The sudden explosion resounded throughout the training ground. The thunderous blast caused everyone to involuntarily cover their ears. A long while later, they finally looked at each other with some palpitations remaining in their hearts before shifting their gazes to the training ground where dust blocked their view.
Within the training ground, Xiao Yan slowly calmed his rapid breath. His face was somewhat pale. The imitation of the ‘Angry Buddha Lotus Flame’ earlier had a Dou Qi and Spiritual Strength requirement that should not be underestimated even though it required less this time and was not as terrifying as last time.
“With this amount of Dou Qi being required, it is likely that I can only use it three times before the Dou Qi in my body is completely exhausted.” Xiao Yan muttered softly as he sensed the Dou Qi and Spiritual Strength in his body had sharply dropped. He immediately lifted his head and watched the opposite side which was shrouded by dust. As he waved his sleeves, a gentle breeze appeared and surged out, blowing away the suffused yellow dust.
As the dust cloud settled, an eye-piercing enormous and deep pit immediately appeared within everyone’s sight. Instantly, the corner of everyone’s eyes in the training ground could not help but twitch.
The deep pit was around four to five meters deep. Its area was also quite large. Numerous thick and deep crack lines repeatedly spread out like a spiderweb and nearly covering half of the open area.
“Where’s he?” Xiao Yan swept his gaze at the surroundings. However, he did not see Luo Bu’s figure. At that moment, he blinked his eyes and said in a stunned manner.
“*Cough*, *cough*…” Just as Xiao Yan was feeling stunned, an intense coughing was suddenly emitted from the deep pit. Immediately, a hand began slowly rising from the pit and supported itself on the ground. Finally, a human figure that was charred black climbed out with great difficulty. Seeing his size, it appeared to be Luo Bu from before.
Currently, in addition to Luo Bu’s body being charred, numerous thumb size crack lines also covered the tough Dou Qi armor that he had summoned on his body. His body trembled slightly. The Dou Qi armor on him had already reached its limit, and finally emitted a muffled cracking sound. The seemingly mighty Dou Qi armor immediately began to slowly detach from Luo Bu’s body, revealing the pale-white and terrified face under it.
Eyeing the human figure which appeared to have just rolled over black charcoal, Xiao Yan probed, “Mister Luo Bu? Are you alright?”
Hearing Xiao Yan’s inquiry, Luo Bu slowly lifted his head. He glanced at the delicate and handsome face of the young man and his body could not help but shiver. An extremely ugly smile appeared on his pale-white face. “Company Leader Xiao Yan. If that attack was a little closer, the current me would likely not even be left with a corpse at this very moment.”
Xiao Yan eyed Luo Bu, whose Dou Qi around him had plunged to its lowest point. He understood clearly in his heart that Luo Bu knew that the defense of his Dou Qi armor was not enough to withstand the blast, however he did not choose to dodge. Instead, he simply stood on the spot like a wooden pillar, allowing the lotus flame to shoot over and finally explode in front of him. This action which appeared somewhat foolish would undoubtedly make him have to endure an extremely great explosive force. Therefore, even though Xiao Yan’s strength was merely that of a six star Dou Shi, Luo Bu, who was a four star Da Dou Shi, still ended up with a serious injury that caused him to lose his ability to continue fighting from the explosion.
Looking from the corner of his eyes, Xiao Yan saw bright red fresh blood was flowing down from Luo Bu’s hand. Xiao Yan’s eyes gradually became slightly gentler without him realizing. He slowly stepped forward and patted Luo Bu’s shoulders as he said with a smile, “I’m sorry. This is the first time I had modified this thing so I was unable to control its strength.”
“Haha, never mind. It should be fine after resting for a few days.”
After being a mercenary company leader for more than ten years, Luo Bu was extremely sensitive as he felt the gentleness that Xiao Yan had displayed. Immediately, some joy and excitement faintly appeared in his heart. He knew in his heart that ever since the ‘Sand Mercenary Company’ had nearly destroyed the ‘Desert Metal Mercenary Company’ the last time, within the heart of this young man who appeared friendly, there had always been some enmity and even… killing intent toward him.
