12 A Sudden Name change!
At the moment, Zhen Shi's mind was filled with murderous rage and he had no other objective besides killing the one who had dared to insult Zhen Wei.
As such, Zhen Shi was unable to maintain a calm state of mind making it impossible to use .
Even so, he still had the 20x speed boost granted by the system. Thus, before Xue Yuehai could even begin to react, Zhen Shi had already arrived next to him. Instantly, Zhen Shi struck down with his two hands armed with Hel's Flare fireballs.
Seeing this Zhou Rou hurriedly shouted, \"No! Wai-\"
But it was too late. Zhen Shi had already attacked and Xue Yuehai was only a moment away from dissipating into ashes. But at the same time, a strange purple dome with a miasmic aura appeared surrounding Xue Yuehai.
A small explosion rang out as the Hel's Flare struck against the miasmic dome. While the purple dome was damaged by a fair amount due to the power of the Hel-Fire, it still remained strong.
Seeing this Xue Yuehai started laughing maniacally, \"Bastard, you just made the biggest mistake of your life. Regardless of how you canceled my talisman before, my father will definitely arrive now. No amount of petty tricks can change that and all the treasures you hold will be ours!\"
However, his laughter immediately dissipated as he felt the indomitable murderous intent coming off of Zhen Shi...
Completely ignoring the failure of his initial attack, Zhen Shi immediately raised his fists covered in once more and punched down with both hands.
But just a moment before his fists struck the black dome, like calmly flowing water, the two punches smoothly shifted into two elbow strikes. This was the Unarmed Water Style!
Along with this shift of attack, even the Hel-Fire vanished from his fists and reappeared on his elbows.
Unable to handle the nearly two-fold increase in power due to the Unarmed Water Style, the miasmic dome that had already been damaged before, shattered into pieces under the power of the two simultaneous elbow strikes. However, the major reason for Zhen Shi's success was the intrinsic destructive nature of Hel-Fire.
Having broken through the other party's defense, Zhen Shi's elbows moved on to strike the indignant Xue Yuehai.
However, Xue Yuehai reacted quickly and raised his hands easily defending against the power of the strike. After all, he was the strongest Foundation Establishment Cultivator from the entire group of Xue Yue cultivators, and even with the Unarmed Water Style, Zhen Shi was still in the Elementary Qi stage.
However, Zhen Shi's attack was not based on power... it depended on the power of . As such, the moment the Hel-Fire came into contact with Xue Yuehai's hands, they began to burn and sizzle his flesh.
Hel-Fire is used to torture those who were unfortunate enough to end up in hell. So how could the pain that arose when burned by it be ordinary?
As such, Xue Yuehai began to scream horrendously under the torturous pain of the Hel-Fire, and he was even beginning to consider severing his arms. However, before he could do anything else, a palm covered with even more Hel-Fire slapped him in the face.
Unable to accept this turn of events he screamed once more, \"No, not like thi--\" But before he could finish his words, the Hel-Fire burned his entire body into grey ashes that were scattered in the night wind.
And Zhen Shi watched calmly with his loin-cloth fluttering in the wind as well. Just like that Xue Yuehai had died!
Congratulations to the user for utterly incinerating a foundation establishment stage cultivator protected by a Mortal Tier Grade 8 life protecting artifact!
Even if that artifact is only at a mere mortal tier, it boasts a defensive ability equivalent to a Core Formation Stage practitioner. As such, the user will gain 2000 exp!
The user has gained 10 OP!
Zhen Shi whose murderous rage had been quelled with Xue Yuehai's death paused thoughtfully.
Since a Mortal Tier Grade 8 Artifact possessed power at the Core Formation Stage, this could only mean that anything referred to as 'Mortal' Tier contained power in between the Elementary Qi stage and the Core Formation Stage, which were cultivation stages within the 'Mortal' Primary Stage.
Following the same logic, Soul Tier items should have power limited to the Soul Primary Stage, and Law Tier items should have power limited to the Law Primary Stage...
As to why he could defeat Xue Yuehai even in such an instance, Zhen Shi could only assume that this was due to Hel's Flare. After all, it was supposed to be 'Perfect Mortal Grade', which Zhen Shi assumed meant that it was at the most powerful level possible within the Mortal Primary Stage.
