"I know. If it were not powerful, it couldn't be called a Pure Yang Celestial Device at all," said Junior Leopard. "But, only one Pure Yang Celestial Device can't scare me away. I just don't want to be led by the nose. I haven't seen Yan Fei. What's your opinion, Jiang Xiao?"
"It's hard to say, Your Excellency. But I've seen his performance several times. His Qi Power is overbearing. What's more, because of his high strength, he seems to be very arrogant. So many times he has raised his chin to the sky and disregarded others' feelings when fighting on the stage. I think he should be a piece of cake."
"A piece of cake?" Junior Leopard laughed, saying, "All right, since such a person is only a piece of cake, I'll leave him to you."
"What?" Jiang Xiao opened his mouth widely, wearing a bitter expression. "Your Excellency, please don't be so hard on me! Even if he is a piece of cake, only you, the expert, can handle him. My cultivation is only at Level Three, so he can easily kill me with one finger. God bless me!"
"But you just said he was only a piece of cake."
"That's because I was answering your question. For you, he is no stronger than a child. But for people like us, even if he is a fool, with a cultivation at Level Seven, he can also be as powerful as a god."
"Well, this way. You help me to spread the message that I've got some insights about practicing when fighting with Wang Yuebai. And I'm going to have closed-door training, refusing any visitors. Hurry up."
"Yes, Your Excellency. So, how long will this closed-door training last?"
"One year. I'll have a one-year closed-door training," Junior Leopard answered ruthlessly.
"One year? Isn't that too long?" Wang Datong clamored at the side, "But the trade route in the south—"
"The trade route in the south doesn't need me to appear personally. Just ask Cao Xuetang for help. Now all the people know that the Anyuan Store is my estate. Even if you don't ask him, he will also help you." Junior Leopard waved his hands impatiently and said, "Stop here. I need to perform my closed-door training now. You can all go, except for Jiang Xiao."
"Your Excellency, what are your instructions?" After the other two men had gone, Jiang Xiao still remained. He looked at Junior Leopard with curiosity.
"Go and help me with one thing."
"What is it?"
Junior Leopard waved to him, hinting for Jiang Xiao to move closer to his ear. Then Junior Leopard said something to him in a low voice, making Jiang Xiao's expression change as if it were a palette. "What? Oh my God. Your Excellency, your idea is so wicked!"
"Really? I don't think so. I'm just nipping it in the bud. In case he looks to me for any trouble, I'd like take the initiative to gain the upper hand."
After giving his orders and sending Jiang Xiao away, Junior Leopard hunkered down in the house, at the same time recalling all of the benefits that he won in the geocentric fire vein a few days ago. Inside the acupoints that he had unpacked, Internal Qi flowed like a running river. He also released the Goat-shaped Dragon, one of the shapes of the Nine Forms of the Real Dragon, trying to be up on it. As for his Gang Qi, to be exact, the kylin Gang of the Nine Dragons Heavenly Fire, it was more fantastic. This gold Gang Qi was like a jumping flame when being performed. Though it seemed to be normal, it had a mighty lethality. What was more delighting was that when he unpacked the Real Dragon's Acupoints, he succeeded in both amplifying his Internal Qi in numbers and practicing Gang Qi. Therefore, when he succeeded in practicing the Gang of Nine Dragons Heavenly Fire, he should refine nine fire dragons with his Internal Qi and blend them with the Gang Qi. As soon as the Gang of Nine Dragons Heavenly Fire was performed, the nine fire dragons began to embrace him. How awe-inspiring! When he threw out those nine dragons, they would coil together and burn with raging fire, making a subtle formation. That formation would turn into a huge cover and spurt out a roaring flame. Junior Leopard had had one tentative attack before, but this cover, which was made of nine fire dragons, had boundless might. It could even melt gold and stones.
"This is the Nine Dragons Heavenly Fire Shield, one of the esoteric Divine Senses of the Taixuan School from antiquity times. Unexpectedly, it can still be seen now."
"A Divine Sense? What on earth is a Divine Sense?"
"A Divine Sense is an insight which primitive ancestors comprehended according to the Self Divine Sense of Grand Demons or Innate Deitys. It can communicate with heaven and earth and release a huge might, just like the so-called special techniques or secret skills in your life. The Great Fusion Technic is a Divine Sense, and so is the Nine Dragons Heavenly Fire Gang." Green Spirit continued, "However, because of changes in time and differences of the essence of the world, people will use different ways to perform their skill. We can take your Nine Dragons Heavenly Fire Gang as an example. From the Evil Qi nowadays, only when the Blood Essence Evil Yuan, one kind of top Evil Qi of Fire, blends with the full-bodied Internal Qi, can the Gang be achieved. And you luckily have full-bodied Internal Qi, which surpasses the majority of people. At the same time, Evil Kylin is more advanced than Blood Essence Evil Yuan. Therefore, you can practice it successfully. If it were someone else, he would absolutely have no possibility."
