Cai Ning who was standing by his side realized that something was off. “Mind-controlled? Yang Chen, are you telling me that the elders aren’t acting of their own free will?”

Yang Chen was almost certain that the treatment they had received since their arrival was not done intended by the elders.

Cai Ning, after all, was undeniably one of their brightest disciples. Murdering her without second thought was a reckless and stupid act to put it lightly.

Just when Yang Chen was busy contemplating the situation, it had taken a turn for the worst.

The white-bearded elder who was clamped on the ground appeared to be in immense pain and agony.

A chill ran down Yang Chen’s spine. “Not good. The True Qi in him is starting to act up. I think he’s going to self detonate!”

Before he could finish, the bearded elder’s abdomen bloated to the size of a beach ball.

Yang Chen was well aware of the might of pulse self-detonation of a Xiantian cultivator.

If he were to allow the old bag to explode, he would be unharmed. But the innocent disciples of the Tang Sect would be scapegoats of this catastrophe. At a minimum, it would vaporize half of the Tang Ancestral Fortress along with its occupants!

After debating his options, Yang Chen felt that the safest option would be to throw the old bag’s body into the sky and let it detonate there.

Yang Chen’s cultivation was far beyond what most people could even begin to imagine. Throwing the elder’s body into the air meant that it sailed several hundred meters like a missile.

Amidst the hysteria of everyone watching, a dull bang echoed in the skies above them.

The pulse of the elder blew up, leaving his body in pieces. The radius of the explosion was hundreds of meters wide in every direction.  

Even from the ground, many of the low-level disciples felt the overwhelming pressure of the explosion.

Cai Ning stared at her master Tang Luyi in tears. Previously she was willing to let her master go as she tried to take her life. Now that she knew that her master was not acting of her own free will, there was no way she was going to let her master die.

“Yang Chen, please save my master. I don’t want her to die…”

Cai Ning clenched onto Yang Chen’s arm. This matter was beyond her capabilities.

“Ning’er, calm down. I have it under control.”

After a brief moment of thought, Yang Chen dashed right in front of Tang Luyi.

Yang Chen took a good look around him. “I don’t know who you are and why you’ve chosen to manipulate these people, but if you want the Endless Resolve Restoration Scripture for yourself, then stop being a pussy about this! Face me or run. I’ll find you either way.”

Yang Chen then placed his palm on Tang Luyi’s face and banished the demonic aura from her body.

A strand of blood shot out from the back of her lower neck.

Once the string of blood was liberated, the shade of red engulfing her eyes faded. Her body was drained as she felt lifelessly to the ground.

Yang Chen seemed to have secured the perfect methodology as he repeated his action for the rest of the elders.

“Master!”

Cai Ning noticed that everyone was mostly left unscathed. She hurriedly ordered Tang Lizhong and his fellow disciples in shock to assist Tang Dianshan and the rest of the elders.

Yang Chen could not lower his guard though. The fact that there was someone with unprecedented power hiding under the breath of the Tang Sect left him immensely insecure. He was unsure if it was the perpetrator's astronomical cultivations or from a piece of unique divine equipment that he had no knowledge about.

All of a sudden, an artificially manipulated nasal voice resonated from the sky.

“What an adept Endless Resolve Restoration Scripture cultivator. You’ve familiarized yourself with the Heaven and Earth Restoration Energy. I didn’t expect you to have been through Tai Qing Heavenly Lightning, so you are free to go for now. But rest assured, I will be back. Luck will not be on your side next time...”

His voice slowly faded away, indicating that the perpetrator had left.

An ominous feeling hovered over Yang Chen. He just couldn’t convince himself that the lurking evil made an open challenge, and yet he was still unable to trace its whereabouts.

Based on his own cultivation level, even if the opponent was at Poseidon’s level, there was still no way he could’ve shielded his aura. This person must possess a divine item or be of a cultivation level that is higher than Yang Chen’s!

Yang Chen ultimately realized that as his cultivation improved, the range of advanced cultivators that he would come into contact with would also widen.

