The waters of the Jade Lake of the Queen Mother of the West were green and clear as day. All kinds of birds could be seen playing or gliding on its surface, and everything looked extremely peaceful. The grass on the banks of the lake was lush and a large variety of animals such as wild yaks, brown bears and Tibetan antelopes roamed in the surrounding area.
-Wang Bugui was consumed by the divine beauty of the lake and spent a long time immersed in the scenery before circling around it to resume his search. After walking for a while, he met a Taoist priest sitting cross-legged 100 meters away facing the Jade Lake.
He was dressed in the white robes of a Taoist priest and his long black hair cascaded down his shoulders. A Taoist sword was beside him, and he gave off a strong deity-like aura as he sat cross-legged observing the peaceful view in front of him. A few small animals were lying on the ground beside him, as if drawn to his aura. Upon seeing this, Wang Bugui dashed up to the priest and asked, "Senior, are you a seeker of truth from this region?"
The Taoist priest turned around to face him. "Haha, are you here to seek the true meaning of Tao as well, my young friend?" he asked.
His question made Wang Bugui feel delirious with joy- he had finally found someone who sought to understand Tao as well. "Senior, do you know where Yuxu Palace is?" he hurriedly asked.
"Oh? You wish to go to Yuxu Palace, my little friend? I have a map showing directions to that place. You can have it, but you have to give me something valuable in exchange," said the Taoist priest with a smile, as he got up.
"Something valuable? It just happens that I have some gems with me," Wang Bugui replied as he fished out a few gems of various colors, each of them dazzling.
"Fine, you're indeed generous, my young friend. I'll give you the map," the Taoist priest said with a smile, as he passed the map to Wang Bugui.
The young boy took the map from him. It looked a little ancient and seemed to be made of animal hide. He traced the path shown on the map backward and noticed that Yuxu Palace was on Yuxu Peak, but one could only spot it by using a special method, as it had been concealed by magic.
As such, Wang Bugui, once acknowledged as the God of Running of his generation, sprinted back to Yuxu Peak, arriving when it was already dark. "Pant, pant, ah... I'm done for. This is too tiring, I should grab a bite first," he said as he fell onto a small mountain top and howled. Fortunately, he had came prepared and got some food at the Kunlun Taoist temple when he passed by there.
He savored his food even though they were only buns and braised chicken, and he only stood up after having finished devouring them. He then resumed his hunt for the exact position of Yuxu Palace; he was not far from the spot marked on the map.
"70 steps to my left, then 90 steps forward before taking 30 steps to my right..." Wang Bugui muttered as he followed the directions shown on the map. When he reached the designated spot, however, he realized that it was empty.
"Right, I'm supposed to use a special method to make the palace show itself," he said as he turned his attention to the footnotes on the map. First, he had to remove his shirt and meditate, before kowtowing and shouting 'Emperor of Heaven' at the top of his lungs and running one round around the entire mountain top.
"Old bastard, cheat! How dare you cheat me of my valuables. When I meet you again, I'll beat you till you cry for the Emperor of Heaven!" Wang Bugui roared, as he flung the map onto the ground angrily. He realized that there were no changes to his surroundings even after following all of the instructions, and that the animal hide map originated from Golmud- it was no 'ancient map'.
The blood vigour unleashed along with his anger shook the small mountain top, and his powerful shout traveled to the ears of the other visitors of Yuxu Peak. They could vaguely make out that it was from a youth, leading them to recall the mysterious boy they saw during the day. The fact that his voice sounded so clear and could even cause tremors in the ground after having traveled all the way across the mountain top startled them- did he actually possess divine might?
By this time, Wang Bugui was already sprinting back to the Jade Lake as he roared in anger. His rage allowed him to break through his usual speed limit, but the Taoist priest had already left. The boy could only kneel and pound the ground with his fists in anger and disappointment.
After Wang Bugui vented his anger, he gradually fell asleep on the grass patch by the lake. He was tired out from the day's activities and could no longer keep his fatigue at bay. Soon, he was slumbering.
"Oh no..." He was awoken by rays of piercing sunlight, and the bright light hurt his eyes the moment he opened them. He got up slowly to receive the warmth of the Sun, and realized that the Jade Lake looked even more surreal in the morning, as if sunlight had added a layer of gold glitter to it.
The skies were dark blue, allowing one to see the Yuxu Peak standing proudly from afar even more clearly. However, Wang Bugui did not have the time nor mood to be enjoying the view- he was pre-occupied with finding the cheat. He circled around the lake, trying to catch sight of the charlatan.
