The arrival of the two was abrupt, but it was obvious what they were doing.
Yan Fei was trying to hunt down and kill Li Xiu.
Junior Leopard frowned. Whether it was Yan Fei trying to kill Li Xiu or vice versa, both scenarios didn't make sense.
Yan Fei was King of Xining's eldest son and Emperor of Jin's rumored illegitimate child. Of course, that rumor originated from Junior Leopard himself. Yan Fei's designation appeared higher than Li Xiu, but his status was in fact much more inferior.
He was merely a royalty without authority. If not for his great cultivation, he would likely be living an ordinary life under the protection of the King of Xining. He might be able to flaunt his status as a member of the royalty in front of ordinary folks but could only lower his head in front of experts like Junior Leopard. Further, a royalty had to obey the strict rules of the imperial court and had even less freedom than ordinary people.
Li Xiu was different.
Li Xiu was the eldest lineal son of the Li family in Pingzhou. Even if he was an ordinary person with low cultivation, he still had the chance to become the head of his family. Even if he couldn't, he would still command quite the authority in his family. Whether it was freedom or influence, he was much better than Yan Fei.
Though Yan Fei now received the admiration of the Emperor of Jin for his cultivation and yielded more power compared to the average royalty, Li Xiu was also a teen expert and a rising star in the Jianghu. Either way, Liu Xiu's status was still a little higher than Yan Fei's.
Yan Fei's popularity might have clouded Li Xiu's with after earning the Emperor's appreciation and gaining the Pure Yang Weapon, the Octupole Exquisite Pagoda, but it was still unbelievable that he would hunt down Li Xiu.
But the truth was before his eyes. His belief was insignificant.
The two flew past mid-air at an incredible speed, wrapped in a cloud of Gang Qi. Though they were fast, it wasn't considered much to Junior Leopard. What surprised him was the eight beams of light around Yan Fei.
"Octupole Exquisite Pagoda!" Green Spirit cried. "This idiot didn't refine the pagoda completely and can only control it at a basic level! What a disgusting misuse of the weapon!"
It was truly a great misuse of the weapon.
Being unable to concentrate into a single entity, the great spirit pressure coming from the pagoda scattered at random. It caused a commotion among all the sensitive creatures in the prairie. If Yan Fei had the ability to fully control the pagoda and concentrate the spirit pressure to a point, there was no way Li Xiu could escape him.
At least, he wouldn't be able to run this far.
"What are these two doing?!" Scoffing, Junior Leopard instantly created a cloud of fire and chased after them without concealing himself. He showed no concern about the scattered spirit pressure at all.
Both of them were Level Seven experts with great spiritual minds. They instantly noticed him the moment he started to fly.
"Zhou Bao! Dude, I finally found you! Come and help me. Yan Fei has gone mad!" Li Xiu was overjoyed to see Junior Leopard that there wasn't any trace of his coldness as a child. Of course, Yan Fei might have just frightened the wits out of him.
Yan Fei's expression changed when he saw Junior Leopard flying toward them and yelled, "Don't you meddle in this, Zhou Bao. This is between me and Li Xiu!"
Zhou Bao was publicly acknowledged as the best fighter among the fourteen experts in the world, with the ability to contend against experts at the peak of Level Eight. It was even said that his combat capability was the strongest among all experts below Level Nine. Though that might be an exaggeration, it proved that the public held him in high esteem.
Yan Fei was also one of the fourteen experts. He once wanted to challenge Zhou Bao but was delayed by the emergence of an unidentified rumor. By the time he squashed the rumor, Zhou Bao had already returned to his fief and he lost his opportunity.
He didn't expect to meet Junior Leopard under such circumstances.
This was the worst case scenario for him. Though he had the Octupole Exquisite Pagoda with him, it was nevertheless a Pure Yang Weapon that he could barely handle. He could still take on a Level Seven expert but two would be difficult, not to mention that one of them was Zhou Bao, who was famed for his great combat capability.
"Meddling? Royal Highness Yan Fei, this is my territory and you're trying to hurt my friend here. Do you think I'll stay out of it?" Junior Leopard sneered and the Fire Earth Qi around him suddenly grew vigorously. He transformed into a beam of red light and dashed between the two.
The two blasts of strength collided with a dull thud. Junior Leopard felt a powerful force hit him and forced him backward.
Junior Leopard sneered and flashed his Nine Dragons Heavenly Fire at the powerful force, canceling it out.
Opposite him, Yan Fei was thrown backward by hundreds of feet. His expression darkened at once.
