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The surprise attack could be said to be fairly quick though it was considered to be slow in the eyes of the group. It was highly unlikely that the man would be able to fight against either of them considering just how slow he was even when he had the advantage of a surprise attack.

Shi Die simply looked at Yan Guo at the hilarity of the situation that they were placed in. "Are you sure the Underground is as dangerous as you said it was? If this is what they have to offer, then I can't see why it is that much of a danger." He wasn't very impressed with the capability of the thug that was attacking them, considering that Yan Guo had spent quite a bit of time explaining about the dangers of the Underground.

Yan Guo was slightly embarrassed by the situation that they were in since it was a farce compared to the stories of the Underground that he had weaved for Shi Die. "We aren't very far into the Underground yet so the majority of the cultivators that you see hanging about here are around about the second to the middle of the third realm of cultivation. Considering our strength in relation to those that reside here, we're stronger than them definitely."

They continued to dodge the thug's attacks as they conversed with each other calmly. They weren't even worried about the danger. The thug was seething with rage and was wildly attacking the pair. The thug never noticed Tian Bai. Tian Bai had already jumped off of Yan Guo's head and was just waiting for either of the two to get bored of the entire farce.

When Yan Guo nodded at Tian Bai, the thug was quickly dispatched in a nice and simple manner as Tian Bai twisted the neck of the thug in a single motion. It was rather sickening to see the twisted head but they calmly ignored the scene. Yan Guo quietly stored the dead body in his dimensional storage before continuing to speak again. "I didn't think that you had such strength in you, Tian Bai. To twist a person's neck like that is pretty amazing."

Tian Bai snorted before pouncing on Shi Die and begged for water so he could clean his tiny paws. "A surprise attack combined with my speed leads to a very easy death. Considering that the thug never expected it in the first place. It's also a good thing that the retard had a much lower cultivation base compared to mine." Once Tian Bai thoroughly cleaned himself, he jumped back onto Yan Guo's head.

Yan Guo waited until Tian Bai had settled down on his head comfortably before speaking. "Whoever is there better come out now. I know you've been watching us ever since the thug had appeared. I'd love to give you the benefit of the doubt that you weren't involved in this but I'd rather much see you in the flesh."

The group had noticed their spectator long ago, and it was only because that neither of them could sense any danger from the spectator did they leave him alone.

A man stepped out of the shadows and walked towards where the group was. When Yan Guo saw who the person was, he simply greeted him politely. "I didn't expect it to be you to be the one receiving the package, Master Gua Gua." Shi Die's eyes moved up and down on the figure of Master Gua Gua. He didn't dare continue staring at him for too long since even Yan Guo seemed to be respectful of the man in front of him.

The man simply laughed. "There's no need to be so polite to me, Yan Guo. Your father and I have known each other for so long and I've basically helped with different parts of your training. Just treat me as one of your family members. Anyway, is this your friend? I'm not surprised that your father has asked you to bring a companion with you into the Underground, especially with how protective he is of you."

Yan Guo snorted and he handed over the package to the family friend. He didn't bother asking for a passcode this time since his father had told him that his acquaintance would be one that would recognise him easily. They exchanged pleasantries for a few more minutes, catching up on how his training and cultivation was going. Once Master Gua Gua had left the vicinity, Yan Guo simply sighed.

Shi Die watched his friend's reactions. He could see that he had been tense for the entire time that they had been talking. He was curious as to why he had been so tense but knew better than to pry. Tian Bai, however, wasn't as subtle as Shi Die but directly asked Yan Guo about his tenseness. "You seem scared of the man. I wonder why?" Tian Bai mused out loud, drawing a scowl out of Yan Guo.

"He's definitely nice when it comes to a conversation but he's a sadistic man when it is time for training. I'd say that he's definitely worse than my father when it comes to intensity of training. My father only knows him due to the fact that my father is one of the major powers in the Underground. Master Gua Gua is one of the top assassins in the city and has trained many others that are feared throughout the country."

Yan Guo shuddered as he remembered the training that he had undergone the assassin. "Now that we've done my little chore for my father, we can now be on our way to the markets of the Underground. The Underground essentially has three layers to it. The first layer which is where we are now is considered the area where the weaklings gather. There is a market in every layer, though the items sold in each market becomes much more expensive when you enter the second and third layer."

