If one overlooked the city from a high altitude, the city gave off an aura of magnificence.
Even in the New Era, the city remains one of the most prosperous super cities in the world.
It is July, and the weather is beginning to heat up. Even though it is the break of dawn, but with the sun rising, temperatures are also following suit.
The girls on the street dress more skimpily to keep cool, the season for eye candy is back.
In a courtyard within the inner ring of Yan Jing, two young adults sat at a tea bar sipping tea.
An astonishingly beautiful tea artist stood on the other side of the tea bar. Her silky smooth hair rested on her shoulders and she wore a qi pao adorned with blue and white, it's relatively short length showing off her slender legs.
The artist’s slender hands worked skillfully as she made the tea. She had an aura of calm about her and every action was a pleasure to watch.
One of the young gentlemen raised his teacup, took a whiff and chuckled, "I heard that 99% of the Golden Beautiful Eyebrows tea leaves are fakes, and finding real ones are an uphill task. Top grade tea leaves like this are even rarer! The tea is so good even someone as uncultured as me can taste the difference! Hahaha, tea leaves like that cannot be bought just with money. I am extremely lucky to be able to drink this tea, and I have you, brother Xie, to thank. Only people of your standing can find such fine tea. Haha, people definitely did not expect that an old hat like myself would be able to taste such fine tea."
The young gentleman who spoke had a clear aura of murder around him, and his forehead revealed traces of strength and courage. It was obvious that he was trying to conceal it, yet traces of it could still be felt.
Yet, the handsome young man known as Brother Xie, as well as the beautiful tea artist opposite them seemed to be oblivious to the murderous aura.
Brother Xie chuckled, "if Brother Wan likes it, I'll give you half a catty later! If it wasn't for the rarity of this tea, I'll give you more. To tell you the truth, I only have slightly more than a catty on hand."
"No it's okay, I, Fang Hu, may not be a gentleman, but I would not take what I know others treasure. I consider myself lucky to be able to taste such fine tea, to take some home would be too much." The sturdy young man laughed.
Mr. Xie let out a smile, "it's just some tea leaves, it is no big deal at all. Xiao Yue?"
"Got it." The tea artist replied flatly.
At this point, Mr Xie’s phone rang.
Xiao Yue, who was making tea, frowned. She seemed to hate such disturbances when she was making tea.
Mr. Xie smiled apologetically at Xiao Yue before moving aside. Upon picking up the phone, his expression changed after a few sentences.
That handsome face was replaced instantly with a stern one, and the courtyard was instantly filled with a wave of chill.
Xiao Yue, who did not raise her head throughout the entire exchange, furrowed her brows further.
Afterwhich, Mr. Xie hung up and walked back expressionlessly.
The sturdy young man, who had not been consciously listening to the exchange over the phone, could not resist asking upon seeing Mr Xie’s expression, "what happened?"
At this point, his phone rang as well.
Tea artist Xiao Yue stood up abruptly and walked into the back room without so much as a look back.
The sturdy young man let out an awkward smile, but, when he picked up his phone, just like Mr Xie, his expression was quickly replaced with a stern one.
He quickly hung up the phone and looked at Mr Xie.
"He didn't die? How is that possible?" The sturdy young man took a deep breath, "this isn't rocket science!"
Mr Xie, otherwise known as Xie Tian Yu, is the scion of one of the first families of the New Era.
The sturdy young adult was named Fang Hu. Born after the establishment of the New Era, he was not of prominent origin, but he was blessed with talent. He was only in his late twenties, but he had already harnessed 200 of his Acupoints, attaining Acupoint Charging Stage Six.
At the same time, he was also the leader of a notorious gang in the Qi Lu.
Zuo Zong and Pointy Eyes were all lieutenants in his gang.
Due to his personal dealings with Xie Tian Yu, Fang Hu decided to take on the mission to assassinate Chu Yu. Zuo Zong and Pointy Eyes had volunteered for the mission.
Even though they had attained relatively high stages in Acupoint Charging, and had considerable talent, they were rogue cultivators. At their stage, advancing required astronomical resources. Without sufficient funding and resources to support their training, their route of advancement was stymied.
They wanted to make a fortune and go overseas to lead a luxurious and unrestrained life.
Before accepting this mission, Fang Hu had his reservations, but ended up giving in anyways. On one hand, he was on good terms with Xie Tian Yu. Xie Tian Yu treated him as a brother, despite his higher social status. When a brother is in trouble, one has to help.
The other hand, in order to develop and expand his gang, he required cultivation materials which can only be bought from families such as the Xie Clan.
Cultivation materials could not be bought solely with money. Materials such as medicinal herbs dating decades or centuries back could only be acquired by the influential clans of the underworld.
Even though the Chu Clan was not one to be antagonized, he found solace in having the Xie Clan as a backer. No matter how strong the Chu Clan was, their reach did not extend to Yan Jing, and definitely did not extend to Qi Lu.
Furthermore, they were just assassinating a ruined mess. With the experience of Zuo Zong and Pointy Eyes, together with their countless plans and ideas, they could finish the mission efficiently and leave no trace behind.
Yet, unexpectedly, the seemingly simplest assassination mission failed!
Xie Tian Yu looked sullen, any trace of his previous jovial attitude erased. He furrowed his eyebrows and looked at Fang Hu, "we’ve got a problem!"
Fang Hu was different from Xie Tian Yu, he had climbed his way up from the bottom, and had killed many in the process. Even though he was slightly anxious when he received the phone call, he had already steeled his nerves.
He looked at Xie Tian Yu, "I gave my instructions to them face to face, leaving no trace behind. Now that they are both missing, my guess is that they are dead. At most, they will link this incident to me, and I will deny any knowledge of you. Rest assured, you will not be implicated."
