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The male gold-armored imperial guard looked rugged. He appeared calm and was not argumentative as he cupped his hands. “It was us who shattered the spiritual power-clone of yours, sir. We are willing to pay you 20 sacred herbs as compensation and hope you, sir, will let us go for the sake of the prince of Dizu.”
Zhang Ruochen walked up to him, his eyes looking past them at the cliff behind them. “Twenty sacred herbs? You must be kidding me! There are over twenty of them just on the cliff in front of me.”
“You must not have known, Sir. The sacred herbs are widely scattered throughout this planet. The cliff you see here is a rare land of treasure. Collecting twenty sacred herbs in one place isn’t something easy,” replied the male imperial guard unhurriedly.
While speaking, he took out a wooden box and handed it in front of Zhang Ruochen.
A sacred glow accompanied by a strong herbal aroma hit him as soon as the wooden box was opened.
Apparently, they were canny. When they knew that they could not get away from Zhang Ruochen, they quickly offered the sacred herbs to him while pressuring him with the prince of Dizu’s name.
Zhang Ruochen took the wooden box. Using a Divine Purification Flame, he refined the sacred herbs into liquid droplets and consumed it.
The male and female imperial guards stood in front of Zhang Ruochen and would not dare to do anything stupid.
They knew that this cripple in front of them was powerful. Neither a surprised attack nor fleeing would work.
Half an hour later, Zhang Ruochen reopened his eyes, his body glowing with sacred light.
“Not bad. I gained seven thousand precepts this time.”
He nodded in satisfaction. “You two collect all the sacred herbs from the cliff for me.”
The female imperial guard appeared displeased. “We are the imperial guards of the Dizu Divine Dynasty. What makes you think you can order us to work for you? Just kill us. We won’t be your slaves.”
“The prince of Dizu? He is nobody to me. Let alone you two! Since you two ask for death, I would be happy to oblige,” said Zhang Ruochen.
The female imperial guard gritted her teeth. As she was about to kill herself, the male imperial guard stopped her.
He then cupped his hands in respect. “We will do as you say, collecting the sacred herbs for you.”
Zhang Ruochen looked on as the two went to do what they were told, a smile flashing across his face. “Don’t hurt the roots of the sacred herbs. Who knows, they might regrow next time.”
After the two gold-armored imperial guards harvested all the sacred herbs from the cliff, Zhang Ruochen continued to refine the herbs on the spot and ignored the two. Another one hour had passed when the number of precepts in his Sea of Qi increased by over 19,000.
His body could not have felt better. The Saint Qi was full to the brim and every drop of his blood was boiling.
Following immediately, he once again looked at the two imperial guards. “You two must have stayed in Luoshui for a long time, haven’t you? With the help of the sacred herbs, no wonder your cultivation base has improved so quickly.”
The two imperial guards’ faces changed subtly.
“Our cultivation base is not worth mentioning, sir,” said the male imperial guard.
Zhang Ruochen snickered, then struck at lightning speed at the male imperial guard’s chest with this finger
Having a high alertness, the male imperial guard bounced backward at almost the same time as Zhang Ruochen made his move.
At the same time, he summoned a small golden shield in front of his body.
Earlier, when Zhang Ruochen attacked the other gold-armored imperial guards of the Dizu Divine Dynasty, they did not even have time to react and were blown away.
Compared with the two imperial guards in front of him, they were many times weaker.
But the little golden shield could not withstand the energy beam shot out of Zhang Ruochen’s finger. It flew backward upon impact, crashing straight on the imperial guard’s chest, sending him flying backward.
The heart was one of the weak points of the Immortal Vampires.
Once wounded, it would defeat the Shapeshifting technique of the Immortal Vampires.
The male imperial guard half-kneeled on the ground, his body and appearance changing. He was now young and handsome, his facial features sharp. He was none other than Qi Sheng, the prince of Qitian.
Ying Huo, the Immortal Goddess, knew that she could no longer hide herself. So she revealed her true appearance and struck several needles that were as small as cow hair at Zhang Ruochen.
Zhang Ruochen parried with an Armor of Words, deflecting all the needles.
He then put his hands behind him and walked over. “Qi Sheng, the prince of Qitian. Ying Huo, the Immortal Goddess.”
“Zhang Ruochen!” Qi Sheng looked at him.
“Not bad! You have even found out who I am!” Zhang Ruochen was somewhat surprised.
Qi Sheng saw that Zhang Ruochen looked like a cripple. “Not that hard to find out. Who doesn’t know that a cripple who practices Path of Dimension has appeared nearby Luoshui?”
“You look like a smart man.”
In the blink of an eye, Zhang Ruochen had shifted beside Qi Sheng.
A streak of blood marks appeared on Qi Sheng’s face. Qi Sheng struck his hand out but missed the target.
Before he knew it, Zhang Ruochen already appeared beside Ying Huo.
Just when Ying Huo tried to parry, Zhang Ruochen had returned to the spot where he had been standing.
The entire process happened in the blink of an eye, as if Zhang Ruochen had never left the spot where he stood. Now, Zhang Ruochen was holding something in his hands: a bangle and a ring. Both were storage devices.
The faces of Qi Sheng and Ying Huo could not have looked graver.
Zhang Ruochen examined the bangle and ring, then took out from within wooden boxes filled with over three hundred sacred herbs.
