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In the dead of night, Zhuo Fan was trying hard to staunch the flow of blood from his chest while sitting on the bed. Luo Yunchang wanted to help him but Zhuo Fan’s bellow drove her out.
Despite winning against You Quan, his victory wasn’t a sweet one.
If not for his sneak attack, the fight would’ve been one-sided, a common occurrence when demonic cultivators were involved. But he felt a deep sense of powerlessness from today’s fight.
Although they were 4 layers apart, he believed himself to be a Demonic Emperor, that using all his power would have certainly finished off a kid still wet behind his ears.
Yet reality showed that not only he couldn’t win, but he also couldn’t even get the upper hand in the fight. He had to rely on scheming to lure Veiled Dragon Pavilion out in the open and kill his enemy when he least expected by inciting chaos among the houses, while also providing the Luo clan a way out.
It all went according to plan, yet it didn’t leave a good taste in his mouth.
To get rid of their trouble with the Cai clan and Sun clan, they got tangled up in the Seven Noble Houses’ conflict. It was trading one poison for another. All was quiet for now, but they’d have to face the music sooner or later.
Yet, with his meager power, he couldn’t protect himself, let alone the Luo clan.
“I need to get stronger fast!”
Zhuo Fan clenched his teeth and performed strange hand gestures as his eyes let out an eerie red light.
At this moment, Cai Xiaoting was meditating in a room when a sudden ache in his abdomen twisted his face in pain. Beads of sweat rolled down his forehead and he soon passed out.
A bloody light flashed from his abdomen and a palm-sized infant came out.
It was Zhuo Fan’s Blood Infant.
At the time he was in Cai Manor, Zhuo Fan inserted the Blood Infant in Cai Xiaoting, to control Cai Rong. Because his movement was too fast, no one saw him. And under the threat of his son’s life, Cai Rong was forced to let the Luo clan go.
Thanks to the Blood Infant in Cai Xiaoting’s body, Zhuo Fan could monitor their affairs. He would get an early warning to any plan they might come up with.
But now, spying on the Cai clan has lost its value.
The Blood Infant saw the unconscious Cai Xiaoting and let out a sneer in Zhuo Fan’s voice, “Humph, I won’t take your life so you could bear witness to the fall of the Cai clan.”
The Blood Infant then turned into a red light and flew outside.
In a dark garden, a Cai clan guard was patrolling when a red light entered his body. He couldn’t utter a sound as his body numbed. He soon shriveled up and a light wind scattered him to dust, leaving behind the red glow.
In this manner, more than thirty guards disappeared from the Cai clan.
In the tavern, Zhuo Fan snickered and sent Blood Infant for the next prey.
He and the Blood Infant were one. When the Blood Infant entered a cultivator, he used the Demon Transformation Art to absorb the person’s blood essence and Yuan Qi for Zhuo Fan to refine later.
He didn’t plan on using the Blood Infant so soon, but he needed it to heal his heart. So he might as well reduce Cai clan’s numbers while he was at it.
The Blood Infant reached the Qi Condensation and even an early Bone Tempering expert would find it troublesome to fight with. As for Qi Condensation opponents, it would kill them in an instant.
If Zhuo Fan had the Blood Infant on him in his fight with You Quan, he could’ve won without having to resort to any schemes.
He could only sigh as he thought of how it was the perfect match to have both the Blood Infant and the Demon Transformation Art.
Raising the Blood Infant was very difficult, and even Patriarch Blood Demon only reached Saint Stage with it. Yet, thanks to the Demon Transformation Art, Zhuo Fan raised it to Qi Condensation after ten days of hard work in the tavern.
He did it during his previous seclusion. The first day he used to bind the Blood Infant and the rest to provide it with blood essence. Since the Blood Infant reached such a level, it was time for it to collect blood essence.
And in a clan like the Cai clan, Bone Tempering experts were rare, so Zhuo Fan wasn’t afraid the Blood Infant would be harmed. This led to an unrestrained hunt as he sucked dry fifty more guards.
But just when he planned to wipe away any Cai clan remnants, an eerie energy caught his attention.
“A Demonic cultivator expert?”
Zhuo Fan was startled and guided the Blood Infant to the source.
It arrived near a small room, where a faint light burned. There were two dozen peak Qi Condensation cultivators standing guard.
It stirred Zhuo Fan’s curiosity and drew Blood Infant to a window. As for those guards, they couldn’t even detect the Blood Infant, not to mention see it.
Three elderly sat in the guest and main seats inside the room.
The one in the main seat was Cai Rong. The first seat on his left was occupied by a bald old man with cloudy eyes and exuding a peculiar energy.
Zhuo Fan recognized it in a second, it was from a demonic cultivator expert.
The old man on Cai Rong’s right wore noble attire and faint traces of demonic energy leaked from him. It showed he was in the middle of changing to a demonic cultivation method.
Yet Cai Rong and the noble dressed old man were showing great respect to the bald demonic cultivator.
[Can it be…]
Zhuo Fan felt he was onto something when Clan Head cupped his hands before the bald man, “Elder Jian, to what do I owe the honor of your and Clan Head Sun’s visit?”
Cloudy eyes stared at Cai Rong until he trembled. It was then that Elder Jian smiled, “I’m sure you know that a disciple from my Hell Valley was killed today by a Veiled Dragon Pavilion.”
“Uhm, wasn’t it done by the Luo clan?” Cai Rong let out a dry laugh.
“You think the Luo clan would have the nerve?” Elder Jian laughed as his cloudy eyes shined, “The feud between my Hell Valley and Veiled Dragon Pavilion was at a stalemate where neither dared to make the first move and break the balance of the seven houses. Yet the Veiled Dragon Pavilion used the Luo clan to kill my disciple. What are they aiming for?”
