“Cheng Hao, why are you complying with that old man’s foolish demands?” Goldy hovered in midair as he reprimanded the golden eyed boy “Do you have any idea how many cultivation resources you will lose access to? Just rip off the seal!”
The young boy ignored the snake as he headed towards the place his comrades were going to.
He took a small shortcut, although he did not have a cultivation base anymore, his fleshly body was still outstanding and the Roc’s blessing allowed him to move even faster. Right now, there was close to no difference to the speed he had when he still had his cultivation than now.
Still, he didn’t dare to move at high speeds as he feared it would harm his body if he didn’t reinforce it with his cultivation base.
[Note: Speed without Cultivation Base: Fleshly Body (<1%) + Roc’s blessing(>99%);
Speed with cultivation base – Cultivation Base and Fleshly Body(still less than 1%) + Roc’s blessing(>99%).
Basically, most of his speed comes from the Roc’s ability, not from his Cultivation Base or Fleshly Body, so missing one isn’t a big deal, at least not in an early stage a he is. Right now, he has a weak fleshly body so he can only use a small percentage of his true speed until he either has a breakthrough in cultivation or powers up his Fleshly Body. Unfortunately, since his cultivation is sealed, he can’t do either of those things, so its speed will be somewhat limited as well.
Also, the Roc’s blessing is a part of him, not a borrowed power, as it is simply the knowledge of how to manipulate the air and reduce friction and propel himself forward by using the particles that were supposed to slow him down to move faster. This is why, even without cultivation base, he is able to move at incredible speeds]
Cheng Hao jumped on a wall, contracted his abdominals and kicked off the stone wall, somersaulting on a nearby rooftop. He landed on the surface and then began to run on top of the buildings, cutting by more than half the time needed to join up with his comrades.
He leaped from rooftop to rooftop like a shadow, twisting and turning in the air just like an expert gymnast. Finally, after a few minutes of running and jumping, he finally saw the group of ten below him.
He gulped and then prepared himself for what’s to come. He breathed in and a out a few times and finally, when he had completely calmed down, he jumped.
He dropped down from a building five meters tall and cushioned the fall by rolling on his side before jumping back up again.
“Brother!” Xiao Wu was the first to notice Cheng Hao. Her expression though, soon turned from joy to shock: Cheng Hao looked really tired, and no cultivation could be sensed on his body.
“Brother, what happened to you!” Xiao Wu dashed but, as soon as she got close… *slap* Cheng Hao slapped her! “Don’t come closer! You fool, this is all your fault!” The young man yelled as the people walking by them stopped to look at the commotion.
Xiao Wu rubbed her cheek “Brother… What are you?” *slap* The sound of skin hitting skin rang out again. This time, it was even louder than before. Cheng Hao’s shoulders moved up and down as he yelled.
“Why did you tell him about the Forbidden Medicine! I told you not to tell anyone about that! Now look, I have lost my cultivation because that Elder removed the pill by force! Are you happy now?”
Cheng Hao was completely enraged and even Xiao Wu was shocked by his behavior as she tried to recall when she had done anything like that. “Brother… What do you mean Forbidden Medicine?”
Cheng Hao trembled “You bitch! That medicine gave me my cultivation and my talent, it was a divine Pill! So what if I relied on draining other cultivators’ cultivation bases? It was a godly item! I even raised these pieces of trash…” Cheng Hao pointed at Fu Yin, Fan Lai and the people from the All But In Blood Alliance.
“… To the point I gave up precious time and resources, and now, all that is ruined!”
Hearing those words, a few gears clicked in the minds of a few bystanders and one said aloud “Did I hear correctly? This guy wanted to steal those guys’ cultivation? What scum!”
Fan Lai stepped out “Junior Cheng Hao… Are your words true? Don’t joke with us…”. Cheng Hao turned and confronted the youth in front of him “Shut up! You damn bastard, I should have just let you die then!”
He gritted his teeth “You fools, of course it’s true! Why else would I help you otherwise? Such good natured people that give something for nothing do not exist in the real world!” Cheng Hao yelled as he pointed at Fan Lai.
He saw a shocked Fu Yin with the corner of his eyes and he also yelled at him.
“And you! You bastard, why would I help you so much! The descendant of a friend? Are you stupid??? I am just eight years old, how could that possibly be?” Cheng Hao laughed hysterically.
“There are no good natured rich people! There are no good natured powerful people! Somebody wouldn’t be rich if he had been kind enough to share his wealth! Somebody would have died long ago before he could become powerful as he tried to protect the weak!”
