After some consideration, Garen decided to learn the Ember Claw in hope that it would merge with the Red Jade Palm.
He finally understood that the merging of secret techniques was connected to his technique’s level.
This was the case for his Mammoth Secret Technique, as it acted as a foundation which most of his techniques were merged with and became an enhancement, as it had the highest level.
This meant that whichever technique had the higher level would become the foundation for the other techniques. Perhaps the grade of the techniques would affect it but it was not important.
He could learn two secret techniques up to the middle level with six points.
At the second floor of the house, Garen raised both of his hands and followed the instruction to learn the Ember Claw. With minimum movement, he kept changing his posture with his palm’s joints. Combined with the flow of his qi, he placed both of his hands on the lit kerosene lamp and moved back and forth above the fire.
The scorching fire burnt Garen’s skin.
Both of his hand’s skin was completely covered in burns after ten minutes or so. Garen’s hands started to go numb, and at the same time, a clear feeling flowed into his palms from his brain and it felt like his hands were completely different.
"I’ve learnt it!"
He quickly looked at the skill pane.
‘Red Jade Palm: Preliminary Level (Grade 1), Burning Strengthen Level 1 (Dark Crimson Technique), Vitality Enhancement Level 1 (Dark Crimson Technique), Enhanced Ember Claw Level 1’
He focused his view onto the Ember Claw and the related information popped up out of thin air.
"Ember Claw has increases the fire resistance of the arms and the strength resistance under normal enhancement. Able to produce high temperature injuries."
Garen softly explained to himself
He looked at the 6 attribute points and thought:
"I don’t think I can increase the grade of the Red Jade Palm. Celine is a cunning fellow, she would have definitely noticed my irregularity. I should increase the rest of my techniques first."
He hesitated for a while, but his vision ultimately fell onto Ember Claw.
As he focused his vision on the skill, the attribute points immediately decreased by three.
Hence, the Ember Claw was no longer an enhancement effect and became an independent secret technique. On the other hand, the Red Jade Palm and the remaining secret techniques merged into Ember Claw.
‘Ember Claw: Grade 2 (Total of 4). Red Jade Palm Enhancement Level 1. Dark Crimson Technique Enhancement Level 1 (Vitality Enhancement, Burning Strengthen)’
There was a indent on the back of the skill.
"Quantity of similar Secret Techniques have exceeded by three; conflicts among the training regimes. Do you want Ember Claw to cover the Firestream Fist and a part of the Red Jade Palm?"
A conflict among the training regimes?
Garen was stunned. Naturally, it was possible that there would be conflicts in training regimes among the secret techniques.
As he just made his decision, the Dark Crimson Technique immediately disappeared in the skill pane and what was left was the higher tier second rated secret technique Ember Claw.
All of the sudden, the bunch of enhancement effect was simplified in the skill pane.
‘Ember Claw: Grade 2 (Total of 4). Burning Strengthen Level 1 (Total of 3, from the Dark Crimson Technique and Red Jade Palm’s training regime
"Since my body has reached its limit, I can only use the attribution points to increase my skills. Ember Claw would be the best choice, since it is the most all rounded and its tier is greater than the Mammoth Secret Technique." Garen directly focused his attention onto the Ember Claw.
Next up was the Golden Statue Technique.
This body hardening technique was easy to learn as it only required Garen to apply the golden oil on his body, which was a specially made butter. However, he didn’t meet the condition.
Garen had no choice but to note it down in his head and bring it up another time.
He then memorized all the information in the treasury once more to make sure of the information.
It was already afternoon when he came out of the secret techniques treasury.
There were two disciples waiting for him outside the door.
"Have you finished reading, Gate Master Garen?"
"Almost done. Thank you." Garen nodded. "Please thank Gate Master Luther for me."
He didn’t speak much to the people from Crimson Sand Sword afterwards and walked directly out of the place. A black car from the Golden Hoop had been waiting for him.
He had cleared up the relationship between the Crimson Sand Sword and him. He even paid a visit to Beo, who was bedridden and covered in bandages, before finally boarding the plane.
Huaishan City Public Cemetery, at the suburbs
It was cloudy with a slight drizzle as the dark clouds covered the sky.
There were a group of people standing in front of a white tomb, deep in the cemetery.
Garen and Joshua stood in front of the tombstone. Behind him were Cynthia, jack and the fat Bouvini. All of them were in black; the men were in suits and the girls in skirts.
The area was surrounded by the men in black.
A woman in a black dress, who was escorted by two soldiers, stood behind the crowd.
"What do you plan to do?" Cynthia looked at Garen.
"According to the rules of the sects, traitors or murderers of the disciples shall be subject to capital punishment." Garen replied calmly.
