Chapter 861: Bashful
Xiao Chen smiled faintly and removed his hood. Then he calmly called out to stop Liu Ruyue, Feng Feixue, Ying Yue, Xiao Yulan, and Xiao Jian. "Everyone, though it has been a few years already, do you really not recognize Xiao Chen anymore?"
The few of them turned around. When they saw the delicate face wearing a headscarf, those familiar facial features, and the sharpness radiating from Xiao Chen, they all gaped, unable to say anything for a long time.
Indeed, it is him! The corners of Liu Ruyue's eyes moistened with tears. Hundreds of emotions intertwined in her heart. The person that she thought of, the person she loved really returned.
Xiao Yulan's eyes filled with incredulity, not daring to believe everything before her eyes was real. The Cousin Xiao Chen who kowtowed three times to express gratitude back then actually reached such heights.
The one in even greater disbelief was Xiao Jian. His lips curled up in a bitter smile. Who could imagine that the person who left the clan seven years ago could grow to such an extent?
Xiao Chen did not say anything more. He walked over and slowly wiped away Liu Ruyue's tears. She immediately blushed red, and her charming face turned bashful.
The others smiled faintly and left this place in tacit agreement. A bitter smile appeared on Xiao Yulan's face. Although she knew that Cousin Xiao Chen already made his choice, she could not help but feel a pain in her heart surging out, now that she saw it for herself.
Ying Yue walked over and patted Xiao Yulan's shoulder. She smiled and said, "Don't be sad. There is nothing much to this fellow. It is not worth feeling sad over him."
Feng Feixue slowly walked over. Like before, she still cross-dressed and radiated a confident and relaxed atmosphere. She understood how Xiao Yulan felt and knew how hard Xiao Yulan worked. She pulled Xiao Yulan into her tight embrace and patted her back. As she closed her eyes, it seemed like tears appeared in the corners of her eyes as well.
Xiao Jian's lips curled up as he somewhat shamelessly sat on the ground and played with the sword in his hand. He was no longer the petty person he had been in the past. In the first place, there were no irreconcilable grudges between him and Xiao Chen.
When Xiao Jian saw Xiao Chen's accomplishments, he felt somewhat rueful, but nothing more. Fortunately, he already gained a thorough understanding over the many years. He now only hoped to be able to advance to Martial Sage in the Sky Dome Realm and protect his clan.
Xiao Jian shifted his gaze slightly to the side and looked at Xiao Chen, who was speaking to Liu Ruyue in the distance, watching his many expressions.
Xiao Jian could not help but think of their father in Mohe City. Xiao Xiong never said it, but everyone knew that back then, he had no other choice but to chase Xiao Chen away.
Outsiders would not be able to understand the bitterness in Xiao Xiong's heart. Xiao Jian would never forget the expression on his face when Xiao Xiong first heard news of Xiao Chen being the first rank on the True Dragon Ranking.
Xiao Jian wondered if their father would reveal a smile on that stern face when he learned of his Second Brother's achievements now.
Xiao Chen and Liu Ruyue did not chat for long. Soon, they went to where Ying Yue and the rest were waiting. As he gazed at the familiar faces, a smile appeared on his calm visage.
His friends were all here, and they were all doing well. Everything was the same; nothing had changed.
This was especially so when Xiao Chen saw his cousin Xiao Yulan. He still remembered when he first arrived in this world and Mohe City.
As for Xiao Jian, with the passage of time, the two had grown up. Now, when Xiao Chen looked at him, his half-brother seemed much more mature.
Ying Yue looked at Xiao Chen, who was standing around like a fool. She clenched her hand into a fist and brandished it threateningly. "Don't tell me that the seven-colored Auspicious Signs are only for Liu Ruyue alone. This princess is a person who remembers grudges. Don't blame me for playing some tricks after you leave."
