"You're able to recognize me?"
"Hehe, although there is some slight changes to your appearance, I'm still able to recognize the disposition coming from your will."
Their exchange was over in an instant. Rehlings chuckled and said, "Why have you come to the Northern Ice Region? Why didn't you tell me that you're here?"
Fang Xingjian said nonchalantly, "It's nothing important. There's no need to trouble you."
However, Rehlings refused to leave Fang Xingjian alone and kept on wanting to discuss about martial arts.
The fight between Fang Xingjian and the Terrene Shrine was well concealed and no one knew of it. However, just his records of having defeated The School of Sword Arts' Supreme Chief, as well as having pushed back the Fifth Prince in the Eastern Sand Region, were sufficient to earn him the top position amongst the younger generation of the Empire.
Seeing that Fang Xingjian was not saying anything, Rehlings grinned and said, "Do you know that you won't be able to participate in the National Selections this time around?"
Fang Xingjian lifted his head and threw a glance toward Rehlings. A little surprised, he asked, "Oh? How did you know that?" The prize for getting first place in the National Selection was a Divine Remains Equipment. Fang Xingjian was definitely going to try to get it.
When Rehlings saw that his conversation topic had finally gotten Fang Xingjian's attention, he grinned and said, "I have my own information network. The Knight Association and the National Central Academy are planning to invite you to be a judge for the coming National Selection. Therefore, you won't be able to join in the capacity of a participant.
"This is the latest insider news. It'll probably take one week before it reaches your Great Western City."
"Judge?" Fang Xingjian frowned, unable to understand why the central government was doing this.
Audrey looked at Rehlings and Fang Xingjian with slight astonishment. Seeing how Rehlings, who usually did not care to talk much to others, had actually spoken so much with Fang Xingjian, a sense of confusion grew in her mind. "Who on earth are you?"
Fang Xingjian said, "You'll find out in a while."
Rehlings took a look at Audrey and Fang Xingjian, frowning sightly to himself. He communicated with Fang Xingjian through martial will, "Brother, you better not lay your hands on this lady. An important character has already reserved her."
"Xia? You know about this as well?"
"Of course. If it's not to see the demeanor of a Divine level expert, why would I possibly come? But since you know of this, why are you still getting involved with this lady?"
"I'm going to protect her."
Their communication ended instantly, and Rehlings eyes were agape as he looked at Fang Xingjian in disbelief. Fang Xingjian was going to go against the Eight Directional Crimson Dragon for Audrey's sake?
Rehlings smiled bitterly and said, "Brother, a beauty's arms spells the hero's demise. Aren't you risking too much for Audrey's sake?"
Audrey asked puzzledly, "What are you guys talking about?"
Rehlings threw a glance at her and smiled while shaking his head. "It's such a fortunate thing to be blessed with good looks."
From afar, Bruce saw Rehlings treating Fang Xingjian warmly and smirked in his heart. 'You've merely been raved as the number one genius in the Northern Ice Region, yet you really treat yourself as somebody great.
'Everyone of you thinks of yourself as a genius with astonishing abilities. But, hmph, the accumulated power of our Henry Clan that spans over a hundred years isn't something you guys will be able to understand.'
Being beaten up by a kid made Bruce extremely infuriated. Right now, even if Rehlings was going to stand up for him, Bruce had already decided that he did not plan to show Fang Xingjian any leniency on Rehlings' account.
Thinking of how both Rehlings and Audrey were sticking by that kid, the fury Bruce felt grew tremendously intense. He could not hold it in anymore and grabbed one of his subordinates, urging, "Why isn't Masa here yet? Send another person to get him to hurry."
However, at that moment, there was suddenly music ringing out in the sky as flower petals rained down. It was as if the celestial world had descended upon the human world. Over ten ladies in white muslin clothes were carrying a large sedan while floated down toward them. The ladies looked just like the fairies and saints in the legends, drifting in midair.
Amidst the waves of fragrance and the celestial music, a lady with a wonderful figure and white veil over her head sat in the sedan. She then slowly stood up before everyone. "Diana from the Eight Directional Crimson Dragon has specially come to pay a visit to the Pop Clan."
Bruce raised his brows, suddenly having a bad feeling about this. "Diana from the Eight Directional Crimson Dragon? Why has she come?"
Madam Vicky, who was standing afar, said in astonishment, "Diana? Within the Eight Directional Crimson Dragon, Xia is the leader. Xia has the four women he dotes on the most ranked below him, helping him take charge of different areas respectively.
"Out of them, Diana has the name of Sybarite Concubine. Her job is to specially pick out beauties for Xia and fill up his paradise. For her to visit the Pop Clan, could it be…" Saying this, she could not help but smile. "There really has been a lot of events happening today. There's going to be a good show to watch now."
Vicky was not the only one in the banquet who knew of Diana's background. Everyone who knew of it started to whisper amongst themselves, then they looked at Audrey with strange gazes.
Audrey was the top beauty in the Northern Ice Region. If Diana had not come for her, who else could she be here for?
Audrey's face turned pale, and she felt weak all over like she was going to collapse at any moment.
The head of the Pop Clan, Andolf, walked out. "Good evening, Madam Diana. We appreciate the kind sentiments of the Eight Directional Crimson Dragon. Please extend our well wishes to Lord Xia."
Wearing a veil over her face, Diana revealed only her pair of eyes, which swept across everyone present with an indifferent gaze. Her gaze stopped on Audrey for a moment. Then she saw Lilia and nodded slightly as well.
Diana said, "There's no need for all the formalities. The Lord has already decided on the wedding with Miss Audrey. The reason I'm here is to bring her back with me. This must be Miss Audrey. She really is a great beauty.
"That female attendant next to her isn't bad either. I shall bring her with me as well."
Andolf's countenance turned a little grim. If Audrey was taken away just like, how would the Pop Clan lift their heads up before others in the future?
From afar, Bruce clenched his fists together as his face turned green and his lips pale. There seemed to be astonishment, fury, and terror in his eyes. At the next instant, he stood up. However, before he could say a word, Oliver had pulled him back and tried to persuade him, "Bruce, as long as you're alive, what kind of woman won't you be able to get your hands on? This is the Eight Directional Crimson Dragon we're talking about. It's the Undying Xia. Even if you don't care about yourself, you must consider your family!"
In fact, the moment Oliver pulled him back, the fury Bruce had forcibly summoned up had already dissipated. Right now, he could only look at Diana and Audrey with an extremely complicated expression. There were terror, relaxing, and vengeful emotions in his eyes, all mixed up together in an extremely complicated mess.
Madam Vicky sighed, "The Eight Directional Crimson Dragon… Even with the power they had accumulated over a hundred years, it's impossible for the Henry Clan to fend them off. The Divine level expert doesn't even have to be present. Just a single word from them can suppress an entire clan… This is really what it means to be impressive. In comparison, the aristocrats in the Northern Ice region are nothing."
Rehlings kept on communicating with Fang Xingjian through information currents, trying to persuade him, "Xingjian, don't be rash. With your talent, you have the chance to strive for the Divine level. If you act impulsively, you'll just be destroying your future.
"The Eight Directional Crimson Dragon's Xia has world-shaking abilities and is one of the ten great Divine level experts of the Empire. Bear with it for now. It won't be too late to exact revenge when you get stronger in the future."