After the auction ended, Mu Chen did not leave the City of Trade immediately. Instead, he found himself a cultivation inn and stayed put in it temporarily. Since a fight was expected, he wanted to make sure that he was in tip-top shape for it.
The exhaustion caused by the non-stop traveling needed to be eliminated as well.
In the spacious guest room…
Mu Chen was sitting with his legs crossed while Nine Nether was standing by the window. She looked out and turned her head to Mu Chen. "Someone is really following us. They were probably sent by Liu Ming."
Mu Chen nodded. "Those with the surname Liu are always up to no good."
Back in the Northern Spiritual Realm, the Lius had given him troubles, too.
After Mu Chen had just finished his sentence, Lin Jing was standing there with her hands on her waist, staring at him angrily. She waved her small fist at him. "My grandma's last name is also Liu!"
Mu Chen felt embarrassed all of a sudden.
Lin Jing sneered. "If my father were to hear this, he would beat you up."
Mu Chen forced a laugh, as he did not expect a word could bring such misfortune to him.
Lin Jing did not think much about what Mu Chen had mindlessly said. She sat down and with her hands on her chin asked excitedly, "When are we leaving?"
She seemed like she could not wait for the upcoming troubles to start.
"We're not in a hurry. We are being watched by Liu Ming now. The longer we stay in the city, the more he will think that we are afraid of him." Mu Chen smiled.
"Confuse your enemy with your weakness when you are in fact stronger than they thought. You are so cunning." Lin Jing gave him a sly grin.
"The enemy is stronger than us. I had to put some thought into it."
Mu Chen smiled while staring at Lin Jing with a more serious look on his face. "You should know that Liu Ming is stronger than us. Although you and I have already started on the Sovereign-level, we have yet to cultivate our own Sovereign Celestial Body so our combat capacity is much weaker. For Nine Nether, she can only stall that Grade Five Sovereign elder. If there is any unexpected situation, you must leave when I ask you to."
Lin Jing was not very happy when she heard this. But after seeing his serious expression, she pursed her lips and said reluctantly, "Alright."
Mu Chen nodded with a smile and said nothing further. He closed his eyes and entered into cultivation mode.
After Nine Nether spoke with Lin Jing for a while, she leaned against the window and rested with her eyes closed. She did not enter into cultivation mode because she had to constantly stay alert no matter whether they were safe in the city or not.
As for Lin Jing, she covered her mouth with her hand while she was yawning. Subsequently, she slept with peace of mind, as if all the dangers were none of her concern.
The night passed quietly.
The next day, Mu Chen did not make any moves until sunset. In general, most people would let their guard down during the intersections of day and night. Consequently, he chose this time to leave the inn together with Nine Nether and Lin Jing. They joined the crowd and made their way to exit the city.
When they left the inn, a juvenile was holding a teacup in one of the tea pavilions within the city. A chilly smile suddenly formed at the corners of his lips.
He waved his hand, and the handmaiden who was giving him a gentle massage left the room. He stood up with a slight chilliness in his eyes as he looked in the direction where the city gate was.
"What a naive lad! He thinks he can escape from my grasp?" He smirked and swung his hand. The black-robed elder appeared from behind like a ghost.
"Elder Mu, let's get on with it."
The black-robed elder nodded expressionlessly. The air around them suddenly vibrated, and they vanished gradually into thin air.
While they disappeared, Heart Fox Fairy was cuddling a white fox in a courtyard within the city. Suddenly she gave an alluring smile.
"A good show will be on soon." She gently put the white fox down and smiled at the person behind her. "Let's go. We will follow them secretly. I've got a feeling that Liu Ming will not get his way easily."
The common-looking middle-aged man appeared behind her. With a shake of their bodies, they, too, vanished into thin air.
Three groups of people disappeared and left the city quietly without alarming anyone.
A ruby red evening sun was hanging in the sky. Scarlet rays shrouded the land as the temperature cooled.
A rush of air-rending sound rang across the ruby red sky as three light beams swept across it. They were flitting towards somewhere far away at an alarming speed.
They seemed to be pushing their speed to the limit to avoid a pursuer behind them.
Their full speed lasted for almost an hour before they gradually slowed down, and the three of them landed on a hilltop.
