Jeweled Heavenly Jewel Master, perhaps even a normal six-Jeweled Heavenly Jewel Master would have problems dealing with such a blow.

Facing Yun Li’s sudden change in direction, Lin TianAo’s expression grew serious, but he only did a single movement.

His fourth Yellow Jade Physical Jewel shone, a brilliant yellow light once more melding into the shield in his hands, which grew even larger! With a loud clunking sound, it struck down heavily on the ground, blocking perfectly in front of the Dimension Slash.

Four Equipment Assembly. Zhou Weiqing’s heart shuddered in shock. At the same time, a huge explosion sounded out, as Yun Li’s attack slammed savagely right into Lin TianAo’s shield.

The further improved shield had now become a tower shield. Although it was still a triangular shape with the bottom being spiked, but it had been shoved deep into the ground. As the Spatial Heavenly Energy raged about wantonly, an ear- piercing sound of something splitting rang forth along with an intense shock wave, causing Zhou Weiqing to stagger back a few steps before regaining his balance. Even for the red robed man who was in charge of the room, an intense light flashed
within his eyes and he gave a slight nod of approval.

A suppressed grunt rang out within the room as Yun Li was thrown back by the rebound. This time, he was thrown back savagely, almost hitting the edge of the room before he managed to recover himself.

The sharp spike in Yun Li’s hands had disappeared, and Zhou Weiqing could clearly see that his right hand was trembling acutely, the Heavenly Energy around him seemingly close to dissipating. His face was red, and he gave a small cry as he vomited out a mouth of blood.

Yun Li’s attack had been using all his might, and he had not held anything back, and as a result he had suffered a massive backlash. As his entire body fell back down to the ground, he was panting hard.

Although the fight had barely been ten seconds from start to finish, Yun Li had already expended more than fifty percent of his Heavenly Energy, and had also used all of his moves. As for Lin TianAo, he still stood there unmoving, just like a stable mountain. The four-Jeweled Assembled Equipment Tower Shield right in front of him, firm and secure. Layers of yellow light shone forth from it, and it seemed he was totally unruffled. His feet had indeed not moved even a little at all. Yun Li’s attack was indeed powerful, but it had not been able to even shake him.

Just like what Zhou Weiqing had said, Lin TianAo was well versed in defense, and not attacking. Just standing there, he was already able to use more than eighty percent of his whole arsenal.

Zhou Weiqing’s mouth twitched involuntarily as he muttered inwardly: Dammit, that defense is just too sick. He had been observing Yun Li’s attack closely, and could clearly tell how powerful it was, yet it had been all for nothing. His own attacks might be slightly stronger than Yun Li’s, but could it truly break through Lin TianAo’s four-Jeweled Assembly Equipment Tower Shield? With his own cultivation level in consideration, could he possibly breakthrough that shield in a single hand?

Jealousy, envy, hate! If only I could have such a shield, how nice it would be. Zhou Weiqing couldn’t help but think. However, the clash between Yun Li and Lin TianAo was not totally useless. At least, it had let Zhou Weiqing realise something very important – Lin TianAo’s sheer strength.

Although this Lin TianAo was a pure defense Heavenly Jewel Master, with his Physical Jewels being Toughness and Elemental Jewels being Earth. However, it seemed like he had an unnatural strength that far surpassed any normal person. Without much thought, Zhou Weiqing could easily sense the sheer terrifying weight that the four-Jeweled Assembly Equipment Tower Shield had, yet in Lin TianAo’s single hand, it seemed as if it was weightless. From there, it could be seen how strong Lin TianAo was, even though his Physical Jewel was not of the Strength Attribute.

No wonder he had such confidence to fight and bet with me and Yun Li, he indeed has the capability and right to do so! Such a defensive power, even if he were fighting with a Zong Stage Heavenly Jewel Master like Ming Wu, he might be able to defend himself for a few strikes.

As Yun Li panted, he looked towards Zhou Weiqing, as if saying, I’ve already done my best, what now?

Taking a glance at the burning incense, Zhou Weiqing saw that it had barely burned down a little, and they still had quite a lot of time. Lin TianAo was also not in a rush, after all there was still quite some time, but it wasn’t that easy to recover all the expended Heavenly Energy. In his eyes, Yun Li was much more of a threat to him than Zhou Weiqing.

Zhou Weiqing exclaimed with an expression of approval and envy: “Bro Lin, I am so envious of that shield of yours! Ahh, in the past I really wanted to Consolidate a shield for my first Equipment, alas my wife refused to let me to do so. Shields are so good, with that, who needs armour! If used properly, it can block any attack. In fact, it can also be used as a weapon right. Hmmm… Bro Lin, let me guess, could it be that your last Physical Jewel is also part of your Assembly Equipment?”

As he said that, he walked right in front of Lin TianAo.

Lin TianAo smiled passively and said: “This little bro has good insight indeed. My entire abilities are focused on my shield. Just like you said, it is both offense and defense. Alright, you have tested enough, why don’t you both attack at once.”

Zhou Weiqing laughed heartily and said: “Bro Lin, why don’t you let me test your strength first.” As he said that, he released his Heavenly Jewels, a gleam in his eyes as both his hands pushed onto Lin TianAo’s shield. His muscles bulged suddenly, as he applied a sudden explosive strength. “En?” As soon as Zhou Weiqing applied pressure, Lin TianAo was instantly surprised. He had originally looked down on this little brat with just three sets of Jewels. However, Zhou Weiqing’s pure strength had given him a big shock, and he was immediately put under stress. Only he himself knew the true density and weight of this 4-Jeweled Assembly Equipment Tower Shield… almost six thousand jin! Any ordinary three- Jeweled Heavenly Jewel Master, even one with the Strength Attribute, would not be able to move it. Yet, Zhou Weiqing’s shove caused him to feel an obvious pressure, like a ferocious wave in the turbulent seas.

