The night quickly faded as dawn arrived once more.
Within the circle of experts in Machen Town, a saying was now flowing amongst its grapevine. It was a rumor that could only be described as preposterous if spoken to the upper class of Bright Flame Kingdom and even more so to the ears of particular parties.
Within a crowded bar, around a small table sat four unremarkable individuals, each of whom wore similar uniformed garments. As they sat and ate they discussed the various rumors that are common to the masses, however, it was not too long before their conversation reached the latest and most exciting news flowing around.
“I’ve heard a rather strange rumor recently,” One of the figures said.
“Eh? What’s it this time?” Another form replied while the rest looked on in interest.
“Well, it’s like this, it appears that a new expert is going around these parts. They said that he is so powerful that he does not lose even when compared to the top tier talents within this kingdom. In fact, I heard that yesterday at the battle arena a few unexpected characters made their appearances known. Rumour has it that each of these individuals where of the highest class in both our kingdom and on the outside, even superior talents ranking on the kingdoms [Bright-Flame-Listing] were involved,” The figure said as he drank his morning tea.
“What? A new expert, and high brass characters appearing within this small town. You expect me to believe your nonsense!” Shouted the other figure as he looked towards the man slightly annoyed.
“Enough! Let’s finish hearing the story. You may continue with your statement, Brother Bu! What does this expert have to do with those characters?” A relatively larger individual said.
“Em! They say that this expert was so powerful he suppressed the two competing for the title of ‘Champion’ all by himself while he was under constrained conditions. The high-class characters who saw the scene were stunned as they had wanted to hold a competition with their retainers against promising individuals at the arena. However, with just the expert’s slight show of strength, it alone was enough to deter any further thoughts of competition,” The man replied with a look of awe visible on his face.
A look of shock could be seen over on one the individual’s faces as he inquired, “How could this be? Who is this expert? And What is his title?”
Hearing this an odd smile came on the other figure face as he hesitated for a moment before speaking once more, “He is called Dai Lin, Dai Lin of the Blue Thunder!”
Hearing the arrogance and might behind the title an individual couldn’t help but feel warm-blooded, he looked towards the speaker and asked, “Since he’s a rogue expert he should not have any affiliation to any influences. Did he join any of the influential characters?”
At his question, the figure smiled as he replied, “This is where the rumor gets more interesting, it was said that after his battle on the Blue Thunder Dai Lin then left with another individual whom he addressed as Young Master.”
“Mm, another big figure and who might this fellow be?” Asked the large form with curiosity in his eyes.
“Rumors says that he is known as Machen Town’s number one mischief doer, Feng Yu of the Feng Clan.”
“What?!” The figures said in unison as they shouted together in harmony.
Seated in a remote corner and overhearing their conversation was a guy dressed in a sleeveless shirt while wearing loose-fitting long pants and a wooden sandal. He was about two meters tall and had a muscular physique black hair and a hard face, hung high on top of his back was a large and odd-looking bow.
“Heh! It looks like Brother Yu has quite the interesting reputation, even his retainers are of a different scale. Blue Thunder Dai Lin…” He muttered as he slowly picked himself up and made his way out of the pub towards the northern district of Machen Town.
Inside the Feng Clan Manor, within Feng Yu’s room.
A young man sat calmly while using his two index fingers to do swordplay, shooting sharp sword energy towards a large wooden dummy. His fingers moved like blurs leaving myriads of images around his entire form creating an elusive scene. After he finished, the wood dummy soon collapsed and turned into a pile of lumber.
“It’s as I thought, my power doubles when I stimulate my sword realm with two mediums of choice. Hmm, my sword realm has also promoted vaguely as well just one step away from the ‘One with Sword,'” Feng Yu said as he inspected the budding Sword Seed within his sea of consciousness that was now 9.9 inches long.
Knock! Knock! Knock!
“Come in…” said Feng Yu as he returned from his sea of consciousness and focused his vision towards the door.
Creak! As the door opened, a blue-haired man wearing black qi robes with black wrappings around his arms and legs entered the room. He had a sizeable black conical hat on his head and an engraved symbol of the sun behind a mountain on the left side of his qigong robes.
Following behind him were two individuals who were all wearing a similar set of clothing only they did not wear bamboo hats, a rough-looking young man who had short silver hair and a sharply sculpted face stood beside a beautiful young woman with jade colored hair. As Feng Yu saw them, he couldn’t help but smile.
“How do you like the environment of my Feng Clan? And How is the uniform to your liking?” Asked Feng Yu.
“We… we found no issues during our stay yesterday Young Master Yu!” replied Miren Fei a bit flustered.
“The uniform is fine it feels as if it can withstand the attacks of many Body Training realm practitioners,” Lang Kuang said excitedly as he pinched the corners of his qigong robes.
Hearing this Feng Yu smile as he replied, “Of course, they were made yesterday by our clan’s number one tailor. It’s said that she used the skin of a Tier 2 essence beast known as the Armoured Boar.”
“An… Armoured Boar!” Shocked by what they just heard both Lang Kuang and Miren Fie exclaimed in surprise.
“This… this Young Master—” As if feeling the uniform was worth too much for them they both wanted to reject the outfit, however, they were quickly interrupted.
“It’s fine, you are going to be my forces, after all, it’s only natural that I equip you appropriately. Now then, as we all know through our own life experiences, there is nothing that comes without a cost,” As Feng Yu said this, he tossed two strangely designed jade slips towards both Lang Kuang and Miren Fei.
Swish. Swish. Pat. Pat.
