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It took seven days for the Saint Ruler from the Sect of Dragon and Tiger to fully recuperate and heal from all the wounds he had sustained. Now that he could leave the cave, the Saint Ruler immediately blurred away into the world. Harmonizing with space itself, he traveled countless of kilometers within an extremely fast pace.
Half a day later, the Saint Ruler reappeared at the depths of a particular mountain range after traveling for so long.
The depths to this mountain range was a forbidden area for humans to step in, but there was a manor that not many people knew about in here. Even during the day, not a single human could be seen, or any sound at all for that matter, but the ground was kept nice and clean somehow.
Descending down to the ground, the Saint Ruler floated in front of the gates to the manor, “The Sect of Dragon and Tiger has come to pay a visit to the Four Harmonies Manor!” His voice was soft, but the magic in the air had allowed his words to be spoken loud enough for the entire manor to hear it.
The Four Harmonies Manor wasn’t something that many people on the continent knew. It was a place that a single hermit sect had once sealed off so that they could cultivate in peace without having need to go out. For thousands of years, they had never once interfered with the outside world. It was only when they sought out disciples that they would venture out to find someone suitable with their teachings and help prolong their sect’s lifetime.
But other than that, the existence of this manor was something that only a few select clans and sects knew about. The Saint Ruler of the Sect of Dragon and Tiger was one of these few.
“A friend has come! What a pleasant surprise. Situ Qing, it’s been a few hundred years since your last visit, come on in! Let us sit down and have a nice talk.” A calm but elderly voice called out from within the manor.
Letting out a laugh, the Saint Ruler flew inside before coming to a stop at the very center of the halls. Right in front of the hall gates, a middle-aged man wearing black robes could be seen already waiting for him.
“Senior, our teacher is waiting inside for you, please go in!” The middle-aged man spoke to the Saint Ruler reverently.
This middle-aged man was only a Heaven Saint Master in strength and was thus not someone the Saint Ruler could bother to care for. Not even giving him a glance, he strode on in.
The halls were of rather ordinary decoration. The wooden walls looked as if they had already managed to weather through countless years of wear and tear to look more like the walls to a peasant farmer’s home. At the very center of the room was an old-fashioned circular table with a sackcloth wearing elder there sipping a cup of tea. The fragrant aroma from the tea spread throughout the room and had a relaxing effect to it. As it appeared, this tea was a treasured item in this place.
Walking straight into the room, the Saint Ruler sat down right in front of the other elder unceremoniously and stared at the tea-drinking elder. “Even after so many years since our last meeting, you’re still living a life of pleasure it seems.”
“I’ve lived my entire life like so. Uncontaminated by the outside world, and unpolluted by its dust. To live the life I’ve wanted, I’ve separated from the disputes of human society to attain the enlightenment of my heart.” The elder laughed.
Staring at the elder, the Saint Ruler let out one final sigh, “I’ve can’t see through you anymore. Your strength has beaten mine.”
“Break away from your mind and body and become detached from yourself. Free yourself from the fetters and chains of the world. Situ Qing, its been a hundred years now, and your strength is still where it was from then. Perhaps you should make your sect seclude itself completely from the outside world. Don’t bother with the outside world. Don’t worry for who lives or who dies. Don’t care for who wins or who loses. None of that matters. In your current state, what use is there to be in the secular world?” The sackclothed man spoke slowly.
The Saint Ruler did not answer him for a while. “We can talk about that latter. Ge Qiu, I actually came here for a request to ask of you.”
Draining the rest of his tea in a single gulp, the elder placed the now empty cup back onto the table. “I know. I can see that you’ve been injured recently. You must have come across trouble in the outside world.”
The Saint Ruler nodded his head with a dangerous light entering his eyes from the memories. “Ge Qiu, I hope that you’ll be able to lend me an arm. My enemy is far too terrifying to let live. If given too much time, then I will surely die in the future.”
