The giant golden lotus was currently opening. Golden Lotus's excited voice sounded in Claire's mind. "Old Ma, I'm full now, I'm going to go cultivate now. With your current strength, if you meet any experts, at the very least, you'll still be able to escape unscathed. I'm going to be gone now." Before Claire responded, Golden Lotus disappeared in the blink of an eye. There was no response no matter how much Claire called.
The faint golden hue gradually disappeared. Claire slowly stood up slowly and looked into the distance. She felt the burning sensation of another flower petal. Power, an indescribably large power flowed through her entire body. She silently clenched her fist. There would definitely be a day when she could remove the Dark mark! She definitely wasn't the type of person who would wait to be slaughtered. God of Darkness! Just wait, not only will you remove this shameful mark, I will return the humiliation and disgrace two-fold!
"Claire!" Li Yuewen called out and ran over. Her clenched heart finally calmed down.
Claire slowly turned around. Seeing the group of people behind her, she suddenly smiled a strange, faint smile. Under everybody's alarmed gaze, Claire extended two arms, smiling as she fell backwards.
But behind Claire was a bottomless abyss!
Multiple alarmed voices rang out at the same time. Everybody moved instantly. What was Claire doing? Was she crazy? Suicide? Their hearts beating crazily, they charged madly to the edge of the precipice.
Leng Lingyun had already thrown himself over, preparing to fly off the cliff to save Claire.
But just when they reached the edge, boiling hot aura blew at them, making their entire body stiffen.
There was the quiet sound of air flow. Golden light, dazzling.
Claire flew up slowly, smiling sweetly. She just floated gently.
Everybody stood rooted in place, eyes wide as they stared at such a scene.
Behind Claire was a pair of golden flames!
The golden light shined on their faces. Their eyes were affixed to the beautiful scene, all dumbstruck and at a loss for words. It was the first time they had seen such a technique! Flames could actually be molded into wings! And Claire's clothes were still perfectly intact. The wings hadn't damaged her clothes at all.
Claire flapped her wings and slowly flew upwards. She looked down towards them, a faint smile appeared on her face. "Sorry, I have worried you all."
"You, you brat!" Li Yuewen came back to her senses. She angrily berated Claire. "You came here to mess around instead of sleeping? Don't you know your body still hasn't fully healed yet?"
"I'm sorry to have worried you." Claire smiled and was about to fly down when she spotted a white figure approaching. Leng Lingyun also sensed it and turned around and saw the quickly approaching white figure. It was a human and their power was rather strong!
The people on foot also followed the two's gazes and saw the white figure speedily approaching. It was probably an expert attracted by the strange anomaly.
"Let's go, more people will come soon. We'll talk more after getting back," Leng Lingyun said quietly.
"Yes." Claire nodded. This place, Feng Hua city, was a hidden den of talents. Individuals who could traverse into Wandering Mountain were no ordinary people. Soon, there would be many people rushing over.
But when they were in the middle of conversing, someone had already come. It was a stern middle aged man draped in a long, moon-white robe, a golden belt around his waist. They felt an indescribable pressure emanate from him. He was staring at the flame wings behind Claire.
Claire and Leng Lingyun slowly descended and Claire dispersed the flame wings.
"Let's go," Claire said to everyone else.
"Wait. Little lass, did you see who caused the strange scene in the sky?" the stern middle aged man asked. In his heart, the middle aged man didn't think that it had been caused by any of the people before him. With the lightning from a few minutes ago, whoever was bearing it must have been injured whereas the people before him were perfectly fine. Clearly, they must have been attracted to the scene like he was and were just fortunate enough to be near at the right time so they were able to get here earlier than him.
"We didn't see. When we got here, there was already nobody around," Claire shook her head slightly, calm. They were just about to leave, but the middle aged man wasn't willing to let them go just yet.
"Wait, little lass."
"What is it?" Claire asked faintly.
"Are you from an ancient clan?" the middle aged man asked. His question was reasonable because of Claire's flame wings. They were definitely not magic nor Dou Qi.
Claire shook her head; she didn't plan on getting involved with the middle aged man. She turned around, about to leave.
But the middle aged man quickly stopped Claire.
"What else is it?" Claire frowned, a little annoyed.
"Do you know of a hidden sect on this continent?" When the middle aged man said this, a proud expression surfaced.
Claire stopped for a moment, shook her head, then looked towards Camille.