While Zhen Shi was busy thinking about this matter, the aether suddenly manifested around him and told him of a trying matter... It seemed that the life protecting artifact was connected to a much more powerful cultivator who had already been notified of Xue Yuehai's death. In other words, a big boss was on its way...
Zhen Shi could only shake his head bitterly at this sudden turn of events. With the memories of Zhen Wei's sacrifice, he had been unable to handle Xue Yuehai insulting him. In a way, one could only pity Xue Yuehai choosing those particular words that led him to his untimely death...
It could even be said to be the System's fault for giving him that particular set of memories. Or perhaps it was the fault of fate.
Nevertheless, what happened has happened. Zhen Shi could only shake his head and determine himself to face the oncoming battle.
From the destroyed remnants of the life-saving artifact, the user has gained Mortal Grade 8 Miasmic Metal.
Zhen Shi's bitter face immediately turned much better, he had not made a total loss after all, 'I suppose the system and fate aren't completely heartless!'
However, Tsun Rou was thinking differently and shouted in anger, \"Loin Shi, you imbecile, what have you done? Since that fellow was important enough to have a message talisman, it is only logical to assume that he would have a life protection talisman as well. And even if you did kill him in the end, that Spirit Transformation Expert will still arrive.
Zhen Shi could understand the truth in her words. But there was nothing he could do to change what had happened either. As such he spoke with a calm grin, \"Tsun Rou, don't worry so much. If I hadn't killed him, how long do you think he would stay without reporting this matter. By then the Xue Yue sect will definitely send some people to apprehend us.
At least, this way, there will only be one expert and everything will take place under our own terms!\" while patting his chest proudly.
While what Zhen Shi said had some truth to it, it didn't make complete sense, especially considering that the arriving big-boss had much greater power than them. However, Zhen Shi still had the Spatial Tear Sword. As such, he wasn't worried at all!
At this moment, the System notification continued, completely alleviating any of Zhen Shi's remaining regret.
Congratulations to the user for finally reaching the next stage. The user is now at Foundation Establishment Stage 1!
To celebrate this joyous occasion, the user is granted a special locked chest!
The moment the notification rang out, Zhen Shi could feel his cultivation increasing. Focusing on his qi strand that had already formed the bridge of connection with his dantian, he could sense that it was automatically being compressed into a drop of liquid qi.
Instantly the qi drop disappeared into his dantian. At the same time, Zhen Shi's primordial chaos base began to absorb another torrent of aether, and parts of this aether were automatically compressed into more liquid qi that was added to the liquid qi drop.
As he watched, this liquid qi gradually collected to form a small pond which soon turned into a large pond. And within a few more moments, it had turned into a small lake of qi. The lake of qi was separated into four sections; a deep green airy section, and three faint sections of aqua blue, fiery red and earthen brown. This was his foundation, his qi lake!
And unlike in his memory, there were no unexpected explosions either.
With the formation of the qi lake, Zhen Shi could now peer into his dantian which he had been unable to do clearly before.
And he could now see that the qi lake consisting of liquid qi was placed right below the Primordial Chaos Base; a sphere of chaotic, savage energy, surrounded by four spiritual roots connected through root-like tendrils. In fact, as he watched the spiritual root crystals slowly grew closer to the primordial chaos base as if it would combine soon...
At the same time, the speck of Hel-fire within Zhen Shi's dantian dashed into the fiery red portion of the qi lake, causing the color to become much darker and eerie, as if it had gained the properties of Hel's Fire.
Moving on from this matter to contemplating his strength, Zhen Shi realized that along with his elevation into the Foundation Establishment Stage, he was now several times stronger and faster than he had been before. He could even see and sense the aether even more easily now!
Tsun Rou's eyes widened as she asked once more, \"W-wait, when did you reach the foundation establishment stage? Weren't you at the Elementary Qi Stage pinnacle a few seconds ago?\"
But before Zhen Shi could reply, a terrifying roar exploded from far-away, \"WHO DARES TO KILL THE OFF-SPRING OF THE XUE YUE SECT!\" At the same time, a terrifying spiritual pressure descended down on them.
Under the effect of this spiritual pressure, Zhen Shi felt stifled as if he had waded into a pit of thick mud. This could only be the legendary act of pressuring others with spiritual power of higher cultivation levels!
Nevertheless, he couldn't help but agree, that this was... true power! He was unable to react at all... At this rate, he might not even be able to use the Spatial Tear Sword.
