Published at 20th of November 2020 10:51:04 AM
From Zhuo Fan’s reaction, it could be said he spoke the truth . But this news was too outrageous, even worse than if the heaven and earth switched places .
The Seven Noble Houses could stand shoulder to shoulder with the Imperial family . If they discovered a clan with great potential, signing a vassal agreement was more appropriate .
But an alliance agreement only ever happened between the Seven Noble Houses .
Yet this gap in power between the house and the clan breached by an alliance agreement made it look like the Emperor went out to a beggar and called him brother .
Such an act would make them, the seven houses and the Emperor, look like charitable folks . But this was fundamentally impossible . Just how did Zhuo Fan do it?
Xie Tianyang watched Zhuo Fan closely but shook his head in the end, “Brother, it’s fine if you don’t want to say it . But do you have to lie to us so openly?”
Xue Ningxiang rolled her eyes while whining, “Brother Zhuo, we told you everything about us, while you still keep your’s secret . This is not proper!”
Zhuo Fan shook his head . The truth was taken as lies by others and he did not know how to respond .
“Alright, brother Zhuo, let’s forget it . We’ll be going our separate ways when this is over anyway, with little chance of meeting again . There’s no need to know everything about each other . ”
Then, Xie Tianyang clapped, “We had better listen to brother Zhuo’s plan . ”
Zhuo Fan nodded with a smile .
He liked Xie Tianyang’s attitude a lot . There was no eternal enemies and friends in the world, only benefits . They were friends now, thanks to a mutual goal, but tomorrow they might be on opposite sides . There was no need to know too much about each other .
Quite the contrary, it would be best to hide one’s secret and protect one’s identity .
Only Xue Ningxiang pouted, “Since we were brought together by fate, why can’t we be friends?”
Zhuo Fan and Xie Tianyang just smiled .
Zhuo Fan then retrieved a piece of paper from his ring and began to write on it . Fifteen minutes later, a strange design adorned it .
Xue Ningxiang was looking puzzled, while Xie Tianyang was feeling more and more astonished with each brushwork .
Xie Tianyang watched the finished design in shock, “A 1st-grade array?”
“B-but I’ve never seen this one in my life, and I’ve seen my fair share…”
Zhuo Fan secretly nodded . Xie Tianyang was from the seven houses, and just like Long Kui, he had learned of arrays from a young age . But few parts of this array were from an ancient era and not seen today . Thus, he could not understand the array completely .
Xie Tianyang studied the design for a long time, then looked at Zhuo Fan with a firm gaze, “You… you’re from the seven houses, no, maybe even Imperial…”
He wasn’t certain, because the more he got to know Zhuo Fan, the more Zhuo Fan’s talent scared him . So much that he couldn’t ascertain which house Zhuo Fan belonged to .
He even felt the seven houses couldn’t have raised such a monstrous talent . Then the only one above the houses was the Imperial family…
Zhuo Fan shook his head, “I already said it . It’s up to you to believe or not, but now we’re working together . ”
Xie Tianyang gave a strained nod .
Zhuo Fan took out a map and walked ahead with the other two close behind .
After half a day, Zhuo Fan reached a stream . He gave the area a once-over and nodded . Xue Ningxiang and Xie Tianyang were filled with curiosity .
This place was even farther away from the Golden Spring Pool, and near the border to the second area in the Allbeast Mountain Range .
Allbeast Mountain Range was split into three areas based on how dangerous the spiritual beasts were .
The first area was the safest, with only 1st and 2nd level spiritual beasts roaming around, and the seldom 3rd level . These were suited for Foundation Establishment and Qi Condensation cultivators to catch as spirit animals .
And the Golden Spring Pool was in this area .
The second area was the treasure hunting area, a place where 3rd and 4th level spiritual beasts came and went as they pleased . Entering it while being below the Bone Tempering Stage equaled death .
But this area was filled with spiritual beasts, an important place from where strong experts got their spirit animals .
The third area was deemed as the danger zone . The spiritual beasts here were of 5th and 6th level . Even a Radiant Stage expert would die here .
As such, if one didn’t have absolute confidence in his power, he would not step foot here .
Zhuo Fan was now standing near the border between the first and second areas . Once they entered the second area, Xue Ningxiang, with her Qi Condensation cultivation, would find death lurking at every corner .
Zhuo Fan took a deep breath and nodded, “This is it!”
Xue Ningxiang and Xie Tianyang were puzzled, but Zhuo Fan waved, “Brother Tianyang, I’ll be counting on your Burrowing Mouse to dig a tunnel to the Golden Spring Pool, then keep digging along this pattern . ”
Zhuo Fan pointed on the map, “This is where the Golden Spring Pool is!”
