As they proceeded towards the city, Hei decided to remind Honghuo of how he intended to proceed.
“Those I mark with red flames are your enemies, those I mark with black flames are only involved in the kidnappings and aren’t involved in the matters concerning your clan, and those without flames are innocent when it comes to these things.”
“I won’t stop you, but It would be best to refrain from harming the innocent.”
After confirming the situation with Honghuo, Hei turned his attention to his shoulder.
“Things are likely to get quite heated from this point forward. Keep your own safety in mind.”
Hei didn’t quite know what the abilities of this cat were in terms of protecting itself, so he decided to remind it that things would potentially become dangerous.
“There’s no need to worry about me.”
Hearing the cat’s confirmation, Hei stopped speaking. The three of them proceeded towards the city which would take a little while to reach on foot.
Unexpectedly, along the way, Hei received a communication request.
Who could it be if not his business partner, Su Yuying?
This wasn’t exactly the best time to answer her communication request, but after having been through this situation quite a few times now, Hei came to know that this business partner of his was the type of person who would persist until she was acknowledged.
She would only relent once she was told to her face that the communication was not something the other party wanted.
So, he had to actually accept the communication request and then let her know that she was being a nuisance before she would acquiesce.
He wondered why she couldn’t understand that not answering the communication request was equivalent to telling her that it was unwanted.
Knowing this to be the case, Hei pulled out the jade from his storage space and accepted her request.
In front of him, the image of his business partner appeared, and she was only wearing towels. This had become a common theme in her communication requests.
For some reason, she liked to request communications immediately after having taken a bath, and she didn’t like the portrait mode either, so her whole figure was on display.
She wore one towel on her head, presumably to dry her hair, and the other towel was wrapped around her body.
Even until this point, they still hadn’t asked each other for their names. It didn’t feel necessary and neither brought it up.
They had taken to calling each other ‘partner’.
“To what do I owe the pleasure?”
She waved her hand in a dismissive manner.
“Your father’s out of town?”
“Mm. He said he had some important matters to take care of and left me here.”
“And so, I decided to call you, partner.”
“Speaking of, why do you always call me after taking a bath?”
“What? You don’t like it?”
“Whether I like it or not isn’t the issue.”
“Well, I’m sorry. I find myself thinking about you whenever I take a bath these days.”
“Is it my fault? It’s not every day that a stranger appears in front of me when I’m taking a bath.”
Hei could see how that would be a memorable event.
Upon hearing their exchange, Honghuo’s eyes and mouth opened wide.
“You know, bathing used to be a time of relaxation for me. Now it’s only a time to think about my business partner. I think they call this emotional trauma.”
“And I’m not even asking for compensation. I’m not asking you to take responsibility. All I want is for you to talk to me a little bit. Is that too much to ask?”
“But… now isn’t the best time.”
“It’s never the best time, huh?”
After this, they both spoke at the same time.
“No, really. I’m busy.”
“No, really. I’m busy.”
She smiled and Hei was left speechless. How many times had they had this exchange that she was able to predict his response?
“You’re always busy. You know, sometimes it’s good to take a break.”
Then she paused and took a closer look at the projection in front of her. She could see the scenery changing rapidly behind her business partner.
“It looks like you’re outside right now. Why don’t you come over to my place and we can discuss the way of Elemental Foundations?”
Honghuo could only move his gaze between Hei and the beauty in the projection repeatedly.
At this point, she had reached her destination, which was her closet.
She placed the jade down slid the door open and walked in to pick out some clothes.
After having picked them out, she turned back around and slid the door closed, leaving enough room to poke her head out.
She had a mischievous smile her face.
“As if I’d want to.”
“Sure, you say that.”
She slid the door all the way closed and after she did that, Honghuo came closer to Hei.
He nudged Hei with his elbow as they continued to run towards the city.
“She’s my business partner.”
“So, she’s not your woman?”
Hearing this, Honghuo became slightly excited.
“Then, you wouldn’t mind if I…”
“Do what you want.”
Hei thought about ending the communication while his business partner was still away, but then he remembered that she wouldn’t be satisfied until she had closure.
