“Demon Scheming Sect, I presume. Please follow me.”
The gang had yet to really appreciate the wonderful scenery as a polite voice drew their attention.
A middle-aged man in gray robes was bowing.
They all cried out in unison, returning the bow, “There’s no need for that, please.”
There was no way they could just let an Ethereal Stage expert bow to nobodies like them.
“Ha-ha-ha, it’s fine. I am but a humble usher. You’re all honored guests we have to look after. Please, it’s this way.” The man gave another bow.
The group bowed as well and followed tense.
It was a novelty for them, seeing an Ethereal Stage expert bow to Radiant Stage cultivators.
Fiend Yang scolded, “You look like you’ve never seen beyond the doors of your home. This is Double Dragon Manor and all is done by its rules. Here, Ethereal Stage experts are the weakest. If not them welcoming us, who then, the two leaders?”
The rest nodded, more stunned than ever.
Double Dragon Manor, the head of the ten sects, was filled with powerful figures. They even had an Ethereal Stage expert usher them in.
“In other words, Double Dragon Manor only sees potential, not the current level of cultivation.” Zhuo Fan muttered.
Fiend Yang nodded, “Smart, Zhuo Fan. Yes, they look at potential, the ones they can raise, and how far. These same experts of Double Dragon Gathering, if placed outside, they’d only have reached Bone Tempering or Profound Heaven Stage. Why else would they hold the Double Dragon Gathering if not for seeking talent? So don’t underestimate yourselves. Once you enter this place, this improvement speed shall be yours.”
Kui Lang and the others’ eyes lit up, their minds wandering to many many wonderful fantasies.
Zhuo Fan snickered.
“Fiend Yang, you think it’s nice to poke your host where it hurts in front of them?” Zhuo Fan chuckled and pointed at their usher.
The fiends felt a chill.
[Shit! Running my mouth in the host’s presence, saying this guy in front is nothing but a resource sponge is like shooting myself in the foot!]
Sure, the rules made these Ethereal Stage experts not be rude to the guests, but did that make it alright to insult them?
At least their usher turned a deaf ear.
Coming upon a courtyard, the usher smiled, “This shall be your accommodations, fifteen rooms in total. Please take a rest, Double Dragon Gathering is about to begin. Please be aware that Double Dragon Manor forbids grudge fights. The consequences of such a fight are dire.”
Seeing calm as ever, they relaxed. [Our idle talk hasn’t caused any damage.]
Zhuo Fan nodded as well. [I was wondering why the two guards announced our numbers. So it’s for our stay here.]
The guys entered with a smile, with the usher speaking when Fiend Yang was the last, “Sir, I’d have to correct you on one thing. The resources given are fixed. With cultivation reaching a point where no amount of resources can help. I reckon you are a venerable in your sect, yes? You must’ve wasted your fair share of resources too. But coming to Double Dragon Manor isn’t always a boon. This is called potential saturation. Having reached your full potential, any more resources will only fatten you up a bit.”
Fiend Yang’s face twitched. He saw the usher’s smile, whether from anger or hatred, and his face fell.
The others chuckled, going in. [He not only heard us but cared a whole deal.]
[It’s best to let Fiend Yang take the fall, not like we ran our mouths.]
The listeners beat it, while the storyteller was left behind with a horrified look.
“Uh, they made me say it.” Pointing at the treacherous punks inside, Fiend Yang went in as well.
Only the usher was left behind, bearing a chilling smile…
Zhuo Fan toured his new home. [Quiet enough, a perfect place to advance.]
So he turned to the stiffies, “Take a room, and I’ll cure you after, to get ready for the Double Dragon Gathering in a couple of days.”
They’ve been stiffs for six months now and it was time to be relieved of such a burden. Some even had tears in their eyes.
“Who the hell is hollering there? You threw off my master’s hiking mood!”
A buffed man and an old guy made their way inside. Seeing Zhuo Fan and the rest sizing their home, he mocked, “Y-you’re Demon Scheming Sect? Ha-ha-ha…”
“What of it?” Zhuo Fan raised an eyebrow.
“Who’s the leader?”
“You’re looking at it.” Zhuo Fan admitted.
Sizing him up, the tough guy cracked up, “the leader is a 3rd layer Radiant Stage cultivator and the rest are cripples. Is the Demon Scheming Sect so strapped for talents they sent you fools? I knew it, the only ones we need to look after is Mystical Heaven Sect, ha-ha-ha…”
The Demon Scheming Sect was looking at him like a moron.
“Hey, boy, do you know why your Sect Leader sent you here?” Having achieved his daily dose of laughter, the tough guy patted Zhuo Fan’s chest in mockery.
[Ain’t it obvious? Cause I’m strong.]
Zhuo Fan kept mum.
Having gotten in his head Zhuo Fan was shaking in his boots, the tough guy slapped his chest, hollering, “That’s because yours truly wiped the floor with your elites and had no one to send but you. You have me to thank for getting out of the sect to see the world; me, Hui Xiong from the Beast Taming Sect. Though all you’re good for is gawking then go back home if you want to keep your lives.”
The old guy nodded now and then at the side; clearly mocking as well.
“Oh, so you’re expecting thanks for kicking our home and punching the daylights out of the elites. That’s why we got to go to the Double Dragon Gathering, is that it?” Zhuo Fan sneered.
The others had contempt in their smiles.
Ignoring or oblivious of the other party’s condescending, Hui Xiong stuck out his chest further, if possible, nodding with absolute confidence, “I don’t much care for your thanks, only urge you to give up when you get on stage. Don’t think for a second I’ll go easy on some cripples. Your bro here is a man of principle!”
Flicking his mop of hair, Hui Xiong left having his fill of humiliating his opponents, with his head held high and a spring in his step. Elder Lu went right after, but not before giving the others one last taunting smile.
Zhuo Fan was out of it for a long time, “Well, now that the comic relief is gone, let’s get back to business…”
The rest laughed.
Just then, Zhuo Fan’s eyes flashed azure and all over his body, purple lightning flickered as the red glow on his right arm faded.
It was only for a split second, yet enough to make the rest jump in fright.
“What’s wrong?” Fiend Yin asked.
Zhuo Fan shook his head, perplexed himself, “I don’t know. I just felt my heart skip a beat. Strange, just what was it…”
In a quaint courtyard nearby, a handsome youth in blue robes smiled, “Junior brother, this place isn’t bad at all. Much better than where we trained.”
“I just feel like sleeping here.” A man in his twenties in fine gray clothes replied as he stretched.
The first one cursed, “Damn brat, all you ever know is to laze off. But this is life, a freak loafer like you gets to replace me as the best talent in western lands in this competition. I can hardly accept it.”
“Don’t worry senior brother, I won’t fight you…” The youth in gray began then he squinted as an inferno exploded from his body and turned all furniture to ash.
Even the first one had to cry out, “What’s wrong?”
“I-I don’t know…” The perplexed youth in gray put on a staunch expression, “I just had a feeling, my old enemy is here…”