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Elder Huo was a respected man not just in the Workers District, but also in the Military District.

He first joined the Ivory Rock Military when he was 18, starting off as the lowest foot soldier. At that time, he was just a clueless young man hoping to depend on his st.u.r.dy body to garner some form of income for his family.

The harsh physical training was nothing to the hot-blooded young man, and Elder Huo simply endured through everything just like most of his peers. However, his first battle against the wild beasts completely changed his direction in life.

At that time, despite hearing the warning horns of the wall sentries, a group of workers had failed to return to the city in time. In response, Elder Huo and his squad of 10 men were sent out to rescue these people.

Even till this day, Elder Huo could still vividly recall the scene that greeted them when the squad arrived.

All that was left of the workers was just a pile of corpses, and a Steel Bristle Warthog stood domineeringly it, as if guarding its prized trophies.

It had simply stood there and watched with disdain as the rescue squad approached, as if they were nothing more than insects in its eyes.

Seeing the pile of corpses, the inexperienced squad charged forward in rage, but how would it be easy to beat the ferocious beast?

At that time, none of them had been able to recognise the Steel Bristle Warthog that had strength equivalent to a Peak Essence Building realm martial artist. But even if they had known, perhaps they would still be unable to resist the urge for revenge.

The end result was decided from the start.

Elder Huo was the only survivor, and that was only because he was the last one to attack. By then, the Steel Bristle Warthog could no longer be bothered to move in for the kill.

It took him great effort, struggling and limping as he made his way back to Ivory Rock City.

After returning, Elder Huo buried himself in martial arts cultivation, determined to eventually attain strength that could allow him to take his revenge. During this time, along with his rapidly increasing strength, his fame rose like a s.h.i.+ning star within the Ivory Rock Military.

Viewed as a promising young elite of the city, Elder Huo was pulled into multiple high level gatherings, and even managed to befriend many other young and uprising men and ladies of Ivory Rock City.

Everyone had great expectations of him, thinking that his future would be a stellar one. But what happened next shocked them all into disbelief.

When he hit the Intermediate Essence Building realm, Elder Huo could no longer wait any longer. He decided that he would rely on his superior technique and intellect to avenge his fallen comrades!

After spending half a year in the wilds, Elder Huo finally tracked down the Steel Bristle Warthog. It was a fierce battle and he fought valiantly with all the techniques at his disposal, but the result did not do him justice.

Once again, Elder Huo ended up defeated.

On top of that, he suffered a heavy blow to his back, almost resulting in his lower body being crippled as a result. If not for his Spiritual Essence protecting his spine, he might never have been able to make it back to Ivory Rock City in one piece.

After that day, Elder Huo had lost the light in his heart. With his martial path no longer illuminated by a sense of purpose, he felt like he was sinking in a muddy swamp, no longer able to progress in his cultivation realm.

Upon retiring from the Ivory Rock Military, he decided to move over to the Workers District, helping out whoever he could. This was his own way of atoning for his sins.

Yes, his sins.

It was a sin for not being able to rescue the workers.

It was a sin for lacking the strength required to avenge his comrades.

And it was a sin for being too weak hearted to continue pursuing his martial path.

These days, he could only find solace in helping out others who were just as weak as himself.

And now, he was prepared to once again help out a one-eyed young man named Ah Zhan, brought to him by his old friend.

As they were chatting, he suddenly felt the young man’s perception sweep over himself in an unbridled manner. While it was not the most polite thing to do, Elder Huo was actually more surprised than angered. Instinctively, he returned the favour.

However, much to his dismay, he was actually completely unable to see through the other party!

Since the other party was able to sweep his perception over him, Elder Huo was sure that he was a martial artist as well. If that was the case, Elder Huo not being able to see through Ah Zhan could only mean one thing.

Ah Zhan’s cultivation realm was higher than his!

What sort of concept was this?

Not to mention that the other party was just a random kid living in the Workers District, he was also only a brat who looked to be 15 to 16 year old!

How did he manage to exceed Intermediate Essence Building realm at his age?

Even if he was secretly a martial artist from Ivory Rock Academy, such cultivation speed was unheard of!

This level of talent… even the recently named Holy Guardian, Lu Tianzi, would pale in comparison!

