Yang Chen had long sensed someone approaching, but he did not expect the person would call out to him. When he turned around, he saw an old man wearing a black robe with a head full of grey hair. His face was solemn, and he was staring at him oddly, like a hawk staring at its prey at night, making Yang Chen feel wary.
A cultivation level of the Ming Water stage? He's not a simple man. Is he an elder of the Luo clan?
Yang Chen knew that the current situation did not bode well for him as he did not know this old man.
Out of wits, he decided to lower his head, feigning respect for the man.
The old man was none other than the Luo clan's head butler, Luo Lei, who was making his rounds up and down the Luo clan as usual.
When he saw Yang Chen walking alone from a direction that should not be patrolled and talking with some guards from time to time, he became suspicious.
The guards in the entire clan were arranged by him, and he knew that this guy was called Chen Li, a very ordinary cultivator who sought patronage in the Luo clan. His cultivation level was the late phase Soul Forming stage. Though he had never made much progress, he was diligent and honest.
Chen Li is supposed to be guarding the walls, so why did he come to the center part?
"Chen Li, why did you come here?" Luo Lei was quick-witted. Seeing that Yang Chen did not open his mouth to greet him, he chose not to reveal his identity first.
It just so happened that there were no other guards around here either, so no one saluted him and revealed his name.
Yang Chen faked Chen Li's voice and whispered, "I deserve to be punished for neglecting his duties!"
Luo Lei harrumphed. "Raise your head and look at me when you speak." He gradually approached Yang Chen, exuding True Yuan.
Yang Chen immediately affected an extremely timid look again, but he was grumbling in his mind deep down. This is the central area of the Luo clan. I can kill him, but I might alert the other experts, and they might besiege me. Then my plan to save Xiao Zhiqing will be foiled again, and I might even put her in danger.
Still, Yang Chen could only raise his head first and look at Luo Lei with a cowardly gaze.
"Why aren't you saluting me?" Luo Lei's old eyes widened as a gleam flashed across.
Yang Chen hurriedly arched his hand and saluted in a very respectful manner.
"Have you forgotten my identity?" Luo Lei felt more and more suspicious. This "Chen Li" has been avoiding calling me by my title, which means he doesn't know who I am. How could this be possible!?
Luo Lei had been a butler in the Luo clan for over a hundred years and had lived for over two hundred years. Thus, thousands of people in the Luo clan recognized him.
Yang Chen broke out in a cold sweat. The situation is getting worse and worse. If I continue staying here, he'll see through me!
"You're not Chen Li! Who the hell are you!?" Luo Lei bellowed, his eyes gleaming as he raised his hand. His True Yuan began to surge, and he was ready to capture this suspicious man.
However, Yang Chen had also made up his mind. He was planning to use a ploy and go all out!
Yang Chen reached out, pointed behind Luo Lei, and shouted as if he was surprised.
Even though Luo Lei had lived for over two hundred years, he had no concept of a very common escape trick in the mundane world. Yang Chen's act took him by surprise. Thinking Luo Feng had arrived, he turned his head to look behind him.
Having just turned his head, Luo Lei cursed in his mind. Crap! I would've sensed it if Luo Feng had come! I can't believe I was tricked!
Infuriated, Luo Lei bared his teeth and turned back, but Yang Chen had long since darted away.
"How dare you run!"
Luo Lei immediately turned into a black shadow, going straight into the sky.
Yang Chen was deliberately using a Soul Forming cultivation level at the moment, so his speed would surely lead him to be caught by a middle phase Ming Water Water expert like Luo Lei. Even if he bought a few seconds to escape, it would only be minutes before he was caught.
Some experts in the clan had also noticed Luo Lei chasing a late phase Soul Forming stage cultivator, but they did not intend to help, thinking that Luo Lei could completely handle it by himself. Thanks to them, Yang Chen would be able to get out of this sticky situation much easier.
On the contrary, a few guards at the Soul Forming and Li Fire stage and such were eager to gain merit, so they followed after him.
Yang Chen sniggered. As long as no Ruo Water stage cultivators come after me, things would be easy to handle. Anyhow, I should run as far as I can.
In the blink of an eye, Yang Chen was already twenty kilometers away from the Luo clan, and Luo Lei was getting closer and closer to him, followed by four or five guards.
Smirking, Luo Lei took out a silver seven-foot-long whip from his space ring, which was made of a special soft black Iron. Hundreds of sections were strung together in a very oddly exquisite manner.
The few guards in the back saw it from afar, and all of them laughed excitedly.
"This thief is so unlucky. The head butler has taken out the Thunder Whip! That's a middle-ranked artifact!"
