Chapter 234 - Return
"I would just give it up now, if I were you. Someone powerful is behind all this. Someone you don't want to cross." Shi Kun spoke slowly, with great intensity.
"I could not care less, I am here to become stronger." Ye Wei replied without hesitation.
"Does the name Qing Mu ring any bells? You might know him by his nickname, the Spiritualist!" Qian Dao joined in with a disdainful voice. "If you don't know the name then you should memorize it now, because he runs this place!"
"I didn't want to drop any names but Qian Dao is absolutely right, if Qing Mu doesn't want you to to get a return prime stone, then you just don't." Shi Kun threatened, "He will make your life here a living hell without moving a muscle."
"Do you mean the fifth strongest cultivator here?!" Ye Wei was both surprised and worried. 'And I was just starting to think these three were mad at me for beating their friends or something...'
'I haven't done anything to Qing Mu, he is one of the top cultivators here, why does he care if I get a return prime stone or not...'
"Qing Mu, the Spiritualist, wants the stone that you are holding right now!" Shi Kun said loudly and clearly, wanting to soften Ye Wei in front of the initiates so they would recognize his authority and mercy. "This can still end peacefully! It's your choice!"
"I will give you it if you ask nicely." Ye Wei chuckled as his glare turned cold. 'Nobody can stop me from breaking through, not even the strongest cultivator on the Black Dragon List!'
The black crystal shattered into shards as Ye Wei tightened his grip.
"How dare you!"
"You brought this to yourself!"
"Knock him out cold! Don't let him absorb the stone's energy!"
The trio yelled furiously as they launched themselves towards Ye Wei.
'If you are not going to show me respect, you will not see my mercy!' Shi Kun's eyes fired up while his hands made hundreds of seals. 'Mid-Earth stance, Polar Mountain Punch!'
The golden runes turned black as soon as they left his hand, condensing and forming a matt black energy layer that covered his knuckles. The layer enlarged, the dark outline of his fist became the size of a small mountain.
'The stance that got me into the Black Dragon Valley will knock you out of the list! You won't be able to defend your place if you are lying in bed!'
Qian Dao and Zhou Huan used their best stances. Both of them were mid-Earth stances but weaker than Shi Kun's strike.
Like the trio, most of the cultivators living in the Black Dragon Valley knew at least one simple mid-Earth stance, while the top three hundred all had a peak mid-Earth stance in their arsenal.
Shi Kun's dark landslide, Qian Dao's phantom blades and Zhou Huan's unstable shadow clones were simultaneously approaching Ye Wei. The whole realm trembled as the balance of energy was disturbed by the returned prime Warriors' strikes.
Inside the eye of the storm, Ye Wei stared at the incoming attackers with empty eyes. He was occupied by an overwhelming sensation, the surge of energy that escaped from the return prime stone shards.
He could not explain or describe what he felt but he was emulating the pulsation of the surge involuntarily.
'My Qi never really decay once I spend it, I can recompress the residue and return it to my meridians!' A moment of clarity inspired Ye Wei, his gaze regain focus as his mind brightened. 'All I need to do it to compress the residue energy in my system and establish a flow, that way my meridians will sustain pressure...'
His grunt lingered while his meridians strengthened to hold the new-found energy, the surge flowed through his whole body and completed a circuit as it reached his lower stomach, overloaded his dantian.
The silver ball in his dantian grew in size exponentially; the golden fissures widened, corroding away the silvery surface and transforming the Qi storage from the top layer to the core.
Once the entirety of energy ball became golden, the Qi it held refluxed into Ye Wei's meridians. The surge extended to each and every corner of his body, toughening his muscles, skin and bone. As he already dealt with the inner demon just a while ago, Ye Wei had now broken through.
'Third Supernova Evolution.' Standing just a few feet away from his opponents' stances, Ye Wei quickly compressed his Qi to protect himself.
The golden Qi in his meridians expanded, compressed and leaked out, covering his entire body and becoming a visible armor.
Meanwhile, the runic patterns on his bones span rapidly, absorbing and heating the golden energy.
'Four... no five-star returned prime level.' Ye Wei clenched his fist, feeling the immense strength he now had complete control over.
"Brilliant!" He smiled and fired his Qi swords at the stances in front of him.
The Qi swords penetrated the trio's stances within a second, leaving a trail of broken runes and unbounded energy behind.
"No! How is this possible!?" Shi Kun's legs started shaking as he screamed in desperation, stupefied by the sight. "He broke through just now! How is he able to control his Qi already... How can his presence be at five-star returned prime level?"
Although the trio had all heard how Ye Wei defeated the veterans with an amplification stance, none of them had a solution to neutralize the initiate with the strength and energy density of a five-star returned prime Warrior. They were left in shock, but prepared to defend themselves.
"Just one blow!?"
"How can Ye Wei be this far ahead of us?"
The initiates' jaws dropped, none of them could understand what they just saw.
"He only just used the stone! How could he have broken through already? And what's with the stance he just used?"
Even trained by the elites when they were growing up, none of the initiate could explain Ye Wei's performance by the logic they learned. They looked at Ye Wei with fascination and fear, wondering if their eyes failed to see a missing link that could help explain what had just happened.
"It seems to me that all the impossible and unexplainable things happen when Ye Wei is around..." Hong Hai was completely absent minded as he muttered while pinching himself.
Although the pain confirmed that he was not dreaming, his mind did not become any clearer. 'From the moment you saved me I have been wondering how you can be so strong, but now I realized it's pointless trying to explain. Maybe I should just try to follow your footstep, but how do I do that? How?'
"I would like you to send Qing Mu a message," Ye Wei glared at the trio and said clearly. "Tell him that I don't want to get involved in politics, and I respect everyone here as much as I resent cowardly, unreasonable, bullying acts!"
"He will regret it if he tries to pull this kind of stupid scheme again!" Ye Wei was frustrated by how he was making enemies without knowing.
After breaking through, a lot of Ye Wei's worries vanished. In possession of a hundred bottles of primal essence he was confident, as he knew he could improve his cultivation in a short amount of time.
'I can probably get to three-star level before the tournament if I invest my time to cultivating, but I can also finish the first stage of the Eternal Star Stance now that I am a returned prime Warrior. I think I will be able to handle Qing Mu when I finish both, he is only an eight-star returned prime Warrior after all...'
"Watch your mouth kid, the Spiritualist is not as forgiving as I am." Shi Kun tried to intimidate Ye Wei, but having just been defeated, he had no choice but letting Qing Mu's name do the threatening.
"I will watch my mouth if your leader learns to behave reasonably." Ye Wei stood up straight and replied slowly.
"You have eight days to be nice to your friends, you will need someone to feed you and clean your ass when you become paralyzed." Shi Kun realized it was pointless to stay, spat on ground and left with his acquaintances.
"I look forward to seeing you three in the ranking tournaments!" Ye Wei clenched his fist and kept his eyes on the fleeing trio as they left.
'As stated by the rules, we can only challenge someone higher ranked than ourselves, which means I am in control.' He thought to himself.
'I am strong enough to protect myself, there really is nothing I should worry about now as I am at returned prime level. Since there are still eight days left, I can take a bit of time off.'
'Hope they are doing fine without me around.' Ye Wei sighed, turned his focus back to the statues and started thinking about the state of his family. 'Wouldn't it be nice if more of them are returned prime Warriors?'