Chapter 1 – Big Sis, I’m Afraid This Is A Misunderstanding!
Heavenly Bow Empire Capital City, Heavenly Bow City, Ofﬁcial Roads.
Heavenly Bow Empire is a small country in the western regions of Boundless Mainland (Hao Miao Da Lu). It isn’t bound to any larger countries, and its environment and climate are extremely suitable for humans to live in.
The weather was great today, the vast expanse of the sky seemed like a large blue crystal, with nary a blemish in sight. The only issue one might ﬁnd would be that the clarity of the air caused the sunshine to be rather glaring on the eyes. Luckily, the ofﬁcial roads were lined with 100-year or older Sycamore Trees, their thick branches massed with leaves sheltering the wide roadways. This formed the famous boulevard which everyone in Heavenly Bow Empire knew about, stretching for nearly 100 li (50km) into a forest.
Heavenly Bow City had a very unique geographical location, in fact it could be almost described as second-to-none. This was because this capital city was totally surrounded by huge forests, and Heavenly Bow City was just like a brilliant jewel in the midst of the forest. Although Heavenly Bow Empire wasn’t particularly strong, its capital city was still quite famous. The surrounding forests were called Stars Forest, because this was the only place in the whole continent where the Stars Trees grew. The heart of the Stars Trees were extremely valuable materials in making top end bows. As such, with such an important natural resource, one could imagine the prosperity that Heavenly Bow City enjoyed.
Currently, a youth who looked around 15-16 years old was walking along the boulevard, muttering to himself.
“To be a playboy is to train the mind, to have an affair is to train the heart, chasing after girls will prevent old age, ﬂirting is therapeutic, having a crush on someone means your heart will always be young, being lovesick is the cure for insomnia!
They often say that Heroes are unable to cross the beautiful maiden barrier, but what hero will think like this? Should the hero leave the beauty to some useless fellow? And what would the beauty think, wouldn’t she prefer to have the hero instead as well?
Another saying is that Rabbits don’t eat the grass near their nests, but why would rabbits do that? Should they let other rabbits eat the grass? Even the grass won’t think like that, after all being eaten is being eaten, does it matter by whom? Why not let someone familiar eat them!
Yet another saying is that if you have money, you can make the devil push the millstone for you, but the devil would think that it’s a given thing – after all shouldn’t labour of pushing the millstone be rewarded? Even money would think differently, after all, being given to the devil will not harm the devil, but if given to humans the scenario might be different! Hahahaha…”
The youth was tall, with broad shoulders, with a healthy strong look. He had black eyes and hair, and was dressed in a cloth shirt with its sleeves rolled up, showing off his arms. His skin colour was a healthy sheen of bronze, and his features had a heroic spirit within. He might not be very handsome, but was overall pleasing to the eye. Just judging by outward appearance, the words simple and honest would be an apt description. However, the words that streamed out from his mouth were the total opposite of simple and honest. Of course, he only revealed his true colours when there was nobody else around.
“Sigh… not being able to cultivate heavenly energy is such a tragedy. In today’s day and age, looking good is useless, only heavenly energy and heavenly jewels are king. Ahhhh… Heavens! Earth! Gods! Why do you play me like this, letting I, Zhou Weiqing, be born with such a body with blocked meridians yet such a handsome face? Not letting me be a Heavenly Jewel Master is such a waste of great talent ah!” Of course, the handsome face he referred to was only of his own belief, and as he spoke the youth rudely gave the sky the ﬁnger.
Of course, he wasn’t the sort to just blame heaven, after pointing the middle ﬁnger he said comfortingly to himself: “Oh well, not being able to cultivate Heavenly Energy has its good side as well. That old geezer is already so strict, if I really awakened a Heavenly Jewel, maybe my life would be worse now by a hundred times? At least now the old geezer has given up on me, and leading the decadent life of a rich ofﬁcial’s son seems not a bad choice. I’ll go take a bath now!” As he spoke, his face revealed his trademark honest smile. Of course, those who really knew him, Zhou Weiqing’s honest smile hid his true rascally nature.
Even though Zhou Weiqing was unable to cultivate heavenly energy, his youthful body was still extremely healthy and strong. He was only 13 years old this year, and yet he looked like a youth of 15 – 16. At least in this, he was following in his father’s footsteps.
After walking about 5 li along the boulevard to the Stars Forest, Zhou Weiqing suddenly swerved into the woods. He had grown up in the woods, especially ever since he was 8 years old when he had tested out to have his meridians blocked and unable to cultivate heavenly energy. Zhou Weiqing’s father no longer forced him to train, so his favourite thing to do was to run alone into the forest to play. There were no Heavenly Beasts in the Stars Forest, and it was one of the safest forests on the continent.
After entering the Stars Forest, Zhou Weiqing could practically navigate his way around with his eyes closed, after all he knew the place like the back of his hand. After walking for about an hour, he ﬁnally heard sounds of running water as he neared his destination. Thinking about the sweet, clear lakewater, Zhou Weiqing hastened his steps. It was a hot day and he was eager to relax in the cooling waters of the lake.
Not far from the path in the Stars Forest there lay a lake, and its waters originated from an underground ice spring. It was only about 100m in diameter, and was surrounded by large thick trees. As a result, not many people knew about this lake, but Zhou Weiqing had came across it by accident in the past. He had a natural liking for water and since he had no friends, he spent a lot of time bathing and relaxing in the lake.
Moving around a large tree, the Ice Spring Lake was right ahead. Zhou Weiqing did not rush to dive into the waters, but ﬁrst took off his clothes and laid them at the side, before squatting down at the edge of the waters to look at his reﬂection, muttering to himself: “Damn! I’ve become more handsome again!”
Just as he was reﬂecting on his own looks narcissistically, he suddenly heard a splash, causing him to look up, and the sight that greeted him caused him to gape in surprise.
From the other end of the lake, someone else had just jumped into the water, causing the waters to splash out. As the rays of sunshine shone upon the lake, the refraction of light causing the area to seem to be bathed in gold. In the midst of the water ripples, a head of pink hair captured Zhou Weiqing’s attention.
The Ice Spring Lake’s water was pretty shallow, only a metre or so deep, and the young girl who had leapt into the lake had her back facing Zhou Weiqing, and the lake waters just covered her buttocks. Still, Zhou Weiqing was able to see her slim waist and alluring ﬁgure.
With a light *pooh* sound, 2 lines of blood streamed down from Zhou Weiqing’s nostrils. Even though this fellow often had sexual fantasies, he was after all still a 13 year old virgin boy, no matter how precocious. Seeing a naked young girl at such close proximity for the ﬁrst time was so exciting to him that his nose started bleeding.
“Wow, this is so awesome!” Zhou Weiqing quickly held his nose, but his eyes kept staring at the girl, completely forgetting how exposed he was to being found, he could only chant in his mind Turn around! Turn around!
As if the pink haired girl had heard his internal prayers, she actually slowly turned around, she seemed excited and her hands were on the top of the water as she turned towards Zhou Weiqing.
It’s a chinese saying that means heroes are often susceptible to a pretty face, causing them to be fallen.
Literal translation of another Chinese idiom, it means that even villains won’t commit sins close to home. However his rant here is talking on the literal meaning of it.
Money makes the world go round Zhou Weiqing’s eyes widened as his dreams were about to come true. Just at that moment, a feminine voice shouted out “Your highness, be careful! There’s someone here!”
Upon hearing the shout, the pink haired girl acted like a startled little bird, quickly ducking into the water up to her neck, as she looked around in panic.
Before Zhou Weiqing could react, he felt his body lighten, and the world spin around him. With a plopping sound, he landed on the ground.
“What happened?” Although Zhou Weiqing was unable to cultivate heavenly energy, but he had been training under his strict father since young, and his body was in a ﬁt condition, deﬁnitely stronger and more agile than any commoner, and he executed a roll on the ground before standing up.
About 3 metres in front of him, a young lady of about 20 years of age stood glaring at him. She seemed rather plain looking, and was dressed in leather armor with a sword in hand, with a bow made of Star Wood holstered on her back. Zhou Weiqing immediately recognized the symbols of Star Flowers etched upon her leather armor, it was reserved only for the Royal household – could this young lady in front of him be a Royal Guard?
What really drew Zhou Weiqing’s attention was the 3 Jewels surrounding the lady’s right wrist. The 3 jewels were a type of jade, and with Zhou Weiqing’s good vision and the radiance of the jade, he could see clearly that it was about 30% Waxy Jade, 30% Ice Jade and 40% Dragonstone Jade.
Even though Zhou Weiqing personally could not cultivate, but he knew that those 3 jewels on her right wrist were no mere ornaments, but a sign of power.
In the Boundless Mainland, a person’s actual strength could be determined in 3 ways, and if you stood out in any particular way, you could be considered a strong person. The 3 ways were Heavenly Energy, Physical Jewels and Elemental Jewels.
Humans believed that they were the highest ranked species in the world that the gods have created, and that the human body was truly a gift from the gods. There were many different types of cultivating methods, and the strength achieved from that was known as heavenly energy. Heavenly energy was divided into 4 large hierarchies, Heavenly Jing Energy, Heavenly Xu Energy, Heavenly God Energy, and Heavenly Dao Energy.
Each of those hierarchies were further divided into 12 levels. It was rumoured that someone who had reached the highest level of the Heavenly Dao Energy was able to harness the energies of the universe, able to destroy and create and be extremely long lived. In any case, no matter Physical Jewel Masters or Elemental Jewel Masters, the basics of everything was Heavenly Energy. Without sufﬁcient Heavenly Energy, it did not matter how good the quality of the Power Jewels were.
In the huge Boundless Mainland, when humans were born, they all had their own inborn Power Jewel. However, nobody could tell in advance what their Jewel was, and only when Heavenly Energy had been cultivated till the 3rd level of Heavenly Jing Energy, would their Power Jewels be Awakened.
The cultivation of Heavenly Jing Energy was extremely difﬁcult, especially the introductory stages, one had to have the talent to communicate with their own Power Jewels to be able to cultivate successfully. The ﬁrst 3 levels of Heavenly Jing Energy was tantamount to being reborn 3 times, and less than 1% of the population could actually complete it. Once someone could complete the ﬁrst 3 levels of Heavenly Jing Energy cultivation and Awaken their Power Jewels, then they would ﬁnally break out of being a commoner and take the ﬁrst step into being a powerhouse. As Zhou Weiqing had blocked meridians and could not cultivate, thus he was doomed to be unable to complete the ﬁrst 3 levels and Awaken his Power Jewels, and could only be an ordinary person.
Power Jewels had 2 forms after Awakening. Those that appeared around the right wrist were known as Physical Jewels. Those that appeared around the left wrist were known as Elemental Jewels. Physical Jewels and Elemental Jewels were inherently different. In general those with Physical Jewels were strong warriors, and each Physical Jewel could not only strengthen the physical attributes of the Physical Jewel Master, but also coalesce into a weapon or armor piece, which greatly strengthened the Physical Jewel Master. On the other hand, those with Elemental Jewels were gifted with greater brain energy, and they could make use of their Elemental Jewels to control the various elements they were aligned to, and they could also seal skills into their Elemental Jewels.
For both Physical Jewel Masters and Elemental Jewel Masters, the basic way to tell their strength was the number of jewels. For them, there was a max of 9 Power Jewels, those who had 1-3 Jewels were known as Shi Stage, 4-6 Jewels were known as Zun Stage, and 7-9 Jewels were known as Zong Stage. Each Stage also had an lower, middle and upper level. As such, the lady Royal Guard in front of Zhou Weiqing now was a upper level Shi Stage Physical Jewel Master.
Although Shi Stage was only the ﬁrst stage, it would be a big mistake to underestimate the 3 Jewelled upper level Shi Stage Physical Jewel Master in front of him. After all, for a small country like Heavenly Bow Empire, the number of Jewel Masters numbered less than a hundred! This lady Royal Guard in front of Zhou Weiqing was probably ranked within the top 50 strongest in the whole country! As such, you can see how rare a Jewel Master was. Having 3 Physical Jewels also meant that her Heavenly Jing Energy was cultivated to at least 10th Level, possibly even already break-through to the Tian Xu Energy hierarchy. With her power, it would be easy for her to defeat a hundred skilled normal soldiers.
Physical Jewels and Elemental Jewels were formed by different types of jewels. For Physical Jewels, they were all formed by different types of Jade, which also meant different types of physical enhancements. There were 6 different type of jade and enhancements, namely: Ice Jade which boosted strength, Waxy Jade which boosted ﬂexibility, Yellow Jade which boosted toughness, Dragonstone Jade which boosted agility, Red Jade which boosted coordination, and Black Jade which boosted stamina. All Physical Jewel Masters’ jade were a mixture of the different type of jades. With reference to the lady Royal Guard, with 30% Waxy Jade, 30% Ice Jade and 40% Dragonstone Jade, it meant that if the physical enhancement from one Jewel was 100, she would get boosted 30 ﬂexibility, 30 strength and 40 agility. It was quite a good mixture indeed.
Feeling the anger in her eyes with some killing intent, Zhou Weiqing felt his back covered in cold sweat, and he exclaimed quickly: “Big Sis, I’m afraid this is a misunderstanding!”
“Misunderstanding?” The lady Royal Guard shook her wrist and drew her sword . Although she did not activate her 3 Physical Jewels, but her sword shone bright with Heavenly Energy. Her heavenly energy was still unable to be released from the sword, so she was likely still in the Heavenly Jing Energy Hierarchy, as those who had broken through to Heavenly Xu Energy would be able to release heavenly energy from their weapons. Of course, she had not even used her Physical Jewels as they would increase the amount of Heavenly Energy expended. Of course, facing Zhou Weiqing who was an unarmed commoner, it was deﬁnitely unnecessary to do so.
With a cold ﬂash, the tip of the sword was resting on Zhou Weiqing’s throat, just a small movement forward would end his life. “Physical Jewel Master Big Sis, this is really a misunderstanding! Besides, I really didn’t see anything! Please let me go” Zhou Weiqing looked pitifully at the lady Royal Guard, and with his honest looking features, it did seem very convincing. The lady royal guard was clearly bamboozled by his honest appearance, and the anger in her eyes lessened, and she said in a cold voice: “It is not up to me to let you go, Her Highness will decide on your punishment.”
“Highness? Oh my god! Are you referring to Princess Difuya?” Zhou Weiqing said in shock.
“You recognize me?” A proud, cold voice sounded out from behind the lady Royal Guard, a note of anger in the voice was clear as well.
With a ﬂash in front of Zhou Weiqing’s eyes, another person appeared beside the lady Royal Guard, wet pink hair across the shoulders, with an alluring ﬁgure covered in a pink outﬁt, her ﬁne features showing off a pair of deep blue eyes. Her young bosom was heaving with her anger and emotions.
As their gazes met each other, they both exclaimed simultaneously “It’s you?” Zhou Weiqing was red in embarrassment, thinking to himself that he was in deep trouble now. He said abashedly: “Hello Princess Difuya, I didn’t expect to see you here.” To escape this crisis ahead of him, he tried his best to sound and look as sincere as possible.
Unfortunately, this Princess Difuya was not so easily swayed. After a short surprised, her beautiful face twisted in anger and her ﬁsts gripped together, “So it’s you, you piece of trash, how dare you follow me here to peek on me! Niya, kill him!”
The lady Royal Guard Niya unhesitatingly stepped forward to obey the princess’ instructions. Although she also believed it was an error, after all how could this common boy follow the princess without her detecting anything. However, he had looked at the Princess’ naked body, and that was deﬁnitely punishable by death.
“Wait!” Zhou Weiqing had not seen Princess Difuya many times, and hadn’t spoken to her before, though he had heard of her proud nature. He did not expect her to suddenly order his death, and if he didn’t speak out he would deﬁnitely be killed now.
As Niya’s sword slowed a little, Zhou Weiqing said quickly: “Stop, I’m her ﬁance!” Niya paused in confusion and looked towards Princess Difuya, only to see the princess’ ashen face.
“Who says I have such a trash ﬁance, furthermore you are so wretched and disgusting, how dare you peek at me… Niya kill him now, I will take responsibility!” Difyua shouted out in anger, like a little lioness. She was especially infuriated for a reason, just yesterday she had asked her father to dissolve this marriage, and today that Zhou Weiqing came here to peek at her. In her mind, Zhou Weiqing had heard the news of her request, and came here to do such indecent things. Furthermore, she had always looked down on him who was unable to cultivate, and naturally her anger grew further.
Niya looked at the princess again, then looked towards Zhou Weiqing, and said hesitatingly: “You are Commander-In-Chief Niu’s son, Viscount Zhou?”
Zhou Weiqing had a helpless look on his face, and said self- mockingly: “Yes! I am Zhou Weiqing! The notorious Dog Son of the Tiger Father Dog Son pair, and also Princess Difuya’s ﬁance. I really did not mean to peep. I often come here to take a bath, and this was just a coincidence.”
The lady Royal Guard Niya looked back at Princess Difuya, “Your Highness, perhaps this is really a misunderstanding. The Viscount did not mean to do so, furthermore he is your…”
“Shut up!” Difuya’s brows were raised in anger, and with a step she pulled Niya away and stood directly in front of Zhou Weiqing: “I don’t have such a ﬁance. I, Difuya, aims to be an Elemental Zong, to be among the strong of the world. My husband has to be a hero who is above all others. How can such a despicable, shameless trash be worthy of me?”
The fawning expression on Zhou Weiqing’s face which he had put on for survival was slowly being replaced with anger. Even the most good natured person had his limit, and his eyes bulged in anger as he swept Princess Difuya with his gaze. “So what if I look at you? According to empire law, you are my ﬁance, even if I take you now, the Emperor himself wouldn’t punish me! Hmph, I may be despicable and shameless, but I’m despicable and shameless towards my own ﬁance, what law can govern that? And you, will still have to marry this despicable and shameless trash! What do you have to be proud of? You were just born into royalty and had the luck to be born with talent. If I wasn’t born with blocked meridians, maybe you are now begging me to watch you bathe, even coming on to me. Such a brainless woman with your eyes on top of your head, do you really think that I want to marry you?” After ranting, he turned around and walked away. Although this fellow was usually quite smooth and sly, but when his temper came, he was just as stubborn as anyone can be. If they were just comparing status, although Difuya was a princess, Zhou Weiqing was not afraid of her. Although he personally was considered a joke by most of Heavenly Bow Empire, but still his father was the one and only Commander- in-Chief of Heavenly Bow Empire’s armies, and furthermore he
was the strongest person in the whole empire, and could be
called the pillar of the entire empire. The Emperor Di Fengling and Zhou Weiqing’s father called each other brothers in private, this was also the reason why Zhou Weiqing and Difuya were promised to each other in marriage since birth.
Zhou Weiqing’ words struck a nerve in Difuya. Just as he said, although she did not want to marry this Empire’s joke, but she could not disobey her father’s orders. In a sudden rush, her old grievances and fresh anger combined together and Difuya’s face paled in anger.
Raising her left hand, a sheen of red appeared around her wrist, and 2 Jewels appeared. As compared to Niya, Difuya’s 2 Power Jewels on her left wrist were 2 bright red rubies, and were her Elemental Jewels. Difuya was 16 years old this year, and was considered one of a rare geniuses in the royal family, her Heavenly Energy had already cultivated to Heavenly Jing Energy 7th level, and she had already gotten her 2nd Elemental Jewel. Elemental Jewels were different from Physical Jewels; instead of getting physical boosts, they were instead able to control elemental energy. While Physical Jewels were various types of Jades, Elemental Jewels were different types of coloured gems, and their power and type meant different types of elemental afﬁnities. For example, Difuya’s red rubies
signiﬁed a ﬁre elemental afﬁnity. Besides that, there were
sapphires for water afﬁnity, diamonds for earth afﬁnity, tourmaline for wind afﬁnity, emerald jade for light afﬁnity, black pearls for darkness afﬁnity, cat’s eye gems for spatial afﬁnity, and lastly green jade for life afﬁnity. As such, it was much easier to differentiate what afﬁnity that an Elemental Jewel Master was.
There is a Chinese idiom 虎⽗⽆⽝⼦ meaning that a tiger father will not beget a dog son, but he has been mocked that his father is a tiger yet he is a dog son.
Eyes grown on top of your head is a Chinese idiom meaning overly proud person who looks down on others. “Your highness, no!” Niya shouted out in horror, trying to stop Difuya. However, Difuya was too enraged, her right hand holding Niya away, and her left already pointed towards Zhou Weiqing.
Although Niya was a 9th level Heavenly Jing Energy Hierarchy Shi Master, higher than Difuya by 2 levels, but without activating her Physical Jewels, and being afraid of harming Difuya, she was still stopped by Difuya’s right hand momentarily, and in that short moment, Difuya released an attack towards Zhou Weiqing.
Difuya’s left wrist’s ﬁrst ruby released a bright light, and a head-sized ﬁreball shot out leaving a trail of ﬁre behind as it slammed viciously into Zhou Weiqing’s back and exploded. Zhou Weiqing cried in agony as the explosion threw him 5 metres before he landed on the ground in a roll, his whole back was a mess of burnt ﬂesh and blood with a terrible scorched odour.
“You… you…” Zhou Weiqing looked up with all his strength and looked towards Difuya who was in shock. He had never imagined that Difuya would actually lift a hand against him so viciously.
Difuya’s face was pale in shock, after attacking in anger she had realized what she had done. She knew how powerful her ﬁrst ruby’s ﬁreball was, and was in a ﬂuster. After all, Zhou Weiqing was the Commander-in-Chief’s son, but now it was too late for regrets.
As Difuya’s personal royal guard, Niya was also shocked. She was covered in cold sweat. If the princess killed the commander-in-chief’s son, Zhou Weiqing, who had been awarded the title of Viscount since birth, it might cause the whole empire to erupt in chaos. Yet, neither she nor Difuya were skilled in healing, and the 2 females were at a loss.
Suddenly, out of nowhere, the ﬁne skies turned dark, and lightning ﬂashed above followed by the loud sound of thunder. In a matter of moments, the skies had turned pitch black and the 2 ladies were struck by a sudden chill in their hearts.
“I… I … didn’t mean to…” Difuya muttered to herself.
Niya came to her senses, and pulled Difuya along while running, saying: “Your highness, the weather is turning bad. Let’s hurry back to the palace and look for a Life afﬁnity Elemental Jewel Master to safe Viscount Zhou.” She knew that the odds of Zhou Weiqing, who did not have any Heavenly Energy, surviving were miniscule. At this time, they had to leave the scene immediately, or if any other people spotted them then they would be ﬁnished.
Although there weren’t many Fire Elemental Jewel Masters in the Heavenly Bow Empire, but at least it wasn’t only Princess Difuya alone. As long as they weren’t caught at the scene, there was still hope.
Zhou Weiqing lay on the ground paralyzed, but he could hear the departing footsteps of the two. At this point, he felt like his whole body was soaked in magma, his blood felt like it was boiling, and every breath he took was a red mist. The impact area on his back did not hurt anymore, it was totally numb, but the ﬁre venom was spreading through every inch of his body. If a Life Elemental Jewel Master had administered aid right after the attack, he might still be able to survive. However, now that the ﬁre venom was invading his internal organs, his life was ticking away.
Zhou Weiqing was by nature an optimistic person, after all he was a Grand Marshal’s son yet could not cultivate, yet he could maintain his life without falling into depression. He did not want to die, and he still had many things he wanted to do. Never in his wildest imagination did he think that he would die at the hands of his ﬁance. In fact, he didn’t particularly hate Difuya, but hated the heavens why they did not gift him with a body that could cultivate. If only he could become a Jewel
Master, then everything would be different. The sheer hatred and malice in him seemed to coalesce around Zhou Wenqing. He swore viciously in his heart: “Difuya, if I don’t die today, one day I will make sure you kneel in front of me, and beg for me to take you as wife. Then I’ll reject you like you have today.”
After swearing his last curse, Zhou Weiqing was on the verge of unconsciousness. Even the burning sensations were dimming. Is my life just going to end like this – Was his last thought.
All of a sudden, there was a loud sound of an explosion above him, causing the semi concious Zhou Weiqing to be shocked awake. He opened his eyes weakly, only to see a strange scene in front of him.
A strange black gash split apart the air 3 feet away from him, as if a huge black eye opening in the air. Zhou Weiqing’s mouth gaped open, and blood spurted out from his mouth. At this moment, a strange light emitted from the black opening. A ball-shaped object, as large as an infant’s ﬁst, black as coal but with green, blue and silver colours swirling around it, shot out. Zhou Weiqing’s blood which had spurted out of his mouth just happened to land upon it. Suddenly, a burst of unbelievable cold burst forth from the black object, dashing into Zhou Weiqing’s body in a ﬂash.
His body started to shudder as the previous burning sensation vanished and he felt as if he had been suddenly thrown into an ice cellar. He was jolted awake and suddenly everything seemed crystal clear to him.
The black pearl seemed to be attracted by something within his body, and with a swoosh, it ﬂew right into his mouth. Zhou Weiqing felt a sudden cold in his throat, then his whole body seemed to turned into ice, and his senses were all sealed suddenly, and he blacked out.
The opening above Zhou Weiqing slowly closed, and just as suddenly as it had appeared, the dark skies stilled and cleared, and the sun shone brightly once again in the Star Forest, the rays of sun once again returning to the Ice Spring Lake.
Chapter 2 – Weird Black Pearl
Stars Forest, Ice Spring Lake side.
Zhou Weiqing’s body was lay on the ground in a t-shape, deeply unconscious. At the same time, his body was undergoing a strange change.
A layer of black light appeared around his body. Despite the bright sunlight in the sky, the darkness emitted from within his body covered it like a cocoon. The torn ﬂesh of his back from Difuya’s ﬁreball was starting to heal up at a speed discernable to the naked eye. What was most shocking was that while his ﬂesh was healing, his bones, muscles, internal organs and even meridians were being infused with a layer dark grey energy.
It was a nearly indescribable grey colour, giving an impression that was even colder than the black cocoon surrounding Zhou Weiqing, yet still ﬁlled with a strange vibrancy and life. However, as this layer of grey slowly spread out from within his body to replace the layer of black covering him, there was a strange change in the vegetation around his body. One could clearly see the vegetation getting infected by the grey, starting from Zhou Weiqing’s body and spreading out in a 5 metre radius, causing a quick withering in the vegetation as Zhou Weiqing’s body healed faster. There seemed to be an evil inﬂuence in the air.
The dark grey mixing with the black light started getting thicker and thicker, and the atmosphere grew colder, domineering, evil and demonic, the 4 different auras surrounding Zhou Weiqing’s body. He started to shudder slightly as 3 rays of light emitted from within the black cocoon, ﬂickering above his body. The 3 rays of light were the green, blue and silver colours from the black pearl he had swallowed earlier.
The warm rays of the sun were not able to enter the surrounding of Zhou Weiqing’s body, and on his forehead, a black word “King” slowly appeared. On his skin, a layer of black tattoos slowly formed, below that a layer of grey, similar tattoos could also be seen. The 2 layers of tattoos seemed to have form a 3D image, and they covered his whole body all the way to his face even.
This phenomenon carried on for almost an hour, until all the colours slowly faded away, sinking back into Zhou Weiqing’s body, and the tattoos on his body also disappeared consequently. The healthy bronze skin colour of Zhou Weiqing seemed a lot paler than before, and his facial features seemed to be a lot more handsome now. His back, which had been torn apart by the exploding ﬁreball, was now totally healed, with not a scar to be seen, as if he had never been injured there before.
After a while more, Zhou Weiqing’s ﬁngers twitched, as he slowly regained consciousness.
As he opened his eyes, he couldn’t help but shiver in a sudden chill. Although he didn’t know what had happened as he was unconscious, he still felt a chill in his whole body after awakening. His heart was cold, and that icy feeling was extremely uncomfortable for him, causing almost an indescribable emotion in him.
“I’m… not dead?” Zhou Weiqing sat up in a sudden start. He felt his body was a lot lighter than usual, and he hurriedly lifted his hand to touch his back, and on feeling the whole, smooth skin, he couldn’t help but widen his eyes in shock.
“Was that all just a dream?” Zhou Weiqing looked around the him, and then spotted the tattered remains of his clothing, as well as the circle of shrivelled dead plants around him. It was not a dream after all. Giving himself a facepalm, Zhou Weiqing’s memories slowly returned as clarity returned to his mind.
“That weird black pearl seemed to have entered my body?” Quickly, Zhou Weiqing recalled his last memory before fainting. At that time, he had felt a gust of cold rushing into his belly, and he had passed out from the cold and had no further memory. As for the dead vegetation around him, he subconsciously passed it off as collateral damage from Difuya’s ﬁreball.
As Zhou Weiqing was born with blocked meridians, although he was a noble, but he only attended an ordinary commoner school which did not give explicit lessons on the powers of Jewel Masters, hence he made such a judgement error. If the ﬁrst skill on Difuya’s Elemental Jewel was that strong as he had imagined, she would not simply be just an ordinary genius. Furthermore, to be able to deal that kind of damage, that ﬁreball would have blown him into smithereens.
“What on earth was that black pearl?” Although his judgement was fully accurate, but one thing Zhou Weiqing knew for sure – he had been critically wounded by the ﬁreball, and it was the black pearl which had healed him. Is my moral character that good? Did a karmic miracle just happen to me? Zhou Weiqing grew more excited as he thought. Although he had quite an optimistic character that could dismiss the misfortune of his birth, but being born in such a prestigious family, he naturally had a strong desire to be strong.
As he swiveled his neck looking around, he immediately locked onto the huge Star Tree beside him as a test target.
The reason for Star Trees’ name was because their leaves were shaped in a 5-corner pentagon manner, just like a star. A 100-year Star Tree was considered full grown, and its wood was extremely strong and tough, yet did not lack in ﬂexibility – that was why it was renowned as one of the best materials for crafting bows.
Zhou Weiqing moved towards the chosen Star Tree, and waving his ﬁst around, he slammed his ﬁst into the thick trunk with all his might.
“PENG!” “Ahhhhhh!” The ﬁrst sound naturally was the sound of his ﬁst hitting the tree, and the latter was like a cat which had its tail stepped on, an almost inhuman screech. Zhou Weiqing had been afraid of pain since he was young, the thick Star Tree stood immobile, yet he was hopping up and down clutching his right ﬁst. The intense pain in his right ﬁst made it almost numbing, and the surface skin of the ﬁst was scraped badly, the sheer pain causing him to hop around for almost 10 minutes before getting slightly better.
“F*ck!” The young fellow cursed as he blew on his ﬁst. “Damned, looks like pies dropping from heaven is not something that will happen to me.”
Luckily, he was still young, and the strength of his ﬁst wasn’t that huge, so he did not harm the bones of his ﬁst. After the pain subsided, he draped on the remnants of his clothing, and his outer robe from the side of the lake, before departing crestfallen.
Unknown to him, about 15 minutes after he had left the scene, on the Star Tree that he had struck with his ﬁst, where some of his blood had been left after his skin had scraped away. The surrounding tough bark of the Star Tree started to rot, and thin layer of dark grey air seemed to dissipate into the air. 3 days later, this 50 plus year old Star Tree vanished totally from the forest. Of course, this would never be known to Zhou Weiqing. Sudden windfall Back on the Star Forest’s Boulevard, Zhou Weiqing grew angrier and angrier as he thought about what happened. Although he had managed to survive by some miracle, but his impression of his ﬁance had already dropped to rock bottom. If he had not chanced upon the black pearl, he would probably have perished in the forest then.
“Difuya, just you wait. One day, I will have my revenge and make you regret this day.” Zhou Weiqing said viciously. He had never hated anyone so much, even those who had mocked him since young, at least they had never taken direct action against him. Yet, Difuya had been so vicious towards him, furthermore the reason for doing so was in fact just a misunderstanding. Clearly, Zhou Weiqing was someone who could hold a grudge.
As he neared Heavenly Bow City, Zhou Weiqing slowly calmed down. He was wearing only an outer robe with nothing inside. Luckily, he still had a few pieces of gold in the robe. His father was very strict with him, so he did not have a huge allowance.
“Should I go home?” Zhou Weiqing stopped to think. “No, I deﬁnitely can’t go home like this. That damned Difuya will certainly complain to her father the Emperor about me peeping on her. If that old fellow hears about it, then it won’t be just a simple beating for me.” Thinking of the stern ﬁerce eyes of his father, he couldn’t help but shudder. He had grown up to many a beating, any time he got into any kind of mischief meant a beating from his father. This time, if his father knew about him peeping at the princess bathing, he wouldn’t be able to defend his actions. For his own safety, he better not go home.
However, if he did not head home, where could he go especially with only a few pieces of gold? Zhou Weiqing was in a dilemma. Although he was tall and well built, he was still a 13 year old kid, and did not have any particular professional skill he could live on. Even if he ran away from home, how could he survive for more than a few days outside and alone.
For a time, Zhou Weiqing looked extremely gloomy. Despite his misgivings, he continued shufﬂing towards the gates of Heavenly Bow City.