“This… Advanced Essence Building realm? Or even higher?” Elder Huo exclaimed in shock.

The young man before him tensed up for a moment before giving a perplexed look, “My cultivation realm? You mean my Spiritual Essence cultivation realm?”

“Of course! What else can I be referring to? What realm are you actually at?” Elder Huo’s eyes were widened in amazement, not even daring to blink as he gave the young man a good look-over.

Elder Huo would never know this, but this seemingly impolite outburst of his was what actually allowed him to live past this day.

Just as he was scanning the other party from head to toe, Lu Tianzi was focusing hard on Elder Huo’s facial expressions.

After being betrayed by Hu Yuanbo, it was not an overstatement to say that Lu Tianzi had developed a bit of trust issues towards others. Thus he naturally considered the possibility that Elder Huo might be acting at the moment.

However, there were always two sides to a coin.

Even though killing off this Elder Huo would ensure that his Slaughter Essence cultivation was kept a secret, he would also still have to deal with the aftermath of the murder, including still having to deal with that Gong Shengjie.

On the other hand, judging from how Elder Huo’s outburst came almost instantaneously and was only about his high cultivation realm, it was unlikely that Elder Huo had discovered the Slaughter Essence system within Lu Tianzi.

After all, if Lu Tianzi were to only sense Slaughter Essence in someone acting as a human, he would never have thought of acting by saying the other party had a higher cultivation realm, because it simply would not make sense!

Instead, he would immediately make a move to take down the other party who obviously had a lower cultivation realm than himself!

Moreover, a martial artist’s first reaction upon sensing a demon’s Slaughter Essence should be to sweep his perception to the tail area of the other party, and Elder Huo had not done that at all.

If Elder Huo truly had not discovered the Slaughter Essence in his body, then perhaps he could still come up with a story to persuade Elder Huo against spreading the news about him?

After all, the news of a talented youth was far less earth-shaking than that of a demon infiltrating Ivory Rock City. From what he had seen of Elder Huo’s temperament, he did not seem to be the gossipy type.

Of course, Lu Tianzi had also mistaken Hu Yuanbo for the righteous type. But after suffering from such a betrayal, the way Lu Tianzi looked at people had also changed.

Since the moment he felt Elder Huo’s perception sweep over him, Lu Tianzi had not missed a single change in expression on Elder Huo’s face, and everything seemed extremely genuine to him.

At the same time, he had been discreetly spreading out his perception to observe Elder Huo’s every movement, at the same time careful not to be detected by Elder Huo. This was only made possible by his higher cultivation realm, allowing him to bypa.s.s the perception of the other party.

“Advanced… what?” Uncle Ye asked from the side in confusion. As a worker who had never come into contact with cultivation, he understandably did not know the names of the different cultivation realms.

“Elder Huo was talking about how hard I have been training my body,” Lu Tianzi smiled as he raced to answer first. “Elder Huo is truly a man from the military, managing to immediately uncover the amount of hard work I have been putting into training my body.”

Hearing that, Elder Huo looked at Lu Tianzi in bewilderment. At that moment, Elder Huo heard a voice ring out in his ears.

“I would like it if Elder Huo could do me a favour and hide the fact that I am a martial artist for the time being.”

This was voice conveyance, a unique ability of martial artists who had taken a full step into cultivation. By drawing on the Spiritual Essence within their inner world, martial artists were able to speak directly to another person’s mind without anyone else hearing of the content.

“For what reason do you wish to hide it?” Elder Huo naturally asked the first question that came to his mind.

“I have never wanted to let others know about the fact that I have been cultivating as a martial artist. As a martial artist yourself, I am sure Elder Huo is aware of how people can be jealous of others with higher talent, and even plot against them behind their backs. Even if nothing else, Gong Shengjie currently sees me as a rival. With his influential background supporting him, what does Elder Huo think Gong Shengjie would do if he were to find out the fact that I am actually an accomplished martial artist?” Lu Tianzi answered.

“What do you think he would do?” Elder Huo could roughly surmise what Lu Tianzi was trying to say, but he only returned the question, wanting to hear it for himself.

