The middle-aged man’s face flushed as if he wanted to struggle, but he was unable to do so.
“What, you’re unwilling to submit?” Duan Ling Tian’s gaze went cold as he applied pressure with his leg.
The middle-aged man’s face went pale and slowly became ghastly pale, then his body started to tremble…
Suddenly, Duan Ling Tian withdrew his leg.
The middle-aged man took deep and heavy breaths for a long time before finally recovering, then he looked at Duan Ling Tian with an icy cold gaze.
Duan Ling Tian paid no attention to this as he indifferently said, “If you acknowledge me as your liege, I can help remove the Origin-Sealing Parasite within you.”
“You know of the Origin-Sealing Parasite?” The middle-aged man’s pupils constricted and astonishment filled his face.
As far as he knew, the Origin-Sealing Parasite was something that was absolutely impossible to be known by anyone in a small kingdom like this.
But the violet-clothed youth in front of him seemed to be well versed on the Origin-Sealing Parasite, and most importantly, he had the Boundless Sect’s Young Sect Master’s Spatial Ring on his hand.
“You’re really able to remove the Origin-Sealing Parasite within me?” The middle-aged man took a deep breath as his eyes flickered.
“What, you doubt me?”
Duan Ling Tian swept the middle-aged man with a cold and indifferent gaze as he spoke. “Now tell me all about why you’re infected with the Origin-Sealing Parasite and why you’re here in the Crimson Sky Kingdom.”
The middle-aged man caught his breath. “I’m Xiong Quan, the Guardian of the Boundless Sect. I and the Young Sect Leader successfully fled the scene when the Boundless Sect tragically met with the calamity of annihilation. In an effort to save ourselves, we each led away some of our pursuers. Although I was lucky and managed to flee my pursuers later on, the Origin-Sealing Parasite that I was infected with finally took effect, and I was only able to walk for a while in my sorry state before finally losing my strength and falling unconscious. When I next came to my senses, I noticed that I was locked up and branded with the mark of a slave!” As he finished speaking, Xiong Quan gnashed his teeth.
The dignified Guardian of the Boundless Sect had actually become a slave…
In the beginning, he even thought of dying; however, in the end, he gritted his teeth and persevered.
He believed that he would someday be able to remove the Origin-Sealing Parasite and recover his strength.
At that time, he would annihilate the group of people that gave him this slave brand!
“So that’s what happened…. Your Spatial Ring actually wasn’t taken by them.” Duan Ling Tian glanced at Xiong Quan’s right hand.
On Xiong Quan’s right middle finger was a rust-stained ring which no one would take a second look at, but Duan Ling Tian, however, was able to discern that it was a Spatial Ring… and maybe it was precisely because Xiong Quan’s Spatial Ring was so inconspicuous that it wasn’t taken away.
Xiong Quan had a vigilant expression as he put away his Spatial Ring.
Duan Ling Tian stared blankly for a moment before ordering, “Remove the ownership and give it to me!”
Xiong Quan’s face distorted before turning into a face full of bitterness as he helplessly removed his Spatial Ring’s ownership and passed it over to Duan Ling Tian.
Duan Ling Tian dripped his blood and established ownership before looking within. What he saw, however, was that it only contained some grade seven medicinal pills, and a narrow saber, which was a grade seven spirit weapon.
“Just this pile of trash?” Duan Ling Tian frowned as he casually removed his ownership of the Spatial Ring and tossed it back to Xiong Quan.
The corners of Xiong Quan’s mouth twitched. “Who the heck is this youth? Even grade seven spirit weapons and grade seven medicinal pills are considered trash to him?”
“Little… Little Brother…”
Xiong Quan looked at Duan Ling Tian as he spoke; however, he couldn’t even finish what he wanted to say before being interrupted by Duan Ling Tian with a frown. “Who’s your little brother!? I’ll give you one last chance. If you don’t acknowledge me as your liege, then I won’t let you live, let alone remove the poison within you.”
As Duan Ling Tian finished speaking, his body emitted a dense killing intent.
