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‘I just realized. Every single person here has an oval face…’

Han De barely held back his urge to shake his head in annoyance as he looked at the gathering of the Xin family members.

Having Long Ai around was truly convenient. If it wasn’t for her dubious motivations, Han De would never think of letting go of her thighs.

With just a simple hand gesture, Long Ai pierced the realm, and teleported Han De, Long Yanmei, and the Xin mother-daughter pair into the hidden realm. Just like that. At this point Han De was doubting whether the result of his divination played any role. It looked like Long Ai was humoring him more than anything else.

Contrary to his fears, after their arrival everything proceeded smoothly. Only a glance from Xin Meili was enough. The current Xin matriarch yielded without a fuss.

‘Yeah, I guess getting your hidden realm F#$%&@ skewered by a higher being does that for you…’

The hidden realm itself was quite different than what Han De imagined. It was simply a large island surrounded by a sea of fire from all sides. Not a raging sea of fire like he was hoping, but a calm, serene one instead.

After seeing how everything inside was all shades of red, Han De didn’t blame the Xin family for wanting to leave. Even without the giant gaping hole that Long Ai opened, the hidden realm was truly a depressing sight to behold.

“Young master, we’ve come to an agreement.”

Xin Meili bowed deeply as if she was a loyal servant under Han De. The Xin family behind her followed her example.

‘… Huh. I didn’t expect this to be smooth sailing. Not that I’m complaining…’

It made sense in hindsight. The matter of the hidden realm was related to Ning Bi. In fact, it would be concerning if there were problems!

Han De cleared his throat.

“Some time ago I promised to give an improved version of the Blazing Sun scripture to Xin Meili. A Han always pays their debts.”

Han De started condensing his Qi in the form of a Twilight Phantasm illusion. Within seconds he came to a realization.

‘That’s it. I’m never going to write down another scripture ever again. It’s digital or nothing from now on…’

The illusion he prepared was a simple chunk of his Blazing Sun related memories. Mainly, the entire body of text and the explanation of the Blazing Sun scripture at the master level. Including tips, tricks, and frequently asked questions.

Even thinking about writing all that down was enough to make Han De shudder. Ning Bi’s version only had up to Nascent Soul realm to make things more convenient, and even that was testing the limits of his patience!

Why did her version have higher realms at all? Insurance! What if she fell down a cliff and had to spend the next 100 years in some random world? Giving her higher realm equipment and cultivation methods only made sense!

Xin Meili received the illusion with the reverence of a servant. Seconds later, the color of her face changed drastically.

Meanwhile, Long Yanmei was filled with regret. She had tried to recruit the Xin family duo and failed. This hidden realm wasn’t that useful, but it was filled with thousands of Blazing Sun cultivators. They would’ve been a great asset to her Everlasting Violet Flame sect.

|Why don’t you let Long Yanmei take a peak?|

Long Ai had already seen the illusion’s contents. Long De’s understanding was better than she thought. And her expectations weren’t low to begin with! On top of that, it was clear he was holding back. Some of the contents hinted at a much higher level of comprehension.

‘Alright. Why not?’

Han De copied the illusion and sent one to Long Yanmei. Ultimately, Long Yanmei was a Long, and she was a Blazing Sun practitioner. Perceived risk value was quite low. If anything, it was free bonus points.

Long Ai ignored the stunned expression of Long Yanmei.

|This realm is on the verge of forming its own consciousness. If you want the little devil to absorb it, now is the time.|

Han De nodded, though he wasn’t quite sure if Ning Bi really needed to absorb. But, at some point, her MC halo would end up railroading her into the correct method. Probably.

* * *

“Matriarch.”

“I’m not the matriarch anymore, and neither are you.”

The entirety of the Xin family was teleported into the Han family celestial ship by Long Ai just a few minutes ago. Almost five thousand few thousand Blazing Sun practitioners, and nearly twenty thousand slaves, were transported in the blink of an eye.