Xiao Chen smiled faintly and took out the bottle containing the seven-colored Auspicious Signs. Multicolored lights flew all over. A rough count came to at least two hundred Auspicious Signs. No matter how he distributed the Auspicious Signs, they would not be able to finish using them.
"These Auspicious Signs are useless to me. Just take what you need according to your own cultivations. Don't exceed what you can bear."
The Auspicious Signs contained a large amount of pure Spiritual Energy. However, everyone's cultivation was limited and could not absorb too much. Otherwise, they would risk exploding.
The others did not hesitate. They had put in a lot of effort to reach this place, all to obtain the seven-colored Auspicious Signs.
Ying Yue's cultivation was the highest; she took fifty seven-colored Auspicious Signs. Xiao Jian and the others ranged between Inferior Grade Martial Monarch and Medial Grade Martial Monarch. They were much weaker than Ying Yue and only took about ten each.
After putting away the remaining hundred-odd Auspicious Signs, Xiao Chen looked at Jin Dabao, who was staring at him with eyes sparkling with anticipation. Then he took out some of the inner cores from the Martial-Sage-level ferocious beasts he killed earlier and tossed two over.
The Martial-Sage-level inner cores contained plenty of Immortal Qi. With Xiao Chen's current cultivation, after he removed the impurities and absorbed them, he would improve significantly.
"Little Friend, can this old man make an exchange for one Longevity Fruit with you?"
Earlier, when the old man from the Great Qin Nation's Royal Court saw Xiao Chen collect the twenty Longevity Fruits, he felt extremely anxious. Given the strength Xiao Chen demonstrated, the old man had long since despaired already.
Now, he discovered that Xiao Chen had a close relationship with Ying Yue and the others, so he immediately tendered a request.
The old man did not have many years left to live. One Longevity Fruit could extend his lifespan by one hundred years. The temptation of this went without saying.
Xiao Chen glanced at Ying Yue and saw that she was also looking at him with a hopeful gaze. Clearly, this old man held a high position in the Great Qin Nation's Royal Court. Hence, Xiao Chen immediately handed over one Longevity Fruit.
"There is no need to see me as an outsider. The Great Qin Nation's Royal Court has shown much care for my Xiao Clan. This Longevity Fruit is just a small gift from this junior. There is no need for an exchange."
When the old man obtained the Longevity Fruit, a smile appeared on his face. When he heard Xiao Chen's polite words, he felt extremely thankful.
Xiao Chen looked around the group and thought for a while. Then he said, "Big Brother, Cousin Yulan, I have some things I would like to speak to you two about in private."
The three of them went to one side and chatted for a while. Xiao Chen spoke briefly about his experiences, making Xiao Yulan and Xiao Jian sigh with sorrow.
"Cousin Xiao Chen, will you be coming back to our Xiao Clan this time?" Xiao Yulan asked with some anticipation.
Xiao Chen did not know what to say. To return or not? This was something that he kept thinking about.
What exactly did Xiao Chen's father, Xiao Xiong, fear? With the Great Qin Nation's Royal Court taking care of them, could there still be someone who dared to act against the Xiao Clan in the Sky Dome Realm?
Being addressed as Big Brother dispelled the barrier around Xiao Jian's heart. He said heavily, "I know a little bit about Father's concerns at that time. Way back when, the Xiao Clan's ancestor was too despotic in his actions, holding himself supreme. If there was anyone who refused to obey, he would destroy them. He offended too many factions.
"If not for some kindness he showed, it would have been difficult for the Xiao Clan, who had lost its support, to survive until now.
"When the Xiao Clan first came to the Sky Dome Realm, it was still considered a strong faction with many experts. However, they were all mysteriously killed one by one. It was a horrible sight to see. This continued until recent years, when the Azure Dragon Martial Spirit finally disappeared. Only then did the Xiao Clan turn peaceful.
"When you appeared, it made Father remember the tragedy of our seniors. Now, the Xiao Clan simply has no way to deal with these enemies. Actually, he was left with no choice but to chase you out."