Fortunately for him, the system rang out in help.
Spiritual Pressure of a higher-tier cultivator detected. Resolving of pressure completed!
Finally, Zhen Shi felt that he could move normally. However, he was growing more and more apprehensive about the situation. This was because even if he could use the Spatial Tear Sword to rip apart space and leave, that would mean that Tsun Rou was left alone in danger.
However, turning around, he was surprised to see that just like him, Zou Rou was unaffected by the Spiritual Pressure...
But he ignored this matter as a terrifying figure suddenly appeared in the star-lit sky. The terrifying figure was surrounded by a poisonous miasmic aura that seemed to melt the air itself. And most importantly, he was actually flying!
Even Zhen Shi with his foundation establishment cultivation was still incapable of flight. And as far as he knew, only those who had reached the Soul Primary Stage at the very least possessed the ability to fly.
In fact, through , Zhen Shi could just barely discern this fellows cultivation, and it was at Soul Transformation Pinnacle! If he remembered correctly, the Soul Primary Stage consisted of four cultivation stages, with Soul Transformation being the second...
Meanwhile, the terrifying figure slowly flew down like a god descending from the skies. He lowered his head and stared at Zhen Shi and Zou Rou with great malice.
Xue Yuegui was truly enraged. Partially out of sorrow for the death of his son, but mostly for being forced to end his cultivation seclusion in a hurry. He had been making preparations to enter into the Nascent Soul stage, but this matter had completely ruined his plans.
He was also enraged about the fact that his son, who had reached the Foundation Establishment 6th Stage, had been killed by a random loin-clothed barbarian who had just barely reached the foundation establishment stage...
Nevertheless, to maintain his good reputation and to prevent any blemishes in his cultivation heart, he had decided to kill these two!
Instantly, Xue Yuegui manifested a purple scepter with an evil poisonous aura and immediately struck down, targeting Zou Rou first. He had no intention of wasting time on words. He would finish this up as soon as possible and return to his cultivation seclusion.
However, his attack was simply too fast! He had arrived in a flash and attacked even faster!
Even Zhen Shi could barely react with his 20X reaction speed. But just when Zhen Shi was about to act out to save her, Zou Rou's body suddenly glowed in a golden celestial light that immediately attracted a pile of sand from the ground towards her.
And while Zhen Shi stared in surprise he saw a terrifying earth aether condensing this ordinary sand into a powerful earthen dome around her body.
When the poison scepter hit the earthen dome, the sound of metal striking metal rang out, as if the dome was formed out hardened metal instead of sand. And just like that, the attack from that Soul Transformation Pinnacle Cultivator was stopped!
But what caught Zhen Shi's attention was the faint runic symbol, ᛋ, that remained visible amidst the golden aether surrounding Zou Rou's body. Seeing this for the second time, Zhen Shi could confirm that he had definitely not imagined it on the previous occasion.
But this also posed another problem. What did this familiar rune mean to Zou Rou?
However, Zhen Shi was distracted by the matters taking place at the same time. That terrifying aether of earth manifested a few feet away from Zou Rou and gathered another pile of sand to form a giant earthen face!
Instantly, Xue Yuehai grew wary as he spoke out, \"Hoh? Another Soul Transformation Expert--No, you're aura is much much stronger! But it also appears that you are wounded...\"
However, Xue Yuehai's brow wrinkled in worry as he suddenly shifted to a more respectful tone, \"Ah, It's the renowned Lord of the Northern Plains. Despite the distance, your illustrious name echoes throughout the world.
However... if you intend to make me give up on this matter, I'm afraid we'll have a problem. Even if you could annihilate me with your true body, you are currently too far away. Besides, everyone knows that you were heavily injured... Thus I don't believe you can stop me with a mere incarnation...\"
At the same time, Zou Rou shouted in worry, 'F-father? Why'd you come here? D-did that talisman hold a portion of your soul? But this will worsen your state even further!\"
Analyzing the aether surrounding this Earthen Face, Zhen Shi could sense an aura much stronger than that of Xue Yuehai. However, the threat level seemed to only be a bit higher...