"That is to say, I'm really so lucky that I can practice one more Divine Sense!" Junior Leopard laughed and said, "So, who should I say thanks to? You, or my insubstantial luck?"
"No one except yourself!" said Green Spirit. "No matter if it's the Great Fusion Technic or the Nine Dragons Heavenly Fire Shield, both of them need the essence and spirit. Since you have one Pure Yang Celestial Device, you don't need so many Divine Senses. In ancient times, one good weapon could help you travel all over the world."
"What if I lose my celestial device?"
"Then you'll be so ill-starred."
"I can detect the mystery of the Golden Flame Mirror when it has absorbed the Sun Colored Glaze Flame."
"Well, that's for sure. In antiquity times, people always lived with their magic weapons. They never fought with their own cultivation. Unlike this life, where only a few celestial devices are left. How boring!"
"Yeah, it's really boring for people to fight with their own cultivation. But unfortunately, you can never go back to the antiquity times, or else—"
"Just stop here. Don't talk about old anecdotes anymore. Though your Golden Flame Mirror is ready, you still need to nourish it carefully and become familiar with it little by little. When you reach the Metaphysical Realm or Individual Immortal Karma Rank and have insights in Taoism of Primordial Spirit, you can develop all the power of this celestial device. At that time, you won't need to be afraid of anyone!"
"I don't need to be afraid of anyone even now," Junior Leopard sneered.
"Oh yes, you don't need to be afraid of anyone even now." Green Spirit repeated his words, but his voice was full of amusement.
"Hmph," Junior Leopard sneered again. He did not pay attention to him any longer, instead, he patiently refreshed his spirit by closing his eyes and began to practice.
"What? What did you say just now? Yan Fei, Xining King's Eldest Son, is the bastard of His Majesty, and His Majesty even desires to pass power on to him? Are you mad?"
The World Hero Competition had just finished. Before digesting the fruits of victory, Xining King's Eldest Son, Yan Fei, the teen expert who just pushed himself forward, was surrounded by an absurd rumor. He even had no time to adjust his mentality and began another task.
The rumor of being the emperor's bastard was widespread in West Capital. Furthermore, this rumor became increasingly fierce like wildfire in just a few days. By now, it might have spread to all over the world.
Because of this, His Majesty was said to fly into a rage. In just three days, a dozen restaurants were forced to close down because customers talked about that rumor in there. However, rumors were always independent of the potentate's will. And they could never be eliminated just by sealing up restaurants.
The source of the rumor was unclear. The authorities could not find out who the spreader was at all. They only knew that the news had first spread out from the Yuanhai Restaurant. So the Yuanhai Restaurant was the first to be closed. But it started up business again the next day. That was because the Yuanhai Restaurant was King Yuan's estate. King Yuan, who was the fifth son of His Majesty and had huge influences among all the princes, was hard to deal with. He insisted that the one who had spread the rumors in his restaurant had no relationship with him. Actually, the authorities could not find any evidence to prove his suspicions of that rumor, so they ended up with nothing concrete.
Though the restaurants in West Capital had some background, not all of them were as influential as King Yuan. How could they not try to avoid being involved in such events?
Therefore, each restaurant that had not been sealed up in the capital city were all apprehensive of danger within every sound. Some of them even closed their doors on their own initiative, in case of getting into trouble.
On the other hand, the initiator of evil had already set foot on the way back to the northwest.
Yes, it was Junior Leopard who asked Jiang Xiao to spread that rumor.
On hearing that Xining King's Eldest Son wanted to look for trouble with him, Junior Leopard was really reluctant. He was not willing to deal with Yan Fei at all. But if Yan Fei did challenge him, according to his status in Jianghu now, he had to say yes. After all, when in Jianghu, things would go beyond control. So, he thought up a wicked idea to disperse Yan Fei's attention.
He had planned to perplex Yan Fei, but unexpectedly, a huge disturbance was caused.
Yes, a huge disturbance,
because this rumor had touched the most taboo topic in the Great Jin. Though the protagonist paid no attention to that rumor, there still were so many people who were kept in the dark.
And in this world, the most meddlesome people were those who were kept in the dark. At the same time, they had the richest imaginations.
