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Not an extra shadow could be found in the splendid and magnificent main halls of the palace inside the Imperial City. Everyone, including the eunuchs and palace maids, was sent away by Ji Chengxue.
He sat on the throne all alone, with his eyes lightly shut. He was not sleeping, but in deep contemplation. At this point, the circumstances of the Imperial City had gotten out of hand, particularly beyond his control. Even though he was technically the emperor, he couldn't help but feel helpless and powerless.
Xiao Meng had sent in new intelligence. From such reports he learned of many news. The Imperial City nowadays was no longer one that fell under his command. Even eighth grade War-Gods have begun to appear. They were a kind of existence that eclipsed even the most powerful forces of the Imperial City, which meant that the Light Wind Empire itself could not even put up a good fight.
In the past, there were only seventh grade Battle-Saints. With Xiao Meng at the peak of seventh grade Battle-Saint, he was still able to awe the crowd and subdue any opposition. But before an eighth grade War-God… he was rather insufficient.
These eighth grade War-Gods whom one rarely hears of had suddenly appeared in the Imperial City. Their target was the Five Stripes Path-Understanding Tree, which was located in Owner Bu's store. Given that, Owner Bu's store was destined to suffer.
Rubbing his brows, Ji Chengxue opened his eyes and sighed.
"Nevermind, there's no point in beating myself over with this as I can't come up with any good solutions. Owner Bu will be on his own. Perhaps he has a trump card, given that supposed Supreme Beast on guard, maybe… it won't be that easy for these eighth grade War-Gods to go in and destroy everything."
Wu Yunbai studied the man standing before her, who wore casual clothes and a silver mask covering half of his face. She instinctively recoiled, taking a step back.
"Brother Zhan Kong, why… why are you here as well?" Wu Yunbai said with a slightly awkward expression on her face.
That masked man, in a guarded manner, scanned the floor that Wu Yunbai lived on with his eyes and wrinkled his brows.
"Ah Wu said you were heavily wounded, but given how you look… it doesn't seem that bad?"
His voice was charming, but with an added hint of rigidness and aloofness.
"Commander Zhan Kong, she was indeed deeply wounded a couple of days ago. But with the help of someone in particular, she had fully recovered." Master Ah Wu responded with great reverence. The ice-cold man before him was no simple figure.
This was one of the four greatest commanders of the White Cloud Villa. His cultivation level was at eighth grade War-God and his combat abilities were forbidding. He had once ripped apart a seventh level spirit beast with his bare hands, and showered his body with its blood.
"Who hurt you?" Zhan Kong's eyes spun behind the mask and fell upon Wu Yunbai, as he asked softly.
"None of your business. I'll avenge myself," Wu Yunbai replied stubbornly.
Zhao Kong gazed at Wu Yunbai calmly and suddenly walked toward the room. He extended his hands and patted Wu Yunbai's head.
"Ah Wu, come with me. Tell me, who hurt her… and who saved her."
"Ah… yes!" Ah Wu was startled, but quickly followed him.
Wu Yunbai bulged her cheeks as she gazed at the back of this towering man. She humphed to herself before catching up to them with stomping feet.
"The Mahayana Islands, Buddhist Sect?" Zhan Kong flicked a puzzling glance at Ah Wu. A force of influence so paltry dared to provoke someone from the White Cloud Villa?
But he didn't ask much more, as he only needed to know who wounded Wu Yunbai.
"Then, who rescued her?"
"The owner of a small store. The store very much hyped recently in the Imperial City as it has possession of a Five Stripes Path-Understanding Tree," Ah Wu answered respectfully.
"Oh? That store? On my way here I bumped into an old bird of the Ferocious Divine Hall. His target seemed to be the store… If I guessed right, it should be the same as the one you just mentioned," Zhan Kong remarked.
Wu Yunbai's complexion changed. An old bird of the Ferocious Divine Hall? A fellow able to grab hold of Zhan Kong's attention must be an eighth grade War-God… Could it be that the Ferocious Divine Hall had begun making their move on the store? They finally got tired of waiting?
"Say no more. I know what you want to suggest. But I have my own plans. Rest first. The water of the Light Wind Empire's Imperial City is too muddled right now. My objective this time is to simply to bring you back to safety, so as to fulfill the villa master's orders. So, you better behave yourself."
Zhan Kong simply cut off Wu Yunbai's words, stood up, and walked out of the room with his hands behind his back.
Wu Yunbai was furious… such a conceited, insolent man!
"Ah Wu, watch her well. Do not let her out of the room before I return." Zhan Kong glimpsed at Master Ah Wu, who was standing nearby, as he instructed.
Ah Wu felt his heart tremble and a chill running down his spine as he nodded in a hurry.
Afterwards, Zhan Kong no longer took notice of them and left the inn entirely.
Zhan Kong stood on the streets of the Imperial City, one that bustled with pedestrians. His eyes flashed a sense of calmness and as he took a step forward, everything surrounding him flashed by at the speed of light.
In an instant, the step was complete, and he found himself standing before a luxurious courtyard.
He peered at this courtyard, with his eyes dimming with apathy.
"Simply the trivial Mahayana Island, a piece of trash without even an eighth grade War-God, dares to hurt the junior villa master of our White Cloud Villa. Here's an idiot who had acted recklessly and blindly."
Zhan Kong shut his eyes beneath the silver mask. The corners of his eyes quivered as he curled his lips.
No big movements were to be seen. Zhan Kong simply raised a hand, grabbed at the air, and a full gush of spirit energy instantly gathered at his palm.
