Chapter 153: True Happiness
Xu Min found all his energy within his body. He reached out for all the flames within the room and steered them towards Li Fang.
Alongwith the fire, he used the wind to form countless wind blades, he unsheathed the sword once more and rotated all the Qi within him into the sword. Then he leaped upwards towards his opponent.
An energy which had come forth ever since he began this fight and which was hidden within him for many years covered Xu Min all over. The flame of hatred, indignation and a thirst for vengeance bursted forth this energy as a flame come to burn everything in sight. It grew in size every time he had killed someone. However only when the patriarch and the young master had perished under his vengeance did the energy burst upwards, making Xu Min feel energized once more.
Nevertheless, Li Fang had not been sitting by idly while waiting for Xu Min to use his ace attack. Unlike Xu Min who put all his faith in the elemental affinity alongside the Qi within his body, Li Fang could only use one attack.
This was his massive golden palm which manifested behind him much like a stance. Yet,unlike a stance, the entire palm was filled with an energy Xu Min had never seen before. It was bearing down on him; nonetheless, Xu Min did not give up. He pushed his Qi to its limits, lifted the sword in his hand and grit his teeth as he swung out the sword and collided with the palm.
While he was focusing on blocking the palm attack and at the same time finishing the fight, the flames kept eating away at the hall and the wind blades also roused up in the flames making the surrounding environment into a blazing hell.
Li Fang began to have a hard time breathing. Every breath he took caused him to feel pain in his throat; he was no longer ignorant and lofty. Instead, he was panting heavily; his clothes were showing signs of becoming burnt, his hair was constantly being eaten by the flames.
He had used the majority of his energy to use the movement technique earlier to avoid the attacks. Moreover, he had used quite a few palm attacks to deflect the many attacks that Xu Min had thrown at him. Now he was in his reserves; he understood that if he wished to survive, he had to throw his entire Qi reserve into the attack.
This was what he did, and he had a trace of hope in his eyes as he sent down the golden palm stance.
At first, Xu Min was struggling against the palm. He could not fully absorb the energy that was within this palm, and he could feel his bones crying out under the about the pressure.
Still, he did not give up. He yelled out and found the last Qi he had within himself. He merged with the flame that had surrounded his body, and he suddenly found a strength he had never had before.
Suddenly the palm strike became as simple as swatting away a fly. The entire world suddenly became one with him;energy rushed into his body like water through a broken dam. His body was glowing with light, and he felt better than he had ever felt before.
The sword in his hand started glowing as well, and it cut through the palm as easily as one cuts through butter with a hot knife.
The frail hope that had lit Li Fang's eyes dimmed. He hung his head in disappointment and desperation. He knew he had lost. Xu Min had suddenly gained a strength unlike anything he had ever seen before. He had become one with the world, and he had reached the pinnacle of martial arts. He had become an Immortal!
No matter how strong Li Fang was, he had prided himself with being the strongest below the Immortal realm, but now Xu Min was no longer in the same league as him, Xu Min was no longer a simple mortal anymore, he was now a cultivator standing at the apex.
Li Fang bit his lip and sighed to himself. "I didn’t even really know the Zhong family," he lamented to himself in despair, but he knew, in the end, there was nothing to say. No last lament or plea to be made. The loser dies while the winner is king. No one could say anything about it.Even though, Li Fang had fled for his life from the oversea world, he had strangely accepted his death.
He was not going to beg for his life, he knew it was pointless, so he would not lose face trying. He also knew that if he had been the winner then he would definitely not have let Xu Min go, so if he was willing to kill, then he had to accept that he too could be killed.
Sighing deeply once more, he shook his head. Instead of waiting for Xu Min to lift his sword and separate his head from his neck, Li Fang ignited his dantian, exploded it, causing him to die instantly.
A trail of blood ran from his eyes, his nose, his ears and his lips as he fell to the ground with his eyes still wide open. Although there was a bit of unwillingness in the eyes, there was also a quite calm and steadiness in them.
"I have to thank you," Xu Min said with deep emotions as he bowed to the corpse. "Without you, I would not have been able to completely merge with the energy of vengeance which has been within me all these years."
"When I merged with this potent energy, my potential was stimulated.I was finally able to take the final step between the mortal and Immortal realm."
Xu Min meant it when he said that he was grateful to Li Fang, but this did not mean that he regretted the other’s death.