Xiao Chen did not refute this. Back then, when he revealed his Azure Dragon Martial Spirit in the Martial God Palace, the grandmaster-level Martial Sages of three Sovereign Noble Clans immediately tried to kill him.
This was clear just by thinking about it. Back then, the Azure Emperor left too deep an impression on these people.
However, if it was just this, Xiao Chen would not care. The Supreme Sky Emperor would be sufficient to protect him from three Sovereign Noble Clans.
What worried Xiao Chen was the enemies hiding in the dark, not showing any signs at all.
In the end, he was still too weak. If he had the Azure Emperor's strength, he would not feel any fear. He would not care about the Sovereign Noble Clans at all.
"Actually, it does not matter whether I go back or not. I don't blame Father and do not wish to make things difficult for him. If I really bring disaster down on the Xiao Clan, I would regret it all my life."
There were so many things to consider if Xiao Chen wanted to return home. He could not help but feel a good deal of misery in his heart.
Since returning from the Kunlun Realm, he had fought a series of continuous battles. Almost no one in the Sky Dome Realm could stop him. However, when he thought about the Kunlun Realm's Sovereign Noble Clans, just any grandmaster-level Martial Sage from there would be able to crush him easily.
What did all this count for? He had to break through to the seventh layer of the Purple Thunder Divine Incantation. Otherwise, not to mention grandmaster-level Martial Sages, just any Superior Grade Martial Sage from the Kunlun Realm would be able to destroy him.
Xiao Chen then took out some of the Sage Grade Secret Treasures that he bought at the auction and handed them to the two.
Even though they would not be able to bring out much of the Sage Grade Secret Treasures' might, their strength would increase significantly. With these Sage Grade Secret Treasures, the Xiao Clan's overall strength would rise another level.
A moment later, Xiao Chen took out several high-ranked secret manuals, which he had obtained from the spatial rings of the enemies he killed in the Kunlun Realm.
While he did not like any of them, to the Xiao Clan, they would no doubt be supreme treasures.
After a bit of thought, Xiao Chen took out a few spatial rings filled with Superior Grade Spirit Stones and handed them over as well.
Spirit Stones, secret manuals, and Secret Treasures. With these, the Xiao Clan should be able to develop rapidly within ten years, making their foundations very firm.
Xiao Chen had a vague plan in mind. After he advanced to Martial Emperor, he would reestablish the Dragon's Gate, allowing the Xiao Clan to return openly to the Kunlun Realm, the place where they should be.
The fulfillment of this plan was still far off. He could only take things step by step without revealing too much. For now, all he could do was to let the Xiao Clan disciples prepare a good foundation.
When Xiao Jian and Xiao Yulan saw the things that Xiao Chen took out in quick succession, they were deeply shocked. Even the weaker sects in the Kunlun Realm would consider these as treasures.
Now that he handed so much to the two of them, there was no question that the overall qualitative strength of the Xiao Clan would rise explosively in the near future.
Seeing the two's faces light up in joy, Xiao Chen revealed a heartfelt smile. He raised his head and looked over at Feng Feixue, Ying Yue, and the person he deeply loved, Liu Ruyue.
Even if he did not have to break through to the Purple Thunder Divine Incantation's seventh layer, this trip had been worth it. Even if the geniuses of the Kunlun Realm left him far behind, the trip was still worth it.
Some things could not be measured with money.
Family, friends, love. Even if Xiao Chen buried them deep in his heart, not thinking about them, not missing them, the mark they left in the depths of his heart was indelible.
After that, they regrouped. Xiao Chen let Liu Ruyue return with Ying Yue first and told her to wait for him in the Heavenly Saber Pavilion. There were still some places in the Sky Dome Immortal Realm that he wished to visit.
When the others had left, Xiao Chen slowly walked over to the pit in the ground.
This was the pit Xiao Chen's punch had created when the Longevity Tree burrowed into the ground. While chasing the Longevity Tree, he had discovered something interesting.