In a vast and brightly lit room, a middle-aged man dressed in simple clothing sat on top of a strange looking mat. He had dark red hair with streaks of silver appearing on the edges, and a hard face that seemed as if a chisel had sculpted it. His eyes not only showed a trace of weariness but a firm spirit that have shouldered most of the wind and rain in life.
There were many piles of documents and jade slips scattered around his figure on the floor. In front of him stood a table the height of a stool with a variety of scrolls along with an ink container placed at the side.
The man was Feng Yunlong, the current clan leader of the Feng Clan, with a cultivating achievement of 9th tier Aura Disciple realm which was only one pace away from the True Foundation realm. He was one of the dominant individuals in Machen Town.
“Father, you called for me.” Feng Yu said while closing the door behind him and bowing politely.
“Come, sit down.” Looking at the pale and distressed appearance of his son, Feng Yunlong was finding it very difficult to keep his rage at bay. He gestured at Feng Yu to sit in front of the table.
Feeling a bit skeptical, Feng Yu quickly sat down and looked at his father, or rather, his new father.
“Who had the gall to injure you, my son? How did this happen to you? Quickly tell me so that I can get to the bottom of this immediately!” said Feng Yunlong.
Seeing the flustered love filled with concern and boiling rage expression of his father, Feng Yu felt something he never had the chance to experience in his previous life. “A parent’s love for their children is a child’s precious treasure indeed…” He thought to himself as he decided to say his ordeal rather than keep it hidden. Of course, he didn’t reveal the fact of him being a reincarnated soul.
As was expected of Feng Yunlong, after hearing about the betrayal and treatment his son received from the Xiang and Huan Families descendants, he only ended up getting more infuriated.
“Good! Very good! Their sons dare to do this to you; I must have a look at what kind of response they will give me today!” Feng Yunlong shouted in rage as he promptly stood up causing his aura to over-fluctuate which lead to the surrounding books becoming a mess, and the table flying towards a corner of the room soon after colliding with the wall.
However, as he was about to storm outside of the room, he quickly was interrupted by Feng Yu.
“Father, wait! Let me solve this matter on my own, after all; a man must learn to solve his own problems. I will challenge and beat them both to death in the approaching Talent Selection!” A confident expression appeared on Feng Yu’s face even though he looked pale and weak due to his current wounds. With his knowledge, he was confident that he would be capable of not only securing a quota but also, defeating both Xiang Shu and Huan Shan.
Feng Yunlong, on the other hand, was shocked by Feng Yu’s sudden declaration. He looked at Feng with curiosity as he pondered to himself. “What’s going on? Was this my usual Yu’er playing his antics? Or is it possible that he’s grown up a little after having experienced such an ordeal?”
Regardless of the true cause, he felt proud of the slight change in Feng Yu’s mindset. “At least it looks like there’s hope for him to improve.” Feng Yunlong thought, but soon after he shook his head and muttered to silently himself. “But that’s something for the future.”
With less than two months left to prepare for the selection, wanting not only to earn a spot in the quota but also defeat Xiang Shu and Huan Shan, who were both already practitioners at the 7th tier of Body Training realm, was impossible, even for the most startling talents.
Just as he was about to reject the idea, the sound of clapping was heard coming from behind him…
Clap! Clap! Clap!
“Well said, Yu child! Brother, I agree with little nephew, let him solve his problems.” A tall man said who bore similar facial features to that of Feng Yunlong, his only difference being that he was slim and carried a large scar on the left side of his face that trailed across his left eye onto his cheek.
This man was called Feng Junling, the older brother of Feng Yunlong. He rarely stayed in Machen Town as he likes to wander and explore the vast continent, he is also the only True Foundation realm expert residing in the Feng Clan.
“Junling! There is no way I’m going to let him compete. He still hasn’t started training yet, and the selection is soon. It would be far too dangerous.” Not feeling surprised at his brother’s sudden entry, he denied the possibility of making Feng Yu attempt such an impossible task.
“But Father I… “Not feeling quite convinced of the danger, Feng Yu wanted to convince his father but was rejected again.
“No buts! Even if you are talented, cultivation takes time and effort. You can always try for a different selection in a different city after you’ve trained properly.” Feng Yunlong said sternly.
“Brother! A ‘true dragon’ cannot soar the nine heavens if it still lingers in a river. A real man makes do with the current and pushes forward given the opportunities,” Feng Junling reproached as he gave Feng Yunlong a meaningful look.
Hearing what his brother just said, a distant look came over Feng Yunlong. He considered the possibilities while looking through the window of the room gazing calmly at the view outside. Vaguely, a silhouette was looking towards him with a gentle gaze. It briefly smiled for a moment before vanishing into thin air.
“Sigh, A ‘true dragon’ indeed, you are right. It seems I have become weary during these years…” a sad gleam soon came over Feng Yunlong’s eyes, but he quickly recovered and stared at Feng Yu.
“Yu’er! A real man never backs down no matter what he faces, and while we men of the Feng Clan are not ‘Dragons,’ we are not inferior. As the ‘Phoenix,’ we must challenge the heavens and bear the flames of adversity. For this is the only way that we could stimulate our noble bloodline to rise from the ashes and be reborn to stand stronger than before, taking what is rightfully ours.” After which he nodded to Feng Junling and left the room.
