Aware that the situation was rather out of the ordinary, White Tiger shot a glowing look toward Zhou Bao.
Sensing that White Tiger had no intent to strike out again, Zhou Bao smiled and stopped fighting as well, "What's up, Your Excellency White Tiger, shall we continue?"
"Forget it. No need to continue this fight. You are a truly capable bloke!" White Tiger exclaimed, raising his eyebrows. "You have the ability to trade blows with me. Today, I'll just let you off the hook!" After he spoke, speaking, he vanished in a flash of light.
"Ugh, what a damned dude!" Zhou Bao cursed under his breath. Then, he wheeled around with a broad smile on his face, cupped his hands towards Mock Moon Immortal and others and said, "Guys, I'm so sorry that we had to run into that damned dude. Really unfortunate! If you guys don't mind, let's go for a drink to remove this bad luck. What do you say?"
"A muscle on Mock Moon Immortal's face twitched, but he answered with a beam, "Great. Since Mr.Zhou has invited us, we count ourselves as an honored lot. We are truly honored!"
After going through this battle, no matter how dense Zhou Bao was, he could tell that the attitude of these four haughty Individual Immortals towards him had undergone a subtle change. Even that Longlife Immortal, the haughtiest of the lot, had begun to regard him with a certain amount of fervor.
But how could he not get all worked up?
Currently, even though Zhou Bao's cultivation skill was merely at Level Nine, he was already an evenly matched rival of White Tiger. Over time, who knew how powerful he could grow to be?
The most important fact to note though, was that currently he was at Level Nine, and was a total troublemaker!
Now, enticing Zhou Bao over to their side and having this troublemaker in the Central Mainland Region appeared be their best choice.
Last time, the Mingyi School had fallen into disgrace due to the problems this troublemaker had incurred, letting all others have a good laugh at their expense. But what about this time? This time he and White Tiger had battled against each other, which meant he had also started a feud with the Immortal Palace. In this way, the next one who would be subject to Zhou Bao's sabotage and fall into disgrace would surely be the Immortal Palace, wouldn't it?
White Tiger was not a guy who forgave easily. Whenever he lost face, he would definitely have another go to gain it back. However, this time after launching one strike at Zhou Bao, he would never launch a second one.
"This time White Tiger went too far! He is already ranked as an immortal, but he still waged a battle against you, which means he has openly violated the Law of Heaven in our presence and regarded the Law of Heaven as something trivial. That is totally outrageous! We do not condone this kind of practice! Rest assured, Mr. Zhou. We will certainly expect Immortal Palace to account for this matter when we return. And I will guarantee that, before Your Excellency's strength breaks into the Individual Immortal Realm, White Tiger will absolutely not launch another fight against you!"
"Then, I shall trouble you four to sort this out!" said Zhou Bao, beaming.
"No trouble at all. It is our duty. White Tiger is used to running wild, and this will be a great opportunity to contain him for a while. But Your Excellency needs to be prepared for more troubles, because this White Tiger represents one of the Four Images of the Immortal Palace, and even if he won't attack you, that doesn't guarantee that the Immortal Palace won't either. Even though you are close to Tian Long Taoism, considering White Tiger's high status in the Immortal Palace, it's still likely that experts from the Immortal Palace will try to make trouble for you either directly or covertly, even without White Tiger's direct involvement. As long as they don't breach the Law of Heaven, there's nothing much we can do about it!"
"Never mind. I'll take precautionary measures when the actual situation happens. If there are truly attackers coming, I shall beat them up one by one. I just don't believe anyone from that damn Immortal Palace can discipline me!" Zhou Bao curled his lips and raised his eyebrows, emitting an air of arrogance. In his eyes, one could see the awe-inspiring momentum of his thoughts.
Seeing he was so confident, Mock Moon Immortal also smiled. Soon, the five of them went back to Zhou Bao's Lord Mansion and started chatting over drinks. Fully satiated, the four took their leave. Although they each had their own axe to grind, it could be said that this time the guests and the host had got on very well!
"You blokes seem really determined to have a go at entrapping the Divine Wind Palace!" When the four departed, Green Spirit, who had witnessed all the coming and goings, popped out with a giggle, "After this, Divine Wind Palace will definitely treat you as their most useful pawn in the and will want to develop a closer relationship with you. Hehe!"
