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“Dad, don't misunderstand, I and Hao Jing only came across each other by coincidence. There's nothing between us,” Ling Xi explained with a smile.
“Really?” Ling Han asked in suspicion.
“Really!” Ling Xi said with a nod.
Only at this moment did Ling Han chuckle and say, “And I was just thinking, that pretty boy has such inferior looks, so how could he be worthy of my precious daughter?”
Ling Xi was rendered speechless. Hao Jing also had a powerful background, with his father being a Fifth Tier Heavenly Venerate. In the martial academy, he belonged to the group of people who could do as they pleased. She naturally had no intentions of praising Hao Jing, since there was nothing between them anyway. Moreover, she didn't want Ling Han to draw any incorrect conclusions.
She accompanied Ling Han downstairs, where they saw Hao Jing awkwardly standing around. Meanwhile, the breathtaking Empress was like a lone moon appreciating her own beauty, completely ignoring Hao Jing. This caused him to feel extremely uneasy and fidgety.
Upon seeing Ling Han, Hao Jing hurriedly walked over to pay his respects, saying, “Greetings, Uncle! I'm Hao Jing!” He appeared like a modest and respectful young man.
“That, um… Good times don't last long—” Ling Han immediately caught himself, realizing that he couldn't say this to Hao Jing's face. “Hao Jing, Hao Jing, why did you come here?”
He was confident that his precious daughter had no feelings for this man. However, this Hao Jing was definitely interested in his daughter. Thus, he had to take preventative measures. F*ck! This person actually dared to covet his precious little daughter!
Hao Jing's expression involuntarily darkened. He was a Pseudo-Heavenly Venerate who was imminently going to ascend to the paramount ranks of the world, yet this person was actually cursing him?
However, because of Ling Xi, he naturally couldn't lose his temper. Moreover, he couldn't gauge Ling Han's strength, either, and he could only sense that this person was as vast and boundless as the sea. However, there was no aura around him, and he appeared just like an ordinary person.
This was because Ling Han wasn't simply nurturing the Powers of Dimension inside him like other ordinary Heavenly Venerates. Instead, he was nurturing these dimensions in each individual cell, forming a myriad of mini Genesis Worlds.
These cells combined to form a perfect whole, so it was only natural that not a sliver of power or aura would leak into the surroundings. Of course, this was unless he desired to do so.
“Uncle, you really like to tell jokes,” Hao Jing said with a smile, clearing up the awkwardness in the air. He then continued, “I also wanted to explore this ancient ruin, and I coincidentally came across Junior Sister Ling on the way.”
Ling Han chuckled, and said, “Aren't you a Pseudo-Heavenly Venerate? Is there still any need to go to the ruins of a Celestial King? Can this help your cultivation?”
Hao Jing involuntarily faltered upon hearing this. However, his reaction was extremely quick, and he immediately replied, “In truth, I especially followed Junior Sister Ling there. This ruin was left by a Ninth Heaven Celestial King, but Junior Sister Ling is only at the Fourth Heaven, so I was worried about her safety.”
‘Oh, what flowery words. Not only is he earnest, but also hinting care for Ling Xi's wellbeing. There's also a hidden expression of love, yet it's done in an extremely natural manner. Even if Ling Xi isn't interested in him, it will still be difficult to reject, no?
‘Heh, he's quite experienced at doing this.”
Ling Han felt an even greater dislike for the young man. How could he hand his daughter over to such a person?
“How did it go?” he asked.
“Not bad. However, in the end, we triggered a restriction left by the Ninth Heaven Celestial King, and caused the entire ruin to collapse,” Hao Jing replied calmly.
This was only natural. He was a Pseudo-Heavenly Venerate, so even if the Ninth Heaven Celestial King came back to life, they still wouldn't be able to harm him at all. Not to mention that this was only a restriction placed after their death.
Ling Han kept the conversation going with a series of questions, allowing him to learn almost everything he could about Hao Jing.
In fact, it could be said that Hao Jing's background was quite astonishing. He was the only son of a Fifth Tier Heavenly Venerate, and he was also quite an extraordinary talent himself. In just three billion years, he had already become a Pseudo-Heavenly Venerate. How many people could achieve this?