“Eh? Why are there so many people ahead?” Just as the city gates were up ahead, Zhou Weiqing suddenly realised there was an uncommonly large crowd at the side of the gates, almost several hundred people, and there were soldiers guarding the perimeter. What is going on here? Filled with curiosity, he quickly walked over to have a look. Luckily although the area was crowded, it was not tightly packed, and he was able to squeeze his way to the front to look.
Just ahead of the crowd, here was a row of long desks surrounded by people. Behind the desk was a notice with the large words “Military Recruitment” displayed clearly. Below that was written: To protect the borders of our empire, Heavenly Bow City is now recruiting 3000 fresh troops. Looking for healthy males of 16 to 26 of age, with priority to those with great inborn strength or heaven energy. Country ﬁrst then home, to join the army and protect your country and home is the manly thing to do.
The Heavenly Energy referred to here was those who were level 1 or 2. If someone was able to cultivate to level 3 and awaken their Power Jewel, they would not need to join via this recruitment, and could directly apply to military schools or even Jewel Master schools, which would mean a much brighter future.
Normally, Jewel Master’s Power Jewels were awakened before the age of 16, if not, it was likely that it would be impossible to do so in the future. Thus, the recruitment here was for ordinary soldiers. Join the army? Looking at the notice, Zhou Weiqing was highly tempted. Of course, if he signed on to the army, he wouldn’t need to go home! He would be fed and paid, and perhaps he could forge a name for himself in the army, lest his old man kept calling him a useless bum. Haha, this was a heaven-sent opportunity!
This fellow was still very young, and caught up in the moment of excitement, he did not think things through and consider the difﬁculties of joining the army. After all he was at an age where impulses ruled decision-making. Furthermore, after being called useless and trash everyday, and with his father being so strict with him, he did not want to stay at home anymore.
Having made up his mind, Zhou Weiqing squeezed to the front and told an old recruiting soldier : “Big bro, I want to apply, I want to apply.”
Although there were several hundred people in the surrounding crowd, but the actual number of applicants weren’t actually high. After all, Heavenly Bow City was the prosperous capital city of the empire, and the living standards of the commoners here were much higher than the norm. Also, since Heavenly Bow Empire was a small country, there were frequent border clashes with the other small surrounding countries. As a result, joining the army was quite a dangerous occupation. As such, it was not a normal occupation of choice for most people, let alone the nobles of the land.
There were around 20 soldiers in charge of recruitment sitting behind the desks, and they were all veterans, having at least of the rank of squad leader or higher. The one which Zhou Weiqing was currently facing looked to be around 30 years of age, and though he was just sitting there, his tall and strong physique was clear. From the lazy look that was currently on his face, those who had been in the army long enough would easily recognize and experienced and slick soldier.
“Hey brat, you want to join the army?” Seeing that someone ﬁnally approached him, the squad leader was overjoyed. After all, there were 20 soldiers here, and Zhou Weiqing had chosen to approach him, letting him feel that he had a lot of face.
“Yes! I want to join the army!” Zhou Weiqing exclaimed clearly. Looking at all the squad leaders dressed smartly in their armor giving off an awe inspiring aura, further ﬁrmed his resolve to join.
The squad leader nodded in satisfaction and asked: “That’s great, which branch of the service do you want to join?” “Ah?” Although Zhou Weiqing’s father was the commander- in-chief of the army, but he personally did not know much of the inner workings of the army, and he asked weakly: “What’s the difference?”
“Of course there is a difference, although the treatment of all basic soldiers are the same, but the requirements, tests and training of the various branches are quite different. For example, those in the light infantry would be more focused on stamina; on the battleﬁeld they are the busiest, having to run around everywhere. With higher stamina and being good at running, it will improve their chances of survival on the battleﬁeld. In fact, most of the other branches all started out from light infantry, many of the recruits do start training in the infantry. Of course, there are also other basic branches, like wagon supply units, logistics, army cooks etc. However, most of those do not have much future advancement.” As he went on speaking, his mouth twisted in scorn as he mentioned the latter.
As soon as he heard about survival on the battleﬁeld, Zhou Weiqing’s earlier enthusiasm was somewhat extinguished. Oh yes, joining the army would mean having to ﬁght on an actual battleﬁeld, and he did not have that much skills, if he were to die as cannon fodder in a ﬁght, that would deﬁnitely not be worth it. “Ahem, Ofﬁcer Bro, Can I consider a bit more?” Being afraid of death was human nature, especially for someone like Zhou Weiqing who was only 13 years of age, even though he looked like he was 16. “What? Are you playing with me?” The squad leader suddenly stood up angrily. His 1.9m frame towered over Zhou Weiqing, giving off an intimidating aura as he grabbed Zhou Weiqing’s cuff and brought his angered face closer.
“Uhhh… No what I meant was that I need more time to think what branch I should apply for…” Zhou Weiqing said quickly with a bitter smile on his face. As the saying goes, a wise man knows better than to ﬁght when the odds are against him, Zhou Weiqing certainly did not want to get beaten up. In truth, if he had revealed his background, it was likely that all of them would be kneeling in front of him right now. However, although Zhou Weiqing’s character was sly and cunning, but he had always been extremely obedient towards his father’s instructions. Since young, his father had always drilled into him that a real man will work and live on his own merits, and not just depend on his family background. As such, although Zhou Weiqing had one of the highest ranking noble backgrounds in the empire, he had never used it to take advantage of anyone, unlike Princess Difuya.
In fact, even if Zhou Weiqing really reneged on applying, the squad leader couldn’t do anything about it. Too bad he was young and inexperienced and had been scared into agreeing without knowing that. Upon hearing Zhou Weiqing’s reply, the squad leader sat back down with a satisﬁed smile, crooking his head to look at him before saying: “Alright, hurry up and decide and then ﬁll up this form and you can take your test. Let me tell you brat, you are very lucky as this is the ﬁrst of recruitment so we’re
still rather lax in our testing. Otherwise, do you think joining the army is that easy?”
Zhou Weiqing asked a sullen expression: “Ofﬁcer Bro, uhm, can I ask, on the battleﬁeld which unit branch can stand at the back and will not have much contact with the enemy?”
Zhou Weiqing had his own thinking, after all every boy dreamed of being a hero when they were young. He was not willing to just join logistics or to be a cook, if he had to be a soldier he had better be a proper one. If not, if his father heard about it, he would likely be beaten to death! He himself also didn’t want to throw face. But then as a soldier who would have to enter the battleﬁeld, Zhou Weiqing still wanted to look for a role that would be relatively safer, after all in his mind, safety was always number one. To him, being afraid of death was a natural human state, and he wasn’t so heroic that he could just stare death in the face.
The squad leader’s eyes glinted with a sly look, and said quickly: “That’s easy, of course that would be archers. Archers are generally put in the back-lines, even if they had to ﬁre from the front, but when both sides clash they would retreat back behind to ﬁght. Unless the entire army is wiped out, otherwise archers usually will not have direct contact with the enemy.
Upon hearing that, Zhou Weiqing was delighted and immediately said, “Great, this is great! Of course, why didn’t I think of our Heavenly Bow Empire’s most well known unit. Ofﬁcer Bro, I want to be an archer!” Archers were usually positioned behind the other close combat units for protection, this much he did know at least.
The squad leader saw that his cunning plan had succeeded, and gave a laugh of delight before standing up and grabbed his pen: “Name, age?”
“I’m called Zhou…” Zhou Weiqing almost gave out his actual name before catching himself in time. “I’m called Little Fatty Zhou. 16 years of age.” Although Zhou Weiqing was only 13 years old, but he had after all been born in a noble family and was the only son, as such he had some knowledge of the worldly ways of the world, at least a bit more than an ordinary kid. Since he had already decided to join the army, in order to hide the fact from his father, he decided to give himself an alias, it was his kid nickname which hadn’t been used for more than 10 years. It was unlikely that his father could discover him from it.
“Little Fatty Zhou? You’re not fat at all though!” The squad leader muttered to himself while writing down the details. He did not doubt for a second that Zhou Weiqing was younger than his proclaimed age of 16.
Very soon, the registration was complete, and he passed the form to Zhou Weiqing and pointed to a corner of the area and said: “Okay, go over there to take the test for archers. As long as you pass the test, you will be an ofﬁcial soldier of our empire.”
“Thank you Ofﬁcer Bro.” Zhou Weiqing happily took the form. In his mind, this was the best possible outcome, joining an actual combat unit which would not put him in too much danger. Perfect.
Rushing excitedly to the test area, there were about 4-5 soldiers there dressed in black and grey uniforms, with light leather armor, custom protective wrist guards, head adorned with a large hat to cover the sun, with a longbow on their backs, and a quiver of arrows slung on each side. This was the normal equipment for archers, and did seem rather valiant looking. Currently, there was no one taking the test, but the few archers were standing at attention. Zhou Weiqing knew how strict his father was by nature, and if he was so ﬁerce towards his own son, naturally his army had to have strict discipline as well. As such, even though Heavenly Bow Empire was quite small, with an army strength of a few tens of
thousands, but they were all very elite and were more than able to hold their own against enemies of similar or higher numbers. Zhou Weiqing knew that his father had never lost a battle, and was very well renowned in the surrounding countries.
“Hi big bros, I’m here to take the test.” Zhou Weiqing handed his form over to one of the archers, who looked at him and said “Little bro, well done, congratulations on choosing to join us, the units with one of the best prospects in the army. Here, take this to try pulling it.” The archer unlimbered his bow and passed it to Zhou Weiqing.
Zhou Weiqing took the long bow and examined it closely. It was made out of high quality Star Wood, was around 1.8m long and 0.9m wide. The front of the bow frame was in a circular arc, while the back was straight. The centre grip was about 4 cm wide, getting gradually thinner towards the ends which were wrapped up in sinew. This sort of long bow had been developed over the ages, across years and years of wars, from the various mixed materials of ancient times in the Boundless Mainland to crossbows which were less than 1.2m long, having a max range of less than 200m and effective range of less than 100m, and a much lower penetrating power. As time passed, bows gradually were developed to be larger, especially with the discovery of top grade materials like Star Wood, allowing the use of longbows to be more widespread. This long bow which was common for the archers of Heavenly Bow Empire was extremely deadly, even the most ordinary ones had a max range of less than 400m, an effective range of less than 250m, almost double that of the old crossbows. Their ﬁring rate was
as high as 10-12 arrows per minute which was also better than
the crossbow. In the hands of a skilled archer, the accuracy was way higher. Since the long bow was lighter due to its material, it was also easier to wield despite its increased range and damage, suitable for both skirmishes and direct clashes, and thus its appearance had meant crossbows had been rendered obsolete. It could be said that the longbow was the king of the battleﬁeld for ranged weapons.
The sheer rate of ﬁre of the longbow could cause the effect like an artillery barrage, when their own infantry were charging forth, the archers in the backline could ﬁre upwards in a high arc to hit the enemies. This was also the weakness of light cavalry where the mounts were not armored. Fired at max range, the sharp arrows could even pierce through light armor. Of course, there were also shortcomings of the longbow, namely that the archer had to have a strong body and constitution, have great skill on many different fronts, as well as the ability to cooperate well with each other. This meant a long time spent training and ﬁghting together before an archery unit was mature.
The importance of archers in an army was undisputed, especially so for Heavenly Bow Empire. In fact, when Zhou Weiqing’s father was younger and still a commander, he led troops of archers in a model battle of success for archers. At that time, their opponent was the Kalise Empire on their southern front, whose army was mainly made of cavalry.
At that time, Admiral Zhou had chosen a gentle slope which the Kalise Army would pass by and set up an ambush.
At that time, Heavenly Bow Empire’s archer troops consisted of only 2000 men, divided into 3 units. The unit covering the left used trees and trenches as cover, and the unit covering the right had a river as a natural barrier cover; the last unit was behind the other two and personally led by Admiral Zhou himself. In front of each unit, there were around 150 dismounted heavy cavalry troops equipped with heavy tower shields in a protective formation of 6 rows. With such a formation numbering mostly archers, and facing more than 3 times their number in enemy cavalry, they had won in a convincing slaughter-fest. This was also the battle that propelled Admiral Zhou to fame, and brought him into the upper echelons of the Heavenly Bow Army ranks.
Knowing his father’s history, when Zhou Weiqing held the bow, he couldn’t help but feel a rush of passion and excitement. As his father’s son, he had been trained with a longbow previously, but holding such a longbow which had been on the battleﬁeld just felt different.
Taking a deep breath, Zhou Weiqing held the bow in his left hand, while expertly using his thumb, index and middle ﬁnger to pull back the drawstring, using his strength to unwaveringly draw the bow into a perfect crescent, taking aim in front.
The soldier’s eyes lit up, and he exclaimed in praise: “Nice! Little bro, you have used a bow before right, very standard actions, but let’s see how your accuracy is. For us archers, as long as we have good accuracy, we are extremely important in the army.”
With such a proper posture, how could Zhou Weiqing not be accurate? After all, as long as Zhou Weiqing’s father was at home, he took pleasure in “torturing” his son with training. Although Zhou Weiqing was not able to cultivate, but in terms of training in different weapons and combat, he deﬁnitely had the best possible training. Even when the Admiral was out at work, he would still assign training for Zhou Weiqing to complete, and would even check afterwards. If he failed the check…. hehehehe..
As a result of that, Zhou Weiqing not only knew how to shoot, but was also very accurate, which was also one of the reasons why he had been so happy to choose to join the archer unit. After all, Heavenly Bow Empire was renowned in the region for its archers, and Admiral Zhou had deﬁnitely given him a lot of training in that area.
After taking the position for a while, Zhou Weiqing slowly put down the bow, not even out of breath and his back straight. He was after all still 13 years old, and although his strength was no weaker than an ordinary adult, he still could not sustain that position for too long.
“Alright, that’s enough. Little bro, from now on you are one of our brothers in the archery battalion. Our battalion is part of the 5th Regiment of the army, and the 5th Regiment has a total of 10 battalions out of which 4 are archers, and we are of the 3rd battalion. In Boundless Mainland, the formation of armies in the various countries were pretty much the same.
10 men to a Squad
10 Squads (100 men) to a Company
10 Companies (1000 men) to a Battalion
10 Battalions (10k men) to a Regiment
10 Regiments (100k men) to a Field Army Group
Of course, Heavenly Bow Empire’s army did not consist of Field Army Groups, its entire army was made up of 5 Regiments, totalling 50k soldiers.
“Ah? Is that it for the test?” Zhou Weiqing asked in surprise.
The archer replied with a laugh: “Why? Did you think it would be harder? We’re recruiting fresh troops not picking a son-in-law, as long as the recruit is healthy and in good shape, and is able to draw the longbow, it is considered a pass. You foolish youngling, probably just reached 16 years old right, and you will continue growing in stature so there won’t be any issues there. More importantly, all the recruits will be having a 3 month basic training. Of course we will not be sending fresh recruits into the battleﬁeld. Alright, now go over to that side to collect your equipment. Little bro, let me tell you that you are extremely lucky to be able to enter our 3rd battalion, you will know why when you see our battalion commander who is personally giving out the equipment over there.” As he spoke, he put a tick on Zhou Weiqing’s form before returning it to him.
The archer gave Zhou Weiqing directions to the temporary battalion headquarters which was situated not far from the ﬁeld, it had likely not been set up for long, and there were still wagons delivering goods there.
Was he about to become a real soldier now? Since young, Zhou Weiqing had been scolded by his father for being a useless bum, and he had never felt such a sense of accomplishment as today. Even though the test earlier had been extremely simple, but he had passed it on his own merits. Zhou Weiqing thrusted his chest forward in pride as he strode towards the Battalion headquarters. As he entered the headquarters, the form in his hands was his entrance permit across the various sentry checkpoints, and with the directions from the sentries he was able to easily ﬁnd the 3rd battalion’s headquarters. In front of a large warehouse there was a sign which read: New Recruits report here.
Zhou Weiqing was so excited by now, and hurried towards the warehouse and raised his hand to move aside the curtain to get in. In an unbelievable coincidence, just as he raised his hand forward, someone was walking out at the same time. It was summer time at the moment, and the curtain on the headquarters was extremely thin, and was mostly just to ward off mosquitoes. Due to Zhou Weiqing’s excitement, his actions were very large, and in grabbing the curtain, he also grabbed onto something round, soft, yet springy. Zhou Weiqing subconsciously squeezed, and at the same time there was a loud hmph from the other end before he was kicked away.
The kick was not that heavy, but Zhou Weiqing was still knocked back 7 steps, almost landing on his butt. The curtain was shoved aside and someone strode out.
It was a beautiful young girl, looking to be around 16 years of age, around 1.7m in height and very slender. She had a head of blue hair tied in a ponytail, and was dressed in a suit of black uniform, which Zhou Weiqing recognized as the uniform of a battalion commander. Of course, she was not wearing the armor which would complete the whole battalion commander gear.
Princess Difuya was already very pretty, but was no match in comparison to this young lady who was a whole level ahead in terms of looks. Her skin was as ﬁne and smooth as milk, and her most dazzling feature was her pair of large enchanting light blue eyes which were gentle and nigh perfect. Her features were blemishless, giving anyone who looked upon her an impression of being as gentle as still water.
As he looked upon the young girl, Zhou Weiqing was stunned as he realised he knew her. Although he had only seen her once from far, but she had deﬁnitely left an impression on him then. The reason for that was because the girl in front of him was Heavenly Bow Empire’s top genius on the young generation, and was also known as the top beauty of the empire. Her name was Shangguan Bing’er.
Chapter 3 – Battalion’s Commander Chest Muscles are not bad!
Zhou Weiqing had only seen Shangguan Bing’er once, and that was during her award ceremony. The countries in Boundless Mainland had very similar titles for nobles, the six titles in order of nobility from low to high – Lord, Baron, Viscount, Count, Marquis, Duke. Of course, for different countries, the various noble titles might have varying amount of power.
Shangguan Bing’er was born from a common family, but she had been awarded a title of Lord at the age of twelve, Baron the next year. This year she was 15 years old, older than Zhou Weiqing by 2 years, but her noble title was already the same as him at Viscount. However, in comparison, her title was truly earned by herself unlike Zhou Weiqing’s titles, which were only because of his father. Even though Princess Difuya was a rising star in the royal family, she paled in comparison to Shangguan Bing’er.
Although Shangguan Bing’er was a year younger than the princess, she already possessed 2 sets of Power Jewels, furthermore she had both Elemental and Power Jewels. At the age of 12, Shangguan Bing’er already managed to cultivate to level 3 Heavenly Energy and Awakened her Twin Power Jewels, which were known as Heavenly Jewels. Such a phenomenon was much rarer than giving birth to twins in families. Especially in such a small country like Heavenly Bow Empire where the number of Heavenly Jewel Masters they have are honestly really pathetic. The reason why Shangguan Bing’er is held in such regard by the Empire, given the rank of viscount
as such a young age, is because she is actually the second Heavenly Jewel Master in the whole empire! And the ﬁrst Heavenly Jewel Master is actually Zhou Weiqing’s father, Admiral Zhou.
Although Zhou Weiqing’s father was a Heavenly Jewel Master, but the class was still a mystery in Zhou Weiqing’s heart. As he had blocked meridians since young, Admiral Zhou looked down upon him and thus never discussed anything regarding Heavenly Jewel Masters. The only thing that Zhou Weiqing knew was that on the surface, Heaven Jewel Masters seemed to be the combination of a Physical and Elemental Jewel Master. However, while there were deﬁnitely many similarities, there was actually also a lot of differences in terms of cultivation, promotion of Heavenly Jewel Masters. In fact, even the look and abilities of their jewels also differed in some ways as compared to the individual Elemental or Physical Jewel Masters. However, he had no idea what the differences actually were; all he knew was that Heavenly Jewel Masters were known as having much greater strength in comparison. Many a time had he daydreamed that he was a Heavenly Jewel Master. The one and only time that Zhou Weiqing had seen Shangguan Bing’er previously was the day that she had been awarded with the title of Viscount. The one who had awarded her the title was the Emperor himself, and at that time Admiral Zhou had brought him along to view the procession.
As such, even though he had seen Shangguan Bing’er before and could recognize this top beauty of the empire at a single glance, she did not recognize him.
Unfortunately, right at this very moment, the facial expression on this top beauty was extremely ugly, her perfect features were ice cold, brow furrowed in anger and her hands were clasped protectively in front of her chest.
At this time, Shangguan Bing’er was rather despondent. She had just been walking out of the headquarters when the youth in front of her had suddenly recklessly grabbed the curtains, and had even grabbed her sensitive areas! In fact, from a young age, no male had ever touched any part of her body, she had no idea who her father was, and had been brought up singlehandedly by her mother. In fact, if she had not been protecting herself reﬂexively from the grasp just now, the kick on Zhou Weiqing would have been a lot harsher.
Zhou Weiqing also awoke to reality at this point, and recalling and associating the words of the archer earlier, he realised that this top beauty in front of him was clearly his superior ofﬁcer, the battalion ofﬁcer of the 3rd battalion, the very ofﬁcer who was supposed to issue him his gear. Also, looking at Shangguan Bing’er’s face and actions, it was clear to him where he had grabbed earlier.
In the Star Forest earlier, he had only seen the naked back of Princess Difuya and had been exceedingly excited. Now, he had actually touched Shangguan Bing’er! Could this be his lucky day? In this one single day, he had had ‘ambiguous relations’ with the 2 of the most famous young ladies in the whole empire! Thinking about where he had grabbed earlier… *Pooh* Once again, twin rows of blood spurted out of his nose. Although his face was arranged in an honest expression, that nosebleed betrayed the dirty thoughts he was currently having.
“Who are you?” Looking at Zhou Weiqing’s nosebleed, Shangguan Bing’er’s expression got even angrier, and she drew her sword and shouted in rage while pointing it at him.
“Ah! It is a misunderstanding, I’m a new recruit. I’m here to report and get my new equipment.” Zhou Weiqing quickly waved his form in front of her.
Shangguan Bing’er took a swift step forward towards Zhou Weiqing, grabbing the form from him to take a look. Her face softened a little, as she knew that it truly had been a coincidence previously, though she was still very angry at Zhou Weiqing.
“Why are you bumbling around clumsily for?” With a
*qiang* sound, Shangguan Bing’er sheathed her sword, the killing intent in her eyes had disappeared but her tone was still cold and angry. After all, what girl would be able to keep her temper after being grabbed that way.
Zhou Weiqing had been observing her expressions, and was very impressed in his heart. Look at Shangguan Bing’er! She was born from a common family, and clearly her moral character was way better than the princess. The grievance she had suffered was no smaller than Princess Difuya’s, but the reaction was just so different. If only she was my ﬁance instead, how great that would be?
“Follow me inside.” Shangguan Bing’er pushed aside the curtain and re-entered the headquarters.
Zhou Weiqing was about to enter, when someone sidled up next to him. Only then did he realise that a male soldier had actually been following Shangguan Bing’er out of the headquarters previously. He was wearing light armor covering the vital spots of the body, and with a helmet with a yellow feather, this was the mark of a Company Leader. Previously, all of Zhou Weiqing’s attention had been focused on the alluring Shangguan Bing’er and he had not noticed his presence.
A voice sounded out in his ear, as soft as a mosquito’s buzzing, “Hey Boy, how was the feeling like?”
Zhou Weiqing was at this point gloating inwardly, and he subconsciously praised out loud: “The battalion commander’s chest muscles are not bad!”
The Company Leader had only been teasing him, with a bit of envy mixed in, little did he expect that this young rascal would actually reply him out loud; this seemed rather at odds with his honest outlook. Regarding Zhou Weiqing’s reply, he could only think of one phrase: How intrepid!
A cold light ﬂashed, and Zhou Weiqing felt the ends of his hair stand up suddenly as the curtain in front of him was suddenly cut into two. In front of him, at the doorway, with her sword quivering in her hands, Shangguan Bing’er stood glaring coldly at Zhou Weiqing: “If you talk some more rubbish, I’ll make sure you become an eunuch.” “Eh, Battalion Commander, I’m so sorry I was wrong.” Zhou Weiqing had regretted his words earlier the moment they had left his mouth, after all he had been so loud and Shangguan Bing’er was so close. He hurriedly admitted his mistake with a apologetic smiling face.
Shangguan Bing’er gave an angry hmph, before turning back to head into the headquarters. The Company Leader seeing the situation, gave Zhou Weiqing a big thumbs up before he ran off quickly. Although Shangguan Bing’er did not put on any airs and had a very good temperament, as soon as combat started she was deﬁnitely more valiant than anyone else. He did not want to end up becoming an excuse for her to vent her anger.
Lol, of course he forgot it almost got him killed earlier “Little Fatty Zhou, come here.” Shangguan Bing’er’s severe voice came from within. Zhou Weiqing was blank for a while, before remembering that it was addressed to him, and hurriedly proceeded inside.
The huge building was ﬁlled with all sorts of army supplies, mostly meant for archers. Shangguan Bing’er did not sheathe her sword, instead slamming it down onto a table, before saying to one of the logistics soldiers: “Give him a set of equipment and then get him to scram.”
There were more than 10 logistics soldiers in charge of taking care of the equipment and also giving it out. They had not witnessed the earlier debacle, and were really curious why the normally kind battalion commander was acting so angry. One of the veteran soldiers quickly took out a set of archer’s equipment and handed it over to Zhou Weiqing.
Zhou Weiqing quickly took his equipment and looked through it. There were 2 sets of army uniforms, including socks, shoes and clothes, as well a set of leather armor, a longbow which was even taller than Zhou Weiqing, 2 quiver of arrows and a large hat. In the whole army, only the archers were issued the hat, and its purpose was not to block the wind, but rather to shade them from the glare of sunlight. After all, archers needed good vision in order to aim, and if they were in a position where they had to stare into the sun, it would adversely affect their aim. As such, all of the archers were issued such a hat to shade their eyes and increase their aim.
The veteran soldier then gave Zhou Weiqing 3 gold coins, telling him: “This is your ﬁrst year’s pay. You have one day leave to return home and settle everything. Gather back here by noon tomorrow. Remember, do not abuse your army supplies, when you gather back here tomorrow you will need to be dressed in your uniform. Understood?
“Understood.” If not for what happened with Shangguan Bing’er earlier, Zhou Weiqing would probably be very excited with receiving his equipment. However, he was still immersed in the memory of the feel just now, thinking in his head that he would not be washing his hands for a while now.
According to the normal procedures, Shangguan Bing’er should be saying some encouraging words now as a battalion commander. However, at this moment, how could she? The only thing she could do was to glare menacingly at Zhou Weiqing, who was rather spooked by the glare and did not dare to stay for long, grabbing things and rushing out of the headquarters.
Shangguan Bing’er looked at his retreating back, and thought to herself: Little Fatty Zhou, Little Fatty Zhou, just you wait, I’ll make you pay for that!
If Zhou Weiqing knew what Shangguan Bing’er was thinking, that despicable rascal will certainly answer: Sure, I’ll let you touch me back anywhere! Or perhaps even: My chest muscles aren’t as developed as yours!
As he exited the headquarters, Zhou Weiqing noticed that there wasn’t anyone around, and looking around he spotted an area with a toilet signage, which had a strange symbol he did not recognize.
He hurriedly grabbed his gear and rushed to the toilet, which was a lot cleaner and pleasant smelling than he had expected, though it only had one cubicle and a wooden door.
Zhou Weiqing found a clean spot to place his equipment, then removed his clothes. Earlier on, most of his clothes had been destroyed besides his over coat, and it was extremely uncomfortable. Since he had already gotten his army uniform, he decided to change into it as soon as possible.
Removing his overcoat, he was now totally naked. He was in no rush to change, but stood there relaxed to take a piss.
At this time, he heard the door opening. Zhou Weiqing was still urinating, and he subconsciously looked back, only to see Shangguan Bing’er walk in.
As Shangguan Bing’er entered the toilet, the ﬁrst thing she saw was Zhou Weiqing’s naked butt, and he was still shaking his ‘tool’ after ﬁnishing up. That sight sent her into a shock, and that was the moment that Zhou Weiqing turned around. Their gazes met, and two shrill shrieks sounded out at the same time. The weirdest thing was that Zhou Weiqing’s despicable scream was even more exaggerated than Shangguan Bing’er’s.
Shangguan Bing’er’s lovely face was red with embarrassment, and she backed out in a ﬂash. Zhou Weiqing hurriedly shook his ‘tool’ to ﬁnish up, and put on his uniform quickly, thinking that he was done for now. Holstering his longbow onto his back, shouldering the quivers and putting on the hat, he took quick steps toward the exit, thinking to himself: I better make a quick run for it and hope for the best. “Stop!” Shangguan Bing’er shouted in anger towards Zhou Weiqing, her face pale in anger. “You perverted ﬂasher! Just wait there and I’ll deal with you.” As she said that she rushed towards the toilet.
It was truly another unbelievable coincidence. The reason Shangguan Bing’er barged in without checking was because that toilet was actually for her personal use, hence the unknown symbol on the signage, which actually referred to the Battalion Commander’s personal use. After all, she was a girl, and also as a Heavenly Jewel Master it was safe to say that she was the hope of the Empire, and it was easy for the Regiment Commander to give her some simple special beneﬁts like a private toilet.
In the ﬁrst place, she had actually been heading for the toilet when Zhou Weiqing groped her, thus the long delay. After he had left, after she had ﬁnally calmed down, she had then heading out to the toilet again. Who knew that she would once again bump into him in such a circumstance to see him in his birthday suit. As such, she was not only both embarrassed and angry, but also confused. Added on to that was her need to use the toilet, although she wanted to beat Zhou Weiqing savagely, but she really needed to ﬁnish her own ‘business’ ﬁrst! Wait here? Zhou Weiqing thought to himself. Only a fool would wait here, maybe your anger will have dissipated by tomorrow.
This fellow totally disregarded his battalion commander’s orders, and ran off quickly with his bow. Quickly exiting the camp area, he dashed off into Heavenly Bow City. By the time Shangguan Bing’er came out from the toilet, the Pervert (in her eyes?), Zhou Weiqing, was already long gone. This made her gnash her teeth in hate to no avail.
After returning to Heavenly Bow City, Zhou Weiqing looked for an inn to stay for the night, and got some pen and paper to write a letter to his father:
Father, you always said that I’m useless, and I do feel that way myself, so I will not stay at home to trouble you further. As the saying goes, Reading 10000 books is incomparable to traveling 10000 li, I’ve decided to go out and make a living traveling by myself, to make a name for myself. Also, please help me break off my engagement with Princess Difuya, after all I am just a useless trash while she is a genius, I do not want to hold up her life, especially since she does not like me at all. That’s all I have to say, do take care of mother and do not try to look for me. You know I’m more afraid of death than anyone, I’ll come back alive and kicking, so don’t worry about me. After writing the letter, he went out to look for a shop providing delivery services, and paid for the letter to be delivered home tomorrow. After which he headed for a blacksmith’s shop – since he was about to become a soldier, his priority was deﬁnitely his own safety. As mentioned in his letter, he was more afraid of dying than anyone else. Today was his only free day in a while, so he decided to prepare himself properly before he had to return to the camp tomorrow.
Having grown up in Heavenly Bow City, Zhou Weiqing was extremely familiar with its layout. As he was still young, and had spent his life being scolded severely at home, leaving home this time gave him the enjoyable feeling like a bird let out of its cage; the feeling of homesickness will currently not be felt yet.
Before long, Zhou Weiqing had entered the nearest blacksmith shop. “Hi ofﬁcer, what would you like to order?” The manager of the shop immediately greeted Zhou Weiqing upon seeing his army uniform. In Heavenly Bow Empire, although the profession of blacksmith was not considered low, but it was still far from a soldier. Here, the most respected profession besides Jewel Masters were the soldiers of the army. After all, the mere 50k strong army of the Heavenly Bow Empire had withstood countless invasions from surrounding countries, and thus they were greatly beloved by the citizens. Although Zhou Weiqing looked very young, but he still looked very smart in his army uniform.
Zhou Weiqing asked: “Are you the boss here?”
“Yes, I am. Our shop might not be very large, but we are a time-honored brand in Heavenly Bow City, and have a good reputation. Whatever you wish to order, I’ll give you a discount since you are defending our country!”
Zhou Weiqing grinned, and lifted his hand to pluck off the hat off his head, looked out the window carefully, before moving closer to the boss and whispering mysteriously: “Boss, I’m from the 3rd Archery Battalion of the 5th Regiment of the army. I’m actually here on a secret mission from my Battalion Commander to forge something. If you do this well, needless to say you will be well rewarded.”
The boss hesitated for a moment, looking over Zhou Weiqing in evaluation. Although this archer looked very young, but he had an honest face and did not look like a cheat.
Zhou Weiqing continued in a low voice: “Don’t you know our 3rd Battalion? As soon as I mention our Battalion Commander you should understand; it’s our Empire’s top beauty, Viscount Shangguan Bing’er herself. You can go ask around and check for yourself.”
