“Ah, who are you?”
Luo Sifan came to with a start at the beastly and naked man throwing himself at her. She snapped her hands forward out of reflex, pushing him back, into the floor, and making him cough blood.
The drug had long since taken over the Prince of Harvest’s mind, numbing his senses and taking away his reasoning. Regardless of the pain, he only saw the girl as a tasty morsel, coming at her with lust in his eyes.
Luo Sifan was scared silly, but her instincts as a peak Radiant Stage cultivator kicked in once more, flinging the deranged man away and bleeding.
The man was so far gone he cared not for his life, going for her again and again, only to be repelled every time.
By the thirty-ish time Prince of Harvest’s fat body got bounced back, he looked battered all over, but his eyes never lost their ravenous hunger as they sought out Luo Sifan.
Luo Sifan was horrified, even though she won. Murong Xue looked inquisitively at Zhuo Fan, “Why?”
“You had him restrained, so why let him go so the girl would deal with him?”
Zhuo Fan said, “I feel like finding out what Baili Jingwei is up to, and for that, I let him win.”
“You let him win?”
“Sure. I’ve had my eyes on the central area for years now and I’m planning on destroying it soon, for my plan to return. I can’t wait a moment longer. As for why I held back, one is because Baili Yutian’s a mystery, and two, central area’s recovery in these recent years has been going far too easily. You’ve seen for yourself, how strong central area was in the war, stronger than all four lands’ forces.”
Zhuo Fan sighed, “Unless it makes a move, no one can shake that rock. Now that he finally showed his hand, I’m not about to stop him.”
Murong Xue’s brow shook, “Then why did you stop his savage act for a moment there? You could’ve not interfered at all.
“Miss Murong, know this, I let him move, but I also have my limits. No harm will ever come to a Luo clansman.”
Zhuo Fan eased a long breath, “In all fairness, my plan would’ve been in motion all the same if Danqing Shen had killed Yunhai. But I stepped in because he cannot die. The same went for stopping the crazed prince, so Sifan wouldn’t get hurt. By letting him act, I allowed Baili Jingwei’s plan to continue as I moved under this distraction. Nothing would’ve happened since Sifan is at peak Radiant Stage while the prince is just a fresh Radiant Stage cultivator. It’ll only make Yunhai feel bad, is all.”
Murong Xue gasped, looking away, “I don’t get what you’re saying at all, schemer!”
“Ha-ha-ha, miss Murong, you’re catching on. The you before would’ve butted in on the spot to help the needy, for the common good, for righteousness and purging of evil. Now, you have learned patience.”
“No, I haven’t. It’s because I’m still of two minds on what is right or wrong, and I don’t want to make the wrong judgment. I’ve seen the people go through countless changes this hundred years, which only plunged me into deeper confusion. Now I’m going with you so I can see your choices.” Murong Xue squinted.
Zhuo Fan smirked, “Miss Murong, I’ll share with you a story, one that will clear all doubts about right and wrong, good and evil. I listened to it in my travels through the five lands. It was illuminating, so much that my heart grew incredibly while my cultivation dropped five layers.”
“Sure did. True Self Art focuses on the heart and heart alone, bringing one back to one’s true nature. Getting stronger is pointless, with only a growing heart and mentality would prove fruitful. Once reaching one’s origin, I will finally see for myself what the world Dao really is.”
“Now I’m interested to hear it!” Murong Xue showed a rare smile, a sight for sore eyes, yet lost on Zhuo Fan.
That marked the fiftieth time Prince of Harvest went on the offensive and was repelled. The pain and hurt his body endured had no way of breaking through his drug-addled mind still, getting his feet under him with a loony smile and greedy eyes. Completing the picture was the constant blood coming from his mouth, mixed with bits and pieces from his innards.
Luo Sifan’s brow shook hard, unable to look at the ghastly figure.
[Who is this freak? He’s like the living dead. Doesn’t he feel any pain?]
Prince of Harvest twisted his body, taking another step for Luo Sifan. Blood poured out of him still, driven by only one instinct, to mate. The innocent girl felt sick to her stomach, opting to dodge this time.