The Large Earthen Face turned to Zou Rou and spoke beratingly, \"Stupid Girl, what were you thinking by running over here? Did you do all of this simply due to the words of that seer? You could've died today!\"
While Zou Rou lowered her head in guilt, the Earthen Face turned to Xue Yuehai and spoke with veiled ferocity, \"Fellow Daoist, your words ring true. At this moment, you do hold slightly greater power. And you are taking revenge for your fallen son. I can indeed respect that.\"
A powerful aura that caused the surrounding space itself to shiver emanated from him as he continued, \"But this is my daughter! Even in this state, I'm confident in making you suffer quite a bit. And once I return here by myself, I can assure that the days of you and your sect will definitely be numbered!
If you lay a finger on her, I will hunt you down to the ends of the World! Judging from your aura, your sect must be allied with the Holy Pyramid. But I assure you, they will not support you and fall out with Solingrad instead.
I dare you to make your choice!\"
Xue Yuegui frowned in displeasure, nevertheless, he conceded as he spoke out, \"Very Well, I, Xue Yuegui will naturally give the Lord of Solingrad some face. The girl didn't execute the killing blow after all. However, if you think that I'll allow this undignified scoundrel parading around in his undergarments to escape as well, you've got another thing coming!\"
Hearing his words, Zou Rou's brow contorted in worry, She didn't wish to be ungrateful and leave Zhen Shi to fend for himself, but at the same time, she couldn't bring herself to ask her father to interfere and worsen his injuries either...
Nevertheless, she immediately spoke out, \"No father! This loin-clothed basta-- I mean, valiant fellow interfered in the attack of the Xue Yue sect and saved me! I can't let him die.\"
Hearing her words, Zhen Shi felt warm in his heart, even though she almost called him a 'loin-clothed bastard'.
The Large earthen face turned to Zhen Shi as if he was sizing him up. In the end, he frowned with a displeased look on his face. Nevertheless, he spoke out in a 'kind' tone, \"Little friend, what on earth are you wearing?\" and continued with a smile, \"Even so, you saved my daughter and I am indeed thankful.\"
His face contorted in 'embarrassment', \"However, I am afraid that I am unable to help you at the moment...\"
But suddenly his eyes glowed as he spoke in a serious tone, \"Still, you should remember that this is a tribulation of your own doing! If you can't take responsibility for your own actions, why even cultivate?\"
Hearing the words of this Large Earthen Face, Zhen Shi frowned. 'Take responsibility? Take responsibility for your mud face!'
Zhen Shi could vaguely infer that this Earth Faced Lord wasn't being completely honest... and was merely speaking out to show that he wasn't ungrateful. Even so, he respected this fellow for protecting his daughter despite his injuries...
At the same time, the Large Earthen Face who was ignorant of Zhen Shi's thoughts grabbed onto Zou Rou with the intention to leave and said to Zhen Shi once more, \"As the savior of my daughter, we will naturally reward you. Come meet us at Solingrad at any time!\"
However, Xue Yuegui obstructed his leaving figure and said, \"Lord Sun Soul of Solingrad, this entire matter was due to your daughter stealing some of my Clan's property! You should do well to return it!\"
Xue Yuegui was rather intrigued about why a random pill in their sect could grab the attention of Lord Sun Soul's daughter. And most importantly, he had even mentioned something about a seer... As such, he was worried that they were allowing the fish already captured in their net to escape!
A powerful aura emanated once more as Lord Sun Soul roared out in rage, \"Yuegui, you go too far! I've already given you an opportunity for your revenge! Do you think I'll give you a mile when I agreed to an inch?\"
Immediately, Xue Yuegui conceded in fear once more, sensing the powerful aura. Even if he was confident in putting up a good battle, he wasn't confident of emerging uninjured. And most importantly, he was unwilling to court disaster for himself and his clan!
Zhen Shi who was watching this verbal confrontation was completely angered at this point. While he did respect this Lord Sun Soul for his intention to protect Zou Rou, he was extremely unhappy about the fact that a pill would be more valuable than saving his life in return for saving Zou Rou's life.
After all, if he was an ordinary cultivator, leaving him here was as good as giving him a death sentence. As such he spoke out without a hint of respect, \"Oi, Oi, you pair of old fogeys who do you think you are? Arguing with each other as if I am some sort of bargaining piece? Is this how a Lord treats those who help them?\"
Lord Sun Soul's face grew awful as he heard Zhen Shi's words. After all, they were true! And he had no way to refute him. As such, he could only remain silent, as if he was ignorant and deaf.
