Liangzhou City, West County .
Ding Jiudeng looked back at the alley . No one was there . He thought the man wearing the bamboo hat had gotten lost in the alleyways, and he had got rid of the man successfully .
It was true that the boss was not very nice to him, but he always believed in one thing—a person should not be ungrateful . If the boss had not taken him in, he would probably have starved to death or die of exposure to the bitter, cold weather .
“By the way, why does this man want to see the boss?” Ding Jiudeng wondered as he touched his bald head .
Then he started to walk . He thought he had better inform the boss of what had happened .
The overcast sky over Liangzhou City was obscured by dark clouds that seemed to be filled with lead . It felt depressing and miserable .
Ding Jiudeng looked at the sky that was gradually becoming darker .
He headed for the suburbs of Liangzhou City .
In fact, he did know where the boss was selling things . Some sergeants of Liangzhou City searched the shop once, and the boss took them to that place .
He saw a house a few miles beyond the suburb .
It was kind of in ruins . There were no servants or guards .
The boss did not want to hire people to guard the old house at all . He was too stingy to spend the money . He had even docked three months’ pay of Ding Jiuding .
Ding Jiudeng walked into the house after pushing the door open .
However, he had no idea that a black shadow also jumped in the house quickly as soon as he entered there .
The house was not big . Ding Jiudeng knew the place well . He went straight to where the goods were stocked .
However, after having taken just two steps forward, it suddenly occurred to Ding Jiudeng that if he went there at this moment, the boss would find another excuse to dock his pay .
That being said, in the worst-case scenario, his pay for the fourth month would be docked . That was the worst thing that could happen . He would not see any money anyway, so it was no big deal .
So Ding Jiudeng walked faster instead .
He did not see the boss where the goods were stocked .
The goods were even covered in dust, and it seemed they had not been moved for a long time .
Ding Jiudeng was stunned . Didn’t the boss say he was going to ship goods this day?
All of a sudden…
A shadow slipped by behind Ding Jiudeng, but Ding Jiudeng only caught a glimpse of it when it had almost disappeared .
He was shocked . His hair did not stand on end until a few seconds later .
He lifted his hand to pat himself on the chest . With a lingering fear, he said, “That’s frightening . ”
The house seemed scary and somber to him, so he did not want to stay there any longer . Since he had not found the boss, he figured he would just go back to Yongcheng Pawnshop .
However, he heard countless invocations in his head after taking only two steps forward . And he seemed to hear bells ringing and drums striking around his ears .
He felt his mind seemed to be much clearer . He vaguely heard cries and screams…
“Why am I hearing so many voices?”
Ding Jiudeng patted his bald head .
He turned his head and saw thick black air spreading . There was strong resentment contained in the black air .
Ding Jiudeng was dumbfounded . He got to his feet after shortly hesitating, and then he went in that direction .
Not long after he had left…
The man wearing the bamboo hat showed up where he had been .
The face under the bamboo hat showed seemed puzzled .
“Spooky fluctuations… Felt like a cultivator . Is this clerk a cultivator?” he murmured .
The man wearing the bamboo hat jumped on his toes and then vanished without making any noise .
Ding Jiudeng seemed to have golden lights glistening in his eyes . Even his bald head seemed to be shining in the darkness that was gradually occupying the room .
He still heard a lot of voices in his head . These voices were affecting Ding Jiudeng .
He went toward where the black air came from .
He came to the source of the black air, the kitchen .
However, he found there was another door behind the kitchen, which was a hidden door, and that was exactly where the resentment came from .
At first, Ding Jiudeng felt very afraid . He looked at the hidden door in a trance, but when he came to his senses, the feeling of fear had been almost gone .
He put his ear against the hidden door .
He heard low voices that seemed to be talking behind the door as well as a few laughs, which seemed to belong to the boss .
“You have to be more careful after this transaction . Liangzhou City’s sergeants are watching us . You’d better replenish your stock from other cities in the future . ”
“I can replenish my stock from other cities, but it’s too much trouble, and the cost will rise too . This price…”
“You will be happy with the price . ”
The loud voice had a unique accent . This man did not sound like a local from Liangzhou City .
