Xiaoxia instinctively flinched, as Yulia placed her hands on his wound.
“Don’t move, its already hard to heal it without you moving,” Yulia sternly chided him.
It is only natural, since he have never suffered a similar injury before. To top it off, he was only seven years old.
“Xiaoxia, bear with it,” Amelia who was sitting beside him said with a look of concern.
They were in the medical facility of the competition, and Menon had offered Yulia’s help in healing his wound.
Instructor Wei was not present, becoming furious at the outcome of the battle. It was a gross oversight on the advisory board’s part, that allowed such a dangerous artifact to be used in the match.
Menon accompanied her as Xiaoxia’s sponsor and the representative of MeisterSchloss. The competition is organized by the Academy of Six Elements, and it is within the borders of the continent city of MeisterSchloss, which gave him certain influence in matters pertaining to the competition.
Even if the advisory board was made up of a hundred representatives from around the world, they had to give him some face. After all, he was not only the Vice-leader of MeisterSchloss, but a key member of the Artisan Alliance as well.
“Oh my! This is interesting,” Yulia suddenly said.
A soft soothing glow begun to appear around the wound on Xiaoxia’s right arm, it was the same golden glow that appeared previously.
Instead of clashing with Yulia’s white healing aura, it assimilated it into itself. What happened next brought both amazement and wonder on Yulia and Amelia’s faces. The wound closed up rapidly, and on the now unblemished skin, there wasn’t a single evidence it had suffered damage before.
“Huh? What is i…..” Xiaoxia was about to ask, when he suddenly felt an overwhelming lethargy and slipped into a deep slumber.
“Is he alright?” Amelia questioned Yulia with some alarm.
Not immediately replying, Yulia continued placing her hands on Xiaoxia, then with a look of satisfaction responded, “He is doing fine, and just sleeping. The healing that just happened, took an amazing amount of his Ki. I did not even need to use much of mine.”
A figure blinked into sight on the roof of a tower. It was cloaked in a shroud of illusion, looking around to ensure there was no one there, it slipped into the tower.
As it cautiously moved around, it stopped every now and then and seemingly whiffed a few times in the air. After doing this for a few minutes, it appeared disappointed and retraced its steps. Once it reached the previous location where it appeared, it disappeared again.
Moments later it reappeared at another location, repeating the same actions it did earlier. The figure seemed to be searching for something, and it looked distracted.
Right at this instance, an obscure figure materialized out of the blue and lashed out at it. It caught the first figure right in the guts, which sent it flying more than twenty feet back.
“Still not paying much attention to your surroundings huh?” the second figure said, as it approached the first.
As it stood in front of the first figure, the shadows of the surrounding buildings no longer hid it’s features. It was the referee from Xiaoxia’s quarter-finals match with Huiling.
“Hey, I wasn’t expecting such a welcome,” the first figure replied candidly, a soft glow emitting from his torso where he erected his defense right at the moment of impact.
Taking off its hood, it suddenly grew in height and size. At that moment, Jay is now standing where it was.
“Ancestor, long time no see!” he greeted the referee happily.
“Shush! Not so loud, there are ears and eyes that can hear everywhere,” the referee responded in a low voice, his lips hardly moving.
(Author’s note: eyes that can hear, is literally referring to people who can read lips)
Jay immediately closed his mouth with a look of embarrassment, and motioned in some unknown sign.
The referee nodded in acknowledgement, placed his left hand on Jay’s shoulders and both vanished from sight.
It one were to look and observe closely, it was not the foot technique Jay was using earlier, neither was it the same as Xiaoxia’s ‘golden aura teleportation’. It was something totally different, yet extremely similar to a commonly used technology. It is spatial movement using no devices or anything, but one’s own Ki.
“How can you idiots be so damn careless?!” Instructor Wei was cursing and swearing.
“We have no idea it was capable of this,” the spokesperson debated.
“It would have warranted at least some investigation!” she retorted, while further emphasizing her argument, “Are you all that blind and trashes that could not even feel the aura it was emitting?”
“We di..” the spokesperson was about to reply when a motion from another on the board interrupted him.
“Allow me to answer this,” the other member replied.
“And who th….” Instructor Wei was about to release another string of insults, before Menon stopped her and indicated for her to wait.
She was about to dismissed this, but not before noticing the look on his face. Having known him for over more than a thousand years, she immediately decided to stop. It was the look that he used only in the most dire of situations.
“In case you are wondering, I am the current leader of the Merchant Alliance. Grandmaster Artisan, Water and Wind Alignment, Leonard,” he introduced himself, while noticing the exchange between Instructor Wei and Menon.