"I've heard that the Thunder Whip can attack and defend, its power equivalent to a thunderstorm. But unfortunately, I've never had the chance to see it."
"I was hoping to show my skills, but it's rare to come across a thief who dares to infiltrate the Luo clan, so it looks like there's no chance for me to do it…"
Those guards had already presumed that Yang Chen was going to lose. Thus, they all slowed down, no longer planning to give chase.
"Thief, have a taste of my Thunder Whip!"
At that time, Luo Lei saw that the distance between him and Yang Chen was close enough. Upon channeling True Yuan into the whip, a burst of blue and yellow electric sparks crackled. Then, he swiftly swung it towards Yang Chen. Countless electric arcs opened up like a net, spanning across a range of ten meters, trying to engulf Yang Chen.
The speed of the electric arc was way faster than Yang Chen's speed at the moment, so he couldn’t dodge it.
At the same time, Yang Chen was a little surprised that this was an artifact that could emit electricity.
For the most part, because Yin and Yang are the origins of everything in the universe, the two forces closest to them are fire and water.
Other elements such as gold, wood, earth, wind, and so on were derived from Yin and Yang.
Hence, most of the artifacts and cultivation techniques were of fire and water elements.
Among fire and water, the power of Heavenly Fire and Xuanshui were already the limit of what could be produced by the spiritual energy on Earth, and it was generally unlikely that a cultivator below the Nine Heavenly Lightning Tribulation stage would be able to master them. Consequently, the artifacts and techniques that could make use of these Heavenly Fire and Xuanshui were rare.
Even in the Great Ancient times, a cultivator like Yang Chen, who was at the Nine Heaven Lightning Tribulation stage, might not be able to manipulate Heavenly Fire and Xuan Shui. This was precisely one of the great mysteries of the "Endless Resolve Restoration Scripture", a powerful aspect of which Yang Chen himself was also not aware.
Although it was incredibly difficult to cultivate that technique and would seem impossible for normal cultivators to succeed in, by the time they crossed the threshold, the greatness that the creator of this technique had given to it would become apparent.
Normal cultivators could not use Heavenly Fire and Xuanshui, but they could use their True Yuan to mobilize their spiritual energy to manipulate water, fire, and even more advanced ones, namely foreign fire and water.
Some of the advanced foreign fires and waters were no less powerful than the Heavenly Fire and Xuanshui, such as the Yan Clan's "Northern Dark Ice Soul" in Hongmeng, which was a cultivation technique that maximized the use of normal water. It was the one that had also made Yang Chen suffer greatly once.
However, the element of thunder was more special. It had both the fiery characteristic of fire and also originated in the water clouds. Thus, it was a combination of water and fire, so to speak.
The mixture of Yin and Yang was naturally powerful. Consequently, it also made the power of the Nine Heavenly Lightning Tribulation exceed the limit of the power that the spiritual energy on Earth could generate. In essence, it was a power of a more fundamental origin in the universe.
Otherwise, how else could Zeus beat up the Chinese cultivators with thunder 20,000 years ago? Although Zeus' thunder was not as good as the Nine Heavens Thunder, it was still divine foreign lightning that was too destructive to cultivators.
Although normal lightning and thunder on Earth were not rare, it was also so powerful that only a few cultivation techniques and artifacts could manipulate them.
Yang Chen knew that the Thunder Whip flung out was only a normal thunder from Earth and could not be compared to the Nine Heavens Thunder, but it was still the power of thunder and lightning that should not be underestimated.
Of course, it was still unlikely for Luo Lei to kill Yang Chen with the whip.
Seeing that he was far enough away from the Luo clan, Yang Chen did not hide his cultivation anymore. The Heaven and Earth Restoration Energy coalesced into a shield and shielded his body, instantly shattering the thunder net.
Luo Lei suddenly felt that the thief in front of him had changed. A surge of True Yuan pressure so majestic radiated from the latter, sending chills down his spine.
"H-How is this…"
The old man did not have time to react at all, and it was too late to escape. Grasping for straws, he swung the Thunder Whip, sending out a few more lightning bolts toward Yang Chen.
Yang Chen looked at the oncoming blue and yellow lightning and smiled teasingly. You asked for it. Well, just in luck. I was looking for a good identity to search around the clan, anyway.
Instantly, he summoned the Chaos Cauldron. Once the giant cauldron came out, it sucked all those electric arcs in.
With that, the Chaos Energy in the Chaos Cauldron formed a suction that took hold of Luo Lei's entire body, and at any moment, it looked like he was going to be sucked into the cauldron.