If he did such a thing, she would only send another communication request. And as such, all he could do was wait for her to return.
He wondered why he never considered adding a blocking feature.
Every time she sent him a communication request, he was keenly aware of it because the communication jades were tied to his aura as an envoy of the heavens.
This meant if he failed to answer her and she continued to send request after request, he wouldn’t be able to perform at his peak.
On the bright side, she knew when she wasn’t appreciated and would keep quiet most of the time, observing Hei and the cat to ease her boredom. This made her a minor distraction at most.
And in this case, she wasn’t taking any of his time, as he was currently commuting.
After a little while, not too long at all, she returned, all dressed up and with a bright smile on her face.
Before she could speak, Honghuo entered her vision.
“Hello, Miss. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”
Having been interrupted, she wasn’t pleased at all, and all the warmth on her face faded away.
She turned to Honghuo and replied.
“The pleasure is all mine.”
She then turned back to Hei and her smile returned.
Honghuo’s feet slowed down slightly, causing him to be left behind as he felt as if a bucket of ice had been poured on him.
“So, partner, what do you think?”
She spun once and allowed her dress to flow with the wind.
Honghuo had caught back up and he spoke before Hei could respond.
“I think you look beautiful.”
What he received in return were a side eye and a seemingly annoyed response.
While her words were quite normal for this situation, and she bowed politely when she said them, the way she spoke had a distinct iciness to it.
She turned back to Hei and waited for his response.
Honghuo noticed that her expression changed when she was looking at Hei and he felt as if he had become an ice sculpture.
“It looks like it’s the right size.”
Hearing this, Honghuo’s mood lifted. Surely, she wouldn’t take too well to Hei’s words.
But her response was like an ice pick striking at his heart.
Instead of being unsatisfied with Hei’s response, she giggled.
“Why can’t you ever just compliment me?”
“Why can’t you ever just get to the point?”
She let out an exaggerated sigh as she walked over to her bed and plopped down onto it.
She rested her head on her hand as she looked down to the jade she had placed on her bed.
“You want me to get to the point? The point is, I’m bored out of my mind!”
“A terrible predicament for a fellow.”
“Won’t you come over to play with me?”
Hearing this, Honghuo refused to believe reality. His companion must have been lying. These two had to be an item, otherwise, how could that exchange of words end up with her inviting him to her home, not once, but twice?
“No can do, I’m out of town right now.”
“I’m afraid so.”
“What are you doing out there?”
Honghuo tried to reinsert himself into the conversation.
“We’re going to serve the Zhu Clan their just deserts.”
She rolled her eyes and turned back to Hei.
“Who is this person?”
“A business partner.”
“Gasp. You’re cheating on me?”
“This is a different kind of business.”
“Oh? What kind?”
“Sigh. It’s as he said.”
Hei was disappointed that Honghuo would so easily disclose this information. Part of this plan was to not let the Zhu Clan members get away.
If the ones who were currently outside of the residence somehow overheard this conversation, some of them may not fall for the trap he was trying to set up.
Fortunately, the chances of that happening were quite low.
Hearing Hei’s response, her eyes sparkled.
“You have problems with the Zhu Clan?”
“What kind of problems?”
“They’re a nuisance.”
“… That’s all?”
She turned to Honghuo.
“And you? Is it the same?”
Honghuo was feeling slightly bitter about the way she had treated him, but he decided to answer her anyway.
“I’m here to take revenge for my clan.”
She turned to Hei.
“I think he should be the protagonist.”
“What are you talking about?”
“What am I talking about? Weren’t you going to record this? We can turn it into a movie and make a lot of money.”
Then she sighed.
“Too bad orbit mode only works on you, which means you have to be the protagonist. But your motivations are a little…”
“Forget about it.”
“Don’t be so quick to refuse. This is perfect. Isn’t it killing two birds with one stone? One, I can watch you tangle with the Zhu Clan, easing my boredom, and two, we can make money. Isn’t that a win-win?”
“I probably won’t be able to spare the effort to control the movie jade.”
“Not a problem. Let me handle that.”