“Good, very good, little bro, your strength is impressive.” Lin TianAo smiled faintly, dipping his wrist down a little. Zhou Weiqing could clearly feel the shield in front of him stabilize, becoming just like Lin TianAo, steady and immovable as a mountain. Instantly, he withdrew his strength, and the strength from the shield immediately vanished.

Lin TianAo stood there looking at him with a passive smile on his face, as if supremely confident that he understood everything that Zhou Weiqing could throw at him. All of a sudden, a cold, savage light flashed in Zhou Weiqing’s eyes, and his right leg lashed out like a whip.

*Claaang* A huge roar rang out, the sudden earsplitting sound giving Yun Li and the red robed man a scare. Both of them had not expected that sudden kick to actually strike upon the shield with such an impact, like that of a huge hammer, and to give off such a terrifying sound.

The one who was most stunned was naturally Lin TianAo himself. Previously, facing Yun Li’s full out attack, he had not even been shaken a little, yet this time with just a seemingly simple kick, he had actually swayed a little, as the Tower Shield shoved into the ground actually reverberated.

The ground seemed to groan beneath that. The floor of the arena rooms were actually made out of titanium alloy, but under the impact and weight of Lin TianAo’s heavy shield, a one chi long opening was torn open. From that, one could just imagine how powerful Zhou Weiqing’s kick was.

Indeed, once again, Zhou Weiqing had unleashed the full explosive effect of his Demonic Right Leg, its short term instantaneous attack power reaching his Dual Hammers! This sudden strike of Zhou Weiqing’s was his true hidden attack, as he had actually infused that kick with an immense amount of Heavenly Energy. Added to the surprise factor, even Lin TianAo’s insane shield and defense had been almost thrown back by that direct hit.

A few years back, when Zhou Weiqing had swallowed the black pearl, it could be said to be a Heavenly Core of an unbelievably powerful Heavenly Beast. However, that Heavenly Beast did not belong to this universe, coming from a totally different universe. It had been attacked by a powerful foe which it couldn’t beat, and at the last moment it had torn open a spatial rift and escaped with its Heavenly Core, but alas that had ended up being swallowed by Zhou Weiqing and benefitting him instead. This powerful Heavenly Beast’s body was known for its strength, and its strength was extremely powerful, and amongst that the strongest was its tail. Zhou Weiqing’s Demonic Right Leg had indeed inherited the power of that very tail.

Zhou Weiqing’s entire body was filled with strength, but a large bulk of it could only be accessed while in the Demonic Change state. The only exception to that was his Demonic Right Leg, and as Zhou Weiqing had grown, its attack had grown more and more terrifying.

The intense backlash caused Zhou Weiqing’s body to spin around the ground, but his right leg did not feel any pain, and it lashed out again immediately.

It could be said that Lin TianAo was the first person to suffer the full force of his Demonic Right Leg without taking any damage. Having such a good punching bag, how could Zhou Weiqing not want to try out the full strength of his right leg?

By now, Yun Li was staring at the scene before him dumbfounded. Although his own abilities did not lie in strength, he could hardly believe that Zhou Weiqing’s simple kick could do what he could not, despite having put all his full might behind his attack. Was that rascal even human?

On the other hand, Lin TianAo was even more shocked than Yun Li. On one hand, he had severely underestimated Zhou Weiqing and not used his full might in holding the shield. However, he had also been lucky that the floor was made of a titanium alloy. If not for that, perhaps he would have been shoved back along with his shield, and lost the bet there and then.

Masking the surprise in his heart, he focused on the fight before him once more, as a brilliant thick yellow light shot forth once more around his right hands, and his fifth Yellow Jade Physical Jewel actually melded into the shield again. As it became a five-Jeweled Assembly Equipment, its greater weight caused it to sink down, digging deeper into the ground. At the same time, all five of his Elemental Jewels embedded themselves into the sockets on the shield.

Such a sudden blow had caused Lin TianAo to reel in his easygoing manner, and he would not make any more mistakes. After all, this bet was his lifetime freedom! By now, the incense stick had been burned a fifth. He was resolute that he would use all his might to defend himself from the two; he could not afford to lose as well!

Another huge clashing sound rang as Zhou Weiqing’s second kick slammed into the shield. Alas, this time, he was thrown back just like Yun Li, though he recovered much better, spinning around in midair to land back on his feet stably.

“Damn.” Looking at the new shield in Lin TianAo’s hand, Zhou Weiqing couldn’t help but let lose a curse in his mind. That was just too disgusting. Turning his head, he looked at Yun Li, only to see that Yun Li’s expression was extremely ugly.

A five-Jeweled Assembly Equipment like that was definitely made by at least a Zong Stage Consolidating Equipment Master. Furthermore, even a Zong Stage Consolidating Equipment Master would have to spend at least five years of full concentration and lots of precious materials in order to create such a set.

This ultra heavy shield in Lin TianAo’s hand was about 2 metres wide and 2.2 metres tall, glowing in a brilliant yellow. It was marked with strange markings like that of a turtle’s back, while there were five sockets currently filled with his Elemental Jewels spaced out neatly around the shield. Without question, all of his skills were also defensive ones designed to be used in conjunction with this shield. Such a defense was unbelievably disgusting, and Zhou Weiqing was not even sure if a High Level Zong Stage Heavenly Jewel Master like Ming Wu could even destroy it.