At the same time, Luo Bu’s heart also knew that if Xiao Yan wanted to expand the ‘Desert Metal Mercenary Company’ strength in a short time, it was difficult for the ‘Sand Mercenary Company’ to escape the fate of being destroyed. Luo Bu, who had witnessed Xiao Yan turn a living person into an ice sculpture without any expression, did not doubt that this young man whose age was still quite young, possessed a ruthless heart.
Although the ‘Sand Mercenary Company’ had currently been merged into the ‘Desert Metal Mercenary Company’, Luo Bu was able to sense that the doubt and the guard that Xiao Yan held toward him had not reduced. Regarding this, Luo Bu could only laugh bitterly. During this one month that he had been in the ‘Desert Metal Mercenary Company’, he had obtained an even clearer understanding of Xiao Yan’s ability. Under pressure from Xiao Yan’s almost terrifying strength, the somewhat rebellious thoughts that he originally held in his heart had completely been extinguished. It could be said that the current Luo Bu had already began to gradually think of himself as a member of the ‘Desert Metal Mercenary Company’ in his heart instead of the Company Leader of the ‘Sand Mercenary Company’…
However, even though Luo Bu’s heart thought in this manner, Xiao Yan had remained on his guard against him. This caused Luo Bu to feel a helpless bitterness in his heart. Naturally, he also clearly knew that this was human nature and he could not blame anyone.
Just as he thought that this kind of prejudice from Xiao Yan would persist on, however, Xiao Yan’s gaze, which suddenly became gentle, caused Luo Bu to be surprised. At the same time, he was somewhat excited to realize that his action of being willing to risk his life to be a target had actually accidentally resulted in a great reduction in the guard Xiao Yan held against him.
“This injury was worth it…” Luo Bu muttered in his heart. A somewhat excited redness appeared on his pale-white face.
Xiao Yan patted Luo Bu’s shoulders, took out a high-grade healing medicine from within the storage ring and passed it to him. He said with a smile, “Treat your injuries first. Once your injuries have been healed, you will be the true core in the upper echelon of the ‘Desert Metal Mercenary Company’. With your strength, the responsibilities that you have to take won’t be small. The ‘Desert Metal Company’ is currently at an expansion period. In the future, you may have to toil harder.”
These words of Xiao Yan undoubtedly meant that he had really started to trust Luo Bu.
Therefore, when Luo Bu heard these words, even the hand which he used to receive the healing medicine trembled. He might not have overly cared about the trust of other people but the trust of a strong person, especially the extremely strong people like Xiao Yan and Hai Bo Dong, was sufficient enough to cause Luo Bu to feel excited and honored.
“Company Leader, you can be rest assured that I will ensure that the brothers from the ‘Sand Mercenary Company’ will truly become members of the ‘Desert Metal Company’.” Luo Bu held the jade bottle tightly. His body bowed slightly toward Xiao Yan as he said somewhat excitedly.
“As long as you can place your thoughts on the ‘Desert Metal Mercenary Company’, trust me, the benefits that you receive in the future will be something you will find hard to believe.” Eyeing Luo Bu who was excitedly expressing his loyalty, Xiao Yan smiled and spoke in a profound manner.
Hearing the joking and somewhat mysterious words, Luo Bu was momentarily stunned before he immediately responded politely.
“Haha, you should quickly heal your injuries. Tomorrow, Old Hai and I will be leaving the Rock Desert City. Your strength is the strongest in the ‘Desert Metal Company’, therefore, during this period of time that I am away, I may need you to take more care of the ‘Desert Metal Company’.” Xiao Yan said softly.
“Leave?” Hearing this, Luo Bu asked in a somewhat strange voice.