Yan Fei had always thought highly of himself and aimed too high. He had reached Level Seven at such a young age after all. That was why he yearned to compete with the famous Junior Leopard.
He didn't expect Junior Leopard would display a strength beyond his expectations in their first meeting.
Yan Fei's expression was incredibly unpleasant.
He knew Junior Leopard was strong, but not to this extent.
The Octupole Exquisite Pagoda was his celestial device now and he naturally knew how strong it was. It was thanks to the pagoda that he managed to track down Li Xiu for thousands of miles, yet Junior Leopard managed to force him back without any celestial device. It was too unexpected.
Junior Leopard didn't just push him back, but his pagoda as well.
"Nothing is impossible." Junior Leopard seemed like he really enjoyed the shock on other people's faces. He smiled coldly and said, "The pagoda is a great weapon but you didn't master it completely, meaning you can't demonstrate the full strength of the Pure Yang Weapon!"
"Humph! I was just careless!"Yan Fei's expression darkened even more. "Zhou Bao, you sure you want to get involved in this?"
"I've already mentioned Li Xiu is my friend. I'm being merciful by not attacking you when you tried to kill my friend on my turf. I don't want to give you any trouble. Just leave and never show up in front of me again!"
Junior Leopard's tone was also aggressive.
"Looks like we can't solve this amicably." Yan Fei's eyes turned cold as he stared at Junior Leopard.
"Then stop the nonsense and bring it on! I'd like to see how strong your pagoda is!" Junior Leopard's voice was also filled with coldness, staring at Yan Fei as if he was in deep thought. Gang Qi flared up around him, releasing his Ninth Heaven Fire Dragon. The dragon entwined itself in the air and transformed into an immense cover of fire, fiercely charging at Yan Fei.
"You dare!" Yan Fei's expression stiffened. He pointed at the dragon and beams of cyan light shot out from his fingertips.
"Heaven and Earth, the octupole of the world! The mountain of a patch of earth! The Door of Deep Cyan! Show yourself!"
The beam of cyan light flared in the air and transformed into a massive gate that beamed with a blinding cyan light. The cover of Nine Dragons Heavenly Fire was absorbed into the huge gate and disappeared at once.
Junior Leopard's expression changed. He used Gang Qi to build the cover of Nine Dragons Heavenly Fire. Though his Gang Qi was inexhaustible, he would still need time to recover it. The cover had consumed nearly one-third of his Gang Qi but was so easily swallowed by the cyan gate. He obviously didn't feel good about it.
"The mountain of a patch of earth! Fall!"
Just as he was still feeling sorry for his loss, Junior Leopard heard a roar coming from Yan Fei. It was followed by Li Xiu's voice shouting, "Watch out, Zhou Bao!"
With the condensation of the cyan gate, the light around it transformed into a mountain more than three kilometers tall. It then fell on Junior Leopard.
"The mountain of a patch of earth!" Junior Leopard sneered. With a raise of his arm, the Golden-Scaled Cudgel appeared in his hand and grew larger along with the whistling wind. He showed no mercy, fully intending to test the strength of the mountain. He directed his strength into the cudgel and fiercely struck the mountain.
It was as if thunder had just struck, leaving behind a continuous and lingering thunderous sound.
The three of them weren't far from the heart of Junior Leopard's fief. No one had noticed them before the thunderous sound. But with such a sound on a sunny day, numerous residents were startled and all of them looked over with their heads raised.
However, they couldn't get a clear look at the fight happening hundreds of miles away due to their limited eyesight. Those with better eyesight barely managed to see a couple of bright spots. Those with terrible eyesight saw nothing at all.
There was one exception.
It was Zhu Ba.
With Junior Leopard's dedicated guidance, his cultivation continued to rise. As his cultivation improved, he also felt his eyesight becoming increasingly extraordinary.
He didn't dare to brag about other qualities, but his eyesight was far better than ordinary folks. He could see clearly even if it was a hundred miles away, providing the sky was clear without clouds and there were no obstructions. But he didn't realize that he was being stared at while his attention was on Junior Leopard's situation.
"Though this kid's strength isn't anything to talk about, he seems to also have the bloodline of ancient times."
Two courtyards away, two people stood on the roof and watched the fight in the air with leisure. Every now and then, they would look at Zhu Ba for his pair of eyes had aroused their attention.
"Are you interested in him?"
"No. His eyes are wonderful, but he's too weak. And he's already at that age. Even if he improves, it won't do him any good. He'll only step into the realm of Tendon Changing in his lifetime and that doesn't help me much."
