“Who is he?”
Asked Jian Suifeng when he saw Zhuo Fan through the dust while being shocked by the feeling of dread the youth exuded.
He was experienced enough to notice that Zhuo Fan had just entered the Bone Tempering Stage, and yet the aura and power the kid released held a threat to a Profound Heaven expert’s life.
This contradiction made it all feel bizarre.
Xie Tianyang felt the same. Zhuo Fan’s face, which was radiating golden, added an extra feeling of pressure.
It was unlike that from a Profound Heaven expert but felt like raw power was seeping in Zhuo Fan and threatened to destroy his last vestige of life.
Everyone felt as if they were standing in front of a savage beast that was ready to pounce on them.
“He is a friend most untrustworthy, but also most dependable!” Xie Tianyang smiled wryly as his body shivered. Not from fear, but excitement.
He grasped the possibility that this new Zhuo Fan could save Xue Ningxiang.
Jian Suifeng looked at Xie Tianyang in amazement.
It was his first time seeing this arrogant and genius kid show such confidence and dependence on someone.
Jian Suifeng turned to watch Zhuo Fan, to witness what made him so special.
“Ha-ha-ha, you not only survived but broke through!”
You Guiqi sensed Zhuo Fan’s entirely changed aura but dismissed it. The way he saw it, this was merely confidence from entering a new realm.
[He would learn on his own skin how weak a Bone Tempering cultivator was in the face of a Profound Heaven expert, and his confidence will deflate like a balloon.]
One thing did strike him as odd though. He and Zhuo Fan last met a few months ago when the kid was in his 6th layer of Qi Condensation, and on his last breath. Yet here he was less than half a year later, unharmed and even advanced to Bone Tempering Stage.
His speed sent shivers even down You Guiqi’s spine.
[How did this happen?] You Guiqi thought, [This runt is a freak, and must definitely be put down for good!]
You Guiqi snorted, “Ming’er, go and end him for me.”
Zhuo Fan rose an eyebrow in ridicule, “Oh, so it’s you. That’s fine, last time you ran away and left me with regret, but I will be extra careful in making sure to end our grievance this time around!”
“What, you two know each other?”
You Guiqi jerked back at You Ming, only to see his prideful disciple shaking in his boots. Even his face was twisted, pale beyond belief.
“Useless! Even with me having your back, you’re still this scared?” You Guiqi spat at his disciple’s cowardice.
It was fine if no one else was around, but with the two from Sword Marquise Abode here, it made quite the embarrassment.
[A damn lily-livered punk threw all of Hell Valley’s name into the ground.]
Jian Suifeng wasn’t one to overlook the chance to laugh at their expense, “Ha-ha-ha, a brilliant disciple matching a renowned master. Today I’ve seen Hell Valley’s disciple’s staunch will!”
You Guiqi was turning green and kicked You Ming who faceplanted into the ground, “What a disgrace. He just broke through, while you’re in the 2nd layer of Bone Tempering Stage!”
Stumbling to his feet, You Ming took a short glance at Zhuo Fan. But Zhuo Fan’s wicked grin seemed to spell death and so he threw himself at You Guiqi’s feet with a wail, “Master, h-he is Luo clan’s steward, Zhuo Fan! Elder Jian and Elder Yun died because of him!”
You Guiqi froze a second then flitted a long look at Zhuo Fan.
He finally seemed to understand.
Zhuo Fan’s power wasn’t limited to setting up 5th-grade arrays. He also had a cunning mind that almost made him pay with his life. [It’s no wonder the two elders died by his hand.]
In Hell Valley, elders were seen as figures of respect and worshiped by disciples, unrivaled in the world. But You Ming witnessed the death of two and now fear gnawed his heart like a demon.
He will never muster the courage to face Zhuo Fan in this life regardless of his advantage over him.
With You Ming in the 2nd layer of Bone Tempering Stage, he should have no trouble dealing with the newly advanced Zhuo Fan. But was this notion still valid? Just look at him shivering!
You Guiqi sighed and patted You Ming’s shoulder.
To remove his disciple’s heart demon, his disciple had to kill Zhuo Fan himself.
He stated coldly, “Anyone willing to capture him will receive my reward!”
“Elder, I will do it.”
A large man cupped his hands. He was in the 6th layer of the Bone Tempering Stage. Dealing with an early Bone Tempering cultivator was easy pickings.
The other guards were sad that they missed such a chance. Zhuo Fan was an easy contribution that just flew away.
You Guiqi nodded and turned You Ming’s head towards Zhuo Fan, “Ming’er, watch. This runt is only good with arrays. Now that he has no chance of setting one, he’s done for. The guard will soon bring him over and you can kill him yourself to remove your heart demon!”
You Ming nodded and looked ahead.
Jian Suifeng frowned, “You Guiqi sure lives up to his title. He instantly figured out his disciple’s state and a way to help him overcome it. Tianyang, your friend is in danger.”
Xie Tianyang looked at the always composed Zhuo Fan and smiled, “That punk never batted an eyelid. He will be fine.”
Such a reply rose Jian Suifeng’s curiosity.
[The difference between the two is of 5 layers, so the outcome should be clear as day.]
The large man thundered towards Zhuo Fan with a cackle, “He-he-he, you are a heaven-sent gift for me. I can’t wait to receive my reward from the seventh elder once I hand you over.”
“People die from greed, while birds die from hunger. It all depends on you if you can defeat me.” Zhuo Fan snickered.
“Ha-ha-ha, you sure have a big mouth for one who is about to die. One fist is enough to make you behave.”
The large man’s punch was as fast as the wind and as strong as a mountain!
Yet Zhuo Fan didn’t look like he had time to react.
The boom shook in everyone’s ears.
Xie Tianyang’s smile was gone, now replaced with shock that Zhuo Fan wasn’t even able to dodge.
[He was able to contend equally with me when he was a Qi Condensation cultivator, so why didn’t he move?]
Xue Ningxiang’s face fell, “Big brother Zhuo!”
Seeing that Zhuo Fan took the punch head-on, Hell Valley’s guards started sneering.
“He-he-he, I knew he was done for, but never thought it’d be over so quickly.”
“Did he really kill two of our elders? If he did then I am first under heaven, ha-ha-ha…”
“Curses, that moron got all the reward. Now I want to know what Valley Lord’s gift will be!”
As the people started chattering, Zhuo Fan’s threatening atmosphere soon disappeared from their hearts.
Only You Guiqi frowned, looking left and right.
A wail pierced the noise of the crowd, and the large man was seen clutching his hand as he stumbled back.
His hand was now a twisted and broken mess.
Turning to Zhuo Fan, nothing seemed to have changed about him, still the same grin and the same demeanor.
“This is impossible!”
Jian Suifeng cried, “A 1st layer Bone Tempering cultivator broke a 6th layer’s hand with his face?”
Xie Tianyang’s eyes bulged out. He knew Zhuo Fan always moved with a plan in mind, but even he found this new strength of this youth borderline perverse.
[With him like this, he’ll have no trouble even against Profound Heaven experts!]
The crowd now lost their mocking gazes and were instead rooted in place by fear and shock.
Zhuo Fan never paid them any heed as he strolled before the large man. The large man was groaning while holding his bleeding hand.
Before he could react, his chest was then punched through by Zhuo Fan’s fist. It all seemed so easy, as if he punched through paper.
Zhuo Fan then flicked his hand and the large man splashed on the ground after a wide trail in the sky.
The people watched in abject horror the bulging eyes of the man, his vacant expression.
[Where did this kid come from? His power is obscene…]