Then he seemed to hear people striking iron cages as well as terrified cries .
Ding Jiudeng was stunned . He felt the resentment was getting stronger and stronger .
And the bell’s ringing, the drum beats, and the invocations in his head were growing noisier as well .
He felt a throbbing headache .
The man wearing the bamboo hat showed up silently behind Ding Jiudeng, but the latter did not detect his sudden appearance .
He pressed the palm of his hand against Ding Jiudeng’s back with little effort . Then a force gushed out .
In an instant…
Ding Jiudeng broke down the hidden door and stumbled into the room behind it .
The place suddenly went quiet .
There was a big secret room behind the hidden door, but despite its size, it felt very oppressing inside .
The slim-faced boss was stupefied . At the sight of Ding Jiudeng and that bald head he was so familiar with, he screamed in a harsh voice .
“Why are you here?!”
Cling clang! A knife was unsheathed .
Ding Jiudeng straightened . He looked around and found the secret room, illuminated by torches, was full of iron cages wherein children wearing ragged clothes were kept .
Ding Jiudeng was speechless . The invocations in his head were getting louder and louder . His bald head was gently shining .
However, at this moment, Ding Jiudeng totally forgot about all of this . Looking at so many iron cages and the kids in them, he felt like he had seen himself when he was young .
The slim-faced boss seemed to be irritated .
However, those people around him had unsheathed their knives . In the flame light of the torches, Ding Jiudeng saw those people’s faces .
They were from the Maurya Empire!
They were all holding scimitars . Although they were wearing clothes of the Great Zhou, the facial features unique to the people from the Maurya Empire betrayed them .
Ding Jiudeng threw the boss a look . He could hardly believe what he was seeing . He finally knew what the boss’s goods were…
And where the boss’s wealth came from .
The kids in the cages seemed to see Ding Jiudeng . They started to cry and scream and strike the cages madly . Their clothes were ragged, but their eyes lit up with hope .
Ding Jiudeng felt like something had exploded in his head .
Numerous golden lights spread across his body .
Shapeless Qi currents were quickly gathering in his body .
Ding Jiudeng was slightly trembling .
The incredible look on his face had not disappeared .
He pressed his hands together automatically, with no idea at all why he was doing that .
A trafficker from the Maurya Empire showed a cold look . He raised his scimitar and was going to strike Ding Jiudeng’s bald head .
Something whizzed across the air .
With a harsh sound…
A silver pair of scissors tore the air apart and then pierced through that man’s body .
From the darkness…
The man wearing the bamboo hat walked out .
The scissors, which were covered with blood, floated in the air…
The slim-faced boss freaked out again .
“Most of them are orphans who lost their parents in the war . ”
“There are too many scumbags walking in the dark in nice beautiful clothes…” the man wearing bamboo hat flatly said as he looked at the boss .
He came up to Ding Jiudeng and looked at him in surprise .
Did the clerk of Yongcheng Pawnshop get some immortal encounter?
He turned out to be a cultivator .
What the man wearing the bamboo hat had said evoked certain emotions in Ding Jiudeng . His eyes looked really sad . Then, his face was slightly distorted, even a little indignant .
Ding Jiudeng knew perfectly well the pain and misery these children, who lost their parents in the war, felt…
Because he himself had experienced that .
He knew that loneliness and helplessness…
However, these people were trading these children .
Just because there was no one they could rely on, they could be treated indiscriminately?
Ding Jiudeng’s bald head gave off a faint light .
Numerous wisps of Spirit Qi were assembling behind him . It turned into a golden Buddha shadow .
Ding Jiudeng stared at the boss and those killers .
He suddenly calmed down .
He pressed his hands together . With his bald head shining, he said slowly, “I, a humble monk, suggest you be nice and good-hearted . ”
West Mountain, Beiluo .
Trial Pagoda .
Several cultivators had gathered in front of the Trial Pagoda . At this moment, feeling the powerful energy released from the pagoda, they were all shocked .
The oppressive energy made these people tremble slightly .
Cultivators were more sensitive to such energies .
The Overlord and Lu Changkong ran across the snow ground at high speed .
