“Sister, run, I’ll hold him off!” Zhuo Fan shouted. He threw himself at Li Jingtian to hold him back.
Li Jingtian barked, “Young master, what are you doing? Don’t force my hand!”
“I don’t care! You are not allowed to harm sister!” Zhuo Fan shouted, his eyes filled with resolve.
Xue Qingjian and Qiu Yanhai were moved. They looked in each other’s eyes and nodded.
Xue Qingjian opened the vial and gave a pill to Qiu Yanhai, “I don’t know if the pill will be of much help, but we cannot let the boy’s efforts be in vain!”
“He-he-he, old hag, that pretty boy must’ve got under your aged but still pretty skin.” Qiu Yanhai grinned.
Xue Qingjian snapped to hide her blush, “Old fart, you’re still a wise ass despite being an antique. Hurry up and take the pill so we can live through this!”
Xue Qingjian stroked the ring on her finger and muttered, “Sweetie, come out and protect me!”
With a cry, a twenty meter long white falcon appeared overhead. It flew in circles above, releasing a cold wind that blew to form a barrier around her.
“5th level spiritual beast, Snow Falcon!” Zhuo Fan and Li Jingtian cried.
The shock was far from over, as Qiu Yanhai also shook his hand with a smile.
A roar echoed in everyones ears as a scarlet tiger with flaming wings came out of his ring.
The scarlet tiger circled Qiu Yanhai, it’s ten meter long tail flicked at a fifty meter tall cliff, rendering it into rubble. Its fiery eyes staring daggers into Li Jingtian.
“5th level spiritual beast, Earthcore Flame Tiger!”
Li Jingtian’s eyes trembled, as did his heart. He was in ever more awe of Zhuo Fan. It all went just as he said. This old pair may have fought each other till they went senile, but still had kept a hidden card to deal with him.
He didn’t see such spirit animals the last time they fought, thus making them the couple’s last card.
Zhuo Fan was also wide eyed, rather from excitement than fear. The more the old monsters had up their sleeve, the more he felt they were worth the effort.
“Young master, step aside! I have to settle them here and now!”
Li Jingtian roared, but Zhuo Fan still held him tight. Irritated, Li Jingtian slapped Zhuo Fan, “Then you only have yourself to blame for what comes next!”
Despite the fierce palm attack, Zhuo Fan showed no fear. Xue Qingjian’s eyes jumped but only shouted, “Kid, we will avenge you!”
Xue Qingjian and Qiu Yanhai swallowed a pill each without an ounce of hesitation. They sat cross-legged to absorb it as the two 5th level spiritual beasts stood guard.
Li Jingtian’s deadly palm grounded to a halt. Zhuo Fan snickered, easily slapping the palm away.
Zhuo Fan straightened and eyed Li Jingtian with a wicked smile, “All that’s left is for them to absorb the pill!”
“Ha-ha-ha, Steward Zhuo truly works in mysterious ways. You’re far more cunning than that Unwonted Contriver. Those two actually took the so-called pills. They used to be so cautious about everything, only to fail in the end!” Li Jingtian laughed.
The two spiritual beasts were stunned. Their masters called them out to stand guard, but why was it that this old guy was taking his sweet time, with not even a measly intention to attack?
Zhuo Fan snickered, “Elder Li, easy on the flattery. There’s nothing mysterious about my skills. I only guided them to this outcome. The more dangerous the moment, the easier it is for a cautious man to let his guard down. If he can see a thread of hope, he will grab it without fail. A bitter pill to swallow is quite the fitting description, don’t you think? All I did was set up the stage for this peril to unfold and make them swallow a pill they had no knowledge off!”
Li Jingtian’s eyes shined in admiration. [He is mighty in the pen and the sword. His methods are convoluted and impossible to see through them. He is the genius of the millennium!]
“By the way…” Zhuo Fan eyed Li Jingtian puzzled, “Elder Li, you said Regent Estate wanted to subdue this pair and even sent ten Radiant Stage experts. But didn’t Unwonted Contriver Leng Wuchang pull any tricks?”
“Ha-ha-ha, of course he did. Only he lacked your Bloodworms. So his only plan was to surround the two with Regent Estate’s forces. But it backfired instead, and the matter was dropped. The Estate Lord at the time wanted to force the pair into submission, but was forced to forget about this when they were just too stubborn and had no way to make them capitulate!”