Shi Die looked around and sniffed the air. He was surprised that it didn't smell as bad as he thought it would be but he could definitely smell the scent of blood that lingered in the air permanently. "How long are we going to spend looking for things in the market?"

Yan Guo stopped walking for a moment. "I'm not actually sure... how about we just go to the Black Market first. What we need would most definitely be there. I'll just have to use my father's authority to get the antidotes that we need if none are for sale. They usually have extra stock that they keep in storage but its usually reserved for the major powers in the Underground."

"After we buy the antidotes, I guess we can just walk around the second layer. I'm not confident enough to be walking around the third layer for an extended period of time. Once we get the antidotes, we get out. The third layer is where the most fights break out since the major factions' members seem to love fighting." Yan Guo was right to be wary of the third layer and he was making sure that Shi Die knew of the dangers.

Shi Die nodded at his friend's words. "Tian Bai seems to be really quiet. I'm surprised that he hasn't said anything ever since we left Master Gua Gua."

Tian Bai, who was simply resting on top of Yan Guo's head, was actually asleep. They looked at the small little weasel and sighed. "I asked for Tian Bai because he seemed to be relatively fast when he had been summoned out. Turns out he's rather unreliable when it comes to staying up."

Shi Die chuckled. "Maybe he's just bored of the trip already. I mean, for all that you have said about the Underground being dangerous, he hasn't seen anything that's probably worth his time. I'm certain that Tian Bai is stronger than all of us but I'm not sure of his actual strength considering that we've never seen him fight. What may seem interesting to us might be boring for him. I can't blame him really."

Yan Guo sighed. "I guess you're right." Yan Guo thought of a topic to steer off boredom. "What do you think of the person that poisoned Ye Xiu?" He was asking Shi Die on his opinion on Hua Fei since he had his own opinion of her and it had changed after the little situation between Ye Xiu and Hua Fei had been revealed by Tian Bai.

Shi Die tilted his head to the side slightly. "What do I think about Hua Fei? I can't really say much about her since I don't know her very well. I only know that she's a relatively decent fighter considering her ranking on the Academy's list. She's met with Ye Xiu a few times after her first fight against him during the first year but other than that I don't know much else."

Yan Guo hummed in response as he thought of what to say. "I can say that I probably know more about her than anybody else in the group. My father and her mentor are friends with each other and she's definitely different compared to what I had known of her."

Shi Die looked confused. "What do you mean she's different to what you know of her?"

Yan Guo cleared his throat. "She's a nice person. The friends that she does have all think of her as a very generous and kind person. Hua Fei likes to help people and she has many hobbies. Though after what happened with Ye Xiu, I'll have to reevaluate her. It seems that she's hidden much more underneath her public appearance."

Shi Die was thoughtful. "I haven't known you long enough to even say something like this, but don't you think that the way your father treats is wrong? I mean you even had this Master Gua Gua who had taught you with the same ruthlessness. To me, it feels like your father has deprived you of your childhood, and yet you're still there enduring his 'lessons' with a smile."

Yan Guo knew that such a conversation would arise within the group but he didn't expect Shi Die to be the one to voice his concerns. "I know that the way my father has treated hasn't been ideal but I'm of the belief that he's doing it for the sake of my safety. I don't really mind that he's deprived me of my childhood. In a way, I'm being a child whenever I'm having fun with the rest of the group. Cultivators have a long life ahead of them as long as they can survive. If I can protect myself now, I can have fun later."

Shi Die privately shared the same thought process as Yan Guo as he knew what he meant. He, himself never actually had a childhood considering that there was no childhood for him in the first place. An orphan that had to count on himself to survive. He shared the same mentality as Yan Guo, that he knew but he still couldn't see why he would willingly put himself in that position. Shi Die had always thought that parental figures were to protect their children but not abuse them in such a way.

He felt that Yan Guo's behaviour when it came to defending his father was very similar to the other children that he had known. They had been abused but it was a part of their behaviour to defend their abusers to make it seem like they weren't weak. They didn't want others to know that they were suffering so they tried to hide it as best as they could.

Shi Die simply shook his head. He would continue this conversation later when they weren't in such a public area. There were eyes and ears everywhere and it would do them good to finish what they came here as quickly as they could.

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A note from Soothsayer6232

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Thank you to all my readers that continue to vote and read the novel! My writing is still improving so I hope for others to help critique my work.

 

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About the author

Soothsayer6232

  • AutumnBreeze

Bio: A typical average person writing. An avid reader of literature.

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