Quickly grabbing their slips from the air, they both send their wills to inspect the contents. As Feng Yu saw them read he continued to elaborate, “As members of my forces, you will have the right to be trained with every effort through to use of my family’s resources, that is, until we go off on our own to explore this land. At that point, I will be the one providing for your training. Your duties are simple, it is to protect me from unexpected dangers as well as to seek out more talented individuals whom can be of aid to our group.”
As he said this, he looked towards them to see their expression noticing that were still in a state of pondering he continued to speak, “We will also need various talented individuals with all sorts of skill sets, such as information gathering, assassination, etc. As for your issues, once our forces grow to a sizeable scale, you will have the right to command the portion of my forces you control to go and handle your personal affairs. Now then, what do you choose? Will you join my forces, or will you recline? If you choose to accept, sign the contract with your blood. If not, you may burn the contract and keep the uniform as a sign of my goodwill.”
Dai Lin looked towards them in silence as he stood quietly to the side of Feng Yu, Lang Kuang and Miren Fei thought for a short moment before facing each and nodding then replying to Feng Yu’s question.
“We will accept Young Master Yu’s terms!” As they replied they both bite their fingers and dripped a drop of blood unto the Jade slip.
Phew! A small will descended from the heavens within the room as the two slips turned to beams of light that formed a tri-way connection with Feng Yu and both Miren Fei and Lang Ku. After a short while, the phenomenon faded, and a small marking appeared on both the necks of Miren Fei and Lang Kuang.
“Our binding contract is now completed, welcome to Dawnwing!” Feng Yu said as he smiled towards his two new retainers.
“We greet our Young Master!” Lang Kuang and Miren Fei said while bowing politely.
“Dai Lin…” Feng Yu said.
“At Young Master’s call!” Dai Lin replied.
Swish! Quickly tossing a small storage ring towards Dai Lin, Feng Yu then walked towards the room door while speaking, “Within that storage ring is roughly ten thousand low-grade essence stones, you may use that to aid Lang Kuang and Miren Fei in their cultivation, as they are now directly under your command. For now, do not seek any more members for Dawnwing as what we need to do now is to build up the strength of our core members firmly,” as he said this, he had already reached the door and stepped out heading towards the nearby courtyard.
“As Young Master Yu wishes!” Dai Lin replied as he placed the storage ring on his finger and looked towards his two new subordinates.
As Feng Yu made his way towards his usual spot for training a loud commotion could be heard at the front gate, feeling puzzled he decided to see what the disorder was about. As he reached the gate, he couldn’t help but get a little bit excited as he heard a familiar voice.
“I told you before, I am a friend of the Young Master Yu in your clan. All you have to do is send my message, and he will naturally come and see me!” Shouted Hui Ying as he looked towards the stubborn guard who seemed to be in a bad mood.
“Humph! I don’t believe it, you’re probably just another one of those punks looking to make it big. Boy, if you don’t get lost now don’t blame me for being merciless!” The familiar looking guard said as he gripped his pike firmly with a sharp look in his eyes.
As Hui Ying heard this, he couldn’t help but relieve a hint of bloodlust deep from his eyes, just as soon as he was about to act a voice could be heard.
“STAND DOWN!” The voice said.
Hearing the voice, the guard started trembling as he bowed his head politely towards the approaching figure.
“Brother Ying! Sorry to cause such an inconvenience,” Feng Yu said with a slightly embarrassed smile.
“Brother Yu! No worries it’s my bad after all, I should have let you know I was going to visit beforehand,” Hui Ying hearing this couldn’t help but laugh it off as he replied.
“Come! Let’s talk inside,” Feng Yu said as he gestured to follow him while walking through the gate, as he passed the guard whose head was still held down he spoke in a solemn manner, “I hope there won’t be the next time…”
As he heard this, the guard promptly kneeled and replied, “Young… Young Master Yu, I can assure you that this will not happen again!”
After a while they both arrived at the guest hall, quickly seating themselves Feng Yu then asked the nearest servant to gather some liquor as well as to prepare a meal.
“Brother Ying! What brings you here today? I thought you would have come only to head straight towards selections,” Feng Yu said as he looked towards Hui Ying.
Hearing his question, Hui Ying smiled, “Well that was the plan but who would have thought that I’d have come across a few interesting rumors when staying at a pub.”
“Rumours?” Feng Yu asked puzzledly.
Seeing this Hui Ying laughed, “Haha! You don’t know the rumors flowing about the town, about the troublemaker of the Feng Clan hiring an overpowered expert bodyguard?”
Hearing this Feng Yu smiled wearily, “I didn’t even think I was still bearing such a useless reputation. It seems I had forgotten about it, but by a bodyguard, you couldn’t possibly have meant Dai Lin, right? “
Hui Ying smiled and said teasingly, “You’re disrespectful! It’s Dai Lin of the Blue Thunder!”
Hearing this Feng Yu felt sour slightly as commented, “Blue Thunder Dai Lin! To think my retainer would have a better title than me.”
Seeing his distressed appearance Hui Ying couldn’t help but laugh at his misfortune, shorty the sound of both individuals laughing could be heard within the guest hall. Finally, the servant arrived and served both the Feng Clans top class liquor while she shared a place of food to both.
After she left, Hui Ying looked towards Feng Yu once more while sipping his liquor and spoke, “The truth is there’s also another matter which I came to find out about while resting at a pub.”
“Oh! And What’s that?” Feng Yu asked as he also drank his liquor.
“It’s about the famous Mystery Pavilion Auction” As Hui Ying said this he took out a piece of jade slip and passed it on to Feng Yu in a secretive manner, taking the sheet up and inspecting it Feng Yu soon became shocked.