“I am going to the capital. There are some things over there that are waiting for me to settle.” Xiao Yan carelessly smiled and once again patted Luo Bu’s shoulders. Immediately, he turned around and slowly walked out of the training ground.
Watching the steady back of the black clothed young man, Luo Bu let out a few coughs. He calmed his excited heart before nodding heavily.
At the edge of the open ground, where numerous respectful gazes were watching him, Xiao Yan came to Xiao Ding’s and Xiao Li’s side. He faced the two of them, both still wore amazement filled faces and he smiled then asked, “Aren’t you going to return to yourselves?”
“Little Fellow, I had originally thought that you had randomly chose Luo Bu to become your target. It’s really unexpected that you would actually use this action to appropriately settle this greatest potential threat within the mercenary company.” Xiao Ding swept his gaze at Luo Bu who was in the training ground and spoke softly to Xiao Yan.
Xiao Yan smiled slightly, but remained noncommittal about his own intentions. Raising his head to eye Hai Bo Dong who was slowly descending from the sky, Xiao Yan softly said,“I have no choice. Tomorrow, Old Hai and I will have to leave the Rock Desert City. If I don’t think of some methods to remove some potential threats, I would not be able to leave with peace of mind.”
“You are going to leave tomorrow? So soon?” Hearing this, Xiao Ding and Xiao Li were at a loss as they pressed their eyebrows together and asked.
“That’s right. Originally, I had prepared to leave for the capital a month ago. However, because of my injuries, I ended up dragging my stay for so long. Now, I cannot continue to delay.” Xiao Yan smiled and said.
“Do you really intend to go to the Misty Cloud Sect a month later?” Seeing Xiao Yan’s smiling face, Xiao Ding’s voice suddenly became low and soft as he asked.
“Yes. I must go there!” Xiao Yan pursed up his lips and nodded slightly. His voice was slow but firm, without the slightest uncertainty.
“The Misty Cloud Sect is a really big being. It won’t be easy to deal with them… Moreover, the First Elder of the Mo clan, Mo Cheng died in your hands. Although you have hidden your identity, it may have been seen through if you were to appear at the Misty Cloud Sect again. When that time comes, even if you successfully manage to defeat Nalan Yanran, I’m afraid that those old fools of the Misty Cloud Sect would not easily let you leave the mountain without any injuries.” Xiao Ding said with worry.
“If they really intend to act like this when the time comes, then they should prepare to have a life and death struggle…” Xiao Yan laughed faintly. He raised his head and eyed Hai Bo Dong who had descended on a huge rock beside them. He shrugged and laughed, “Old Hai, do you agree?”
“Your elder brother is right. The Misty Cloud Sect isn’t so easy to deal with…” Seeing Xiao Yan looking over, Hai Bo Dong smiled bitterly, “Hah, whatever you want. Who asked me to be held by you. One year of being a bodyguard, ah, from the looks of it now, it appears that you have started scheming against me long ago.”
“Haha, a Dou Huang that had been delivered to my doorstep. If I just allowed Old Hai to easily leave, would it not be a huge waste?” Eyeing Hai Bo Dong’s helpless face, Xiao Yan joked.
Hearing this, Hai Bo Dong could only smile bitterly and shook his head.
Xiao Yan extended his head into the tree branches at the side to pluck a leaf. He then placed it in his mouth and chewed slightly, allowing the faint bitterness to spread in his mouth as he turned his head to eye the distant north. In that direction sat an enormous being of the Jia Ma Empire, the Misty Cloud Sect.
“Let’s see the situation when that time comes. If they really give us no way out, then even if I have to push myself until I am seriously injured, I will throw a real ‘Angry Buddha Lotus Flame’ at the Misty Cloud Sect.”
The calm muttering voice of the young man caused a helplessness to surface on Hai Bo Dong’s face. He smiled bitterly, shook his head and sighed, “What a lunatic… the Misty Cloud Sect would have a hard time bearing the consequences by provoking you, even with its strength.”