Chapter 9: Taking the Road Less Traveled, Acting Cool without Explanation
If you have an idea then try it out immediately. The group explored the Dragon Sealing Abyss and traveled for some time. When the group stopped for rest, Yan Zhaoge immediately sat down cross-legged and began to meditate.
Among the group, Ye Jing’s gaze focused on Yan Zhaoge.
“There will eventually be a day when I will defeat you. When that time comes, let’s see if you can maintain your loftiness, your disdain, and that prideful look on your face…”
Other than his old grudge, the current Ye Jing felt a strange emotion that could not be described when faced with Yan Zhaoge.
It was somewhat like the mutual appreciation between geniuses, but there was more a sense of awkwardness and annoyance.
It was almost as if they were natural adversaries, and this made him feel like he was being suppressed, which further led to him feeling out of sorts.
“Strangely, the Li Flame True Fire he mentioned back in the affairs hall is extremely useful for me as well,” Ye Jing thought in his mind, “If it falls into his hand and is used for his purposes, that would truly be a waste…”
Just as Ye Jing was thinking those thoughts, his eyes suddenly widened and progressively widened some more.
Si Kongqing and the others also discovered something unusual had happened at this time. Yan Zhaoge was currently cycling the dreaded black mist avoided by everyone into his body.
This act in their eyes was just like suicide by poison.
Yan Zhaoge did not care about what the bystander thought. Looking inside his body, chaotic dao baleful qi could be seen gathering under the control of the secret technique as it formed something similar to a grinding wheel. Then affected by surging astral qi, it started to spin incessantly.
As it spun, the astral qi inside Yan Zhaoge’s body became increasingly sharp like a blade being polished, and he could faintly detect his qi starting to penetrate its way out of his body.
“Excellent. Compared to normal cultivation, the efficiency increased by three to five times or possibly more. Even though it’s only applicable for training from internalized astral qi to externalized astral qi but it can still save a large amount of time. The externalized martial scholar realm is now close at hand.”
Yan Zhaoge nodded in satisfaction. His training session had reached the end of a phase thus he stopped his cultivation for now. He opened his eyes and the first thing he saw was a bunch of shocked and dazed disciples starring at him.
“It’s really easy to attract the eyes of others when one stops walking the usual path…” Yan Zhaoge thought to himself and grinned, “This bro’s lifetime of acting cool truly needs no explanation.”
One of the young disciples eyes flashed with sudden understanding, “Due to the sudden change in the Dragon Sealing Abyss, the black mist is more turbulent than before. This type of never before seen change is bizarre and cannot be explained. Senior brother Yan took the mist into his body in order to better analyze these changes, right? But this type of method is far too dangerous.”
Yan Zhaoge was surprised for a bit. He was slightly speechless at the people’s ability to make up nonsense for things they don’t understand.
Everyone responded with sudden realization. They nodded their heads having been convinced, “So that’s how it was.”
Ye Jing still had some doubts and his finger subconsciously stroked the dark red ring he wore.
Seeing Ye Jing, Zan Zhaoge couldn’t help but roll his eyes though he did it so faster than anyone could perceive, “He actually does have a ring…”
While he probably had his own fortunate encounters, secret methods, and other things Yan Zhaoge didn’t know about, but Ye Jing’s quick rise and his speedy cultivation and more importantly his ability stand from the masses, it wasn’t difficult to connect those things to his ring.
However, Yan Zhaoge did not care about the ring at all.
At this time, everyone else was shouting his praise and proclaiming their admiration, “Even if a martial scholar had cultivation higher than senior brother Yan, they still would not dare to directly take the black mist into their body, right?”
To them, the black mist was something that could take their life at any time. Whereas to Yan Zhaoge, he seemed indifferent to it.
“In short, this isn’t something you should rashly imitate. Otherwise it’s like opening the door for a thief or letting a wolf into your room, very dangerous.” Yan Zhaoge said. He stood up and brushed the dust off his clothes. Then he took the lead and started walking once more. The others hurried to catch up.
At this time, a tall figure sped towards them from behind group and caught up with Yan Zhaoge. This person was Ah Hu.
Yan Zhaoge did not stop. His pace continued undisturbed neither slow nor fast. When Ah Hu came up to Yan Zhaoge’s side, he sent a sound transmission, “Prince, we have the information. While we haven’t been able to verify but rumors say that Ye Jing attracted the discerning eyes of elder Shi after the new disciple youth competition.”
Yan Zhaoge turned and gave Ah Hu a look after hearing this news.