Within that space, an enormous spirit energy palm had surfaced. That palm was gigantic yet delicate. One could see the fine lines that covered it. A formidable force of energy spread upon the palm.
Zhan Kong tilted his head, gazed at the spirit energy palm hovering over the luxurious inn, and pressed it slightly downwards. In that moment, the winds and clouds shook, causing the buildings within that luxurious courtyard to shake uncontrollably.
Within the courtyard, a cross-legged Zhao Musheng sitting in a secret chamber snapped open his eyes. Terror flashed across them.
"I wonder which warrior has arrived. Zhao Musheng has failed to receive and welcome you, I apologize for that!"
With a howl, Zhao Musheng broke out with the most terrifying force of energy that he could muster and rushed out to the courtyard. He floated midair within the courtyard, and just as he finished speaking, he lifted his head. Witnessing the giant palm that had effectively covered the sky, his pupils shrank and his heart trembled.
"Zhao Musheng? You came out at just the right moment… As you've hurt someone from our White Cloud Villa, you shall face your death."
Zhan Kong peered at the floating Zhao Musheng coldly and his lips curled. Without another word, he pressed down with his palm.
After a thunderous sound, Zhao Musheng felt that incredible force of pressure fall on his body. All the bones in his body were crackling due to the pressure.
Zhao Musheng's eyes were filled with infinite terror. This daunting force of pressure was unmatchable… The one before his eyes turned out to be an eighth grade War-God!
The spirit energy palm continued to press down, causing the grounds to shake. Zhao Musheng was sent sprawling onto the floor, and in that very moment, the magnificent courtyard around him was turned into a pile of ruins.
If someone inspected all of this from above, he would see that the grounds of the courtyard had sunk in. All that was left was a huge handprint.
What followed was an earth shattering shock that extended outwards, causing the entire Imperial City to shake.
This tremendous noise caught much attention within the Imperial City.
Xiao Meng, resting in the Xiao quarters, felt his heart jumping to his throat. He could sense the terrifying force of pressure, and couldn't help but emit a long breath.
An eighth grade War-God… has finally made a move!
Boom Boom Bang!
Rocks exploded and splintered. A bloody Zhao Musheng burst out from this explosion. He glared at Zhan Kong harshly.
Zhao Musheng did not say another word, but turned around and stepped up his feet, with intentions to leave.
However, Zhan Kong's eyes beneath the mask were cold and ruthless. His garment crinkled as he stirred again. Behind him emerged a magnificent pair of wings formed by the convergence of vapor energy.
In a split second, he appeared next to Zhao Musheng.
"Did I say you are allowed to leave?" Zhan Kong asked placidly.
"Don't take this beating to the extreme!" Zhao Musheng bellowed. Little did he expect an eighth grade War-God to make a move on him. He was not prepared at all to almost face his death.
"So what if I beat you up? You think you have grounds to talk when you've injured my people?" Zhan Kong retorted coolly. His body twirled and out came a kick that landed directly on Zhao Musheng's body. That formidable strength almost ripped apart the air.
Zhao Musheng spit out a large mouthful of blood. He appeared aged and fragile as ever in that moment.
He staggered and then found his balance as he stood amidst the air. He wiped off the blood dripping by the corner of his mouth as a hideous look flashed across his complexion.
He crushed a blood colored jade pendant into pieces, and instantly a shining gold Buddhist silhouette manifested around him. The Buddha's palm struck fiercely towards Zhan Kong, and as it swung down, the golden Buddha transformed into a blood red and ferocious form.
Zhan Kong took a deep breath, leaped up, and after a 360 degrees swirl, directly teared that blood Buddha apart.
The gigantic blood Buddha dissipated, leaving behind only blood red streaks of light.
"Very good… I thought it would be a battle to the death. Turns out he used a distractin to run away. I guess that's what they call getting wiser as you grow older, but whatever… merely a branch off of a Buddhist Sect, there's nothing to worry about." The wings on Zhan Kong's back had faded as he landed smoothly on the floor. He adjusted his shirt as he murmured to himself.
With hands behind his back, he turned around to leave. Behind him… what used to be a courtyard was now merely a pile of debris.
On the streets of the Imperial City, a couple of fearsome, burly blokes dressed in leather garments dashed through recklessly.
The one in the lead was a man with muscles bulging like small mountains. His force of energy was heavy and majestic. As it fluctuated, it emitted a thunderous roar.
Suddenly, his ears twitched. He gazed at the swirl of smoke rising from afar and curled his lips.
"Someone actually made a move first before me, Xia Da… very well, I can't fall behind!"
"Sheng Mu, that store is there. Let's go faster! I can't wait to get this moving!" Xia Da smiled coldly. The muscles on his face had scrunched up into a terrifying look.
Sheng Mu rode on a cheetah. He laughed and pointed at the alleyway ahead. "Elder Xia, a left turn ahead and we will reach the store… I was previously collaborating with that fool Zhao Musheng. That bonehead said it would be easy to obtain the Five Stripes Path-Understanding Tree. I can't believe I was stupid enough to believe him. We wasted so much time and got nothing in return. That's why I had to seek guidance from you, the elder."
"Haha! You are such a moron. If we are here to seize it by force, what's the point of beating around the bush? Just directly charge over there! This elder will show you what absolute dominance looks like! All those from my Ferocious Divine Hall should never flinch or recoil as they tread through this world. Just go ahead and do it! Don't have the jitters, just go ahead!"