It wasn’t just the shield alone. Even Lin TianAo was also glowing with a similar light as the shield, as if he was one with his shield. Beyond a doubt, this was Lin TianAo’s strongest state, and even Zhou Weiqing’s Demonic Right Leg’s full power bounced off it.

By now, Yun Li had already recovered a little, and he walked towards Zhou Weiqing. With a bitter smile, he said: “What now? Don’t tell me that I’m going to lose myself in a bet for the second time today?” Zhou Weiqing smiled faintly and said: “There is still a lot of time, do not worry so soon.” At the same time, his brain was running through all possible solutions. The reason why he was so calm was not just because of his character, but also because of Tian Er’s promise to him. However, facing such a powerful defense, both he and Yun Li were getting a headache trying to break through it.

Lin TianAo was naturally happy to wait while they weren’t attacking, and he stood there silently preparing himself. The time for an incense stick to burn wasn’t exactly a long time, but it wasn’t short either.

“His shield can only defend a single side, let’s launch a pincer attack from the front and back.” Zhou Weiqing finally said solemnly.

Yun Li’s eyes brightened and he nodded in agreement. Just as he was about to turn around to take action, he heard Zhou Weiqing’s voice speak silently in his ear: “You can start the attack first, with harassment as your priority, do not expend too much Heavenly Energy. When I give the signal with a loud shout, then we will both take action at the same time. At that point, I need you to launch your full powered attack once more, just like the previous time. Your target will be his left leg.” Yun Li nodded slightly to indicate his understanding and with a quick flash, he had routed around to behind Lin TianAo, who smiled faintly and said: “You should have done this at the start. Let’s go then!”

His composure and confidence did not affect Zhou Weiqing at all. Lifting his left hand, the Overlord Bow coalesced into his hands in an icy mist.

In order to ensure this win, Zhou Weiqing knew he needed to unleash every weapon in his arsenal, and naturally all his strongest skills lay in his archery. In truth, Zhou Weiqing’s melee combat was lacking a lot as compared to his archery skills, and only the fact that he had a lot more skills than an ordinary Heavenly Jewel Master, and many of them of high ratings, that he was usually able to get the jump in close combat situations. After all, his two years spent in the Heavenly Bow Unit were spent learning and training with their members, whose abilities were all long range. Naturally, the two years of trainings there had molded him into a powerful archer as well.

Overlord Bow in hand, Zhou Weiqing entered a strange state, and even Lin TianAo at the other end could sense the sudden change in his aura. Just like how Lin TianAo seemed to be one with his shield, the current Zhou Weiqing also gave the impression of being one with his bow. That huge Overlord Bow seemed to be part of his hands, like the eyes of his arms, while his own eyes turned sharp and piercing.

*Weng* A sound rang out, and it seemed as if the bowstring vibrated a little and in the next instant a huge explosion rang out against Lin TianAo’s shield, almost at the same time as the screeching sound.

So fast! Once again, Lin TianAo was given a shock in his heart. Although the explosive effect of the Overlord Bow was still far from being able to shake his shield, he still had not managed to get a clear look at Zhou Weiqing drawing his bow and releasing it. This fellow is actually an archer? Without knowing why, a bad feeling suddenly struck Lin TianAo, and he realised that he had once again underestimated this three- Jeweled youth.

This underground arena room was only thirty yards wide in diameter, and while that was very large for a close combat fight, it was an extremely short distance for an archer, especially for a bow with such a range and power like the Overlord Bow. However, if it were an ordinary fight, such a short distance would be a detriment to an archer, as a quick charge would mean the opponent reaching him easily. However, they were in the midst of a bet, and Lin TianAo was not allowed to move, and could only allow Zhou Weiqing and Yun Li to attack as he pleased, while he stood in the middle of the room. Even though Zhou Weiqing was standing at the edge of the room, barely a dozen yards from him, he was not able to do anything about it. Under such a range, even a Higher Level Zong Stage Heavenly Jewel Master would not be able to easily dodge such an arrow, especially one shot from the Overlord Bow. The range of about a dozen yards would also allow the arrow to fly enough to reach a good acceleration, at least
reaching eighty percent of its full power. Furthermore, Zhou
Weiqing’s Overlord Bow had two sockets. After all, no matter how good a shield was, it was not worn armor, and it would not be able to block every inch of his body. After felt Zhou Weiqing’s powerful kick earlier, Lin TianAo did not dare underestimate him again.

However, no one in the room noticed a dim black light stealthily creeping out from below Zhou Weiqing’s feet. It was the Touch of Darkness, but it was currently not being used for its binding powers, but to improve his senses.

Chapter 60 Who’s the disgusting one?

Under the effect of the Touch of Darkness, Zhou Weiqing’s senses were increased to the max. In truth, being too close to their target may not always be a good thing for an archer, and many of Zhou Weiqing’s archery skills actually required some distance to use. Without sufficient distance, there just wasn’t the time and space to make use of many of the special effects and changes. However, in terms of raw power, a close distance was always brought it to the max.

Once again, the Overlord Bow’s drawstring drawn to the max, and an even louder sound rang out against Lin TianAo’s shield. Even such a powerful defense like his was shaken slightly, but the only effect of it was to cause the yellow light around the shield to brighten.

“Good arrow!”  The one who exclaimed wasn’t Lin TianAo, but instead the red-robed man who had been standing the the side watching the entire fight.

Anyone with a decent eye could clearly see how powerful the arrow was with that twisted drawstring method was. With Zhou Weiqing’s strength, added to the double explosive power of the Overlord Bow and the unique archery method, its power could almost match that of Yun Li’s full powered blow earlier. This was the power of archery.