"Hidden Sect*, a formidable secret sect, a powerful force towering at the peak of the continent. All disciples of this sect are unordinary, all people of ancient clans with their own ancient techniques. Hidden Sect has over a thousand ancient techniques. Many people wish to join and find an ancient technique suitable for them. After all, Dou Qi and magic has its limits but there are countless variations of ancient techniques. Also, once you join you must follow the regulation of not interfering with the outside world." Camille's words made them apprehensive because Camille never exaggerated. Since he had already described the secret sect this way, it could only be imagined how powerful it was.
*TL: gah there's no way to tell when they are referencing A hidden sect or THE hidden sect, I asked my native Chinese friends but still, nope
Leng Lingyun's expression also shifted slightly. He knew a little about them. Even the pope avoided the subject, but because the Hidden Sect paid no attention to the outside world, the pope never worried that it would become a threat to the Temple of Light. But just because the Hidden Sect didn't pay attention to the outside world didn't mean they weren't capable. Rather, on the contrary, the Hidden Sect could decimate a country if they wanted to, and quite easily at that.
"Not bad, you actually know about our secret sect." The middle aged man smiled proudly, then said to Claire, "I am Elder Huo* Xiyu of the Hidden Sect. Today, I was impressed by you, little lass, and I felt you were worthy. Are you willing to join our Hidden Sect and become my direct disciple?"
*Elder means a high position in the sect b/c filial piety Chinese culture, and Huo means fire (TINY SPOILER: he specializes in fire)
Becoming the direct disciple of an Elder of the Hidden Sect was definitely an opportunity many people would yearn for. Becoming part of the Hidden Sect would mean having an extra shield. Not even the temple of light would be able to harm the shield. It would mean walking the path (*dao) of the strong.
But Claire refused without any hesitation. "No. Thank you for your kind intentions. We are currently engaged in business and we'll be taking our leave."
Huo Xiyu's expression changed. It was the first time he had offered to take on a disciple. Never did he think that this would be the result. The young girl had actually refused!
"Understand that by joining the Hidden Sect, your prospects will be limitless," Huo Xiyu started to explain, holding back his temper. He felt that perhaps, the little lass didn't understand how formidable the Hidden Sect was.
"I'm not interested," Claire once again refused coldly. She did not wish to be bound by shackles, and she already had a master. Not interfere with the outside world? There was no way she could ignore the Hill family, her warm mother and headstrong yet likable Lashia. She had been been craving to join Claire on her journey but in the end, stayed behind to protect Mother.
Huo Xiyu finally could not control his temper.
"Ignorant fool, do you know how many people want to join the Hidden Sect but are unable to join? Even though you are not from an ancient clan, I was going to make an exception and accept you as my disciple, but you foolishly refused!" Huo Xiyu was finally angered. To his understanding, making an exception and accepting a someone who was not from an ancient clan was already a earth shattering favor. But this girl before him actually dared to refuse such kindness!
Hearing this, Claire frowned and retorted, "There must be mutual agreement for a master-disciple relationship. So what if I'm unwilling? Besides, I already have a master."
But Huo Xiyu didn't care. Instead, he flew up, reaching out with the intentions of grabbing Claire unreasonably.
"Your talents will grow best under my teachings. Come with me right now."
Jean stopped him with his sword and brandished it towards Huo Xiyu, but a terrifying power suddenly exploded. Huo Xiyu was scowled and immediately waved his hand. A visible Qi energy attacked towards Jean. Jean's expression changed. Dou Qi bursted out as he parried with his sword.
Jean had been pushed back very far. A visible straight line trailed on the dirt ground.
Huo Xiyu laughed coldly and said disdainfully, "Humph! A trifling Sage warrior, an ant." In one moment, he had discovered Jean's true strength, but his tone was disdainful.
"Don't be unreasonable." Claire's expression hardened. According to Camille, the Hidden Sect was not simple, standing at the peak of the continent. How could a sect that even the narcissistic Camille praised be simple? She wanted to avoid any conflicts if it were possible.
"Making an exception and accepting you as my disciple as already a great favor! Go!" Huo Xiyu said coldly and arrogantly. He reached out to grab Claire again.
"Unreasonable and self aggrandizing! What bullshit Hidden Sect, actually daring to force someone to become a disciple! Is the Hidden Sect such a trashy sect?" Li Yuewen proclaimed angrily. She had already pulled out her dagger and was in front of Claire to protect her.
No! But before Claire could protest, Huo Xiyu had already exploded with fury.
"You dare!" Huo Xiyu roared. With one wave of his hand, a violent, large Qi energy attacked at Li Yuewen. Leng Lingyun immediately created a barrier, but Claire still pulled Li Yuewen behind her. The barrier wouldn't be able to withstand the blow. The Qi attack would smash and pass through the barrier and attack straight at Claire.