"He owns the ancient bloodline. Who knows what miracles will happen to his pair of eyes in the future."
"Tch! For eye skills, they're not worth much if they're not Fiery Eyes," one of them said, grinning as he glanced at Golden Rooster beside him. "Of course, I'll reconsider if he's a pureblood."
"You're so sure that he's half-blooded?"
The man sneered. "Even the owner of Fiery Eyes is half-blooded! How can he be a pureblood?"
"Do you think that a pureblood is that easy to find?"
"You're right. After hundreds of thousand years, we still don't have any information on purebloods. Even if there is, it's about those in the ancient times and not now. That's because no matter how pure the bloodline is, it'll be tainted after hundreds of thousand years."
"Exactly. That's why we need to face the truth. It's pointless to consider so much. Let's go, Golden Rooster. There's nothing much to see here. Let's go to the gate. That's the reason why I'm here."
"Don't you want to find out the outcome of their battle?"
"Outcome?" The man raised his eyebrows. "Since the boy dares to start a fight, he'll definitely have something he can depend on. But perhaps he has never witnessed the strength of a Pure Yang Weapon and thinks too highly of himself. His defeat is certain!"
"Yes, he does think too highly of himself. However, you say his defeat is certain? I think otherwise!"
"You want to bet on it?"
Golden Rooster considered this and laughed. "Fine. Since you're interested, I won't dampen your spirits. I bet on Junior Leopard's victory."
The man halted his steps when he heard what Golden Rooster said and looked at him with interest. "I bet on that boy named Yan Fei. I don't know where your confidence comes from. Even if your boy has a Divine Weapon, it's impossible for him to defeat someone with a Pure Yang Weapon!"
Golden Rooster didn't argue and merely said, "We'll see!"
Back at their fight, Junior Leopard felt a tremor in his hand when he hit the mountain and felt the force he used rebounded at him several times over.
The force wasn't anything he could take. The corner of his thumb numbed and he nearly lost all feeling in his hand. He nearly lost grip of his cudgel and his body was also hurled away by the rebounding force as if he was blasted by an explosive. He was thrown to the grassland, creating a pit of more than 20 feet in diameter and 10 meters in depth.
In contrast, the mountain created by the cyan gate merely shook gently.
"Humph! A brat who doesn't know his strength!" Yan Fei looked satisfied when he saw Junior Leopard hurled away. He sighed with relief inside and his tone also became more contemptuous. "I never thought of giving you any trouble this time. But since you're determined to be my enemy, I don't mind taking care of you two at the same time!"
He then looked up and spotted Liu Xiu, who was flying to where Junior Leopard was. "I didn't expect you to be so loyal and not run off alone. Since that's the case, I'll be merciful and let you two brothers die together!"
"Motherf*ker!" A furious swear came from the grassland as Junior Leopard slowly crawled up from the bottom of the pit.
"Zhou Bao, you alright?" Li Xiu asked, surprised that Junior Leopard could still talk.
"Of course. You think a shabby Pure Yang Weapon can do anything to me?" Junior Leopard spat with hatred.
"Then let's see if I can do anything to you!" Yan Fei was infuriated and sent his suspended mountain crashing down on them with a point of his finger.
This time, Junior Leopard wasn't stupid enough to try to fight against a Pure Yang Weapon with brute force.
"You think you're all that with a Pure Yang Weapon?" He sneered as a burst of golden light appeared behind his head and enveloped him and Li Xiu under the protection of his own Pure Yang Weapon.
"I happen to have one, too!"
"What?" Li Xiu's eyes were wide and round.
"Impossible!" Yan Fei was in disbelief when he saw his falling mountain blocked by the golden light appearing from behind Junior Leopard's head.
"No way! Where did this boy get a Pure Yang Weapon from?" Hundreds of miles away, in Junior Leopard's fief, Golden Rooster also wore a look of incredulity. He turned to the man beside him and said happily, "Looks like I'm the winner this time!"
The man's expression was unsightly as if he had swallowed a fly. "How could you have not known that the boy owns a Pure Yang Weapon?"
"Don't you bother about that. Our bet is on the winner, not if he has a Pure Yang Weapon. What's wrong? You want to go back on your word?"
"Humph!" The man sneered. "It's too early for you to be happy. When both of them own Pure Yang Weapons, it's still not certain who's the winner."
"Can't you tell?" Golden Rooster laughed. "Zhou Bao's weapon is refined and can be used as he pleases. Yan Fei has just gained his weapon recently and he still can't use it skilfully yet. You think he still stands a chance?"
