“Let’s hope this task will go well. I have high hopes things will turn out rather peacefully with you around, Xiang.” Lei Zhi gave SCP-999 a pat as Kuai and Quon floated around him.
Many eyes stared at him as he walked up to the home of the most physically intimidating group within the Golden Serpent Sect. There were more than a couple of reasons why this was. The spirit beasts surrounding him, him being a Qi Gatherer inside the Inner Court, and him bravely knocking on the door of the Mountain Crushers. The group with the most body cultivators inside the sect. If you were a body cultivator and wanted to make it far in the sect, this faction was required for you. Unless you were picked by an elder that was also a body cultivator, you needed to join this group.
Mountain Crushers made it their job to locate and find any body cultivator in the sect and recruit them to their faction. Excluding those from the Outer Court and those allied with other factions. They also didn’t accept no for an answer unless you were Hu Tao. Apparently, because of his personality alone, they actively refused to allow him to join and were a part of the main factions that wanted him dead. However, if you weren’t Hu Tao, you were dead meat. The Mountain Crushers wanted a monopoly of body cultivators in the sect for some reason only known to Lok, their leader.
They had the best martial arts for those wishing to gain immortality by shattering the mortal limits of their bodies. Mountain Crushers had the most knowledge on how to progress as body cultivators. If it was related to somehow improving the body, Mountain Crushers were the people to go to. But despite this information, rarely did anyone ever go to the Mountain Crushers for advice, teachings, or to learn. This was because of their strange behaviors. Most of the disciples and elders thought that the Mountain Crushers were lunatics because of their obsession with body cultivation. There was nothing they wouldn’t try to improve their bodies.
Taking a bath in lava, being dropped from 1,000 meters in the air, being smacked with spiked paddles, punching rocks until their fists become mangled, taking boulders to the skull, and even more, ridiculous training sessions were said to be held by the Mountain Crushers. Because of these antics, very few new members tended to last long. And the Mountain Crushers didn’t accept quitters. Either you became stronger or you died. Deserters were killed without remorse.
“Who are you?” A young man rippled with muscles and hair greeted him at the door.
“Hello. I would like to speak with Lok. I come on behalf of Heaven’s Angels.” Lei Zhi politely smiled.
“Heaven’s Angels...” He rubbed his chin, trying to remember why that name sounded familiar.
“Crushers! Remind me what Heaven’s Angels are!” He turned and shouted loud enough that Lei had to cover his ears with qi.
“Never heard of them!”
“Is that some sort of restaurant!?”
“Who’s at the door?!”
“Is it a new member?!”
“Hu Tao’s faction!” Out of the several other shouts, someone got it right.
The look on his face became less peaceful once that was yelled out.
“You know we want Hu Tao dead, right?” He asked.
“No, but I'm not here to discuss Hu Tao. I would like to speak to Lok about a certain matter.” Lei reminded.
“Hu Tao's killed a lot of our Crushers back in the Treasured Plains. So, you understand why I can’t let a friend of Hu Tao’s just stand in front of me and not crush him, right?” He explained.
The young man was a 7th stage Qi Consolidator. If he wanted to rip Lei apart, then it would be a simple matter to do so. As a 9th stage Qi Gatherer, Lei was absolutely in the lesser position when it came to making a deal. Nevertheless, he had something that no one in the Mountain Crushers could possibly stand against.
“I would advise against such a rash decision but I do understand where you’re coming from.” Lei responded.
“I’ll give you 5 minutes to write your will. I have to take a piss so, I’ll be right back. If you try to run, I'll hunt you down and kill everyone you love.” He threatened in a casual manner before closing the door.
“Things never really seem to turn out how I want them but I guess I can’t really complain this time around. Hu Tao really did a number on these fellas in the Inner Court. In fact, it was quite surprising that he didn’t immediately try to kill me once he realized that I was on the same side as Hu Tao.” That just left an even bigger impression of them on Lei. They had some self-control or at least that young man did.
Lei Zhi did not waste the five minutes he was given. With some help from Quon, he readied himself to have a talk with Lok. Kuai was advised to help out with Quon if he found himself in trouble and needed help. Xiang was told to just stay on his shoulder and keep looking cute. He was how he planned to complete this task without any bloodshed and completely unlike how Ying handled the Fearsome Garden.
“Alright. Grit your teeth and pray you’ll reincarnate into a better life, old man.” The young man said as he prepared himself to throw a punch.
Instead of doing as instructed, Lei Zhi swiftly took out his pink needles and pierced the center of the youth’s abdomen. He smirked, figuring that this was just an old man’s last show of resistance. Unfortunately for him, it was anything but that. The needle seamlessly pierced through his stone-like body built through unbelievable and harsh training. His body locked up like a scarecrow and he could no longer control his body. By cycling his qi throughout his body, it was possible for him to regain control over himself but with a few extra pokes, this too became impossible. Lei Zhi kindly strolled past the paralyzed young man and with Blind Man Can See, it was a simple matter to find Lok.
Ever since Ying brought them into her void world, Lei has spent the past several months doing nothing but mastering his martial arts. The amount of progress he gained was enough to shock the immortals themselves. This was only possible due to the shadow that taught him the ins and outs of his martial arts. With a teacher that knew nearly everything about his martial arts, it would’ve been crazy if Lei Zhi didn’t learn everything there was about his martial arts. His only problem was that he had no people to test his skills on. Something that he knew that Jing would have no issue giving him.
This is why he spent his monthly tasks for the sect on taking tasks involving a lot of people or ones that required him to enter towns and villages. These types of tasks would no doubt allow him to find sick or injured people that needed to be treated. Of course, Lei didn’t provide his services for free. He might be an old man past his prime but that didn’t mean he was naïve and foolish regarding his worth! All he requested of those he treated were things that weren’t too much in his opinion. Being kind to those that deserve it, help everyone that you can from now on, do not be greedy, and seek to hoard every valuable for yourself. Simple things like that to make the world better.
The young men were confused on why he was allowed to pass by and stared at the motionless youth at the door. As they went over to question him and figure out what was wrong, Lei Zhi was long gone. He respectfully knocked on the door that led to Lok’s room. A confused expression found itself on Lok’s face but he still came to open the door anyway. Walls meant nothing to Lei’s eyes.
With his finger coated in Xiang’s goo, Lei tapped Lok’s bare chest and looked into his eyes with a smile.
“Why don’t you and I have a talk, young man?” Lei closed the door behind them and let himself inside.
“Ahh... That felt absolutely amazing...” Ying spoke to no one in particular.
She stored all of the photos with her and Bing in her storage ring. The Grand Tournament was in a few hours and she felt completely great. Ying took Hao out of her storage Ring after putting some clothes on and allowed him to complain, cry, and whine about being put in there for a few minutes. With how childish and young he was, there was no way she was going to do what she just did in front of him. It would be weird and feel wrong.
So, with a long stretch, Ying got up out of bed and took a final look around the room. It feels like it's been forever since she’s slept here. And that wasn’t an exaggeration. There was dust everywhere when she came back in here. Now she had to see if there was anything in here worth taking to her new place in the Inner Court and from what she could see, that was basically nothing. Nothing but junk and other stuff she wouldn’t miss. Most of her important belongings were already taken inside her void world. But just on the off chance that there was anything she missed, she didn’t want to feel like an idiot later when she got comfortable in her new place.
“Welp. Time to go see how strong I am compared to those in the Inner Court.” She left her house and started walking to where the Grand Tournament was going to be held.