Chapter 8: The Mysterious Elder
Emotionlessly leaving the main hall, the frustrated Xiao Yan followed his daily routine and slowly climbed to the top of the mountain behind the clan building. Sitting at the top of the mountain, Xiao Yan calmly watched the steep mountaintops far away being shrouded in mist. There, in the mist, was the Jia Ma Empire’s famous Magic Beast Mountain Range.
“Hehe, power ah… In this world, without power, you’re not even worth some excrement. At least, no one tries to trample on excrement.” With shoulders waving up and down, the young man’s soft, self-taunting voice echoed across the top of the mountain, filling the air with sadness.
Yanking his hair, Xiao Yan bit down on his lip, allowing the bloody taste to spread in his mouth. Even though he didn’t let his emotions get to him in the main hall, the Nalan Yanran’s words stabbed at his heart like knives.
“I will never be insulted like this again!” Opening his left hand, which still had the bloody scar from the events of the day, Xiao Yan’s voice was hoarse but firm.
“Hehe, kid, looks like you need some help.”
Right when Xiao Yan pledged his oath, a wizened, strange laugh entered his ear.
Xiao Yan’s face changed and he immediately turned around. With a hawk-like gaze, he scanned his surroundings but didn’t even find a shadow…
“Hehe, stop searching, I’m on your finger.”
Right when Xiao Yan thought that he was hallucinating, the strange laugh aimlessly sounded again.
Xiao Yan’s eyes contracted and his gaze fell on his right hand’s black ring.
“You’re talking?” Enduring his heart’s pounding, Xiao Yan tried to keep his voice calm.
“Kid, you’re quite calm, to not have been scared witless.” From the ring, a taunting voice sounded.
“Who are you? Why are you in my ring? What are trying to do?”
After calming himself, Xiao Yan asked the essential questions.
“Who am I? You don’t need to know, I won’t harm you. Hahaha, after all these years, I finally found someone with a soul strong enough. What luck! Hehe, I should thank you for your offerings over the past three years, otherwise I would probably still be sleeping.”
“Offerings?” Xiao Yan blinked his eyes in confusion. After a moment, his face darkened and chilling words jumped out of his teeth with difficulty: “My Dou Qi disappearing… you did that?”
“Hehe, I had to do that, kid don’t be mad at me.”
The normally calm and composed Xiao Yan became enraged like a lunatic. His small face was filled with savagery, and without caring that the ring was the only memento of his mother, he ripped the ring off of his finger and flung it over the cliff with all of his might.
As the ring left his hand, Xiao Yan’s mind finally cleared. Hurriedly he tried to catch the flying ring but the ring had already passed cliff, freefalling down the mountain…
Staring at the ring disappearing into the mist, Xiao Yan was stunned for a long time. Finally, his face lost its savagery and calmed. He smacked his forehead, upset: “Idiot that was too reckless, too reckless!”
To realize that the culprit of his humiliation for the past three years was the ring he always wore, it was unsurprising that Xiao Yan reacted so violently.
After sitting at the edge of the cliff for a long time, Xiao Yan helplessly shook his head. Standing up, he prepared to go back but his eyes widened and his finger shakily pointed at the thing in front of him.
In front of Xiao Yan was the pitch-black ring, floating in the sky. But the thing that surprised Xiao Yan the most was the transparent wizened figure above the ring…
“Hehe, kid, you don’t need to be so mad do you? I only took three years of your Dou Qi.” The transparent elder smiled at the stunned Xiao Yan.
Xiao Yan’s mouth twitched and he pushing down his anger. He said: “Geezer, since you were hiding within the ring, then you should know how much pain you’ve caused me since you took my Dou Qi right?”
“But with these three years of humiliations, you’ve matured right? Do you think that three years ago you would have had this kind of tolerance and mindset?”
Xiao Yan furrowed his brows but his emotions started to calm down. After the rage, a hint of happiness took over Xiao Yan. Since he knew why his Dou Qi was disappearing, his talent had returned!
Thinking about the chance to take off the title of crippled that countless others had put on him, Xiao Yan felt as if he had been reborn. The detestable elder in front him didn’t look as annoying as before.
Some things, after they disappear, would make one start appreciating their value! After losing and regaining it, one treasures it more!
Lightly twisting his wrist, Xiao Yan let out a long breath and said: “Even though I don’t know who you are, I would like to know if you plan on staying in the ring to steal my Dou Qi. If that’s the case then I would ask for you to find a new owner, I can’t afford to keep on raising you.”
“Hehe, other people don’t have as strong of Soul Perception as you.” The elder stroked his beard: “Since I already chose to appear, then before you give me permission I won’t take your Dou Qi.”
Xiao Yan rolled his eyes and sneered without saying anything. He had already decided, regardless of anything the elder says, he would not keep that ring by his side.
“Kid, do you want to become strong? Do you want to be respected by other?” Even though Xiao Yan had already decided to not have anything more to do with the elder, his heart started beating rapidly when he heard those words.
“I already know why my Dou Qi was disappearing and with my talent, why do I need you to become strong?” Letting out a small breath, Xiao Yan smoothly said. He knew that there were no free lunches in this world. To owe a mysterious person a favor, isn’t a smart move.
“Kid, even though your talent is pretty good, you should know that you’re already 15 but your Dou Qi is only at 3 Duan. I think that I heard that your adult ceremony is next year right? Do you think that within a year, using your talent and hard work you can get to 7 Duan Qi? In addition, the girl who you promised to fight three years from now doesn’t have shabby talent either. You want to catch up and surpass her? It’s not going to be easy.” The elder’s face that was full of wrinkles blossomed like a Chrysanthemum.
“If you didn’t take my Dou Qi, then do you think that any of this would have happened? You old f*cker!” After his biggest weakness was exposed, Xiao Yan’s face darkened once again and he started to curse.
After cursing, Xiao Yan felt a hint of despair. In his current situation, no matter how much he cursed, there would be no effect. The practice of Dou Qi required a strong foundation. Back when he was four, it took him 6 years to get to 9 Duan Dou Qi. Even with his talent, getting to 7 Duan Qi in just one year was hopeless.
Sighing depressedly, Xiao Yan glanced at the pretentious elder. The edge of his mouth curled and he asked: “Do you have a solution?”
“Maybe.” The elder vaguely replied.
“If you help me to get to 7 Duan Qi in just one year then I’ll forgive you for taking my Dou Qi for three years. How’s that?” Xiao Yan probingly asked.
“Hehe, wishful thinking kid.”
“If you can’t help me then why should I keep you, someone useless, by my side? You should find another unfortunate person…” Xiao Yan knew that the transparent elder couldn’t randomly take Dou Qi from other people so he knew that he had some leverage in the negotiations.
“You’re not even remotely close to a 15 year old young man. Looks like these three years really helped you grow a lot. Did my plan backfire?” Looking at the clever Xiao Yan, the elder paused and then dumbfoundedly shook his head.
Xiao Yan shrugged his shoulders and lightly said: “If you want me to keep you by my side then you should at least have some sincerity right?”
“What a sharp mouthed kid. Alright, alright, after all, I do need your help.” Without another choice, the elder nodded and slowly came to the ground. After examining Xiao Yan for a while, a treacherous smile spread across his face. But as soon as it appeared, it left and the elder pondered for a moment before unwilling asking: “Do you want to become an alchemist?”