Chapter 13 – It's either you or me
Editor’s: Notsaninethebrain, Hakubruh, Likyliky, Hydramon
Xuanyuan was Yun Zhenluo’s apprentice after all.
Yun Zhenluo had made sure to examine Xuanyuan's body meticulously. He was much stronger than normal people, but other than that, there wasn't anything abnormal. They didn't know what the problem was.
Yun Zhenluo didn’t know what to do.
In the following twelve days, Xuanyuan practiced at least twenty hours every day. He worked his absolute hardest. As a result, his strength grew to thirty three bulls. However, his muscles were not purified and refined by the spiritual Qi. Every day, the fighter Qi he spent so much time to refine would disappear.
Yun Zhenluo was worried about him, he worked extremely hard every day, but there wasn’t anything she could do. He was too stubborn to accept that he might not grow any further. Yun Zhenluo couldn’t stop him from trying.
The only good thing that happened in these few days was that Xuanyuan learnt to let his skin and flesh work together by understanding the martial techniques, so his body worked more harmoniously. A normal warrior, even at their peak, would not be able to defend against a strike from his five taloned dragon.
The great surprise was that Guxing grew from ten bulls of strength to eighteen. The wolf was extremely intelligent. It was able to understand the essence of the five taloned dragon by observing Xuanyuan. When the wolf went hunting, it seemed to move like a heavenly dragon.
"Xuanyuan, the month’s deadline is up. I should be leaving. Don't be too hard on yourself." Yun Zhenluo looked at Xuanyuan, whose height only reached her shoulders, and frowned. She seemed hesitant to go. After a while, Yun Zhenluo took out a pearl from the pocket on her waist and said quietly,
"Xuanyuan, this is the Pearl of Heavenly Fighters, it can help with your training by accelerating the transformation of Spiritual Qi to fighter Qi by a hundred fold. Whenever you carry the Pearl on you, a day of training is equal to training for a hundred days. It's of no use to me. Take it as my last gift to you and take care of yourself."
Yun Zhenluo wouldn't let him refuse the gift. She hung the thumb-sized pearl onto a silver chain and put it around his neck.
She turned around to leave. Xuanyuan wanted to say something but no words came out. Yun suddenly turned back. She pressed her fingertip between Xuanyuan’s eyebrows. There was a tinge of golden light flashed on her fingertip when she did that.
"You only have yourself to rely on from now on. I won't be here to look after you. Stay alert."
And then she left. Xuanyuan stared at her back until her silhouette disappeared. He knew he wouldn't be able to convince her to stay.
Even Guxing looked sad, as if it could sense Xuanyuan's mood.
"There's only one way to go, the School of Yuehua." He mumbled to himself as he returned to the treehouse alone. Except that he wasn't alone, there was an old man.
"Who are you?" Immediately, he was immediately on guard, ready to use the five taloned dragon.
"Not bad. Good posture. The old man here hasn't seen anyone as strong as you in the warrior realm. Such a shame, having an abnormal physique, but never being able to enter a higher realm."
It's almost like the old man didn't notice Xuanyuan and was talking to himself.
"He is blessed by Lady Zhenluo to learn the sacred methods of the Yun Family. It would be really nice if the boy is capable of improvements, but unfortunately, he's just useless."
When he mentioned the sacred methods of Yun, the old man looked as if he envied Xuanyuan's good luck, but it was not vicious. He only showed loyalty to the Yun family.
"Even I didn't get to learn the sacred methods. It's the family's secret, but the boy got to learn it. The Book and the martial techniques, they are the basics. Still, I can't let him take the secret with him to the school of Yuehua."
Xuanyuan realized that the situation was bad. The old man even knew about the martial techniques and the training method. He must have followed him for the entire month, he just didn't realize the old man was there.
"What do you want?" Xuanyuan pulled out his sword and pointed it towards the old man, trying to conceal his fear.
"I don't want much, just your death. You are a lowly existence and can never comprehend how powerful the Yun clan is. You are simply unlucky." The old man was not threatened by Xuanyuan. He stepped forward, he moved so fast it was impossible to see the old man, the sword was suddenly shattered between the old man's fingers.
"Lady Zhenluo was good to you. She even gave you the pearl. The pearl is precious even to a great martial arts practitioner like the lady herself, but it belongs to the family. I'll have to take it back."
"Aren't you scared that Master will kill you when she knows about this?" The old man's strength was incredible, but he refused to be threatened.
"Very smart, but this is not enough to intimidate me. I serve the Yun Family with my life and my death. My body belongs to the Family. So if Lady Zhenluo should kill me, my life is hers to take." The old man was calm.
Xuanyuan was incredibly helpless. His chance of staying alive was extremely low. The only fortunate thing was that Guxing was not in the tree house and it didn't know what was happening here. At this point, he could only wish that Guxing would continue to survive.
"Before I die, can I make two requests?" He felt very calm when his life was hanging on a thread.
"Of course! You are Lady Zhenluo's first apprentice, I'll fulfil all your requests." His smile was too kind for a man who was about to kill Xuanyuan in the next moment.
"The wolf, Guxing, grew up with me. After I die, please let it take the bear's elixir to enhance its strength. So it can protect itself better. Please let Guxing live." Xuanyuan carefully put the elixir on the rug.
"No wonder Lady Zhenluo liked you. You are good to your friends. An animal is no exception. Very well, I will fulfil your request." The old man looked disdainfully towards the elixir, but he was patient, because he was sure Xuanyuan wouldn't be able to get away.
"Second, take one attack from my dagger. If you're still alive after that, I'll kill myself. Then Master won't be able to blame you for my death. You can tell her I couldn't endure my mediocrity and have decided to end my own life. Then if she comes and check my body, she'll see that I took my own life." Xuanyuan said with a heavy heart.
The old man's eyes revealed both his disdain and admiration for Xuanyuan, "Go on then. I shall not evade or take defensive action from your dagger."
"If the boy's physique wasn't so mediocre, he would have been a good apprentice, but it all was wasted. No matter how hard he works, he will not become any stronger. Even if we can bring him back to the family, his mere existence would be controversial. Since he's not a family member, and yet he should be respected for being Lady Zhenluo's apprentice. If he only knew the basic training method and martial techniques, I would have let him walk free. However, Lady Zhenluo taught him the sacred scriptures. I cannot allow any possibility to have our family's secrets leaked out. If they are leaked to the wrong hands, the consequences would be unthinkable. Lady Zhenluo, please forgive me."
How would Yun Zhenluo react if she knew her kindness to Xuanyuan had killed him?
Xuanyuan took out his rusty dagger.
The old man felt even more disdain when he saw the dagger. He thought to himself, such a dull and rusty dagger wouldn't even cut him.
Xuanyuan didn't have much faith in the power of the dagger, but this could be his only chance to survive.
"My life depends on your powers now, mysterious dagger!" Xuanyuan's heart screamed, he aimed at the old man's heart. “Only one of us can live after today, it's either you or me!”