Nie Changqing was surprised to see the Overlord, but he did not think it a big deal .
Jiang Li and Chi Lian saw the Overlord as well . But most surprisingly, after the Overlord, Luo Cheng and Tantai Xuan, panting heavily, also arrived .
Jiang Li had just said goodbye to Tantai Xuan, so he felt a little awkward to see the latter so soon again .
But Tantai Xuan smiled at Jiang Li .
What a coincidence .
Everyone was wondering who on earth was attempting to achieve a breakthrough .
But outside of the Trial Pagoda, they could see nothing .
In the Trial Pagoda .
Everyone was looking at a man sitting cross-legged in surprise . They saw the Qi over his body becoming more and more solid . His funnel-shaped Spirit Qi was sweeping madly .
Ning Zhao got to her feet from the cushion .
Jing Yue, holding the Jing Heaven Sword, showed a serious face . Ni Yu, Bai Qingniao, and Nie Shuang were looking with curiosity and admiration .
In the distance .
On the cushion…
The unkempt scholar’s Confucian robe was blowing . His hair was also blowing in his Spirit Qi .
Ning Zhao was shocked .
“Is he attempting to go beyond the Internal Organs Realm and break through to the Heavenly Lock Realm?”
It was a surprise for her that Kong Nanfei had achieved such a level . When he entered the Trial Pagoda, he had not even achieved Complete Internal Organs .
Breaking through so fast, would the base of his cultivation be steady enough to support the breakthrough?
Would he achieve Heavenly Lock Realm successfully?
No one had expected Kong Nanfei to be the first one to break through to the Heavenly Lock Realm .
After all, among so many cultivators in the Internal Organs Realm, Kong Nanfei’s strength really did not stand out . However, at that moment, he had surpassed all of them and become the first person to try to break through to the Heavenly Lock Realm .
In the sky…
Lu Fan was floating before the Origin of the plane .
He lifted his hand . When all of his five fingers moved, the trigrams flew all over, as if creating another formation .
One after the other, a chain—formed by trigrams, which seemed to be the symbol of order—flew out of the Origin of the plane, intertwining with one another .
Double Thunder Calamity contained three calamities .
That was the maximum capacity that the current Wuhuang Continent could withstand .
And that was the Thunder Calamity of Heavenly Lock Realm set up by Lu Fan .
It would only be triggered when someone was trying to break through to the Heavenly Lock Realm . Cultivators who achieved the breakthrough to the Golden Elixir Realm would only trigger the most common Thunder Calamity .
Lu Fan smiled when he had finished with the programming .
He vanished from there right away and went back to the second floor of White Jade City Pavilion .
Since he had experiences with Thunder Calamities, Lu Fan’s programming was quite smooth, though he was not very skilled .
Technically, Double Thunder Calamity was an abridged version of Triple Thunder Calamity, so it was much less powerful .
When the Righteousness Qi in the world had started to gather…
Lu Fan realized who was trying to break through to the Heavenly Lock Realm .
It was Kong Nanfei .
Lu Fan could not help but raise his eyebrow .
He had thought it might be Ning Zhao . He was really surprised that it was Kong Nanfei .
“He comprehended the Origin or the Natural Law of the fifth floor . And with the aid of the Song of Righteousness Qi, he gained more insights from the Origin . Is that why he decided to achieve the breakthrough at one go?”
Leaning on the back of the Thousand Blades Chair, Lu Fan tapped the armrest .
Would he succeed?
About this, even Lu Fan had no idea .
It was actually a little premature .
From breaking through to the Internal Organs Realm to challenging the Heavenly Lock Realm, it did not take Kong Nanfei much time . He did not even have the time to get used to the changes caused by the breakthrough to the Internal Organs Realm and his improved strength .
It seemed to Lu Fan this breakthrough was really premature .
Therefore, even Lu Fan had no idea whether he could succeed or not .
But since Kong Nanfei had the nerve to try it, maybe he was certain he could do it .
On Lake Island .
Mo Tianyu seemed to sense something as well .
He looked at the tall white jade pagoda on West Mountain . He sensed the Righteousness Qi…
Was Kong Nanfei attempting to realize a breakthrough?