Upon hearing the name Shangguan Bing’er, the boss’ eyes brightened immediately, “Ofﬁcer, what does Viscount Shangguan Bing’er wish to forge?” To the commoners of the empire, Shangguan Bing’er was like a legend, after all she was also common-born, and was known as the Goddess of Commoners. This unsuspecting boss never expected that anyone would use her name to cheat someone, otherwise that person would be spurned with scorn by everyone. How would he know that the person in front of him was also a viscount. If Shangguan Bing’er actually found out that Zhou Weiqing was actually making use of her name, who knows if she might just castrate him! Zhou Weiqing said: “I need a extremely durable, strong but light metal to forge something. And it needs to be in a rush, I need it by today. Money is not a problem, but I need it to be hastened immediately.” As such, he took out the gold coins he had and laid them on the table.
Although Zhou Weiqing was not able to cultivate from young, but his thinking was deﬁnitely much more cunning and wily than anyone of his age. The reason why he used Shangguan Bing’er’s name was because he could not afford to wait for the usual time that such a forging order would take.
The boss immediately nodded and said: “No problem, we happen to have a valuable titanium alloy which has to be reﬁned by a Fire Jewel Master. Although the price is high, it suits your requirements perfectly. It costs around 10 gold coins per kg of the alloy, but since this is for Viscount Shangguan Bing’er, I’ll give it to you at cost price of 7 gold coins per kg. How’s that?” As soon as Zhou Weiqing took out his gold, the boss had believed his tale.
Upon hearing the words titanium alloy, Zhou Weiqing’s eyes brightened. He had heard of the metal before, as his father had a suit of armor forged with titanium alloy. It was extremely tough and durable, yet extremely light and easy to manoeuvre in, and was considered one of the best materials for forging equipment. As such, he was overjoyed and immediately replied, “Great, that’s it. I want to forge this.” As he said that, Zhou Weiqing handed over his hat to the boss.
The boss was confused momentarily, “Isn’t this the hat for archers?”
Zhou Weiqing nodded, saying: “Exactly, we are looking to forge it like the hat. Just imagine, on the battleﬁeld, the danger that we archers face are usually from enemy arrows. If the hats were made out of titanium alloy, the arrows that the enemy rain down upon us will not be able to hurt us. Furthermore, I require that a handle made from thick canvas be created inside of of the hat. In that way, I can also hold it in my hand like a shield.”
Upon hearing Zhou Weiqing’s explanation, the boss was very impressed by the feasibility of the plan. However, titanium alloy was so rare and expensive, how could it be issued to all archers?
Actually, Zhou Weiqing had thought about such an idea a long time ago. In the past when he was bored at home, he used to spend some time coming up with weird crazy ideas. Earlier, when he had been applying the join the army and the squad leader in charge had told him that archers were the safest unit, he knew that it had been bullshit. As the son of Admiral Zhou, how could he not know about the dangers of the archer units, especially those of Heavenly Bow Empire, which had one of the highest turnover rates. Due to the fact that the damage dealing capability of the archers were so high, they were also often focused heavily upon by enemies. Exchanging ﬁre between archer units were also highly common. The only reason Zhou
Weiqing still chose to join the archer unit was because he already had a few ideas on how to increase his safety, and it was also true that they would not engage much in melee combat.
He already had such an idea to turn the archer’s hats into a shield at the age of eleven. To use it in the battleﬁeld would be extremely easy, when they were under ﬁre from the enemy, he would just need to crouch down, and huddle in a little with his head down, and the enemy arrows would likely all be blocked by the hat. Of course, such an idea would not be easy for commoners to think of, only someone like Zhou Weiqing who was inborn with such a fear of death, and had such a sly, cunning way of thinking, would be able to come up with such an idea. At that time, he had wanted to tell his father about the idea, but every time he looked at the stern face of his father he just could not speak up. Who knows if his father would approve or reject his idea, after all trying to outﬁt titanium alloy hats to the whole army of archers would be impossible. “Respect! This must be Lord Viscount’s idea. How creative! Alright, we will take up this job, I’ll get everyone on it and rush it out by tonight. I’ll also only charge you the cost of the materials and not the service charge, so it should come up to around 6 gold coins per kg of titanium alloy.
This was the great part about tricking someone, not needing to ask for a discount, and the boss had automatically given one. Zhou Weiqing was rather proud of himself. As for the boss thinking such a sly idea came from Shangguan Bing’er, he didn’t care. After all, safety ﬁrst was his motto.
“Boss, do you have any completed products made out of titanium alloy? Preferably for defence.” Zhou Weiqing had never heard of being able to get titanium alloy at the price of 6 gold coins per kg, as far as he knew the usual price was 10-12 gold coins per kg. Since he would be going onto the battleﬁeld in the future, he wanted to prepare as much as possible.
“You’ve asked the right person, I have a set of internal armor made out of titanium alloy, and stitched together with the sinew of the heavenly beast Magic Tenacious Snake. It’s light but extremely durable, deﬁnitely more than enough for archers.” As he said that, the boss walked to the back of the counter and took out a silver shining internal armor. Zhou Weiqing grabbed it in his hands and shook it open. It was a half-body armor, able to cover the entire top half of the body up to the hands. It was so extremely light, less than 2kg in weight, that was the beneﬁt of the titanium alloy.
Zhou Weiqing was euphoric to see such an item, “Great, this is great, I want this. I estimate that this should be slightly more than one kg, but boss don’t worry, I won’t let you suffer a disadvantageous loss, I’ll count this as 2 kg. Here’s another 12 gold coins.” As he said that, Zhou Weiqing grabbed 12 coins and laid them down on the table at lightning speed. The boss stared aghast at Zhou Weiqing, “Ofﬁcer Sir, this… this… You can’t count it like this! It took 2 experienced blacksmiths more than half a year to complete this, not to mention the cost of the sinew of the Magic Tenacious Snake.” He had priced this internal armor at 60 gold coins, which was nearly 20 years of an ordinary soldier’s salary.
Zhou Weiqing widened his eyes in surprise, saying with an honest expression on his face: “Boss, didn’t you say it was 6 gold coins per kg earlier? You also said you won’t be charging me for the service. I’m buying this as a gift to our Battalion Commander, you wouldn’t be so stingy right? You should have sincerity when running a business ah! How about this, if you really need to increase the price I can’t argue, but I don’t have enough money at this time, after I gift this to our Battalion Commander, I’ll get her to reimburse you the remaining amount, is that okay? After all, our Battalion Commander is a pillar of our state ah! For her safety, I’m giving up the pay that I have saved for a few years, I really have nothing left already.” As he continued his story, this despicable rascal gave a look of pity and and with tangled emotions.
“This… this…” Upon hearing that this was a gift for Shangguan Bing’er, the boss had a bizarre expression on his face. Meeting up with Zhou Weiqing really made him feel like weeping but he had no tears, and he ﬁnally gave up with a sigh, “Alright alright. Since it’s for Lord Viscount, then I have nothing to say. But ofﬁcer sir, do remember to look for me next time when you have any other bulk orders!”
Zhou Weiqing was laughing in his heart, and didn’t dare to stay any longer, “Thanks so much! I’ll come back later tonight for the hat. Oh yes, please add layers of cloth around the hat so that it looks just like a normal hat, if possible make the brim of the hat larger so that there will be more protection.” After saying that, Zhou Weiqing grabbed the internal armor and left, feeling so pleased with himself.
After leaving the blacksmith, Zhou Weiqing turned around a corner into a quiet alleyway. He then took off his outer uniform, and wore the body-ﬁtting internal armor. Although it was still a little large for him, but the elasticity of the sinew was very good, so he could tighten it a little, and after putting back his uniform, the internal armor was unnoticable.
“Such a great item ah! Sigh, unfortunately titanium alloy is unable to conduct Heavenly Energy, and is also unable to be enchanted with any further attributes, otherwise in addition to its unique qualities, its price would be sky high. Zhou Weiqing sighed with feeling. Titanium alloy had a lot of great points, but it was not perfect and had its own ﬂaws as mentioned. Those ﬂaws alone made it so that it was not a prime weapon for Jewel Masters, thus lowering the price.
After settling his things, Zhou decided to head towards the Stars Forest to retrieve a treasure he had hidden there. That was the most valuable thing he had in the thirteen years he had lived.
Just as Zhou Weiqing was joining the army to become a cunning archer, in the Palace of Heavenly Bow Empire, another nervous atmosphere was prevalent.
“Father Emperor, please don’t be angry. It’s all my fault.” Princess Difuya was kneeling down in chagrin, sobbing.
In front of her, a middle aged man of around forty dressed in a gold robe was pacing back and forth, a golden crown on his head, his complexion as clear as jade, the aura of a man used to be in power was tangible in the air, causing the servants around to barely be able to breathe. At this moment, his brow was furrowed and his eyes were full of anger. On hearing Princess Difuya’s words, he stopped suddenly and shouted in anger: “Let me tell you! If Weiqing is alright then that’s ﬁne, but if he really died from your actions, you will have to accompany him in death!”
When Difuya had returned to the palace earlier, she became more and more afraid as she thought about what happened. After a while, her reason ﬁnally overcame her fear, and she told her father, Emperor Di Feng Ling, what had happened. At ﬁrst, she kept swallowing her words haltingly, but as soon as Di Feng Ling heard that it was regarding Zhou Weiqing, he immediately called the guard Niya over for questioning, until he ﬁnally got all the details straight. As soon as he knew the truth of the matter, he ﬂew into a rage, and immediately sent the 4 Life Elemental Jewel Masters to go with Niya to ﬁnd Zhou Weiqing and heal him.
Difuya stared in shock at her father. She had not expected Zhou Weiqing to have such importance in her father’s heart.
“Father Emperor, he is just an ofﬁcial of yours, but I’m your only daughter!” Di Feng Ling had one son and one daughter, the daughter of course was the 16 year old Difuya, and she also had a younger brother. Di Feng Ling was a great and illustrious leader, and after having a son and ensuring his health, he decided not to have any more children. The reason was simple, he did not want his children to end up ﬁghting over his throne in the future, so he would just groom his only son with all his effort instead.
Di Feng Ling said in anger: “You still know you’re my only daughter? In the past, at our borders with the Kelise Empire, if not for Big Bro Zhou risking his life to save me, using his body to shield me from the enemy arrows, you would not be alive right now! At that time, Big Bro Zhou was hit by 26 arrows, and it took the combined might of our 4 Life Elemental Jewel Masters a whole month to be able to rescue his life. For the past 20 years, Big Bro Zhou has risked his life countless of times, shedding blood and tears in his deeds of valour over countless battles. Without him, there would be no Heavenly Bow Empire, and would you be a Princess then? As a member of the royal family, you aren’t putting any effort into improve our empire, instead always daydreaming about a prince charming riding into your life. Let alone today Zhou Weiqing probably saw you by accident or coincidence, even if he peeped on you on purpose, so what? You are his ﬁancee, to put it in blunt ugly terms, even if he …. you, it’s also nothing. But you… you actually attacked him, and with your Elemental Jewel skill. I can tell you that I’m not joking, if Weiqing really dies, you will have to accompany him in death, else I can’t answer to Big Bro Zhou.
Difuya was really afraid now, especially since Di Feng Ling had twice said that she would be buried together with Zhou Weiqing, she knew that her father had made up his mind no matter how much she didn’t want to believe it.
“Your Majesty.” At this moment, 5 people entered the room, bowing to Di Feng Ling. It was the 4 Life Elemental Jewel Masters he had sent out.
“How is it? How is Weiqing?” Di Feng Ling asked worriedly.
The leader of the Life Elemental Jewel Masters said respectfully: “Do not worry your Majesty, we did not manage to ﬁnd Viscount Zhou, but upon careful examination of the area, we found his footsteps leading away. We can conclude that Viscount Zhou managed to leave safely.”
Di Feng Ling’s brow furrowed, “How is that possible? Weiqing is an ordinary person without Heavenly Energy, enduring a blow from a Fire Elemental Jewel, I’m afraid…”
The Jewel Master said: “Viscount Zhou is Admiral Zhou’s son after all. Perhaps, the admiral gave him some defensive items that could save his life.” Di Feng Ling’s expression ﬁnally eased up, and he turned to Difuya and said: “Get up, follow me to the Admiral’s mansion to apologise to Weiqing.”
At this point, how could Difuya dare say anything in contrary? Although she was scolding Zhou Weiqing in her heart, but she still got up and followed her father, feeling like she was being wronged.
Of course, Zhou Weiqing did not know what sort of trouble he had brought to the capital city. The next dawn, he had an enjoyable breakfast in his inn before shouldering his longbow and heading towards the army camp.
Chapter 4 – The secrets of Heavenly Jewel Masters
The camp was just outside the city gates, and Zhou Weiqing walked into the camp excitedly, touching his brand new internal armor and his freshly custom made 1 kg hat. It seems it had totally forgotten what trouble he had gotten himself into yesterday.
As he entered the camp, he bumped into someone familiar. It was the the Company Leader who had asked him how the feeling was like. However, at this time, this fellow’s face was all serious, and he held out a hand to stop Zhou Weiqing.
“You’re Little Fatty Zhou right?”
Zhou Weiqing gave a honest smile, “Yes! Company Leader Big Bro, I’m Little Fatty Zhou.”
The Company Leader said with a stern voice: “What Big Bro? In the army, there is only our posts and ranks. I’m Mao Li, Company Leader from the 5th Regiment, 3rd Battalion, 4th Company. From now onwards, you are a member of my 4th Company, understood?” Zhou Weiqing replied: “Understood”. Although he said that, but in his heart he was slandering the Company Leader: Mao Li? Donkey? Company Leader Donkey?
Company Leader Mao Li did not know that a moment of solemnity had caused that rascal to give him such a nickname, a nickname that would follow him throughout his entire military career.
“Follow me.” Mao Li turned and headed towards the main tent.
Zhou Weiqing followed him rather perplexedly, wondering why the Company Leader would personally look after him. After all, he was just a fresh new recruit, normally a squad leader would be handling him. After all, a Company Leader was leading 100 men, and for Heavenly Bow Empire whose army was rather small, they were considered as mid-ranked ofﬁcials in the army, while a Battalion Commander like Shangguan Bing’er was already considered a high ranking general.
Mao Li brought him deeper and deeper into the camp, into a more desolated area, before ﬁnally entering a small tent at the very edge of the camp site. Zhou Weiqing followed him in. The tent was only 10 metres or so in size, and there was only one bunk in it, without any other decorations or equipment.
Mao Li stood in the tent, saying: “Before the recruitment ends and we head to the recruit training, you will be staying here. This time, our 5th Regiment will be recruiting a thousand men, and our 3rd Battalion alone will be recruiting a hundred, and I estimate we’ll probably take at least half a month to ﬁnish recruitment.
Zhou Weiqing said in surprise: “Wow, Company Leader, the treatment of our soldiers are so good, we all have our own personal tents?”
“Heh heh” Mao Li laughed, saying: “Of course not, this is specially for you. You rascal, I can’t help you here, you’ll have to take responsibility for your own actions. Alright, you just rest for now. The army mess is at the left quadrant of the camp, and should be very easy to ﬁnd. When it is time for us to head for the recruit training, someone will inform you.” With that, he turned and left the tent.
After Mao Li had left, Zhou Weiqing had a very bad feeling about the current scenario. He took off his longbow and quiver and left them on the ﬂoor before exiting the tent as well. Previously, he had not examined the area closely. Now, with a wary heart, he took a more detailed survey of his surroundings, and realised that the closest tent to him was 50 metres away. It could be said that his tent was on the very edge of the camp.
Could it be that his real identity had been discovered? That shouldn’t be possible! He had been so careful. Suddenly, an beautiful but angry face ﬂashed into Zhou Weiqing’s mind, and his heart sank, muttering to himself: “Shangguan Bing’er that chick is the top genius in the Empire, she shouldn’t be a big- boobed bimbo and be so fussy and vindictive against me right?”
“Zhou….Little…. Fatty….!!!!” At this time, an angry voice which clearly was with teeth gritted sounded in his ear. The voice was as enchanting as an oriole’s chirp, but the tone in it did not bode well for Zhou Weiqing.
Zhou Weiqing spun around quickly, to see Shangguan Bing’er dressed in army fatigues with a dark purple longbow on her back. Zhou Weiqing couldn’t help but stare at her in a daze; her air was tied up in a ponytail, and she was not wearing any armor, allowing the dark purple fatigues she was wearing to further accentuate her curves. Coupled with the longbow on her back, she was a lovely picture of a valiant warrior. Unfortunately, the expression on her lovely face was extremely black, almost as if she were about to spit out ﬁre, clearly she had heard him say the words ‘big-boobed bimbo’.
Ugh, what sort of luck is this? Zhou Weiqing sighed in his heart, quickly putting on his signature honest smile, “Lord Battalion Commander! I was just uh praising you .. uhm .. on your growth uhh.. development …. ….” Having been caught red-handed, even the glib Zhou Weiqing had no idea how to talk his way out of this one.
Shangguan Bing’er was furious! She had originally asked Company Leader Mao Li to assign Zhou Weiqing to this isolated tent so that she could take some revenge on him. At ﬁrst, she was feeling a bit guilty about it, questioning if she was being too hard on him; after all Zhou Weiqing was just a new recruit, and while he was infuriating, his previous ‘misdeeds’ had all been accidental. But after listening to his words just now, how could she still be fooled by his honest outlook.
“Private Zhou, Attention!” She shouted loudly.
Zhou Weiqing hurriedly stood at attention, there was no comparing the two of them, after all Shangguan Bing’er was not only his commanding ofﬁcer with a much higher rank, she was also a Heavenly Jewel Master. As the saying goes, a wise man does not ﬁght when the odds are against him.
Shangguan Bing’er reached out with her right hand and took out a horse whip from around her waist, and glared and Zhou Weiqing coldly, saying: “Private Zhou, for insulting a superior ofﬁcer, your punishment is 10 whips, the penalty will be administered by Shangguan Bing’er. Little Fatty Zhou, turn around now.”
Zhou Weiqing looked mournfully at the whip in Shangguan Bing’er’s hands, crying in his heart. He did not imagine that he would be whipped on the ﬁrst day in camp, but now he was under her command and he could only turn around with an unwilling, heavy heart.
Shangguan Bing’er gave an angry hrmph, with a quick stride she was behind Zhou Weiqing, and *Pah* sounded resounded as it whipped across Zhou Weiqing’s back.
“AHHHHHHHHH!!” Zhou Weiqing’s shrill screams sounded like he was being castrated, his whole body fell onto the ﬂoor face ﬁrst, rolling around in agony. Shangguan Bing’er looked at the whip in her hands questioningly, thinking hesitatingly: Was it that painful? I didn’t use any Heavenly Energy in that blow! This Little Fatty Zhou looks so stout, who knew he is so frail?
Zhou Weiqing’s acting was actually so realistic, his body writhing around in pain as he rolled on the ground as if he was about to die.
If we were talking about getting beaten up, who had more experience than him? Since young, he had been punished by beatings countless of times by his father, and he was fully experienced in all sorts of trickeries when he was being beaten.
When Shangguan Bing’er whipped him, he had already dove forward in perfect timing to reduce the impact on his back, and then acted out the scenario to use his pain to win sympathy. He had a lot of experience using this tactic, and was extremely skilled in pulling it off, to the point where it was almost second nature. In truth, this rascal was gloating in his heart, after all he was wearing the titanium alloy internal armor, added to the fact that Shangguan Bing’er had not used any Heavenly Energy, he pretty much did not even feel anything. As such, his act of pain was only a subconscious act that he had performed, and since he had started with it he might as well milk the situation. Looking at Little Fatty Zhou’s pain, Shangguan Bing’er couldn’t bring herself to hit him a second time. After rolling around for a while, Zhou Weiqing ﬁnally quietened down, but still lay there twitching, as if he couldn’t make it already.
TL: ⽑利 Mao Li is the name, sounding similar to ⽑驴 Mao Lu which means donkey. Shangguan Bing’er hrmphed in anger, “Little Fatty Zhou, I’ll administer the remaining 9 whips another time. With your weak physique, how can you be a proper soldier? Before the recruit training starts, this Battalion Commander will be giving you some personal tough training. If you can’t ﬁnish it, just get lost from here and don’t throw our 3rd Battalion’s face! I’ll come and ﬁnd you after lunch.” After saying that, she spun around and stalked off.
Zhou Weiqing watched her leave, after which he leapt to his feet, the sly expression on his face gone. “There is such a difference between people’s personalities. From now on, I shall not anger this Battalion Commander already. Compared to Difuya, she is such a kind soul.” Honestly, he had not imagined that he would be let off so easily, he could easily foresee that if the person administering the beatings had been Difuya, he would deﬁnitely have to suffer all the remaining 9 blows. Zhou Weiqing had clearly seen the expression on Shangguan Bing’er’s face after the ﬁrst blow, that she couldn’t bear to hit him a second time, and he had a very good impression and liking of her. Of course, for this rascal, that liking caused him to slyly think back of the feeling in his hands from the previous day, causing him to drool again. Soon it was noon; the lunch in the army was nothing special, it was simple and only meant to ensure stomachs were ﬁlled. Since Zhou Weiqing wasn’t used to any special treatment or foods at home, he was ﬁne with just ﬁlling his stomach with the standard fare. Of course, he was eating at the ordinary soldier’s mess, the ofﬁcers had a separate mess area. By the time he got back from lunch, he saw that Shangguan Bing’er was already standing outside his tent waiting for him, dressed in the same outﬁt as earlier in the morning. Zhou Weiqing was secretly thinking, how great it would be if she were his girlfriend waiting for him. Of course, it was just a passing thought – Zhou Weiqing’s greatest strength was that he knew his limits, he would not really expect that the top genius in the empire would fall in love with such a trash who could not cultivate like him.
“Greetings Battalion Commander.” Zhou Weiqing quickly walked up towards Shangguan Bing’er and gave her a smart salute.
Although Shangguan Bing’er had a very kind nature, but she was also very intelligent. In the morning, after she had left Zhou Weiqing after the whipping, she realised that she had been fooled. After all, she had not used much strength, how could he be in such pain? That rascal had clearly been acting. He might look very honest but that Little Fatty Zhou was deﬁnitely not a good person, if she did not punish him for that she would not be able to assuage her anger. To think that the ﬁrst man to ever touch her body was such a rascal, Shangguan Bing’er almost couldn’t control her anger.
“Little Fatty Zhou, let me ask you, to an archer what is the most important?” Shangguan Bing’er asked solemnly.
Zhou Weiqing answered unhesitatingly: “Speed, strength and accuracy.”
Shangguan Bing’er heard his swift and accurate reply and was rather surprised, “Very good, you’re right. From your conduct this morning, your physique is in bad shape and not up to standard for an archer. As such, from now onwards, I will be conducting special training for you.”
Upon hearing that, Zhou Weiqing’s face changed, “Lord Battalion Commander, can we start later? I just ate lunch, and need an afternoon nap.”
Shangguan Bing’er said angrily: “Do you have the qualiﬁcation to bargain with me? A soldier has to follow orders, I hope you remember that point, or you will never be a good soldier, let alone an ofﬁcer. I’m going to prepare some things, the special training will start in an hour.” After Shangguan Bing’er left, Zhou Weiqing laughed and said, “Although this girl acts tough, but her heart is really soft. She has given me an hour of rest, haha in front of this young master there is no point acting. Alright, I’ll go take a nap. Afternoon naps are a good habit, good for the complexion.”
When Shangguan Bing’er returned in an hour carrying a heavy duffel bag, all she heard was the snoring sounds of Little Fatty Zhou.
Shangguan Bing’er was both amused and vexed at the same time. This Little Fatty Zhou rascal really just ate and slept, couldn’t he tell that she was using her rank to take revenge on him? It was unbelievable that he could still sleep so soundly.
“Little Fatty Zhou, Wake up!” Shangguan Bing’er shouted loudly outside the tent, she naturally would not enter his tent, what if that rascal was sleeping naked?
The snores continued.
A sly light ﬂashed in Shangguan Bing’er’s beautiful eyes, and she suddenly shouted loudly: “FIRE!! FIRE!!” “Aaaahhh…” A loud screech resounded from within the tent, preceding Zhou Weiqing rushing and stumbling clumsily out of the tent. Luckily, although he was dishevelled, at least he was still clothed.
“Where, Where?” shouted Zhou Weiqing as he rushed out, face was ﬁlled with panic.
Shangguan Bing’er said exasperatedly: “Are you so afraid of death?”
By now Zhou Weiqing had ﬁnally fully woken up, and looking around, he realised that there wasn’t any sight of ﬂames around and immediately knew that he had been tricked. His face full of indignation, he said: “It’s human nature to be scared of death, those who aren’t scared of death are fools. If there’s nothing else, I’m going back to sleep.” Having said that, he actually turned around and headed back to his tent.
“You wretch, stop right now!” Shangguan Bing’er realised that every time she faced Little Fatty Zhou she would always fall into a rage.
“Battalion Commander, is there anything else?” Zhou Weiqing asked impatiently. “Special training.” Shangguan Bing’er gritted her teeth as she looked at the rascal, and she lifted her hand and threw the duffel bag into Zhou Weiqing’s arms. She had already decided that no matter what, she would teach him a lesson today and assuage her anger.
Zhou Weiqing felt his hands ﬁlled with a sudden weight, and upon opening the bag, he saw it was ﬁlled to the brim with rocks, weighing about 20kg in total. Immediately, he didn’t dare to act anymore and said with a pitiable expression: “Battalion Commander, this is too harsh right.”
Shangguan Bing’er said coldly: “As an archer, your speed and strength are far from passable, if you don’t get a large amount of physical training, how can you survive?”
Zhou Weiqing said: “But, shouldn’t being accurate at shooting be enough?”
Shangguan Bing’er asked suspiciously: “Is your archery very accurate?”
Zhou Weiqing had some conﬁdence in his archery, and immediately nodded. Shangguan Bing’er said: “Okay, if your archery is more accurate, or at least equal, to mine, then you won’t have to undergo my special training. Take your equipment and follow me.”
Zhou Weiqing shouldered his bow and brought his quiver, and followed Shangguan Bing’er out of the camp.
Once they were out of the camp, Shangguan Bing’er stopped, and pointed towards a large tree, whose trunk was about as thick as a human, about 200 yards away: “See that tree? To be a passable archer, you need to be able to shoot a human ﬁgure at least 200 yards away. Your target now is the centre of the tree trunk. Go ahead.”
Zhou Weiqing took down his longbow, and took out an arrow of around 90 cm long from his quiver, nocking it to the bow. He drew the bow and took aim – the tree at 200 yards away was but a slim ﬁgure – before releasing the arrow. With a swooshing sound, the arrow ﬂew out and embedded itself ﬁrmly with a thud into the tree trunk, just a little left of the centre mark. The shot was already considered quite accurate, in the 3rd Battalion, it was mostly only the Company Leaders who could do so well. Although the passing mark of 200m accuracy on a human sized target was true, but the number of soldiers who could actually pull it off was not many.
“Haha! I hit!” Zhou Weiqing waved his bow at Shangguan Bing’er smugly. He actually did not have a 100% conﬁdence in hitting the target, for his skill it was likely he would hit 7 out of 10 times, which was one of the reasons why he chose to join the archer unit in the ﬁrst place.
“Is that even counted as a hit? I asked you to hit the centre of the trunk. I can shoot more accurately than you even using my feet.” Shangguan Bing’er said scornfully.
Zhou Weiqing immediately seized upon her words, “Using your feet? Prove it! If you can use your feet to shoot the centre of the trunk, I’ll listen to you and do the training.” “I’m your Battalion Commander, you’re supposed to listen to my commands anyway! Give me your bow and arrow.” Shangguan Bing’er said with some anger.
Zhou Weiqing handed over his longbow and arrow, and Shangguan Bing’er said coldly, “Watch this.” As she said that, she kicked off her army boots, revealing a pair of white soft feet. Before Zhou Weiqing could react, she used her foot to grasp the bow’s handle, her right leg moving back to raise the whole bow up. Next, she supported herself upside down with both hands, and used the other foot to grasp an arrow from the quiver.
What made Zhou Weiqing gape in awe was that, Shangguan Bing’er’s (reversed-side) body was arched in a bow-shape, right foot in front, left foot nocking the arrow to the bowstring and pulling it in a crescent shape. Her shapely buttocks were almost pressed upon her own head, and her long legs were right in front of Zhou Weiqing.
Her right foot released the string, and with a swoosh, the arrow shot out like lightning. Zhou Weiqing followed it with his eyes, to see the arrow slam into the tree trunk – right smack in the middle. That was possible? That skill of using her legs to shoot was unbelievably graceful. Zhou Weiqing praised in his heart. She is truly worthy of being the top youthful genius in the whole empire! What Shangguan Bing’er displayed earlier was totally her body’s ﬂexibility and control, and she did not use a single bit of Heavenly Energy or her Heavenly Jewels, but followed Zhou Weiqing and only used ordinary physical abilities to shoot the arrow.
With a ﬂip, Shangguan Bing’er righted herself to stand in front of Zhou Weiqing, before throwing him back the bow and quiver. She said quietly: “Now are you convinced?”
Zhou Weiqing looked at her earnestly and said: “Battalion Commander, I think that the next time if you are wearing a dress, you shouldn’t use such a skill, else you will reveal everything. But really, your legs are very beautiful.” He also had a sentence he kept to himself: Your buttocks are really shapely too!
Shangguan Bing’er had seen his dazed look earlier and thought he had been impressed by her, little did she expect that he would say something like that, making her eyes blaze in anger again, her face ﬂushed in embarrassment. “What is your head is ﬁlled with, always thinking such dirty thoughts? Now, Immediately, without delay, carry this bag and run around the camp until I say stop or I’ll change the training to sparring with me!!!”
“I’ll run now..” Zhou Weiqing said with a wronged look, and he shouldered the bag and started running slowly. Unfortunately for him, no matter how pitiful he acted now, in Shangguan Bing’er’s eyes he had a provoking look that made her want to hit him.
“Faster!” Shangguan Bing’er gave him a kick to the behind, before wearing her boots and following him. She would personally oversee his running, and not give him a chance to slack off.
Zhou Weiqing turned his head to look at Shangguan Bing’er, and realised that she now had 2 bright red gems around her wrists.
Are those heavenly jewels? Zhou Weiqing looked on in wonder. Although running while carrying a weight of 20kg was not easy, but he could still handle it for now. Towards Heavenly Jewels, he had a lot of natural curiosity and yearning, and he couldn’t help asking: “Battalion Commander, are those your Heavenly Jewels? I’ve heard that Heavenly Jewel Masters have both Physical and Elemental Jewels, your Elemental Jewels are of the Fire alignment rubies?” The 2 red gems were indeed very similar in look to the ﬁre elemental jewels of Difuya, the only difference he could see was the brightness of the glows. Compared to Difuya’s Jewels, the Jewels Shangguan Bing’er’s left wrist were much brighter, almost twice so. Also, as compared to the more costly feel of the rubies of Difuya, the 2 red Jewels on her wrist now had a more softer, agile look that gave a comfortable peaceful feeling.
Shangguan Bing’er said: “If you run faster, I’ll tell you.” Although she was angry with Little Fatty Zhou, she did not have any guarded feelings against him. As a Heavenly Jewel Master, she could tell that Zhou Weiqing did not have any Heavenly Energy within him.
At this point, Zhou Weiqing did not bother trying to slack off anymore, and hurriedly picked up the pace. Although it would be more difﬁcult, but his curiosity about Heavenly Jewels overcame all of that.
Shangguan Bing’er said: “Heavenly Jewel Masters are different from individual Physical or Elemental Jewel Masters. It isn’t just as simple as having both types of jewels. You seem to know the basics of Physical and Elemental Jewel Masters, can you tell how mine differs?” As she said that, she showed the Jewels on her right hand as well. Around her right wrist were two Jade Jewels, both light green and translucent emeralds.
“Dragonstone Jade…. Pure?” Zhou Weiqing said in surprise. Dragonstone Jade were considered high-grade for Jewel Masters, as they signiﬁed an improvement in agility. But this was not what gave Zhou Weiqing the surprise, instead it was the sheer purity of the gem. He could see that Shangguan Bing’er’s physical gem had no other jades mixed in, and was purely the agility type Dragonstone Jade.
Shangguan Bing’er said: “The Physical Jewels of Heavenly Jewel Masters differ from those of Physical Jewel Masters in terms of purity. That is to say, Heavenly Jewel Masters only have one type of physical enhancement, for example mine is agility. However, the amount of enhancement is equivalent to
1.5 times that of a normal Physical Jewel. All these knowledge are taught in Jewel Master schools.
Purity, so it was purity. Zhou Weiqing was suddenly enlightened to the difference between Physical and Heavenly Jewel Masters. Although there was only one attribute that was enhanced, but a difference of 150% for every level meant that for the same level, no matter what physical attribute Heavenly Jewel Masters were boosted by, a normal Physical Jewel Master could never be of a match. Shangguan Bing’er continued: “As for my Elemental Jewel, it isn’t a ruby as you mentioned. My element is not ﬁre, but wind.” Actually, she had no need to explain everything to Zhou Weiqing; she didn’t know why but she felt a sense of happiness looking at that fellow’s shocked face.
“Wind? But Wind Elemental Jewels should be green tourmaline!” Zhou Weiqing was once again surprised.
Shangguan Bing’er shook her head and said: “Similarly, Heavenly Jewel Master’s Elemental Jewels are also different from ordinary Elemental Jewel Masters’. This Elemental Jewel of mine is also a tourmaline, but it is the rarest of all tourmalines – a red tourmaline, also known as King Tourmaline. This is another difference between Heavenly Jewel Masters and Elemental Jewel Masters – although both are wind elementals, but my King Tourmaline’s wind attribute is about 1.5 times that of an ordinary tourmaline. It’s the same for other attributes, in simple terms, Heavenly Jewels are always the highest grade of Elemental Jewels.” “Wow, so ﬁerce? Does that mean that a single Jewelled Heavenly Jewel Master is stronger than a 2-jewelled Physical or Elemental Jewel Master?” Zhou Weiqing said in shock.
Shangguan Bing’er said: “In terms of raw strength, yes. However, Heavenly Jewel Master’s also have a tougher time cultivating than ordinary Physical or Elemental Jewel Masters. Throughout the whole mainland, Physical or Elemental Jewel Masters who are able to cultivate to the 9th Jewel are still quite plentiful. However, we still have not heard of any Heavenly Jewel Master who has been able to cultivate to the maximum. In fact, Heavenly Jewel Masters should be considered a different profession altogether. Legend says that the strongest Heavenly Jewel Masters can train up to 12 Jewels, such a level is already against nature’s law, able to change anything in the world.” As she continued speaking, her eyes revealed a yearning for such a level.
12 Jewels, so Heavenly Jewel Masters could actually cultivate up to 12 Jewels, and not the 9 of the ordinary Physical or Elemental Jewel Masters. Only after listening to Shangguan Bing’er’s elucidation, did Zhou Weiqing ﬁnally realize how strong his father was. After all, his father was an 8-Jewel Heavenly Jewel Master! As such, Zhou Weiqing asked probingly: “I hear that our Heavenly Bow Empire’s Admiral Zhou is also a Heavenly Jewel Master, is he very strong?”
Without hesitation, Shangguan Bing’er said: “Of course he’s strong! Admiral Zhou is the person I respect the most! His level is considered strong even in those large countries, let alone in our Heavenly Bow Empire. His Majesty once said before, even all the Jewel Masters in our Heavenly Bow Empire together would not be able to defeat Admiral Zhou alone. After all, Admiral Zhou has already cultivated up to 8 Heavenly Jewels, and is a mid level Tian Zong. In the whole mainland, he is still considered a ﬁrst class expert. Furthermore, Admiral Zhou’s elemental alignment is one of the 4 top elemental alignments.
Although Shangguan Bing’er was praising his father, Zhou Weiqing somehow could not be overjoyed. The reason was simple, after his burst of exertion running quickly, his stamina was almost drained bare; he was totally drenched in sweat and panting, even speaking was too difﬁcult now.
“Hurry up.” The whip appeared in Shangguan Bing’er’s hands, and looking at Zhou Weiqing’s face streaming with sweat, she couldn’t help but feel a sense of joy. This rascal actually had quite a good physical condition, after running so long with the load he was still able to persevere, it was clear that the pain he showed earlier in the morning after the one whip was all acting.
“Battalion Commander, I can’t continue anymore, let me rest a while please.” Zhou Weiqing wiped the sweat from his face, looking at her pleadingly.
Unfortunately, this time Shangguan Bing’er had already resolved to not fall for the same trick again, her beautiful face turned cold, and her whip lashed out like lightning to land on Zhou Weiqing’s buttocks. The pain caused Zhou Weiqing to shudder, and his slowing footsteps picked up speed again. His internal armor did not cover his buttocks after all.
On the other hand, Shangguan Bing’er who was running alongside Zhou Weiqing, was almost like a ghost, her feet lightly touching the ground and every step she seemed to ﬂoat almost 10 metres; her running seemed almost effortless. Her Physical Jewel attribute was to increase agility and speed, and her Elemental Jewel was also the fastest attribute wind; it could be said that she had the perfect combination of attributes for an agility type Heavenly Jewel Master. If she ran at her top speed, even a 4-Jewel Physical Jewel Master would not be able to catch up with her. “Ahh! The pain is killing me!” Upon getting the whipping, Zhou Weiqing subconsciously followed the momentum to try and fall down again. However, just as he was about to do so, a slim ﬁne foot appeared in front of him, the toes hooking his chest and stabilizing his falling body. Following which, another whip fell upon his buttocks, causing him to yell in pain again.
“Try acting some more.” Shangguan Bing’er said with gritted teeth. She had barely used any strength on her ﬁrst blow as a test, and just as she had expected, that fellow had failed the test miserably, proving he was acting all along.
In front of Shangguan Bing’er, Zhou Weiqing did not even have the chance to fall down. She was like a purple shadow following him, as soon as he slowed down, a whip would land; as soon as he pretended to fall, he would be stabilized followed by another whip. This time, he had really gotten the worst of it, his buttocks were burning in pain, and his body was getting more tired by the second, and his lungs were like on ﬁre, but he still could not slow down at all.
“Battalion Commander… I… I… I was … wrong.” Sweet talking was Zhou Weiqing’s specialty, and he was no stranger to admitting his mistakes. After all, a wise man does not ﬁght when the odds are against him. Alas, once bitten twice shy, after being fooled so many times, Shangguan Bing’er was not falling for his tricks once again.
“Now you know you’re wrong? It’s too late.” Shangguan Bing’er said angrily.
After 15 minutes, Zhou Weiqing’s army uniform was already totally drenched in sweat; after all he was carrying 20 kg weights while running! Furthermore, he was only 13 years old, how could he withstand such a high intensity workout.
His vision blurred and blacked out, and his body fell forward once again. Shangguan Bing’er’s foot reached him again as usual, but this time although she had hooked him up, but before her whip could fall once again, Zhou Weiqing’s body continued falling down. Shangguan Bing’er blanked for a moment, then with a ﬂash she was behind him, supporting his body down onto the ground with her foot. Only then did she realise that this fellow had actually really fainted this time.
“Oi, Oi. Little Fatty Zhou.” Shangguan Bing’er nudged his body with his foot twice. The tourmaline on her left wrist ﬂashed, and a pale red glow ﬂew out to land on Zhou Weiqing’s wrist. She did not want to touch him, and thus used her energy to check his pulse. “He really fainted?” Shangguan Bing’er’s Heavenly Energy was already at the 8th stage of Heavenly Jing Energy, although she was only using her Heavenly Energy from her Elemental Jewel to check Zhou Weiqing’s physical condition, but it was clear that this time he was not acting and had really fainted from exhaustion.
Chapter 5 – Immortal Deity Technique, Heavenly Jewel Awakens
In the parlor, 2 men sat at the head seats, one of them was the current Emperor of Heavenly Bow Empire, Di Fengling. On the other side was a sturdy man who was like an iron pagoda, looking around 50 years of age, with bronzed skin that seemed the shine with a healthy glow, with a squarish face, a set of tiger-like eyes, straight nose and squarish mouth. Although he was seated, anyone could easily see his tall, large frame. The muscles that seemed hard as rock were accentuated by his uniform, and his eyes were full of energy, the black irises seemed to glow from within. This man was the pillar of Heavenly Bow Empire, Admiral Zhou Shuiniu, also Zhou Weiqing’s father.
Admiral Zhou was similar to Shangguan Bing’er, he was also born from a common family, and he grew up taking care of water buffaloes for a living, which was the reason for his name. Of course, no one dared to laugh at his name, anyone who did so was already dead.
“Your Majesty, look at this. Someone sent it to me this morning, it’s that little brat’s handwriting.” Zhou Shuiniu handed Di Fengling a letter.
“Big Bro Zhou, are you making this up to comfort me? I’ve made up my mind already, if anything happens to Weiqing, Difuya will accompany him in death.” Di Fengling said ﬁrmly. He had brought Difuya to the mansion yesterday to apologise personally, but had then heard that Zhou Weiqing had not returned, and immediately sent a large number of men to search around the city to no avail.
Zhou Shuiniu said gravely: “Your Majesty, how would this ofﬁcial dare lie to you? You shouldn’t be tricked by that brat’s honest appearance, he’s actually more cunning than anyone, even I have been tricked by him many times. My guess is this time he knows that he has gotten in serious trouble and is afraid that I’ll beat him up that’s why he doesn’t dare to run home. He has described it so beautifully, hmph, going out and making a living by traveling; I call bullshit, it’s more likely he doesn’t dare to come home, we can just ignore him.”
Di Fengling said with a bitter smile: “As long as Weiqing does not come home safely, I can’t be at peace! This situation is Difuya’s fault after all, big bro, if Weiqing returns home you must not beat him. After all, this child, such a poor thing, he didn’t ask to be born with his meridians blocked, you shouldn’t make things more difﬁcult for him already.” “Hmph” Zhou Shuiniu gave a sound of displeasure, saying: “Tiger father, dog son. But that little rascal knows his own limits at least. He’s right, how can he be a match for Her Highness the Princess? In my opinion, we should do as he says and call off the engagement.”
Di Fengling’s face changed, “How can that be! Difuya is now part of your Zhou Family, and will die as a Zhou Family ghost. Big bro, you know that kings do not say things lightly. There should be no more discussion of this matter, if I look down on Weiqing just because he isn’t a Jewel Master and break the engagement, how can I have the face to call you bro.”
When Zhou Weiqing regained consciousness, he found himself back in his own tent. As soon as he awoke, he felt that his whole body was in pain, and his body was unbearable with the stench of sweat. His legs hurt especially so, feeling like they were made of lead, and any movement was as if a thousand needles were jabbing into him, causing him to moan in pain.
“Shangguan Bing’er you just wait, some day I will press you under me and ravage you.” After resting for a while, Zhou Weiqing managed to crawl up from his bunk. As soon as he sat up, he saw that beside the bunk lay 2 large bowls as well as a handwritten note.
In the two large bowls, one of them held 3 large steam buns, and the other had 2 dishes of food, one fried vegetables and the other was stewed meat. Zhou Weiqing had expended all his energy in the afternoon and was starving, so he immediately helped himself to the food, thinking: At least she has some conscience. The steamed buns and dishes are still warm, and the taste is quite good, it deﬁnitely did not come from the normal soldiers’ mess. As he ate, Zhou Weiqing looked at the note, which only had 4 words on it: We will continue tomorrow.
“Damnit, it hasn’t ended! I just touched you once!” Zhou Weiqing said in exasperation, then wretchedly squeezed the steamed bun in his hands with all his mind, as if trying to remember the feeling in his hands.
Zhou Weiqing made short work of dinner, then quickly left the tent, enduring with great difﬁculty the pain while taking a bath. Although this rascal was cunning and afraid of death, but he had one good point at least, he loved to be clean. He also washed his clothes; do not think that because he was of noble birth he did not know how to do household chores, in fact it was the opposite, he was experienced in all the various household chores from cooking to cleaning, mainly because of his strict father. In the Admiral’s mansion, Zhou Weiqing stayed alone in a little courtyard, after the age of 6 he was forced to be self reliant, with no servants to wait upon him,
although everything he needed was supplied. Because of this, Admiral Zhou and his wife got into many ﬁghts, but Admiral Zhou was stubborn about it, and in the end the Lady Admiral could only get the right to teach Zhou Weiqing to do the chores personally.
After cleansing himself and the uniform, Zhou Weiqing changed to a fresh set of uniform and returned to his tent. By now, the entire camp was quiet.
After returning to his tent, Zhou Weiqing opened the cloth bag that he carried with him, inside were the sundry goods that he had bought after leaving the blacksmith, including powdered cooking condiments, lamp oil etc, though they were trivial items but still necessary for living. The thing he was most worried about becoming a soldier was not being fed well, so he bought those condiments so it would make it easier for him to make some food if necessary. As for the lamp oil, that would come in handy right now. Zhou Weiqing took out the rice bowl that he had washed, and poured some lamp oil into it before taking a few thin threads twisted together and soaked them in the oil for a while before making it into a wick. He then lighted it, thus creating a temporary lamp, lighting up his small tent.
After doing that, he stuck his head out of his tent and looked around to ascertain that he was alone, before bringing his head back in. He then reached into his shirt carefully and took out a oil-cloth bag that was kept there.
“Luckily I wrapped it carefully with this oil-cloth bag, I sweated so much today, if it had been ruined then I’d be in deep trouble.”
He carefully opened the bag to reveal an old book resting inside; it wasn’t even made of paper but was bound together using high quality goat leather, was around 2 inches thick and was around several tens of pages long. It deﬁnitely looked primitive in nature, and the edges were all frayed. On top of the book were 4 large words: The Immortal Deity Technique.
This was the treasure that Zhou Weiqing went to retrieve in the Stars Forest yesterday. It was something he had found when he was ten years old and Admiral Zhou had thrown him into a deep old patch of forest to train his survival skills; he had found it on a skeleton then, and hadn’t told anyone else even Admiral Zhou, but hid it in a small hole in a tree within the Stars Forest since then.
As he opened the cover to reveal the ﬁrst page, it showed a small line of words:
Those without strong willpower cannot learn this, those who do not have the will to die learning this cannot do so. Immortal Deity Technique is actually Deﬁnite-Death Deity Technique, but it is to turn the impossible into the possible, using the 36 Large Death Acupuncture Points as cultivation points,
retrieving life from death, if not careful it will mark certain death. Be careful, be careful. Those who can break through the 36 Large Death Acupuncture Points will be able to receive and use the energy of the world, to live as long as the world.
不死神功 – Literally 不死 means Not dying or Undying – I used Immortal in place here Originally, when Zhou Weiqing got this Immortal Deity Technique, he was scared off by the general principles, and thus never dared to start learning it. He had only merely glanced at the contents of the Immortal Deity Technique.
To cultivate Heavenly Energy, one had to have a training art, and using the training art to cultivate Heavenly Energy, absorbing the Heavenly Energy from the surroundings to strengthen one’s body and improve their internal Heavenly Energy. Heavenly Energy was split into four large stages, Heavenly Jing Energy, Heavenly Xu Energy, Heavenly Shen Energy and Heavenly Dao Energy, and each stage was again split into 12 different levels. This Immortal Deity Technique was one such training art, but it was extremely unique and differed greatly from the normal training arts.
Normal training arts, no matter what class, were usually various styles of meditation or training the body; all different ways to stimulate the inner talent to absorb the surrounding energy as a foundation. However, the Immortal Deity Technique had carved a totally new path of cultivation instead, it could be said that at the very core of the technique it was very simple – to breakthrough the body’s Great Acupuncture Points. There was no real need to absorb heavenly energy from the surroundings through meditation or body training – every time one broke through a Death Acupuncture Point, his Internal Heavenly Energy would raise a level. Collecting Heavenly Energy would be for the purpose of breaking through the Death Acupuncture Points. As such, it could be said that this training art was extremely simple, yet extremely hard to actually cultivate. If he could breakthrough all 36 of the body’s Death Acupuncture Points, then his Heavenly Energy could breakthrough to the 36th level, which would be the Heavenly Shen Energy stage, thus entering the last stage of cultivation. After all, his father Admiral Zhou, as the Empire’s top expert, was only at the 32nd level of cultivation, the Heavenly Shen Energy Stage 8, and he had not been able to advance for the past 5 years.
When Zhou Weiqing was young, Admiral Zhou used to look for many different training arts to let him try cultivating, and at least throughout all the many arts that he had attempted using, none of them would ever pass by the important Death Acupuncture Points in the body.
That was the main reason why Zhou Weiqing had not dared to start trying out this training art. However, after all these years, almost every year Admiral Zhou would examine him body, but still there was no sign of his blocked meridians improving upon his growing older. At this rate, he would continue being a trash forever. Zhou Weiqing had struggled with this decision for a long long time, the decision whether or not to start learning this Immortal Deity Technique, and it was not only til today that he had ﬁnally made his decision and ﬁrmed his resolve.
Admiral Zhou was a Heavenly Jewel Master, and it was usually hereditary; most descendants of Heavenly Jewel Masters would also likely have Heavenly Jewels, as long as they could awaken it. However, on examining Zhou Weiqing’s body, it was found that several of his blocked meridian passageways were actually passing through a few Death Acupuncture Points. That was the reason why Admiral Zhou had never dared to use his own Heavenly Energy to try and force open Zhou Weiqing’s meridians, despite his aspirations that his son succeed him. At that time, Zhou Weiqing had thought that if he could master this Immortal Deity Technique and break through those Death Acupuncture Points, he could also solve his blocked meridian issue and start cultivating Heavenly Energy.
Today, after listening to the secrets of the Heavenly Jewels from Shangguan Bing’er, the desire to become a Heavenly Jewel Master far surpassed the pain he was feeling in his body now. He had made up his mind to at least try out this Immortal Deity Technique; if he did not even try, how could he be reconciled to his fate so easily. He knew clearly that he did not have much time left – if humans did not Awaken their Power Jewels by the age of 16, they would forever lose the chance of doing so. By that time it would mean he would forever be a trash, and who really was satisﬁed being so forever given a choice? Even though Zhou Weiqing was afraid of death, but he was even more afraid of being a trash forever.
Taking a deep breath, the usual honest look on Zhou Weiqing face had disappeared, replaced with a look of serious determination. Making use of the dim light from his makeshift lamp, he turned the next page of the old manual. The 2nd page of the manual depicted the ﬁrst of the Death Acupuncture Points to breakthrough for the Immortal Deity Technique.
On the old lamb leather it was inscribed : The human body has 52 Single Acupuncture Points, 300 Double Acupuncture Points, 50 Outside-Meridian Special Acupuncture Points, and a grand total of 720 Acupuncture Points. Of which, 108 were vulnerable points, and 72 were nonlethal and 36 were fatal, the Death points mentioned previously.
Immortal Deity Technique First Part, Upper, Lower Limbs Training Arts. First Death Acupuncture Point: Clavicle Point.
The Clavicle Point was situated at the upper part of the shoulder. The page depicted clearly how to breakthrough the clavicle point, including pictures and labels to distinctly show the points.
The Clavicle Acupuncture Point was a double point, one for left and right each. Zhou Weiqing tried pressing softly on his own left Acupuncture Point, and felt his whole left side go numb for a while, scaring him – it was indeed formidable. It must be known that for the 36 Death Acupuncture Points, there were stronger and weaker ones, and after ﬂipping through the Immortal Deity Technique, he found out that the later ones were all much stronger. The Technique was split into 4 parts; the ﬁrst part were the Points on the limbs, consisting of 5 Points, the second part was the back, consisting of 8 Points, 3rd was the frontal chest portion, consisting of 14 points, and the last was the head area which consisted of 9 points. It could be said that it was from easy (relatively) to tough. Even so, even the easiest clavicle Acupuncture Point brought such a feeling, this made Zhou Weiqing shudder in fear. Could these Death Acupuncture Points really be broken through?
After hesitating for a while, he ﬁnally ﬁrmed his resolve again, as the saying goes, if it’s meant to be yours, it will be yours; if he could pull it off he could ﬁnally have a chance to be a Heavenly Jewel Master, if he did not try he would be a trash forever. To no longer be a trash. This was the conviction in his heart that let Zhou Weiqing ﬁnally take his ﬁrst step to his life of cultivation. He concentrated quietly, and started cultivating according to the Immortal Deity Technique.
Focusing his consciousness to his Clavicle Acupuncture Point, he started sensing his whole body quietly. The toughest part of any foray was the always the starting point, the ﬁrst step. In this case, the most difﬁcult ﬁrst part was to sense the very weak Internal Heavenly Energy within his body, and start focusing the energy to breaking through the Acupuncture Point. According to the manual, the Clavicle Point was the easiest to breakthrough out of all the 36 points, and the true key was whether or not he could survive this. Once he survived the breakthrough, he would have gotten past the critical ﬁrst stage.
After an hour, the fatigue and sore pain was causing Zhou Weiqing to be unable to maintain his calm, he also couldn’t sense any hint of internal Heavenly Energy at all. However, although he was afraid of death, but he was also had a mental fortitude in him, as long as he decided to do something, he will deﬁnitely follow through to the end.
2 hours passed… it was already late at night by then and only the occasional cricket sound would interrupt the absolute silence of the night.
Am I really fated not to be able to cultivate? Even this Immortal Deity Technique seems impossible for me? Zhou Weiqing was on the verge of giving up, it was already 2 whole hours, and his back and waist was already aching badly, and his feet going numb, from sitting still for so long, yet he still could not sense any Heavenly Energy. All of a sudden, just as he was thinking of giving up, he suddenly felt an icy feeling in his lower gut, the exact description in the manual.
He could sense the Heavenly Energy! Zhou Weiqing rejoiced in his heart, and hurriedly focused all his attention at the lower gut area, gingerly feeling the stream of cold there and guiding it upwards.
What seemed to surprise him was that, after the stream of cold had appeared, it started growing more and more obvious, unlike what was described in the Immortal Deity Technique of it only being a tiny trace. As soon as it reached his chest area, it had since grown into a small ball; the whole process seemed very smooth, and it appeared that it was about to reach the Clavicle Death Acupuncture Point.
I must succeed! Zhou Weiqing screamed in his heart, he was at the point of no return now, and he gritted his teeth and willed with all his might, causing the stream of cold to viciously smash into his left Clavicle Acupuncture Point. *Zeng* As soon as the cold stream rushed into the point, Zhou Weiqing felt as if his entire left side was struck by a bolt of lightning, losing all sensation there. Moments later, the numbness started to spread from his left side to the right, and soon his entire body had lost its feeling except for his head.
A violent, maniac air seemed to burst forth from his left Clavicle Acupuncture Point, running amok through his body. However, at this point, Zhou Weiqing did not feel any pain, but instead felt his consciousness start blurring, and with a “FWAH” sound, he spat out a mouthful of blood. He did not know that in cultivating Heavenly Energy, pain was actually not the scariest thing, but what was happening to him was indeed. Numbness, usually signiﬁed that cultivation had gone terribly wrong. The Principles outlined earlier had stated that the Immortal Deity Technique could be likened to a Certain- Death Technique, and it certainly seemed that way. However, in the cultivation world, a lot of things also depended on luck, and it could be said that success usually comes only to one in 10 thousand people. It seemed obvious that Zhou Weiqing was not such a person.
Failing to break through the Death Acupuncture Point, there would only be one result – Death. This poor fellow did not know what he was about to face, and was still trying his best to carry on. He only felt like his left Clavicle Acupuncture Point felt like a funnel point, funneling out all his life energy from his body. At this point nearing death, he did not feel any pain but instead felt a sense of pleasure.
As his consciousness started fading away, Zhou Weiqing still had hopes that he had gotten lucky – Have I succeeded?
At this point, a small stream of cold erupted from his lower gut again, as if a large ice ball had shattered in his stomach, splitting apart into countless shards of ice arrows, shooting into his various meridian passageways crazily.
A second ago, Zhou Weiqing was still ﬂoating around in pleasure, and the next moment, it was as if he had fallen into an ice cellar. The numb sensation was replaced by an unbelievable cold. At this point, his heart was overwhelmed by a strong sense of bloodlust, his eyes turned bloodshot instantly, his short black hair all standing up, and his body seemed surrounded by a greyish-black aura.
The energy gushing out from his Clavicle Acupuncture Point had stopped with the appearance of the black aura. If we were to liken the breaking-through of the point as Zhou Weiqing puncturing a hole in a football, then the black aura had sealed the hole.
Zhou Weiqing’s body began shaking uncontrollably; the cold was not from the surrounding, but rather from deep within the bones, it permeated his bloodstream, down to the marrow of his bones. All he could feel was waves of cold emitting out from his body repeatedly, and along with the cold he could clearly see a black – grey layer of dust forming around his skin. The extreme cold caused him to lose control of his body, and he fell down to the ground, his mouth opened involuntarily, and every breath he took caused a gust of black-grey airstream to gush out from his body, and it seemed like the outer layer of his skin was soon covered with 2 sets of tattoos – black and grey.
Zhou Weiqing starting to learn the Immortal Deity Technique was tantamount to suicide, after all a one in ten thousand chance was certainly not high. Still, though he did not seem to have much luck on the innate talent training side, but he seemed to be extremely lucky in other ways. And this luck stemmed from the black pearl that he had swallowed in the Stars Forest.
If successfully training the Immortal Deity Technique was a one in ten thousand chance, then swallowing the black pearl was a unique chance that could only happen once. Due to him activating the Immortal Deity Technique, causing his Clavicle Acupuncture Point to break open, it somehow also stimulated and awoke the black pearl which had been lying dormant in his body. The scenario happening now was indeed caused by the black pearl’s awakening.
Originally, when the black pearl entered his body, it only exerted a subtle inﬂuence in improving his body slowly, but when he started on the Immortal Deity Technique this night, it had triggered the energy within the pearl in advance.
An unspeakably evil presence seem to swell up in his body, the ice cold feeling was actually the black pearl’s immense energy; energy which was invading every corner of Zhou Weiqing’s body without any hesitation – it was indeed domineering.
If it were anyone else, perhaps he might have self-imploded by now, but Zhou Weiqing’s body was greedily absorbing the energy of the black pearl in a frenzy.
In fact, this was the true reason why the black pearl had chosen to enter his body after appearing in this spatial region. At that time, it had been drawn to Zhou Weiqing’s anger and un-resigned will after he had been struck down by Difuya’s ﬁreball. It had just broken through the spatial dimensions into this world, when Zhou Weiqing had coincidentally spat out a mouthful of blood onto it. Zhou Weiqing’s blood itself contained a dark energy, which was also aligned with the black pearl’s own energy, and thus it had chosen Zhou Weiqing.
As for why Zhou Weiqing’s blood contained the dark alignment energy, it was simple – because Admiral Zhou’s Elemental Jewel Alignment was Darkness. Since Zhou Weiqing was of the Admiral’s bloodline, he naturally inherited the same alignment, as such he was able to attract and fuse together with the black pearl.
However, the energy within the black pearl was too domineering. Besides the darkness attribute, it also contained several other elemental attributes, of which included the spatial attribute which it had used to arrive in this world, along with many other hidden attributes. The sheer amount of energy and various elemental attributes mixed together and entering his body was now changing Zhou Weiqing’s internal elemental attributes, which was the reason why the pain he was experiencing was so strong. It was deﬁnitely a much greater suffering than the muscle fatigue and soreness that he had been experiencing earlier. Although Zhou Weiqing was afraid of death, but his willpower was also a lot more tenacious than most, he had to thank his father for that; if his father had not given him such a tough training and treatment from young, he would certainly not have turned out this way.
As the minutes passed, Zhou Weiqing felt his body turning hot and cold randomly, at times feeling all numb and sore, at times unbearably itchy, causing him to roll around in the tent uncontrollably. Layers of black grey dust kept seeping out from his skin, spreading around in the tent until it was almost fully permeated in it.
His eyes were turning more and more bloodshot, and his consciousness was fuzzy from the pain. In his mind’s eye, he seemed to see a strange image, or perhaps to say a strange creature.
It was a huge black tiger, fully pitch-black without any other colours, its whole body was also covered with a black-gray aura, and its bloodshot eyes ﬁlled with death. A green blue airstream also swirled around its body, but the strangest thing was its tail which wasn’t a usual tiger’s tail, but instead was a large scorpion’s tail.
What was that creature? Zhou Weiqing was ﬁlled with surprise and uncertainty. He was no fool, in fact he was a very intelligent person, if by this time he did not realise that the changes in his body was due to the black pearl that he had swallowed, he would not be Zhou Weiqing. However, all of this was not under his control and he could only lie back and accept it.
What he did not know was that the blocked meridians that had plagued him for 13 years was now cleared out by the domineering black-white energy swirling around his boy, and the impurities of his body were also being quickly expelled in his body as he withstood the extreme pain. He was going through a whole body-remoulding that was the beneﬁt of cultivating the ﬁrst 3 levels of Heavenly Energy.
There were only 2 companies consisting of 200 soldiers stationed at this camp outside of the Heavenly Bow City. One company was archers and the other was infantry. After all, they were only here for recruitment purposes, thus 200 soldiers were sufﬁcient. As the Battalion Commander, Shangguan Bing’er was the highest ranking ofﬁcer in the camp, and her tent was situated right in the middle of the camp. At this moment, she was seated cross-legged on her bed cultivating Heavenly Energy.
No matter Elemental, Physical or even Heavenly Jewel Masters, Heavenly Energy was the basic core necessity, if you wanted to level up your Jewels, you needed to cultivate Heavenly Energy ﬁrst.
All of a sudden, Shangguan Bing’er’s eyebrows twitched. A pale green airstream emitted from her mouth before being sucked back slowly through her nose, and her hands slowly rested back down onto her knees, and her eyes opened.
“What is that aura? Such cold; Elemental and Physical? Heavenly Jewel Master? There’s a Heavenly Jewel Master Awakening in the camp?”
With a swoosh, Shangguan Bing’er got out of bed swiftly, her eyes uncertain. As a Heavenly Jewel Master, her senses were 10 times sharper than a normal persons’, especially towards fellow Heavenly Jewel Masters. When Heavenly Jewels Awakened, there was usually a loud burst of energy, as both Physical and Elemental Jewels formed. Towards such a phenomenon, it would induce a strong reaction in Heavenly Jewel Masters in the vicinity. Of course, the range of this was limited, at least Admiral Zhou who was in the Admiral’s Mansion could not sense it.
Pausing a while to regain her composure, Shangguan Bing’er concentrated her focus on the source of the aura. Quickly, her gaze locked on upon one direction. She had determined clearly that it was deﬁnitely a Heavenly Jewel Master Awakening, and rejoiced in her heart.
The whole Heavenly Bow Empire only had 2 Heavenly Jewel Masters – Admiral Zhou and herself, and to a country, especially one so small like Heavenly Bow Empire, every Heavenly Jewel Master was a huge deterrent. The reason why Kalise Empire was always suppressing Heavenly Bow Empire was because they had 3 Heavenly Jewel Masters. If not for the fact that Admiral Zhou’s cultivation level was higher than them, Heavenly Bow Empire might already have been wiped out by Kalise Empire. After all, the Kalise Empire had lusted after their territories for quite a long while, especially the Stars Forest. Shangguan Bing’er did not stop moving as she thought, she knew that it was very dangerous for Heavenly Jewel Masters when they were Awakening. If they were not careful, their bodies could be destroyed by the immense energy brought about by the twin Jewels Awakening. One of the reason why there were so few Heavenly Jewel Masters was also because of this reason – almost 3 out of 10 Heavenly Jewels would perish from that reason alone. As such, she needed to ﬁnd the person who was Awakening immediately and do her best to assist and ensure success.
Following her senses, Shangguan Bing’er quickly found the source. As she passed through the various tents in the camp and reached the small tent on the outskirts, she couldn’t help but pause, numbed in surprise.
It’s him? How can it be him? Isn’t that the tent where Little Fatty Zhou fainted in exhaustion this afternoon? In actuality, she did not hate or have a sense of disgust towards Zhou Weiqing, it was just a coincidence that Zhou Weiqing had angered her so many times that she had decided to punish that rascal once. In her eyes, Zhou Weiqing was just a small soldier in her Battalion, one who was outwardly honest but inwardly sly and cunning, and there wasn’t anything strange about him. After seeing him faint from fatigue earlier that day, she had already decided to reduce the weight of the stones tomorrow. Of course, the reason why she was doing this was not just to punish Zhou Weiqing, but also she was impressed with his talent in archery. If Zhou Weiqing knew this, who knows what he would think.
Shangguan Bing’er was very kind by nature, and although she was dazed outside of the tent by shock for a while, but she quickly recovered herself. After all, Zhou Weiqing was her subordinate, without mentioning the fact of the beneﬁts to her Battalion for bringing up a Heavenly Jewel Master – personally as a Heavenly Jewel Master, since both were members of Heavenly Bow Empire, she would deﬁnitely help Zhou Weiqing.
As such, she did not hesitate any further, and sped towards Zhou Weiqing’s tent. Before she even entered the tent, Shangguan Bing’er already felt a large burst of ice cold airstream. Even for her at the eighth stage of Heavenly Energy, she could not help but shiver with the cold, as if her whole bloodstream was frozen. She quickly circulated her Heavenly Energy to resist against the cold.
What a strong burst of energy, in the day she had not noticed that this fellow had any sign of Heavenly Energy, how could he Awaken his Power Jewels at night? Could it be that in this short period of time, he had raised 4 stages of Heavenly Energy? Heavenly Jewel Masters were different from Elemental or Physical Jewel Masters – they had to raise to stage 4 before their Jewels Awakened as compared the 3 stages for Elemental or Physical Jewel Masters. As she thought about all that, Shangguan Bing’er was ﬁlled with confusion. What made her even more surprised was the extreme cold that chilled to the bone. Even a Water Elemental Heavenly Jewel Master would not emit such energy, even their ice powers would only be icy cold, but not this sort of dark coldness. Could it be that his Elemental Attribute was Darkness?
When comparing Heavenly Jewel Masters, the Elemental Attribute of their Elemental Jewels was a large factor in determining strength. Amongst all the attributes, the strongest attributes were Darkness, Light, Spatial and Life. These four elements were considered the 4 Great Attributes. Not only were they extremely rare, but they were also much stronger than ordinary attributes. Amongst them, Darkness Attribute was considered the most mysterious. If this Little Fatty Zhou was really Darkness Attribute, then his future prospects was extremely promising, and he might even exceed her.
Upon thinking about this, Shangguan Bing’er dared not prolong any further, and immediately entered the tent. As soon as she entered, the ﬁrst thing she saw were a pair of deep red bloodshot eyes.
Chapter 6 – Tourmaline Sacriﬁce, Alexandrite Cat’s Eye
What sort of eyes were those? When Shangguan Bing’er stared into the pair of bloodshot eyes, she was suddenly dazed, and a sense of cold ten times stronger than outside the tent assaulted her.
In the pair of bloodshot eyes lay many negative emotions, ice cold, evil, violence, demonic, and many others she couldn’t identify. Even though her Heavenly Energy Level was not very high, but she was after all a Heavenly Jewel Master. Even so, when she saw the pair of eyes, she felt the world spinning around her, as if her soul was being sucked away by those evil orbs.
During that moment of being stunned, a great strength was applied onto her, and Shang Gong Bin Er felt her body instantly enveloped in an unyielding embrace. A lady’s inborn protection of her body caused her to clear her mind a little, and as she opened her eyes, she realised that the owner of the pair of bloodshot eyes was indeed Little Fatty Zhou.
At this moment, Zhou Weiqing’s body seemed to have grown larger by a full size, all his muscles had expanded considerably, and the surface of skin was glowing with a demonic black-grey tattoo. He seemed to be giving off an unruly and wild aura. The army fatigues he had been wearing had long since been vaporized, only the shiny inner armor was left, supported by his tough muscles. Luckily, the snake sinew was extremely tough and ﬂexible, and the inner armor had not been destroyed
by his enlarged body.
“Let go of me.” Shangguan Bing’er said angrily, trying to make use of her Heavenly Energy to break free of Zhou Weiqing’s embrace. However, at that instance, an evil light ﬂashed in Zhou Weiqing’s eyes, and he lowered his head and kissed her on her lips.
Shangguan Bing’er felt a surge of icy cold energy invade her body, and the Heavenly Energy she had been gathering seemed to freeze up and she was unable to manipulate it. What caused her to sink into fear and despair was that within that ice cold, there was a unique animal desire within, that made her whole body to go limp and aching. As her body turned colder, her inner heart suddenly started feeling hotter, the base human desires were sparked by the energy breathed within her.
Sacriﬁcial Offering. In that instance, although Shangguan Bing’er’s consciousness was not very clear anymore, but she subconsciously thought of the 2 words. It was a legend; which said that there were a bunch of unique Heavenly Jewel Masters. Though their numbers were few, but they were among the strongest of all the Heavenly Jewel Masters. However, they were the very embodiment of evil. When their Heavenly Jewel Awakened, they would generate a unique attribute alignment which was above other Elemental Attributes. This attribute was called the Evil Attribute, and this Evil Attribute would ignite their own body, causing them to be overcome with bloodlust during their Jewel’s Awakening. At
this moment, they required a sacriﬁcial offering to appease the
Evil Attribute and stop it from destroying their bodies. The sacriﬁcial offering would usually be the person closest to them
– which was likely their closest kin, friends or even lovers. As
such, once they had gone through the sacriﬁcial offering and successfully Awakened their Heavenly Jewels, they would have the Evil attribute added to their elemental attributes, becoming a Heavenly Jewel Master who was way above average.
However, in doing so, the one close to them who was used as the sacriﬁcial offering had no other outcome but death, sometimes even being raped brutally before being killed. This was not under the control of the Awakening Heavenly Jewel Master. In fact, many of these Heavenly Jewel Masters had committed suicide after Awakening and realising what they had done. Even those who did not commit suicide would experience a serious change in personality, becoming a deviant in the Heavenly Jewel Masters’ ranks. Such a group were considered the most terrifying, deﬁnitely not people to be triﬂed with. Shangguan Bing’er had never in her wildest dreams ever imagined that one day this would happen to her.
Actually, this was because she had not been careful, after all she was only 15 years old. Although she had felt the large energy ﬂuctuation inside the tent earlier, but she had naturally assumed that Little Fatty Zhou who was just Awakening his Jewels could not compare with herself who already had 2 Heavenly Jewels. As such, she did not even activate her Jewels before entering the tent, and had been caught by surprised and subdued by Zhou Weiqing instantly.
This is it, this is the end. Am I just going to die like this? Mommy… mommy… Shangguan Bing’er’s last moments of lucidity was to think of her mother, and 2 rows of tears streamed down her cheeks. The next moment, her body, as well as that of Zhou Weiqing who was embracing her, were both enveloped in a bout of crazed desire.
The black-grey air-stream emitted out crazily from Zhou Weiqing’s body, and seemed to form a huge cocoon, surrounding and covering his and Shangguan Bing’er’s body.
Shangguan Bing’er’s clothes were torn into shreds and tossed out of the cocoon one by one, and loud, heavy gasps and pants, as well as pained yet happy moans resounded from within the cocoon.
Creaks and groans issued from Zhou Weiqing’s bones unceasingly, and his internal vital organs were wriggling around, the blood ﬂow in his body was almost ﬁve times the usual speed while his body was being remoulded by the evil yet miraculous power. The black tattoos on his skin were now more dense, and green, blue, silver lights were now interlacing the black cocoon.
After an unknown amount of time, everything settled down, and the red bloodlust in Zhou Weiqing’s eyes seemed to be even stronger. At that moment, he was overwhelmed with the desire to devour the innocent lamb in his arms. It was as if the black pearl wanted to swallow the King Tourmaline. However, just at that point, he saw the 2 gentle, beautiful blue eyes of Shangguan Bing’er.
No, No, I can’t devour her. That was Zhou Weiqing’s last thought, and the next instance he was holding her body tight, and both their bodies started trembling strongly. Zhou Weiqing then fainted from the pleasure of his Jewels Awakening, and everything seemed to fade away as the Jewels formed around his wrists. When Shangguan Bing’er came to, the ﬁrst thing she noticed was a queer smell, then as she started to regain full consciousness, the pain in her body caused her to moan out loud.
What happened to me? Her memories were vague from the time where her consciousness had been fading, and as she opened her eyes dazedly, she realised she was lying on a solid chest. In the next instance, she started to shudder uncontrollably as she realised that both she and the body below were totally naked, and pain was also coming in waves in her lower body.
As she struggled to support herself in climbing away from Zhou Weiqing, her memory started to return slowly. I… I actually became the sacriﬁce for his Heavenly Jewel Awakening. Tears started to ﬂow from her eyes, she never expected that her ﬁrst time would be taken in such a dubious manner, by such a man. Kill him, I have to kill him.
As she tried to gather her Heavenly Energy, she woefully realised that she only had a shred of Heavenly Energy left, and she wasn’t even able to summon her Heavenly Jewels. Without any other choice, she started to look around for a sharp weapon.
“En…” At this time, Zhou Weiqing made a sound as he started to wake up, mostly because when Shangguan Bing’er got up she just happened to land on his arm.
As he opened his eyes in a daze, the ﬁrst thing he saw was the naked Shangguan Bing’er, and instantly his eyes widened. Shangguan Bing’er froze in place, her eyes ﬁlled with anger and killing intent, and she glared at him. However, to her utmost surprise, Zhou Weiqing’s surprise quickly eased away, and he even closed his eyes immediately, muttering to himself: “That scared me to death, I must be having a wet dream. I must continue dreaming, who knows something might happen between the two of us.”
“I’m … Going… To … Kill…. You….!” The ﬁve words seemed to be squeezed out from Shangguan Bing’er’s gritted teeth. By now, she had found the sharp weapon she had been looking for, as she struggled to move her body and draw an arrow from the quiver lying there, then lunged with it towards Zhou Weiqing.
When Zhou Weiqing heard her cry, he had already cleared his head and came to, just in time to see Shangguan Bing’er lunging at him. In shock, he quickly ﬂipped his body around, at a much faster speed than ever before, and instantly ﬂipped away from the bunk and dodging Shangguan Bing’er’s blow. After launching this attack, Shangguan Bing’er’s last shred of energy was drained, and she couldn’t attack any further.
“This… is real?” Zhou Weiqing stared in shock at Shangguan Bing’er. As his mind cleared, this time he really wasn’t acting but was really shocked by the scene in front of him.
What he saw was not just the naked Shangguan Bing’er, but the fact that her soft skin was almost covered fully with ugly green-purple bruises, and her long legs were still blood- stained. Zhou Weiqing’s ﬁrst thought was that he was doomed, he had ﬁnally remembered some of what had happened last night, but his last clear memory was seeing a strange tiger with 2 pairs of wings on its back and a scorpion’s tail, after which he had lost control of his body and lapsed into semi- consciousness, immersed in inhuman agony. However, the feeling had changed later on, as if he had found a relief outlet, and a comfortable feeling had replaced the pain. The various energies rampaging through his body had slowly straightened themselves out, and the pain had vanished. At that time, he still remembered a ﬂash of clarity, and what he saw at that point was indeed Shangguan Bing’er below him, moaning…
Although Zhou Weiqing was rather cunning and a little dirty-minded, being precocious for his age, but he did not have a bad character. Having met with such a scenario, his entire mind blanked out. Sullying her, and even with such violence, no matter how Shangguan Bing’er took revenge on him, he would not have any complaint.
Shangguan Bing’er struggled again to get up, tears ﬂowing down her cheeks. With much difﬁculty, she raised the arrow in her hand, and once again stabbed down towards Zhou Weiqing. *Ting* A light metallic sound rang out as the arrow struck Zhou Weiqing’s chest area, and was blocked by the titanium alloy inner armour. Shangguan Bing’er did not have much strength left, and her exertion actually caused her to fall back into Zhou Weiqing’s arms.
Zhou Weiqing subconsciously embraced her soft, bruised body, Shangguan Bing’er’s stabbing caused him to fully wake up.
“I’m so… sorry, I really did not mean to, it was not intentional, I don’t know how that happened. Although I know I am not worthy of you, but if you don’t mind, I will take responsibility for everything, and take care of you.” When Zhou Weiqing said that, he was being very serious, and had none of his usual bantering. In the past at home, only when he had committed a serious mistake would he use such a tone.
Shangguan Bing’er’s body stiffened in Zhou Weiqing’s arms. At this moment, as she was in his arms with her head turned, her gaze just happened to fall upon his left wrist. What she saw was a rose-red Elemental Jewel that looked similar to a ruby. The reason why it was similar was because the colour was exactly the same, but there were some very unique markings on the Jewel, markings that seemed to be like a narrow cat’s eye. Yes, in fact, this was the very characteristic of a cat’s eye jewel.
As a Heavenly Jewel Master, Shangguan Bing’er was extremely sensitive to Heavenly Jewel Master’s Elemental Jewels. Even though she was in immense grief at the moment, it still didn’t change her instincts. The reason she had stiffened suddenly was because she had noticed this strange Jewel, in her memory she could not remember an Elemental Jewel with such an attribute.
Heavenly Jewels consisting of Cat’s Eye did exist, it symbolised one of the 4 Great Attributes – the Spatial Attribute. However, an ordinary Elemental Jewel Master with the Cat’s Eye Jewel would have it in a dark yellow colour, this was universal. As for Heavenly Jewel Master’s with the Cat’s Eye Jewel, it would usually be the prime quality Chrysoberyl Cat’s Eye. Chrysoberyl Cat’s Eyes were a light gold with an inner pale jade green glow, not the rose red colour that Zhou Weiqing’s was showing.
Shangguan Bing’er raised her hands to try to wipe off her tears in order to see clearly. However, this made Zhou Weiqing who was holding her misunderstand, and he thought that Shangguan Bing’er was trying to hit him again. Although Zhou Weiqing was wearing the titanium inner armour, it only protected his upper body. Shangguan Bing’er was after all a Heavenly Jewel Master! The innate fear of death he had made him subconsciously let go of Shangguan Bing’er, and with a roll he had dodged into the edge of the tent.
Shangguan Bing’er fell down onto the bunk again, and the pain caused her to curl up. This also caused her to recover from her shock and her anger to return.
Zhou Weiqing had taken off his outer clothing when he started cultivating last night, as such when his Jewels were Awakened, only his underclothes were torn apart. As such, now that his fear of death mode was activated, he grabbed his pants and coat, ﬂipped around and ran out of the tent at a much faster speed than usual.
It was now the ﬁrst glimmer of dawn, and the ﬁrst signs of light were just showing in the outside skies.
As soon as he was out of the tent, Zhou Weiqing donned his clothes in a jiffy and ran. He knew he had done much wrong to Shangguan Bing’er, but nevertheless he was just running for his life now. As soon as he started running, Zhou Weiqing quickly realised the change to his body. Compared to the past, it seemed as if his body was ten times lighter, and every step he ran was 5-6 metres. The aches in his body from the previous day’s run was totally gone.
Zhou Weiqing then remembered the true origin of everything that happened last night, and groaned inwardly: Oh no. He had left the Immortal Deity Technique manual in the tent when he ran out just now.
The dismay was soon replaced by happiness though, as he thought to himself: Did I master the Immortal Deity Technique? At this point, he had already ran out of the army camp, and ran in a single direction. At the same time, he focused his attention on his Clavicle Acupuncture Point.
Zhou Weiqing realised that his Clavicle Acupuncture Point seemed to have become like a whirlpool – but it was no longer like yesterday where it was drawing his energy in, but instead it was now drawing it from the world outside; it was truly unique and amazing. When he concentrated upon the whirlpool, Zhou Weiqing immediately felt the energy suction power strengthen, and strands of cold energy ﬂowed unstoppably into his body from the environment, ﬁnally entering his Dantian. He also quickly realised the other changes in his body.
When he focused on the Clavicle Acupuncture Point, 3 other Acupuncture Points also gave him a similar feeling.
First were the the ones on both wrists, although Zhou Weiqing had not fully memorised the whole Immortal Deity Technique, but he had gone through the ﬁrst few pages many times and remembered clearly that this was the second Death Acupuncture Point in the ﬁrst section – the Taiyuan Acupuncture Point, which when focused would disrupt the Hundred Meridians, causing internal injury. Taiyuan Acupuncture Points was similar to the Clavicle Acupuncture Points, being a double Point, each on a wrist.
Besides the Taiyuan Acupuncture Point, there were also the points on the outer knee, the ZhuSanLi Point, and the SanYinJiao on the ankles. These 4 large Death Acupuncture Points were now similar to his Clavicle Acupuncture Points, each having generated a whirlpool which was now constantly drawing energy from the atmosphere. Zhou Weiqing knew that this was all the contribution of the black pearl, and it was the one which helped him breakthrough the four Death Acupuncture Points. In one fell swoop, he had almost completed the whole ﬁrst section of the Immortal Deity Technique, without only one last Point to go. His Heavenly
Energy had also shot up to an impressive 4th stage.
This fellow had rather thick nerves, a while ago he was still full of regret and pain from hurting Shangguan Bing’er, and now he was full of excitement from the successful cultivation of the Immortal Deity Technique.
Heavenly Energy 4th stage, doesn’t that mean I have Awakened my Power Jewels?
Zhou Weiqing quickly realised the implications, and looked down at his wrists. As soon as he did so, he suddenly stopped running, raising his hands in front of him, cackling insanely out loud.
“Haha! Wahahaha! Heavenly Jewel! I ﬁnally have Heavenly Jewels, I’m a Heavenly Jewel Master! Wahaha, now who can say I’m a trash!!” This bout of insane laughter caused him to almost spit out saliva all around. Years of repressed feelings were suddenly released, and he couldn’t help but to express the sheer joy he was feeling. On Zhou Weiqing’s right wrist was a white pearl, glittering and translucent, as if it were an ice crystal. There were no impurities at all; it was the pure jade of a Heavenly Jewel Master, but it was different from Shangguan Bing’er’s Dragonstone Jade, and was instead the Icy Jade, which gave him a pure strength boost.
On his left wrist, was a strange and unique jewel. It was totally dark blue in colour, yet on top there was a bright marking which was glowing in white and seemed to move along when Zhou Weiqing moved his wrists, always ensuring that the white marking was always facing the top. As compared to when Shangguan Bing’er saw the rose-red Cat’s Eye Gem, what Zhou Weiqing saw was a dark blue Cat’s Eye Gem, and within the bright markings there was a trace of grey.
What kind of attribute is this Elemental Jewel? Could it be of the Spatial Attribute? Zhou Weiqing knew that Cat’s Eye gems usually signiﬁed the Spatial Attribute, however although he wasn’t as clear as Shangguan Bing’er on the various Jewels, but he also knew that the Cat’s Eye Gems were not usually of this colour. Furthermore, Admiral Zhou was of the darkness attribute; as his son, he should have inherited that attribute, yet why did his turn into this strange Cat’s Eye Gem? Unfortunately I’m not able to go back and ask Shangguan Bing’er. It looks like my plan to join the army has failed, I better run ﬁrst. As for Shangguan Bing’er, when I’m stronger in the future, I will ﬁnd a way to repay and compensate her. After all, I’m also a Heavenly Jewel Master now, who knows maybe next time we can actually be together? Heh heh.
As his thoughts ran along, Zhou Weiqing was suddenly ﬁlled with regret – Shangguan Bing’er’s body was so bruised, what had he done to her that would be hated by both man and god! As he scolded himself, he also thought slyly: What a shame, if only I had been awake to experience that….
Just as Zhou Weiqing was about to move off again, he suddenly felt a cold feeling at the back of his neck, and a sharp pain, and his whole body froze on the spot.
“Little Fatty Zhou, you sullied my body and now you want to run away?” a voice full of anger and hate caused Zhou Weiqing to shudder in fear. He quickly raised his hands in surrender, “I’m not running, I’m deﬁnitely not running. Battalion Commander, let’s talk things through, don’t be so fast to take action, let me explain myself!”
Shangguan Bing’er came around from behind Zhou Weiqing, the arrow in her hand pointed at Zhou Weiqing’s throat. Although she was still dishevelled, but her body was now covered by the army uniform that Zhou Weiqing had washed yesterday.
Shangguan Bing’er was after all a Heavenly Jewel Master, and her physique was much stronger than any ordinary human. If an ordinary girl had been abused like she had been yesterday, even if she didn’t die, she would have been bedridden for at least half a month. However, Shangguan Bing’er was boosted by 2 Heavenly Jewels, and after recuperating for a short while, she had restored some Heavenly Energy and was able to move. Seeing that Zhou Weiqing was about to escape, how could she content? She quickly grabbed the clothing left in the tent to cover herself before giving chase.
When she spotted Zhou Weiqing, that fellow had his hands raised, cackling gleefully to himself, and Shangguan Bing’er had also hesitated a while when she saw his wrists again, which was why she was late to subdue that rascal.
“Show me your left hand.” Shangguan Bing’er said coldly. Her once beautiful and gentle eyes now had streaks of blood within them, and they were ﬁlled with a cold, angry light. If not for the fact that the Jewel on his left hand was so shocking to her, she would probably have stabbed down with the arrow. 神经粗壮 – literally translated to thick nerves, it’s a Chinese phrase that is rather difﬁcult to translate to an English meaning. It has connotations of being undiscerning or uncaring or naive to a relatively minor degree, depending on the context used. Can be used in a good or bad sense. Zhou Weiqing did not dare to hesitate, and hurriedly raised his left hand in front of Shangguan Bing’er.
After closely examining the Elemental Jewel on Zhou Weiqing’s right wrist, Shangguan Bing’er was clearly shaken, the hate-ﬁlled eyes seemed to be in a trance. “Alexandrite… Alexandrite Cat’s Eye. It really is Alexandrite Cat’s Eye. Why? Heaven, why do you mock me so, why did you let him have Alexandrite Cat’s Eye Jewel!” she said with an ugly tone.
Changing the topic was undoubtedly one of the best ways to quell anger, and Zhou Weiqing quickly seized the opportunity to ask softly: “Battalion Commander, what’s this Alexandrite Cat’s Eye Jewel? How come I’ve never heard of it?”
Shangguan Bing’er said in a muttering manner: “Alexandrite, is a very special gemstone, belonging to the Chrysoberyl family of gems, under daylight it shows as a blue-green colour, the most beautiful of which would be the colour of emerald-jade. At night, under lamp or candle light, it appears to be rose-red or purplish red. As such, it is known as the emerald of the day, ruby of the night. In the world of gemstones, it is the rarest gemstone. And when the Alexandrite has the Cat’s Eye markings, it becomes an Alexandrite Cat’s Eye Jewel, and is the world’s most valuable gemstone, a hundred times more valuable than even diamonds.”
Zhou Weiqing had never heard of Alexandrite Cat’s Eye Jewels, but as he examined it closely, sure enough its colour changed as the sun rose further, the dark blue colour slowly turning into a rich green, and the cat’s eye markings also seemed more obvious.
“You mean to say, this Elemental Jewel of mine is Alexandrite Cat’s Eye Jewel? But, what attribute is that?” Zhou Weiqing asked curiously, even momentarily forgetting the arrow at his neck.
Shangguan Bing’er was still in a dazed mode, and she said: “Alexandrite being the Elemental Jewel can only happen to Heavenly Jewel Masters. Besides being of higher quality and having a stronger elemental attribute, there is also one more possibility for Heavenly Jewel Masters – to have multiple Elemental Attributes. When a Heavenly Jewel Master has 2 or more elemental attributes, then his Elemental Jewel will be an Alexandrite.”
Zhou Weiqing blinked and said, “Does that mean I have more than 2 elemental attributes? Isn’t that better than having a single attribute?”
Shangguan Bing’er raised her head slowly, the dazed look in her eyes vanished, replaced with a rather complicated look. She shook her head, and the arrow in her hand moved a little – the pain at his throat silencing Zhou Weiqing and causing him to shiver. “It’s not 2 or more attributes, but 4 or more attributes. Alexandrite Cat’s Eye is a legend amongst Elemental Jewels; when it appears it means that the Heavenly Jewel Master has more than 4 elemental attributes.”
Zhou Weiqing looked at Shangguan Bing’er, stupeﬁed, and he started laughing, “I’m a legend?” Having been a trash for 13 years, yet suddenly turned into a Heavenly Jewel Master of legend, even though he was facing death, the sudden change still made this rascal proud of himself.
Shangguan Bing’er’s feelings now were extremely complicated. Even if Zhou Weiqing was just an ordinary Heavenly Jewel Master, she couldn’t kill him now. After she had chased him out of the tent, her emotions has settled a littl. She was clear that the events that occurred yesterday was truly an accident. When Zhou Weiqing’s Heavenly Jewels Awakened yesterday and he had required a Sacriﬁce, she had just happened to stumble in. According to what she knew, under that circumstance, Zhou Weiqing had lost control of himself and the usual result should have been her death. However, she managed to survive, which meant that Zhou Weiqing’s willpower was extremely ﬁrm, and had managed to hold back at the last second, sparing her life. Although he had committed a grave sin against her, but he had actually not been fully in the wrong. After all, he had not been conscious when doing so, and had been controlled by the Evil Attribute when his Heavenly Jewel Awakened.
But could she really just let it go like that? Shangguan Bing’er was really not reconciled, not willing to let the matter rest just like that. Which young girl did not dream of romance? In her heart, she had often daydreamed about what her future husband would be like, handsome, modest, gentle, upstanding moral character, preferably a Heavenly Jewel Master, a man who was deeply in love with her, and treated her and coddled her like she was precious. Only then would she give herself to him on their wedding night.
Alas, at this moment, all her daydreams and fantasies had evaporated, and her innocence had been ruined in such a muddled fashion by such a honest looking person who was actually so sly in nature, this rascal who had such an ordinary appearance. Not to talk about love between them, there was barely any affection. She really felt like ignoring everything and just killing him, but reason and logic told her that if she killed him just like that, she would never be able to reverse it. He was after all a Heavenly Jewel Master, and one with a legendary innate talent, having the Alexandrite Cat’s Eye Jewel! For her country, she
could not kill him. In the future, he could possibly advance to
one of top, or even possibly the top Heavenly Jewel Master in the whole Mainland. How could she just ruin such a future talent like that?
Taking a deep breath, Shangguan Bing’er tried her best to calm herself down, and she sharply withdrew the arrow in her hand, and shouted harshly: “Get lost, get out of my sight now!”
With no more threat to his life, Zhou Weiqing suddenly felt like he was granted amnesty. “I’m getting lost right now!” As he said that, he started running off toward the distance.
“You wretch! Come back here, I asked you to get lost back to camp!!” Shangguan Bing’er saw that the rascal was trying to run away, and instantly got angry again. With a ﬂying kick, she caused him to stagger, but also causing her own lower body to ache in pain. That rascal always seemed to make her angry so easily. Zhou Weiqing dropped his head down as if he were being wronged, “Don’t be angry, I’m going back to the camp now okay? I promise, no matter how much you trample on me, I won’t resist.”
Just now, in that instance when Shangguan Bing’er drew back the arrow in her hand, Zhou Weiqing felt a strong stabbing pain in his heart, an extreme heartache. She was really too kind, he had treated her like that but she still spared his life. In that moment, Zhou Weiqing found that he had fallen for Shangguan Bing’er. If we were to say that previously, he felt unworthy of her, but now he would no longer have such a feeling. After all, he had also become a Heavenly Jewel Master, furthermore one with the legendary Alexandrite Cat’s Eye. He truly believed that if he worked hard in cultivating, one day he would be worthy of her, and he vowed silently that he would always take good care of her.
Of course, no matter what, Zhou Weiqing’s mind also always had some dirty thoughts. While he was deeply touched, this fellow was also thinking: If one day I bring Shangguan Bing’er home as my wife to show Dad, I wonder if that Dad of mine who never smiles would show any shocked expression.
Looking at Zhou Weiqing leaving with a pitiable expression, Shangguan Bing’er suddenly seemed to collapse like a deﬂated balloon, and she sat down on the ﬂoor, the arrow dropping to the ground, and hugged her knees sobbing out loud. She had never been a particularly ﬁrm girl, and such a massive change and events caused her to be overwhelmed with emotion and to break down and cry.
Zhou Weiqing had not gone very far, and hearing Shangguan Bing’er cry, he stopped in his tracks. He gingerly walked back, ﬁrst taking up the arrow on the ground and throwing it further away, before carefully squatting down beside her. He did not know how to comfort her, and could only squat at the side in company. At the same time, he was thinking to himself: She is truly worthy of being called the top beauty in the Empire! Even when she’s crying she’s so beautiful!
Chapter 7 – Three-Point Covenant
After crying for half a day, Shangguan Bing’er still had not stopped. Zhou Weiqing looked at the brightening skies, and couldn’t help reminding her: “Battalion Commander, isn’t it time to head back? If we don’t head back, we might be discovered by others.”
Shangguan Bing’er naturally knew that this fellow had come back just now, and she raised her head, looking at him with her tear stained face, “None of your business. I thought I asked you to get lost?”
Zhou Weiqing was exceptional at reading expressions and cues, and he could tell that after the long cry, the anger and hate in Shangguan Bing’er’s eyes had considerably lessened. Although her voice was still severe, there was no longer any killing intent.
“I’ll get lost immediately now!” Seeing that Shangguan Bing’er had stopped crying, Zhou Weiqing took off and ran away. Although her anger had lessened considerably, but it was still likely she would give him a beating.
Looking at Zhou Weiqing ﬂeeing in a sorry state, Shangguan Bing’er bit her lip before standing up slowly and returning to the camp.
When Zhou Weiqing returned to his tent, he was given a fright. Previously when he had just awakened, he had been distracted by Shangguan Bing’er as well as the threat to his life, and had not looked around at the scene in the tent closely. Now, in the daylight, he couldn’t help but feel a chill down his spine, feeling glad it was the kind Shangguan Bing’er last night.
The tent was a total mess, with torn clothes strewn everywhere – mostly the purple clothes that Shangguan Bing’er had been wearing last night as well as her underclothing. There was blood on the mattress, showing how crazy last night had been.
Zhou Weiqing quickly gathered up the mess around, then wrapped them in the bag he had earlier. He then carefully tore out the bloodstain on the mattress, folded it up and stowed it away carefully. This was after all a symbol of their consummation and he wanted to keep it. If Shangguan Bing’er was willing to accept being with him in the future, he would give it to her. Of course, whether she would accept it or not was another matter. After he had ﬁnished clearing up, Zhou Weiqing had broken out in cold sweat, as he had not been able to ﬁnd his Immortal Deity Technique Manual; it had likely been taken by Shangguan Bing’er. It was not that he was unwilling to give it up, but he was actually afraid that Shangguan Bing’er would
follow him in trying to learn it. When he was cultivating the Immortal Deity Technique last night, he had realised how domineering the Technique was, how nigh impossible it was to learn it. If it had not been for the black pearl helping him, he would probably have died long before Shangguan Bing’er had
came. No, this would not do. He had to ﬁnd a chance to warn
her not to train this technique. Although, even if she wanted to learn it, it would likely be after 2-3 days, since she had to recover ﬁrst.
As Zhou Weiqing looked at the Jewels on his wrist that had not disappeared throughout the whole time, he was slowly overcome by a bout of sleepiness, and gradually fell into a deep sleep.
As the recruitment was still going on, and furthermore Shangguan Bing’er had assigned him to such a remote area to punish him, thus he was not disturbed by anyone. Zhou Weiqing slept all the way til the sun was setting. “En… so comfortable.” He stretched lazily, hearing a soft creaking sound from his bones, and he felt a comfortable feeling, as if he was fully suffused with strength and free of inhibitions. As he looked down, the Heavenly Jewels were still around his wrist, doing a slow orbit.
“Why am I unable to retrieve the Heavenly Jewels back into my body like others do? How do I do that?” Since Zhou Weiqing had been considered a trash since young, he had not studied in a Jewel Master school, and thus only had a very basic understanding of the profession, and as a result he now did not know what to do.
Nevermind, I shall not care about that now, time to eat ﬁrst before thinking further. After sleeping for a whole day, coupled with his ‘exertions’ last night, he had totally been awoken by his hunger. Putting on the army uniform, he covered his arms with the sleeves to hide his Heavenly Jewels, before running to the mess to have a large meal.
Having ﬁlled his stomach, he was now ﬁlled with spirit. Zhou Weiqing was pleasantly surprised to ﬁnd out that he seemed to have grown in stature. He was originally around 1.7m tall, which was already extremely tall for his 13 years of age. However, after last night, he seemed to have grown a few centimetres taller, and his entire body’s muscles also seemed to have developed further.
Besides feeling heart-pain for Shangguan Bing’er, his mood today was actually pretty good. He had ﬁnally gotten his own Heavenly Jewels that he had dreamed of for so long. Not to mention his legendary Elemental Jewel, even an ordinary Heavenly Jewel Master status would let him be extremely satisﬁed. If not for Shangguan Bing’er, he might have just gone home immediately to tell his dad this good news, and also let Difuya who had always looked down on him know that he was already a Heavenly Jewel Master.
Zhou Weiqing returned to his tent in a good mood, but as soon as he opened the ﬂap, his heart was suddenly alarmed, and he shouted out: “Who’s there?”
That sense of alarm was totally subconscious, and he didn’t even know what was happening. At this moment, the sky was darkening, and he did not have vision into the tent.
However, Zhou Weiqing’s expression quickly changed into a fawning one as he saw the person in the tent. With a foolish grin on his face, he said: “Oh it’s you, Lord Battalion Commander, why are you here?” As he said that, he only stepped one foot into the tent, the other foot was refusing to step in. How knows what Shangguan Bing’er came here to do.
Shangguan Bing’er had by now changed to a set of blue attire, which was very matching to her azure hair. Zhou Weiqing saw that his uniform had been folded neatly onto his bunk, and when he entered the tent, she had been staring at the bunk blankly.
“Come in.” Shangguan Bing’er said coldly.
Zhou Weiqing looked around, just verifying that she had no weapons on her, before entering the tent gingerly. Still, he didn’t dare to step too far in, just near the entrance and he looked at her in a bashful expression – almost as if he had been the one taken advantage of.
Looking at that rascal’s expression, Shangguan Bing’er blushed, scolding in her heart, How could I have been taken advantage of by this damn rascal!
“Where’s the cloth?” she asked curtly.
“What cloth?” Zhou Weiqing did not understand. Shangguan Bing’er was ﬂushed red in embarrassment, and she glanced at the bunk. Zhou Weiqing instantly understood, and said carefully: “I kept it… as a momento.”
Shangguan Bing’er’s shapely bosom rose and fell more rapidly, “You… give it here.” She was afraid she would not be able to control herself and kill that rascal.
Zhou Weiqing reluctantly took out the few pieces of cloth that he had kept carefully, and passed them to Shangguan Bing’er. Of course, she couldn’t bear to look at such a shameful thing now, so she quickly stashed it away. Little did she know that the sly rascal Zhou Weiqing had kept a piece still. Shangguan Bing’er pushed Zhou Weiqing away, and headed to the entrance to open the tent ﬂap, allowing the cool fresh air to enter. She took deep breaths as she calmed herself down.
It had been a day, and with the help of Heavenly Energy, her body had mostly healed. However, how could the wounds of the heart heal so easily? After thinking about things for a whole day, ﬁnally her reason overcame her anger, and she decided to come look for Zhou Weiqing.
“Little Fatty Zhou.” As she closed the tent ﬂap once again, she turned back around to face Zhou Weiqing.
“Yes.” Upon hearing her call him, Zhou Weiqing quickly replied, the lowered eyed, puppy dog look he had on made her want to give him a beating.
Taking another deep breath, Shangguan Bing’er said solemnly: “Remember, yesterday never happened. If I hear any rumours spreading, you know the consequences…”
“Ah?” Zhou Weiqing widened his eyes as he looked at her. At this moment, although he put on an expression of obedience, but inside he was feeling rather pleased. He knew that Shangguan Bing’er wouldn’t kill him, and looking at her beauty now, he couldn’t help but think that she had been under him last night, and his heart was aﬂame.
“Did you hear what I said clearly?” Shangguan Bing’er said, pouting.
“I heard… heard clearly. But, Battalion Commander, I… I… ” Zhou Weiqing put on a hesitant look.
“You what you? Why are you mumbling? If you have something to say, say it.” Shangguan Bing’er said exasperatedly, and couldn’t help but to step forward and give him a kick.
Zhou Weiqing immediately shook his head, “I better not say, I’m scared you will hit me.”
“Say it. I won’t hit you.” People were curious by nature, and after all Shangguan Bing’er was merely ﬁfteen. Although she was still angry with Zhou Weiqing, but she still wanted to know what he wanted to say. Zhou Weiqing looked at her secretly, then said in a low voice: “You really won’t hit me?”
“Are you going to say?” Shangguan Bing’er’s face turned cold.
“All right, I’ll say, okay?” Zhou Weiqing had an aggrieved face, almost as if he was the sacriﬁce last night. “Battalion Commander, it was also my ﬁrst time, how can I forget about last night! Although you won’t take responsibility for me, but I won’t blame you. But, I still can’t help but to remember you. Battalion Commander, don’t look at me like that, I’m scared. I’m just speaking the truth. Ahh! Help! Murder!”
As Zhou Weiqing said the ﬁrst line, Shangguan Bing’er had already realised that this rascal was not going to say anything good. As expected, the more she listened the angrier she got, and at the end, her beautiful face was green and white from anger, and with a ﬂash she was beside him, pinching the meat at his waist, she gave a hard 180 degree turn, instantly the screams like that of a pig being butchered sounded out.
Shangguan Bing’er raised her hand and covered Zhou Weiqing’s mouth, she did not want her other subordinates to know that she was in this rascal’s tent so late at night. “If you speak any more rubbish, I’ll castrate you!” Shangguan Bing’er was both angry and embarrassed, and she ﬁnally threatened him.
Zhou Weiqing was immediately silenced, his hands carefully covering his lower body, looking at Shangguan Bing’er with an alarmed expression. This time he was really afraid of that threat.
“You… sit down.” Shangguan Bing’er was really glad she did not bring her sword along, or she really couldn’t guarantee that this rascal would still be alive.
Zhou Weiqing sat down on the bunk, this time he was well behaved. Although he liked to look at her angry look as he teased her, but he also knew that he could not overdo it. Furthermore, they had a lot of time together in the future; it was likely this would be his only joy to look forward to in his army life.
“Little Fatty Zhou, let me ask you. How much do you really know about Heavenly Jewel Masters?” Shangguan Bing’er sat cross-legged at the other end of the bunk, keeping a metre distance between Zhou Weiqing and herself. “Errr… Basically what you told me yesterday.” Zhou Weiqing said without hesitation.
With a *piak* sound, a leather book was thrown at him. Zhou Weiqing fumbled to catch it, and found that it was his Immortal Deity Technique manual.
“Tell me what happened last night? In the day, I did not sense any Heavenly Energy at all from you, why did you manage to Awaken your Heavenly Jewel at night, and furthermore being one of multiple elements. Don’t tell me it’s because you learnt this Immortal Deity Technique. That thing, although it isn’t absolutely impossible, but it’s nigh tantamount to suicide. With just that technique, no matter how lucky you are, it’s not possible for you to jump 4 levels of Heavenly Energy from a totally startpoint of zero.”
Zhou Weiqing said: “It might be because of this weird black pearl that I swallowed. Before I joined the army, I was playing around in the Stars Forest. After a while, I got tired and fell asleep in the forest. Who knew, the sky then suddenly darkened, and I found that I couldn’t move at all. A crack opened in the sky, and this black pearl surrounded by green, blue and silver colours emerged from the crack and ﬂew into my mouth. At that time, I just felt my whole body turn cold, then I fainted. When I came to, I didn’t ﬁnd anything wrong with my body and returned to the city. As I reached the city, I just happened to see the army recruitment, and so I joined. Last night, I really was trying to learn the Immortal Deity Technique, and was breaking through the ﬁrst Death Acupuncture Point, the Clavicle Point, and I managed to break
through it. However, I immediately felt my whole body go numb and unable to move, then a strong burst of cold emerged from my dantian, and I seemed to see this winged black tiger before I lost consciousness. I don’t know what happened after that. When I woke up, I saw this naked girl in front of me, and
after that, I realised that 4 of my Death Acupuncture Points had successfully broken through…”
“Shut up.” Shangguan Bing’er said with a livid face, and with a wave of her hand, a green light ﬂashed in front of Zhou Weiqing, and with a BAM sound, a crack appeared in the bunk right in front of him. That scared him into silence – if that blow had been a few inches to the front, the little bird in his pants would no longer be there.
After a vicious quick glare at Zhou Weiqing, Shangguan Bing’er lapsed into deep thought. She had never heard of such circumstance that Zhou Weiqing had described, but with this rascal’s mode of talking, could she believe it? But, if she didn’t believe what he said, there was no possible way to explain what happened yesterday. Furthermore, when he had been talking just now, she had been looking into his eyes, and she realised that that fellow had a genuine look in his eyes, and it seemed that his words were at least relatively believable.
“What’s your origin?” Shangguan Bing’er asked solemnly. She wasn’t just asking for her own curiosity, but more importantly because of his unique legendary Elemental Jewel. Such a person, even though he had an unbelievable innate talent, but if he had an unknown origin, she wasn’t sure if she should teach him the cultivation ways.
Zhou Weiqing hesitated a moment, then said: “Bing’er, do you want to hear the truth or have me make up a story?”
Hearing him address her by her name, Shangguan Bing’er sweatdropped, and said angrily: “Call me Battalion Commander, and of course I want to hear the truth.” Zhou Weiqing gave a bitter smile and said: “But, if I were to say the truth, I’m afraid I won’t be able to join you in the army. Actually I am of quite high birth status, and my family is considered rich, but from young, my father has always been angry with me for being a trash. I was angry and decided to join the army, to walk my own path and forge a name of my own before returning home in glory. Bing’er… no… Battalion Commander, can you trust me this once? Please don’t ask me what’s my origin, I swear upon my life that I’m not a bad person, and I will always treat you well in the future.”
“Who wants you to treat me well?” Shangguan Bing’er’s anger was once again ignited, but she also realised that when Zhou Weiqing was saying that previously, his expression was unprecedentedly sincere. Without knowing why, her heart softened a little.
“Okay, I will not ask you about your origin, but from now on, I’ll have a 3 point covenant with you. You have to swear upon your Heavenly Jewels, then I’ll start training you in the cultivation methods of Heavenly Jewel Masters. Are you okay with that?” Zhou Weiqing nodded repeatedly, “Yes I am, deﬁnitely.” The thing he needed most now was the cultivation method of Heavenly Jewel Masters, furthermore it was Shangguan Bing’er who would be teaching him, how could he not be willing. As for making oaths, he had never really cared about such things.
Shangguan Bing’er’s expression ﬁnally cleared a little, and she said: “Firstly, you must swear that you will always be loyal to Heavenly Bow Empire, no matter what level you reach in the future, you will always be part of Heavenly Bow Empire.”
Zhou Weiqing immediately nodded his head, and made the oath. After all, he had already made a similar oath a few years back in front of of his father and King Di Lingfeng, and he didn’t mind doing it again.
“Secondly, from now on, without my permission, you are not allowed to show anyone that you are a Heavenly Jewel Master. Unless it is a matter of life and death, otherwise you cannot even reveal your Jewels.”
“Ah? Not allowed to use my powers? Then why am I training for?” Zhou Weiqing asked in puzzlement. Shangguan Bing’er said exasperatedly: “You fool, do you think that having the legendary Alexandrite Cat’s Eye is really a good thing for you now? If any other country hears about this, they will send countless assassins to kill you off. Before you have reached a certain level of power, you must hide your true power.”
Zhou Weiqing saw the light, and hurriedly said: “You still care for me, I will make the oath.” As he said that, he quickly made the oath.
Shangguan Bing’er looked at him coldly and said, “Lastly, no matter what your future power level is, you can never force me to accept you against my will.”
Zhou Weiqing was taken aback, “You are afraid that I will overtake you in power level and force you to be with me?”
“Yes.” Shangguan Bing’er said solemnly.
Zhou Weiqing’s face changed, the every-present smile on his face vanishing. “Shangguan Bing’er, what kind of person do you take me for? Yesterday was my fault indeed, but I did not plan or do it on purpose. Having taken advantage of you, I will deﬁnitely ﬁnd a way to repay you in the future, but you can’t insult my character. I Zhou… Little Fatty Zhou, no matter how bad I am, I will never ever resort to forcing a girl into submitting to me. I swear, no matter what, unless it is of Shangguan Bing’er’s own free will, otherwise, I, Little Fatty Zhou, will never ever force her to do anything against her will.”
Looking at Zhou Weiqing’s anger, Shangguan Bing’er was slightly apologetic, but she also heaved a sigh of relief, thinking to herself, This rascal might be irritating, but he does have his own good points.
Alas, she did not know that, this rascal Zhou Weiqing, although he was sincere in swearing the oaths, but he also gave himself an escape route; after all he had sworn the oaths under the alias Little Fatty Zhou, not his real name Zhou Weiqing.
As their eyes met, Zhou Weiqing saw the sorrow hidden in the depths of Shangguan Bing’er’s eyes, and instantly softened. After all, no matter what, it was his responsibility, he had taken the most valuable thing to a girl from her.
“Battalion Commander, don’t be angry anymore, in the future I’ll listen to everything you say. If you ask me to steal a chicken, I deﬁnitely won’t go touch a dog, I’ll do whatever you ask of me.” Looking at the care in Zhou Weiqing’s eyes, then listening to his crazed words, Shangguan Bing’er’s cold face ﬁnally softened as she couldn’t help but laugh, “Who asked you to ‘Steal Chicken Touch Dog’, what do you think I am to you?”
Seeing that Shangguan Bing’er had laughed, Zhou Weiqing was excited, he was about to carry on when he heard Shangguan Bing’er say with a straight face and solemn voice: “Alright now, sit properly. Now I will teach you everything I know about Heavenly Jewel Masters. You must remember to work hard and cultivate.”
Hearing that she would be teaching him the arts of cultivation for Heavenly Jewel Master, Zhou Weiqing instantly sobered up, and nodded seriously.
Shangguan Bing’er said: “We humans pride ourselves as an intelligent race, and we call our bodies as Heavenly Bodies. Through cultivation, we are able to activate our innate talent, and the energy gained is called Heavenly Energy. Heavenly Energy is the basis of everything, no matter Physical, Elemental or Heavenly Jewel Masters, all of us need Heavenly Energy to do anything. For ordinary Physical and Elemental Jewel Masters, their ﬁrst Power Jewel is Awakened when they reached the 3rd stage of Heavenly Energy. The next 2 Jewels only require 2 levels of Heavenly Energy each in order to awaken. However, from then on, each Jewel will require another 3 levels of Heavenly Energy, all the way til all 9 Jewels are awakened. However, for us Heavenly Jewel Masters, we need much more Heavenly Energy in order to support our Heavenly Jewels.”
“For Heavenly Jewel Masters, we require 4 levels of Heavenly Energy to Awaken our ﬁrst Jewels. This is also the reason why I previously knew you were already at the 4th level of Heavenly Energy. From then on, every Heavenly Jewel needs another 4 levels of Heavenly Energy to awaken. Which is to say, for us Heavenly Jewel Masters to master the highest amount of 12 Jewels, we need to cultivate our Heavenly Energy to the highest Heavenly Dao Energy stage, 12th level, before we can do so. This is why it is so difﬁcult to cultivate as a Heavenly Jewel Master, and our cultivation process is also called 12 Heavenly Jewel Change, or Heavenly Jewel 12 Changes.”
Zhou Weiqing was concentrating earnestly on listening, he was very eager for any information on Heavenly Jewels, and as he listened to Shangguan Bing’er’s explanations, his gaze never left her.
When she spoke up to this point, Shangguan Bing’er lit up the oil lamp that she had brought, lighting up the dark tent. Looking at her beautiful features so close to him, Zhou Weiqing couldn’t help but quaver in his heart; he was only 13 years old after all, and his self control was not very strong; especially since he had already had that sort of ‘connection’ with her previously, his heart was beating fast like a capering monkey and a mind wandering like a galloping horse. Luckily, the knowledge of Heavenly Jewel Masters was very attractive to him, allowing him to not show his thoughts.
Shangguan Bing’er continued saying: “I examined your Immortal Deity Technique earlier. You said that after last night, you already managed to break through 4 Death Acupuncture Points?”
Zhou Weiqing nodded.
Shangguan Bing’er furrowed her brow, saying: “Did you know that once you have chosen and started training a cultivation method for Heavenly Energy, you can no longer change it. Since you have already started on the Immortal Deity Technique, you have no choice but to carry on with it. This technique is extremely unique, also also rather dangerous.”
“Ah? I’m unable to change cultivation methods?” Zhou Weiqing asked in surprise. Shangguan Bing’er nodded, saying: “Yes, but you do not need to worry so much. Although this technique is very domineering, but the most difﬁcult stage is actually breaking through the ﬁrst Death Acupuncture point. You have already broken through 4 of them, I believe the ones later should be relatively easier. Furthermore, if what you said previously is true, the black pearl that you absorbed has the ability to protect you. However, when cultivating, it always gets more difﬁcult as your level is higher, you have to prepare yourself for that.
Zhou Weiqing nodded, and said positively: “I will deﬁnitely continue working hard and cultivating.” His chance had ﬁnally come, and he swore that he would never go back to being a trash.
偷 鸡 摸 狗 is a chinese idiom literally translated to Steal Chicken Touch Dog – basically meaning petty crimes. Zhou Weiqing is just making a pun here.
Chapter 8 – Profound Secrets of the Immortal Deity Technique
Listening to Zhou Weiqing’s ﬁrm tone, Shangguan Bing’er suddenly generated a strange thought in her mind – This fellow has some of his own good points, at least he is diligent and knows how to exert himself. Furthermore, he has that legendary Alexandrite Cat’s Eye. Since he has already taken advantage of me, with his status as a Heavenly Jewel Master, perhaps he is at least somewhat worthy of me…
She then shook her head strongly, scolding herself in her heart. What am I thinking about! No matter what, I need to observe this Little Fatty Zhou’s disposition, his moral character being so irritating is a big problem, I can’t just observe a day or two to make up my mind.
“Little Fatty Zhou, remember this, when you are cultivating Heavenly Energy, you can just do so in accordance to your Immortal Deity Technique. However, whenever you are attempting to break through Death Acupuncture Points, you must make sure that I am there with you to protect you, you must not try to attempt it on your own.”
Zhou Weiqing was more than happy to have it that way, and he immediately said: “Heh… Understood, understood, thanks Battalion Commander for your care and concern.” As he said that, he leaned forward.
Seeing that he had resumed his normal ways after barely two minutes of being serious, Shangguan Bing’er was overcome with helplessness. “Little Fatty Zhou, sit properly or I’m leaving!”
Zhou Weiqing quickly sat back upright, resuming the serious look he had on previously. Unfortunately, though someone meeting him for the ﬁrst time would be fooled by that, but Shangguan Bing’er who had a few days of experience with him knew for sure that this rascal would have strange thoughts no matter what outward expression he was showing.
“Just now I talked about the basics for both us Heavenly Jewel Masters as well as ordinary Jewel Master, now I’ll teach you the basic usage of the Physical and Elemental Jewels. It’s already quite late now, so I’ll ﬁrst show you how to keep and release the Jewels. The method is split into 2 parts; to keep your Heavenly Jewel back into your body is called Receiving, while to use the Jewels is called Releasing. Both Receiving or Releasing require Heavenly Energy. When we have cultivated our Heavenly Energy to the ﬁrst stage, it will gather in your Dantian, which is in your lower abdomen, you need to use your will to manipulate your Heavenly Energy and meld it with your Heavenly Jewels, then guide them to either Receive or Release. You can start practicing that tonight, and I’ll teach you something else tomorrow.
After saying that, she stood up. It was already dark outside, and she was not willing to stay in such a place with sorrowful memories for a long time, as such she was preparing to leave. Zhou Weiqing stood up hurriedly, but as he did so, Shangguan Bing’er immediately stepped back, keeping a safe distance from him.
Giving him a quick glare, Shangguan Bing’er left.
Zhou Weiqing kept his eyes trained on her as she left, looking through the small gap in the tent ﬂap, thinking to himself: That ass, how pert! However, he had learnt his lesson now, he wouldn’t dare to voice out such thoughts, but just enjoying inside silently, at least that way she wouldn’t know.
Shangguan Bing’er did not take along her oil lamp when she left, and Zhou Weiqing sat back onto his bunk and opened the Immortal Deity Technique manual to the ﬁfth page. He had already broken through the ﬁrst four Death Acupuncture Points, and if he wanted to cultivate further, he naturally had to start on the ﬁfth page of the ﬁrst part. The ﬁfth Death Acupuncture Point for the ﬁrst part was the YongQuan Point, which was located on the sole of the feet, and it would cause damage to the Dantian on being hit, injuring the functional activities of body’s vital energy.
Calming himself down, Zhou Weiqing could immediately feel the energy whirlpools which had opened up in the four Death Acupuncture Points that he had previously broken through. According to what Shangguan Bing’er had told him earlier, he understood that the energy that they were absorbing was the Heavenly Energy coalesced from the atmosphere.
The method of cultivating Heavenly Energy in the Immortal Deity Technique was rather simple, consisting of just one line – When the energy in your Dantian is full, it means it has peaked, break through the next Death Acupuncture Point means a level up ; failure means death.
From the words, it could be understood as the following : After breaking through a Death Acupuncture Point successfully, it was just a matter of cultivating and storing Heavenly Energy. Once the Dantian was full of Heavenly Energy, it would be time to break through the next Death Acupuncture Point – in which case success means getting to the next level of Heavenly Energy, while failure means death. As for the actual cultivation method, there was no other hint. However, since his testing in the morning, Zhou Weiqing had already started to understand the profound mysteries of this Immortal Deity Technique. No doubt, training this technique was tantamount to suicide, but once successful, the cultivation process would be easier than other cultivation arts.
Zhou Weiqing had tried many different cultivation arts since he was very young; you had to cycle your Heavenly Energy around the meridians in a cyclic rotation, and was usually very complicated. Completing a whole heavenly circuit revolution, all of the various arts had made his head ache just looking at them. Now, this Immortal Deity Technique was so much easier in comparison. Just the whirlpools which had formed after breaking through the Death Acupuncture Point were extremely invaluable, as they would automatically draw in Heavenly Energy from the atmosphere to strengthen his body. Even if he did not intentionally concentrate on cultivating, his Heavenly Energy would still grow slowly by itself. When he focused his will on the whirlpools, the speed of drawing Heavenly Energy would grow by a large amount. Such a cultivation method was extremely simple.
The truth was, there was always two sides to every coin. This Immortal Deity Technique that Zhou Weiqing had gotten was indeed a miraculous technique, and was created by a true crazy genius; however even that crazy genius himself had only mastered it to around ten plus Acupuncture Points before failing to break through and dying. After that, there had not been anyone else who had even managed to break through the ﬁrst Death Acupuncture Point. The unique thing about this technique was that it was extremely difﬁcult to break through bottlenecks, but the usual cultivation was very easy. As for what happens after breaking through all 36 Death Acupuncture Points, even the creator could only guess according to his own estimations.
As such, Zhou Weiqing was now focusing on the whirlpools, hastening its absorption of Heavenly Energy. At the same time, he was also checking out his Dantian’s circumstances.
As he did so, he realised that his Dantian was empty of energy; the Heavenly Energy absorbed from the surroundings had barely ﬁlled even a tenth of it, and his consciousness was able to make the energy start moving. With the experience from breaking through the Clavicle Acupuncture Point, he started to move the Heavenly Energy into two paths, slowing heading towards both his arms.
This process was extremely slow, after all Zhou Weiqing was new to moving substantial amounts of Heavenly Energy. Although this mount of Heavenly Energy was little compared to the total amount in his Dantian, but compared to the amount he had used to breakthrough the Clavicle Acupuncture Point, it was almost more than a hundred times. As the Heavenly Energy passed through his meridians, he felt a cool comfortable feeling at the area. However, at the same time, Zhou Weiqing could clearly feel that his emotions were being changed, as his Heavenly Energy cycled, he could feel a rising feeling of ﬁerce bloodlust.
What was going on? Obviously, it was not from Heavenly Energy, as Shangguan Bing’er had not mentioned it when she was explaining things to him just now.
Suddenly, inspiration struck, and Zhou Weiqing remembered the huge black tiger from that night – wasn’t that ﬁerce bloodlust the same aura that the tiger gave out in his memory? Even the cold feeling from that night has also appeared. Luckily, these unique auras did not seem to be hurting him, in fact when they appeared it seemed like his Heavenly Energy started moving faster.
Finally, the two streams of Heavenly energy reached the Clavicle Acupuncture Point, unavoidably touching the energy whirlpool which had formed there.
As the two streams of Heavenly Energy both touched the respective whirlpools at the Clavicle Acupuncture Point, they suddenly accelerated, rushing down Zhou Weiqing’s arms, and giving him a fright. The next moment, the twin streams had reached the Taiyuan Acupuncture Points in his wrists, and ﬂared up there, melding together with his respective Jewels.
A sense of complete harmony descended on Zhou Weiqing’s mind, and he felt like his Heavenly Jewels were part of his body. With a single thought, the Jewels entered his body through the Taiyuan Acupuncture Point, settling ﬁrmly in his meridians. He could still sense the presence of the Jewels, but they did not have a substantial feel.
I succeeded just like that? It seems like it was not as difﬁcult as I had expected. Zhou Weiqing was delighted to have succeeded in Receiving his Heavenly Jewels on the ﬁrst try. Actually, how was he to know that the real reason why it seemed so easy for him was because he had already broken through to the Taiyuan Acupuncture Points on his wrists, which was extremely good for Receiving and Releasing Heavenly Jewels. Otherwise, how else would such a cultivating newbie like him succeed so easily! This point was also something that Shangguan Bing’er had not expected, and it was also just the tip of the iceberg for the beneﬁts that the Immortal Deity Technique would grant him. With a thought, manipulating the link between his Heavenly Energy and Taiyuan Acupuncture Point, the 2 Heavenly Jewels sprang out of his wrists. Another thought caused them to be kep within again, the whole process seemed so easy.
If Shangguan Bing’er knew about the process of his training, she would deﬁnitely be shocked. She was already considered a genius, but it had taken her half a month before she could Receive and Release her Heavenly Jewels so easily, while Zhou Weiqing had managed that feat in just a single try.
Zhou Weiqing was very curious about his own Heavenly Jewels, and since his training target for the day had already been met, he decided to investigate the exact beneﬁts that his two Heavenly Jewels brought to him. Not even mentioning the fact that he was only 13 years old, even a steady, mature adult would also be hasty to ﬁnd out what his Heavenly Jewels could do if they just Awakened.
He chose to examine his Icy Jade Physical Jewel ﬁrst, after all his Alexandrite Cat’s Eye Elemental Jewel had been praised so much by Shangguan Bing’er that he was rather nervous about it.
Earlier on, when he was trying to control the Receiving and Releasing of his Heavenly Jewels, Zhou Weiqing had used his Heavenly Energy to wrap around the Jewels, letting them meld with his Energy and they were easily moved through his Taiyuan Acupuncture Point. At this point, he carefully used his Heavenly Energy to enter his Physical Jewel.
In the instance that his Heavenly Energy entered his Physical Jewel, Zhou Weiqing’s whole body shuddered, as a jet of pure, incomparable strength seemed to originate from his right hand to encompass his whole body; his muscles, bones, meridians, all seemed to be ﬁlled with that same strong feeling. He felt as though he could easily lift a large bull if it were standing in front of him.
After his Heavenly Jewels had Awakened, although Zhou Weiqing had felt that his body had gone through much change and improvement, but it was deﬁnitely far from the obvious feeling he had now. Previously, it had only been a slight improvement in strength and agility, with his body feeling lighter. However, at this moment, the sheer explosive strength that coursed through him felt so real and unparalleled. He just felt like unleashing the explosive power within him.
However, at the same time, Zhou Weiqing also found that while this burst of strength was active, the Heavenly Energy within his body was slowly being consumed. Even though the rate of consumption was not fast, but it was a constant outﬂow. By now, he had already broken through 4 Death Acupuncture Points, Clavicle, Taiyuan, ZhuSanLi, SanYinJiao, whose energy whirlpools had increased their absorption rate when his Heavenly Energy had entered his physical Jewel, an increase even greater than when he focused his attentions on the whirlpool alone. However, though the absorption rate was fast, but it still wasn’t enough to offset the consumption of
Heavenly Energy, but could only slow down the draining rate.
Zhou Weiqing did not think much of this, and thought it was normal. However, if Shangguan Bing’er knew about this, her jaw would deﬁnitely drop in shock. No matter Physical, Elemental or Heavenly Jewel Masters, whenever they made use of their Jewels, they needed to sustain the usage with Heavenly Energy, and that Energy had to be accumulated through cultivation. Although some advanced cultivation techniques were able to slowly recover Heavenly Energy even while not cultivating, but it was deﬁnitely unlike Zhou Weiqing who could still absorb the Heavenly Energy even when he was using his Jewels!
This was another secret of the Immortal Deity Technique, after all, by risking one’s life to breakthrough the Death Acupuncture Points, after going through so much danger how could there not be any advantages? The creator of the Immortal Deity Technique had accidently broken through one Death Acupuncture Point and discovered all the various amazing powers, which was why he continued developing the technique and couldn’t resist recording it down, despite its danger.
One could imagine, as the amount of Death Acupuncture Points broken through increased, the strength of the Immortal Deity Technique would grow exponentially as the automatic absorption rate of Heavenly Energy while using the Heavenly Jewels would be even faster, thus allowing Zhou Weiqing to have greater sustainability during ﬁghts than any other Heavenly Jewel Master. Of course, that is on the premise that he can survive breaking through more Death Acupuncture Points.
Withdrawing the Heavenly Energy from the Physical Jewel, the feeling of great strength also vanished, and the sudden loss made Zhou Weiqing lick his lips involuntarily – that feeling of great strength was just so addictive, unfortunately it required the continued consumption of Heavenly Energy.
After his successful trial of his Physical Jewel, Zhou Weiqing grew in conﬁdence and picked up the nerve to focus his Heavenly Energy to carefully enter his Alexandrite Cat’s Eye Jewel. This time, Zhou Weiqing was even more careful and meticulous, moving his Heavenly Energy slowly into the Alexandrite Cat’s Eye. Just as his energy entered it, a curious phenomenon appeared. Zhou Weiqing saw a ﬂash in front of him and felt his surroundings blur and change as his Alexandrite Cat’s Eye gave out a strong burst of light. It was night time now, and the Jewel was now bright red, and the burst of light caused the whole tent to be illuminated in red. At the same time the silhouette of a wheel entered Zhou Weiqing’s vision. It was transparent, yet distinctly having 6 parts, and was just hovering right in front of him, keeping in its vision even when he moved his body or turned. He raised his hand to try and touch it, but realised that his palm was behind the wheel.
After trying a few times, and waving his hands in front of his eyes without blocking the wheel, he ﬁnally realised that it was not in the world, but was rather just appearing in his eyes, and only he could see it.
There were 6 parts to the wheel, and each part was of a different colour – green, blue, silver, black, grey and a transparent colourless part. When he focused his attention on a certain part, the wheel would turn until that part was right on top. A strange feeling then appeared right then when Zhou Weiqing focused on the green portion. He felt his entire body brimming with a brisk agility, making him feel as light as a feather, as if he could ﬂy. Lifting his left hand, he could vaguely see a green glowing between his ﬁngers. This should be the wind element like Shangguan Bing’er.
What Zhou Weiqing didn’t know was that it was exactly because Shangguan Bing’er’s Elemental Jewel was of the wind attribute that was why she was able to become his sacriﬁce the previous night when it was extremely dangerous for him during his Heavenly Jewel Awakening. If at that point, Shangguan Bing’er did not share a similar element with him, the ﬁnal result would have been him dying via self-implosion, and Shangguan Bing’er would have also been ripped apart by that explosion.
As the wheel spun towards the blue portion, he instantly felt a sense of numbness as bolts of lightning appeared. The green light at his left hand was replaced by thick and rough blue electrical lights snaking around, and the whole tent was lit with a ﬂickering glow. Zhou Weiqing blinked and thought to himself: So, my second elemental attribute is lightning. Do Elemental Jewels have such an attribute? I’ve never heard of it before; looks like I’ll have to ask Shangguan Bing’er tomorrow. With a thought, the status wheel spun and changed to the silver portion. Immediately, the numbness and the electricity disappeared, and the tent’s ﬂickering light was replaced with a soft silver light which was extremely stable. Strangely, this silver light was not just around Zhou Weiqing’s hand, but surrounding his body. Furthermore, he could clearly feel that when the wheel was at this portion, the drain on his Heavenly Energy was a lot higher. However, he was not clear on exactly what element this silver portion signiﬁed. Since he did not know what the elemental attribute was, he just casually called it the unknown element…
Turning to the 4th portion, the black colour, without question it was the Darkness attribute he had inherited from his father. The dark and gloomy aura ﬁlled the entire tent, causing him to be unable to even see his hands in front of him, and the Heavenly Energy consumption was almost equal to the silver unknown element earlier.
Zhou Weiqing vaguely realised what the unknown element could be – after all the Darkness attribute was one of the 4 Great Elemental Attributes. Since they both drained an equal amount of Heavenly Energy, it stood to reason that the unknown element was also one of the 4 Great Elemental Attributes. Besides Darkness, the other 3 Attributes was Light, Life and Spatial. It was unlikely to be Light, since Light and Darkness were opposing attributes. It also did not feel like the Life Attribute, as that had a rather obvious feel. As a result, by the elimination process, it could only be the Spatial Attribute.
Out of the 4 Great Attributes, he had already possessed 2 of them, this made Zhou Weiqing rather pleased with himself. Along with the wind and lightning attributes, he was extremely strong. Furthermore, there were still 2 other attributes!
The wheel spun once again, reaching the 5th portion. Upon reaching this portion, Zhou Weiqing only stopped for a very short period before quickly turning to the next portion. The reason for that was simple, as soon as he reached the 5th gray area, the cold aura that had appeared several times for him appeared once again, bringing along the ﬁerce bloodlust and other negative emotions along with it, swarming his mind and almost causing him to lose control.
As he reﬂexively spun to the 6th part of the wheel, the next instance the remaining third of his Heavenly Energy had been consumed, vanishing into thin air. Zhou Weiqing felt his body twisting, and his vision blackened as a sense of frailty invaded every part of his body. The vision of the status wheel disappeared, and the light of the Alexandrite Cat’s Eye also dimmed. Panting heavily, Zhou Weiqing was really afraid in his heart. The earlier attributes were still okay, but what exactly were those last 2 attributes? The ﬁfth attribute was still slightly describable, that evil and bloody aura, it was likely the Evil Attribute. However, what was that last attribute? Why did all my remaining Heavenly Energy get drained instantly when I focused my attention on that portion?
The 4 energy whirlpools from the 4 Death Acupuncture Points already broken through was already absorbing Heavenly Energy from the atmosphere to replenish his reserves, making him feel slightly better. After a while, his emotions had ﬁnally calmed down, and Zhou Weiqing also had some possible judgement on the sixth attribute. Although he wasn’t able to guess the actual attribute, but at least he knew it deﬁnitely existed.
The Alexandrite Cat’s Eye was a unique Elemental Jewel which required the Heavenly Jewel Master to have more than 4 attributes. Although he was unable to detect what attribute it was, but it was somewhat similar in nature to the Spatial Attribute, in that there were no revealing traits. However, from the fact that it instantly consumed so much Heavenly Energy, there was only one possibility – his current level of Heavenly Energy was not sufﬁcient to sustain the power and ability of this Attribute. Having thought through this, Zhou Weiqing’s heart was placated. Having insufﬁcient Heavenly Energy now did not mean that it would always remain so forever; as long as he kept up training and cultivation and continued breaking through the Immortal Deity Technique, one day he would be able to make use of that attribute. As he thought up to here, Zhou Weiqing Received his Heavenly Jewels back into his Taiyuan Acupuncture Point, before falling down backwards. Since cultivating Heavenly Energy was a matter of focusing on the whirlpools, there was no difference between sitting and lying down – he sure gave himself a good reason for lying down lazily, closing his eyes and focusing on the energy whirlpools. Unfortunately, although the Immortal Deity Technique was able to cultivate while lying down unlike other cultivation techniques, this position was way too comfortable, and before long he was fast asleep. Luckily, the 4 energy whirlpools still continued absorbing energy from the surroundings even without his focused will, though it was at a slower speed.
“Little Fatty Zhou, Little Fatty Zhou, wake up.” With a
*Shuah* sound, a strong light focusing on Zhou Weiqing’s face, causing him to wake up from his beauty sleep.
“What? Let me sleep a while more.” Zhou Weiqing turned around and said lazily.
There was a loud bang as a kick landed on his buttocks, and Zhou Weiqing got a big fright and ﬂipped up to stand upright, only to see Company Leader Mao Li standing in his tent, and the strong light was the sunlight shining in from the open tent ﬂap.
Mao Li said exasperatedly: “You’re still not up yet? You better get up now, what time is it already? Such lazy soldiers like you will have to be properly moulded by me.”
Zhou Weiqing had no choice but to get up, saying, “Company Leader, let me go eat breakfast ﬁrst.”
Mao Li was both angry and exasperated, thinking to himself: This rascal is sure a piece of work, no wonder the other day after he had been frivolous with the Battalion Commander he still behaved as if nothing had happened, making her so angry.
“Did I wake you up just to eat? Who asked you to wake up so late. Eat.. eat your own farts, there’s nothing to eat anymore. Come with me, the Battalion Commander has summoned you.” As he was talking, Mao Li grabbed Zhou Weiqing by the shoulder and pulled, trying to drag him out of the tent. However, he was surprised – he had originally thought that he could easily drag Zhou Weiqing out of the tent, but when he actually tried doing so, he found that his body was as heavy as a mountain, even exerting his strength, he could not move Zhou Weiqing at all. “En?” Mao Li said as he looked at Zhou Weiqing in surprise, “Brat, you have cultivated Heavenly Energy?”
Zhou Weiqing said proudly: “Yes indeed.” After his body had been evolved from the Awakening of his Heavenly Jewels, he barely felt the strength that Mao Li applied on him. Of course, due to his promise to Shangguan Bing’er, he immediately shut up after that.
Even so, just that simple two word answer made Company Leader Mao Li’s look towards him change drastically. After all, in the commoner world, barely a hundredth of the population could even start to cultivate Heavenly Energy, and of that number, a hundredth could cultivate enough to become a Jewel Master.
Of course, the other portion of people who only managed to cultivate to the ﬁrst or second stage of Heavenly Energy by the age of 16, although they were not able to Awaken their Power Jewel, they were still a lot stronger than ordinary people.
in terms of cultivation of Heavenly Energy, the ﬁrst 3 stages of the Heavenly Jing Energy was the most important, and also the most difﬁcult. Every stage was tantamount to a new rebirth
– remoulding and evolving the body. For someone like Zhou
Weiqing who directly broke through to the 4th stage, thus melding all the rebirth and remoulding stages together as one, it was previously unheard of!
As such, even if it were those who had only cultivated up to the ﬁrst two stages of Heavenly Jing Energy, they were still highly wanted in the army. After the recruit phase, most of them would likely be promoted to a role of Squad Leader, and they deﬁnitely had greater combat capabilities than any ordinary soldiers. Mao Li himself was someone who had managed to cultivate up to the 2nd stage of Heavenly Jing Energy, and had almost been able to become a Jewel Master. As soon as he found out that Zhou Weiqing also had Heavenly Energy, his attitude towards him warmed considerably.
“Alas, we are in the same sorry boat ah! Being able to cultivate Heavenly Energy, yet unable to become Jewel Masters, in a way such talents like us are the most tragic, seemingly having the chance yet ultimately failing to become a Jewel Master. It might be better off not having the chance at ﬁrst, to be an ordinary person.” Mao Li said with much feelings.
In truth he was not wrong, if one had always been a commoner, having not felt the strength and power of Heavenly Energy, they would not have an inkling of the true power of a Jewel Master. Yet for those who had tasted the beneﬁts of Heavenly Energy, they were the ones who truly lusted after the strength of becoming Jewel Master. Ignorance was indeed bliss sometimes.
Zhou Weiqing had no choice but to shrug his shoulders. After all, he couldn’t just reveal to Mao Li that he was already a Jewel Master, and Mao Li would also never suspect such a thing. After all, who would join the army as a common soldier as a Jewel Master. In any country, Jewel Masters were considered nobility.
“Let’s go, looks like these two days the Battalion Commander has still been kind, at least she didn’t torture you and you aren’t missing any limbs. You better be careful next time! But you’re my part of my 4th Company Bros, I will look after you.” Mao Li patted Zhou Weiqing on the shoulder, he did not try to drag him along anymore, but turned and walked out.
Zhou Weiqing put on an overcoat and followed him out of the tent, and followed Mao Li to Shangguan Bing’er’s Commander’s Tent.
As soon as he entered the tent, Zhou Weiqing spotted Shangguan Bing’er who was seated on the seat of honor. Even though he had seen her several times previously, and had even had intimate relations with her, but the sight of her still gave him an intense jolt.
Today, Shangguan Bing’er was dressed in a martial attire, the Battalion Commander’s Silver Mail she was wearing made her look especially valiant and heroic in bearing. She wasn’t wearing a helmet, and her long hair was braided in a pony tail behind her head. Although she was only 15 years of age, she looked very much the part of a General seated on the Commanding Ofﬁcer’s chair, .
To the left of her sat a handsome youth of about the age of twenty, black hair to the shoulders and a face with a complexion like jade. Unfortunately he seemed to have a pair of bewitching, seductive eyes like peach blossoms. He was dressed in light armor, with a yellow feather topping his helmet, showing that he had the same rank as Mao Li – Company Leader. The other side of Shangguan Bing’er was empty; this time round there were two companies recruiting men, obviously the other seat was meant for Mao Li.
Behind those 2 seats, each sat ten Squad leaders dressed in leather armor. In Heavenly Bow Empire, only ofﬁcers of the rank of Company Leaders and above would have differences in their armour, either by the feather in their helmets or by their armor design or colours. As such, the Squad Leaders who were in charge of ten men were also jokingly referred to as “No Feather Squad Leaders”
Mao Li brought Zhou Weiqing into the tent, and everyone’s gaze immediately turned to them.
Mao Li gave a sharp salute to Shangguan Bing’er, “Reporting to Battalion Commander, I have brought Little Fatty Zhou here.”
Shangguan Bing’er said in cold clear voice, “Company Leader Mao Li, thanks for your efforts. Please take your seat.”
Chapter 9 – Purple Dawn Bow
“Yes.” Mao Li walked to his place at the right hand seat of Shangguan Bing’er and sat down.
Zhou Weiqing looked on critically, realising that Company Leader Mao Li did not have much liking for the handsome youth Company Leader, not even giving him a look but instead just sitting down in his seat expressionless.
Shangguan Bing’er and Zhou Weiqing looked at each other, and he raised his eyebrow gently at her; this small action seemed very natural, and most others would likely not pay attention. However, Shangguan Bing’er was a Heavenly Jewel Master, and more importantly, an archer, how good was her eyesight? Furthermore, she was so familiar with Zhou Weiqing’s character – a thread of hatred ﬂashed in her pupils. Sometimes, she really wished she could give this rascal a good beating.
“Little Fatty Zhou, you stand behind me. From today onwards, you are the Battalion Commander’s Personal Aide.” After she glared once more at Zhou Weiqing, she ordered with a tranquil expression. “Yes.”The Zhou Weiqing said compliantly, and started walking towards Shangguan Bing’er’s back. It would be good to be her Personal Aide, not only would it be convenient to continue learning the more about Heavenly Jewel Masters, just being able to spend more time with her would make him satisﬁed. Luckily he did not dare to go too far when he in front of so many people, but his eyes still revealed his happiness.
“Wait.” At this moment, an inharmonious sound appeared suddenly, though Zhou Weiqing had to acknowledge that the voice was clear and melodious, sounding quite good – it actually belonged to that handsome young Company Leader.
“What’s wrong? Do you have any questions, Company Leader Xiao?” Shangguan Bing’er turned to look at him, the bitterness in her eyes vanishing as she assumed a tranquil, even gentle countenance.
The handsome youth Company Leader Xiao nodded his head slightly, not hiding his ardent look at Shangguan Bing’er, saying: “Battalion Commander, with your status you deﬁnitely should be assigned a soldier as a Personal Aide. However, your Personal Aide doesn’t need to only be able to handle the simple everyday routine business for you, but should also be able to shoulder the responsibility of protecting you. This Little Fatty Zhou is just a fresh recruit, won’t it be difﬁcult for him to shoulder such a heavy responsibility?”
Shangguan Bing’er, who was easily able to maintain her cool as long as she wasn’t facing Zhou Weiqing, showed a faint smile and said: “Company Leader Xiao, do you really believe that I need the protection of my Professional Aide? What candidate do you have to recommend instead?”
Zhou Weiqing had halted his footsteps when Company Leader Xiao started speaking, feeling a sense of foreboding and vigilance in his heart, it was rather clear to everyone that Company Leader Xiao was looking at Shangguan Bing’er with an admiring expression. Zhou Weiqing couldn’t help but stare at him, secretly critiquing to himself : This fellow why does he have such a gigolo face? They say handsome gigolos like that do not have good intentions, one look at him I can tell he is a bad egg.
Originally, he did not have much hope for wooing Shangguan Bing’er, but when he became a Heavenly Jewel Master, our dear Zhou Weiqing, Little Fatty Zhou, had just ‘righteously’ regarded Shangguan Bing’er has his. Of course, that scheming mind of his that rightfully should not appear in an ordinary 13- year-old youth would not let him display those feelings outright. Hearing Shangguan Bing’er’s question, Company Leader Xiao said in a serious tone: “Naturally, with our Battalion Commander’s strength, you do not need the protection of a mere Personal Aide, but as a fresh recruit can he even shoot arrows? By following you into battle, wouldn’t it be a loss of face for you? Furthermore, even if you do not need the protection of a Personal Aide, but he should still be able to follow your steps in the battleﬁeld. I, Xiao Se, am willing to resign from my commision as Company Leader to follow Battalion Commander about, I pledge to ﬁght to the death to protect the Battalion Commander’s life.”
This Company Leader Xiao said it with such a strong sense of righteousness, with such an appearance that is unafraid of death, that Zhou Weiqing was almost moved by him. Yet, in the heart he was criticizing: If he doesn’t act, will he die?
Shangguan Bing’er said with a lovely smile: “Many thanks for your good intentions Company Leader Xiao, but you are our 3rd Battalion’s pillar of strength. How can I let you hold the mere post of a Personal Aide? As for Zhou Weiqing, although he is a recruit, but I have tested him these few days, and he is indeed has the talent to be developed. He also has had some previous practice with shooting, and should be competent enough to be a Personal Aide.” Xiao Se wrinkled his brow, saying: “Battalion Commander, how about this? Let’s get Little Fatty Zhou to demonstrate his ability to us, at least we can all set our minds at ease.”
Shangguan Bing’er still had unfazed appearance, facing Xiao Se’s persistence, she did not pull rank. “Okay, let’s do as Company Leader Xiao said. But how does Company Leader Xiao plan to test my Personal Aide?” The composure she was maintaining did not truly represent her thinking in her heart, but in the third battalion, although she was the Battalion Commander, but Company Leader Xiao actually had greater inﬂuence than her. Even though his noble title was lower than hers, but he had a background that Shangguan Bing’er could not ignore.
Xiao Se stood up and with quick motion of his hand, he took out a longbow from beside his seat. His longbow was similar to Shangguan Bing’er’s, its body was entirely purple, and Zhou Weiqing was very clear on this quality material.
The wood from the Stars Trees from the Stars Forest could be used to create bows after the trees were at least ten years old, but generally speaking, the wood that the army uses was at least over 30 years of age. This was because the wood would be strong enough by then. The purple longbow that Xiao Se and Shangguan Bing’er used was also made from the wood of the Stars Tree, but it was made from trees of over hundred years old.
The wood from Stars Trees was a dark red colour, and when they grew to beyond a hundred years of age, they would transform into a deep purple, with thin, tiny surface trace lines like ox hairs present. If one examined it carefully, they would be able to see golden luminous spots as well. This is also one of the origin of one of the Star Woods’ nicknames, this kind of hundred-year old Stars Wooden characteristic was called Ox Hair Venus.
When Stars Wood’s growth surpassed a hundred years, its would experience a substantial qualitative leap, its strength and tenacity increasing by a large margin. A longbow that was created with the Hundred Years Stars Wood had a tensile strength of at least three times that of an ordinary longbow, needing over 100 kilograms of pulling force to be able to draw it to the max. As such, its ﬁring distance was also a lot further, the effective striking distance reaching 500 yards. If one were to further add Heavenly Energy, the effective striking distance would be even farther. Therefore, the longbow was also known as the Purple Dawn Bow, each one having the value of at least a hundred gold or more depending on the quality. This longbow was deﬁnitely not something that an ordinary Company Leader could use; even if the Heavenly Bow Empire was renowned for their bows and archery, it was rare enough that it usually warranted a rank of Battalion Commander to be given such a high quality bow.
Xiao Se took his Purple Dawn Bow and walked right in front of Zhou Weiqing, and with a faint smile said: “Little Fatty Zhou right. As long as you can draw my Purple Dawn Bow, it will show that you have qualiﬁcation to be the Battalion Commander’s Personal Aide. Go ahead and try, use all the strength that you possess, but be careful do not overstrain yourself, if you wet yourself in the pants it will not be too good.”
Xiao Se’s words immediately caused those “No Feather Squad Leaders” to burst out in raucous laughter, especially the ten who were under his command, they were doubled up in laughter, not showing Shangguan Bing’er the respect the Battalion Commander seat warranted. Zhou Weiqing looked at the Purple Dawn Bow in Xiao Se’s hands with a face full of curiosity, then took a look at Shangguan Bing’er again with a face full of confusion: “Battalion Commander, what kind of bow is this? How different is it from our bows? Are we allowed to varnish our own bows so casually in the army?”
Shangguan Bing’er looked at Zhou Weiqing with exasperation: “If Company Leader Xiao wants you to try then you should just go ahead and try, stop with all the useless idle talk.”
Zhou Weiqing received the Purple Dawn Bow from Xiao Se, sneering secretly in his heart. In truth, he was much more familiar with the Purple Dawn Bow than an ordinary Stars Bow. Initially, in order to draw a Purple Dawn Bow, he had practiced hard for two years; in the Admiral’s Mansion whenever he practiced, it was usually with the Purple Dawn Bow. This was also why the other day when Shangguan Bing’er had tested him on his shooting accuracy that day. he had been slightly off target. The reason was that he was not used to the ordinary Stars Bow. After all, for the whole of those two years, he practiced drawing with it every day, his arm had been swollen countless times, despite wind and rain, Admiral Zhou would not let him rest. In Admiral Zhou’s words: “Even if you are a waste, you are also I, Zhou Shuiniu’s, trash son. If you can’t even use a bow, this father of yours will punch you til you arch into a bow shape.”
The weight of the Purple Dawn Bow was almost two times that of an ordinary Stars Bow, fully 20 kilograms, and was quite heavy. Zhou Weiqing seemed lift it with much difﬁculty, and asked Xiao Se questioningly: “Company Leader Xiao, your purple bow is quite heavy! How do you even use it?”
Xiao Se gave a humph of disdain, “Just depending on your own strength, you still dream to draw my Purple Dawn Bow? Even if you were to reborn and drink milk all over again, you still won’t have that strength. You better hold it carefully, if you drop it, do not blame me for being impolite.”
“Oh.” Zhou Weiqing’s simple and honest expression on his face made him seem like a simple youth from the countryside, uncontaminated by city life.
As the same time as he was replying, he grasped the bow and pulled back the bowstring, only to have it remain entirely still. His face turned red, as if he was exerting all his strength with every ﬁbre of his body. Xiao Se was not even deign to take another look at Zhou Weiqing, turning his head Shangguan Bing’er and said: “Look Battalion Commander, how can this Little Fatty Zhou have the qualiﬁcation to be your Personal Aide when he can’t even draw my Purple Dawn Bow?”
Before Shangguan Bing’er could say anything, Company Leader Mao Li couldn’t resist and said, “Company Leader Xiao, Little Fatty Zhou only just joined the army, being able to use the ordinary longbow is already quite good. As for the Purple Dawn Bow, let alone him, even for those seated here, not everyone can actually draw it right.”
Xiao Se shot a look at him, a chill in his eyes, but did not bother replying him, instead treating him like air. His gaze remained on Shangguan Bing’er, waiting for her reply.
Shangguan Bing’er only wanted to do one thing now, which was to rush forward to give Little Fatty Zhou a beating. Although she did not know that Zhou Weiqing was already able to activate his Strength Physical Jewel, but knew that he had already gotten a large increase to his physical abilities after Awakening his Heavenly Jewels. Let alone is a Purple Dawn Bow, even if it were two and three he could also draw them all. After all, his Physical Jewel would boost his strength. However, this rascal’s acting was so realistic; looking at his face that was ﬂushed with exertion, with an expression that showed such anxiety, Shangguan Bing’er was so angry that her face turned green.
“Company Leader Xiao, Little Fatty Zhou has not given up yet, why don’t we wait and see.” While speaking, she also stood up, though she did not walk forward, instead looking at Zhou Weiqing with a ﬁerce glare.
Zhou Weiqing felt a slight itch in his ear, a voice as soft as a mosquito sounded out in his ear, “Damn Little Fatty Zhou, you better stop acting or I’ll punch you till you won’t be able to take care of yourself.”
Shangguan Bing’er thought that Zhou Weiqing wouldn’t dare to continue acting after her threat, but who knew that right after she had said those words, Zhou Weiqing actually let go of the bow. Furthermore, that rascal was panting heavily, taking in big gulps of air, giving the appearance of being incomparably exhausted.
Xiao Se said with scorn: “Battalion Commander, look and see for yourself, it is impossible for him to draw the Purple Dawn Bow, I think that you should also withdraw your order.” Shangguan Bing’er gripped her ﬁst tightly, if she did not have to keep up her image as beﬁts her rank and status, she would probably have rushed over and hit him by now.
“Who said that I am unable to draw this Purple Dawn Bow, it’s just that just now my body was not warmed up yet. I can deﬁnitely do it if I try again.” Zhou Weiqing was saying in an unconvinced manner while still panting heavily. There was even a thin sheen of perspiration on his forehead.
Xiao Sa laughed, putting both hands behind his back, showing a natural and elegant state, saying: “Even if I let you try a hundred times you still will not be able to draw this bow. Did you think that the Purple Dawn Bow is meant for you, this kind of third-rater, to use?”
Zhou Weiqing said with a face ﬁlled with grief and indignation: “Third-rater? Aren’t third-raters also human? Who said I can’t draw it, I will deﬁnitely be able to! Let me bet with you, if I cannot draw it, I will commit suicide right here.”
This time, Mao Li did not speak up, because, even he had noticed something awry. Although he did not have as much contact with Zhou Weiqing as Shangguan Bing’er, but he did also know that this young rascal was not as good or naive as he seemed. Furthermore, earlier that morning he had already witnessed Zhou Weiqing’s strength for himself. Even if he could not fully draw the Purple Dawn Bow, he should still be at least able to pull back the string a little.
Xiao Se said with a cold humph: “Then you can try pulling again, I deﬁnitely want to see if you really dare to commit suicide here.” In his eyes, the death of an ordinary soldier is nothing.
Zhou Weiqing took up the Purple Dawn bow again and was just about to start pulling, but just as he was about to exert strength, this fellow seemed to suddenly remember something, and he turned his head to look at Xiao Se, saying: “Since we made a bet, we need to have the stakes on both sides. If I draw the bow, will you also commit suicide here?” With his honest and simple looks, coupled with him asking such a question now, gave the people around the feeling that he was very naive and childish.
Xiao Se said proudly: “What do you think you are, can your life be compared with mine? I have the title of Viscount. Hmph, this Purple Dawn Bow will be my gambling stake. If you cannot draw it, I also do not want your life, you’ll have to kneel here and call me three times “Grandfather”, then I’ll let you off.” Zhou Weiqing listened to Xiao Se’s words and shook his head vigorously, “No, that will not do, I will lose out that way. My father told me that for men, we have gold under our knees. Your bow is so heavy, but it is still inferior to the gold. If you lose, you must kneel down and call me Grandfather in order for things to be even.”
Xiao Se did not believe that he would lose, and looking at Zhou Weiqing’s obstinate face, he said with disdain: “As long as you can draw the bow, why won’t I call you? Quickly, stop wasting our precious time.”
“Good.” Zhou Weiqing smiled. Perhaps in the eyes of others, his smile would seem simple and honest, but in the eyes of Shangguan Bing’er, it was an incomparably sly and deceitful one. However, she did not prevent Zhou Weiqing from continuing, as in heart even she felt it was truly funny. Before Zhou Weiqing could even begin to try drawing the bowstring, the squad leaders under Xiao Se had already started to make a scene, shouting: “Don’t waste your energy boy, quickly called your Grandfather. Being able to recognize our Company Leader to be your grandfather, it’s your, this brat’s, good fortune.”
Zhou Weiqing turned his head to look to at the squad leader that had called out, pretending that he had not heard clearly, asking: “What did you ask me to call out?”
The squad leader subconscious replied: “Grandfather.”
Zhou Weiqing smiled, and said happily: “Ohh, such a good boy. However, having such a grandson like you, your ancestor must have been lacking virtue.”
“What did you say?” That squad leader realized that he had been fooled by this seemingly simple and honest recruit. He stood up ﬁercely, but at the same time, Zhou Weiqing sneered, and exerted his strength with both arms, and the ‘Ox Hair Venus’ Purple Dawn Bow was instantly drawn to a full crescent. The squad leader who had just stood up had wanted to curse angrily, until he suddenly saw that Zhou Weiqing had fully drawn the Purple Dawn Bow to its max. His jaw dropped, an expression of sheer disbelief written on his face. He was not the only one, all the squad leaders under Xiao Se had similar expressions. Even Xiao Se looked as if he had seen a ghost, shock written all over his face. One must know that for normal humans who did not have any Heavenly Energy cultivated, it is almost impossible to draw the Purple Dawn Bow.
Zhou Weiqing did not let lose the bowstring after drawing it, instead maintaining the posture without moving. The simple, honest look, the indignation, all the various expressions he had earlier all disappeared, and only scorn remained in his eyes, and he looked toward Xiao Se and gave a loud cry, “Kneel down, call me Grandfather.”
After Zhou Weiqing said that, with a crashing sound, all of Xiao Se’s squad leaders immediately charged forward, encircling him. Looked at their appearances, they were about to attack Zhou Weiqing.
However, at this moment, an evil light ﬂashed in Zhou Weiqing’s eyes, under and cover of his sleeves, the Icy Jade Physical Jewel swirled out quietly like fog in the night, appearing out onto his right wrist right, and instantaneously melded with him.
Heavenly Energy and Physical Jewel melded in an instant, and Zhou Weiqing suddenly felt as if the Purple Dawn Bow in his hands was as of negligible weight, his whole body feeling full of indescribable great power. Subconscious, both his hands exerted strength once again, and a cracking sound issued out, as the Purple Dawn Bow in his hand was pulled until it snapped apart unexpectedly.
With an idle toss, Zhou Weiqing threw the Purple Dawn Bow to the ground like it was a piece of trash, then lifted his gripped right ﬁst in front of his eyes, blowing on it before saying with disdain: “I thought it was such a good thing, I didn’t expect it to break so easily upon pulling. Do you call this a bow?”
The “No Feather Squad Leaders” who were preparing to attack Zhou Weiqing were completely startled by his actions. That was a Purple Dawn Bow made from hundred year old Stars Wood!! As Company Leader Mao Li had said earlier, few amongst them could even draw the bow, let alone draw it until it snapped. What sort of terrifying strength was required to be able to achieve such a feat? Complete silence ﬁlled the room, as none of them dared to make a move. “Enough. What are you all trying to do? Do you want to be charged under military law?” Shangguan Bing’er voice resounded in the air in icy cold tones, and the “No Feather Squad Leaders” took advantage of the opportunity to quickly back down.
Shangguan Bing’er took a glance at the broken Purple Dawn Bow lying on the ground, and a ﬂash of surprise appeared in her green eyes. She then turned towards Xiao Se, saying: “Company Leader Xiao, I thinks there isn’t any further need to prove anything else right?”
Xiao Se’s face was ashen, turning absolutely green and white. He had never expected to get fooled by Little Fatty Zhou, a mere recruit, furthermore it was done so in front of Shangguan Bing’er, and his own Purple Dawn Bow had even been destroyed.
However, he ﬁnally managed to suppress the rage in his heart, giving a forced smile and said: “So Brother Zhou is such a hidden talent, I have misjudged you. Congratulations Battalion Commander for ﬁnding such a qualiﬁed Personal Aide. Being able to draw a Purple Dawn Bow to breaking point, naturally he does not need to prove anything further. Battalion Commander, the new barracks for recruits will be open a few days later. I will go and handle the recruits ﬁrst.” After saying that, he lead his ten “No Feather Squad Leaders” away.
“Company Leader Xiao, I seem to remember that you have not kept your promise yet, you have neither knelt down nor called me ‘Grandfather’ yet, yet you are walking away already?” Zhou Weiqing said mockingly.
Xiao Se looked at him, then suddenly this fellow also has smiled rather unexpectedly, with a rather deceitful sly looking smile. “Brother Zhou, earlier I said that the Purple Dawn Bow can be my gambling stake. Afterwards, what I said was why won’t I call you?’ I never agreed to kneeling down. Since you really want to hear me call you, then I’ll just call you 3 times of ‘Little Fatty Zhou’. As for the gambling stake, the Purple Dawn Bow, it was destroyed by you, so I have no relation with it any further. Let’s go.” As he was speaking, he waved his hands ﬁercely, and lead his men to turn around and leave.
“Bah! What thing is that?!” Zhou Weiqing looks at Xiao Se’s retreating back, saying somewhat exasperatedly, and with some anger. He was still young after all, and had not previously noted noted the word game that Xiao Se had been playing, it looks like this fellow was more sly and deceitful than he had imagined. At the other side, Xiao Se who had left the Command Tent no longer had a smile on his face. With an ashen face and gritted teeth, he said. “Go check out this Little Fatty Zhou. I must have a look and see where Shangguan Bing’er this girl managed to ﬁnd such a fellow. Could he be from the royal family?”
The Squad Leader who had been tricked in calling Zhou Weiqing ‘Grandfather’ said in a low voice: “Boss, looking at that rascal, he just has a greater natural strength, there is no need to mobilize the forces right Tonight, I will go to his tent and help you to get revenge and vent your anger.”
“Humph.” Xiao Se said coldly, “Do you think that any mere individual can break the Purple Dawn Bow? If I have not guessed wrongly, that boy should be a Physical Jewel Master, with his Physical Jewel gives a majority boost to strength. I know almost all of Heavenly Bow Empire’s Jewel Masters, yet this boy isn’t one of them. You better go and search carefully, do not miss any clues, however minute they are.”
After Xiao Se had left, Shangguan Bing’er also dismissed Mao Li and his squad leaders. Just before leaving, Mao Li gave Zhou Weiqing a big thumbs up from a hidden position, the expression in his eyes showing his approval. It was clear that Xiao Se taking this minor made him extremely happy.
After everyone had left, only Zhou Weiqing and Shangguan Bing’er were left in the command tent.“Little Fatty Zhou, you can meld with your Heavenly Jewels already?” Shangguan Bing’er asked, her surprise on display markedly. With no one else around, she no longer needed to hide her earlier thoughts.
Zhou Weiqing said in a natural, matter-of-fact manner: “Yes, of course! I could do it after yesterday evening, the method you taught me was very simple, I managed to pick it up after some practice, then I just tried to link up with my Elemental and Physical Jewels, and it went quite smoothly as well.”
Shangguan Bing’er was very silent. Was the practice of Jewel Masters really that easy? Certainly not, especially for Heavenly Jewel Master, it was even more difﬁcult to practice and cultivate. There was a reason why she was called the Heavenly Bow Empire’s top genius talent of the younger generation, It was because initially when she practiced Receiving and Releasing her Heavenly Jewels, it had only taken her ﬁve days to be skilled in it, but linking up with her Heavenly Jewels had taken ten whole days. Yet, this upright honest looking, yet truly sly fellow unexpectedly only used one night to master all of that. Although she was not willing to acknowledge it, but she also understood that it was now time for her to give up her title of Top Genius. After all, how was she to know that all those accomplishments were not because of Zhou Weiqing’s talent, but rather it was just some of the amazing things that were granted to him because of the suicidal-art Immortal Deity Technique, the miraculous skill that had let him master the basic skills of Heavenly Jewel Masters so smoothly.
Seeing Shangguan Bing’er staring at him in a daze, Zhou Weiqing stepped in closer and grinned, saying: “I know that I am very outstanding, but if you keep staring at me like that, I will still be embarrassed.”
Shangguan Bing’er awoke from her daze, ﬂushing red in embarrassment, and with a ﬂying kick onto Zhou Weiqing’s buttocks, she said with clenched jaws: “Little Fatty Zhou, I have been waiting for a very long time to punch you ……”
Zhou Weiqing immediately understood that trouble was about to befall him, and quickly exhibited a panic-stricken appearance. Alas, how could Shangguan Bing’er possibly be swindled again? Her movements were like the wind as she descended upon him with ﬁery anger.
“NNOooooo ……” ……
Ten minutes later, our dear Little Fatty Zhou was curled up on the ground, like a boiled shrimp, his whole body trembling as he groaned incessantly. He looked so pitiful, as if he would die at any moment.
Shangguan Bing’er looked at that rascal, speechless. In truth, she had barely punched him at all, but this fellow’s acting skills were truly top notch. Even when she obviously knew he was acting, she still could not continue her beating.
Shangguan Bing’er could not help but to burst into an exasperated laugh. “Stop acting already, get up quickly, I’ll let you off for today.”
On hearing that, Zhou Weiqing, who seemed to be on the verge of death just moments ago, immediately somersaulted from the ground, jumping up in a burst of energy. Although there were still a few bruises on his face, but he was clearly full of spirit and vigor. From young, he had taken many a beating, his physical resistance was naturally something an average person could not compare to. Previously, at the Ice Spring Lake when he had run into Difuya, if not for the fact that he did not imagine that Difuya would dare attack him with her Elemental Jewel, he wouldn’t have been injured so severely. Therefore, he had learnt that no matter what, he had to always be on his guard. Difuya’s attack had gave him the valuable lesson, that nothing in this world was impossible.
Shangguan Bing’er stared at him, saying “Who asked you to break that Purple Dawn Bow? Do you know the value of that kind of high quality bow? Xiao Se already lost it to you in the bet, you should have just taken it for your use.” As she was from common birth, where the poor person’s child usually learnt to manages ﬁnances early, looks at the broken Purple Dawn Bow on the ground, she felt a pain in her heart.
Zhou Weiqing shook his head, assuming an air of self approbation: “I do not want his bow, I’m afraid I will dirty my hands. One look at that gigolo, I know that he is not a good thing. If it were your bow given to me to use, I will deﬁnitely take good care of it and keep it as my collection. Every day, I can smell your residual fragrance on it, I will be re-energized!”
Shangguan Bing’er once again clenched her the ﬁst, “You are asking for a beating again?”
Zhou Weiqing’s body shrank back immediately, staring at her with widened eyes and said: “Didn’t you just say that you will let me off for today? If you really want to hit me, then come.” Shangguan Bing’er was realising more and more that she just could not easily deal with him. You truly could not judge this rascal with conventional thinking, his slyness was truly at another level.
“Less idle talk. Since you have linked with your Heavenly Jewels, so what attributes do your Elemental Jewel contain?”
As soon as the practice of Heavenly Jewel Masters was mentioned, Zhou Weiqing immediately became serious, a rare sight indeed. He said: “After my Heavenly Energy and Elemental Jewel melded, I saw several different colours, when I focused on each color, my body would have a corresponding change. I have ﬁve different colors, and I have judged what they likely are: Green which should be Wind attribute, blue which should be the Lightning attribute, black which should be the Darkness attribute, silver being the Spatial attribute. The last one is grey in color, when I focus on it, I am immediately consumed with bloodlust and have the urge to kill. My Heavenly Energy is also consumed very rapidly, it was very strange. I have temporarily called it the Evil attribute.” He did not mention his last attribute, not because he did not trust Shangguan Bing’er, but because he was sure that even Shangguan Bing’er would not know what attribute that was. Upon listening to his words, Shangguan Bing’er’s pupils constricted, in the heart she mused: I do not understand why this rascal has so many good attributes. Moreover, because of him I also ……
Shaking her head, Shangguan Bing’er tried to make herself stop dwelling upon the events of the other night, and the way she looked upon Zhou Weiqing became somewhat strange.
“Follow me.” As she said that, she carried her Purple Dawn Bow on the back, took two quiver of arrows and walked out.
Zhou Weiqing followed her out of the command tent, towards the outskirts. Very soon, both of them had exited the camp area, and Shangguan Bing’er turned to look at him, saying: “Use your wind attribute.”
“How do I use it?” Zhou Weiqing asked blankly.
Shangguan Bing’er said: “Focus your will on the green colored portion of the status wheel.”
Zhou Weiqing stopped, and Released his Heavenly Jewels. He then slowly moved his Heavenly Energy into his Elemental Jewel, and immediately, the six color wheel of light appeared once again, and he focused his will onto the green region as asked. Almost instantly, he felt his body becoming very light, as if a swirl of ﬂowing air was revolving around his body, making him feel extremely comfortable and buoyant, as light
as a feather. Amongst the various attributes that his Elemental Jewel contained, the wind Attribute was the one which consumed the lowest amount of Heavenly Energy. While he activated his Elemental Jewel, the four Death Acupuncture Point energy whirlpools that had formed also accelerated, speeding up their absorption of the Heavenly Energy from the environment.
Shangguan Bing’er waited for Zhou Weiqing patiently as he started wielding his Elemental Jewel. The entire process took almost two minutes, until she saw a layer of dim green light started surrounding Zhou Weiqing’s body; she then started her own movement, and in a ﬂash of green light, she also activated her own wind Attribute, leading Zhou Weiqing along at an extremely high speed.
This was Zhou Weiqing’s ﬁrst time making use of his Elemental Jewel’s ability, and he felt like his body was so light and buoyant, and everything seemed so effortless. He only needed to lightly touch his feet on the ground, and he would naturally ﬂoat three to four metres ahead. This method of running was not only several times faster than normal, and also did not take much effort.
No wonder so many people want to become Jewel Masters, the ability of Jewel Masters is really miraculous! As Zhou Weiqing curiously examined the various advantages that the wind Attribute brought to him, he couldn’t help but exclaim that in his heart. However, at the same time, he also could see the huge disparity between his abilities and Shangguan Bing’er’s. She had activated her wind Attribute instantaneously, not requiring the long preparation time which he needed.
After a while, they had almost travelled ten miles from the military compound, reaching the outskirts of Heavenly Bow City, entering the Stars Forest.
“Bing’er, you wouldn’t be trying to silence a witness of a crime right?” Zhou Weiqing said jokingly with a laugh as he followed Shangguan Bing’er.
Chapter 10 – Physical Jewel Consolidated Equipment, Elemental Jewel Stored Skills
Shangguan Bing’er controlled her own speed at a pace which allowed him to keep up, and did not even look at him as she said, “Address me as Battalion Commander. Anyway, if I wanted to kill you, would I have waited till now?”
After continuing for a while more, she stopped at one of the more spacious clearings in the Stars Forest.
“Okay, this place will do. There is some time before the recruit training starts, and during this period of time, I will be teaching you some of the cultivation and training methods of Heavenly Jewel Masters, as well as my own experience. After the recruit training starts, you do not need to train together with the ordinary recruits, but you need to practice by yourself. I have a lot of things to handle then.” Shangguan Bing’er said coldly.
Looking at Shangguan Bing’er’s aloof expression, Zhou Weiqing was also very helpless. This was also the idea that Shangguan Bing’er had came up with which she felt was the best way to handle him. No matter what he said or did, she would just give him a cold emotionless face, so that the rascal wouldn’t reach out for a yard after taking an inch.
Shangguan Bing’er said coolly: “You currently have your ﬁrst set of Heavenly Jewels, and have become a true Heavenly Jewel Master. Your title should be called Lower Level Shi Stage Heavenly Jewel Master. I have two sets of Heavenly Jewels, so I’m currently a Mid Level Shi Stage Heavenly Jewel Master. The cultivation for us Heavenly Jewel Masters is very difﬁcult; if you want catch up with me, then you need to practice hard and cultivate to the eighth level of Heavenly Energy, and have your Heavenly Jewels split. Naturally, I can teach you all this when the time comes. Now, I will teach you more about the usage of the Heavenly Jewels.”
Zhou Weiqing’s spirit perked up when he heard that, and he listening carefully and respectfully.
Shangguan Bing’er said: “I am also a Heavenly Jewel Master, yet I have chosen the occupation of an archer. Do you know why I have done so?”
Zhou Weiqing instantly said with much certainty: “It must be because you fear death just like me, as an archer, we can hide in the shadows and do sneak attacks by shooting arrows, which is deﬁnitely much safer. After all, safety ﬁrst.” Shangguan Bing’er sweatdropped, unable to even maintain the ice-cold expression on her face, and said angrily: “Do you think that everyone is as shameless as you? The reason why I choose to be an archer is because I am very poor, even our Heavenly Bow Empire is unable to fully support the training of a Heavenly Jewel Master.”
Zhou Weiqing was surprised, “How is that possible? Besides Admiral Zhou, you are our Empire’s only Heavenly Jewel Master! If you are lacking money, I would think the imperial Family would give it to you unconditionally?”
Shangguan Bing’er sighed lightly, “Things aren’t as easy as you think, the amount of money and resources to fully develop a Heavenly Jewel Master is an unfathomable, astronomical ﬁgure. To explain why comes down to the basics of the Elemental and Physical Jewels. When we have both the Elemental and Physical Jewels, the Physical Jewel may strengthen the attributes of our body directly, and the Elemental Jewel can also give us the element attributes, allowing us to have much greater abilities than the average person. However, if we do not go further, it’s only restricted to this. For example, the Wind Attribute that we used a while ago can only increase our speed a little. When our Heavenly Energy and the Wind Attribute is merged, it can be called Wind Type Heavenly Energy, when using a weapon or just your own physical attack, you can get an increase in attack speed. Another example is your Lightning Attribute will imbue your attacks with some lightning attributes. For ordinary Jewel Masters, this might be enough, but as Heavenly Jewel Masters, it is insufﬁcient. For the Heavenly Jewels that are so difﬁcult to cultivate, we want to maximize their strengths, we need some additional external assistance to improve both our Elemental and Physical Jewels.”
Zhou Weiqing was rather puzzled: “I don’t really understand what you mean.”
Shangguan Bing’er said: “Let me cited a simple example for you to understand. The ability of our Elemental Jewel’s Attribute, before adding on the external assistance, can only affect yourself, you can’t actually discharge it externally to wound your enemy. However, once we’ve completed the special way to add the external assistance, it can form skills which allows us to unleash the element externally onto our enemies. You just need to remember these eight words, that is: Physical Jewel Consolidating Equipment, Elemental Jewel Storing Skills. These eight characters state the basis of how we can improve our Physical and Elemental Jewels.”
“Physical Jewel Consolidating Equipment, Elemental Jewel Storing Skills?” Zhou Weiqing repeated Shangguan Bing’er’s words. Although Admiral Zhou was very strict with him especially regarding education, but due to the fact that his meridians were blocked, he had not been taught much regarding Heavenly Jewel Masters. At this moment, Zhou Weiqing had the clear feeling, as if a mysterious door was slowly opening wide for him.
Shangguan Bing’er continued saying: “Every additional Physical Jewels we manage to cultivate will always give our bodies an additional large boost, this is especially so for us Heavenly Jewel Master’s pure Physical Jewels, with a boost as high as 150%. However, the power and mystery of Physical Jewels are actually not limited to this. Look at this.”
As she was speaking, she lifted her left hand slowly, where two glittering and translucent Dragonstone Jewels were circling. As Zhou Weiqing looked on, he saw the ﬁrst Dragonstone Jade Jewel suddenly let loose a bright light, and it actually ﬂew away from Shangguan Bing’er’s wrist! After which, the green light surrounding it gentled, and the Physical Jewel started changing shape in midair.
After a short while, the Dragonstone Jade Jewel had unexpectedly changed form into a long arrow, its entire body seemingly made from Dragonstone Jades, glittering and translucent, but its size was in no way different from a normal arrow with the exception of a green light surrounding it. “So, this is Physical Jewel Consolidating Equipment?” Zhou Weiqing was staring dumbfoundedly as he said. He had never known that Physical Jewel could actually have such wondrous uses.
Shangguan Bing’er nodded, and with a wave of her left hand, she gripped the Purple Dawn Bow, the index ﬁnger and middle ﬁnger of her right nocking the Dragonstone Jade Arrow to the bowstring.
With that reminder, she drew the Purple Dawn Bow into a full crescent arch, and in the next instance, a ﬂash of green light accompanied with the buzz of the bowstring appeared momentarily, its sheer speed made it seem like an illusion. The strangest thing was, after the Dragonstone Jade arrow was released, Zhou Weiqing did not hear any sound, and the only thing he saw was the quick ﬂash of green light. Furthermore, it did not ﬂy in a straight line, instead ﬂying with twist and turns in the forest, as if it was able to see, dodging the Stars Trees ahead.
“This is possible?” Zhou Weiqing shuddered. In this rascal’s mind, the ﬁrst thought was that if Shangguan Bing’er used this Physical Jewel Consolidated Equipment to shoot at him, even if there was 100 of him, he would still die.
“This is my ﬁrst Physical Jewel’s Consolidated Equipment, the Silent Tracking Arrow, it is controlled by my will until the attack lands, and it will then return.” As she spoke those words, the Dragonstone Jade Arrow reappeared in her ﬁngers with a twinkle of green light. “What is known as Physical Jewel Consolidated Equipment refers to our Physical Jewels being able to form into the shape of a weapon, armor piece, or even other shapes. Once it has set into a shape, it will also have the characteristics or attributes of your Physical Jewel, which can thus form a very unique weapon for us. This is what I meant previously by the external assistance. For myself, my Silent Tracking Arrow can attack any enemy from any angle in a 500 metre radius from myself, and its speed is three times that of any normal arrow, and also an additional armor piercing effect. So long as I have enough Heavenly Energy to support it, I can keep reusing it. However, with my currently eighth level of Heavenly Energy, I can at most support the release of 12 arrows.”
The Dragonstone Jade Silent Tracking Arrow changed back to its original shape of its Physical Jewel and returned to circling Shangguan Bing’er’s wrist. At this moment, Zhou Weiqing had sucked in a breath of cold air. Although he had always known that Jewel Masters were extremely formidable, but he had not expected their strength to be of such extent. He was lucky that on that day, Shangguan Bing’er had not followed her impulses, otherwise …… Shangguan Bing’er did not display pride after displaying her Silent Tracking Arrow, but instead seemed somewhat despondent, “Now you know the difference in power between a Power Jewel that has external assistance and one that does not. To carry out the Consolidation of Equipment for our Physical Jewel requires the purchase of corresponding Consolidating Equipment Scrolls. However, the cost of these Consolidating Equipment Scrolls are astronomical, furthermore, the success rate of Consolidating Equipment is
very low. For a small country like our Heavenly Bow Empire, no one can support such an immense expense besides the Imperial Family, that’s why the number of Jewel Masters in our country is so low, as most Jewel Masters are unable to complete external assistance to their Power Jewels. I choose to
be an archer because under the circumstance of being unable to complete external assistance, archers are still able to make some extra use their Power Jewels.”
As she said that, Shang Gong Bing drew her Purple Dawn Bow once more, but this time an ordinary feathered arrow appeared on the bowstring instead, and as the Purple Dawn Bow was drawn to a full crescent, the two King Tourmaline Elemental Jewels on her left hand ﬂashed in a brilliant red light, integrating into the Purple Dawn Bow as well as the feathered arrow instantaneously. A clear buzzing sound rang out, and the arrow ﬂew out trailing with red light, and immediately the Stars Tree 50 meters away was shot through. “The Physical Jewel’s boost to speed allows me to shoot arrows at a speed way above an ordinary archer, while the Wind Attribute Elemental Jewel can increase the speed and penetrative power of the released arrow. When both effects are added together, the might increases exponentially. As such,
choosing to be an archer allows me to better use the abilities of the Physical and Elemental Jewels.”
Zhou Weiqing nodded his head, saying: “What about the Elemental Jewel Stored Skills then?”
Shangguan Bing’er said: “If the Physical Jewel Consolidated Equipment gives us a weapon, then Elemental Jewel Stored Skills grants us great skills. Look at this.”
Lifting her left hand, one of the King Tourmaline Jewels integrated into her palm quietly, Instantly, a thick green light jumped from her left hand, dancing around her ﬁngertips. As she ﬂicked her ﬁngers, three sets of green wind blades – in the shape of crescent moon and having a diameter of about one yard each – ﬂoated before her. The next moment, the wind blades started to revolve around Zhou Weiqing and her. The very air itself seemed to be sliced apart, making a sharp sound that caused was hair raising for Zhou Weiqing to hear. “This is the stored skill of my ﬁrst Elemental Jewel, Wind Blades. It is a relatively close combat skill, with an attack range of 30 meters. Generally speaking, the Weapon from Physical Jewels and Skills of Elemental Jewels are able to complement each other well, balancing offense and defense, short and long
ranges. This also maximises the power of Heavenly Jewel Masters. Although ordinary Physical or Elemental Jewel Masters can also Consolidate Equipments or Store Skills, but the same skills in their hands compared to in the hands of a Heavenly Jewel Master, is completely different in terms of strength. For example, the Wind Blades I use, if a Wind Elemental Master uses the exact same skill, he can at most generate one Wind Blade.”
“Physical Jewel Consolidated Equipments require the purchase of the Consolidating Equipment Scrolls from Consolidating Equipment Masters, and the price is considered very exorbitant. However, the Storing of Skills for the Elemental Jewel is even more troublesome, and it requires the Elemental Jewel to Store the skills from Heavenly Beasts. Furthermore, one Elemental Jewel can only store one skill, but Heavenly Beasts have many different skills. Without even mentioning the difﬁculty in dealing with Heavenly Beasts, if you managed to Store a Skill from a Heavenly Beast, but it does not suit your own abilities, then you have wasted one Jewel’s Skill, and that particular Elemental Jewel can be considered abandoned. Therefore, when attempting to Store Skills on their Elemental Jewels, all Jewel Masters are extremely careful, and they will generally spend an extremely high price to enter the Skill-Storing Palace, to at least guarantee they manage to get a useful skill.”
By now, Zhou Weiqing ﬁnally understood how difﬁcult it was to actually be a Heavenly Jewel Master. It was not just the difﬁculty in cultivation, but even the Consolidating Equipment Masters and Skill-Storing Palace, just listening to all that made him dizzy. However, Shangguan Bing’er’s words at least made him understand one thing, that is, a Heavenly Jewel Master who has not Consolidated Equipment or Stored Skills, was a lot weaker.
Shangguan Bing’er looked at Zhou Weiqing’s thoughtful and pensive-looking appearance, and felt somewhat gratiﬁed in her heart. Although in the heart she was still unable to accept the matters of that day, but all that she had now could be said to be given by the Heavenly Bow Empire, and as such she was absolutely loyal to the empire, and was certainly willing to see the Heavenly Bow Empire to gain another strong Heavenly Jewel Master. If not for this, how could she have let Zhou Weiqing off the hook that night. At this point in time, seeing his rare solemn and serious self, her heart also felt slightly better. “Little Fatty Zhou, if I let you carry out Consolidate Equipment on your Physical Jewel, what would you prepare to Consolidate?” Shangguan Bing’er asked calmly.
Zhou Weiqing replied without hesitation: “Of course it would be armor, deﬁnitely the complete set including helmet. I must arm myself to the teeth, the best would be an invulnerable unbreakable armor. Wahaha!”
Shangguan Bing’er turned green instantly, and once again landed a kick on Zhou Weiqing ass, “Can you be a little distinguished? Do you fear death so much?”
Zhou Weiqing covered his ass, with a face as if he were suffering from much injustice, saying: “Humans who do not fear death will be condemned by heaven and earth. Our lifespan is only a few dozens years, I have not lived long enough!”
Shangguan Bing’er said coldly: “You better limit your daydreaming as soon as possible. Your idea is quite impossible. The volume of the Consolidated Equipment for each Physical Jewel is limited, you can at most Consolidate the volume of a long sword or a longbow, to actually Consolidate a complete set of armor, is nearly impossible.” Zhou Weiqing blinked and said, “You can’t say it so absolutely like that. If for my ﬁrst Physical Jewel I Consolidate the helmet, the second one a Heart-Protection Mirror, I can eventually complete a whole set one day!”
“You ……” Shangguan Bing’er was angered til she was shaking all over, and looking at Zhou Weiqing’s laughing and playful appearance, the resentment and anger over the past few days, coupled with the sense of injustice erupted in her heart, and beads of tears started falling from her tender face. She tightly bit her lower lip, forcing herself not to make any noise by crying out loud.
“Err……” Seeing that Shangguan Bing’er had started crying, Zhou Wei felt a stab of pain in his heart, and cautiously went to her side, “Don’t cry okay? If you cry some more you won’t be beautiful anymore.”
护⼼镜 – ‘Heart-Protection Mirror’ is basically a small piece of protective metal covering the heart area, usually slotted at a
breastplate of armour for additional protection since the heart is one of the vital points. “Who wants you to care, get lost.” Shangguan Bing’er said angrily, sobbing in between.
Zhou Weiqing scratched his head, “I’m wrong okay? I’ll listen to you, I’ll Consolidate any Equipment you ask me to. Even if you let me Consolidate into a pig, I will not oppose you!” At the same time as he said that, he lifted both hands to his ears, and imitated the appearance of pig ears ﬂapping.
“PUFF. You originally already are a pig, if not why are you called Little Fatty Zhou.” Shangguan Bing’er was provoked into laughter by his pitiful acting again, and once again shot a kick his way. This time, Zhou Weiqing stood still and received it, although his face was contorted in exaggerated pain, but he did not move at all, giving an appearance that he was willing to accept being hit to accept punishment to be forgiven.
Shangguan Bing’er lifts her hand to wipe the tears from her face, giving him a quick glare. In her heart she was thinking, This damn Little Fatty Zhou is really my lifelong adversary? Why am I always unable to deal with him? “You will do as I say and Consolidate whichever Equipment I tell you to, that’s what you said. Also, same for your Elemental Jewel Stored Skills.”
Zhou Weiqing quickly nodded his head repeatedly, he wasn’t afraid of Shangguan Bing’er hitting or scolding him, but was terriﬁed of her crying. As the saying goes, Beating is Affection, Scolding is Love, this rascal very naturally regarded those actions by Shangguan Bing’er as intimate actions. However when he saw her crying, Zhou Weiqing was at a loss. Even though on the surface he always had a laughing, happy face; in truth, he had a very guilty conscience from the events of that day.
Shangguan Bing’er saw that he was being honest, and her anger also diminished, “Hmph. Let’s head back. You pack your things up, we will be leaving the army camp tomorrow early in the morning.”
“Leaving the army camp? What are we going to do?” Zhou Weiqing asked curiously.
Shangguan Bing’er said: “You will know when the time comes. You must have the mental preparation, this time we will be leaving for at least two to three months. You will not need to participate in the recruit training.” Zhou Weiqing blinked, “Just you and me?”
Shangguan Bing’er stopped in her tracks, turning her head to glare angrily at him, “If you want to die you can continue speaking! If you dare to have any dirty thoughts, I will, I will…”
Zhou Weiqing immediately continued: “You will cry for me… I fear that the most…” As he spoke those words, he immediately activated his Alexandrite Cat’s Eye’s Wind Attribute and ran off at top speed.
Looking at his ﬂustered escape, Shangguan Bing’er was provoked into laughter again, even unexpectedly playing along, shouting out to Zhou Weiqing: “Here comes the Silent Tracking Arrow!”
With a *PUTONG* sound, Zhou Weiqing fell down to the ground upon hearing that, directly falling right into the woods, looking so disconcerted and distressed that even Shangguan Bing’er had a scare. She did not know that earlier on this fellow had been attacked from behind by Difuya, and was especially sensitive now. Only after Zhou Weiqing had fell hard on the ground then had he realised what had happened, and as Shangguan Bing’er’s crafty yet beautiful laughter resounded out, a shrill, pitiful yell rang out in the Stars Forest, “Murdering of your husband…” Instantly, that delightful laughter stopped, followed by the increased volume of that pitiful yell of pain…
The next day, dawn.
Shangguan Bing’er had changed into a simple cotton shirt and skirt, shouldering her Purple Dawn Bow on her back as she left the army camp. Even the simple clothes were not able to cover her outstandingly moving beauty.
Just as she reached the exit of the army camp, she saw Zhou Weiqing, who was still dressed in his military uniform, lounging nearby the front exit. He was also shouldering a longbow on his back, as well as two quiver of arrows – the standard longbowman attire, down to even the archer’s Wind Hat.
Seeing Shangguan Bing’er come out, Zhou Weiqing immediately stood at attention, giving a very proper salute, and shouted loudly, “Good Morning, Battalion Commander.” Shangguan Bing’er glared at him exasperatedly, “Didn’t I tell you yesterday to wear ordinary clothes?”
Zhou Weiqing scratched his head sheepishly: “I do not have any ordinary clothes, I’m on left with this military uniform, I don’t even have a spare set for changing.” At the same time was saying, he shot a sly look at Shangguan Bing’er.
Shangguan Bing’er bit her lower lip, once again suppressing the urge to punch him, saying coldly: “Let’s go then.” As she said that, she had already started moving. Zhou Weiqing hurriedly Released his Alexandrite Cat’s Eye Elemental Jewel, activating his Wind Attribute, and set off in pursuit. They two of them ran in tandem, and very soon they had left the vicinity of the military compound, heading in an eastward direction along the Stars Boulevard.
Shangguan Bing’er did not speak with Zhou Weiqing on the way, knowing that this was the best way to cope with this rascal. Although she held some hatred against Little Fatty Zhou, but after making the Three-Point Covenant with him, she no longer wanted to kill him. She told herself unceasing that all of this was for the sake of the Empire.
Indeed, Shangguan Bing’er’s method was extremely effective, Zhou Weiqing followed beside Shangguan Bing’er, trying unceasingly to tease and tempt her into speaking, but no matter what he said, Shangguan Bing’er just ignored him, causing him to be so anxious that he was touching his ears and scratching his cheeks. If he said anything sensitive or untactful, then Shangguan Bing’er would just pick up her speed, since she had the additional boost of her agility Physical Jewels, she could instantaneously distance herself from him, causing Zhou Weiqing to chase her till he was panting heavily.
From dawn to noon, more than four hours, Shangguan Bing’er had barely said a sentence to Zhou Weiqing, and also had not stopped to rest. At this time, the sun was high above in the sky, and Zhou Weiqing was perspiring heavily. Of course, running for 4 hours was nothing big for him, but the problem was following Shangguan Bing’er’s speed. At this time, the Heavenly Energy in his body was at the limit, when it was used up, his speed would drop, and the four energy whirlpools at the four Death Acupuncture Points would absorb energy from the environment, and after some recharging, he could make use of the Wind Attribute to accelerate once more; he endlessly duplicated this process of depletion of Heavenly Energy and then re-accelerating.
By now, Shangguan Bing’er was also very curious, all along she had reduced her speed to allow Zhou Weiqing to follow, after all he only had the Wind Elemental Attribute boost, and could not compare with her double boost of both Physical and Wind Elemental Jewels. However, she soon discovered that this fellow who had just awakened Heavenly Jewels, and whose Heavenly Energy should only be at the 4th Stage, seemed to have a resilience and stamina to his Heavenly Energy that way surpassed her judgement. This was especially so after the 2nd hour, when he started the strange movement of slowing and accelerating, causing her to be even more curious. The unique strength that the Immortal Deity Technique possessed in absorbing Heavenly Energy from the environment so easily was not something that other Heavenly Energy Cultivation Techniques possessed.
“Let’s rest a while.” Shangguan Bing’er came to a halt. Even at the sheer speed that the both of them were moving, after walking a whole morning they were still in the Stars Forest. If they wanted to exit this large forest, it would still take them the evening to do so even when maintaining that same speed.
Zhou Weiqing plopped his ass down and leaned on one of the Stars Trees at the side of the road, panting for breath in deep gulps, sweat soaking his entire body. However, he also discovered the marvelous ability of his Heavenly Energy – when his Heavenly Energy was depleted, even when he did not focus his attentions in stimulating them, the four opened Death Acupuncture Point’s energy whirlpools would still spin at full strength to automatically absorb Heavenly Energy from the environment to recharge his body. Shangguan Bing’er sat at a big tree about ten metres away from Zhou, taking off her backpack, and retrieving her dry rations and water to eat.
Zhou Weiqing continued panting a while more, and he gradually caught his breath and his breathing grew uniform, he did not have any dry rations with him, and seeing Shangguan Bing’er eating and drinking, he couldn’t help but swallow his saliva, as he edged closer to her.
“Battalion Commander, I also want some.”
Shangguan Bing’er looked at that fellow’s greedy eyes, gave a humph and continued ignoring him.
Zhou Weiqing said: “A General does not have hungry soldiers, if I don’t have anything to eat, then I will not continue walking.” As he said that, he one sat down beside Shangguan Bing’er, although he did not bump into her, but just sitting together at the big tree, he could smell the subtle fragrance that she had, although his belly was still empty, but he still felt rather satisﬁed.
Shangguan Bing’er moved her body a little to keep a distance from him, continuing to eat slowly. She did not believe that Zhou Weiqing would not come and beg her when he got hungry. This rascal was like a crafty hooligan, if she did not deal with him properly, how would he listen to her later? She did not believe that Little Fatty Zhou would have any problems missing a meal or two.
Just as Shangguan Bing’er secretly thought that she had succeeded in her little scheme, Zhou Weiqing who was sitting beside her suddenly burst into motion, the next instant, his body was leapt up like a leopard, bounding deep into the woods.
“What are you doing?” Shangguan Bing’er was startled, standing up along with him.
“I’m going to look for something to eat.” Zhou Weiqing throws down those words, before he disappeared into the forest. Shangguan Bing’er was stunned momentarily, before keeping her dry rations to pursue Zhou Weiqing into the forest. The reason she followed him was because she was afraid that this rascal would not keep his promise and run away instead. Furthermore, she was also rather curious how Zhou Weiqing would go about looking for something to eat.
After these few days of contact with him, the more she grew to believe that Little Fatty Zhou was of humble birth. Although there weren’t many good people amongst the nobles, but it was unlikely for there to be such a hateful little rogue like him right?
Shangguan Bing’er activated both her Physical and Elemental Jewels, going forth at a higher speed than Zhou Weiqing. Although she was not as familiar with the Stars Forest as Zhou Weiqing, but relying on her superior hearing and speed, she was still able to keep up with him easily.
Looking at Zhou Weiqing twisting and turning uncannily through the forest, extremely agile; what was the most unusual was that the green light only shone from him occasionally, but that alone gave Shangguan Bing’er quite a shock in her heart. After all, she was a pure agility Heavenly Jewel Master, and was deﬁnitely well-researched regarding movement styles. From Zhou Weiqing’s movements, she clearly found that he was only using his Wind Attribute Heavenly Energy only when he need it most – on those occasions when he needed to jump up high, or just when he needed a quick speed boost, mostly used to surmount any difﬁcult obstructions in his way. In doing so, not only did he manage to maintain high speeds, he could also conserve as much Heavenly Energy as possible. Shangguan Bing’er could also do this, but most importantly, how long had it been since Zhou Weiqing only awakened his Heavenly Energy? It was barely a few days, and he could already display such amazing control over his Wind Attribute Heavenly Energy! Shangguan Bing’er found that she was increasingly unable to see through this fellow anymore.
After Zhou Weiqing had advanced approximately several hundred meters through the woods, he suddenly jumped upwards with a huge leap, grabbing a branch to propel himself forward, and in the next instant, he had ﬁrmly landed on top of a thick branch, his right foot hooked steadily into the branch, while his left foot trod steadily on the branch, and in completing those movements, he slung off the longbow from his back and in a swift motion, nocked an arrow and drew the bow to a full crescent. The arrowtip moved in a minute motion as he constantly adjusted his aim.
What experienced and adept archery. Shangguan Bing’er thought, rather startled in her heart. As a formidable Heavenly Jewel Master Archer herself, she was extremely familiar in the ways of archery, and she could easily distinguish clearly that Zhou Weiqing had not made use of his Heavenly Jewels during that previous movements. Such experience and skill in nocking the arrow and drawing his bow along with his familiarity with the environment, just those points alone meant he was already an outstanding archer. Even if he were not a Heavenly Jewel Master, just based on those skills, he would be able to make his mark in Archery Battalion.
At the same time, Zhou Weiqing’s eyes ﬂashed with a bright light, and with a whizz, he released the arrow which ﬂew out light a bolt of lightning, ﬂying towards the depths of the jungle.
However, at the same moment, Shangguan Bing’er’s both hands blurred in movement, a green light shot out from her Purple Dawn Bow, though it was shot out later, but it quickly reached Zhou Weiqing arrow instantaneously and struck it, causing it to lose its course, and with two light thudding sounds, both arrows embedded into a large tree in the distance.
Zhou Weiqing almost subconsciously swivelled his body around the tree, his whole body slid down the Stars Tree, and in doing so making sure his body being completely covered by tree trunk. “You still fear death so much.” Shangguan Bing’er said exasperatedly.
On hearing it was Shangguan Bing’er, Zhou Weiqing poked his head back up and said with a grin: “Fearing death is basic human nature, what if it had been an enemy? My dear beautiful Battalion Commander, you should praise me instead for my resourcefulness right! Having such a subordinate like me, don’t you feel proud?”
Shangguan Bing’er said with a humph, “That little rabbit is so cute, yet you wanted to kill it. With me around, you shall not take an innocent life.”
Zhou Wei said with a pitiful face: “Beautiful Battalion Commander, how can I live like that! You don’t give me any dry rations to eat, and when I hunt for food to eat, you also prevent me from doing so, where’s the justice in that!”
Shangguan Bing’er did not know why, but looking at Zhou Weiqing’s distressed appearance, her heart felt a pleasant satisfaction, and her beautiful face revealed a self-satisﬁed smile as she said, “Didn’t you say you have the ability to look for food? Feel free to do so, but under the premise of not taking lives.” Zhou Weiqing came back around from behind the tree, re- shouldering his longbow onto his back and gave a long sigh with a suffering face: “Looks like I will not have any meat to eat today. Beautiful Battalion Commander, I’m still in the stage of growing, to suffer from malnutrition, so pitiful!”
“Hmph! You’re as strong as a bull, what malnutrition are you speaking of?” Shangguan Bing’er said exasperatedly. However, as soon as she ﬁnished saying those words, her face ﬂushed red, after all, she had experienced ﬁrst hand that Little Fatty Zhou’s vigor and strength.
However, Shangguan Bing’er’s words were also true, after Zhou Weiqing had Awakened his Heavenly Jewels, not only had his height grown, his entire person also seemed to be ﬁlled with vigor and energy, his muscles clearly deﬁned under his military uniform, as if he had an inexhaustible reserve of strength. If his appearance were to be judged as a soldier, he deﬁnitely had the stature of an elite soldier, deﬁnitely more than comparable to any stout adults. Do not forget that he was still less than 14 years old.
Unfortunately for Zhou Weiqing, he had not seen her embarrassed blush, or he might have had a greater sense of self satisfaction. As he spoke to Shangguan Bing’er, he was also lowering his head head to the ground, as if looking for something. Both his hands were moving around the shrubbery with seeming experience, and after a short while time, his bosom was ﬁlled with several items like bamboo shoots, and he had also picked up several large Stars Trees leaves, before he ﬁnally straightened his back.
“Beautiful Battalion Commander, is it okay I eat these?” Zhou Weiqing said as he gave a solemn expression.