Chapter 311: Surreptitious Black Robed Man
Moving along the street, Xiao Yan walked straight to the inn where he was staying. The surrounding judging and worshipful eyes caused him to have a slight headache. He could not help but increase his pace, as he passed through a few streets and entered the inn. After which, he proceeded to his own room.
Xiao Yan pushed open the door, entered and closed it properly. He leaned against the door and exhaled a long breath rubbing his forehead. His face was somewhat tired. Two rounds of examination may not seem like much, but the trick that was hidden behind it troubled Xiao Yan greatly. Adding to this, the need to fight with the gray robed young man in terms of speed during the last round only increased his tiredness. Controlling the 'Heavenly Flame' was originally a precise job and speeding up the process further exhausted one's spirit.
Xiao Yan shook his head and walked away from the door, further into the room. He splashed some icy water on his face to allow himself to be much more awake. After which, he walked into the inner hall and sat cross-legged on the bed. Forcing himself to resist the impulse to simply sleep, Xiao Yan closed his eyes and formed the seal for training. He did his best to calm his breath and slowly entered the training mode.
After these years of training, Xiao Yan was already clear that he was able to obtain a greater effect with less effort when he trained in a tired state. This kind of training was not very secret, but if one wanted to become a strong person, one needed to accumulate strength over time regardless of how extraordinary one's talent was. Yao Lao had said one could only rise rapidly after one accumulated strength for a long time. This was the true path to becoming strong. Xiao Yan also deeply felt the same.
As Xiao Yan gradually entered his training mode, his slightly rising and falling chest also quietly became calm. A long while later, there was finally a tiny rise and fall. The surroundings slightly fluctuated. Numerous energy flows, visible to the naked eye, followed Xiao Yan's breathing and poured into his body. Finally, they underwent refinement, turning into pure energy that invaded the veins, bones, and cells within his body.
Under the invasion of the energy, Xiao Yan could clearly sense his mental fatigue being withdrawn like the tide.
After the training continued for nearly two hours, Xiao Yan, who was seated on the bed like a wooden pillar suddenly shook his finger. His eyes slowly opened and a glint flashed across those black pupils.
Xiao Yan opened his mouth and a somewhat black turbid air was spat out. It carried a faint pungent smell.
Xiao Yan twisted his neck, lowered his head, and watched the middle finger on his left hand which was faintly black. His eyebrows narrowed slightly as he softly said, "This damn thing. it's just like the maggot within a tarsal bone. I wonder if I have gained or lost from removing the poison."
Although Xiao Yan had the 'Heavenly Flame' to protect him, he could not just totally ignore this poison, which was almost something that could instantly be fatal to a person if it was present in one's body, could he?
"Ah, I can only wait until Teacher wakes up. Perhaps only then will there be a solution to resolve this thing." Xiao Yan smiled bitterly and shook his head. His head landed onto the warm bed as he muttered, "Once the Grand Meeting is over tomorrow, I will perform the last poison removing session for Nalan Jie. I think that he should be able to recover. When that time comes..."
"When that time comes, it would be the time that the conditions set by Three Year Agreement are met." Xiao Yan pursed his lips. He suddenly sighed softly. It had been three years. That spoiled and rude girl back then had already changed, becoming much more mature.
In the past, Xiao Yan had originally thought that when he saw Nalan Yanran once again, he would definitely be so furious that he would have difficulty hiding his emotions. However, during their meeting this time around, perhaps as a result of him currently using the identity Yan Xiao, he found that he was cool almost to the point of never having seen her. During this period of time, he was like a stranger, coldly observing her every action and words that she spoke.
The three years had similarly caused the tender youth back then to become more matured and staid. The whole farce of canceling the engagement at the Xiao clan back then was indeed very comical when as he recalled it now. It was very funny, but he no longer possessed the anger he did back then.
Back then, it was likely that the youth had that kind of intense reaction because his heart was extremely sensitive from being under the name of a useless person. He was forced to suffer ridicule and supercilious looks from within the clan and Nalan Yanran forcefully ending the engagement coincidentally gave a violent stab to that weak and sensitive heart of his. Being trampled on by such great force, the youth who could no longer endure finally blew up. It was this reason that caused the event three years ago to happen.