As he expected, the cheat appeared during noon time, when Wang Bugui was busy feasting on wild berries in the bushes. The 'priest' was still dressed in a white robe, but this time around he had fixed on a fake white beard and carried a white banner instead of his sword. On the banner was the proclamation- "Come get your fortune told by a semi-immortal. If it's not accurate, your reading will be free."
"I know you, don't run!" shouted Wang Bugui somewhat incoherently, with his mouth stuffed full of berries.
The charlatan turned his head around, having noticed that someone was shouting gibberish in his direction. He saw someone with grass all over his head leap out of the bushes and charge toward him with a kick. The 'Taoist priest' ducked, allowing the kick to sail past him. He was secretly shocked to realize that his assailant was the boy who had bought the map from him yesterday and wanted to flee.
"Humph! I've finally found you. Give me my gems back, charlatan!" Wang Bugui said, having finally swallowed all of the berries in his mouth.
"You... have found the wrong person. I'm just a fortune teller, not some map seller," the charlatan hurriedly explained, as he stroked his fake beard.
"Damn you. Don't think that I can't recognize you with that fake beard on. Give me my gems back now, or I'll mess your face up," Wang Bugui hollered.
The charlatan ground his teeth together, knowing that his game was up. He tried to toss his white banner away and escape, but Wang Bugui swept it away and attacked him with his fists. The boy did not expect the charlatan to dodge his blow and attempted another punch which was also dodged by his target. He followed up with a kick, but the 'fortune teller' evaded the attack by bending over. The boy then made a final attempt with a flying kick, but the charlatan evaded the blow by turning and leaping away. Wang Bugui felt that the charlatan was somewhat skillful and decided to unleash all of his strength.
"You're forcing me to use all of my skills, be prepared for your face to be peeled open!" Wang Bugui shouted as black lines formed on his face while he struck out with a blow of his Blood Sea Surge Fist. The surge of blood vigor formed into a powerful stream of energy, crashing down on his opponent.
"Oh? I didn't expect you to know such a move. Since you're no ordinary person, I shan't hold back," said the charlatan. He did not retreat but instead moved forward and blocked the punch with one hand before making use of the momentum to grab hold of the boy's arm. Wang Bugui frowned as he realized that his opponent was no ordinary person. He tried to punch the charlatan with his other fist but his adversary grabbed hold of it as well. In the end, he could only escape from his opponent's grasp by igniting the blood vigor in his body.
"Haha, you've got some moves. That said, I'm going to have to teach you how to respect your elders and to follow the rules of a student of Tao," said the charlatan as he laughed and charged forward to engage the boy in combat.
The fight lasted for only a few minutes, and Wang Bugui did not get to teach the charlatan a lesson liked he wished. Instead, he found himself lying on the floor, his face covered with wounds.
"How's that? Do you know how to respect your elders now? Consider yourself lucky to have received my guidance. Many others wish for my advice but didn't manage to get any," sniggered the charlatan as he observed Wang Bugui's swollen head.
His words drove Wang Bugui mad. Not only was the boy badly beaten up, but he had also been lectured. There was no alternative solution for him, however. He had not expected the charlatan to be a student of Tao like himself, and an expert at that for the matter. Not only did he fail to win, but his every move had also been completely neutralized by his opponent.
After brooding for a while, Wang Bugui thought about the pendant he had. There was a very powerful form of energy contained in it, and he had discovered that it was strong enough to rip barriers apart easily if he infused some of his blood vigor into it. He began to secretly channel half of his blood vigor into the pendant, thereby igniting its power.
"What's this?" the charlatan asked, as he noticed a terrible power emitting a bright blue glow within Wang Bugui. The blue light was as sharp as the blade of an immortal, slashing the space around the Jade Lake apart.
"Tut!" the charlatan bellowed as he tossed out a few Taoist talismans to hold the surrounding space together, before summoning a giant, golden hand to suppress the blue light. There was a clear sound of something snapping as it diffused the light. The charlatan then contained his magic, causing the gigantic hand to disperse into the air, before he walked toward the boy with a stern expression.
"Who are you?" the man asked. The pressure he exuded caused Wang Bugui to feel extremely afraid and panicky, and he had only experienced such a level of pressure from his father, Dracula and Field. How could this charlatan give off such an alarming aura, and who exactly was he?