Mu Chen raised his head and looked towards the sky behind him. He suddenly smiled and said, "Both of you have been secretly following us for half a day. Aren't you tired?"
"Haha, looks like you knew about it way earlier."
When Mu Chen finished laughing, a soft and gentle voice came from the vast land. On a hilltop not far away, space was slightly twisted, and two figures appeared in the air like ghosts.
It was Liu Ming from Tian Xuan Hall and that Grade Five Sovereign black-robed elder.
He looked at Mu Chen playfully before he started looking at the surroundings. "Oh well, I see you have found a good place for your own grave."
"How do you know it isn't for you?" Mu Chen smiled. In his pitch-dark eyes, a cold, sharp radiance was gathering within.
"Looks like you are very confident of yourself."
Liu Ming said with a faint smile, "If you are feeling confident just because you have a Grade Four Sovereign beauty by your side, I'm afraid you are going to be disappointed."
Liu Ming stretched out his hand towards Mu Chen. "Give me your Void Great Solar Fruit before I get furious. If your attitude pleases me, I might let you off."
Mu Chen did not answer his question. Instead, he asked him back, "How about your Undying Divine Leaf and Nine Dragon Nine Elephant Art? Did you bring them along with you?"
The smile on Liu Ming's face gradually disappeared. He looked at Mu Chen expressionlessly. "You have given up your last chance."
"You talk too much." Mu Chen laughed.
"Hehe." Lin Jing was sneering at Liu Ming with her mouth covered, adding to the mockery towards Liu Ming.
"Elder Mu, just do it." Liu Ming looked down a little, and the smile on his face became horrifying. "No mercy for them."
The black-robed elder walked forward, lowering both of his hands in his sleeves. His pale face was exuding chilliness into the air.
A strong and intense Spiritual Energy Windstorm was released from his body. The dark spiritual energy swept the ground, bringing down the temperature drastically. The spiritual energy exuded from the black-robed elder had an extremely chilly fluctuation.
The hilltop he was standing on gradually collapsed under his spiritual fluctuation. A huge crack slowly formed and spread across the entire mountain.
Just a little pressure from spiritual energy could collapse a mountain. The force from a Grade Five Sovereign was that daunting.
Mu Chen watched as his eyes became a little dignified. This was the first time he was facing a Grade Five Sovereign, and that energy was really compelling.
Nine Nether, who was standing beside him, moved swiftly. Her majestic energy exploded while the space twisted. A giant black sparrow, huge enough to conceal the sun, appeared above her.
On the black sparrow, a purple flame was flaring up.
Liu Ming and the black-robed elder had a stern look in their eyes when the huge black sparrow appeared.
The black-robed elder stared at Nine Nether and said in a husky voice, "No wonder you are confident. That's because your actual body is a Divine Beast."
Usually a Grade Four Sovereign would not dare to compete with a Grade Five Sovereign, as the difference in just one grade was huge. But it was slightly different when it came to a Divine Beast. Having a stronger physical body and some gifted advantages, the powerful Divine Beast could be much stronger than those of the same grade.
Liu Ming knit his eyebrows before he stepped out, locking on Mu Chen with his cold eyes. "Elder Mu, you will suppress her while I will deal personally with this lad."
The black-robed elder nodded. Even though it was beyond his expectation that the girl in front of him was actually a Divine Beast, both of them were still one grade apart in terms of their strength. It may be hard to kill each other, but suppressing should not be too hard.
Liu Ming looked at Mu Chen and said calmly, "I did not feel any Sovereign Celestial Body fluctuation from you. So I think you have not cultivated your own Sovereign Celestial Body, right?"
Mu Chen did not reply.
"Well, that's too bad because you will never get a chance to cultivate it." Liu Ming sighed with false pity. Suddenly he stomped his foot, and his eyes turned ruthless within a split second.
"But before you die, I will show you the true power of the Sovereign Celestial Body!"
The vast expanse of spiritual energy soared into the sky, enveloping the sky and the sun. The scarlet spiritual energy that gathered fiercely around Liu Ming eventually turned into a giant scarlet figure about a thousand feet tall.
A fire was burning around that figure and from far, it looked like an enormous lava giant who had just fallen from the sky.
The temperature around the area surged exponentially.
"Heavenly Flame Celestial Body!"