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Seeing the old man hesitating, Zhuo Fan smiled, “Guess I’ll have to suffer a loss and give you something.”
“Humph, what could you possibly know that the Veiled Dragon Pavilion doesn’t?” Long Kui stuck her chin with disdain.
Zhuo Fan smiled, “I have heard of the Veiled Dragon Pavilion boundless strength, but the cat and mouse each have its own means. What I know doesn’t mean you do as well.”
Long Kui grinned unconvinced. Long Jie also shook his head. But only Long Jiu fixed his single eye on Zhuo Fan.
Long Jiu wouldn’t even care if it were anyone else. But it concerned Zhuo Fan, who gave them too many shocks these past days. He began to add a certain importance to the youth before him.
“Let’s hear it!”
Snickering, Zhuo Fan said, “Did you know Hell Valley’s men are already here?”
Long Jiu shouted in shock.
Since the founding of the empire, the Seven Noble Houses’ domains had clear boundaries. Windgaze City was Veiled Dragon Pavilion’s and no other house was allowed to establish a branch here or it would be taken as provocation and war would break out.
Of course, their disciples were the exception, as it could be seen from Veiled Dragon Pavilion ignoring You Quan’s arrival. However, this didn’t extend to elders or similar experts, they needed consent first.
Zhuo Fan knew of this rule from Luo Yunchang and was now probing. It went just as he thought. From their faces, they had no idea the bald old man was here.
“Impossible, we have scouts all over Windgaze City and no one can escape our notice.” Long Jie shook his head with a grim look.
“Humph, don’t listen to him. He just wants to scare us.” Long Kui glared at Zhuo Fan.
Only Long Jiu spoke in a grave tone, “What proof do you have?”
Zhuo Fan smiled, “None.”
“So you’re just running your mouth.” Long Kui threw a despising glare his way.
Zhuo Fan laughed, “But his appearance was that of a bald old man, with Cai Rong and Clan Head Sun calling him Elder Jian!”
“Condor Jian Fan?”
Long Jiu’s only eye squinted as his power exploded. It was so strong none of the others around him could breathe, stepping back again and again.
Only after a while did he calm down.
Zhuo Fan gasped as his heart shivered. Long Jiu’s power contained naked killing intent that shocked even him.
“Grandpa Jiu, you’ve met that old man?” Zhuo Fan probed.
“Not only met him… That man ruined uncle Jiu’s godeye.” Long Jie explained.
Zhuo Fan was in joy. [I was scared you had no grievances. Now that I know you’re archenemies, it couldn’t be better.]
“Restrain your anger, grandpa Jiu!” Zhuo Fan switched to a fake compassionate tone.
Waving, Long Jiu’s eye glinted with coldness, “Alright, since you spoke of his appearance, I’ll believe you. You can take the courtyard a hundred yards from here.”
“Thank you, grandpa Jiu!” Zhuo Fan clasped his hands and walked away with Captain Pang. But after a couple of steps, Long Jiu spoke coldly, “Kid, where’s that geezer?”
Stopping, Zhuo Fan replied, “Cai clan, but it’s more likely he’s in the Sun clan now.”
“I see!” Long Jiu nodded as the bones in his fists crackled. Once Zhuo Fan was out of sight, he spoke, “Ah Jie, report it to the clan so they can send some elders. I won’t let Jian Fan leave this place alive. Also, stay for now in that courtyard and look after the Luo clan. I don’t want them to do anything that might scare away Jian Fan.”
“Uncle Jiu, he is a Hell Valley elder, if he dies here, it will trigger a war between our houses.” Long Jie showed his worry.
“Humph, it is he who doesn’t follow the rules and sneaked my domain. If I let him live, I won’t be able to live with the regret of him taking my eye.”
Seeing his advice falling on deaf ears, Long Jie sighed and left with Long Kui. Though they left, they could still hear Long Jiu’s angry laughter…
The next morning, Zhuo Fan took the siblings and Captain Pang to their new home. This was where the Veiled Dragon Pavilion received their honored guests. It was far larger than the reception house where they were welcomed before. It was the best place in town.
In a short while, Luo clan was the talk of the town, of how they were under Veiled Dragon Pavilion’s close care. Everyone knew the Veiled Dragon Pavilion supported them, or they wouldn’t have placed them in one of their courtyards, protected day in day out.
Cai clan and Sun clan rejoiced they didn’t accept Elder Jian’s task. Just from today’s circumstances, it was clear that any who dared to harm the Luo clan would face the wrath of Veiled Dragon Pavilion.
Just like that, the moment the Luo clan stepped foot in their new home, it was publicly declared as the number one clan in the Windgaze City. They were held above even the Cai clan and Sun clan, despite being a small clan of four.
“Are we going to live here from now on?”
Being the first to enter, Luo Yunchang was shocked by the imposing atmosphere of the place, including the sheer number of guards around them, all Qi Condensation experts. Adding to them were two dozen more golden armored guards staying vigilant. They were clearly Bone Tempering experts.
Such guards could only be seen in the Seven Noble Houses.
Luo Yunhai and Captain Pang ware struck dumb. The later was even in awe by the number of experts, while the former inquisitive.
“Old Pang, when the Luo clan recovers, what do you think of becoming the leader of such a team?” Zhuo Fan patted his shoulder.