Garen felt troubled as he turned around and looked at Rosetta, who was being escorted.
The capital punishment for every sects was brutal and cruel. Although it wasn’t used often, Garen felt that it was the appropriate time to use it…
"You should know the capital punishment of the White Cloud Gate." Garen showed no expression.
"Let ants bite the person after peeling off one’s skin and douse the body with honey water." Cynthia barely nodded her head. "But Rosetta is…"
"I know." Garen closed his eyes. "I know she is already dead."
Rosetta was motionless at the back as she was being held by two subordinates of the Golden Hoop.
She had already committed suicide after Garen left prison. What was brought here was merely a corpse.
"Do it. I was generous enough to let her commit suicide." Garen didn’t waver at all.
The subordinates sent by the Golden Hoop were experts in capital punishment; both females.
They swiftly took off Rosetta’s shirt and cut open a small wound using a scalpel, slowly peeling off her skin.
Soon, the white, naked female had her skin stripped and what was left was red, stiff muscle. They immediately threw her onto the tomb after the pouring water all over her body.
Another person poured a bag of black ant’s nest onto her.
The black ants swiftly covered the whole corpse’s surface.
Everyone on the scene felt like they were on a cold war as they saw their senior disciple’s red flesh being covered up by the black ants.
A cold drizzle poured incessantly on the crowd. Garen stood still in front of the tomb, taking out a black woodring and stroking it gently. The emblem of the Golden Hoop had been shifted to his left ear lobe.
He felt a soothing feeling of peace that he had never felt before, as he looked at the ants devouring Rosetta.
A few black crows were attracted by the corpse. They landed onto the corpse and started to biting out big chunks of flesh, ignoring the onlooking crowd beside them.
Garen and the others ignored the crows as well.
Now that the incident with his senior disciple had been dealt with, Garen and Cynthia were the only disciples left from the older generation, as the elder and second senior disciple had passed away. The rest of the members were rookies. If he wanted to challenge the white Bird Holy Fist, now was the time…
After coming back from the cemetery, Garen sat alone in the hall of the White Cloud Gate’s main dojo. The surrounding was covered in darkness, as the faint moonlight filtered in from the window and landed on the slightly broken floor.
He didn’t know when it had started, but he started to enjoy sitting alone and letting his thoughts run wild after that night’s battle. He realized that he could easily linking a lot of things together after maxing out his intelligence. He had also gained a tremendous amount of knowledge in martial arts.
"Master, are you there?" Simon’s voice came from the entrance of the staircase but there seemed to be someone else as well, judging from the sound of the footsteps.
"Please come up if you have anything to say."Garen replied as he opened his eyes.
Soon, footsteps of multiple people came from the staircase. Simon brought along a gentle and calm handsome man, where Corinne brought along a cool and beautiful woman to see him.
Corinne and Simon were the disciples of Garen’s ex-subordinate, and they were not related at all. However, they chose to stay and not give up during the White Cloud Gate’s darkest times. Hence, Garen decided to make them his disciples and teach them martial arts with all his knowledge.
At this stage, both of them were very strong in terms of martial arts. They were at the same level as Cynthia after training for a long time; the level of the Tenstar Ni from the Celestial Circle Gate and the Crimson Sand Sword.
They played a major role in reviving the White Cloud Gate. With the addition of Garen becoming a Grandmaster of Combat, they had a clearer understanding of the body’s qi and all of the results of this effect.
In addition, both of them were continuously consuming the body quenching pill that Garen once had when he was mastering his secret techniques. This meant that their physical quality was above average, which was the main cause of of their big improvement.
"Yes?" Garen looked at his audience. Simon and Corinne were both wearing their black tight practice uniforms, whereas their partners behind them wore white silk practice uniforms. They had an exceptionally respectful demeanor towards Garen.
"Master, we have brought our disciples to greet you." Simon replied carefully because Garen who was sitting in front of him was like a beast in the dark. He was giving off a sense of oppression just by sitting there.
Unlike last time, it was still easy to talk to him due to his casual personality. However, Garen changed into another person ever since he had beat up the Behemoth Gate.
"These two are your disciples?" Garen was stunned. He had heard it from both of them last time, but hadn’t asked about it in detail. They had finally met each other.
"Hello Grand Master." Both of the youngsters greeted Garen at the same time. they looked elegant, even though they were about fourteen or fifteen years old.
"Karina is Bouvini’s niece." Corinne explained as the girl quickly lowered her head and paid her due respect respect to Garen.
"Yuan Reese is the second successor of the Di Youwen Household." Simon quickly introduced him to Garen as well.