If it had been any other Fourth Heaven Celestial King that had been pursued by Hao Jing like this, perhaps she would have already offered her heart and body to him. However, even though Ling Xi appeared extremely calm and indifferent, she was in fact just as proud as the Empress. This kind of prodigy couldn't catch her attention.
At the very least, Hao Jing hadn't found a way to catch her attention.
Since his daughter didn't like him, Ling Han couldn't be bothered interrogating Hao Jing any further, either. He turned to Ling Xi, and asked, “Darling, are you going to come home for a few days this time?”
“Sure!” Ling Xi replied with a nod. After being apart for so many years, it was indeed time for her to go home and accompany her parents.
“Alright, then rest up now. We'll set off tomorrow,” Ling Han said with a wave. His daughter had just come back from an adventure, so she naturally needed to take a good rest.
In fact, Ling Xi also had a small world inside her. Upon activating it, she could possess power that rivaled those at the Pseudo-Heavenly Venerable Tier. Thus, how could a restriction set by a measly Ninth Heaven Celestial King pose any danger to her? Would she be tired? Would she need to rest?
However, one had to remember that Ling Han was a father, one who doted on his daughter like there was no tomorrow. Thus, his actions couldn't be explained with reason.
The four of them settled down. However, Hao Jing quickly went to look for Ling Xi.
“Junior Sister Ling, your parents are quite mighty and intimidating. I was so afraid that I went weak at the knees,” Hao Jing purposefully said.
Ling Xi smiled faintly, and said, “It's rare for my dad to be so serious. He's actually quite easy to get along with.”
Hao Jing grumbled in his mind. That was called easy to get along with? Toward her, perhaps. He chuckled, and said, “Under your father's interrogation, I even revealed the time that I stole eggs from a bird's nest when I was young. Oh, that's right, I still don't know your father's name.”
Ling Xi hesitated for a brief moment. She knew just how much of a trouble magnet Ling Han was. Even now, there were some in the martial academy who wanted to give him a good beating. According to rumors, there were more so hundreds of elites in the Flaming Frost Realm who wanted to capture her father.
Why did she need to conceal her identity as Ling Han's daughter? This was naturally because Ling Han didn't want those he had offended to take their revenge on her.
Ling Xi initially didn't want to say. However, since Hao Jing had already met her father, and since he was also being so earnest, it would be wrong of her to lie to him, even if she didn't accept his feelings.
Thus, after thinking over this for a moment, she replied, “My dad's name is Ling Han.”
“Ling Han?” Hao Jing murmured. He then wore an ashamed expression as he said, “Sorry, Junior Sister Ling, I've never heard of your father's great name before.”
Ling Xi didn't mind this. Even though Ling Han's “evil name” was still talked about in the martial academy, it had indeed already been a long time since those events. The disciples from that time had either already died in battle or already become Heavenly Venerates and left the martial academy.
Thus, there were indeed few students who still knew Ling Han's name. As such, it was no surprise that Hao Jing hadn't heard the legends about Ling Han.
“However, Uncle should be a Heavenly Venerate, right?” Hao Jing asked. “Even though his aura was hidden, he still caused me to feel a powerful pressure.”
Ling Xi nodded, saying, “My dad is a First Tier Heavenly Venerate.”
“No wonder!” Hao Jing exclaimed as he slapped his thigh. “Aunty is also as beautiful as a fairy, so it's no wonder that she gave birth to an exquisite beauty like Junior Sister Ling.”
Ling Xi simply replied with a faint smile. She was naturally a gentle and quiet person, so she didn't feel anything from such words of praise.
Hao Jing also knew that his words of flattery had been useless, so he smiled, and said, “Junior Sister, rest well, I'll take my leave first.”
Ling Xi politely saw him out.
The door swung shut.
Hao Jing's smile slowly disappeared, with a sharp glint appearing in his eyes. “Ling Han! It's actually Ling Han! Who would've thought that I would meet that rumored freak here?
“However… Hehehehe, this is truly an opportunity granted by the heavens!” he murmured in a soft voice that only he could hear.
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