Hearing this, Hei felt there wasn’t really any problem with the idea. He didn’t care for the money, but by recording this operation, he could analyse his own performance, and also use it as a case study for the Shao Clan.
He had never considered this possibility.
“All right, you can record it.”
“Mm. I’m going to get some snacks real quick.”
She hurried off before anyone could object and came back a while later with a bowlful of snacks.
Hei made a suggestion.
“You should probably switch to audio-only mode on your side.”
“Do you want your face to be tied to this?”
After a moment, her image disappeared and only her voice could be heard.
She could still see what was happening on Hei’s side, but no one could see her. This removed some of the possibility of her suffering negative consequences.
As they proceeded, a question entered Hei’s mind. He looked to the jade, which was now floating beside him.
“Have you not considered the possibility of us failing?”
“How can you fail?”
“How can you be so sure?”
“Hmm. I don’t know why, but I can’t really imagine you losing.”
After this, they both spoke at the same time.
At this point, they had reached the formation that was surrounding the city.
They could see the crowd of people huddled up on the other side cautioning them not to proceed, but they ignored this and jumped over the crowds, landing inside the city.
As they entered, they saw another similar situation.
Further in the city, there was a black dome.
Honghuo couldn’t help but ask.
“Is that the Zhu Clan’s residence?”
“You even set up a formation around their residence?”
They proceeded along the way and when they approach the Zhu Clan’s residence, they could see a crowd of people outside of it.
They were all discussing what was going on, thinking there was a strong possibility that the Zhu Clan had something to do with it. The fact that a similar formation appeared around the residence to the one that appeared around the city was suspicious.
From inside the formation, the Zhu Clan members would launch waves of attacks, then they would pause to rest, and then they would again attack the formation, trying to get it to weaken.
To their dismay, it didn’t seem to be taking any damage at all. No matter how they attacked it, it didn’t show the slightest sign of being under any kind of stress.
They then saw two people enter their residence, passing the formation, which allowed people to enter but didn’t allow them to leave.
They wondered what was going on until Honghuo started speaking about his clan.
When he reached the end and told them that today was the day he would have his vengeance, they realised that the two were enemies.
They became hostile towards them and pointed their weapons, ready to attack.
Hei jumped into the air and performed a slow backflip. When his head was facing the ground, he looked down to the crowd below him and activated his treasure detection ability.
The first scan was to find those related to Honghuo’s case, and when he found them, he pointed all of his fingers towards the crowd and shot several red flames towards them.
After that, he did the same for those involved in the kidnappings, except this time, he used black flames.
Since there was an overlap between the kidnappers and those who were involved in Honghuo’s case, he only added black flames to those who weren’t involved in Honghuo’s case.
After every target was marked, he landed on the opposite side of the crowd to Honghuo.
Those who were lit with the flames began panicking and tried everything they could to extinguish them, however, nothing worked.
Fortunately for them, the flames didn’t seem to actually be doing anything. They decided to ignore them for the time being and focus on the enemies in front of them.
Some of them turned to Hei, and some of them remained locked onto Honghuo.
They were about to launch their attacks, however-
He used Bai’s Marionette ability to freeze his targets, those who had black flames, in place. He then opened up his storage space in the form of a sea of black flames, which climbed onto the bodies of his targets and pulled them in, making it seem as if they had melted into it.
After that, Hei withdrew the sea and the Zhu Clan members noticed that a good portion of them had disappeared.
As a result, none of them dared to go after Hei.
Hei could hear his business partner munching on some snacks, seemingly enjoying the show, but he ignored her.
Seeing that the Zhu Clan’s members were unwilling to pursue him, he looked to Honghuo and asked him if he could handle the remaining enemies using his spiritual perception.
Honghuo nodded his head, and so Hei turned and proceeded with his own plans.
He wanted to locate every member of the Zhu Clan within the residence and mark them with his flames accordingly.
He spread his spiritual perception to detect the people. Whenever he found one, he would give them the appropriate marking.
For those with red markings, and those without any, he would leave them be, but for those with black markings, he would take them into his storage space to be confined.
For those who weren’t involved, he would only place markings on them in his spiritual perception so that he wouldn’t scan the same person twice.