Xiong Quan let out a deep breath of cold air before speaking in a composed manner. “I want to know what happened to the Young Sect Leader. If the Young Sect Leader was killed by you, then I would rather die than acknowledge you as my liege!”
Duan Ling Tian glanced at Xiong Quan with a slightly surprised gaze. “I didn’t notice earlier that you were a man of such integrity.”
Xiong Quan grunted in reply.
“When I found your Young Sect Leader, he was already on the verge of death and left a Voice Transmission Jade Slip to me. He requested that I pass another Voice Transmission Jade Slip to an old man called Shangguan Yan. I’ll give you the Voice Transmission Jade Slip to discern its authenticity once I’ve removed your poison and helped you recover your Origin Energy,” Duan Ling Tian said indifferently.
“Young Sect Leader!” Xiong Quan cried out in grief and his aged face was drowned in tears.
In the end, he stopped his tears before bowing to Duan Ling Tian. “My liege.”
Duan Ling Tian glanced indifferently at Xiong Quan. “I will spare no effort in removing the poison within you, but I’ll have to leave a contingency. I’ll have you consume another type of highly toxic poison.”
Xiaong Quan’s face instantly went ghastly pale.
“Don’t worry, the effects of the poison I’ll give you will only recur every six months, so as long as I give you the antidote, you’ll be able to live without worry for six months. This is also my method of preventing you from going back on your word once you recover your Origin Energy,” Duan Ling Tian added.
Xiong Quan’s eyes flashed with a bright light and his face was filled with bitterness.
He never imagined that this youth would think so far ahead, as he really had such thoughts earlier.
“Don’t have any hopes of getting lucky, I’m an alchemist.” Duan Ling Tian withdrew his Alchemist Guild Grade Nine Alchemist Crest and shook it at Xiong Quan’s face before putting it away.
“Grade Nine Alchemist…” Xiong Quan’s face froze. “This youth that looks to be around the age of 17 is actually a Grade Nine Alchemist? There was never such a young Grade Nine Alchemist even in the Azure Forest Imperial Kingdom.”
“Follow me back to Iron Blood City tomorrow and I’ll refine the medicinal pill to remove your Origin-Sealing Parasite. However, my current cultivation is limited, so I’m only able to refine a medicinal pill capable of removing one third of the Origin-Sealing Parasite’s poison within you at most… What was your cultivation level when you were at your prime?” Duan Ling Tian asked Xiong Quan as he briefed him.
“Sixth level of the Void Prying Stage,” Xiong Quan said respectfully.
“Sixth level of the Void Prying Stage?”
Duan Ling Tian’s brows raised before he rubbed his chin. “Your cultivation should be able to recover to the Nascent Soul Stage after one third of the poison is removed. As for what level of the Nascent Soul Stage, that would depend on your own fortune.”
“I can’t completely recover?” Xiong Quan’s expression froze and he was slightly disappointed.
“Hmph! I’m only a Grade Nine Alchemist right now, so the strength of my Pill Fire is limited. Once I step into the Origin Core Stage, I can become a Grade Eight Alchemist, and at that time I can remove another one third of the poison within you. Once I step into the seventh level of the Origin Core Stage and become a Grade Seven Alchemist, it will be sufficient to help you completely remove the poison within your body!”
“In other words, once I step into the seventh level of the Origin Core Stage, your cultivation will recover to its prime!”
Duan Ling Tian swept Xiong Quan with a cold and indifferent gaze. “What, can’t wait?”
“I’m very satisfied with that” Xiong Quan hurriedly shook his head. It was more than enough to him that he would be able to recover his strength in this lifetime, and he was just momentarily blinded by his desire earlier.
At dawn the next day, Duan Ling Tian brought Xiong Quan along as he followed Yang Da back to Iron Blood City.
At this moment, Xiong Quan was wearing a mask that covered half his face, and with it the slave brand on his face.
Upon arrival at Iron Blood City, Duan Ling Tian gave Xiong Quan some silver to stay at a predetermined inn before following Yang Da back to the Iron Blood Army campsite.
