7 Hel“s Flare
The entire group of Xue Yue cultivators including the leader and that scholarly cultivator were rather flabbergasted at this moment.
They had attacked that loin-clothed barbarian with the combined strength of ten foundation establishment stage experts.
And in addition to their attack, Zou Rou, the one who Zhen Shi had saved had attacked him as well.
So logically speaking, under the attack of nearly a dozen experts with greater cultivation than his, the loin-clothed weakling's death should've been inevitable!
But then... what the hell was this?
How did this 'loin-clothed weakling' move even faster than some elders of their clan... and dodge their combined attack with a single step?
Having witnessed this impossible speed, the Xue Yue cultivators began to doubt his strength once more. A hint of fear began to grow in their minds once more...
Then was this loin-clothed freak actually a monstrous cultivator? But his cultivation was so weak... Perhaps it was a limited use secret technique, or maybe only a stroke of luck?
Thus, the Xue Yue cultivators could only guess the truth of the matter and hope for the best. Without proper confirmation of his true power, they could only wait patiently and carefully decide on their next action.
However, unlike the Xue Yue cultivators, Zou Rou had no intention of waiting. The only reason the Xue Yue cultivators had been able to knock her unconscious before was since she had been unwilling to use everything she had at her disposal. But not anymore!
As such, she harrumphed angrily and brought out a circular gold plate that was the size of her palm. The moment it was brought out it radiated a powerful aura and presence. One side of the gold plate was clear but the other side, that was pointed forwards, was adorned with intricate carvings and embedded spirit crystals around a single engraved word... SUN!
Zhen Shi observed the strange gold plate with great interest. If he wasn't assuming wrong, this must be some sort of magical amulet!
With the amulet in one hand, Zou Rou turned to Zhen Shi and spoke with a confident grin while having her free hand dismissively, \"Loin-clothed idiot, I appreciate you saving me. But with such weak cultivation, you shouldn't get involved in a fight between Foundation Establishment Stage practitioners. You should leave and let this lady take care of this matter!\"
Zou Rou was honestly thankful to Zhen Shi for saving her life, but her words were rather insulting. Zou Rou was thinking, 'Since you saved me once, I doubt that you would let me fight alone... But even if you are unbelievably fast, a single strike could definitely kill you... By insulting you, I hope to make you refrain from this battle!'
But despite her good intentions, Zou Rou made a small mistake...
Zhen Shi was not an ordinary cultivator of this world! So when he heard Zou Rou's words, he couldn't help but agree. After all, he was indeed not strong enough to defeat these cultivators. In fact, he thought that Zou Rou was speaking out of concern for him...
Thinking so, he slightly smiled at Zou Rou and remained silent.
But at the same time, he had no intention of running away. It was almost as if a strangely stubborn part of his mind was completely against the choice of giving up the chance for battle.
However, his actions had completely surprised Zou Rou. She had been expecting some sort of outburst for 'insulting him', but had not expected him to not care at all.
Seeing his calm demeanor, as if the entire situation was under his control, even though he was half-naked in a dirty loin-cloth, she couldn't help but be impressed.
But Zhen Shi was ignorant of her thoughts and instead calmly going over the system status while thinking on how he could increase his attacking ability quickly...
User: Zhen Shi
Cultivation Level: Qi Refining 6th stage
Cultivation energy: 99%
Race: Probably Human
Cultivation Path: Base-
Skills: [Draconic Wind Steps-meager understanding]
Exp points: 0/2200
-Fake Tarzan ([Bestial Instincts]-Permanent 2x action and reaction speed increase)
Ignoring some of the details in the system status, Zhen She contemplated his next action. But suddenly, his eyes glowed as he was reminded of the remaining contents of the Beginner Gift Pack. He still had that skill left!
And so, he mentally said, \"System, learn the skill !\"
Material Skill: [Perfect Mortal Grade. Grants the user control over a spark of lesser Hel-Fire from the Underworld. Lesser Hel-fire can instantly burn anything that has no imbued soul energy, into ashes. The spark of Hel-fire has to always be in contact with the user's body, but with experience, this should be changeable...]
'Perfect Mortal Grade? I wonder what that means...' Nevertheless, the system continued the notification distracting him from his thoughts.
Material Skill- learned
The moment that notification rang out within Zhen Shi's mind, he suddenly sensed a small spark of black eerie flame that appeared within a corner of his dantian.
Previously, he had been unable to sense anything within the dantian, but now, due to the presence of the Hel-fire spark, he could just barely sense inside the dantian.
