“Greetings senior, I am Yan Mo of Hellion Flame.” He cupped his hands and bowed in respect and fear as much as his shaky knees could hold him.
The drunkard took a swing out of his flask, his hazy eyes holding a particular sharpness, “Hellion Flame, ha-ha-ha, thinking of using it to scare me?”
“I would never.” Yan Mo’s eyes darted all over, “It is my honor to meet senior, and a blessing to talk to you, sir. Hellion Flame will do its utmost to look after such a guest.”
With the old guy’s intent unknown, showing off his credential would help Yan Mo scare him. But wouldn’t the old man know by now from his toying with the town just a while back? Funny how he first mentioned it to threaten and now to make himself amiable.
[Be nice, and the sect will be nice as well. Or you can do anything to me and have the whole sect on your tail.]
The drunkard chuckled at his attempt, “Kiddo, you’re too young if you think you can beat me. In my day, I climbed on top of all the sects in western lands. No one can stop me whether they like it or not.”
Yan Mo trembled in disbelief, “D-does that mean, s-senior is…”
The drunkard sighed, “Kid, you have quite the head on your shoulders, but it’s best you don’t say it. I came to western lands on different matters, yet saw quite the show. There are talents in every generation, leading the way for hundreds of years.”
He sighed and watched Zhuo Fan below with an eerie gaze.
[It’s been a thousand years, and someone formed a heaven dragon soul, and from a lower three sect too. The Double Dragon Gathering this time will be intense, ha-ha-ha…]
The bowing Yan Mo’s heart shuddered.
He already guessed the old man’s identity, someone not even the superior three sects could touch.
“What are you still doing here? Go on. Settle your grudges at Double Dragon Gathering. You will have the advantage there with the superior three sects setting the stage, with your strong brothers. Why waste time here, alone, when you can’t even beat him?”
The drunkard laughed.
Yan Mo’s heart was in chaos, but he had no choice but to listen.
[He’s right, with the kid there, I can’t do anything. Better to gang up on him with everyone at Double Dragon Gathering.]
[What can a lower three sect’s disciple do alone anyway? The potential of a sect stands in a group.]
Yan Mo cupped his hands, “Thank you for the reminder, senior.”
Yan Mo left in a flash of fire, leaving the drunkard to watch Zhuo Fan and giggle between gulps from his flask…
A month later, a group was resting in a thick forest with sinister faces; demonic cultivators.
“Get up, we’ll be there in just one more day.”
A fierce voice from an elder got them to walk again. But then he snapped, “Where’s Yan Mo? We’re almost there, and the brat is still gone. Doesn’t he want to fight the best talent in western lands? How spineless, got my hopes up for nothing. Once I get my hands on him, he’ll be sorry!”
A curvy and enticing woman giggled, “Elder Qing Ya. Senior brother isn’t one to forget his duties, he will be here. Don’t we have a day left?”
“It doesn’t matter with who he’s wasting time, but brother Yan will never let Wu Qingqiu get scot-free. Defeating Wu Qingqiu will make him the best talent in western lands.” Grinning, a lanky man snickered, “Brother Yan had been waiting years for the chance to take it.”
Elder Qing Ya nodded after a pause, “I hope he comes back on time. The rotten punk, always fooling around. I will teach him a lesson he won’t soon forget!”
The rest chuckled.
Yan Mo was the apple of every Hellion Flame’s elder’s eyes.
At the slightest violence from a no-name elder and the Sect Leader with venerables would be on his case. As for teaching him, it all came down to some angry words. That was all the authority this elder had.
Elder Qing Ya saw the disdain in their eyes and grew angrier at the truth.
If he really did tear the kid a new one, he wouldn’t be long for this world, not with those overprotective old guys.
A flash of red came before them and revealed Yan Mo.
“Didn’t I tell you? Brother Yan will come to fight Wu Qingqiu for sure!”
“Yeah, you know senior brother Yan the best, hi-hi-hi… “
They came around Yan Mo, followed by Elder Qing Ya’s barking and a heavy slap over the head, “Brat, you stood me up again. Any later, and you’d miss Double Dragon Gathering.”
Yan Mo shuddered and gasped in pain. Blood leaked from his head and on his clothes.
A woman pointed at the elder, shrieking, “You’re finished elder. You hurt senior brother Yan. His loss in Double Dragon Gathering will be on you.”
“N-now, hold on, I didn’t do that. I barely touched him.” The elder shivered, “It was just a light slap. He isn’t that weak to not take it.”
“Uh, elder, now you’ve done it. You called him weak and hurt him.”
The woman snickered, “You always fuss about senior brother Yan Mo, and now you act on your grudges. Next will come revenge, and it’s curtains for you. Being high-handed for your own gain, you disregard the sect’s future. If word got to the sect…”
Elder Qing Ya glared at her with all the fury he had, “You sure know how to dump crimes on someone, witch.”
“Yu Mei, leave the elder alone. He’s got nothing to do with this, and you know it. If a slap would kill me, I’d be dead ages ago.” Yan Mo sighed.
Yu Mei giggled, turning a strange gaze on him, “What happened to you to end up like this, senior brother?”
Who indeed in the western lands could make such a mess of Yan Mo?
His eyes sparked with unrestrained hatred, “Don’t remind me. Went out to hunt, only to have someone prey on me instead.”
Elder Qing Ya rushed, “Who’s the old bastard that did it? What galls must they have to touch Hellion Flame!”
“No old bastard, just one man…” Yan Mo shook his head in shame, “Nevermind, there’s something more important I have to tell you. We need to lay low and not provoke anyone, especially an old drunkard.”
Everyone was speechless.
Yan Mo sighed, “The legendary man is back. We, no, the whole ten sects, are better off not tangling with him, lest it would recreate the cruel bloodshed from 800 years ago.”
“You mean…” Elder Qing Ya gasped, “I heard of him, but to think he’s still alive…”
The rest recalled the sect’s warnings and their hearts trembled. All got used to doing whatever the hell they wanted, but if they made a wrong move, it’d be curtains for them and no one to save them, not even their sect.
Everyone felt danger looming overhead, with Yan Mo’s heavy injuries forgotten.
They set out towards Double Dragon Manor.
Three months later, Zhuo Fan’s gang passed through here as well…