“If I were him, I would immediately report this to the Military District. Even if I am unable to tie up my love rival with some made up crime of undermining the city authorities, I will still make sure that my love rival end up conscripted into the military as a stay in officer, unable to leave the Military District while I continue my pursuit of the girl. At the same time, though it might be a little underhanded, I will be able to do whatever I want to my love rival since he will be restricted in the military.” Lu Tianzi replied.

“That includes poisoning my love rival.”

When Elder Huo heard the last few words, his expression immediately turned into a deep frown.

While Elder Huo did not believe that Gong Shengjie had such a vicious personality, it was a fact that with Gong Shengjie’s influence, he would be capable of doing something like that if he wanted.

Thus, what Lu Tianzi said sounded like valid concerns.

For the other party’s safety, it might be better to err on the side of caution.

In fact, only an instant had pa.s.sed since they started voice conveyance. Even though they had exchanged quite a few words, they were actually sending their thoughts directly to each other’s minds, so it was much more time efficient than communicating through speaking.

Since he was neither part of the conversation, nor had he noticed Elder Huo’s frown, Uncle Ye was still left behind at the point when Lu Tianzi praised Elder Huo for having noticed his well-trained body.

Uncle Ye laughed heartily and patted Lu Tianzi on the shoulder, “No wonder you were trying to hunt for animals yesterday. Looks like you have been training hard for it! It’s just too bad that hunting actually requires more technique than strength, so you might need to stop blindly training in your body strength from now on!”

“Please stop taking a dig at me, Uncle Ye, I am already feeling quite bad about yesterday!” Lu Tianzi gave a sheepish laugh in response, but his eyes never left Elder Huo’s face. “Now I finally know that sometimes we have to use our brains and plan ahead. Otherwise, things might turn out badly for ourselves.”

“Sometimes you must use your brains and plan ahead. Otherwise, things might turn out badly for ourselves? That is true indeed.” Elder Huo understood that there were multiple ways to interpret this statement, and that other interpretations could only be meant for his ears.

Ah Zhan was trying to say that he was merely planning for his own safety so that he would not end up being trapped by Gong Shengjie.

Or… was Ah Zhan telling him to consider his own circ.u.mstances, and that something untoward would happen to him if he did not do as Ah Zhan asked?

That should not be the case… right?

Elder Huo ignored the chill that went down his spine, and continued speaking, “This matter is settled then. As long as you are willing to lower your head, this should not be a difficult matter to resolve. Would you be okay with that?”

“Lower my head?” Lu Tianzi immediately understood Elder Huo’s intention upon hearing his suggestion.

Indeed, Gong Shengjie had the advantage of having a more influential background, so it would be tough to expect him to initiate any reconciliation. If Lu Tianzi were to apologise for causing a misunderstanding, then it would be easier for things to be resolved.

In order to get this ridiculous matter over and done with, Lu Tianzi thought it was a good idea and did not mind lowering his head in apology. After all, he would lose nothing from uttering a few words of pleasantries.

“That will not be a problem for me,” Lu Tianzi quickly agreed.

“Good!” Elder Huo nodded in satisfaction upon seeing how flexible Lu Tianzi was. “I would have to send a few letters for this matter so I’d better get to work now. For this matter, the faster we resolve it, the better. Is there anything else you need?”

“That’s true! There’s nothing else so we should get going then. Thank you for the help as always, Elder Huo!” Uncle Ye exclaimed.

“Thank you for the help, Elder Huo!” Lu Tianzi clasped his fists towards the elder and smiled.

“This is what I should do,” Elder Huo nodded in response, and the duo promptly left the house.

As they left, Lu Tianzi made sure to remember the exact house that Elder Huo lived in and how to get there.

For all he knew, he might have to pay this Elder Huo another visit in the near future.

But one thing still left him confused.

Why was Elder Huo unable to detect the Slaughter Essence particles within his body?

Elder Huo’s Intermediate Essence Building realm in the Spiritual Essence system should definitely be sufficient to detect his Primary Essence Building realm in the Slaughter Essence system.

Could it be that as long as his cultivation realm in the Spiritual Essence system was higher than the other party, then it did not matter how low his cultivation realm was in the Slaughter Essence system?

If this were the case, even though it would not completely solve his problems, it was still better than nothing!

Lu Tianzi really hoped to put his hypothesis to the test so that he could finally be certain of how his body worked, but just how should he go about confirming this?

———-

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