“Alas!” The elder sighed. “Situ Qing, you have too many complaints in your heart. To continue on like this would not be beneficial to you. Resolve the issue as best as you can, there is no point in a situation where only one can live.”
Shaking his head, the Saint Ruler replied, “Impossible. My enemy is merciless and has a heart that only knows revenge. Our grievances are far too deep now to simply waive. Between him and I, only one can live.”
“And to try and resolve an issue with someone of the younger generation is another problem.” He continued with gritted teeth. “It is unsure if he’d even accept or not, but to even try to do so would be a great slap to my face.”
“Situ Qing, you know me. No matter how deep our friendship goes, I will not help you kill another.” The elder sighed.
“I know that, Ge Qiu. I won’t ask for you to help me kill. The enemy has three Saint Rulers in total with them being at the Third Heavenly Layer at the very strongest. I wish for you to help me stop two of them.” Situ Qing pleaded.
The elder hesitated. Debating about it for a while, he finally replied, “Very well, Situ Qing. For the sake of our friendship, I’ll have help you this very once. But this will be a private matter between us two and not with the Four Harmonies Manor. I will not help you kill anyone.”
After discussing the matter with the elder, Situ Qing and he left the Four Harmonies Manor together. Traveling in a certain direction for an hour, the two of them finally arrived at a hidden cave.
It was brightly lit within the cave thanks to the torches. With how they danced and flickered to illuminate the interior of the cave, a single blue-robed elder could be seen seated on top of a giant boulder in the center. Almost as if stuck within a deep meditative stance, the elder did not look as if he noticed the two newcomers.
Not a footstep could be heard from Situ Qing as he walked into the cave. Looking at the elder, he spoke, “Bi Hai, it’s been thirty years. How’s your recovery going now?”
“I’ve been fully healed since twenty years ago. Situ Qing, say it, why have you come for me?” The elder spoke calmly from his seat.
“Bi Hai, I’ve come here today with a request for you to help me with today.” Situ Qing spoke.
“You saved my life thirty years ago. Whatever it is that you need my help with, I owe you that at the very least. What do you wish for me to help you with this time?” The elder opened his eyes to look at Situ Qing.
Situ Qing hesitated for a moment. To have this blue-robed elder owe him a favor was not a very easy thing to do. He was in fact wondering if using this favor to deal with Jian Chen was worth it or not.
“Pah, Jian Chen’s talent is far too terrifying. He must be dealt with at once so that he won’t be given time to grow in the future.” Resolved, Situ Qing gritted his teeth and spoke, “Bi Hai, I’ll have to use this favor to have you help me deal with a person.”
“What is their strength, and when do we strike!” The elder spoke.
“A junior that you should be able to kill with with ease. The sooner we strike, the better. In fact, it’d be best if we go now.” Situ Qing spoke.
“If that’s how it is, then that’s how it will be.” The elder opened his eyes completely to rise up into the air without a sound.
“Bi Hai, after this matter is over, why not come to my Sect of Dragon and Tiger.” Situ Qing asked expectantly.
But the elder shook his head expressionlessly, “My enemy is far too strong. Even I am helpless to fight them. Are you not afraid that your Sect of Dragon and Tiger would be destroyed as a result of having me join?”
Situ Qing blanched without another word. Despite being very willing to invite an expert such as him to join his sect, the enemies of Bi Hai frightened even him.
Jian Chen, Nubis, and Jiede Tai spent the following days overseeing the Flame Mercenaries while prepared to defend themselves from a counterattack from the Sect of Dragon and Tiger. Their enemy was without a doubt a powerful foe and added to the pressure of mining the tungsten alloy.
With three Saint Rulers protecting them, the entire Flame Mercenaries had been motivated to unprecedented levels. Their war banners flew in the air above where the tungsten alloy was while the very best artisans they could find and employ worked the ore to the best of their abilities everyday. Each end of the day, the ore they managed to harvest had been enough to make anyone that saw it envious.