He decided to work in zones, and after checking the ground level in each zone, he would move on to the buildings, which required more time and effort.
In order to do so, he would locate the people within the buildings, then he would use his Qi to create an internal model of his path to them, then break through the building in a direct line, reaching the person.
He would then scan them and exit the building, repairing any damage he had caused along the way.
He wasn’t here to destroy the Zhu Clan’s property, he was only here to capture his targets. Other than that, he wanted to leave as little damage to the Zhu Clan as possible.
There were two notable instances of this.
The first happened when he found a person who was at the top level of a building, so he chose to go in through the roof.
He scanned a small section of the roof close to the person he was targeting, creating an internal model of it, then he used his Qi to dismantle it instead of breaking through it.
After having gone through this a few times, he had discovered that using this kind of approach, one that didn’t require physical force, but used Qi to separate the layers of materials, allowed him to repair the damage faster, though it did cost more Qi to use this kind of approach.
After creating an opening in the roof, Hei jumped down and landed in a body of water.
As he turned to his target, he found that it was a young lady who had been bathing and was surrounded by a layer of mist.
At this point, Hei heard his business partner’s voice.
“So, I’m starting to doubt that it was unintentional last time. You know, twice in a lifetime, it just seems a little…”
Hei decided to ignore her as he used his treasure detection ability to detect whether this young lady was involved in any of the incidents.
After determining that she wasn’t and seeing that she had drawn a sword from her spatial ring, he decided to take his leave.
He cupped his fist to her and bowed.
Seemingly uninterested in his words, she launched a sword attack at him.
Having already apologised, Hei jumped through the opening he had made in the ceiling. The young lady tried to chase after him, but as he exited, the ceiling repaired itself.
If she wished to follow him, she would have to damage her own property, which she chose not to do.
After that, Hei proceeded through several more zones and buildings with nothing notable happening, until he found this one particular building.
He entered through a wall of the top floor and found himself in what seemed to be a bedroom, and found two people in there, a man and a woman, their breaths slightly hurried.
Their clothing was dishevelled but these were minor details so Hei decided not to pay attention to them.
He activated his treasure detection ability and it turned out the man was involved in Honghuo’s case, and the woman was involved in the kidnappings.
That being the case, he pointed two fingers at them. One with a red flame and one with a black flame. He launched both flames at them, causing them to be marked.
They panicked and hurriedly tried to extinguish the flames, but they found that they couldn’t do anything about them, however, there didn’t seem to be any pain, so they pulled out their weapons, ready to attack Hei.
Before they could do anything, Hei had already frozen their bodies in place. He then opened up a black sea of flames and the woman was pulled into it.
After that, he removed the sea and stepped up to the man.
The man tried his best to resist, but there was nothing he could do. His body simply wouldn’t move.
Seeing as the man was in an out-of-the-way place like this, Hei decided to give Honghuo a hand.
He grabbed the man by his robe and threw him out of the hole he had created through the wall. He then jumped out, repairing the wall behind him, and when he got behind the man, he placed his palm on his back.
He blasted the man in Honghuo’s direction and took this time to assess Honghuo’s condition, which didn’t seem to be at its peak.
It seemed after facing so many opponents, he had suffered a few injuries and was running low on Qi. There were already a number of bodies sprawled on the floor near him, and a few enemies were still surrounding him.
Hei pulled out four pills from his storage space. They were one healing pill and three Qi gathering pills.
He used his thumbs to flick them over to Honghuo, and as he was fairly far away, he required quite a bit of force to get them over to him, which meant they were travelling quite quickly.
In order to avoid causing Honghuo harm, he had the pills explode when they neared him, creating a cloud of medicinal powder.
He had already told Honghuo about this method of recovering one strength during battle, and so when Honghuo’s saw the cloud of medicinal powder, he didn’t hesitate to swallow it.
As an alchemist, Honghuo had his own pills which he could consume to recover his strength, but when facing so many enemies, it was hard to find the time to take them out and consume them.
This way, he could fully focus on his fighting, and maintain his condition at a reasonable level.
At this point, the cat jumped off of Hei’s shoulder, but he didn’t notice it.