But if Zhen Shi could've seen completely clearly, he would've noticed that the Hel-Fire spark was present on top of the Fiery Spiritual Root Crystal and slowly consuming his fire aether. In fact, his own fire aether was slowly gaining a hellish eerie nature due to its presence...
At the same time, Zhen Shi gained a rudimentary understanding of the skill. Based on his current understanding, he would be able to combine the Hel-Fire with his attacks and easily burn these cultivators to ashes...
Now that he had the power necessary to handle this matter, he turned to Zou Rou and spoke with a grin filled with confidence, \"Pretty little girl, don't underestimate this handsome and scholarly self. As you will see soon realize, my power causes heaven itself to shake!\"
Zou Rou frowned in disappointment. 'Does this person not care that I insulted him before? But most importantly, does he truly have power or is he just a braggart?
No matter what, he did save my life... So I should try to stop him from interfering!'
As such, she replied cutely, \"Hmpf. I agree. You definitely can cause the heavens to shake! But... it will be shaking in embarrassment... of your loin-cloth!\"
Hearing her savage words, Zhen Shi's eye twitched. ಠ_ಥ
Nevertheless, he shook his head and replied with shining eyes that encompassed the totality of his knowledge on the tsundere, \"Geez, ease up on the loin-cloth, do you think I wanted to wear this damn thing? But most importantly, where did a girl with such blinding beauty learn to be so savage?\"
Zou Rou immediately grew flustered and embarrassed as she retorted back, \"Wh-Whose beauty is blinding? Your loin-cloth is what's blinding!\"
Zhen Shi's eye twitched once more ಠ_ಥ. But he couldn't help but heave a sigh and mutter, \"Tsunderes...\" while thinking, 'So this tsundere has a loin-cloth fetish as well? Then perhaps the system is a tsundere as well!'
At the same time, Zou Rou who had now given up on trying to stop Zhen Shi from interfering held the talisman with both hands and lifted it up to her shoulder level. Instantly, she directed some golden yellow qi causing some strange runic symbols to appear amidst the word 'Sun'.
But what caught Zhen Shi's attention was a lightning-like symbol, ᛋ!
Seeing that familiar symbol, Zhen Shi was intrigued. The fact that it was appearing amidst the word 'Sun' intrigued him even more. And as he focused on it further, he suddenly saw a terrifying amount of sun-fire aether gathering around it... but the strangest part was, it was still the night with a full moon!
But as the rune shimmered weakly, ultimately leaving only the word 'Sun' surrounded by sun-fire aether, lead Zhen Shi to doubt whether he had actually even seen it. Thus he pushed these thoughts to the back of his mind and instead focused on the problem at hand.
Zhen Shi flicked his right hand causing some of the eery Hel-fire to cover his hand and spoke to the Xue Yue cultivators in a condescending tone, \"You black pieces of shit, how could you have the heart to chase this poor girl for no reason? Where is humanity's love for beauty? Are you fellow's not ashamed of such shameless conduct?\"
Although the Xue Yue cultivators were rather unsure of Zhen Shi's origins and were fairly cautious, deep in their heart's they had confidence in their own power. After all, they had far greater cultivation than him! As such, they were almost angered into attacking by the 'righteous' words of this loin-clothed wearing man.
But the leader of the Xue Yue group thoughtfully signaled them to hold back. The rest of the cultivators initially showed a hint of disagreement, but when the scholarly-looking cultivator who seemed to respected almost much as the leader agreed as well, they settled down.
The reason for the leader of the Xue Yue cultivators to do so was because he was apprehensive of Zhen Shi's flame qi and Zou Rou's amulet. Both of them seemed to be holding extremely powerful attack power...
But most importantly, only those who reached the Core Formation stage can materialize elemental energies externally. Anyone capable of performing this at earlier stages is either a true genius with a deep understanding of elemental laws or had been granted a personal divine blessing. And none of those were easy to deal with...
As such, the leader of the group and the scholarly cultivator was sure that this seemingly crazy cultivator was more than what he appeared to be...
But unlike that, while Zou Rou's amulet seemed to be powerful as well, it was not as threatening...
Hence, the leader of the group's attitude grew rather respectful as he spoke to Zhen Shi with one palm and one fist placed together, \"Little Brother, my name is Xue Yuehai and my father is an elder of our sect,\" next he gestured towards the scholarly cultivator and continued in a threatening tone, \"And this is the genius proclaimer from our sect, Lin Hai! He might only be an apprentice proclaimer but he has undergone training in the Divine Church and is definitely capable of using edicts!\"
Zhen Shi's eyes narrowed as he stared at Lin Hai for a moment. 'A proclaimer? That must be related to the golden words of aether that I saw around him before... And from the Divine Church...?'