"The trees may prefer to be still but the wind will not subside just for their sakes. Given the state of my eyes, it's destined that I may not be civil to the Divine Wind Palace throughout this life. Naturally, I shall prepare myself in advance." Zhou Bao said pensively.
What you said is true, and your method is also good. However, honestly, conspiracies are just side issues, while strength is the most important thing. Only when you have enough strength to back you up can you take part in those conspiracies. Otherwise, who will want to play this game with you?"
"Humph, my Air-frozen Bead has been fully refined already. It's time to enter the Azure Secret Area. I feel that my eyes are not the same as before, after they've imbibed so much Pure Yang Water. They seem to have altered a bit. Now I will not dare practice my Fiery Eyes in broad daylight in this world!" Zhou Bao said in an anticipatory tone. After all, when he had stayed for so many days in Taiyuan Heaven which was suffused with Spiritual Qi, Zhou Bao found that now he was not used to practicing in this kind of surroundings which had lesser Spiritual Qi.
"What did you say? His fight against White Tiger ended in a draw? "
Great Jin, Qianzhou, Western Capital,
In the imperial court of the imperial palace.
Jin Emperor Yan Yuntian blinked and stared dully at Mock Moon Immortal and the other three, "Are you sure that man was White Tiger? And the fight between Zhou Bao and White Tiger really ended in a draw?"
"Well, do you think we will lie to you?" said Longlife Immortal, who was utterly irritated by the disbelief in Yan Yuntian's tone.
"Of course not. It's just that this news is quite shocking. Since Zhou Bao hasn't entered the Mysterious Realm, his combat capability should at most be on par with an Individual Immortal's. How could he even be a match for White Tiger? White Tiger hasn't jumped out of the Three Realms yet, but..."
"But his combat capability has already reached the level of a Venerable's!" Mock Moon Immortal chimed in and finished Yan Yuntian's sentence. "Zhou Bao's combat capability is equal to that of a Venerable's. Looks like that he met with some enlightening adventures in Taiyuan Heaven. If not, he can't be have made such a rapid progress!"
"Met some enlightening adventures in Taiyuan Heaven?" Yan Yuntian's expression grew odd. He was the one who gave Zhou Bao the Taiyuan Token. But that dude was not back yet. Hearing that Zhou Bao had gained experiences from adventures in Taiyuan Heaven and that his strength was increasingly catching up with that of a Genuine Immortal or a Venerable, Yan Yuntian was instantly green-eyed with envy.
"That explains it. It has to be. Otherwise, how can his strength suddenly soar to such a high level?" Mock Moon Immortal was coolly analyzing the whole thing. "When he was in Taiyuan Heaven, he was totally suppressed by Ye Qingtian's fairy weapon. But this time, he was already a match for the fairy weapon!"
"Are you saying he obtained a magic weapon in Taiyuan Heaven?"
"At least a Pure Yang Celestial Device whose power is close to that of a fairy weapon!" Mock Moon Immortal said positively, "But you should not bother about this. Everyone will have his own lucky opportunity. Now, Zhou Bao's fate is too strong to be forcefully suppressed. The only thing you can do is befriend him, you see?"
"Of course. Don't worry, senior. Anyway, Zhou Bao is my son in law, and I've awarded him another large territory. What happened before is now water under the bridge. The next thing I'll do is to figure out a way to be on good terms with him!"
"That's the best solution! You already know the plight you're in. The bit of advantage you managed to secure has already been used up by your negligence. However, if you can pull Zhou Bao over to our side, it will be very easy for you to regain your advantage!"
"Really?What do you mean?" Yuntian's eyes brightened, and he hastened towards Mock Moon Immortal.
"Hum, the reappearance of Fiery Eyes is a major issue for Four Eastern Regions. Apart from our Divine Wind Palace, those influences like the Immortal Palace and the Bigwheel Temple will not leave it alone. We'll certainly hunt them down. Although their numbers are small, their strength is extremely powerful. Besides, with all those influences, we can't really make a big fuss for just a few people. I guess, all the influences will unite together in the end and set up a force solely responsible for hunting down Ye Qingtian and his lot. You should try to rope Zhou Bao in. It's not that hard, because he has bred such an enmity with Ye Qingtian, and as long as he is not stupid, he will want to destroy them through our power. As for tasks like hunting down someone, it will not be limited to the Central Mainland Region or even the Four Eastern Regions. If you truly get him on our side and let him stir up trouble among those two territories, tell me, what kind of outcome will it produce?"