What he did notice was that everything seemed to slow down by a fraction.
He looked around, and before long he found the source of it. It seemed an immense force was coming from behind him, so he wrapped his arm in black flames and used Sonic Drill to intercept the blow with his forearm.
Once the force impacted him, he was able to see what was behind it. It was a middle-aged man wielding a sword.
The sword was able to break through his Sonic Drill, but a lot of the force had already been absorbed.
However, he will still thrust forward by the attack, causing him to crash through several buildings.
As he was breaking through the buildings, he noticed that not too far in front of him was a person who would be harmed if nothing were to change.
He turned his body to face them and used his Qi to wrap them in a defensive layer. He then hugged them tightly, making sure to support their head, before turning back around so that he would be the one to take the brunt of the force.
Hei couldn’t allow someone to be harmed by him through collateral damage, so he did his best to defend this person.
He eventually reached the ground and slid across it on his back, due to the force. Once his momentum had decreased enough, he threw the person into the air and raised his feet over his head, performing a backflip.
He landed solidly and held his arms out and the person fell into his arms, princess style.
Upon looking at the person’s face, he realised that it was the same young lady he had walked in on earlier.
“Are you okay?”
At this point, her hands were clasped in front of her chest.
Hearing Hei’s question, she could only nod her head twice.
Why did this fellow keep breaking through buildings to find her? It was quite odd.
“Kyaa! So heroic! The girls are going to love this scene!”
She was kicking her feet up and down on her bed as she was munching on her snacks.
“Too bad you’re so short though… I wonder if we can fix it in editing.”
Hei decided to ignore his business partner.
Seeing that the young lady seemed to be okay, he placed her down, letting her stand on her own.
He heard a voice coming from above.
“To be able to avoid my Phantom Blade. It seems you do have some ability.”
Hei ignored this person and continued on his path. Now that he was aware of this person, he wouldn’t be so easy to catch off guard.
His business partner had a few words to say.
“Isn’t that the Zhu Clan’s patriarch? You’re going to avoid the fight?”
“I have more important things to take care of right now. That person is a low priority at this time.”
Hei intended to let Honghuo fight the stronger enemies so that he could gain some experience for the next phase of the plan.
This one seemed to be a minute realm cultivator, seeing as he was still suspended in the air, which was one of the indicators of a minute realm cultivator.
“I see, but it seems he’s going to attack that girl.”
Hearing this, Hei’s footsteps stopped and he turned around.
His business partner’s interpretation seemed to be correct, as Hei saw the middle-aged man swing his sword in the direction that he had left.
The young lady saw her patriarch attacking her and couldn’t understand what was happening. He had just told her that she was trash that the Zhu Clan no longer needed.
It was incomprehensible. She started to doubt whether this was the real patriarch or not. Since when had the Zhu Clan conducted themselves like this?
As she saw death coming towards her, she closed her eyes.
But even after a while, she felt nothing.
Thinking she had already died, she opened her eyes, but what she saw was the person who she had seen for the third time now.
He was standing in front of her, holding a black sword, defending her from one she shouldn’t need to be defended from.
Why was the enemy defending her from her family?
The reason Hei stepped in was because he believed this woman wouldn’t have been put in this situation if it hadn’t been for him.
He turned to her.
“Are you okay?”
She nodded her head, but tears were already welling up in her eyes.
The tears themselves did not trigger any sympathy in Hei, but what they symbolised did.
He turned to the middle-aged man.
“You would attack your own family?”
“Hmph. The Zhu Clan has no need for this trash who sides with the enemy.”
At this point, Hei decided to take care of this fellow himself.
If he decided to continue as he did before, who knew how many innocent people would be harmed?
Just the fact that this fellow didn’t consider the damage he would do when launching his attacks was enough for him to become a priority target.
Hei opened up a sea of black flames, which climbed onto the buildings, covering everything in the surroundings.
He then started to calibrate Point Impact for high-speed movement, which caused his body to start twitching violently as he adjusted for his current level of strength.
This caused a misunderstanding in his business partner and the young lady behind him.
To them, it looked as if he had been angered to the point of being unable to control himself.
His following words didn’t help this either.