Xin Meili was still being treated as their de facto leader, but she knew that the reign of the Xin family was now over. Even though their so-called autonomy wasn’t much, and mostly born out of necessity, a few among them still may not be able to stomach becoming servants.

“Young master Han De’s temperament is flexible. Anyone that wants to leave, can leave. I, Xin Meili, and my daughter Xin Qiang, will stay.”

Senior elders’ mouths dropped simultaneously. Most of them had traveled outside of the hidden realm in their youth. They knew that the outside world was dangerous. The phrase ‘Outside World’ itself was a reflection of their stagnation, and they were well aware of it.

“Beings of this realm are unfathomable. If I’m not wrong, they each possess powers that rival the heavens. Young master Han De, isn’t just a normal young master. He is the son of the heavens.”

Xin Meili spent the past month refining her knowledge of the Whispering Realms. As a Transcendent Realm master, she could discern more than others. When Han De’s disciples transcended the triple tribulation, everything fell into place in Xin Meili’s mind.

Higher beings as the Han family called them, controlled the heavens themselves. Whispering Realms were the gathering point of these heavenly beings, not meant for the likes of lower beings!

A Transcendent Realm master could exert some influence over inferior life forms, but that was only external control. A higher being was fundamentally different.

Elders recognized Xin Meili’s unspoken words. They could leave and try to forge their own path in an unknown world, or they could grasp the opportunity that was right in front of them.

* * *

Around the same timeframe, Long Ai had already brought Ning Bi to the throne room.

‘S#$%, the order is all wrong…’

Han De wanted Jin Shu to awaken her bloodline first. Then Yao Qing. This seemed to be the least risky way, and would allow some leeway to Ning Bi, who was the youngest and least experienced cultivator among the three.

Meanwhile, Ning Bi was looking at the surroundings with a dumbfounded expression.

This place… felt awfully familiar to her! And comfortable too!

If she were to cultivate in this place, she could yield twice the result with half the effort! Ning Bi was at the late-stage of the Foundation Establishment realm. Even if she lacked in other aspects, she would instinctively know if something could benefit her.

From the raging fires in the distance, to the crimson-gold color of the throne, everything left Ning Bi with a profound impression. It would’ve been better if Long Ai wasn’t here, then she could spend some private time with her master. But she wasn’t going to complain!

Her master looked troubled, and seemed to be contemplating a serious issue. While waiting for him to give instructions, Ning Bi’s remembered Wen Jiayi’s words about her master trying so hard for her sake.

Even a completely clueless waste could recognize the connection. Her master was trying so hard, to bring Ning Bi to this place?

At the same time, Han De couldn’t make up his mind.

He had varying levels of worries and considerations.

Ultimately, Ning Bi was an MC, and her fate was to be Purifier of Planes. An event like dealing with a flame from the previous cycle, was most definitely going to be forgotten within a few hundred chapters. Worries were useless, right?

Then, a more pressing line of thought appeared. What if Ning Bi were to fail? What if her bloodline became parasitic? Wouldn’t that boil down to a major grudge? Could Han De handle a grudge of that level? No way!

Then, a louder, and more persistent feeling replaced those worries.

‘So what if she is going to become a Purifier of Planes? She is literally a 13-year-old right now. Isn’t this stupidly dangerous?!’

The more Han De thought about it, the angrier he became at himself. How could he think of a mere child as if she were a Xianxia character? How could he think of endangering others just to complete a quest?

As he was thinking, Han De’s eyes accidentally met Ning Bi’s, who were looking at him with complete trust. Truly, she looked like she didn’t have an ounce of wariness towards him. When did he do something to deserve that level of trust?

Han De thought the little Purifier of Planes was truly naive. In fact, her naivete was at the level of an MC!

For just a moment, Han De thought he was an observer, looking through the universe through a random person’s eyes. Their problems, their lives, all seemed so trivial, so distant.

‘Wait, what’s going on, why am I getting flustered? Calm down. Relax.’

Han De realized he wasn’t in the right mind. There was an overwhelming sense of déjà vu all around him. Was he imagining it? Was he losing it? He went back to his tried and true approach as a safety measure.