Yun Li had already stealthily reached behind Lin TianAo, and he took action. Like a sleek feline, he bounded in, twisting his wrist as the sharp spike appeared once more in his hands. Flourishing the spike, a ‘Double Compressed’ – Compressed Spatial Cannon was once again used upon it, striking straight towards the dead center of Lin TianAo’s back.

Zhou Weiqing did not stop firing all this time, as arrow after arrow streamed out in a steady flow, forming a line like a comet striking towards Lin TianAo.

Under such an explosive pincer attack, Lin TianAo was unable to move his shield to protect his back. After all, his greatest problem now was the restriction on using a single hand and being unable to move, causing him to not be able to use many of his powers. Without question, his choice not to move his shield was because he felt Zhou Weiqing’s arrows posed a greater threat than Yun Li’s attack, as such his main focus was in front.

A thick layer of bright yellow light rose forth from Lin TianAo at the instant before Yun Li’s attack reached him, causing his body to seem to go through an immense change. A dirt-like yellow coloured armor seemed to envelop Lin TianAo’s entire body, and even the shield in his hand seemed to develop a rocky exterior, and a thick aura seemed to envelop him.

With a loud crashing sound, the Consolidated Sharp Spike slammed savagely into the yellow armor around him, cracking it and causing it to dissolve into yellow light. However, the cracked and broken portion was just a very tiny piece, and Lin TianAo still stood, unmoved.

“Rock Armour!” Yun Li cried out softly.

This Rock Armour was similar, but also way beyond the previous Stone Skin skill that Ma Qun had used in the past. The Stone Skin skill only had a four star rating, and could only come into its own from a three-jeweled cultivation level onwards. On the other hand, the Rock Armour had a nine star rating, and was one of the top defensive skills of the Stone Attributes. For a Heavenly Jewel Master like Lin TianAo who was already at the five-Jeweled level, coupled with his own natural tough defense, it made his body like a fortress!

What depressed Yun Li the most was that he could tell that the original Rock Armour shouldn’t be this strong. After all, he was using his full strength with several Skills melded together along with his own Consolidated Equipment Weapon. However, the Rock Armour used was unleashed through his five-Jewel Assembly Set Equipment Shield. He did not know how much of a boost that had, but definitely it had boosted it more than his own Double Compression’s effect.

That was to say, even if Lin TianAo just left his back open for Yun Li to launch attacks, he still wasn’t able to damage him at all!

Damn, is this fellow really a five-Jeweled Heavenly Jewel Master? Even a Zong Stage Heavenly Master shouldn’t be this tough!

At that point, Yun Li simply decided to stop attacking, staring at Lin TianAo with full concentration. At the same time, he started recovering his energy, preparing himself for another full-powered strike while awaiting Zhou Weiqing’s signal. With him at the back, at least it would cause Lin TianAo to have to leave some focus on him. Furthermore, for the powerful Rock Armour to be unleashed from the Five-Jeweled Assembly Set Equipment Shield, it would likely have quite a large drain upon his energy reserves.

The Overlord Bow in Zhou Weiqing’s hands displayed its insane firing rate. It was almost impossible to see how he actually fired the arrows, and the only thing that could be seen was the constant barrage of sounds and blinding lights puffing out on Lin TianAo’s shield as the arrows streamed against it. Furthermore, such a continuous flow of attacks was not even very draining on Zhou Weiqing’s Heavenly Energy, as he only needed to maintain the Consolidated Overlord Bow, while he was only depending on physical strength to fire the arrows.
This was also one of the greatest advantages of him using the twisted bowstring archery method. At this point, as Zhou Weiqing was using that firing method, his Overlord Bow was constantly spinning quickly, causing it to seem like a misty illusive shield of his own.

As Lin TianAo blocked the constant barrage of arrows from Zhou Weiqing, he couldn’t help but marvel to himself. By now, he had an even greater desire to win this bet. Originally, his target was only Yun Li, but now he found out that this three- Jeweled youth in front of him was even more interesting. In terms of competing Consolidating Equipment Masters, he had even fought to a draw with Yun Li, and his combat ability was even much greater! Although he could not totally see how the twisted bowstring archery method worked, but he could feel the power of the attacks he was taking. Furthermore, with Zhou Weiqing’s firing rate, if he could get that little fellow as his Follower, it would be like having an artillery battery on his side in a battlefield. Although Lin TianAo’s defense was extremely powerful, his attack capabilities, especially in terms of long ranged attacks, was extremely limited. Zhou Weiqing’s archery skill could be even be called as being able to face a hundred just by himself, and if in collaboration with his own defensive capabilities, would allow Zhou Weiqing to fully unleash his full damage without any worry.

In Lin TianAo’s mind, he was already thinking about how he and Zhou Weiqing would fight together on a battlefield. After all, although Zhou Weiqing’s archery was extremely powerful, but its destructive explosive power was still lacking in comparison to his Demonic Right Leg, and could not possibly break through his shield easily.

If they were betting on Lin TianAo running out of Heavenly Energy, it would also be a mistake. Only Lin TianAo knew this secret. After all, a five-Jeweled Assembly Equipment should usually be extremely draining. However, his greatest advantage was that every time an additional Jewel was added to his Assembly Set Equipment, it would gain a special attribute, and one of the attributes added for his shield was actually to reduce to amount of Heavenly Energy used. This greatly reduced the drain on him, and also allowed him to sustain his top defense for a much longer time, as he was able to use some of his opponent’s attacks as his own strength. As such, not to mention just the time for a single incense stick, even if it were two full hours, he could still maintain his top form. As for Yun Li, unless he once again used his full attack, the Rock Armour was sufficient to block him. And at Yun Li’s current condition, he was likely only able to unleash such a full powered attack once more. Lin TianAo had already thought his plan through – when Yun Li launched his full power attack, even if he had to take some damage, he still would not move. Furthermore, the Skills Socketed on his shield was not just the Rock Armour. Out of the five, two were supporting, and the other three were all fully defensive.