Seeing Zhen Shi staring at him, Lin Hai stared back as well with condescending eyes filled with self-pride.
But at the same time Zou Rou spoke worriedly causing Zhen Shi to shift his focus, \"Loin clothed bastard, you have to be careful of this Lin Hai. If he truly is a proclaimer, and I believe he is, he will be the most dangerous. While I too have only heard of their power, if he can truly use edicts, he should be capable of attacks that transcend his cultivation!\"
But almost as if she realized that she had misspoken, Zou Rou continued with a flustered face, \"Hmpf. It's not like I care what happens to you... That was only friendly advice.\"
Zhen Shi couldn't help but smile at the sight of Zou Rou acting like a true tsundere. Nevertheless, he wasn't too worried about this proclaimer. 'After all, whatever-proclaimers can only be mere garbage in front of a true level transcending power, The System!'
Ignoring their conversation, Xue Yuehai continued to speak out confidently while maintaining some respect for Zhen Shi, \"Little Brother, I suggest you forget about this matter. In fact, we are in the right in this matter! That girl stole our pill from us!\"
Hearing his words, Zhen Shi frowned in embarrassment while thinking, 'Fuck! Couldn't you have told me about this before I declared such suave words? Are you trying to make a fool out of me?'
Still, he turned to Zou Rou with a questioning look.
Zou Rou's flustered face grew normal as she lowered her head and lightly muttered, \"That pill... might be able to help my father. I was willing to purchase it for a fair price...\" Then she raised her head with flames of fury in her eyes, \"But these fellows refused to sell it to me. Even going so far as to say that they might change their minds if I 'satisfied' them. In the end, they were begging me to steal their stuff!\"
Ignoring Zou Rou who was staring daggers at him while preparing the talisman, Xue Yuehai turned to Zhen Shi and continued, \"Little Brother, even if you are talented, you cannot beat all ten of us. Especially with brother Lin Hai on our side. After all, everyone knows that the classes of Proclaimers and Divine Prophets are extremely powerful, especially within the Mortal Primary Stage...
And judging from your...\" he struggled to find the correct word, \"unique style of clothing, I doubt that you have any power behind you. As such, we would like to invite you to join our sect.
Our Xue Yue sect worships the Goddess Ammit. And seeing that little brother does not seem to possess a divine blessing yet, providing a divine blessing to you will only be a simple matter.\"
However, hearing his words Lin Hai and the other eight cultivators of the Xue Yue clan frowned and looked at Xue Yuehai in displeasure. There would be no immediate benefit to themselves for introducing a new-cultivator to their sect, even if he was a genius.
Most importantly, they were feeling rather stifled at being forced back by a weak cultivator who continued to remain fearless while insulting them. If it was possible, they would rather prefer to relieve themselves of their anger by killing Zhen Shi, rather than serve their sect...
But Xue Yuehai turned to Lin Hai and gave him a meaningful glance causing Lin Hai to immediately lose his displeasure. He now understood his fellow brother's meaning.
By 'taking' Zhen Shi to their clan it would be very easy to relieve themselves of their anger, under the protection of the elders. And since the matters of his divine prophetic spell, cultivation hiding technique, and extreme speed were still unexplained, they might even be able to get their hands on some treasures or valuable techniques!
And so with the support of the entire group, Xue Yuehai continued, \"Little brother is extremely talented and you should be able to easily become a core disciple. Moreover, we never planned on returning this pill to the sect. Let us share it between ourselves and have fun with this feisty girl as well. What do you say, little brother?\"
Zhen Shi was rather oblivious to their scheme and silent exchange. But he was much more interested in the Xue Yue patron goddess, Ammit. And he needed some way to confirm his thoughts...
As such he laughed condescendingly and spoke loudly, \"Eh? Little Brother, Little brother, Little Brother! Are you repeating that so much to compensate for your own little 'brother' down below?
Zou Rou couldn't help but laugh out loud at Zhen Shi's words while staring at Xue Yuehai in pity. Nevertheless, she was still preparing the magical amulet. As such, she struggled to stop her laughter as it might affect her attack power.