Zhuo Fan nodded. It wasn’t Leng Wuchang’s fault for not succeeding, but the lack of means to do it. Without his Bloodworms, even Zhuo Fan would’ve gone home empty handed.
As they talked, the couple slowly opened their eyes and shot to their feet. But the view left them speechless.
Where did Li Jingtian’s fierce bloodthirst go? Why was the kid safe and sound?
They recalled how the last image before closing their eyes was that of Li Jingtian’s devastating palm coming swiftly on the kid’s head!
Zhuo Fan easily saw through their doubt and bowed, “Seniors, let me reintroduce myself. I am not from Regent Estate, but Luo clan’s steward, Zhuo Fan. I represent our Clan Head when I invite seniors into our clan as elders. Please allow us this boundless honor, seniors!”
The two were shell-shocked as they turned to Li Jingtian. He nodded with a laugh, “As you can guess, I’m no longer Regent Estate’s Venerable, but Luo clan’s elder. I was reminded of your impressive power and since you didn’t belong to any house, we came to extend an invitation!”
The two’s hearts shuddered from shock.
Who was this Luo clan to win over Li Jingtian, an astounding expert from Regent Estate? It wasn’t just a taunt at Regent Estate, but making a hole in their defenses!
What’s more, Regent Estate remained passive. Or they wouldn’t have had the time to come here. Just what kind of house was this Luo clan to drive fear even into Regent Estate?
They may be shocked, but they were still as stubborn as a mule. Xue Qingjian laughed, glaring at Zhuo, “Little brother, I did say I will take you in, but I never mentioned anything about you having me!”
“Quite right, only I can have this crone, ha-ha-ha…” Qiu Yanhai laughed without shame, earning a blush and a glare from Xue Qingjian.
Zhuo Fan scratched his nose, “That’s fine as well. My forte is that I do not like to force people. Though I may perhaps have a little loathsome fault. Whatever I set my eyes on, I must have it. And what I can’t have, no one else can!”
Zhuo Fan made a sign before the two could react.
The air filled with the couple’s wails as Xue Qingjian and Qiu Yanhai’s head bled out along with the accompanying excruciating pain. The spiritual beasts were startled and flew at Zhuo Fan.
[This brat is the real menace, hiding himself to such extent!]
Zhuo Fan wasn’t the least bit afraid, “You two better sit and behave or all you’ll get is your masters’ corpses.”
Zhuo Fan made a hand sign and the couple spat blood. It then started pouring from every orifice of their head like a fountain.
The spiritual beasts stopped in panic, freezing in uncertainty. But their pitiful eyes bore into Zhuo Fan, begging for mercy.
Li Jingtian shook his head. With Zhuo Fan’s mean streak, not even spiritual beasts could escape his grasp, least of all fellow humans.
Brushing past those two poultry’s begging gazes, Zhuo Fan walked to the couple and flashed his most dastardly grin he could muster, “Seniors, why must you suffer so? As long as you agree to join the Luo clan…”
“W-what did you do to us?” Qiu Yanhai barked.
Helpless, Zhuo Fan started explaining to them Bloodworms’ effect with a smile, “You shouldn’t take candy from a stranger, much less a pill. Ha-ha-ha…”
The demonic cackle sent a chill down to their very core. They, who roamed the land for decades without anyone standing in their way, were played by a snot-nosed brat.
“This is the last time I’m asking. Will you comply?” Zhuo Fan said.
“Death before dishonor. We will never submit!” They both said in unison.
Zhuo Fan sighed, “I’m only asking you to be guarding elders in the Luo clan. There’s no dishonor in it at all. But don’t take my word for it, ask Elder Li.”
“Steward Zhuo is always courteous and respectful!” Li Jingtian shouted, while cursing inside, [With the occasional bouts of cruelty in between!]
He could recall as if yesterday, when he and Yan Song voiced their complaints, Zhuo Fan flew into a rage. It was only thanks to Luo Yunchang that the two managed to calm his anger just by kneeling.
Who knew what’d he do to them otherwise?
Li Jingtian felt an odd sense of kinship with the pair in this regard. Luo clan’s elders were perhaps the most miserable elders in the whole wide world. One’s life didn’t rest solely at Clan Head’s whims, but more so at the steward’s.
And before you’d even begin to consider Clan Head’s whims, you’d first have to go with the steward’s. [You tell me, is that what you call an elder? Even Regent Estate is better than this steward…]