Back in Spirit Spring City.
It had been about three weeks since Zhang Dong left on his adventure and the tournament was coming to an end. All the foundation establishment elders were set in stone at this point, the Qi condensation participants would be ending their bouts in a couple of days as well.
Zhang Liu had managed to break through his bottleneck of the 9th level and reached the 10th. The combination of his hard to crack skin and lightning combat arts had propelled him to the top in his age range. Xue was able to reach the 9th level due to the overwhelmingly better cultivation art that she possessed now. She wasn't doing as well as her older brother, still getting a lot of drawn-out that ended in draws. She was still holding her ground somewhere at the end of the brackets.
The two were increasing their battle prowess with each day, getting some practical sparring experience during the tournament while concentrating on their insights into the Dao that their master had left them with. The two missed their masters a bit, as they had many questions concerning their Dao path as the scriptures that they received had many hard to understand passages.
"Hey Xue, do you know what this one about the prime meridian means..."
Liu asked while squinting at the copied over manuscript.
"I'm not sure brother... it's challenging to understand..."
The sister replied while looking over the shoulder of her big brother, the two trying to trade pointers with each other during these 3 weeks they were cultivating.
"Maybe it's too soon for us to understand? We'll have to wait till Master returns to ask him about it."
The two wanted their uncle to return from his journey, they wanted to receive some input on their advancements. But also didn't want to bother him too much so they were trying to progress by themselves as much as it was possible.
"Mother has been chosen as one of the seniors to participate in the expedition..."
Liu gave out a sigh as he handed his sister the manuscript with the dao of lightning written down.
"Well, at least there will be someone to knock some sense into you there~"
His sister chuckled into her long sleeve while her brother scoffed at her reply. They both were nervous about the future of their family, their father was already dead. The whole predicament was due to that sect, the two felt a burning rage towards it.Their master told them to abandon that anger otherwise, they would form some inner demons. But even with the new Tranquil mind skill, the male from the group was finding it hard to drop his vengeful feelings.
"Remember what Master said, 'Anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering. Though I'm not sure what he meant with 'dark side' when he was talking about it."
The girl contemplated on the cryptic meaning of her Master's wise words. The month was coming to the end and their master would be returning, so they focused on their training.
A couple of days earlier.
Zhang Dong was arriving by the city of Frostriver, as he had thought it was covered in snow. It looked like a blanket of white was covering the entire surrounding area, he even saw an abominable snowman as he was flying by some mountain peaks. He used his travel time to slay a couple of demonic beasts, gathering up more points in the process. This didn't slow him down all that much, considering he could kill the weaker beasts with one thrust of his sword.
Time was running out though, he didn't have much of it left so he wanted to catch this demonic cultivator and return back home. First, he needed to gather some intel, so he directly landed in front of the city gates and just asked the guards if they knew something about that Ravager fellow. The men looked at the strong-looking cultivator and told them that he should talk to one of the merchants in the city, as the man would probably know where to find the man.
*Oh? Well, maybe I won't need to search for him that much then.*
He was pleasantly surprised that he had a lead right from the start. Matt was a bit surprised by the authenticity of all the wanted reports he had, all of the leads were panning out. These people sure had a good information network going around, even without any internet. Guess those communication jades came in handy.
*Wonder if I can get something better than a communication jade, they said that they couldn't talk with anyone that went to that secret grounds after they entered it.*
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He recalled a couple of pocket dimension dungeon tropes that went around in novels. Some of them had random teleportation traps that send people all over the place if something like that occurred a communication device would come in handy. He would check that out later, but for now, he headed to a large merchant building the emblem on it looked somewhat familiar but he couldn't remember from where.
*Probably seen it in some restaurant in another city.*
Matt was still in his disguise, having the more menacing scarred up face look. He kind of liked playing the role of the grumpy looking cultivator, he found it funny how women quickly grabbed their kids to the side whenever he was walking down the street. It was certainly a good look if you were going with an intimidation approach.
The merchant business building was huge, there were carriages coming in and out of it. He could see some muscular-looking bros unloading and loading merchandise. There were various types of weapons and items scattered around, he could even see someone selling fresh fish in the corner this kind of made his tummy grumble.
*If I don't stop eating so much I'll get fat...*
He shook his head while going in and looking for a clerk that he could ask for directions. As he entered a little bell rung and he was greeted by a nice looking lady, though the woman twitched a bit as she noticed that a fearsome-looking uncle just come in. But she quickly gathered herself, showing a bright smile.
"Welcome to the Red Lotus merchant group, how may I be of service, good sir?"
Matt pulled out a jade slip on which he stored only the part with the Ravager fellow, on it was the description of his last location as well as his appearance. The woman looked through the jade slip, her eyes moving between the storage device and the man in front of her. She was staying silent for some reason so Matt decided to get the conversation on track.
"I'm looking for that man, the guards by the city told me that you people from the merchant group should have some information..."
The woman certainly knew something as she was fidgeting around not sure what to do. After a moment she excused herself saying that she would bring over a manager. Matt waited for a bit while tapping his finger on the bar counter, other people started whispering amongst each other while glancing at him but evading his gaze when he looked back at him.
*They are certainly bad at keeping secrets.*
After five minutes or so the lady worker came back with an older looking gentleman. He was wearing glasses and looked like a strict teacher type. He examined Matt from top to bottom before speaking out in a serious tone.
"Could I know why sir is looking for that man on the wanted list?"
Matt crossed his arms together, trying to look slightly more menacingly before he replied.
"To get the rewards of course, what else?"
He shrugged nonchalantly while grinning, kind of making it look like it wouldn't be a big deal. The two were a bit taken aback by the man's claims and confident act.
"Sir, are you sure, that man is a powerful demonic cultivator... he had killed many men..."
The man replied with concern in his voice.
Zhang Dong raised his eyebrow, he still didn't know if they were protecting the man or just trying to not get strangers into trouble. Guess they didn't trust him, so he decided on a demonstration of his power. He slammed the counter with his hand, making it break apart in the process, his core formation aura filling the whole merchant building. Everyone felt the strong aura around them, but they weren't getting pushed to the ground or bleeding from their orifices as Matt just wanted to show his level of cultivation and not cause the people harm.
"Stop stalling, you dare hide information from this Lei Yinglo!"
He shouted out so everyone could hear him, almost breaking his act after he told the people his name. He stopped releasing his aura letting the people gather their senses as they were still panting. Before the scared manager and the lady could reply, a chubby man waddled out from the side. The man was quite rotund, his cheeks jiggled around as he ran towards the group of people. The man came to a stop in front of him and quickly started bowing.
"Boohoo! Please senior save my daughter, that bastard took my little girl Whaaaaa."
The man dropped down to his knees and started hugging Matt's thigh, crying and sobbing like a little child. He started shaking his leg but the ball of a man was clinging to him like a spider monkey just bawling his hear out. The man was the owner of the merchant group here, he had apparently lost his daughter to the demonic cultivator in question. Lei Yinglo delivered a bonk to the chubby man's head to calm him down, hoping that he could get an explanation.
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