Zhen Shi continued with a suave grin, \"I might have considered if your Patron God was Osiris... But without such power, do you really think I would join a sect that has nothing but weaklings and 'little brothers'?\"
Zhen Shi was currently thinking, 'Even if they did have a better patron god, there is no way that I would team up with these idiots. Especially when I could instead team up with a beautiful tsundere. *cough* I mean... do the right thing and support justice!'
Xue Yuehai was now seething in a murderous rage, but also rather confused, 'How does this loin-clothed bastard know about my brother? Did he peep?' Not that he had a 'little brother' or anything...'
Clearing his head, Xue Yuehai retorted back with a calm rage, \"Very well. You do not know what is good for you! Just because you have some ability in elemental handling and good speed do you really think that you are invincible and capable of exceeding cultivation levels like a proclaimer?
And even expecting a divine blessing from God Osiris? Do you think that you are a genius exalted by the heavens?\"
Hearing his last words, Zhen Shi's eyes glowed in excitement while thinking, 'So I assumed correctly...'
But at the same time, Lin Hai roared with an expectant grin, \"Fellow brothers, attack!\" While he had been fairly satisfied with Xue Yeuahai's plot, in his opinion, that could not compare to beating this loin-clothed braggart physically and alleviating his rage.
As such, the Xue Yue cultivators began to exert the complete might of their battle formation.
Despite being rather fearful of Zhen Shi's black fire and Zou Rou's amulet, they had confidence in their own power as well.
Ignoring the cultivators who were threateningly preparing their onslaught, Zou Rou turned to Zhen Shi. She was truly thankful for this stranger that had saved her life and continued to help her again and again.
Even going so far as to refuse an offer to join a sect... While he did act brashly and dress embarrassingly, he seemed to have no fear and instead had complete confidence in himself. But at the same time, she had no words to direct her gratitude. Thus she could only smile brightly at him for his genuine support.
Seeing that smile... Zhen Shi felt that everything was worth it!
But at the same time, he stared with a hint of trepidation at the eery Hel-fire in his hand. If this touched any of those cultivators, their death was definite.
For all of his confidence and fearless manner that arose strangely from his own mind, at his core he was still a normal kid that had suddenly died. Even if these cultivators had tried to kill him on many occasions, he wasn't sure if he could do the same.
But at the same time, another memory arose in his mind...
A light warm breeze blew past Zhen Shi causing the laden trees to rustle peacefully. He was once more back in the training pavilion, however, this was the day after he had reached the 6th Elementary Qi Stage. And that would be one year before he received [Draconic Wind Steps]...
This time, it appeared that his father had returned! Zhen Wei seemed to be completely fine and radiated a sense of unbeatable strength while wearing that robe of the combatting serpent and turtle.
However, Zhen Wei and Xie Li seemed to be engaged in a heated argument under the shade of a nearby tree. As usual, Zhen Shi could hear nothing and he remained silent obediently.
A few moments later, when it appeared that Xie Li had finally given in to the other's demands, she slowly nodded powerlessly... And so Zhen Wei calmly flicked his finger causing that veil to be lifted away once more.
Instantly, Xie Li dashed towards Zhen Shi and hugged him extremely tightly. While Zhen Shi stayed still in surprise, she whispered into his ear, \"Shi'er, Mother will be leaving for a while. Your father has decided to teach you some important things, and while I don't completely agree... I can't disagree either.\"
She raised her head and stared at him with slightly moist eyes. While tightly holding his small shoulders she continued with firm eyes, \"But, if you ever feel like stopping, simply call out to me. Even if your father disagrees, I'll make him let you be... Okay?\"
Zhen Shi smiled confidently, \"Don't worry mother. I'll be fine and learn all of it!\"
Xie Li ruffled his hair with loving eyes and with one last glance at him stood up and walked away. But while she did, she continued to stare at Zhen Wei with a murderous stare...
Zhen Wei coughed uncomfortably under her gaze but walked towards Zhen Shi with a shake of his head. While Xie Li's figure disappeared through the entrance to the training pavilion, he began to speak in a worried tone, almost to himself, \"I was not able to find that old fellow. It's almost as if he had mysteriously disappeared... But considering his power, very few people can even dream of harming him, so I am not particularly worried. So let's forget about this matter for the moment.
Today I'll be having you go through an important trial, which might be a bit too early for you, but I feel that we don't have much of a choice on that, especially since you're cultivating so fast.
But before that, you need to know some of the more general knowledge. This is some of what you should've learned even before reaching the Elementary Qi stage...
Tell me, Shi'er, do you know what it means to reach the highest level of our current realm, and become a Sovereign?\"