This made Zhuo Fan muffle his laughter.
Just as he expected, these seven houses were treated like kings for so many years that they would never believe anyone would challenge their authority. It was because of such raw arrogance that made them believe there was a deeper scheme involved instead of taking what happened at face value.
Veiled Dragon Pavilion was no different, willing to accept this injustice instead of showing weakness.
“Uh, then you visited me because…” Cai Rong hesitated.
“Ha-ha-ha, nothing much, just help us to spy on Veiled Dragon Pavilion and understand their intent. It seems this event will trigger a battle between the houses.”
“Uhm… Elder Jian, that’s the Veiled Dragon Pavilion. My Cai clan can’t afford to offend them.” Cai Rong panicked.
He thought, [Why the hell are you Seven Noble Houses dragging my small clan into this?]
Shaking his head, Elder Jian said, “Clan Head Cai, don’t misunderstand. There is no need for your clan to go head to head with Veiled Dragon Pavilion. It’s just testing them, that is, dealing with the Luo clan and observing the Veiled Dragon Pavilion’s reaction.”
“What, Luo clan?”
Cai Rong was shocked.
There wasn’t anyone in the Windgaze City who didn’t know of today’s fight between You Quan and Zhuo Fan, that Luo clan was backed by the Veiled Dragon Pavilion. [Yet here you are asking me to go make a mess of Luo clan. Isn’t that the same as offending the Veiled Dragon Pavilion?]
Cai Rong looked over at Clan Head Sun, only to see him smile with a hint of schadenfreude.
[Damn you! Since you’re so close with Hell Valley, why don’t you go mess with Luo clan? Didn’t your daughter make a scene today? But now that you saw them with the Veiled Dragon Pavilion, you don’t dare move an inch.]
Cai Rong felt his tooth itch from hatred but didn’t have the courage to refuse Hell Valley, “Ai, to tell the truth, I hate that punk, Zhuo Fan, the most. He came to my clan a few days ago to look for trouble. I don’t know what evil trick he used, but he made my son cough blood for several days and we still haven’t found a cure. If I go after him, he would use the same trick to take my son’s life…”
Before Cai Rong even finished, Zhuo Fan could barely hold his laughter.
He left the Blood Infant inside Cai Xiaoting to teach the Cai clan a lesson, but never used it again afterward. He didn’t expect the Clan Head would use such a lame excuse to escape this predicament.
Even Elder Jian was skeptical of Cai Rong’s flowery speech and his face hardened.
Upon seeing this, Cai Rong rushed to present an alternative, “Elder Jian, Clan Head Sun is the best man for the job and is also close with Hell Valley. Letting him in charge of this task won’t disappoint you.”
“Hey, Cai Rong, what are you trying to pull?”
Clan Head Sun jumped to his feet. Luo clan was a headache and they didn’t know how tight its relation was with the Veiled Dragon Pavilion. If he’d instigated Veiled Dragon Pavilion’s involvement when he messed with the Luo clan, he’d be ruined.
Despite the Sun clan and Hell Valley being related, the former was by no means one of the Seven Noble Houses. Getting on the Veiled Dragon Pavilion’s wrong side was out of the question. It was unknown if the Hell Valley would stick its neck out for the Sun clan.
Going after Luo clan was plain suicide.
Seeing the two clans proclaim loyalty by day and shirking off their duties at crucial times, Elder Jian snapped, “Enough, you useless fools, I don’t need any of you. I will find someone else for the job.
“Also, Cai Rong, have you brought your spirit ranked martial art, Wind Kick?”
“Please inspect it, Elder Jian.” Cai clan rushed to present the jade slip, yet his eyes showed reluctance, “Elder Jian, this is the only spirit ranked martial art the ancestors have passed down in my Cai clan.”
“Fine, I won’t take advantage of you.” Snorting, Elder Jian threw him a jade slip, “This is the spirit ranked martial art, Flaming Finger, a higher rank than yours.”
Cai Rong was overjoyed, expressing his thanks again and again. Zhuo Fan standing outside was puzzled, [Is Hell Valley muddled to exchange a mid spirit ranked martial art for a lower one?]
“Elder Jian, who did you find to deal with Luo clan, if you don’t mind me asking?”
Ignoring the martial art the Hell Valley bestowed on Cai Rong, Clan Head Sun asked. Cai Rong pricked up his ears to catch the answer.
Snickering, Elder Jian’s eyes flashed with disdain, “You bunch of dogs, afraid someone might replace you? Humph, relax will you, that person is from Hell Valley.”
“Does the Hell Valley plan to step forward? Why…” Cai Rong and Clan Head Sun didn’t mind Elder Jian’s disdain and were surprised.
With an odd light in his eyes, Elder Jian said, “He is a spy we have long planted in the Blackwind Mountain…”
Zhuo Fan was so shocked his heart skipped a beat and his control over his energy slipped.
Elder Jian whipped his head and launched a palm attack. The door was blown to pieces as Blood Infant turned into a red streak of light and flew away.
Only now did Elder Jian rush outside.
Zhuo Fan’s shock wasn’t small, but luck was with him as the guards were surrounding the place. He grinned and urged the Blood Infant to enter one of them.
The guards were in shock as Zhuo Fan’s shout blew up the guard. With no time to dodge, all the others next to him lost their lives.
Elder Jian’s figure was blocked by the sudden explosion, allowing Blood Infant’s escape.
Cai Rong and Clan Head Sun saw the wretched aftermath and were frightened, “What was that?”
Elder Jian shook his head, yet his face turned grave, “I don’t know, but it must belong to a demonic cultivator…”