‘Keep safe. Observe. And go with the flow.’

Under the now concerned eyes of Ning Bi, Han De sat on the throne and tried to collect his thoughts.

Whether it was due to Xianxia factor, or due to her natural tenacity, Ning Bi was truly far above other cultivators. Though she had some insecurities like any other teenager, in terms of power she was unrivaled. There wasn’t any other Foundation Establishment disciple that could defeat her. Even Core Formation experts might have a difficult time.

Could the cultivation idiot defeat Ning Bi?

‘No way.’

Han De had no doubts. If they were to fight, Ning Bi would definitely wipe the floor with cultivation idiot flavored meat paste. The cultivation idiots Core Formation realm power was no match her late-stage Foundation Establishment state, even without a grudge!

Most of Han De’s ‘Real Xianxia’ experiences came from the cultivation idiot’s memories. Ning Bi was already leagues ahead of him in terms of talent. The cultivation idiot’s expectations did not apply to her.

Han De’s ‘Simulated Xianxia’ experiences came from reading web novels. Some of which came from questionable machine translations too. Even though it was unrealistic to trust the knowledge of web novels, he had to admit that there was a scary amount of overlap between that and his current reality.

‘Right… I’m worrying about nothing. Ning Bi will be fine. Yes, she’ll be fine. In fact, she’ll be better than fine… I can’t limit her development due to my own worries. Besides, if it was that dangerous Long Ai would’ve said something.

Ning Bi… She just needs to some confidence…’

In times like these, clutch mechanics like the power of friendship, or the power of self-actualization would appear to save the day. Ning Bi’s current state ruled out the second one.

‘Power of friendship?... I might be able to force it somehow, but…’

This wasn’t an Isekai, this was a Xianxia. Not a fictional one too, this was real. In this universe, a father could use their own children as cauldrons just to increase his talent by a few percentages. Betrayal was commonplace. Even Yu Xian was betrayed by his own wives! Whether he deserved it or not was irrelevant!

Han De decided on a different approach. One that would play to Ning Bi’s strengths. He gave a side glance at Long Ai and realized she was intently watching his every move.

‘S#$%...’

Even under the scrutiny of an old monster, Han De didn’t hesitate. Ning Bi was more important than maintaining his facade. He ignored Long Ai and focused on his disciple.

He showed a slightly reluctant gaze, followed by an emotional, barely repressed sigh. Before he sent a voice transmission, Han De also paid extra attention to leak a subtle expression of regret. One blink and Ning Bi would’ve missed it, but thankfully Han De timed it perfectly. Then, he restored his Profound Expert demeanor as if he were desperately trying to hide his emotions. This gesture was key to setting the mood.

<I wanted to find a place for you to awaken your Divine Phoenix bloodline. I didn’t expect to feel the breath of fate here.>

Han De clicked his tongue ‘involuntarily’, then ‘recomposed’ himself. Ning Bi’s heartbeat accelerated slightly and gave Han De more confidence.

<Though I might have some… enmity… with fate, that is not the case for you. As my disciple, you will naturally surpass me, and will not inherit my weaknesses.>

So far Han De had always displayed the perfect demeanor of a Profound Expert/Teacher to his disciples. Having an impeccable image was both a blessing, and a curse. If he wasn’t careful, this facade would end up highlighting his inadequacies. All it would take was a few slip-ups, and everything would come crashing down.

Still, when the risk was high, so would be the rewards. Instead of waiting for the inevitable, Han De could choose to ‘slip-up’ in the critical moments. That way he could cultivate the image of an imperfect Profound Master that was trying his best. Truly, that was the only way to salvage his image!

‘Wow, her pupils are shaking.’

Though he felt a bit of guilt, Han De didn’t stop. This was all for the benefit of Ning Bi.

‘This is great though. I should definitely do this to Yao Qing and Jin Shu too.’