By now, the incense stick in the red-robed man’s hands had already more than a third burned down, almost reaching the halfway point. Zhou Weiqing still continued firing arrows. Due to the spinning of the Overlord Bow, Lin TianAo was not able to see the expression on Zhou Weiqing’s face.

In truth, what the rest did not know was that the reason why Zhou Weiqing was continuously firing arrows was because he was trying to come up with a plan. After all, with his Alexandrite Cat’s Eye Jewel, he had many more skills than most people. Furthermore, he had two sockets in his Overlord Bow to use them with. As such, he had many possible ways to deal with enemies, and he was trying to come up with the best way to overcome Lin TianAo. All of a sudden, Zhou Weiqing’s eyes lit up as an idea dawned upon him. The next instant, his next arrow suddenly changed.

As the arrow flew out, it arced with a beautiful silver light. The red robed man’s eyes flashed in an interested cold light as he observed it. However, Lin TianAo did not notice it, after all he had been using his shield to block the attacks, but due to the size of the shield, it was also affecting his vision. Along with the sheer speed of Zhou Weiqing’s firing rate and his moving bow, he basically didn’t have the time and energy to observe Zhou Weiqing’s actions closely.

With a loud bang, the arrow once more slammed into the shield.

Its strength and power was no different from the previous arrows, with the only difference being the silver light on the arrow.

As the thick silver light erupted out, Lin TianAo suddenly felt his body tighten as he was enveloped in the silver glow. After passing through the shield, the silver light diminished quite a lot, and Lin TianAo shrugged out his arm, moving the shield upwards a little, causing the silver glow imprisoning him to shatter, disappearing into the air. About a fifty percent weakening effect. A gleam appeared in Zhou Weiqing’s eyes as he made an accurate observation and estimation.

That arrow earlier had been imbued with the Spatial Shackles Skill. His thought was to test out the effects of control and support skills on Lin TianAo.

Without question, using a direct attack from the front, none of Zhou Weiqing’s skill or even combination of skills would be able to break through Lin TianAo’s defense, at least not at their current cultivation level difference. However, no matter how powerful Lin TianAo’s shield was, it was still not able to negate all control or support skills. Even so, with his test, he had found out that the shield was able to neutralize almost 50% of the support or control skills’ powers. That was a truly terrifying effect. In addition to the difference in cultivation level, most of Zhou Weiqing’s control skills would not be of much use. Even still, Zhou Weiqing still had a faint smile on his face.

In this world, there was no such thing as an absolute defense. Even for Lin TianAo with his unbelievable defense, it was close, but there was still some things which he could exploit. “Yun  Li,  strike  now!”  Zhou  Weiqing  shouted  out.  Having come up with a plan, he did not hesitate any further.

Earlier, when Yun Li saw Lin TianAo’s body flash with a silver light, his eyes had lit up as well. As a Consolidating Equipment Master, he quickly understood that it meant Zhou Weiqing’s bow was socketed. However, he was quickly disappointed as Zhou Weiqing’s arrow was the rather useless Spatial Shackles Skill. The Spatial Shackles was a powerful skill with a high star rating. However, its use was rather limited, and could only be used in very niche circumstances. As such, it was not a popular combat skill. If used badly, it would not have any effect, or perhaps even have a detrimental effect. For example, using it on Lin TianAo now would only give him an additional layer of defense.

However, hearing Zhou Weiqing’s shout, Yun Li knew that Zhou Weiqing had found a chance. As the saying goes, opportunities had to be seized instantly or it would be lost forever. Despite his misgivings, Yun Li did not hesitate at all. So as not to ‘lose’ himself a second time in a day, he struck forth with all his might, pitting his life with his utmost strength.

Yun Li’s body leapt high into the air, a loud cry rang forth from his lips. A thick silver light covered him, as all four of his Gold-Green Cat’s Eye Elemental Jewels lit up together. His four Spatial Attribute skills once again focused on the Consolidated Equipment Spike in his hands as he sprang towards Lin TianAo’s left leg in this last strike. After the shout, Zhou Weiqing stopped his rapid fire arrow. Focusing all his Heavenly Energy and channeling it out, two of his Alexandrite Cat’s Eye Jewels fell into the sockets of the Overlord Bow, but it was covered by the left hand gripping the bow.

Zhou Weiqing’s shout not only alerted Yun Li, but also gave Lin TianAo an advance warning. Narrowing his eyes, he unleashed all the skills on his shield, instantly increasing the defense of not just his body but the shield again. Even without using his eyes, he could sense the massive power built up behind him, and knew that Yun Li was about to unleash his final attack. He was also clear that if he could defend against this attack, Yun Li would be useless for the rest of the fight. Under such a circumstance, it would be worth it to expend as much energy as was required.

The arrow was finally released from the Overlord Bow. In the very instant when Zhou Weiqing let go of the drawstring, the red robed man at the side suddenly clutched his ears as a massive ringing resounded. The next instant, he felt a sharp pain in his head, as everything in front of him turned blurry.

Zhou Weiqing would never expect that Tian Er’s aid for him was not against Lin TianAo, but instead to draw the attention of this judge and audience – the red robed man. This was to ensure he would not learn of Zhou Weiqing’s secret of the Alexandrite Cat’s Eye Jewel and his many powerful skills.

This time, the arrow shooting forth was pitch black. Even stranger, there were squiggly bright blue lines twisting and turning on the black arrow.