He took out the turtle shell and the copper coins and then breathed out .
For their friendship’s sake, he figured he should tell a fortune for Kong Nanfei .
Mo Tianyu was kneeling in front of the Master’s tomb with his back straight .
He inserted the copper coins into the turtle shell and shook the shell gently . He heard the continued cling clangs of the coins .
Then the three copper coins fell on the ground, overlapping one another .
“The omen of the great curse . ”
Mo Tianyu’s pupils shrank involuntarily .
West Mountain .
The gate of the Trial Pagoda was opened .
Ning Zhao led Ni Yu, Bai Qingniao, and the others out of the Trial Pagoda .
Not until then did people realize the one on the verge of a breakthrough turned out to be Kong Nanfei, who was still in the pagoda .
“It is that unkempt scholar?”
“Kong Nanfei . He is Master Kong Xiu’s biological grandson!”
“Is Kong Nanfei going to inherit the Master’s glory?”
Several cultivators were astonished .
The Overlord frowned . It was Kong Nanfei?
Jiang Li was shocked . He knew Kong Nanfei’s strength well . How come he was strong enough to break through to the Heavenly Lock Realm in such a short time? What on earth had happened?
Meng Haoran was so excited that his face flushed red . His master was going to become the first cultivator to break through to the Heavenly Lock Realm . How could he not be excited?
Once Kong Nanfei succeeded, Haoran Sect would gain great fame and be known by the world!
“Master, you must succeed!”
Meng Haoran closed his fist tightly .
All of a sudden…
People who were there looked up . The oppressive dull feeling suffocated all of them .
Ning Zhao and Nie Changqing looked at the dark clouds approaching them .
That was Thunder Calamity!
The Young Master had experienced that once!
But at that moment, to their surprise, Kong Nanfei had also induced a Thunder Calamity…
Would he really break through to the Heavenly Lock Realm?
Would Kong Nanfei succeed?
Ning Zhao, Nie Changqing, the Overlord, and other strong people whose five organs had all been refined were feeling very complicated .
On one hand, they genuinely hoped Kong Nanfei could succeed, but on the other hand, they did not want him to succeed…
Because it was actually also their dream to become the first person to break through to the Heavenly Lock Realm .
However, it seemed Kong Nanfei would beat them to it .
In the Trial Pagoda made of white jade .
The heavy gate creaked open .
Kong Nanfei, in an unkempt Confucian robe, walked out of the Trial Pagoda slowly with a serious face .
He instantly became the focus of everyone’s attention .
Everyone focused their eyes on him .
No one spoke to him or greeted him .
Because everyone knew Kong Nanfei’s journey to break through to the Heavenly Lock Realm had just started .
The dark clouds in the sky seemed to contain a thunder pool where bolts of lightning were tumbling and thunders were brewing .
Kong Nanfei’s unkempt Confucian robe was blowing . He looked up at the thunder clouds overhead .
He was a little shocked . That was the power of heaven .
Could humans counterattack the power of heaven?
However, the shock was followed by enthusiasm…
Why not? Why can’t humans repel the power of heaven?
At such a thought, Kong Nanfei could not help but burst out laughing . He started to walk on the snow-covered ground .
It had stopped snowing .
Kong Nanfei, a thin man, stood in front of the Trial Pagoda .
The others had retreated quickly to give him space .
Standing there, Kong Nanfei suddenly turned his head to ask Meng Haoran, who was standing in the distance, “Haoran! You have wine?!”
Meng Haoran was stunned .
He was on the verge of going through a calamity, but he was still asking for wine?
But Meng Haoran did not pose Kong Nanfei any questions . He just lifted a jar of wine he had prepared and threw it to Kong Nanfei .
Kong Nanfei’s eyes involuntarily lit up .
His Confucian robe was blowing in the wind .
He took the wine jar and slapped it to unseal it . Pouring wine into his mouth, he kept laughing loudly . And the wine splashed .
A giant swirl of Spirit Qi was whirling around Kong Nanfei .
Over his head…
The bolt of lightning could not wait any longer . It flashed .
It flashed toward the unkempt scholar Kong Nanfei, who was enjoying the wine at this moment!