At the very least, when Xiao Yan thought about it now, if he were still sailing along with his talent back then and did not endure the setback of being a useless person, it was likely that he would not feel much anger when Nalan Yanran came to end the engagement back then.
However, Xiao Yan was also certain about one thing. If he did not have the experience of being a useless person back then and had Nalan Yanran not come to end the engagement, he would definitely not be able to reach the place he was currently at, where countless of people looked at him with admiration, before he was even twenty years old.
Thinking about those matters that had changed the direction of his future, Xiao Yan was slightly absent minded. He smiled bitterly and shook his head. A hypothetical situation was eventually only a hypothetical situation. Therefore, regardless of what kind of attitude he currently had toward Nalan Yanran, he must definitely go to the Misty Cloud Sect.
The current him may no longer possess too much anger toward Nalan Yanran, but her forceful ending of the engagement back then had caused the Xiao clan and his father, whose position was extremely high in his heart, to be completely embarrassed. This kind of thing was like giving them a hard slap in front of countless of people within the Jia Ma Empire social scene. This was known as a shame to the entire clan.
Although Xiao Zhan had never mentioned this matter after the wedding engagement was cancelled due to his fear of provoking Xiao Yan, the latter was very clear that regardless of what happened, Xiao Zhan's heart had hard feelings. During the many years of the existence of the Xiao clan, he was the first clan leader who experienced something as shameful as people forcefully arriving at their doorstep and high handedly ending the wedding engagement that his father had promised back then using a domineering tone.
Moreover, the youth who carried the name of a 'cripple', had stubbornly promised his father within the Xiao clan's main hall that he would get back at them for the humiliation.
It was this promise that the young man began his tough training and even finally left his clan. Like an ascetic, he roamed the empire, polishing the innocence in his body.
During the near two years that he had left the clan, Xiao Yan had roamed over half of the Jia Ma Empire. Finally, after going around in circles, he came to this city. The reason for this was that Three Year Agreement. Currently, he did not have much interest in taking revenge against her. He only wanted to bring this news to remove the hard feelings in his father's heart. After which, he would smile and laugh, "This time around, I have really divorced her. No one will doubt that."
Therefore, regardless of what happened, he must head for that Misty Cloud Sect. Of course, if he won against her in the Three Year Agreement, Xiao Yan did not mind carelessly saying a sentence to her, who had once acted lofty and had a face filled with disdain in front of him, "Your judgement is really quite bad."
This could be considered the last little revenge Xiao Yan would take against her.
During these three years, Xiao Yan had gained some things while certain things had also faded. In whole, however, this kind of change was good.
"Hu." Xiao Yan let out a long breath. His hands were crossed behind his head as his gaze became blurred. As he became inattentive, a young lady who was as elegant as a quiet lotus suddenly surfaced in his mind. Between a frown and a laugh, an involuntary softness and smile appeared on Xiao Yan's cold face.
Xiao Yan currently did not have much feelings for that lady who had nearly become his wife. He did not have them in that past, and it was likely he would not have any in the future. If one wanted to forcefully insist that he had some, that would merely be the little feeling a man would have to conquer those women of noble statuses. After two years of experience, he had suddenly felt in his loneliness that his heart had unknowingly been quietly possessed and lead in circles by a young lady.
She was obviously the most dazzling pearl, yet she liked to hide by his side, acting in a pitiful, unloved and appealing manner.
Her background was obviously huge and mysterious, yet she gave the useless him a tranquil smile, being docile and obedient.
This young lady who was gentle like a pool of autumn water had quietly seeped into his heart without Xiao Yan even realizing it. Although young, the intelligent her was extremely clear that if she wanted to capture that restless heart, she had to simmer it with a warm flame. One day, when Xiao Yan had an idea to look back, he would understand.
"Xun Er, wait for me. Once I have settled the things here, I will go and look for you." While he recalled that elegant and moving face, a warm flow trickled past in his heart as he muttered softly.
"Cough." Just as Xiao Yan was muttering, a faint sound abruptly appeared from the roof.