“Father, Yu’er will not disappoint you!” Feng Yu said while feeling excited about his father’s permission and advise. He also began to realize that his family’s name was more than it seemed, but, without strength, there would be no point in trying to figure out more.
Suddenly, he remembered that he hadn’t greeted his uncle, he promptly placed his hands together making a cultured bow as he spoke, “Feng Yu greets Uncle Junling!”
As he looked at his nephew, a proud feeling rose up within Feng Junling. He had always believed that Feng Yu would grow into a mighty expert someday, while he had not shown interest before and spent most of his time idling about, it seems that this recent setback had caused him to develop a new ‘mindset.’
“Growth starts from the heart…” Feng Junling thought to himself as he waved his hand tossing a small ring towards Feng Yu.
“Em. Little nephew here’s a little something I got for you. Though, I’m late in handing it over due to missing your coming of age ceremony. Inside there are a few items necessary for cultivators to get started. Inside of the storage ring, there are medicinal pills, a few mortal-tier martial skills, and the family’s main cultivation art. There is also a sword placed inside for your convenience. Well, that’s it, go and tend to your injuries. If you have issues with your cultivation seek me out whenever you need me.” After saying this, Feng Junling vanished leaving a remnant shade of his previous self in the location.
After catching the ring, Feng Yu noticed that it a had an elaborate engraving with a jewel attached to its core. “It’s a Storage Ring!” Feeling excited at the fact that he could receive one so early in a small area like this, he was satisfied. “This should make things a lot easier!” He thought while quickly placing it on his index right finger and making his way towards his room to recover.
Standing in a nearby corner looking at Feng Yu’s retreating figure, Feng Junling thought to himself. “I wonder, will he be able to cultivate that art?” A strange light shone in his eyes like that of flames, it flickered briefly before vanishing. The corner of his lips rose into a smile before it faded away, “Don’t disappoint me Yu’er.”
It was approaching noon and the day was reaching its peak. Wanderers and locals mixed amongst the crowded, bustling streets while the merchants were yelling at the top of their lungs to attract sales, as the rowdy atmosphere of commerce was in full swing.
In eastern district’s most central area, there was a significant mansion with a large courtyard comparable to that of the Feng Residence. It was a space with only one massive building and a large patio surrounded by tall walls with an extremely domineering gate and two giant tiger statues on both sides.
This place was the home of the Xiang Clan, another of the four large family clans, in Machen Town.
Inside of the building in a huge room, there was a constructed battle platform on which two figures were currently engaged in heated combat. Off to the sides, two characters were seated on a higher platform chatting while observing the combatants.
The two individuals fighting on the battle platform were Xiang Shu and Huan Shan. Xiang Shu was being pressured by Huan Shan.
Huan Shan had unleashed a barrage of kicks hitting Xiang Shu’s underbelly and sending him flying towards the edge of the platform while coughing up a bit of blood. Seeing such a great opportunity to perform a finishing blow, he then leaned forward and started to sway side to side as if transformed into a snake slithering towards Xiang Shu.
“Brutal Snake Style – First Form: Staggering Snake Steps!”
He roared and within a moment quickly arrived at the edge of the platform behind the still airborne form of Xiang Shu and promptly unleashed his finishing blow.
He crouched his body down on the floor assuming running posture, pushing all the power he had into his lower body. Then unleashed a kick that lashed out quickly towards Xiang Shu carrying with it the force of the wind because of its extreme speed.
Sreeecccchhhh! A sharp cry resounded as he shot through the air like an arrow with his focus entirely on controlling the force of his kick.
“Brutal Snake Style – Second Form: Brutal Snake Strike!” Huan Shan cried out loudly.
“Haha! Brother Tian! It looks like my Shan’er will be the one winning this time around. After all, he has already achieved small accomplishment over his <Brutal Snake Style Martial Skill>.” The figure observing the match on the right was getting excited as he saw that his son was gaining the winning edge over his opponent.
“Don’t be so quick to judge Brother Mang. Look, the situation is about to change.” Said the figure on the left with a smile on his face and a confident appearance.
“Ha! I don’t believe he can make a comeback at this point!” Said the figure on the right not feeling convinced.
The figures observing the match were none other than two of the significant Family Clan Leaders in Machen Town. Located on the right was Huan Mang of the Huan Family and on the left, was Xiang Tian of the Xiang Family. Huan Mang was a slim man wearing decorated loose clothing while Xiang Tian was a robust man with an unshaved beard and decorated robes.
On the battle platform, when all seemed to have been decided, there was a sudden change.
Whoosh! As Xiang Shu was about to be defeated a strange light shone intensely inside of his eyes, it was as if he could see the kick approaching towards him from behind. Quickly, he began to maneuver his body while remaining airborne. As if transforming into a kite, he started to glide in air swaying to the side effortlessly to avoid the potentially fatal kick.
“What! How could?” Momentarily shocked by witnessing an impossible stunt. Huan Shan lost his balance and fell towards the ground due to the excessive wind pressure.