Xie Tian Yu sighed softly, "you have no idea, the Chu Clan have been termed as the Northern Wolves and they have earned that reputation. They don't need evidence to exact revenge."
"No matter how good a wolf is, it is confined to the jungle. Yan Jing... is not a place that they roam, and the mighty land of Qi Lu is even less of a place for them to carry out their barbaric acts." Fang Hu said flatly.
He raised his head and looked at Xie Tian Yu, "with regard to this incident, do we stop here, or continue pursuing..."
Xie Tian Yu took a deep breath and hesitated before whispering, "give it a break on your side... just count this ruined individual lucky! When I get back, I will investigate who saved him. Anyone who spoils my plan shall feel my wrath!"
Fang Hu pondered for a moment, and said, "my people said that they saw the Lin Siblings, not the ones up North, but the ones who live on the Central Plains."
"The Lin Clan on the Central Plains? Lin Yue and Lin Rou?" Xie Tian Yu frowned, "what were they doing on Mount Tai?"
"It is unlikely that they had anything to do with this, probably just a coincidence." Fang Hu added, "they only scaled the mountain at the break of dawn."
Xie Tian Yu nodded, he had only received news that one of his subordinates spotted Chu Yu on the fast rail back to the city. He immediately understood that the assassination attempt had failed.
As for the other matters, Xie Tian Yu was clueless, his influence did not extend to the lands of Qi Lu.
Xie Tian Yu looked at Fang Hu, "I would need to trouble you, my brother, to help me dig deeper into this incident. Please keep me informed of any developments in a timely fashion."
Fang Hu rose from his seat and said, "rest assured, even if you did not make that request, I would have launched an investigation. I will not let two of my lieutenants die in vain."
Fang Hu then said his goodbyes and left.
Xie Tian Yu stood alone in the courtyard, deep in thought. He did not even realize that Xiao Yue had entered the courtyard and approached him.
She stood next to him and asked softly, "are you regretting it now?"
"Regret?" Xie Tian Yu chuckled, "no."
"Well you will regret it." Xiao Yue said flatly, her face expressionless as she walked back in the direction of the room. "I am going to commence training, do not disturb me. Oh, and next time, do not ask me to make tea for someone with such a murderous aura around him, it's a waste, and I don't like such people."
Xie Tian Yu frowned, and then smiled with disdain. He thought to himself, "not only are you an ignorant child, you act so loftily. If not for the fact that you have someone backing you..."
Xie Tian Yu bit his lip, picked up his handphone and started calling his contacts.
He had asked Fang Hu not to pursue the matter further for fear that Fang Hu would be further embroiled in this mess. The Xie Clan still needed to leverage Fang Hu’s influence in the Qi Lu area.
However, he could not let Chu Yu off the hook!
He would be willing to go up against anyone, even the emperor himself, if they dared to steal his woman. Not to mention someone as ruined as Chu Yu.
The high speed rail was speeding towards Yan Jing from the direction of Qi Lu.
Not only did the dawn of the New Era not stymie many technological inventions, many have improved at unprecedented paces.
For example, the high speed rail was previously capable of 300km/h. Just before the New Era, it's top speed had increased to 500km/h.
Now, the high speed rail’s coverage extends throughout the country and boasts a top speed of over 1000km/h!
That was near the speed of sound!
A sprinting Acupoint Charging Stage 5 expert could barely achieve such a speed, and he could not even sustain it for an extended period of time.
If he sustained it over a long period of time, it would result in his body overheating, causing severe irreversible damage.
This is a quintessential example of how such technologically advanced inventions could still have far reaching effects on society.
The journey from Qi Lu to Yan Jing would only take an hour.
Chu Yu lay down in business class. His face betrayed no emotion, but he was unable to find inner peace.
Never in his wildest dream would he have imagined that the problem he faced would be resolved with his willful act.
He had gotten himself into a sticky situation where he was nearly assassinated. Yet, this had broken him of the shackles controlling him for the past 16 years.
Had he known that this would happen, he would have wailed at the peak of Mount Tai instead of suppressing himself for 16 years.
However, upon deeper thought, he realized that the past 16 years have taught him to act more like an ordinary citizen. He had enjoyed the craziness of his teenage years, and he now had an open-mind and optimism
This in itself was a great reward.
Had the journey been smooth sailing, he may not have learnt these lessons.
The only flaw in the beauty of this situation was that he had killed 2 men.
Even though the two of them deserved to die, Chu Yu had not prepared for such an eventuality.
Yet, life is unpredictable, and we cannot prepare for many of the situations thrown at us.
Chu Yu sighed internally, and pretended he did not notice the people supervising him from behind.
In fact, he had felt that someone was watching him since the moment he stepped on the train. In order not to give away the fact that he knew that someone was watching him, he decided to continue behaving normally.
Xie Tian Yu, I assume you're extremely disappointed that I am still alive? You must be so confused, wondering who saved me.
Chu Yu laughed internally, and then he began to feel the changes to his body since the seals were broken.
Firstly, his emotional state and alertness had improved. This change occurred from within, and many would not notice this change, yet, it was of earth shaking importance to Chu Yu.
It was as an enormous volcano was housed inside his body, and enormous, active volcano.
One that could explode with terrifying force at any moment
Chu Yu had been absorbed with trying to understand the power now contained within him the whole journey to Yan Jing, with no regard for those around him.
This caused the man, sitting in the same cabin, who was in charge of supervising him to be filled with confusion.
"Damn it, how did a ruined individual escape the attacks of two experts? Who saved him?"
Very quickly, the high speed rail arrived at Yan Jing station and slowed to a stop.
Chu Yu opened his eyes.
Yan Jing, here I come!