Tie Ta was exuberantly excited and filled with glee. Ever since he had attended Kargath Academy, Jian Chen had become the best of brothers to him. Tie Ta had felt his memories of Jian Chen etch deep into the bones of his body after the beast hunting competition in the forest, so they would never be forgotten.
When the weaker-looking Jian Chen was wrapped in the arms of what appeared to be a black bear for a hug, he suddenly felt a large amount of power constrict him. Realizing that this was the raw strength of Tie Ta, Jian Chen couldn’t help but feel surprised. Compared to several years ago, Tie Ta was far stronger than he was in the past. Even with his body tempered and reinforced by the Chaotic Force, he still found it rather hard to take in the hug.
Gently pushing away Tie Ta’s arms, Jian Chen looked up at the bear-like man with some shock, “Tie Ta, a few years ago, you were the same height I was, but you actually grew so much since then.”
Tie Ta had calmed down quickly afterward. Rubbing behind his head, he laughed, “Even I don’t know wha’ happened, but in any case, I grew a lot in two years.” As he spoke, Tie Ta looked as if he was reminded of something and began to show worry in his eyes.
Jian Chen had caught onto the worry in Tie Ta’s eyes, prompting him to immediately ask in concern, “Tie Ta, if there is some sort of difficulty you have, tell me and I will help you through it.”
“It’s nothing, nothing at all. Changyang Xiangtian, this is the first time you’ve come to my home, come, sit, and talk for a moment.” Tie Ta patted Jian Chen’s shoulder with a hand, and began to lead him to a nearby wooden house. Before they could even take a few steps, Tie Ta suddenly realized that he had completely forgotten about Ming Dong. Laughing a little mischievously, he said with a low voice to Jian Chen, “Changyang Xiangtian, this must be your friend then!”
Jian Chen laughed and introduced him, “This is Ming Dong, my best friend.”
Tie Ta’s other hand went to shake Ming Dong’s hand quite enthusiastically, “If you are a brother of Changyang Xiangtian, you are a brother of mine. Brother Ming Dong, let us walk.”
“Tie Ta, there’s guests in our village.”
“Giant, are these two your friends?”
“Big bro giant, who are these two?”
By now, every single villager had surrounded the three with curious expressions. Everyone called out to him affectionately and with ease.
Smiling deeply, Tie Ta greeted everyone that greeted him one by one. After everyone left, they continued on their path to Tie Ta’s place.
The interior of his home was not too big, and it was split into six different regions: the kitchen, the dining room, and four rooms to sleep in. Aside from his own room, his parents shared one, his grandparents shared another, and the last one was occupied by his great-grandfather, who was already a hundred fifty years old, but could not cultivate Saint Force.
Sitting Jian Chen and Ming Dong down next to the table, Tie Ta took out an ordinary bottle of rice wine and some iced meat to serve to the two.
“Changyang Xiangtian, Ming Dong, my home is not as rich as the ones in the city, so I can only bring out this to serve.” Seeing how wretched the food and wine he had served were, Tie Ta could only force a hollow smile in embarrassment.
Jian Chen and Ming Dong were not fussy people in any shape or form. With a wave of their hands and a few polite words, the three began to eat large portions at a time. Despite the food being rather unremarkable in taste, this was the best that Tie Ta could offer. Just how could they not take even a single bite of it?
Placing a piece of barbequed meat into his mouth, Jian Chen stared at Tie Ta and spoke with a rather ambiguous voice. “Tie Ta, I heard that you left Kargath Academy two years ago and never came back. Did something happen back home?”
Tie Ta’s eyes immediately flashed with terror at Jian Chen’s words. His mouth slammed shut without even the tiniest of sounds to be heard.
Swallowing the final piece of meat in his mouth, Jian Chen concentrated his stare at Tie Ta and grimly inquired. “Tie Ta, tell me what situation you’ve found yourself in. Do you or do you not take me as your brother?”
Frantically, Tie Ta began to wave his hands, “No, that’s not it, Changyang Xiangtian. You misunderstand, you are the best brother I’ve ever had.”
“Then whatever it is that’s troubling you, say it. I may be able to help.” Jian Chen pressured. He was already certain of the fact that Tie Ta was in trouble. Tie Ta was one of Jian Chen’s good friends, so with him coming across trouble now, Jian Chen wouldn’t dare sit idly to the side.
“Tie Ta. Just say whatever it is on your mind to Jian Chen. Don’t worry about a thing. Jian Chen isn’t the same wandering type of person he was in Kargath Academy. Within the Gesun Kingdom, there isn’t anything Jian Chen can’t fix.” Ming Dong chimed in. The straightforwardness of Tie Ta was enough for Ming Dong to follow Jian Chen’s example and treat him as a very good friend. Those with a straightforward and honest nature would often times be willing to help others, and would very rarely be the one to stab a friend in the back.