Hence, a rumor that was originally simple and easy to expose diverged into many versions from mouth to mouth. Most of them were clear and logical and reasonable. Little by little, many exciting and interesting rumors and stories endlessly emerged.
For a while, all the world remained restless. Yan Fei, the new teen expert, was pushed into the teeth of the storm. He could not spare any efforts to care about Junior Leopard any longer. So Junior Leopard swaggered along and returned to his territory, claiming to have a one-year closed-door training. With no impetuous man looking for trouble with him, he was free and easy the whole way.
"The weather is getting cold." Standing above a protruding rock, Junior Leopard closed his eyes and sensed the blowing cold wind. "No wonder people often say the northwest is a tough and cold land. As expected, it's at least 20 degrees lower than the Central Plains in winter. What's more, the wind is like a steel knife when it is blowing. How painful my face is!"
"It's time to go to the Blacktail Plain. That damn long bug is still cozily lying in the Blacktail Plain. Because the Blacktail Plain is very large, it didn't matter before. But since the territory in the north has all been enfeoffed, that location has become critical. If I can take control of that area, then I'll nip the lifeline of the entire northwest. Getting the passageway in the Blacktail Plain through means going through a shortcut between the northwest to the Central Plains. Since I can figure it out, so can other people. I heard that a few lords who live near the Blacktail Plain have already been aware of it and sent people to inquire about it. Some lords with big territories even are ready to align together and fight against Black Demon Chama!" Junior Leopard recalled information about the Blacktail Plain that he had learned recently. He then sneered, "No matter how powerful Black Demon Chama is, it's just a monster that is not mature enough. If those lords truly take it seriously and ask several experts to attack with joining hands, then they would certainly face big problems. But if I bring Black Demon Chama under control first, the situation will be different." Thinking about that, Junior Leopard could not help chuckling.
"Hey you, guy... what are you thinking about? I thought that you weren't a timid man. Why would you think up such a wicked idea to deal with Yan Fei? Are you afraid of him?"
"The situation in the Central Plains is becoming more and more complex." Junior Leopard shook his head, saying, "I don't have enough power to put my foot in it. Actually, I also don't want to. Though the northwest is a tough and cold land, it's a good fit for me to cultivate my mind and do closed-door training. I can also keep away from the disputes in the Central Plains. Besides, I have pushed myself forward for so long. Long-time prosperity will lead to failure. Previously, no one was outstanding enough to distract everyone's attention for me. But now, there are three. Just let them show off."
"So, you think if you don't push yourself forward, you will be let off then?"
"That's why I don't push myself forward but hide in the northwest." Junior Leopard smiled and said, "Heaven is high and the emperor is far away from here. And nominally, it's my domain. If I can't deal with a person who looks for trouble in my domain, how can I dare to live any longer!"
While speaking, Junior Leopard changed his expression. He turned around and saw a man running toward him in a flurry.
On the hillside of Jilei Mountain, there was a rock which towered 50-60 feet over the cliffside. The surface of the rock was flat and was roomy enough for a man to hunker. After returning to his territory, Junior Leopard, though he lived in his big residence, would spend most of the time hunkering on that rock. It made him more like an enigmatic master who always withstood exposure, deprivation, and hunger just to absorb the Sun and Moon Essence.
Common people did not dare to bother him, they even did not dare to enter within 1,000 feet of the rock. Only when urgent things happened would Jiang Xiao ask people to inform Junior Leopard. Looking at that man who was muddleheaded, Junior Leopard had inexplicable anger in his heart. "What green and inexperienced subordinates they are!"
Even though he had a huge territory, he actually had few people there. And most of those people were centered around the town centralization. As the population in his territory grew more and more, however, the personnel structure had improved a lot. Instead of only having the old and the weak, more and more muscular teens entered into his territory because of human traders. Just because the labor turnover was more tanglesome, the public security became less ordered for some time. And the management of the town was chaotic. Hence, on Junior Leopard's order, a small government that took Wang Cheng, Jiang Xiao, and Zhu Ba as the core was established. Work regarding public security and protection in the town was in the charge of Zhu Ba. However, Zhu Ba could not do everything himself, in spite of his decent strength. He whereupon gathered some muscular teens and taught them martial arts, no matter what their race was. As the basic defensive power in the town, they were titled urban management, an amiable and proper name, by Junior Leopard.
The urban management became stronger day by day, but its quality needed to be improved.
But that was pardonable. People who were sold here by human traders were either sinners or bandits. They were at the end of their ropes. Each of them had bandit nature and was good at destruction, and they all felt uneasy and unadapted when wearing robes.