In his excitement, Han De completely forgot the existence of Liang Cuifen…

<Follow your instincts. The Divine Phoenix bloodline can be fickle, but it is nothing compared to you.>

<M-Master…>

Han De interrupted Ning Bi’s voice transmission with an overly stern gaze. A Profound Master was like a mountain. They had their own pride and wouldn’t want their disciples to worry about them.

Seeing Ning Bi reluctantly staying silent, Han De’s couldn’t help but do a mental guts pose. It seems like his plan was working!

Unfortunately, he couldn’t read Ning Bi’s emotions as well as Long Ai. His reaction would be completely different if he could!

Because right now, as she watched her master’s enigmatic expression, something in Ning Bi’s mind snapped.

How could Ning Bi forget of her master’s action on the day leviathans attacked? Even the thinking of that time was enough to create a wave of unquenchable anger in her heart. Whoever was responsible, Ning Bi would make them pay. Someday.

Ning Bi was patiently waiting for her target to appear. Of course, she had added the leviathan species to her list already. But those worms weren’t the culprits, that much was obvious. Now though, she had a better idea, thanks to her master’s slip up.

Fate? Was Fate targeting her master?!

It didn’t matter if Fate was an intangible concept, or the name of unfathomable existence. Ning Bi felt a fundamental enmity towards whatever that Fate was supposed to be.


[Hidden Quest Success]
[Time Remaining: 998.44497 years]
[Disciple Ning Bi’s status is restored!]
[Notes: Your talented disciple no longer has thoughts of inferiority. The seed of doubt within her heart became fuel for an irrevocable grudge! No inner demon can threaten her as long as she holds on to that grudge!]


‘?!?’

Han De wanted to appeal to her vengeful nature, but he didn’t think his idea would work this well.


[Hidden Quest Reward: 500000 Profound Points.]

[Profound Points: 174 -> 500174 (+500000)]


‘… Excuse me, what?’

The System being generous? There was no such thing! Half a million Profound Points meant something was going on! Unfortunately, this wasn’t the correct time to panic. The proper response had to wait.


[Redeeming Bloodline Awakening Token for 100 Profound Points]

[Profound Points: 500174 -> 500074 (-100)]


Han De didn’t want to do this in front of Long Ai, but she didn’t need to be physically present to watch him anyway.

He couldn’t ask her to go away and not watch what was going on for a few minutes. That would only garner more interest!

If he were supposed to reveal the System’s secrets, at least he could do it in a way that could benefit him. Hypothetically.

‘Oh, yes, why, I do know what I just did was from an incredible secret technique. I only used it in front of you, because I trust you/the Long family.

*wink* *wink*

…’

That was the best Han De could do under the circumstances.


[Activating Bloodline Awakening Token on disciple Ning Bi]
[Bloodline: Divine Phoenix]
[Target Confirmed]

[Unsupervised Mode Activated]

[Calibrating...]
[...]
[Calibration Complete]

[Flame of a previous cycle detected]
[Approximate Age: 0.9447 cycles]

[Compatibility Levels Met]

[Tribulation Triggering Chance: 0.00933333%]
[Secondary Tribulation Triggering Chance: 0.00000001%]
[Tertiary Tribulation Triggering Chance: 0%]

[Commencing Optimum Awakening State]


Long Ai kept paying attention to Long De, primarily to observe his condition. Unexpectedly, it seems her great-great-grandson, was actually aware of the little devil’s nature! She thought it was truly a shame that he couldn’t stay within the Whispering Realms.

Then, the sudden changes in Ning Bi completely caught her off-guard.


[Awakening State Enabled]
[Time Taken: 0.0000000002 seconds]


Even Long Ai would’ve missed how an unknown force suddenly lifted the restrictions of Ning Bi’s bloodline. The changes were so subtle and so quick, she never would’ve believed it if she wasn’t there.

Intuitively, she realized this had something to do with Long De. Though unfortunately, her intuition wasn’t that reliable when the subject was her mysterious great-great-grandson.

Long Ai assisted Long De by moving him back to the Han family celestial ship. Ning Bi had already entered a strange meditative state. Long De’s continued presence would only hinder her at this stage.

 

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