Staring at the ten scars on the Three Eyed Gold Lion's body, the Elder's entire face was shaken. He winced.
He knew Ling Xian was very powerful, more than anyone in the village. However, he really did not expect him to be this powerful!
Even though it would be an exaggeration to say that a Three Eyed Gold Lion can compete with an eighth-ranked beast, the lion sure had no problem dominating other beasts from the ninth rank. To think that Ling Xian only used ten moves to slaughter a Three Eyed Gold Lion!
How powerful and how capable was he?
Could it be… that he was already at the foundational level?
A guess flashed across the Elder's mind. His eyes were filled with disbelief as he stared at the handsome young man.
How old was he this year?
The same age as Su Zi, he supposed. How could he be at the foundational level?
Sighing, the Elder shook his head helplessly. He felt like he was overthinking this whole thing. If Ling Xian could really achieve such greatness, then in the Barren Village, in the Vast Mountains, in the wilderness, even in the external society, he would be considered a rare genius. It seems that Su Zi… was not good enough for him.
The Elder was not looking down on his own granddaughter. It was just that Ling Xian was too dazzling, dazzling enough for others to feel ashamed.
Su Zi too shared the same emotion. It wasn't that she had low self-esteem, she just felt like she wasn't good enough for Ling Xian.
Her eyes dimmed as she observed the gentle young man, who was surrounded by villagers. She was a little crestfallen. They were so close to each other, yet he seemed so far away.
It felt like in her entire lifetime, she will not be able to match his gloriousness.
Sighing, Su Zi quietly left the crowd and walked toward her home, not attracting any attention from anyone.
Currently, all the villagers were walking around Ling Xian with excited looks on their faces. All of them were mumbling praises like "Ling Xian is so strong", "how can someone so young have so much power", "he has a bright future".
"Alright, everyone quiet down please." Ling Xian gestured for them to stop talking. After everyone had closed their mouths, he smiled and said, "Let's clean up this lion then divide up its meat. You can all make braised lion meat tonight."
"Haha, sounds good. I've never had gold lion meat in my life. Today is my lucky day."
"Yeah, I am getting hungry just looking at it. This is all thanks to Ling Xian. Ever since he came to the village, he has taught us useful techniques and improved our diets. Now, I can have meat with every meal. This kind of happy days was not something I dared to imagine!"
"This is all thanks to Ling Xian. He really is the best gift God has given us!"
The crowd was getting clamorous again. Everyone's face reflected joy and excitement, the look they gave Ling Xian was of pure respect and appreciation.
"Please, there is no need to be so polite with me. Me being here today is all fate. Everything that I've been doing really is nothing. Ling Xian smiled and purposely gulped. "Let's quickly cut up the lion. I know everyone wants to eat the lion's meat. I know for myself, I cannot wait."
After he had spoken, everyone laughed.
Two buff men came up and used long swords made out of beast bones to slice open the gold lion. They then cleansed and threw out its organs before dividing up the meat for everyone there.
The Three Eyed Gold Lion was the size of a tiny mountain. It was at least a thousand pounds heavy. With only a little more than 50 families in the village, on average, each family had more than 20 pounds of meat, enough to eat for two days.
"Ling Xian, thank you so much. Ever since you came to our village, you brought so many changes that bettered our lives. I will definitely remember all your kindness and I shall never forget them in my life!" A white-haired elderly held onto Ling Xian's hand and thanked him excitedly.
"That's right, if anyone dare to forget about Ling Xian's amazingness, I, Er Meng, will not let him off!"
"Same with me! If I ever meet such traitors, I will kill him with my own knife!"
"Killing that kind of person with a knife is too kind of you. I would hang him for three days and nights before killing him!"
What the elderly said created a wave of loud responses, demonstrating Ling Xian's high status in the villagers' hearts.
Ling Xian's heart felt warm knowing that his efforts did not go to waste and that he was able to earn the villagers' support. Though he didn't care much for that, to be loved by others made him feel comfortable and happy.
"Alright, everyone, let's all go back and cook. The children are getting impatient." Ling Xian chuckled. Picking up his share of the lion meat, he walked toward the Village Leader's home.
One has to admit that the majestic blood really is heaven defying.
Not only did it allow Ling Xian to have unmatchable talent, it also granted him with an undefeatable physique. After sustaining such grave injuries, Ling Xian was completely healed after a month. His meridians untangled themselves, his bones reattached, his chest, the origin of his spiritual energy, also completely healed. His training, unbelievably, progressed and he was at the peak of level 10 Qi. There was now merely a thin layer between reaching the foundational level. With a gentle poke, he will be able to breakthrough and reach the next stage in his cultivation journey.
However, Ling Xian didn't want to have his breakthrough yet. He had a slight feeling that the timing was not right.
He wasn't sure what he was waiting for.
After he had healed, he had been going out to hunt every day. His intention was to get a general sense of the Vast Mountains and see for himself if what the Village Leader said was true. At the same time, he casually exercised his body by killing beasts and improving everyone's diet.
His exploration left him with a hint of pessimism.
The Vast Mountains, like the Village Leader said, had countless powerful beasts, many of which had ancient blood running through them, categorizing them as super beasts.