But since Zhang Ruochen had taken the sacred herbs earlier, consuming more would not help increase the precepts.
Ying Huo took a Thousand Beast Treasure Mirror. “Give us back the sacred herbs, Zhang Ruochen!” she snapped.
He shot Ying Huo a look, then took out yet something else from the bangle and ring. It was cauldron after cauldron of blood.
Zhang Ruochen’s face turned frosty. “You two have killed the mortals living on the shore of Luoshui?”
Ying Huo and Qi Sheng had sensed a murderous intention within Zhang Ruochen. So they decided to act.
Lines of inscription appearing on the The Compendium of Thousand Beasts shimmered in bloody-red glow. A large swarm of vampire bats rushed out of the mirror toward Zhang Ruochen.
“How dare you resist!”
Divine Purification Flame spurted out of Zhang Ruochen’s mouth and set those vampire bats on fire in a cloud of flames. All vampire bats of Saint Kinghood and below were burned to ashes, the rest beating a hasty retreat and fleeing into the distance.
Just when Ying Huo was about to summon other sacred beasts, Zhang Ruochen had shifted beside her and struck her right shoulder with his hand.
She fell to the ground, half of the bones in her body shattered.
Qi Sheng had already attained Five-step Saint Kinghood in his cultivation. Raising his hand to prop up a Godslayer Cross-Shield, he struck it down at Zhang Ruochen.
The shield was over one thousand feet tall. The Origin of Divinity power given out by the shield turned the sky within a few hundred miles of the shield red.
This was a move that not even a Seven-step Saint King could take.
Qi Sheng had always been a genius. Also, he had a divine ancient artifact like the Godslayer Cross-Shield. This enabled him to fight cross-border battles, making him many times more powerful than many elites in the Celestial Court.
Yet Zhang Ruochen grabbed the shield barehanded and neutralized all the power Qi Sheng was using.
“How could he be this powerful?” Qi Sheng was in disbelief.
Zhang Ruochen gripped the shield and yanked it at Qi Sheng, sending him crashing into the cliff.
Qi Sheng was badly injured, losing all his combat strength.
Zhang Ruochen then used a Divine Purification Flame to consume the The Compendium of Thousand Beasts and Godslayer Cross-Shield.
His expression changed halfway, and he quickly called it off. He had just sensed something in the Godslayer Cross-Shield; the shield contained an implement spirit.
The aura of the implement spirit was strong, and he felt like a speck of dust in front of this power.
But the implement spirit in the shield seemed to be still in hibernation. He had not been attacked simply because he had not woken it up.
On the other hand, the The Compendium of Thousand Beasts appeared even stranger. The mirror had many powerful sacred beasts confined within. Among them, Zhang Ruochen had even sensed the aura of a Supreme Saint Beast Emperor.
He should not have messed with these two things.
However, what perplexed him was why Ying Huo did not summon a Nine-step Saint King sacred beast or even a Supreme King Beast Emperor. Could it be that her cultivation base was not good enough and that she could not remove the seal that confined those powerful sacred beasts?
No wonder Blackie used to say that the Compendium of Thousand Beasts was a super badass weapon, and that it had always wanted to lay its hand on it! Zhang Ruochen thought to himself.
He kept the two sacred weapons into the Qiankun Realm. After calming his excited emotion, he wanted to tie up the loose end by finishing off Qi Sheng and Ying Huo with his Sword Way Xuangang.
“Wait-Wait a second!”
Qi Sheng shouted as he dragged himself out of a pile of rocks. “Spare Ying Huo’s life. I was the one who killed those mortals.”
“Who are you to negotiate with me? Every Immortal Vampire should be killed.”
Qi Sheng laughed. “Don’t you know that your stepmother is also an Immortal Vampire, and your veins are flowing with the blood of the Immortal Vampire?”
Zhang Ruochen faded into a series of afterimages and came in front of Qi Sheng, lifting him up with one hand. “Who told you that?”
Meanwhile, Ying Huo pulled herself up to her feet. “The Fane of Immortality has an entire collection of the various forbidden secrets of the Kunlun Realm. When the imperial government attacked the temple, I stumbled upon a sealed book. It contains the record that eight hundred years ago, Emperor Ming of Shengming Central Empire and the then Immortal Queen of the Immortal Vampires were lovers. And they had a son—you.”
Qi Sheng chimed in. “Zhang Ruochen. Eight hundred years ago, the woman you loved the most must have found out that you had the Immortal Vampire bloodline. That was why she betrayed and killed you. Eight hundred years have passed since, and now she has become a queen, and a deity worshipped by billions. But look at you! You not only have lost your family but also become a fugitive, fleeing from the Kunlun Realm to the far side of the Celestial Court.”
“So the humans are your enemy. You and us are of the same kind. So long as you are willing to return to the Immortal Vampires, you would surely receive special attention and nurturing considering the talent you possess.”
But Zhang Ruochen was unmoved. “My veins might have flown with the Immortal Vampire blood in the past life, but in this life, I am a human. A real human. You lot and I are not the same.”
Qi Sheng frowned when he realized that it was difficult to delude Zhang Ruochen. “Ying Huo and I are only pawns for others. Even if you kill us, the one Immortal Vampire behind us will still continue to slaughter and harvest the blood of the humans in the Kunlun Realm. He wants to refine a kind of blood pill that could help propel him to the Precept Domain-level of cultivation.”
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