Captain Pang shyly shook his head, “Any guard here is stronger than me. It is great if I can be as strong as them, but I don’t dare lead them.”
Despite saying that, his eyes flashed with hope.
Zhuo Fan laughed, “That day will come.”
But a sudden mocking laughter reached them, “Mister Zhuo Fan, you not only lie to others but even lie to your own people. A steward like you is only good at conning.”
Many turned to see Long Jie and Long Kui walking over.
Ever since she realized Zhuo Fan made use of Veiled Dragon Pavilion, she lost all amiable pretense with Zhuo Fan, “With Captain Pang’s talent, he’d reach the 6th layer Qi Condensation at best. Such a man is but a basic guard to us, not a captain. I advise your little clan not to dream for something out of reach.”
Luo Yunchang and Captain Pang saddened while Zhuo Fan steeled his face.
“Young miss Long Kui, as the saying goes, don’t mock a destitute youth. Your words are too harsh.”
“Humph, what youth am I mocking? That’s just an excuse to deceive dreamers. Every glorious clan built their way over thousands of years to reach the top. Don’t think you can rely on your wit to stay under Veiled Dragon Pavilion’s protection forever. In my eyes, Windgaze City is but a grain of sand. Even if you’re a king or overlord here, you’d only be a frog in a well, oblivious to the vast world outside…”
Hearing her incessant babbling, Zhuo Fan laughed.
[Oblivious to the vast world? A frog in a well? If anything worked as it should, the glorious Demonic Emperor wouldn’t have fallen from Sacred Domain.] In his eyes it was this Tianyu Empire who was the speck, to say nothing of the Veiled Dragon Pavilion.
Seeing him angry, Luo Yunchang pulled his hand with a frown. They shouldn’t offend their protector.
Long Jie also felt Long Kui crossed the line and shook his head after drawing her attention. But the lady only snorted.
“Young miss, lend me some spirit stones.” Zhuo Fan said coldly.
Luo Yunchang was startled. She didn’t know what he wanted to do but she gave him a ring containing what he requested.
Zhuo Fan jumped on the highest point on the roof and overlooked the area.
“Hey, this isn’t your home. Get down from there!” Long Kui barked.
Ignoring her, Zhuo Fan spoke, “3rd grade, Coiling Dragon Array.”
Long Kui and Long Jie were shocked. Zhuo Fan’s words spoke of the array Long Jiu set up in this place yet this kid saw through it with one look.
Yet before the shock lessened, Zhuo Fan jumped and spread spirit stones around him from the ring. In fifteen minutes, close to ten thousand spirit stones were buried in the courtyard.
When Zhuo Fan landed, Long Kui asked, “What are you trying to do?”
Zhuo Fan began making hand signs.
In an instant, the ground trembled and dragon roars resounded followed by nine golden dragons bursting out of the ground.
The dragons spread across the sky above Windgaze City for all to see.
Elder Jian, who was in a hidden room in the Sun clan. He opened his eyes and stared in shock, “Who’s setting up the array? Is it that geezer? No, he doesn’t have the skill to set up one such as this.”
In Veiled Dragon Pavilion, Long Jiu shot to his feet as he watched in astonishment, “Is that my Coiling Dragon Array? No, my array isn’t as strong.”
On Blackwind Mountain, a sinister youth turned to Windgaze City’s direction with a frown, “What’s going on in the city? Was the plan pushed forward?”
But he soon shook his head, “No, Elder Jian isn’t impulsive. What could have happened…”
Everyone’s eyes turned to this strange light. After fifteen minutes, Zhuo Fan’s hand signs changed and the nine golden dragons returned to the earth of the courtyard.
It was soon followed by a golden glow that spread all over it.
“W-what did you do?” Long Kui stammered.
Zhuo Fan ignored her again and showed deep respect as he presented the ring to Luo Yunchang, “Young miss, I notice the 3rd grade Coiling Dragon Array lacked in strength to safeguard young miss’ safety. As such, I took it upon myself to upgrade it to the 5th grade Nine Heavens Coiling Dragon Array. I have wasted spirit stones, please punish me, young miss.”
Long Jie and Long Kui were gob-smacked.
There were but a handful of people who could set a 5th grade array in the Tianyu Empire. Not even the seven houses had such a talent. But this kid had just simply deployed one.
Was he a 5th grade array master?
Luo Yunchang knew Zhuo did it on purpose to humiliate them, then deferred to her. This was also the first time she saw him so subdued. It was the perfect moment to install her rightful status as a young miss onto him.
Luo Yunchang smiled inside yet her face was stone cold, “Steward Zhuo, I should punish you for taking so many spirit stones without consent. But I won’t blame you as you did it for our sake. Let’s go. “
What? Punishment? Not even the Seven Noble Houses would dare rebuke such a lofty existence.
Long Kui looked as if she had a fly stuck in her throat.
Soon, Zhuo Fan accompanied Luo Yunhai as they swaggered inside, to the endless shock of the others and the snickering of Captain Pang and Luo Yunhai.
Only Long Jie and Long Kui stood there with their hearts in chaos.
They never thought it possible for a scheming 2nd layer Qi Condensation Zhuo Fan to also be a 5th grade array master.
How could an unknown clan have such a talent…