"Who's that?" Although the sound was slight, it was undoubtedly quite a loud muffled sound when a person with Xiao Yan's outstanding sensing ability heard it. Immediately, his expression changed and he yelled.
At the moment that he yelled, Xiao Yan's palm slammed on the bed. His body shot out through the window in a supple manner. The tip of his leg pressed gently onto a protruding stone and his body shot up toward the roof like a huge bird. Carrying an icy coldness, his gaze instantly swept passed his surroundings.
The silver moon hung high in the sky as a faint moonlight was scattered down, shining onto the entire city. Despite borrowing the moonlight, Xiao Yan did not see even a person on the roof.
Xiao Yan narrowed his eyes and swept his gaze once around his surroundings. With the moonlight shining down, Xiao Yan could clearly see up to a hundred meter radius. However, he still did not spot even a single person.
With a frown, Xiao Yan slowly walked on the roof. Moments later, he crouched down and stared intently at a broken tile. One could easily see the crack lines on the tile; obviously, it had just broke.
Xiao Yan's palm dug out a roof tile, Some lamp light shone from below. The room below was coincidentally where Xiao Yan was.
Xiao Yan's face was dark and cold. The tile in his hand was instantly turned into a pile of powder. He patted his hands, stood up and spoke to himself in his heart, "For the other party to be able to disappear within such a short time, his strength should at least be at the Dou Wang class? In the Jia Ma Sacred City, there seems to be only a few clans who have a Dou Wang. Nalan clan? Mu clan? Primer clan? Imperial family?"
"Come out now. Hiding the head and showing the tail, What kind of horrible person are you?" The musing Xiao Yan suddenly turned his head around and coldly called out in a certain direction.
The cry lingered around the roof and began to dissipate a moment later. However, there was still not the slightest movement around him.
"Is there no one?" Seeing that his call had failed, Xiao Yan shrugged his shoulders and sighed helplessly. His gaze once again took a sweep around his surroundings. Finally, he could only leap down and return to his room.
After Xiao Yan leaped down, the roof descended into silence.
This silence did not continue for more than a few minutes when Xiao Yan's body abruptly shot up. When he saw that the roof still had no one, he could only laugh bitterly. Finally, he recognized that the person surveying from the roof had already left. He sighed, shook his head and had no choice but to return to his room.
Following Xiao Yan's true departure this time around, the roof remained silent for half an hour before a dark black shadow that was like the reflection from the wall, suddenly and strangely moved from a spot with its back facing the moon. A moment later, the black shadow somersaulted upward and actually agglomerated into a human shape.
The human figure was completely wrapped under a dark black robe. He randomly glanced at the spot where Xiao Yan had disappeared from, lifted his head slightly and revealed an old face which appeared to have a dark complexion.
"Hei, this little fellow is rather sensitive." The black robed person laughed softly as he whispered, "If I had not suddenly heard my lady's name, I would also not make such a lowly mistake. If others were to find out that a Dou Shi class boy had actually discovered my presence, wouldn't I lose all my face."
"This little fellow appears to have some feelings for Xiao-jie." The old man frowned under the robe as he said in a vexed manner. "The thing that gives one the greatest headache was that my lady actually has feelings for this little fellow. This won't do. Although Xiao Yan's training talent is quite good, he is far from reaching the necessary requirements. How great can one be if one continues to hang around in the Jia Ma Empire, this broken place. If this goes on, he might end up feeling very dejected. Young man, do you really think it is so easy to court his daughter?"
The black robed old man sighed and mumbled, "But there are some people who are quite strong around this little fellow. The last time that old fellow called Jia Lao nearly discovered my presence. A strong person who is about to step into the Dou Zong class is indeed different."
"Ah, forget it. It is fortunate that this little fellow is hurrying to the Misty Cloud Sect. Once I have finished things here, I can return to protect my lady." The black robed old man stretched out both his hands and twisted his body. His body shook a little and the black robe gradually became blurry. Finally, it turned into a dark black shadow that shot into the darkness in a lightning like manner before becoming completely quiet.
Xiao Yan, who had returned to his room, sat beside a table. He lifted his head and stared intently at the roof until his neck ached a little. Only then did he helplessly lower his head and rub his neck.