"Brilliant, truly brilliant!" Yan Yuntian's eyes shone with glee. Mock Moon Immortal's words echoed what was in his heart. Indeed, putting Zhou Bao, the troublemaker, into his opponents' territories to stir up trouble would certainly give these two a headache. Thinking over what he had done, he was the one who had thought of the originally huge advantage in dealing with Zhou Bao, hadn't he? Zhou Bao had the strength and the ability to make trouble. The only problem now was how to attract Zhou Bao to his side.
Zhou Bao was no longer a nobody like before, in his eyes. His strength had already reached to such a level that Yan Yuntain had to look up to him. Although he found it difficult to accept this situation, he was, on the other hand, thoroughly assured by this fact.
At first, he had marked Zhou Bao for fear that his influence would grow. He was worried that Zhou Bao would be ungrateful for what he had and plot an uprising, becoming a threat to his dynasty and his throne and disrupting his plan to be a Human Emperor. But now, he had no need to worry about that.
Since Zhou Bao had reached such strong level and owned such a combative capability, he wouldn't bother about being a so-called Human Emperor. Even if he wanted to, he would not be able to make it, because he neither practiced the Way of the Emperor nor did the Divine Wind Palace enlist him into the Human Emperor program. And what mattered most was his bad temper. He was a born troublemaker, certainly not an Emperor material.
"Great that you understand the beauty of it. We can also leverage this opportunity to get Zhou Bao under our influence and send him to create a scene in the Central Mainland Region. We will leave for the Divine Wind Palace in an instance, and I'm pretty sure the lord will give his consent on this. And the rest shall depend on you!"
"Thanks a lot, senior. I will handle this matter properly!"
While Yan Yuntian and Mock Moon Immortal's lot were discussing how to attract Zhou Bao to their side in Western Capital, White Tiger was sitting boldly in the main armchair in Zhou Bao's villa in the northwest Wuyang Region. He was propping his head on his hand, his expression was gloomy and he appeared deep in thought.
On his right and left sat Golden Rooster, Earth Bat of Girl, Moon Deer of Extended Net and Wang She. The faces of Golden Rooster and Wang She were sullen and Moon Deer of Extended's was expressionless. But for Earth Bat of Girl, he had an enigmatic smile on his face.
Silence lingered in the hall for a long time. Everyone had fallen into a deep gloom since White Tiger was back. Wang She and Golden Rooster were both eyeing White Tiger with hostility. If they hadn't known about the strength of his powers, they would have already initiated a fight.
"That guy, yes you! Flying Fire Snake. You are very familiar with Zhou Bao right?"
Suddenly, White Tiger broke the silence. He lifted a hand and pointed at Wang She, and asked his question.
Wang She's eyes glinted with rage. He glared at White Tiger and answered, "Yeah, I know Junior Leopard very well. Is there a problem?"
White Tiger was not put off by Wang She's rude attitude, but continued to ask, "Since you're so close to him and know him so well, then, you must know what he wants most, don't you?"
Wang She was slightly bewildered at this. Having no idea as to what White Tiger meant, he casually replied, "He mentioned this once. He asked if I could help him get the Nine Heaven Yuan Yang Technique. I guess he is quite interested in this technique!"
"Nine Heaven Yuan Yang Technique?" White Tiger murmured to himself, and abruptly raised his head and asked, "Nine Heaven Yuan Yang Technique is the top-one cultivation method of your Tian Long Taoism right? It is one of the 3,000 Great Ways. But the general principles of that thing is lost, isn't it?"
"The general principles have been completed!" Wang She caught on at this point and added, "And they were completed with his help!"
"Do we Immortal Palace have this Nine Heaven Yuan Yang Technique?"
"Of course we do. Tian Long Taoism's Nine Heaven Yuan Yang Technique is actually obtained from our Immortal Palace!" said Earth Bat of Girl, chipping into the conversation.