Ah Hu nodded, “It is rumored that elder Shi admires how he constantly strove to improve himself in order to get to this point and his persevering disposition. He is prepared to observe Ye Jing for a while and should there be no problems, he intends to accept Ye Jing as his direct disciple.”
Yan Zhaoge revealed a sneer, “No wonder…”
This elder is not like those other elders. Elder Shi could not be compared to the elder Cui from before, or even the affairs elder overseeing Eastern Tang Kingdom. None of them are anywhere close to his level.
Elder Cui is only a deacon elder and moreover he was the type that slowly achieved his position through countless years of accumulation.
The Eastern Tang Kingdom affairs elder is an affairs elder but above him there is still the Eastern Region elder who governs the entire East Heaven Region.
Whereas, Elder Shi is the head elder of the punishment hall of the entire sect, who wield the power of enforcing all the rules and punishments. In terms of rank, he is equal to the Eastern Region elder, but in terms of authority and power, he is far stronger.
He is Yan Zhaoge’s eldest martial uncle, and Broad Creed Mountain’s current sect leader’s eldest direct disciple.
This man is upright and outspoken. He considers himself less talented than Yan Zhaoge’s father and second martial uncle, and thus publicly announced his withdrawal from the race for the successor position early on. He is willing to support whoever wins the race because everything is for the sake of developing the sect.
In truth, even if elder Shi considers himself not as capable as his two junior brother, his actual ability is comparable to the two. Moreover, he is a veteran martial grandmaster, one of Broad Creed Mountain’s numbered peak experts. In the entire Eight Extremities World, his prowess is well known far and wide.
He might not be participating in the race to be successor of the sect but his opinion is weighted very heavily nonetheless. Even the current sect leader regards his opinion very highly.
No matter who becomes the next sect leader, he will continue to occupy the punishment hall head elder position. He is not just in name but also in reality, a super big shot of the sect.
At the present time, this eldest martial uncle remains neutral in the competition between Yan Zhaoge’s father and his second martial uncle.
Considering Ye Jing’s attitude towards Yan Zhaoge, should Ye Jing be killed for what seems to be jealousy of a love rival, elder Shi’s reaction can easily be imagined.
Even if there is no evidence, only suspicions, it could still affect the opposite party’s perception.
Ah Hu continued, “About this matter, Ye Jing himself probably is not in the know. Elder Shi desires to observe him for a while longer.”
He looked at Yan Zhaoge again and said irritatedly*, “Prince, this time An’m afraid you might really need to look after that Ye Jing. Otherwise, if he dies in the Dragon Sealing Abyss, even if you didn’t do it, the blame will still fall on you.”
Yan Zhaoge twitched his lips and thought to himself, “As if. How can someone possessing the main character aura die so easily?”
“After I enter the Dragon Sealing Abyss, you will be responsible for remaining the link between us and the outside world. Thank you for your trouble, you will need to run many trips.”
The expedition proceeded along the path with the green smoke lanterns that suppressed the Dragon Sealing Abyss. They quickly reached the end of this path.
Yan Zhaoge stopped walking. He took out a specialized compass, which served to prevent disorientation and stabilize their path, and a green candle, which functioned similar to the lanterns. After lighting the candle, he brandished it and walked into the heavy black mist. Everyone else performed the same action, carefully following behind Yan Zhaoge.
Leaving the lantern’s suppressive seal, the black mist of the surroundings immediately grew more violent and turbulent, like enormous raging waves charging at the group.
If not for Yan Zhaoge and Ah Hu shielding everyone from the front, the rest of the group would only be able to remain in this black mist for a short while even with their candles lit.
“As expected, the chaotic dao baleful qi is much thicker and the flow is far faster than before. There is clearly something causing this disturbance.” Yan Zhaoge’s eyes looked around as his gaze pierced through the heavy black mist.
With the field conditions such that a person could not see his fingers after stretching out his hands, even Yan Zhaoge’s eyes could only see the objects nearby.
There was an indistinct red light flowing quickly flashing by like lightning in the night. This type of phenomenon is something never before seen in the Dragon Sealing Abyss.
Without needing Yan Zhaoge’s instructions, Ah Hu stretched out his hand and grabbed at the light.
When his hand returned, a piece of something red could be seen in his palm. In the dark, it faintly glowed and wiggled continuously as if it were alive, almost like it wanted to enter Ah Hu’s flesh.
“Something from the outside…” Yan Zhaoge said after giving it a glance. He suddenly squinted his eyes, “As I thought, this isn’t a natural anomaly, but rather something that’s caused by humans.”
* This part could also be translated as “said as if his balls were breaking/in pain”… it’s funny but not really the correct translation.