Zhen Shi turned to Zou Rou and spoke with a smile, \"Tsun Rou, is this shameless fellow really your father? No offense, but don't learn any manners from him. Otherwise, you might end up being as ungrateful as him one day!\"
Zou Rou's face flushed in embarrassment, as well as rage as she scowled at her father. She was torn between the two parties. She could see the truth in Zhen Shi's words, but she couldn't ask her father to interfere either...
Lord Sun Soul was becoming extremely angry. But with his daughter here, he could not bring himself to attack...
Satisfied with having given the other party a piece of his mind, Zhen Shi continued with a confident smile, \"Well, Tsun Rou, and Shameless Sun 'Mud Face' Soul, I'll definitely come to visit you in Solingrad to take my reward! Don't worry about that!\"
Xue Yuegui was becoming even more enraged as he heard how Zhen Shi was dismissing his presence as if he could easily beat him. Nevertheless, he grinned maliciously while thinking, 'We'll see what happens to your confidence when you're alone with me little kiddo!\"
Having decided to leave this annoying fellow to die at the hands of Xue Yuegui, Lord Sun Soul began to leave. And this act caused the space surrounding him and Zou Rou to vibrate unstably as if it would tear apart soon. At the same time, Zou Rou spoke out worriedly, \"Loin Shi, how can you be so confident? But... you'll indeed be fine right?\"
She continued with a harrumph, \"Remember that, I won't forgive you if you die! Also, I know that you're an idiot and so you still think that my name is Zou Rou right?\"
Zou Rou continued with a proud grin, \"My real name is Sun Rou! What... are you impressed that I'm from the esteemed Sun clan? Also, if you survive I'll promise to gift you some proper clothes!\"
However, Instead of being impressed, Zhen Shi began to laugh in amusement and spoke out, \"You're Sun Rou? Damn, that's hilarious. I was really getting attached to calling you Tsun Rou. But the two names are basically the same! Sun Rou, you were born to be Tsun Rou!\"
Sun Rou retorted in disbelief, \"Y-you... Loin Shi, is this what you should be thinking of before facing a Soul Transformation Expert, especially when you're so weak? Nevertheless, she couldn't stop an amused grin from appearing on her face.
Zhen Shi just shook his head and continued to smile in response.
Meanwhile, Xue Yuegui had been silent and complacent since a few moments ago. Realizing that this Lord Sun Soul was actually capable of bending space for spatial transference, he thanked the gods for not provoking him too far! Still, he felt rather stifled...
But now that they were on the verge of leaving, Xue Yuegui decided to unleash all his anger and frustration on this little proud foundation establishment stage genius. Hence he immediately struck out with his purple scepter with a poisonous miasma sizzling about his body.
Although Zhen Shi was distracted by the conversation with Tsun Rou, he wasn't caught off guard. This was because the aether had immediately warned him about the oncoming attack. As such, Zhen Shi calmly activated and easily dodged to the side. However, the moment he dodged, a poison serpent emerged out from the scepter and pounced towards him in attack.
This counter-attack was simply too sudden and Zhen Shi did not have sufficient time to use draconic wind steps again.
Fortunately for him, at that same moment, some memories stirred from deep within his mind instantly granting him some insights on the ability to utilize aether.
As such, he quickly gathered some earth aether forming a solid chest plate on his chest. Most importantly, due to [Acquaintace of Aether] he found it much easier to utilize Aether than most. Otherwise, he wouldn't have been able to do this so quickly without any practice.
Even so, the poison serpent easily weakened the earthen chest plate by eroding it with poison and struck with powerful strength that caused Zhen Shi to spit a mouthful of blood while being thrown down onto the ground. The gap in cultivation was too immense!
'Motherfucker! That hurts!' However, the pain was still within a bearable level. As such, he turned to look at where Tsun Rou had been. But it appeared that they had already left, and space showed no sign of their presence...
Xue Yuegui roared out haughtily, \"Little bastard where's your cocky attitude now? Aren't you supposed to be a genius? If you continue to fight me with this little bit of ability, I can promise that you won't even know how you died!\"
Ignoring his words, Zhen Shi slowly crawled up to a standing position. Wiping off the blood at the corner of his mouth, he sharply stared at Xue Yuegui with an indomitable will surging in his eyes!