Thud! Quickly doing a roll on the ground and regaining his balance, Huan Shan tried to make a counter-attack but was hindered slightly due to an injury to one of his legs. Sadly, Xiang Shu would never give him another chance for an advantage.
Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh!
“Jade Wind Arts – Movement Style: Aerial Gliding Steps!”
Like the gust of the wind itself, he swiftly appeared behind Huan Shan using the same strange gliding motion and then raised his right hand forming a palm strike which he directed towards Huan Shan’s unguarded back.
“Jade Wind Arts – Combat Style: Aerial Palm Strike!!”
Suddenly, an intense burst of wind followed the direction of the palm strike and the wind gathered from the momentum of the technique was now unleashed pushing Huan Shan away like a leaf blowing in a strong wind.
He flew out of the platform and crashed into the sidewall creating a deep impression on the surface behind, he then pushed himself up off the ground and began to work on balancing himself as he panted heavily.
“Aerial Gliding Steps! Aerial Palm Strike! How can this be? Did your brat finally achieve initial comprehension of your family’s Advance Level Mortal Tier Skill <Jade Wind Arts>!” Slamming his fist hard on the table, Huan Mang looked at the victorious Xiang Shu on the platform while shouting in surprise.
“Ha! What do you think? After five months of training, he’s finally grasped initial comprehension away from small success stage by one pace.” With a gloating expression on his face, he then waved at both Huan Shan and Xiang Shu to make their way over to them.
“Incredible! It looks like your Xiang Clan is truly a destined place for talented successors, first Xiang Fang and now Xiang Shu.” Huan Mang praised while sighing to himself.
“Greetings Clan Leaders!” said arriving in front of their fathers, Xiang Shu and Huan Shan then bowed respectfully.
Looking at his son proudly for a moment, Xiang Tian said in a strict tone “Did you accomplish the task given to you?”
Hearing his father’s question, he quickly replied “Yes Father! We made sure to take care of that brat last night during the town event. Huan Shan also did some interworking behind the scenes which ensured that there were no witnesses in the old district as well.”
“Good Work! Now that the nuisance is gone we can…” feeling excited Xiang Tian praised his son and then looked towards Huan Mang to discuss the next phase of their plans. But suddenly, he was interrupted by a loud commotion.
The large door of the room was opened abruptly, rushing in was a man wearing black clothing.
“Who dares to come in here without my consent? You there, if you don’t give me a good enough explanation for your actions. Then you can forget about leaving from here today!” angered by being interrupted, Xiang Tian roared at the servant while oppressing him with his aura of an 8th Tier Aura Disciple.
Struggling to catch his breath due to the oppression. The servant started gasping and sweating while trying to explain.
“Cough! Cough! Sorry, Clan Leader, this servant is bringing urgent news. The Feng Clan leader just released an announcement saying that they will no longer provide weapons and resources to both our clan and the Huan Family Clan.”
Boom! The table shattered to pieces as both Huan Mang and Xiang Tian got up in anger. Huan Mang walked over and shouted towards the servant “Explain to me what is going on here! Why did he do this?”.
Quickly dispersing his oppressive aura, Xiang Shan also walked over and said, “Quickly Speak! And don’t leave out any details”.
Abiding by their commands, the servant began to explain what happened. Feng Yu was alive but severely wounded, and upon finding out the cause of Feng Yu’s injuries, the enraged Feng Yunlong ordered for the provisions of weapons and equipment to no longer be sold to the two clans involved in the case.
Hearing that Feng Yu was still alive shocked Xiang Shu, he wanted to explain.
“Enough!” said Xiang Tian waving his hand to cut off his son’s, “It seems that you were not careful enough and did not ensure that the Feng clan kid was dead. Dammit! Now we have to delay our plans.”
Looking at the door, Xiang Tian gripped his fists hard in fury.
“Brother Xiang! What are we to do now? We can’t do any damage to the Feng Clan if we fight them directly.” Huan Mang was getting anxious, he started to wonder if it was okay to carry on this plan.
“Hmph! No matter, even if he found out, it makes no difference. Even with his son’s talent, it will still take him time to develop. With so little time left, what could he possibly accomplish? And on the likelihood he becomes a dazzling supreme being, don’t forget my Xiang Clan also has Xiang Fang.”
Hearing the name ‘Xiang Fang’, Huan Mang began to calm down. The two of them looked out of a large window staring deep into the sky, passing through the clouds, traversing the dangerous mountains that stretched across thousands of kilometers towards the distant horizon.
In a distant area, far away, a figure was journeying through these unknown lands. It was a young man, at the age of twenty-five at the prime of his youth, wearing a decorated robe while shouldering a giant blade on his back. The young man had a handsome face, but he carried with him a murderous aura as if he had slaughtered countless lives. He looked ruthless but divine at the same time giving an odd sense of balance.
As if he felt something he looked towards the distance. Oddly enough, despite it being daytime, stars could be seen glittering in his eyes. He muttered in a soft voice that trailed off into the wind, “The Stars of Destiny have shifted. Fate seems to be beckoning me.”