After Li Fang's death, Xu Min slowly walked out of the burning hall. His appearance resembled a demon walking through hell while he looked at all the burning corpses, the scent of burning meat smelling all around him.
When he left the hall, he saw that the sky had been dyed red by all the blood that had been spilled that night. Cao Cao and Ye Ling were still out hunting all the Zhong family members that they could find, and Xu Min quickly joined the chase.
Many tried to flee, but the majority were caught and killed on sight. The servants were allowed to keep their lives. However, anyone who belonged to the Zhong family lost their lives that night.
As the sun broke through the sky and dawn came, everyone from the city had already heard what had happened to the Zhong family. Everyone sucked in a breath of cold air. The hegemon which had controlled the city for so many years, the family which had caused it to grow from a village to a city with it's wealth from selling flowers, had been eradicated in a single night.
The one who had done it was Xu Min, the young man who had fled all those years back.He had killed any Zhong family member, not even allowing life for the elderly nor the women.
Everyone was shocked and scared; they were worried that he would return once more and take revenge on the entire city, but Xu Min never again appeared in the city.
With the Zhong family eradicated their prized fields were now open to everyone. Families grew tempted to monopolize these fields to gain their own wealth. Civil strife arose, and families began fighting one another to determine who would take over the fields of herbs.
Some acquired many of the fields while others only gained a few. Nonetheless, the city was once more became thriving. after a few decades everyone had gotten past the incident with the Zhong family. Even still, the trauma of this incident remained and so did its lesson. No one treated their servants badly, equality and fairness became the rule, and the place became prosperous and harmonious.
As soon as Xu Min had finished his vengeance he, Cao Cao and Ye Ling retreated into the forest.
Although Xu Min had become an Immortal he was not used to the strength in his body just yet, and both of his companions had suffered quite a few wounds during the assault on the Zhong family. Although they were strong, they were after all only seven star beasts.
Pills were consumed and a few days went by in peace and tranquility for rest and recovery. Xu Min was experiencing a completely new state of mind. He finally found inner peace and could not understand how everything seemedso calm around him. He was no longer driven by a hunger for vengeance. Rather, he was satisfied with what he had. Nevertheless, there was just one more thing he longed for and that was to reunite with Yong Meilin.
Cao Cao and Ye Ling were also satisfied. They had never before dreamt about becoming the world’s most powerful cultivators.
Cao Cao just dreamt about a life in luxury where he could eat all the meat he wished to eat and only once in awhile experience the outside world.
Ye Ling had dreamt about leaving the Immortal Valley, and now he had experienced more excitement than he ever had expected.
"I want to settle down," Xu Min said with a sigh of longing while he thought about the one woman he could never forget.
Cao Cao and Ye Ling nodded their heads, "We will follow you forever," they said with emotions thick in their voices. They had been together for a long time now. Although one was human and the other two beasts, they considered each other brothers. They did not wish to be seperate now.
Xu Min nodded his head in gratitude but said nothing. They stayed in the forest for a few days to recuperate and after this they set out.
Xu Min was impatient. He knew that if he was traveling solo he could fly straight to the capital to meet Yong Meilin within only a day or two. Whereas, traveling with Ye Ling and Cao Cao, it would take them up to a month.
Having reached this conclusion, he placed the two beasts in his jade satchel and flew towards the capital.
He had never flown before, and it was hard for him to control his energy. Nonetheless, after a bit of time he finally mastered the technique. He could advance at a speed not as inferior to his master's.
Flying towards the capital he was filled with worries. What if Yong Meilin would not meet him? What if she had found another sweetheart while he was gone? Had something happened to her in the time they had been apart? Would her family approve of him?
Xu Min had many questions and was unaware of what to say to her. He practiced the entire flight, but he felt that no matter what he came up with it sounded stupid.
Finally, he reached the capital. This was the most bustling city he had ever seen before; it was filled with all sorts of humans and beasts. The streets were packed full of cultivators and average people alike.
Some were selling their wares; others were buying. Some were prancing around with their beasts, showing off their might; while, others were trying to attract as little attention as possible.
Xu Min flew straight into the city. As he landed on the street, he caught the attention of everyone present. Everyone knew what it meant for someone to fly, this young man was an Immortal!
Rumors spread instantly. The information network in the capital was so outstanding that within a few moments everyone had heard about the young Immortal who had just entered the city.