Well, I am the one calling all the shots on this issue, I've decided to give him the Nine Heaven Yuan Yang Technique. If he has any more demands and as long as we Immortal Palace can manage, just meet all of his demands!" said White Tiger, thumping hard on the handle of the armchair.
"This...may not comply with the rules!" said Earth Bat of Girl with an embarrassed air.
"How does this go against the rules? I will talk to Old Caterpillar and tell him this boy is extremely uncanny. I wonder how much farther his progress can reach. Holy shit! He is already able to have an even battle with me now, who knows how much more intimidating he can get in the future? By the way, are you sure he is our Immortal Palace's Water Leopard of Winnowing Basket?"
"Surely he is!" Wang She had recovered from his astonishment and answered.
"Hahaha, good boy! Very smart! He even pretended to approach Divine Wind Palace. Don't know what's in his mind. But that's fine. The worse his relationship is with us the more benefits he will get from that Divine Wind Palace. One day when the Divine Wind Palace discovers his real identity, haha, I wonder what kinds of expression will be on those old bastards' faces! Maybe their fury will kill them, hahaha..." White Tiger started laughing hysterically, as he pictured the livid faces of those Divine Wind Palace masters.
Wang She and Golden Rooster exchanged a look. They had no idea what was in White Tiger's mind, either. The first thing White Tiger did after showing up was to revile Zhou Bao in a most aggressive manner. It seemed that Zhou Bao had made a terrible impression and he would be given a head-on blow at their first encounter. But now, that might not be the right assumption. Could he just be a son of a b*tch and need to be beaten up? Did his defeat by Zhou Bao change his view of him?
As his laughter faded away, White Tiger looked at Wang She and Golden Rooster, "There is another reason why I am here for him. But since I've had a confrontation with him, it would be really awkward for me to talk to him again. Now that you two are very close to him, you can pass my message to him and tell him that soon the strongest powers of the Four Eastern Regions will be helping each other to track down the remnants of Fiery Eyes. Ask him to get close to the Divine Wind Palace with his identity as Zhou Bao and develop a close relationship with them!"
The hall fell back into silence for a while, as Wang She and Golden Rooster waited for more explanations from White Tiger. But after quite a long time, none was forthcoming.
"That's it?" asked Wang She, who lifted his head.
"Yes, that's it!" White Tiger said, nodding. "And bring him the Nine Heaven Yuan Yang Technique along the way!"
This must be a classic example of treating someone rudely at first but afterwards with respect!
In the beginning, White Tiger was looking aggressively for Zhou Bao. But once Zhou Bao unveiled his strength, White Tiger's attitude instantly changed, which went beyond the expectations of Golden Rooster and Wang She.
As far as they were concerned, White Tiger was supposed to be an extremely stubborn guy!
"Don't be fooled by his appearance. In fact, this guy is the most realistic among the Four Images. He bullies the weak and fears the strong. His temperament is one of the worst!" Detecting the bewilderment of the three, Earth Bat of Girl said with a giggle. He had been a member of the 28 constellations for a long time already, so he had a pretty clear picture of what the rest of the 28 constellations were like.
"Damn Bat, you shall not defame me like this. What do you mean I bully the weak and fear the strong? Zhou Bao is a member of our Immortal Palace, and he has such powerful strength, so I will certainly spare no effort in supporting him. If you had the same capability, I would support you as well!"
"Come off it. I'd better stop bothering about this!" Earth Bat of Girl said, shaking his head. This time, what on earth did you come back for? Just for that kid? Or it's because you've made a mess in the Penglai Region?"
"I'm here to pick up Old Caterpillar!" White Tiger said in a resigned tone. "Old Caterpillar said after working for so many years, he was tired, and was nearly about to die of fatigue. Thus, he dragged me here."
"Then, you shall stop managing the Penglai Region?"
"Matters in Penglai Region amount to nothing more than spoiling others' plans and poaching others' staff. After so many years, the place has settled down, so it doesn't matter whether I'm there are not. One reason for coming back is to pick up Old Caterpillar, and the other is to help him find a successor. His position should not be vacant for too long!"