As he snapped, Cheng Hao kept yelling at the stunned group and the crowd of people began to look at him, enlightened but also disgusted. Enlightened by this new view of the world and disgusted by the person who taught it to them.
Fu Yin gulped and put his hands on top of the nails embedded in his temples. His pupils turned into two inverted triangles and he examined Cheng Hao: what he found was no longer the cultivation he usually emitted, but a light blocking his view. Furthermore, a strange black mist lingered in the boy’s Dantian. That was the aura left behind after consuming a forbidden pill!
Seeing, Fu Yin first widened his eyes in surprise as a sharp glint flashed by them. Then, his expression turned fierce as he also said “I see… So you really only got your strength because of that pill! To think that I, Fu Yin, had regarded you as both a master and a brother, it is truly something of which I will be ashamed for a long time!”
“Brother Fu Yin! Don’t say that! Brother Cheng Hao isn’t usually like this, he might just have some circumstances and-” “Xiao Wu! Can’t you see? The Cheng Hao you knew was only a fake: this is his true personality!” Fan Lai interrupted Xiao Wu.
He walked up to Cheng Hao and looked at him in the eyes. Cheng Hao backed away at first but still glared at the tall man. Finally, the older youth sighed “To think I really fell for your tricks…”
Cheng Hao’s eyes widened and he spit out a mouthful of blood as Fan Lai punched him in the gut “You are no brother of mine anymore, don’t you dare step close to us or to our sect or we will exterminate you. You are just a weakling now, do you think you would be able to defend yourself? Get out of our sight, now!”
Hearing those words, Cheng Hao’s heart pained but he nevertheless gritted his teeth and produced some saliva as he punched himself in his own head for what he was about to do…
Cheng Hao stood up and he spit straight in Fan Lai’s eye. “You bastard!” The tall youth cursed and threw another punch at the eight years old child. “No!” Xiao Wu blocked the strike with her own palm. Fan Lai was shocked at first but then backed away.
“Brother, please apologize and tell everyone this was just a prank! I have never heard of this medicine, just tell them! Tell them you have made this all up!” Cheng Hao stood still, his eyes cold, stared at him the girl in front of him and shook his head.
“Why bother hiding things, sister” He hissed “After all, I am only a useless mortal, why bother?”
Xiao Wu shook her head and stuttered “B-brother? W-What are you saying? Why aren’t you telling them?”
Fu Yin grabbed Xiao Wu’s shoulder and picked her off the ground just in time to dodge a strike from Cheng Hao “Sister Wu, he won’t tell us because he can’t. He has a weird aura in his Dantian as well as not a single strand of cultivation in his sea of consciousness…”
He gritted his teeth as he clenched his fist “It is probably the residue from that pill he took. My guess is that, as long as the pill is in his body, it will do no harm and instead allow him to consume other’s cultivations. But if it removed…”
Fu Yin looked at Cheng Hao “They lose their ability to cultivate altogether. You may not have noticed as you were unconscious, but during the two days me and your brother had been killing those people from the Fan clan, no cultivation base was left on the corpses. I noticed it by chance and I didn’t give it much a thought at the time, but now I understand everything”
Cheng Hao stared expressionlessly at Fu Yin as the though of the golden dragon absorbing the cultivation base to increase its own popped in his head. He smiled at his luck and then he shouted “That’s right! You should thank Xiao Wu, because by telling that Elder she saved your fu**ing asses you bastards!”
He turned towards the confused eight years old girl “Remember this, I, Cheng Hao, will never forget what you have done for me! I will carve it deep in my heart, never to forget it! Your… Kindness!”
Fu Yin was seemingly angered by the boy’s words and he summoned one of the drills made out of Aura. He charged towards Cheng Hao and stabbed straight through his stomach.
Fu Yin brought his mouth to Cheng Hao’s hear and murmured “I will wait for you to redeem yourself” Fu Yin dissipated the spear and backed up.
Fu Yin’s surroundings darkened as a faint black smoke could be seen rising from underneath his robes “You dare say anything about Xiao Wu, and your life will be next!”
Cheng Hao spat out blood again and he smiled grimly as he looked at everyone on the scene “So I can’t insult her? Then, what about I tell everyone your little secret?” The white haired boy trembled and he was about to pounce again at the child when Fan Lai stopped him.