“You are unworthy.”
His left arm started glowing after he spoke these words and he flung Onyx, who was held in his right hand, up to the middle-aged man who was suspended in mid-air.
Seeing this attack, the middle-aged man almost laughed.
“You can’t even fly? Are you only a transcendent realm cultivator? And you thought you could do as you please in my Zhu Clan? Presumptuous!”
He easily avoided Onyx by tilting his head slightly.
What he didn’t expect, was that throwing Onyx wasn’t an attack at all.
As Onyx had the aura of an envoy of the heavens, Hei could use him to find his bearing when using Point Impact for movement.
While Point Impact allowed him to move very quickly, at full speed, it was too quick. Even his own spiritual perception wasn’t fast enough for him to react to changes in his path, meaning he could cause himself serious harm if he failed to calculate properly.
However, the method for detecting other envoys seemed to not have this restriction, meaning he could use Onyx to navigate himself safely.
That being the case, Hei had no reservations in using his maximum speed.
The middle-aged man only noticed that the black sword abruptly stopped behind him.
By the time his spiritual perception detected the change in Hei’s position, it was already too late.
Somehow, Hei had appeared behind him, holding the black sword in his glowing left hand, and his right palm was on the middle-aged man’s back.
He felt a pulse surging through his back, thrusting him forcefully towards the sea of black flames.
“You think I’ll fall into this trap?”
Anyone could see that the sea of black flames was Hei’s trump card, and as a minute realm cultivator, the middle-aged man was able to fly, which meant he was able to decrease his momentum while still in the air.
Fortunately for him, he was able to stop himself before he reached the sea of black flames, however, that was when he heard a loud cry, which reverberated throughout the entire residence.
From the sea of black flames beneath him, a giant figure appeared and swallowed him whole.
He didn’t know what it was, but those observing from the outside could see it clearly.
It took the form of a flaming black bird, a black phoenix, whose tail stretched from the sea of black flames up to its body, which was currently soaring up to the top of the dome formed by the formation.
Everyone in the Zhu Clan paused what they were doing and watched this scene.
While inside the belly of this beast, the middle-aged man launched ferocious attacks, but they seem to be swallowed up by the black flames.
It wasn’t until he reached the top of the formation that things changed.
With its tail reaching all the way to the ground, the black phoenix let out a cry before all colour seemed to be absorbed by it.
With an explosion that shook the entire residence, colour returned once more and everyone could see the middle-aged man’s body at the top of the dome, his clothes torn to shreds, and his face pale.
After such a tremendous explosion, the middle-aged man was slightly dazed. He stopped to monitor his own condition and found that he hadn’t taken much damage, but all of his defences were destroyed.
Before he could relax, he saw the black sword shoot into the dome, half of its body penetrating the dome.
In the next instant, there was a person holding the hilt of the sword with his left hand, crouching upside down with his feet on the dome, looking up at him.
Hei pulled Onyx out of the dome, letting himself fall towards the middle-aged man.
As he reached him, he placed his right palm on the middle-aged man’s abdomen.
Through this contact, Hei did several things, including adding certain reinforcements to the middle-aged man’s body and after he was done, he launched his attack.
After having risen high into the sky, the middle-aged man was thrust back down to the ground.
When his body collided with the ground, it felt as if the entire residence had sunk a few inches.
This wasn’t an exaggeration. If one were to take a look at the border of the formation that was surrounding the Zhu Clan’s residence, they would see that the ground level had actually decreased slightly.
Due to the reinforcements Hei had made, the middle-aged man’s body bounced back up from the floor slightly.
He was now completely muddleheaded, barely aware of what was happening, but again he saw the black sword embed itself in the ground.
Like a recurring nightmare, Hei soon appeared.
As the middle-aged man’s body approached him, Hei plunged his left hand into his chest pulling out his spirit roots, leaving his unconscious body to fall to the floor, motionless.
Seeing this, the entire Zhu Clan was left silent.
The only noise came from Su Yuying munching on her snacks and kicking her feet up and down on her bed.
“Not bad.” The cat
“For me?” The young lady
“So, this is how cultivators live?” Yuying