With his own eyes, Ling Xian saw a serpent that was a hundred miles long curled up on a tall mountain. It had eight wings and when its wings fluttered, an earthquake broke out, splitting the mountain it was on into two!
There was another beast he saw. It was in the shape of a dog, but it had dragon horns. The Gold Dragon Dog howled facing the moon, and with that one howl, wind swept up all dust and rocks, chasing away the clouds, and lifting the water!
Of course, all those super beasts do not like to show themselves. They remained in hibernation most of the time.
Even so, Ling Xian was still very cautious. Without being fully prepared or with strategies, he would not make a move easily.
Luckily, there were no super beasts around the Barren Village. Most of them were ninth-ranked beasts. Like today, Ling Xian searched hard for an entire day before he found a barely worthy opponent, the Three Eyed Gold Lion. He thought he could really enjoy the fight and finally experience the thrill he used to get from a worthy battle, but the result left him more disappointed than ever.
"Aye, I wonder how much longer I will have to stay here. Tomorrow I will explore even deeper. I will keep looking for ways out and look for eighth-ranked beasts. If I don't find something soon, my bones will rust." Ling Xian sighed and slowly entered the Village Leader's home.
Upon opening the door, he immediately saw Su Zi, who was sitting in the little garden. Her expression appeared lonely and bleak as she stared aimlessly at the scenery before her. Ling Xian couldn't tell what she was thinking about.
"Su Zi, what's wrong? Is there something on your mind?" Ling Xian gently smiled and placed the 20 pounds of lion meat before Su Zi.
"No…Nothing," Su Zi hastily waved her hands in denial. Looking at the fresh lion meat, she forced a grin, "Wow, this is so nice. Growing up I've never had lion meat before, let alone a Three Eyed Gold Lion. Tonight, I will have to taste it well."
As she spoke, she picked up the fresh meat from the ground and walked into the kitchen.
Watching Su Zi's disappointed silhouette, Ling Xian breathed out heavily. He wasn't an idiot and he wasn't made out of wood, how would he not know how Su Zi felt towards him?
After all, this wasn't the first time he had experienced this. Ling Tian Xiang felt that way towards him, Su Zi was the same.
But he couldn't accept their feelings. Other than pretending to be dumb and stupid, what else could he do?
"Another one. Am I really this popular?" Ling Xian bitterly laughed and returned to his room, waiting for Su Zi to call him to dinner.
In reality, with Ling Xian's current training, he didn't need to eat nor drink and he could survive purely on spiritual energy. Eating was just to satisfy his taste buds.
But of course, there was another important reason. When he eats with the Elder and with Su Zi, he felt the coziness of a family.
That kind of feeling made him nostalgic and content.
"Ling Xian, it's time to eat."
Before long, a crisp voice called out to him, waking him from his meditation state. He walked out of his room and went to the dining table.
With Ling Xian's arrival, the Village Leader grinned lovingly. The impressed expression he had from before was still visible. "Ling Xian, you sure are great. A Three Eyed Gold Lion! A beast that can compete with eighth realm beasts! An entire village combined cannot defeat it, yet now it's on our table being eaten by us. This is unbelievable."
"That is not important. What's important is that no matter how strong it may be when it's alive, it becomes our food after death," Ling Xian smiled and sat onto the chair across from the Elder.
"Haha, you are right. Let me do a taste test."
The Elder bellowed. He picked up a piece of lion meat with his chopsticks and put it in his mouth. He then closed his eyes in enjoyment. The taste of it was absolutely wonderful, it was delicious enough for his lips to smile and his teeth to crave more. After a long while, he awoke from this pleasing sensation and exclaimed, "Its taste is absolutely amazing. It's definitely a delicacy."
Ling Xian became curious. He too picked up a piece and put it in his mouth. Tasting it carefully, he laughed. "It's really not bad. The meat quality is great, the way it chews is also very fabulous.
"Isn't it? This is truly a memorable taste." the Elder stroke his beard and waved for Su Zi to come over, asking her to try it as well.
Su Zi came over, light on her feet. She sat in the open chair with a beam. Those who sat at the table were both smart, naturally they could tell that her smile was a little forced.
Noticing that she was not in a great mood, the Elder sighed to himself and glanced at Ling Xian, who pretended that nothing was wrong and kept himself busy by eating. The Elder said, "Girl, don't think about sad stuff. It's not every day that Ling Xian kills a Three Eyed Gold Lion, let us enjoy this meal in gluttony."
"Okay," Su Zi forced another smile as she peeked at the busily eating Ling Xian. Her face turned gloomy for another second before she convinced herself to stop thinking about the bad stuff and focus on eating instead.
The three of them let themselves go and enjoyed the meal to their hearts' full extend. They ate until the bottom of the plates could be seen, then they put down their chopsticks.
"This is like a dream… I cannot believe I ate the meat of a Three Eyed Gold Lion…" the Elder mumbled.
Realizing that the Elder seemed to be wanting more, Ling Xian chuckled. "If you want to eat more, I can go hunt another one tomorrow."
"There is no need. To have such a wonderful meal once is enough to satisfy all my cravings." The Elder waved his hand. Looking at the handsome young man, his murky eyes turned playful. Smiling, yet not truly smiling, he said, "How has your exploration been this past month? I didn't lie to you, did I?"