The man said nothing in response. His face twitched as he fixed his eyes on the battle far away.
Yan Fei's mountain was suspended mid-air after it was blocked by Junior Leopard's golden light. Yan Fei tried to withdraw his mountain several times but failed. Gradually, he felt his connection with the mountain was also cut off.
That was one of the great functions of Junior Leopard's Golden Flame Mirror: containment.
His mirror could even constraint a Pure Yang Weapon!
This didn't mean that his mirror was superior to the pagoda. Rather, he had refined the mirror himself and the nature of the mirror was also suited for him. This allowed him to demonstrate the full strength of the mirror. In contrast, Yan Fei had just acquired his pagoda recently. His ability was just so-so and refining a Pure Yang Weapon wasn't an easy task.
Thus, this created a large gap in their powers.
"It's useless. Don't waste your effort!" Zhou Bao laughed heartily and launched himself into the air. The golden light behind his head only grew brighter and a palm-sized mirror appeared in a flash. "Since you tried to kill my friend on my turf, I'll show you no mercy!"
"You think I'll be scared of you?!"
Yan Fei wanted nothing more than to rush up and slap Junior Leopard on his arrogant face. They both had a Pure Yang Weapon each. Even if he can't compare to Junior Leopard, it wasn't to the extent that he couldn't fight at all!
With such a thought, he condensed the power of his pagoda again.
"Heaven and Earth, the octupole of the world! The mountain of the extreme east! Enlightenment Door! Show yourself!"
"Heaven and Earth, the octupole of the world! The mountain of Bo Mu! The Door of White Sun! Show yourself!"
"Heaven and Earth, the octupole of the world! The mountain of the extreme South! Summer Door! Show yourself!"
Three beams of light flashed in yellow, white, and blue. They transformed into three massive gates and collapsed on Junior Leopard.
The pagoda, with its eight gates and holy mountains, was a magical thing. Unfortunately, Yan Fei's cultivation was limited and he could only use four of them.
One gate alone was enough to defeat ordinary people, never mind four.
Unfortunately, his opponent this time was Junior Leopard. He wasn't someone who could be dealt with using common sense.
Thousands of auspicious Qi beams fell from the air as the three gates forcefully tried to suppress Junior Leopard and Li Xiu.
Junior Leopard didn't dare to underestimate Yan Fei's pagoda after suffering a hit earlier. The golden light burst and scattered from behind his head. With a flash of cyan light, three lotuses appeared in the mirror and steadily constrained the three gates and holy mountains.
Even Junior Leopard didn't think the mirror could produce such an effect. Though he had refined the weapon, he had few ideas about the true magical uses of the weapon. The mirror had a strong intelligence as a Pure Yang Weapon. Earlier, he had merely unleashed the power of the mirror by force but this time, the mirror had chosen the best way to fight off its enemies by itself. And it did so by creating three lotuses to fend off the three holy mountains.
At this moment, he finally learned something about the Pure Yang Weapon and the intelligence of a weapon.
The weapon was just like a computer program that was self-operational once it received one order. That was what intelligence was.
The differences between intelligence and spiritual intelligence were comparable to the difference between a computer and AI in his former life.
Yan Fei's expression soured when he saw how the mirror constrained his holy mountains with stream-like golden light and cut off his connection to them.
"I don't want to kill anyone today, but I won't let you off easy either. You must pay with something."
Junior Leopard found it hard to hide his joy when he saw how his mirror subdued the pagoda. "You can leave after handing me your pagoda!"
Yan Fei shouted his denial without even thinking about it. Just then, four-colored streams of light were entwining him. These were the remaining four gates of the pagoda. However, he could only use them for protection as he hadn't refined the weapon yet.
"You can't even defeat me with that you can control. What more of those that you can't control?" Junior Leopard smiled when he saw Yan Fei's expression. He touched the back of his head to fetch his mirror. It was like a miniature sun, shining with light as it fixed itself on the four holy mountains.
In Junior Leopard's hands, the mirror condensed its light. The four holy mountains, transformed into streams of light, rotated around the mirror.
"Let's test the protective capability of your pagoda!" With a laugh, Junior Leopard raised his hand and raised his mirror high. A straight golden light emerged from the mirror and directly struck Yan Fei.
Yan Fei's expression changed as if he could sense some devastating strength from the mirror. The four streams of light around him fused together and transformed into a golden screen of light that stood before him.
Crash! The golden light from the mirror crashed into the screen of light from the pagoda, resulting in an odd noise. In a flash, Yan Fei's face lost all color.