Dodging this was definitely impossible as they were just too close to each other. Not talking about dodging, Lin TianAo wasn’t even able to see the arrow at all.

Another huge explosion rang out, the double explosive effect of archery skill and Overlord Bow once more striking the heavy shield, no different from the previous arrows. The explosive power of the arrow was naturally totally blocked by the shield. However, in the next moment, Lin TianAo’s expression changed.

At the same time as he released the arrow, Zhou Weiqing’s right foot had slammed into the ground, and his body charged forward as well. The Tornado Strike had been activated, along with the boost of speed from his Demonic Right Leg, caused him to instantly reach Lin TianAo. Yun Li, who was behind Lin TianAo, was also given a big surprise, as he suddenly saw Lin TianAo, who was originally covered in the yellow Rock Armour, suddenly glow with a bright blue. An explosion followed soon after, and the entire Rock Armour actually disappeared.

Not just that, a dark black also stained Lin TianAo’s body, and a strange, eerie looking black symbol appeared above his head.

Curse – This was the Curse Skill. Yun Li immediately identified the black symbol above Lin TianAo’s head.

Yun Li had already known about Zhou Weiqing’s Darkness Attribute after having lost to him earlier in the shop 77 when Zhou Weiqing had used the Blood Rites – Seal of Darkness on him. However, he had not expected Zhou Weiqing to also have one of the rarer skills of the Darkness Attribute, the Curse Skill.

The Curse Skill was actually a type of Skill within the Darkness Attribute skills, basically a form of reverse-support, or more commonly known as debuff skills. Support skills were used to buff or boost the user, or their allies, while Curse skills would weaken their enemies. The type, amount and extent of weakening, the duration, all of that would determine how powerful the Curse Skill was. By the black symbol above Lin TianAo’s head which had an obvious three red lines, it was clear that this particular Curse Skill weakened three attributes, and was probably at least a powerful Nine Star Rating Darkness Attribute.

As for why the various defensive skills active on Lin TianAo suddenly dissipated, Yun Li did not know why. However, no matter how it happened, all that mattered was that it was definitely beneficial to his own attack. No matter how strong or tough Lin TianAo’s personal defense was, if he did not have his skills active and he did not block Yun Li’s powerful attack, he would definitely be in trouble.

What Zhou Weiqing used was naturally an arrow with two skills due to the two sockets on the Overlord Bow, and the two skills were new skills that he had Stored when he entered the Fei Li City, and both were all considered support or control type skills.

The Curse Skill was naturally a sort of support skill.

Yun Li’s judgement was indeed accurate – the Darkness Attribute Skill was indeed a Curse Skill, and its name was the Curse of Doom. Its powerful effect was to weaken the opponent’s defense, attack and lastly to increase their sense of pain. This Skill was rather strange, the higher level it was, the shorter the duration, but the stronger the effect. At the first level, it lasted 12 seconds, and the three attributes were all weakened by ten percent. It was rather useless at that level, besides its long duration. However, every Jewel cultivation level that was added would increase the power of the curse by ten percent for all three attributes, but the duration would
shorten by a second. As such, with three sets of Jewels, Zhou Weiqing’s Curse of Doom would weaken Lin TianAo’s defense, attack by thirty percent, and increase his sense of pain by thirty percent as well, for a total of ten seconds! This was extremely powerful indeed. In the future, if Zhou Weiqing ever became a twelve-Jeweled Heavenly Jewel Master, this skill could possibly bring his opponent’s defense to a negative, even if it was just for a second, it would be more than sufficient for any other skill to deal a heavy injury.

The Curse of Doom was even rarer than the Skills that Zhou Weiqing had Stored from the Silver Emperor. He had been lucky that he had managed to Store this Skill as well, as under ordinary circumstances it was less than a 1 in 10000 chance that someone could manage to Store the Skill.

As for the Skill that dissipated the Defense Skills on Lin TianAo, it was another powerful but niche support skills. This was the Lightning Attribute Skill, the Heavenly Lightning Shock. In most people’s eyes, the Heavenly Lightning Shock was another niche skill that was usually deemed useless despite its power. It did not have any attacking or damaging capabilities, and it had only one use – to dissipate skills. It only worked on Stored Skills, and also was similar to the Absolute Delay that it would never ‘level up’. That meant it would always last for 3 seconds no matter what cultivation level he was. Of course, at the same time, it was also another Absolute effect, and would definitely dissipate any Skill.

As long as any Jewel Master was hit by the Heavenly Lightning Shock, any Skills they were in the midst of using, or was currently affecting them, would immediately be dissipated.

There were two reasons why many Jewel Masters thought this skill to be niche and somewhat useless. First of all, it was only activated on touching the opponent’s body. The second was that although it could interrupt skills, it would not affect any that had already left the body. For example, if someone used a Fireball Skill which was already in mid air, and the Heavenly Lightning Shock was used on him, the Fireball would not dissipate. Furthermore, there was no other control provided by the Skill. Since Lightning Attribute Jewel Masters were very rare in the first place, and they were mostly known for their powerful damaging attacks, many would not choose this niche skill, and it was only rated at four stars. After all, every Jewel Master had a very limited amount of Skills, and who would pick a Skill that could only be useful in rare circumstances? Only someone like Zhou Weiqing, who had more than four times the usual skills most Jewel Masters had, could afford to do so.

In truth, just like the Spatial Shackles, although the Heavenly Lightning Shock was niche, when used in the right circumstance, it could have an amazing god-like effect. This was just a perfect example – having it dissipate all three of Lin TianAo’s defensive skills, including the Rock Armour, right at the perfect timing. Although the Shield was able to weaken half of most support skills, it was not able to weaken this Absolute Skill! With the help of the Socket of the Overlord Bow, Zhou Weiqing was able to make use of it without being in close combat.