As Xiao Yan was patted his shoulders, the door was suddenly pushed opened. A smiling Hai Bo Dong slowly walked in. When he saw Xiao Yan, who had not fallen asleep, he smiled and walked to the side of the table before sitting down. He lifted a teacup and quickly poured it into his mouth. "Little fellow, you were really capable today. Ha ha, you actually even managed to completely shock Fa Ma, that old fellow."
Xiao Yan watched Hai Bo Dong and smiled. He fondled his chin, hesitated for a moment before suddenly speaking, "Old Hai, I wonder if you have sensed someone following us recently?"
"Following?" Hai Bo Dong was at a loss for a moment when he heard this. He immediately smiled and shook his head. "How can it be? In this Jia Ma Empire, no one can follow us under my watch! Even that old demon cannot."
Knitting his eyebrows together, Xiao Yan licked his lips and slowly told him about the matter from before in a summarized manner.
"Really?" Seeing Xiao Yan's expression, which did not appear to be that of a joking one, Hai Bo Dong's face gradually became grave. His shrivelled finger gently knocked on the table. A while later, he appeared to have suddenly recalled something and said softly, "Little Fellow, I will tell you something. But this matter is something I am not certain of."
Seeing Hai Bo Dong secretive manner, Xiao Yan was stunned and he asked uncertainly, "What is it?"
"You should know about our fight at Yan City with the two mysterious Dou Huangs back then, right?" Hai Bo Dong fondled his beard and softly spoke with a frown, "At that time, I vaguely sensed that there was another extremely strong Qi present. However, it was a pressing situation back then and I was unable to sense it very clearly. Ever since that time, I have sensed it a couple more times and those senses were similarly as vague. Hearing what you have said tonight, I guess that there appears to be a mysterious person who has been following behind us for a long time."
Hai Bo Dong's soft voice caused Xiao Yan to suddenly feel a little creepy. He swallowed his saliva and softly spoke, "Even you cannot sense it? How can that be? Don't tell me that the mysterious person is a Dou Zong?"
"Uh." Hai Bo Dong smiled bitterly and shook his head. He sighed, "I have already told you that this is only my guess. We cannot be certain whether there's such a person or that we are overly sensitive."
Hearing this, Xiao Yan also laughed bitterly. He frowned and thought it over repeatedly, but he could not think of when he had come into contact and offended a Dou Zong class strong person.
"Alright. don't be so distressed. For such matters, we will let nature take its course. If there's really someone following us, he will definitely have intentions. Since this is the case, I think that he would show himself sooner or later." Hai Bo Dong patted Xiao Yan's shoulders and comforted.
Xiao Yan smiled bitterly and nodded. For now, he could only think in this manner.
"Hehe, do you have an interest to go and do something good tonight? Fa Ma and Jia Lao, those two old fellows will be present." Hai Bo Dong suddenly said with a smile.
"Uh? The three of you acting together? What do you want to do?" Hearing this, Xiao Yan was momentarily at a loss and immediately said in a stunned manner. Three Dou Huangs acting together. Whose home did they plan to flip over?
"Don't tell me it's because of the grey robed young man?" Xiao Yan knit his eyebrows together. A while later, his eyebrows twitched as he spoke.
"It is that fellow. Fa Ma keeps sensing that there's something wrong so he wants to go and check on his background. You should also know just how much of a blow the reputation of the association would receive if someone from the Chu Yun Empire were to take the champion spot of the Jia Ma Empire's Grand Meeting." Hai Bo Dong smiled and said.
"You aren't going to..." Xiao Yan's hand slid horizontally across his throat as he softly said.
"We'll look at the situation. That possibility is not ruled out. By helping Fa Ma, that old fellow, this time around, he will owe me a favor. Ha ha." Hai Bo Dong smiled again and said.
"All of you are ruthless." Xiao Yan pulled at the corner of his mouth. Was the scene behind the Grand Meeting not too dark?
TL: Very biased
"Don't give me that nonsense. If you want to see the background of that fellow, follow me."
Hai Bo Dong stood up. His body swayed as he walked out of the room. Behind him, Xiao Yan hesitated for a moment and followed. He really wanted to see if that fellow really had such ability at such a young age, or if there was some other reason for it.