A wildly patronizing voice rang throughout the air. Ling Xian stopped in his tracks and browsed around.
In the near distance, a young man in blue appeared in his path. The man looked to be around 20 years old and rather handsome. But his gaze was icy and deadly. He observed Ling Xian as if a hunted animal was awaiting his doom.
This man was a follower of the Third Prince, second son of the Deputy of Chang An, known in the area as "the Little Deputy". His father’s territory was located near Sunset City. Therefore, he arrived first on the scene as the news of Ling Xian’s deeds reached him. He had wanted to seize this opportunity to show his loyalty to the Prince.
Ling Xian had already left Sunset City before he managed to arrive. But fortunately, just as he was about to leave, Ling Xian returned a second time. The man thus followed him here to the Trade Convention and waited for the opportunity to ambush him.
"Someone’s already begging to die..."
Ling Xian shook his head and responded as he slowed ascended into the air, "My head is quite priceless. You might not get it so easily."
"How stupid, you think killing a piece of the Prince’s soul is quite the accomplishment? How foolish! The Third Prince’s powers are beyond this world. If he were here, he’d only need to lift a finger to crush you to dirt." The young man in blue sneered mockingly, utterly unconcerned.
Of course, he had reasons to be this confident. At 20 years of age, he had already conquered the later stages of the foundational level. He was amongst the brightest and bravest of his generation in the Zhou Dynasty.
He did not fear Ling Xian in the slightest. In his mind, Ling Xian was a strong, worthy opponent and nothing else.
"Every other word is the Third Prince. You are quite the loyal puppy,"
Ling Xian spoke calmly, but underneath his breath, an ocean of anger was brewing. He knew this encounter was unavoidable. The Third Prince was onto him. He was only mildly surprised at how quickly one had shown up at his doorstep.
Not to mention this first opponent was not a weakling but a strong foundational challenger.
"A good puppy?"
A shroud of cloud fell over the handsome face of the man in blue. He replied coldly, "You bastard, how dare you? I’ll show you what it’s like in the real world!"
"Quite the contrary, you are the one asking for an untimely death." Ling Xian was unfazed. "Your parents gave you life, why waste it so recklessly?"
The man in blue responded, equally unfazed, "Kid, give your tongue a break. Someone like you is totally unworthy of the Prince himself. I’ll take your head to him."
"Try it if you must." Ling Xian was undisturbed.
"Very well, kid, I urge you to go easy on yourself and surrender at once, or…" A murky dust stormed began to flare up around the man as he spoke. The earth rumbled.
"You’ll die the most painful death."
Ling Xian frowned impatiently. He had never understood why people insisted on picking battles with him and why they were always certain of a victory. Was it the way he looked?
He broke into a faint chuckle at the thought of this. But suddenly, his killer instinct took over. Ling Xian did not intend to kill this man when he first blocked his path. But the man had gone too far. If he killed one cockroach, others perhaps would leave him alone from here on.
Indeed, the man in blue was no more than a mere cockroach in Ling Xian’s eyes. He was protected by his nerves of steel, carried by the belief that he was invincible.
"Little bastard, what do you say? Surrender? Perhaps if you put me in a good mood, I’ll skip the torture and give you a swift death. What do you think? Aren’t I merciful? Ha ha." The man roared with laughter as he grew ever more revolting.
But Ling Xian responded with his usual level-headedness and composure. Merely grinning, he replied, "I’m perplexed about one thing."
The man in blue broke his laughter and mocked, "Are you hoping to find out if there is indeed a hell waiting for us after death? Why worry about that? You’re dead anyway."
"No, I am perplexed as to why this world is home to so many empty-headed idiots."
Ling Xian shook his head slowly as he spoke the words. After pausing a moment, he continued, "Idiots like you."
"You’re done for!"
The man in blue was enraged. His hair flared up around his face and a terrifying power cast over the sky. He screamed, "Bastard, come to die!"
"Had it been your master that said this to me, I wouldn’t be laughing myself to bed. But coming from a dog like you, that’s just hilarious!" Ling Xian sneered back at him and unleashed the Eyes of Execution at once. Magical Qi came rushing out of his pores and rendered the sky invisible.
"Little bastard, wait until I break every one of your bones. Let’s see how loudly you bark then!"
Before his voice fell, the man in blue launched himself towards Ling Xian. Within moments, his right hand was within striking distance. As the hand came down on Ling Xian, the earth could be felt cowering in fear.
"I return you this warning word for word."
Ling Xian did not stir but simply raised a hand and smashed dead on to the incoming blow. In an instant, the air exploded.
Two hands collided, sending a giant, invisible wave of unstoppable forces in every direction.
Colors drained from the face of the man in blue. His body fell backward haplessly. Something inside him had cracked open. He looked up at Ling Xian, who failed to move an inch in defending this strike, and his face was overcome by horror.
His right hand shook uncontrollably, drops of blood seeped through his knuckles.
And he was already injured!
He had severely underestimated the power of his opponent’s bodily strength. But an injury in the first round… he was a young deputy, the best of the best of his generation. He had never been injured in battle!
Shock and disbelief consumed him, betrayed by his words. "What strength! You… you practice the Qi of the flesh!"
"This knowledge comes too late for you."
Ling Xian gazed at him without mercy. He no longer wanted to waste time. It was time to end this. Redirecting all his Qi into his right foot, Ling Xian aimed at the man’s temple and unleashed his deadly stomp.
"You dare block my way with your child powers? What a fool!"
Magical aura flared up into the sky. Mountaintops came crashing down towards earth as crevasses swallowed trees and rocks.
The man’s pupils dilated as he tried desperately to remain calm and deflect this deadly strike. The time had come to showcase his most powerful weapon. As he began, the space between him and Ling Xian turned translucent, saturated with colorful glows which turned into seven circular shields which protected his earthly flesh.
The Motionless Shadow of Light!
A shield borne out of light years of earthly minerals and heavenly Qi, this technique was unique to the man’s family, never before penetrated.
This technique had saved his father from certain deaths on the battlefield and gave him the unlikeliest of victories, cementing their fame.
The name Chang An was synonymous with the Shadow of Light. As long as the Shadow of Light was lit, the territory of Chang An was secure.
This technique had also saved his father from countless assassination attempts, handing him victory over victory against enemies from all sides. It was the undisputed champion of all defensive techniques known to men.
More powerful even than the defenses of the royal palace.
The moment he unleashed it, the man in blue sighed in relief. He was certain he had escaped an otherwise certain and gruesome death.
The giant foot landed squarely on top of its target. Yet aside from the enormous and deafening commotion around them, the target had successfully deflected this attack.
"This defensive technique is powerful indeed. Wonder if it is better or worse compared to the Armor of the Royal Spirit."
Ling Xian pondered to himself but was not overly concerned. Compared to his other abilities, this trick of the flesh was amongst his weakest. He had countless other options.
"Ha ha, little bastard, you see this now? You’d be dreaming if you think you could ever penetrate my shield. Ha ha ha..."
Seeing that Ling Xian failed to break his defense, the man in blue finally breathed in relief. Returning to his arrogant self, he snickered again, "Little bastard, come break me if you can!"
"Your turtle shell is pretty sturdy."
Ling Xian returned a smile, his foot still lingering over the man’s head. He continued, "Why must I break you? The feeling of standing over you is pretty exhilarating. If you like living under my foot, I won’t complain."
The man in blue roared with fury as he realized how humiliating he must have appeared hiding inside a bright turtle shell under the step of his opponent. His face turned bright red. He swore loudly, "Goddamit, you f*cking bastard, I’ll kill you!"
"Kill me. You must come out of turtle shell first." Ling Xian grinned as he stomped on the shield again. The shield remained intact. But upon feeling the forces of this second strike, the man’s face turned pale again.
"Motherf*cker, Hand of the Harvested Stars!"
The man hollered. Wrestling against his own might, he summoned another force of defensive. The air stirred violently against a dust storm of apocalyptical portions. From this gray chaos emerged a giant palm that slammed down towards Ling Xian.
Ling Xian sneered. Flapping his giant wings, tiny blades shot out of the feathers and stabbed the hand from all sides. In an instant, the hand vanished. Then, Ling Xian stepped away from the man’s shell as a blood-stained sword materialized behind him. The man’s fate was sealed.
"I no longer want to waste time here, it’s time that you die."
Ling Xian uttered these words softly as the blood stained sword lit up against the dark sky. Aiming the tip of its blade directly at the heart of its target, the sword pierced through the air.