Tie Ta looked as if he had not yet made a decision and seemed to be hesitant. After nervously squirming where he stood for a good while, he finally steeled himself and bit his lips, “Changyang Xiangtian, Ming Dong, it’s not convenient to say it here, let’s go up the mountains first.”
Without hesitation, Jian Chen and Ming Dong stood up to follow Tie Ta up a hillside path. It was only after they had walked several kilometers into the depths of the mountains that they stopped.
“Tie Ta, just what in the world happened for you to come so far from your village?” Ming Dong asked out of curiosity.
Tie Ta was in an extremely worried state with his eyebrows pinched together in deep worry. Carefully looking left and then right with a prudent expression, he looked to see if anyone was around before letting out a sigh in relief. After a slight moment of hesitation, he asked Jian Chen a nervous question, “Changyang Xiangtian. What color do you think blood is in humans?”
“Do I even need to answer? Of course it’s red. Why would you ask that?” Jian Chen asked in confusion.
“Aside from red, is there any other colors?” Tie Ta pressed on.
“Yes, but only magical beasts would have such colors.” Jian Chen replied.
“Then would those blood colors be likely to appear within humanity?” Tie Ta was growing even more anxious by this point.
Ming Dong replied with himself as soon as Tie Ta asked. “What? Of course not, or at least, not that I’ve ever heard.” Then, Ming Dong realized something strange. Amazed, he looked back at Tie Ta and asked, “Tie Ta, why would you ask me such a bizarre question unless…”
Jian Chen was becoming aware of the situation and let out an incredulous expression as well.
Clutching at his head in pain, Tie Ta’s eyebrows furrowed even deeper together with concern. “Changyang Xiangtian, Ming Dong, I have said my secret. You can’t tell this to anyone else; not even my parents know about this secret.”
Jian Chen and Ming Dong both nodded their heads together in solidarity.
“You two have guessed it already. My blood is not at all red in color, it has the color of what one might expect to find in a magical beast. Combined with my physique, do you think that I might not be even human?” Tie Ta spoke in anguish.
Ming Dong and Jian Chen looked at each other for a moment with startled eyes between the two. Tie Ta’s words were like a clap of thunder to their minds and stunned them into an unsteady state for a decent amount of time.
Even a three year old would be able to answer with confidence what blood color a human had. It was without a doubt red without any chance of it being something else. Whatever other color appeared in a magical beast was never to be seen in a human before.
“Impossible, how could the blood of a human be any other color but red? Tie Ta, are you sure you saw it right? Perhaps you didn’t see it clearly enough.” After the shock wore off, Ming Dong cried out in utter disbelief.
“I couldn’t have. I am a coarse person, but even I have sharp enough eyes to see my own blood. If you don’t believe me, then cut my arm and see for yourself.” Tie Ta replied in anguish. The color of his blood had clearly been tormenting him something fierce and made him believe he was some sort of monster.
Ming Dong didn’t hesitate to grab a nearby leaf that was falling to the ground. With a sudden movement of his hand, the leaf immediately sliced over Tie Ta’s dark-skinned arms, but the skin remained unbroken.
Dumbfounded, Ming Dong’s mouth dropped open. “Well f*ck me if that’s true. How is your skin so thick?” Although Ming Dong had used a single tree leaf, it contained a large amount of Saint Force that made it incomparably sharper than an iron sword. If such a sharp weapon wasn’t able to cut Tie Ta’s arm, that could only mean his body was far stronger than that.
Even Jian Chen was stunned by Tie Ta’s physique. While he knew since a long time ago that Tie Ta’s physical strength was extremely strong, he didn’t think that it would reach such an obscenely high level.
“Normally when I come across some prey like the wild animals, they wouldn’t be able to harm me no matter how much they bite.” Tie Ta looked rather pleased at that.
“Let me try again!” Ming Dong was determined to try again. With another leaf, he began to pour a lot of Saint Force into the leaf before trying to cut Tie Ta’s arm once more.
This time the cut had more strength put into it than before, but even then, only the superficial part of the skin was broken. Not a single droplet of blood could be seen coming from it.
“Your skin is far too thick. It’s practically the same level of a Class 5 Magical Beast. If I don’t have my Saint Weapon, then I doubt I’d be able to see you spill blood.” Ming Dong exclaimed in shock.
“Let me try then!’ Jian Chen took Tie Ta’s arm into his hand, and allowed a bit of the azure and violet Sword Qi to emanate from his fingertip. He then gently sliced his skin.
In front of the Sword Qi of the azure and violet Sword Spirits, Tie Ta’s tremendously strong body was like a piece of tofu. Without any wasted effort, his skin revealed a cut, and golden blood immediately began to spill from it.
Seeing the golden blood gushing out, Jian Chen and Ming Dong were both dumbfounded. The both of them could only look at the blood with expressions of utter shock. Tie Ta’s blood was indeed not red but golden.