“What?” Xie Tianyang said startled, “For it to dig to the Golden Spring Pool is not a problem, but for it to arrange spirit stones and set an array… It will take more than a thousand trips!”
“Correct, 3221 to be exact!” Zhuo Fan nodded, “Burrowing mouse is small and can only carry one spirit stone at a time . This means it will take 3221 trips to set the array around the Golden Spring Pool . ”
Xie Tianyang gasped and Xue Ningxiang went slack-jawed, “You want to work it to death!”
Even the Burrowing Mouse seemed to understand and collapsed on Xie Tianyang’s shoulder .
[Shit, this punk is after my life . I can’t do this idiotic thing or it’ll be the death of me!]
Burrowing Mouse shut its eyes . Even when it fell from the shoulder and landed on a rock it wouldn’t open them, though its twitching gave it away .
Zhuo Fan smirked and ignored the critter while talking to its owner, “Time is of the essence . Diamond Sand could erupt at any minute, so get your critter step on it . ”
“Is there no other way?” Xie Tianyang asked with a solemn expression .
Zhuo Fan smiled, “If you can snatch the Diamond Sand from right under their noses then be my guest!”
Xie Tianyang watched the unmoving critter on the ground with pity .
Zhuo Fan added an incentive, “There’s a lot more Burrowing Mouse where he comes from, but as for Diamond Sand… He-he-he, only if you listen to me will you make a killing!”
Spurred on, Xie Tianyang’s eyes flashed and he nodded, “Fine, it’s just a 1st level spirit animal anyway . Who would need it, hhha…”
The Burrowing Mouse jumped to its feet and pleaded to its owner with teary eyes .
[Master, how can you be so cruel! I’ll end up working to the bone!]
But Xie Tianyang was too far gone to notice its gesture, as he and Zhuo Fan looked like demons with their manic grins at the poor critter .
Xue Ningxiang watched the cuddly and pitiful little one and her heart swelled with love . She hugged it and comforted it as she glared at the two demons .
But why would any of them care about a critter when Diamond Sand was at stake?
At once, under the stately figure of its master, Xie Tianyang, the Burrowing Mouse was compelled to dig to Golden Spring Pool . In fifteen minutes, a new pattern was beginning to emerge underneath the Golden Spring Pool, all according to Zhuo Fan’s grand design .
Yet the elder stationed at the Golden Spring Pool was oblivious to everything that was happening right underneath his nose .
This was only the beginning for the oppressed Burrowing Mouse, which was forced to work itself into the ground . The only time the trio saw it was when it came for the next spirit stone . It could take it at first, but once it was finished with its first hundred stones, it was dog-tired that even its fur was slick with sweat .
Around the 500th trip, the critter was gasping .
Xue Ningxiang’s heart was bleeding, wanting to give the poor guy a rest . But Zhuo Fan and Xie Tianyang stood like demons, just like a landlord overlooking his peasants, making sure to leave them dead tired .
Especially Xie Tianyang, having nothing but Diamond Sand in his head, he had no time to mind trifles like getting his spirit animal killed from overworking .
This resulted with the Burrowing Mouse making trip after trip and Xue Ningxiang giving it a sip of water on the sly out of pity, the only thing that she could do to ease its hell .
In the eyes of the little guy, she became a goddess .
It was starting to hate itself for choosing poorly . Its owner just heard demon king Zhuo Fan’s two cents and was hooked into sending it to its death!
When it came out for the final time, it was close to breathing its last . Xue Ningxiang hugged it and consoled it, letting it feel the joy of a survivor .
Zhuo Fan smiled at Xie Tianyang, “See, I told you it’d be fine!”
Xie Tianyang sighed, “Yeah, but this guy would hate me to the bone after this . ”
“No choice . If we wanted to have the array in place within three days, the only choice was its sacrifice . ” Zhuo Fan shrugged, “If he’d really died of work, then it wouldn’t be treated as a 1st level spiritual beast . ”
Zhuo Fan stood up and his hand flashed as he deployed another array on the stream’s bank . With a hand sign, the spirit stones in the ground lit up .
An invisible ripple spread out and the two arrays, thousands of miles from each other, were now connected .
At almost the same time, the elder at the Golden Spring Pool shivered and opened his eyes with suspicion, “What’s going on? Why am I restless all of a sudden?”
Next to the stream, Zhuo Fan revealed a wicked grin, “Only one more push! When the Diamond Sand erupts, Hell Valley’s elder would get the shock of his life, he-he-he…”