He shook his head “There is no reason to worry about trash like him… Let’s leave” he gestured with his hand for the group to move on and the also crowd dispersed after a short while. Only Fan Lai and Cheng Hao remained. Cheng Hao could barely stand and had a hole gaping on his stomach.
Fan Lai sighed and threw a pill at him “This is a special pill that can regenerate serious wounds in a month or less. Consider this your reward for passing the exam in the tenth place!” The man was about to leave, when Cheng Hao threw the pill back at him “Don’t need your compassion… You cattle!”
The boy sighed, turned and walked off together with the other members of the All But In Blood Alliance. Xiao Wu turned her head to look at the boy that up she had treated as a brother for more than a month, with whom she had shared life changing moments and that had helped her and that had saved her many times.
Xiao Wu at one point couldn’t bear it anymore, she run away from the group and headed back to Cheng Hao.
She looked at him, still standing in a pool of blood. She lifted her head and he also looked her in the eye. Her expression was one of pity, his expression was one of rage… Suddenly, a hint of apology and regret flashed by in Cheng Hao’s eyes, but it disappeared as soon as he blinked.
Xiao Wu caught it and forcefully hugged the boy. Cheng Hao tried to escape the hug and even pushed her forehead away. She was shocked for a while but then smiled gently. She hugged him even tighter andkissed him on top of his head.
She smiled and in her eyes suddenly there was understanding and forgiveness. Cheng Hao looked down and streams of tears fell down as he turned and left, dragging behind him his wounded body with each step.
Goldy sighed and stayed on Xiao Wu’s shoulder, but nobody except for the two siblings could see that.
Xiao Wu turned and also headed her own way. Fan Lai looked at her face and nodded “That’s the spirit, Sister Xiao Wu. We are brothers, and as such we do not betray each other. Your expression tells me that you understand, good!” Fan Lai turned and spoke “Let’s move out!”
Xiao Wu’s eyes were ruthless and her lips were pressed together in a thin line. Goldy also looked angry and he wrapped around her neck like a scarf and fell asleep, its face contracted in an unsightly frown.
Anger burned deep into Xiao Wu’s eyes, hatred that could not be dissolved easily. Yet, the target for that hatred didn’t seem to be Cheng Hao at all.
Fu Yin noticed that and looked at Cheng Hao’s retreating figure ‘A master for a day, a Father for a life. I will be waiting for you, my master!’
The sun was falling down and it was already late in the afternoon. Finally, the air trembled and a figure appeared a few steps from the place where the confrontation between Cheng Hao and his previous comrades took place.
The figure was only wearing robes identifying him as an Outer Sect Elder, but he also had the strength of the late Superior Stage, which could have easily gained him a place in the Core Sect.
The figure was a fat old man with brown eyes, white short hair, a white trimmed beard and a pair of handlebar mustaches. The Exam Supervisor stepped out from the shadows and took a look at the reports he had in his hand.
“I only noticed that these reports had a person missing so I was about to go back to ask, but it seems like I have only lost my time. Well, I guess that boy is lucky! If he had also been a candidate for the twin stars, he would most likely have died! After all, there is already a candidate, and he is the son of the first protector nonetheless!”
The man grinned.
“Why would that lustful young man prefer a boy over a girl as his partner? That brat would have have had no chance of survival if that had been the case, luckily for him, he was rendered powerless before that had happened… Truly a lucky bastard!”
He lifted the hand holding the blank report he was about to ask to fill with the boy’s information and it was immediately shredded by a strong gust of wind. “Now then…” The old man turned towards the first ring “Time to report to Master First Protector!” The old man disappeared.
A few moments after the fat Elder had disappeared, he reappeared again suddenly and looked around intently, looking for abnormalities in his surroundings. Noticing nothing put of place, he smiled and then went away, for real this time.
Twenty breaths later, the air trembled once again and the old Elder Lao stepped out. He was still wearing mundane clothes and his amiable face would make people mistake him for a nice old man without a shred of cultivation.
Unfortunately, those people would not survive for long if the old man decided to attack with his Reverend stage power.
“It seems like I was just in time… Cheng Hao, I hope you will forgive me. From now on, you will live in the shadows, until I posess enough strength to fight back” the old man gritted his teeth and tightened his fists “Soon… Wait for me just a bit longer, I only need a bit more to finish it! Cheng Hao, you will have to hold on until then!”
Having said these words, the old man also disappeared in the night. A strong wind blowed away the clouds and the starry sky was revealed, many shining stars glowing on the dark background…