With these two skills used in conjunction on Lin TianAo, although it wasn’t able to affect his shield, it did greatly lower the personal defense of his body.

Still charging in midair, Zhou Weiqing let loose another arrow. This time, it was only imbued with a single skill – Absolute Delay. Lin TianAo immediately felt a sense of impending doom. Just as he was about to spin his shield around, the Absolute Delay reached, and he felt his entire body slow down as it took effect, and the spin of the shield slowed to a crawl.

Right at the same time, Yun Li had reached Lin TianAo’s back, the glittering spike striking out at his leg.

A critical moment had finally arrived. If Lin TianAo took this full power blow from Yun Li without any defenses, it would be without question that he would lose the bet. Under such a circumstance, he had to use his last ace in the hole. The shield in his hand glowed brightly once more, and a thick layer of light immediately formed a shield around his back.

Another huge explosion sounded out as Yun Li’s body flew back once more, rebounding heavily along with a ear-piercing shattering sound. The yellow light which blocked Yun Li’s attack also shattered, and Lin TianAo’s leg was clearly injured, with a deep bloody line. However, no matter what, Lin TianAo had not moved.

Lin TianAo heaved a big sigh of relief. That last shield of yellow light was his last ace in hand, and was the strongest unique power of the five-Jewel Assembly Set Shield. It was called the Illusory Shield, and was basically an illusion of his shield that could appear in any nearby position according to his will. The illusion had a fifth of the defensive power of the actual shield, and it could only be used once every time he Consolidated the five-Jeweled Assembly Shield. Furthermore, to use it was a huge drain on his Heavenly Energy, and he only used it in his most desperate times to save his life. Naturally, this time it had done so once more. As expected, he had a hidden ace. Zhou Weiqing, who was still in mid air, smiled. Earlier, in order to fire the arrow with the Absolute Defense, he had used his left foot to support to bow and fired it with his left hand. When Lin TianAo blocked Yun Li’s attack, the dark gold light appeared around Zhou Weiqing as the two Legendary Hammers appeared in his hands.

From Lin TianAo’s perspective, the combination of Zhou Weiqing and Yun Li was naturally of Zhou Weiqing’s powerful control skills and Yun Li’s final attack to lift him off his feet.

After blocking Yun Li’s blow, although Lin TianAo had suffered an injury, he was extremely happy as in his mind, he had already won the bet. Zhou Weiqing had used several skills consecutively, and in his mind should be out of options by now. Furthermore, his shield was blocking his vision, and his focus distracted by Yun Li. As such, he did not notice the two hammers appearing.

By the time Lin TianAo realised that something wasn’t right, it was too late and he could not even react. The Heavenly Lightning Shock was still active on its last second, and he still couldn’t use his Stored Skills. The Curse of Doom was also still active; the Illusory Shield was used up, and the Absolute Delay was also on its 2nd second of duration. Without question, this was Lin TianAo’s weakest point ever, and it had been arranged by Zhou Weiqing’s intricate plan and myriad of skills.

Indeed, Yun Li was considered the main attack of this sneak attack. However, Zhou Weiqing had already expected that Lin TianAo would have something else up his sleeve. As such, Yun Li’s use was more to draw out the final ace, and in his plan, the final attack was still up to himself – the final attack that had once damaged a Zong Stage Heavenly Jewel Master.

The Tornado Strike rose up around Zhou Weiqing’s body and his power increased. The twin hammers were already out, and the Silver Emperor Spatial Rend (the dual attribute combination skill of the Silver Emperor) was already used on hammers. Zhou Weiqing’s boosts and support skills were way above what Yun Li had.


The entire underground arena shook, in fact the entire Trading Center’s ground shook, as the two hammers slammed down. Zhou Weiqing’s attack was not targeted at Lin TianAo. Even with so many buffs and support skills, he had no confidence of destroying Lin TianAo’s heavy shield. After all, that was a 5- Jewel Assembly Set Consolidated Equipment, and was indeed much too powerful. However, even if he couldn’t break the shield, he could just break the ground! So what if it was made of titanium alloy! As such, the Silver Emperor Spatial Rend on the twin hammers boosted by the Tornado Strike slammed savagely onto the floor. The one who was backed against the wall this time was not Zhou Weiqing’s team, but Lin TianAo. He had so much power and skills, but was unable to fully use them not just due to the limitations of the bet, but also the many control and debuff skills that Zhou Weiqing had. With a massive clashing sound, the reverberations of the floor made him unable to keep his balance, and he was swept off his feet by the huge, terrifying shockwave, flying back all the way to crash awkwardly into the floor of the arena room. The sheer sound of the explosion was so loud that it sounded like hundreds of thousands of bees buzzing, and the result of it was the entire arena room looking in total ruins.

Naturally, the entire floor could not be made totally from titanium alloy, and this blow from Zhou Weiqing had smashed through the one chi thick titanium alloy layer right down to the bedrock below. The terrifying destructive power of the boosted Silver Emperor Spatial Rend reached all the way down more than fifteen yards, destroying titanium alloy and rock alike, smashing them into smithereens. The entire center of the arena room was caved in more than three metres down, and this was even after the titanium floor had blocked off a lot of the damage.

Even Zhou Weiqing was himself shaken by the backlash of the blow, but he was after all the owner of the legendary hammers, and they were able to block and dissipate much of the backlash and ensuing shockwave. Even so, after everything settled down, Zhou Weiqing was in a mess.