The doors burst open just then and the two guards flew in followed by two new people, “Sister Sifan!”
Long Jianshan and Xie Nianyang had arrived.
Watching Prince of Harvest’s bizarre shape going for Luo Sifan had them in shock just then, “Who the hell are you? Don’t touch her!”
The two coordinated perfectly, one with a palm, the other with a kick, striking the vitals of the beaten prince.
Long Jianshan was ruthless enough to even go for Prince of Harvest’s heart, punching a hole in the fat man’s chest. Xie Nianyang did an overhead kick, right at the face, removing the head from that gross body.
Blood gushed everywhere, while the headless Prince of Harvest twitched once before splattering in his own blood.
“That was my claw, I saved Sifan!”
“That was my kick, I saved sister Sifan!”
Ignoring the corpse, the two stared daggers at each other, then rushed at Luo Sifan’s side, “Sister Sifan, are you alright?”
With a blank face, Luo Sifan finally snapped awake, pointing at the corpse, “W-who is he?”
A cry came before they could reply. The two guards turned their gaping expressions from the blood, to the three as they spewed fire, “You have some nerve to kill Sword Star Empire’s Prince of Harvest! You killed the Sword Star Empire’s envoy and have declared war on us.
[Sword Star Empire’s envoy?!]
The trio shook all over then went slack from shock.
[We’re done for!]
Zhuo Fan chuckled from the shadows, “Oh, the brats are in for it now, ha-ha-ha…”
“Is this Baili Jingwei’s plan? Dragging western lands into a war?”
“If it were that easy, he wouldn’t be Baili Jingwei. War? He can’t suffer from it, ha-ha-ha…” Zhuo Fan waved her off, walking away, “Baili Jingwei has started, and so shall I. I’ve waited a hundred years for this. Wu Randong, your bitter wait is at an end!”
In the brightly lit imperial palace, with three rows of guards inside and another three outside, making it foolproof, Yuwen Yong attended the banquet held for the Sword Star Empire delegates, ridiculing, “Third brother, it’s been ages since my last feast in the imperial palace. It feels awfully foreign. Since when did a third-rate empire have Soul Harmony guards? And dozens of them too. Third brother, you’ve sure gotten the empire far, ha-ha-ha…”
“Imperial brother, there’s no need for hazing. The Luo Alliance sent the guards for your protection. I am but the lord of a meager empire and have no right to have even one Soul Harmony expert in my employ. To be frank, master is only at the 5th layer of Ethereal Stage.” Yuwen Cong spoke coldly. Luo Yunhai’s group stared hard at him.
Yuwen Yong sneered, “Fang Qiubai? Isn’t he Tianyu’s Divine Dragon? Why is he such a disappointment? Only 5th layer Ethereal Stage? That’s my level!”
“Ha-ha-ha, brother is Sword Star Empire’s Deputy Minister of War, enjoying lush resources, unlike our barren lands. It’s normal for brother to outdo master.”
Yuwen Yong nodded, “Right you are, brother. Central area’s environment is way better than here. Take the lowest official in the central area and you still won’t find any weaker than the emperor here.”
In face of such an empty taunt, Yuwen Cong smiled, “To each his own ambition. Some like to be the head of something, however small, while others prefer to bask in the glorious stool of others, to smell their stench. There’s no forcing one’s nature. Sometimes, not just any can be a leader, no matter how much they try.”
The bite Yuwen Yong placed in his mouth shook, his face darkening from fury…
[You have guts, Yuwen Cong!]
Luo Yunhai was stern, while the guards drew around the emperor.
Yuwen Yong’s fury abated, snickering at everyone’s tense looks, “Brother, why do I feel these guards aren’t here to keep me safe, but you instead?”
“Brother, by no means do I deserve such honor.”
Ignoring the empty formality, Yuwen Yong’s eyes shone, “Sometimes, the guards’ level matters not, not when they protect the wrong asset.”
Luo Yunhai’s face fell, staring hard with a frown.
[What’s that supposed to mean?]