Only now did Duan Ling Tian find out that he was the first Genius Camp member to complete the mission and return.
“Only another month remains from the one year deadline, but none the other 28 youths have completed their missions and returned! Looks like the places they went were extremely far as well,” Duan Ling Tian guessed in his heart.
As expected, Duan Ling Tian was once again summoned by the Iron Blood Army’s Commander, Teng Yun Hai, and this summon was a banquet that the Commander specially held in honor of Duan Ling Tian’s return.
During the banquet, besides Commander Teng Yun Hai and Vice Commander Qiao Qing Shan, another seven Captains, including Yang Da, were present. And thus, the high-ranking generals that were garrisoned at the Iron Blood Army campsite were all present.
“Duan Ling Tian, on behalf of the Iron Blood Army, we raise this cup of wine in your honor! From today onwards, the Black Armor Army is nothing to be afraid of!” Teng Yun Hai laughed heartily as he raised his cup.
The others raised their cups as well. As far as the Iron Blood Army was concerned, the Black Armor Army losing the assistance of the Lian Clan was comparable to losing its wings.
“Cheers!” Duan Ling Tian raised his cup as well before draining the cup with one gulp.
“Satisfying! They do say that heroes get their start when they are youngsters. This has been really eye-opening to me.” A Captain looked at Duan Ling Tian as he led the praise.
Subsequently, the remaining Captains weren’t stingy with their praise to Duan Ling Tian.
After the banquet ended, Duan Ling Tian followed Teng Yun Hai into the largest tent in the Iron Blood Army’s campsite, or in other words, Teng Yun Hai’s tent.
“Duan Ling Tian, I didn’t think that you would really be able to complete that mission.” Teng Yun Hai sighed.
Duan Ling Tian’s gaze flickered. “What? Commander, if you weren’t confident, then why did you give me that mission?”
Teng Yun Hai smiled as he spoke. “By your tone, it seems you have some slight resentment?”
“Commander, Sir, where’s my proof of qualification?” Duan Ling Tian didn’t reply to Teng Yun Hai but instead spread out his hand, obviously not interested in staying at this place for long.
Teng Yun Hai raised his hand and passed a document of proof to Duan Ling Tian. “The time to head to Paladin Academy and register starts half a year from now and ends a year from that time. You can prepare to start your journey as soon as you return home. If you bring your family along in a wagon, if would require around a year’s time to travel from Aurora City to the Imperial City.”
“You investigated me?” Duan Ling Tian frowned and was slightly displeased.
“Don’t worry, I had no ill intentions.” The smile on Teng Yun Hai’s face never faded.
“Farewell.” Duan Ling Tian put away the proof of qualification and turned around before leaving.
“He’s still young but already has a mild temper…. Duan Ru Feng, you have a good son.” Teng Yun Hai’s eyes flashed with a trace of admiration.
Since Duan Ling Tian was currently considered to have passed the Genius Camp training, the rules he had to follow as a member of the Genius Camp were abolished and he could freely enter and leave the Iron Blood Army’s campsite.
After leaving the Iron Blood Army’s campsite, he found a few medicine stores and obtained sufficient medicinal materials before heading to the inn to look for Xiong Quan.
“My liege.” Xiong Quan knew how to behave now and displayed respect and reverence in front of Duan Ling Tian.
“Stand guard for me as I refine the poison removal pill for you.” Duan Ling Tian flicked his sleeve before directly entering the room.
Hearing what he said caused Xiong Quan to reply in excitement before respectfully standing guard outside the door like a guardian deity.
In the room, Duan Ling Tian separated the medicinal materials into categories before picking them up one by one and placing them into the cauldron. A Pill Fire appeared on his hand before he pushed it into the cauldron.
Tongues of flames shot out of the cauldron and then the cauldron started trembling.
Two hours later, Duan Ling Tian finished up and retrieved the three medicinal pills that flickered with a green stream of light which shot out of the cauldron.