"Interesting. There isn't any random guy who will be able to take over Elder Qing's position. Are you going to find the successor from among the 28 constellations or from those old men?"
"You can't scrape together 28 people to fill your 28 constellations, and you are all so used to living a free and unfettered life, so which of you could be capable to take over?" White Tiger said with a smile. Then, he shot a look at Moon Deer of Extended Net and said, "Well, you must be craving for it. But given that your strength is quite weak and you're carrying a blood feud, nobody will agree to let you succeed Old Caterpillar's post."
Moon Deer of Extended Net gave a slight smile and quietly turned around.
"So this is the reason why you are here at the northwest at this time, merely to meet up with Zhou Bao and give us an update, isn't it?"
"Yep. I meant to teach that kid a lesson but didn't expect his strength to be so formidable, and I was nearly defeated by him. How interesting is that! Haven't met a guy like him for ages!"
"That kid is unpredictable!"Earth Bat of Girl nodded in sympathy. "Relax, though he is young, he knows what he should do and what he shouldn't. With me here supervising him, nothing serious can happen! "
"Fine. Nine Heaven Yuan Yang Technique will be delivered here in two days!" White Tiger rose from the chair, gave a subtle nod to Earth Bat of Girl, and turned into a jet of white light and disappeared.
"What a weird dude!" whispered Wang She. But since White Tiger held no grudges for Zhou Bao and had intended to give him such a huge gift, Wang She had no need to get in a real fix with this White Tiger. "He seems to be a very crafty guy!"
"If he wasn't crafty, he could not have achieved so much in the Penglai Region for the Immortal Palace!"
"You think very highly of him!"
"It doesn't what I think, it's the truth!" Earth Bat of Girl answered with a smile, shaking his head. "Though this guy's temper is nasty, he has tremendous talent. You will understand once you know him long enough!"
"What? That White Tiger wants to give me the Nine Heaven Yuan Yang Technique as a gift? How nice! You heard him correctly, didn't you?" Zhou Bao couldn't believe his ears when he heard this news. After having such a massive battle with him, White Tiger was still willing to offer him such a huge favor! Was White Tiger losing his mind or something?
"Of course I heard it right. This White Tiger is really interesting!" Wang She said while he paced up and down Zhou Bao's study room. "Junior Leopard, remember the thing I told you last time?"
The thing about becoming a teaching elder. Would you be interested?"
"No way, you can still remember that. I thought you were just kidding."
"I will never joke about this kind of stuff. If you think that the offer before was some sort of a joke, now, I'm now extending you the official invitation!"
"You? But you are just a Chief, not a Leader!"
It's true I'm not a Leader, but as a Chief of the Tian Long Taoism, I'm entitled to recommend someone. Plus, the whole world must have heard of the fight you had with that White Tiger by now. Now, not only the ordinary world is looking at you, but also those giants like the Divine Wind Palace. You're in a big game this time, just be on the alert. If you let others spot a small flaw in you, the entire world may come after you at the same time. I don't think that's what you want, right?"
"I'm not that dumb!" Zhou Bao waved his hand and was feeling extremely confident. "My Air-frozen Bead has already been refined. In a few days when the Essential Qi Tide rises, l will go to the Azure Secret Area to have a closed-door training. I'll figure out the secrets of Fiery Eyes first before doing anything else. You saw the power of Fiery Eyes that day. If I can work out some of its magic, that shall be come in very useful to me in the future. Perhaps I'll have a chance to control the Golden Book of Fate!"
"If only it's that simple. But now that your mind is made up, I won't try to stop you. As for the proposal of being a teaching elder, do you want to give me your reply right now or later after thinking it through?"
"OK, how can I say 'no' to such a good proposition!" Zhou Bao said, beaming. "I'm just afraid that when the time comes, your Leader will not approve of me taking up that post!"
"That was in the past. But now, that will not happen. Once you consent to it, the post of the next teaching elder will be yours!"Wang She said. "I believe our Leader must be very relieved when a guy with a Genuine Immortal's combat capability assumes the post. Even if someone wants to compete with you, just give him a punch and all will be fine!"
Great, hit him with a punch, I like that!" Zhou Bao burst out laughing. He realized that after having battled with White Tiger, his status in the eyes of others seemed to have undergone a subtle change.