More than that, they worked imprudently and obtrusively and were never stable men.
"What are you flustering about? What happened?" Junior Leopard frowned. He moved his finger slightly, then an invisible and withy parclose appeared in front of that man and stopped him.
"Your Excellency, bad news! There's been an accident in the refined-iron mine!"
"What could happen in the refined-iron mine?" Junior Leopard frowned again. There was a refined-iron mine in his territory. But because the trade route had not gone through yet and people in the territory were not rich enough, they seldom exploited it. They had just built a small puddling workshop and dug some mineral to meet the basic needs of the territory. Since few people were there, what could happen?
Junior Leopard felt a bit puzzled. His figure flashed and then disappeared from that rock.
A red light rushed down Jilei Mountain.
The refined-iron mine was also located down Jilei Mountain, but it was far away from his town. He was satisfied with it because few people would be bothered.
His speed was pretty fast. But when he arrived, the entire area of the mine was in a chaotic state.
A dozen weak and limp miners could not move a step on the ground. The urban management of the town was dispatched. But strangely, both the urban management and Zhu Ba stomped far away from the refined-iron mine, showing no intention to access it.
"What's wrong with it, Zhu Ba? Why are you standing over here, offering no help?"
"Thank God, you are finally here. Your Excellency, we've got a problem, a big problem!" Zhu Ba looked pale. He seemed to get his backbone back upon seeing Zhou Bao arrive. "There's poison gas in it. At first, we didn't know, so we asked people to go inside. But shortly after entering into the mine area, they all fell down, fainting. I tried once, but I almost couldn't get back. The poisonous gas is colorless and tasteless. How grisly! I've no idea what I should do about it now."
"Poisonous gas?" Junior Leopard was surprised. "Let me see."
Upon finishing those words, two green lights appeared and circled around him. His figure flashed and then he entered into the mine area. As expected, as soon as he set foot in the mine area, the Poison Cold Shield started absorbing insanely.
"There really is bane here." Feeling shocked in his heart, he did not dare to be neglectful. He raised his hand and rolled the miners and the urban management up to the outside. A layer of green light flashed. It flowed across their bodies like a streamer, extracting all the bane from out of their bodies.
"I've detoxified them. Go and ask the doctors to check them. If they are alive, then treat them quickly."
"Yes!" Zhu Ba nodded and called people out to go and get the doctors.
Junior Leopard turned back and entered into the hole again.
The mine hole was neither big nor deep. Since it had only been exploited not long ago, it was not as moist or dark as those old mine holes. But, this was a rich ore. So even if time was short, the stones on the wall were still twinkling with colorful lights. It was beautiful.
The deepest place in the mine hole was 100 feet away from the entrance and the height was about 10 feet, so everywhere could be seen clearly. In the depth of the hole, something seemed to be wrong on the stone wall. Something ropy was running out of a deep gap.
Is this blood?
Though owning eccentric eyes and superior vision, Junior Leopard still could not figure out what that was just yet.
"It seems to be the corpse of an evil beast,"
Junior Leopard said in astonishment when he checked it carefully.
He now knew that the colorless and tasteless poisonous gas was emitted out from this running "blood". From the part that was exposed from the stone wall, Junior Leopard could indistinctly see rough, plicated black fur, like the skin of a lizard.
"Get closer, let me see it more clearly!" Green Spirit's voice rang out in his mind, sounding very excited.
"Can I gain benefits from it?" When hearing Green Spirit's voice, Junior Leopard became excited again. He rushed toward that stone wall in a few steps.
"Green Spirit, do you know what it is?"
"Yes, of course! This is one of the five poisonous beasts, which were mounted by the Poisonous Dragon Emperor in those days. It's unexpected that it should die here."
"The Poisonous Dragon Emperor?"
"He was a famous bastard in antiquity times, a bastard who was the most intrepid. Why would his mount appear here?"
Eight balls of golden flame appeared instantly around the stone wall. Within a few minutes, the stone wall was burnt with a big hole. But the corpse of that poisonous beast did not suffer any damage at all. After a long-time practicing, Junior Leopard's control of the flame of Lion reached a high degree of professional proficiency.
When the body of that poisonous beast was exposed at last, Junior Leopard raised his left eyebrow slowly.
"This damn thing definitely is a poisonous beast!"
This so-called poisonous beast was just a horse-like monster, which was four times larger than common horses. It had a black body, along with rough skin. Its appearance was quite ugly and odd. There was only the upper part of the body left. The lower part of the body had vanished from sight. From its wound, Junior Leopard guessed it must have been torn by a strong power.