This, in turn, had also solidified Yang Chen’s persistence to secure a worthy piece of cultivation for his women to train for. Even if none of them could achieve the Soul Forming stage in the near future, they would at least be able to protect themselves from certain threats if they were in the Xiantian realm.

After all, he knew that there was someone in the shadows locking their target upon himself and his Endless Resolve Restoration Scripture. It was only a matter of time before he would meet them again. If the circumstances disavowed his stance to defend all his women at once, the aftermath would be devastating.

What confused Yang Chen was the magnificence of this cultivation technique. Instead of

Oh yeah, that guy mentioned that I’ve been manipulating the Heaven and Earth Restoration Energy…

So that’s what explains the strange, invisible, non-True Yuan energy. So it’s called Heaven and Earth Restoration Energy…

After a round of thought, he turned behind to check on the elders. Tang Dianshan and company had returned to consciousness, after losing self-control and subsequent retaliation from Yang Chen’s force attacks, many of them were left bleeding or nauseous.

“Take them back. They should be fine after a short period of rest,” Yang Chen mentioned.

The disciples on site saw Yang Chen as their savior and swiftly took the grandmaster and the elders back to their respective accommodations.

Cai Ning at that moment couldn’t care less about her elegance as she hastily carried Tang Luyi from the ground. She effortlessly leaped off the ground onto the rooftop and dashed towards the southern end of the Tang Ancestral Fortress.

Yang Chen went towards Tang Lizhong and instructed him to provide Tang Dianshan and the elders detailed explanations when they woke up, before swiftly flying towards Cai Ning’s direction.

They made their way towards the forest at the end of the Tang Ancestral Fortress, which Yang Chen noticed had several neatly built bamboo houses.

Cai Ning escorted Tang Luyi into a hut. The interior was minimalistic. There was a bamboo mat, along with several female personal hygiene items, a cosmetic table and nothing else.

“Yang Chen, is she… alright?” After she tucked her in, Cai Ning was in desperate need of reassurance.

“Your master broke a few tendons and veins, but it's nothing that cannot be healed with time. Don't worry, she’ll be fine in a couple of days.”

Cai Ning nodded with a frown as she added, “The one who manipulated my master and the others was the one with the threat right? Who is he?”

“How would I know?” Yang Chen said in frustration. “I will need to consult your master first. But something tells me that they don’t know as well. I guess I’ll have to face whatever comes head-on. Don’t worry, with me here I’m not going to let anything happen to you.”

Cai Ning warily glanced at her lover but had quickly brought herself to smile. “Oh well, I’m just glad that Master was just mind-controlled by someone else when she intended to take my life.”

“Oh not me though, I thought it’d be easy if I could just kill them all. But now I’m back to square one with the discussions,” Yang Chen dispiritedly mentioned.

Cai Ning glared at his remark. “How can you be so self-centered? Isn’t avoiding bloodshed the best route to take? Think about it, the elders all have children and grandchildren. You’d be facing an army of people you didn't even know existed. That’s like a thousand people!”

Yang Chen chuckled as he brushed it off. He circled the parameter before taking a glance outside the bamboo hut, only to see more bamboo huts. “Let me guess, most of your childhood was spent living here. Your master must have really despised the finer things in life, choosing to live here over the Tang Ancestral Fortress.”

Cai Ning sighed ever so slightly as she strolled towards Yang Chen. “To tell the truth, my master… She has never married in her entire life. I heard a little bit of the back story from what came to be from the elderly in the Tang Sect.

“Apparently, when Master was young, she left this place to cultivate faraways alone. There she met a heartbreaker who had betrayed her feelings and left her devastated. After her return to the sect, her personality took a huge turn. It got so bad that she was not willing to meet her own brother. It eventually got better but she still hated men.

“Nevertheless, there has always been more men than women in the Tang Ancestral Fortress which was why she chose to move out. Even when the preceding grandmaster appointed her to teach young disciples, she chose to recruit her own female disciples instead.”

“It makes a lot more sense now,” