Ling Xian smiled and teasingly peeked at the studious man before him.
Instantly, Nan Gong Ru frowned. But he merely chuckled, "Master Xian must've heard the rumors."
"Yes, am I wrong?" Ling Xian gave a confident smile, "Since you said I must complete one task before agreeing to ally with me, nothing else comes to my mind."
Nan Gong Ru frowned. He did want to give Ling Xian some hardship because of this and make him give up the idea of the alliance. But half of him wanted a resolution to the entire situation as well. Looking at the confident young man, he realized he had lost since the beginning. Laughing, he said, "Master Xian, you are being far too confident. A guess is only a guess. It may not be true."
Ling Xian sipped on his tea and smiled, "Then say I am wrong. But let me tell you something, I am confident that I have 50 percent chance of solving the mystery about the unnamed flower."
Immediately, Nan Gong Ru's right hand trembled and a few drops of tea spilled. It was obvious that he was not that calm on the inside. However, since he was the leader of the clan, no matter how much turmoil he was feeling inside, he had to appear calm in order to outcompete the enemy.
Even though what Ling Xian said was true, he did not want to be seen through like this. He grinned, "Master Xian, you are far too confident. It makes me think you are conceited."
"Confident or conceited, you can think whatever you want."
Noticing Nan Gong Ru's tremble just now, Ling Xian lightly chuckled, aware of his plans. However, he chose to win their first meeting. Thus, he chose to play along.
"I guess I have been wrong. Then I will leave."
He then stood up to leave.
However, as he turned around, he carried with him a victorious smile. Silently, he counted.
Ling Xian silently counted. Every single time he counted, he would step out once.
After three steps, Nan Gong Ru finally caved and sighed, "Master Xian, please come back and sit. You win."
"You think I would listen to you just because you said so?"
Ling Xian's lips lifted, knowing that he now had the upper hand. "Leader Nan Gong, I have 50 percent chance of solving your problems. But please realize that I am not chasing after you, you are the one seeking my help."
Once he finished speaking, Nan Gong Ru frowned out of unhappiness. However, the mysterious flower had been bothering the Nan Gong Clan for thousand of years. Even though he didn't believe Ling Xian could solve it, as long as there was hope, he could not just give up.
Sighing, Nan Gong Ru continued, "Master Xian, I was in the wrong before. Please think about the alliance and help us out."
"Good." Ling Xian nodded in satisfaction and sat back down, "Leader Gong Nan, the rumors outside are mostly true but somewhat false. Please tell me the details."
Talking about this brought a pained look to Nan Gong Ru's face. He exhaled deeply, "I won't lie to Master Xian, the mysterious flower has been bothering the Nan Gong Clan for thousands of years. Ever since our ancestor disappeared, the flower turned into a curse that is planted on everyone from my clan."
"A curse?" Ling Xian frowned, feeling troublesome.
In the Taoism community, the hardest problem to resolve is curse. This kind of stuff is extremely difficult to deal with. Even the most powerful cultivators have to figure out the right way to resolve a curse rather than solving it with pure strength.
Especially for curses like this, curses that can make powerhouses disappear – these ones must be very powerful and as difficult to resolve as climbing up to heavens. Luckily, it is a known fact that the curse is linked to the flower. If it's linked to a spiritual plant, then Ling Xian can find out more.
"Yes, a curse."
Nan Gong Ru's face was full of agony, "Every time someone breaks through to the original level, or reaches age 300, the person will die of unnatural causes. Because of this curse, we have no original levelled cultivators nor cultivators older than 300."
"It's that serious?"
Ling Xian's brows locked together tightly, the severity and cruelty of this curse was far more horrifying than his prediction.
"Yes, it is that terrifying." Nan Gong Ru sighed a long sigh. Recalling everyone's strange death, he fell into a deep well of fear.
Noticing his fear, Ling Xian felt troubled. It wasn't hard to imagine how terrifying this curse was, to bring such fear to a completion levelled cultivator.
But since he came, he cannot retreat. He consoled, "Leader Nan Gong do not worry. Even though I am not completely positive, I have 50 percent of chance of succeeding."
Nan Gong Ru's eyes exploded with hope. But remembering how ruthless the curse was, his gaze darkened again, "Aye, please forgive me, it's not that I don't want to believe you, it's that the curse is very powerful."
"It's been so many years. And we have tried so many different methods. Yet the result has been disappointing every time. Nobody has been able to identify the mysterious flower, let alone lifting the cures."
Nan Gong Ru sighed again. Even though Ling Xian's words made him hopeful, he had been disappointed far too many times and did not dare to have hope again.
Ling Xian nodded, understanding of the complex emotions Nan Gong Ru had. Thus, he didn't speak of it more, "No matter what, you should let me try. If I get lucky and lift it for you, then wouldn't it be of great news."
"Master Xian, if you can get rid of this curse. The Nan Gong Clan will jump into lava for you! Let alone forming the alliance."
Nan Gong Ru's expression was serious and his tone was powerful.
"Leader Nan Gong, you are being overly kind. Accept the alliance is all I ask for." Ling Xian grinned, his confidence lit up the entire universe.
Sensing Ling Xian's confidence, Nan Gong Ru did not react excitedly. Instead, he sighed.
In the past, countless people visited the Nan Gong House. In the beginning, everyone was full of confidence as if they could easily lift the curse.
The result, however, had always brought disappointment. Therefore, he really did not dare to have high hopes anymore.
Seeing this, Ling Xian shook his head. It was unnecessary to speak more for Nan Gong Ru to believe him.
Against this type of situation, words are useless. Reality will speak!
"Leader Nan Gong, bring me to the flower."
Grinning, Ling Xian's eyes flooded with expectations, "I sure want to see, how mysterious of a flower it is for your Clan's powerhouses to die one after another."