“Well met my friend,” Menon replied.
Leonard was no small fry, being an Artisan, and on top of being Merchant Alliance leader, he was also the member of the Artisan Alliance. It was the same alliance Menon is in, but in terms of influence and power, Menon could not compare to him.
Regardless that Menon is a key member in the Artisan Alliance and the Vice-Leader of MeisterSchloss, he is not their leader. Thus it was advisable not to unnecessarily aggravate Leonard without due diligence.
“Well met indeed, dear friend,” Leonard greeted him back.
While neither were really friends, it was the sake of putting on a front and political reasons that direct their choices of words. While Menon could not compare to Leonard in many areas, he still had the juice to create some disastrous situations if there was conflict.
“My dear Instructor,” Leonard continued, “As you are aware, it is not in our best interest to have this happen here. We were assured that this item in particular, was only used to reshape the Princess’s Ki. There was no signs or indications that it could do more than this from her other matches, as suc…”
“We do regret this, and I am sure that a suitable conclusion will be made known to everyone,” this time another person interjected before Leonard could say more, he was looking towards Menon with a smile.
“Ah, Master Ouyang,” Leonard acknowledged the person who cut into his speech.
“Sorry for the intrusion, but the rice has already been cooked,” Ouyang apologized to Leonard, before continuing his speech, “There are many people who have been injured because of our error, and on the board’s behalf, I apologize. By misleading us, the guilty party will face the consequences. In the meantime, the contestant Qing Huiling, disregarded the warning of the referee and took another reckless course of action. For this, her title of “The 8 Lords” will be revoked, and I am sure those among us are in agreement.”
After Ouyang had said that, there were murmurs of agreement coming from the members of the board. The only person who had a different opinion, was Leonard, and he had a sour expression on his face.
“If you will excuse us, we will be discussing this among ourselves. I hereby guarantee that you will have a satisfactory answer within the hour,” Ouyang promised.
Instructor Wei and Menon nodded, and took their leave. Once outside the chamber, Instructor Wei turned to Menon.
“Who is that Ouyang? I have never seen him before,” She asked.
“He? Are you sure?” Menon asked back.
“Of course, I remember a face when I see one,” she angrily replied.
“You will be surprise, he is little Yang Er,” Menon told her with a big smile.
“What THAT Yang Er?” Instructor Wei asked incredulously.
“I know, it’s been over a few hundred years. But our dear student is now the Artisan Alliance’s leader and one of the R&D Alliance’s elder,” Menon informed her, and Instructor Wei could only nod her head in surprise.
She remembered that Yang Er was a spoilt ‘S’ class Ki Talent student of the Academy roughly 800 years ago. He was the typical ‘S’ class hooligan, who bullied others and even made girls cry.
His ‘S’ class Ki Talent was a key factor to her dislike, there was nothing more worse to Instructor Wei who detested them. To her, the ‘S’ class are a bunch of buffoons that were self-entitled and exploited their preferential treatment. Before she met Xiaoxia, all of them proved a nuisance and have crossed paths with her numerous times over the years.
Menon had tried to put in a few good words for Ouyang over those years, however Instructor Wei was adamant and refused to accept him under her wings. But now in reality, she could not begrudge the fact he had turned out much better than expected.
“Something must have happened to him during those years,” she said.
“Yes, and it changed his perspective of life for good,” Menon replied.
“So what changed it?” she was curious, in her experience people do not change easily.
“Well, he met someone,” he informed her.
“Who? And you need to stop waiting for me to ask, just tell me everything,” she responded irritably.
“I expected you to know, Ouyang was after all one of your brother’s disciples that resigned. It was something he never thought would be possible, and he had great confidence he would be the one and only to succeed,” he replied.
“Hah! Not likely, no one ever will. My brother is a beast, and when it comes to learning from him, even I will not want to train under him,” Instructor Wei retorted.
“But you know, Jay did mentioned that if Ouyang could have lasted another two more months, the boot camp would be over, and the real training would have taken place. It would be comparatively much more easier by then,” Menon still tried to put in a good word for Ouyang.
“All these doesn’t matter anyway, and what does, is that the current situation is resolved in a fair and just way,” Instructor Wei digressed.
She knew better than to hold it against Ouyang anymore, and she let it rest. Actually she was rather abashed that her ‘idiot’ brother, could successfully change the attitude of someone like Ouyang. It was not something she could have done, and it wasn’t from not trying.
Half a world away, Jay and the referee appeared in a makeshift room. It was enclosed on all four sides by what looked like earth, and there were a few ventilation vents. The furnishing was minimal with a thick layer of dirt on them, and no entryways were present for entry or exit.