Xu Min was impressed when he noticed that everyone was gossiping about him, but as always, he said nothing. Instead, he just smiled and looked around, determining where to go.
No matter where he looked there was no signs or anything telling him how to get to the Alluring Treasure Pavilion. After thinking for a moment with a frown on his face, Xu Min went towards the first and best salesman he could find.
This man was very worried when he saw Xu Min heading towards him, but at the same time he was also honored to know that he had been picked out of all the people present. He just prayed that he knew the answer to whatever this Immortal wished to ask of him, so he might be in trouble.
"Excuse me, sir," Xu Min was as polite as always. This unusual politeness for an Immortal caused everyone to look at him with a different set of eyes, "I am looking for the headquarters of the Alluring Treasure Pavilion. Do you know where it is?"
The merchant who had been worried about not knowing the answer blinked a few times and nodded his head like a chicken.
"I know, I know," he said twice, "If you go towards the inner city you will find a large pagoda made solely out of marble. It has guards with red uniforms embroidered with a white pagoda on their chests. That is their headquarters."
He spoke as fast as he could, and Xu Min nodded in approval. He found a few gold coins and tossed them to the seller before he stomped his foot on the ground and once more took to the skies.
Although Xu Min was fast, he was not used to navigating around the capital and rumors about him looking for the Alluring Treasure Pavilion were spreading through the city faster than he could have imagined. When he finally noticed the pagoda which fit the description, they were already prepared to receive him.
Xu Min landed on the ground right outside of the pagoda. His brows furrowed when he saw that four men were standing in front of it, looking at him and bowing deeply.
"Immortal, why have you sought our pavilion?" one of the men asked. Xu Min awkwardly scratched his head, not completely sure if he could say that he was Yong Meilin's sweetheart.
After sighing for a bit and looking troubled, one of the men rolled his eyes, "excuse us for our poor hospitality. Please enter the pavilion with us and have a cup of tea."
He seemed to have noticed that the matter was not as simple as it might seem, and he quickly invited Xu Min inside.
Xu Min gratefully followed. Soon he was seated in a chair in the middle of a lavishly decorated office with the four men opposite of him.
He cleared his throat. He knew he had to speak with them in one way or another.
"I am a friend of Yong Meilin," he said with a smile on his face, "She and I were good friends when she was in Ri Chu City," he continued to explain. "We were forced to part. I had a mission to accomplish, but as soon as I accomplished it, I could not help but wonder how she was doing and came straight to the capital to look for her."
Xu Min was not sure what else to say. Nevertheless, his words caused the four men to have lights shining in their eyes, and their mouths curled into smiles as they looked at one another.
"Excuse me," one of the men said as he rose to his feet so fast that the chair behind him fell down, "I will instantly go and get little Meilin. I am sure she will be thrilled to see you again."
The men had been conversing with their eyes. They had known each other for a long time, and they did not need to speak to know what the others thought.
Immortals were rare. They were the cultivators of legends. They were at the apex of the world. It was clear that this Immortal had some feelings towards Yong Meilin, and if she could marry him, then it would be for the best of the Yong family. To acquire an Immortal on their side would be the best possible outcome for them.
Hence, one of the men rushed to find Meilin and tell her about this young Immortal who had come to see her. He hoped that there was a chance for them to end up together, but he dared not use force. Yong Meilin was after all the only daughter and child of the patriarch of the Yong family.
While the man was fetching Meilin, Xu Min was pleasantly talking with the men in the room. They asked him questions about cultivation, questions about his travels, but they turned silent when they asked about his age. Never had they imagined that it would be possible to become an Immortal at such a young age.
The silence did not last long before the door opened, and Meilin stepped inside together with the man who had gone to fetch her. She wore a casual expression on her face, yet in her eyes were a gleam of hope.
When she laid eyes on Xu Min and saw his smiling face, tears started rolling from her eyes. She threw herself into his embrace.
Xu Min was completely startled as well as the men. However, Xu Min quickly embraced the crying woman in his arms and gently soothed her by stroking her back.
No one said anything for a long time, but Xu Min felt at peace. He felt that he had achieved everything he had ever wanted. He had gained his vengeance, and now he had a place to call his home. He had found someone whom he valued more than his own life, and he would spend the next years of his life by her side, supporting her in everything she wished to do.
Xu Min had finally found true happiness.