Lin TianAo slid down the wall, totally shaken and dazed. In his mind, there was a single thought – Such an attack, even if he were at his full power and without restrictions, could he actually take it without moving?

Yun Li was at the side, his mouth twitching, and the ringing in his ear making him feel like he wanted to die. He just wanted to ask Zhou Weiqing one question – Are you really human? Is this really an attack from a three-Jeweled Heavenly Jewel Master? However, despite his shock, he was also filled with joy. After all, he had recognized the pair of hammers in Zhou Weiqing’s hands, that was indeed the Consolidated Equipment of the first God Tier Design he had seen in their bet earlier! He actually managed to already have a Consolidated Legendary Set Equipment, that was extremely unbelievable. In this short moment where everyone stood, stunned, not just Yun Li, but also Lin TianAo had the same thought arise suddenly. It was indeed not shameful to lose to someone like this! They had truly underestimated Zhou Weiqing… how could he be compared to any ordinary three-Jeweled Heavenly Jewel Master?

By now, the red-robed man had awoken from his dazed state. When he saw the huge hole in the ground, his face changed. At this point, the incense in his stick had disappeared, with no one any wiser to where it had dropped to. Due to the dazed state he was in earlier, he had totally no idea what had happened earlier, but he could see the result. Without question, Zhou Weiqing and Yun Li had won this bet.

Zhou Weiqing sat down on the floor suddenly, panting and gasping for breath. By now, all his Consolidated Equipment had disappeared.

Although he had won, he had truly expended every ounce of energy and spirit he had in that long chain of attacks, all his focus in planning that all out. Zhou Weiqing was sure that if Lin TianAo had been able to move or use both his hands, he and Yun Li would still have lost in the end. He might have a power way beyond any three-Jeweled Heavenly Jewel Master, but this Lin TianAo was also at a power level way beyond any five-Jeweled Heavenly Jewel Master as well.

When a ‘disgusting’ fellow met another ‘disgusting’ fellow, the final result would depend on who is more ‘disgusting’. The final result was our dear Zhou Weiqing with his Alexandrite Cat’s Eye Elemental Jewels had barely eked out a win. No matter how difficult it had been, they had won this bet!

Right at that moment, there was a loud commotion from outside, along with the resounding sound of many footsteps running towards them. With a loud bang, the arena door was slammed open, and about seven to eight red robed men appeared in the room quickly. When these men entered, the brows of Zhou Weiqing, Lin TianAo and Yun Li all jumped. These men all had powerful auras, the weakest of whom were still equal to Lin TianAo.

That was to say, they were all at least five-Jewel Heavenly Jewel Masters or above!

Even for a large empire like the Fei Li Empire, there weren’t more than five hundred Heavenly Jewel Masters added up together, and for those of a cultivation level above five-Jewels, there couldn’t be much more than a hundred or so. For seven or eight of them to appear here, with some of them clearly of an even higher level, that clearly showed how powerful this Underground Arena truly was.

Among the red robed men who had charged in, the one who looked like the leader had three gold stripes on the sleeve of his robes, signifying his rank and also power amongst the others. As soon as he entered, he spotted the huge hole in the floor, and his face changed slightly. In a solemn tone, he asked: “What’s going on here?”

All of the red robed men were also masked, hiding their true identities.

“Arena Master, this was the result of their fight.”  The red robed man originally in charge of the number 7 room quickly stepped forward and said respectfully.

The leader’s gaze swept across the three of them, and when his gaze fell upon Zhou Weiqing, he hesitated a moment, the look in his eyes changing slightly. However, at that point, Zhou Weiqing had just stood up and did not notice it.

The Arena Master said solemnly: “Is the fight and bet over?” “Yes, it is already over.”

Continuing coldly, the Arena Master said: “Let them pay for the damages, one hundred thousand gold coins, otherwise they are not allowed to leave.”


After saying that, the Arena Master left along with the other red robed men. As for Zhou Weiqing and the other two, they had recovered a little by now, and walked to the door.

The original red robed man was the only remaining, and the expression on his face was extremely ugly. This was after all the room he was in charge of, and with such a serious damage, it would take a long time to repair. Furthermore, the pain and dazed state he was in earlier had given him a really bad mood; although he did not know what had happened exactly, he knew it definitely had to have some connection with the three fellows in front of him. After all, he had not seen the most exciting last three seconds of the fight.

“I’ll pay, I’ll pay.” Zhou Weiqing grinned, quickly taking out his membership card. His body was now very relaxed, and he was in a very good mood. After all, he had already been very happy to get Yun Li, a High Level Consolidating Equipment Master, as his Follower. Now, this Lin TianAo was an even bigger grab. Such a defense, if he was his bodyguard, even if he ran into Ming Wu again, they would be able to defend themselves for a while. Thinking about this, Zhou Weiqing felt a sense of delight. Staring at Lin TianAo with a grin on his face, causing Lin TianAo to feel a shiver down his back as he began to doubt the sexual orientation of Zhou Weiqing…

After paying the ten thousand gold coins, Zhou Weiqing turned back to look at Lin TianAo, a big smile on his face, though he did not say anything.

How could Lin TianAo not know what this fellow was thinking… Naturally he was afraid that Lin TianAo might break his word, and was making use of the arena’s binding contract power to let him admit his defeat.

“I have lost. I am a man of my word. Come on then.”  Lin TianAo let loose a long sigh as he admitted defeat. He was not as torn and conflicted by the loss as Yun Li previously. No matter how sad he was, he was after all the one had challenged them, and a loss was a loss. It was his own fault for being greedy! He knew that Zhou Weiqing had the Darkness Attribute, and was likely to have his own Sealing powers.
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