Once they arrived, Jay immediately knelt and cupped his hands to the referee, “Junior Jay, 5,391st member of Wuming greets the 48th Ancestor, Senior Gu Di.”
(Author’s note: Wuming means nameless, and Gu Di means Ancient Earth. I left it in its Chinese Hanyu Pinyin as it sounds better than the English equivalent.)
“You can dispense with the formalities, there is no one here,” Gu Di instructed him.
“Ooooh! So this is where you have been hiding for the pass three thousand years!” Jay at once dispensed with the formality, and exclaimed as he stood and looked around.
“Nope, there are more of these around,” Gu Di informed him.
“Where were you all these year?” Jay turned back to him and suddenly asked.
“Here and there and everywhere,” Gu Di responded nonchalantly.
“Senior, everyone has been looking for you, there are things that needs to be decided and it can only be done by you,” Jay tried to impress on him the implications of his disappearance.
“Jay, you got much to learn, those are just words that a youngling like you will use,” Gu Di smiled at Jay.
“Fine! Use the ‘I am older than you’ card to belittle me,” Jay retorted, obviously hurt by that remark.
“Don’t get me wrong, it’s just that there are many capable ones in our group who can manage just as well,” Gu Di replied.
“But the others are so boring and have no sense of humor,” Jay lamented.
“Haha! That was not a requirement to be selected, besides its their loyalty that matters the most,” Gu Di remarked.
“Pfft! They became more constipated with a plug up their sphincter when you disappeared,” Jay complained.
“Anyway, it is up to them. Has a new Predecessor been select?” Gu Di digressed, while asking.
“No, and isn’t it a rule that unless there is irrevocable evidence of your death, it will not happen?” Jay reminded him.
“Bah! Semantics!” Gu Di exclaimed, and added, “Basically no one wants to be held accountable!”
“Jay, how far have your own training and the others progressed?” Gu Di continued by asking, while walking towards a cupboard and took out a decrepit looking porcelain cup.
“I managed to unlock my 3rd extraordinary meridian about 30 years back, as far as I know the highest among the rest are only at their 4th one,” he informed Gu Di.
“We are still lacking, there isn’t many of us strong enough to be a deterrence if history repeated itself,” Gu Di shook his head, as he cleansed the cup under a trickling stream of water on one side of the makeshift room.
(Author’s note: repeat of history with reference to chapter 21, this is what took place 15,000 years ago)
“That might not be true,” Jay’s face took a serious expression.
“You mean to say that boy?” Gu Di responded, somehow knowing who he meant.
“Which boy are you referring to and how would you know?” Jay was curious.
“That Chen Zhen Xia boy, he displayed certain abilities over the course of the competition, which I myself am not able to comprehend,” Gu Di informed him, and added, “While he is interesting, I seriously doubt he is the one I am looking for.”
“Then why are you here?” Jay asked a little confused.
He still could not comprehend the reason why Gu Di would be at the Freshmen Competition. What made it more interesting, was why he appeared after all these years at that exact location.
“Jay, there are certain things which require an explanation that you are just not in the proper position to know. I was alerted to an anomaly recently by an entity, and it pointed to the Academy of the Six Elements” Gu Di enlightened him.
“Hmm, I suspect the anomaly that happened, is when Xia Er displayed an ability that I can only hypothesized,” Jay told Gu Di of his suspicion, and added proudly, “He has recently been acknowledge as my sister’s Disciple and hence my Shizhi.”
He did not ask who or what the entity was, as it was something that Gu Di mentioned was beyond his station to know, and he knew better than to question further.
“Interesting, tell me more,” Gu Di turned his attention towards Jay, the porcelain cup now filled with green colored liquid.
“Xia Er has all his meridians opened, in addition to this, he has the special meridian. I do not know exactly how it relates to the anomaly, but he exhibited a golden Ki of unknown origins a few months ago. He used it to apply an unknown ability to teleport without using spatial Ki movement, and another ability which killed an opponent three realms higher, it only left a small half-inch wide wound on the body,” Jay narrated the incident, while pausing to allow Gu Di to absorb the information and continued,
“The ability that killed his opponent, was a blazing golden hue that stretched for thousands of leagues. The intensity itself was blinding, and from reports I gathered after the incident, it was clearly witnessed even from as far as the colonies.”
Gu Di glanced at Jay with a discerning look, he could tell Jay was not making this up. It filled the gaps between the holes from the information he gathered up to this point. Gu Di took some time to think, as he digested the information and decided what it would mean for the future.
“This is unexpected,” he finally said.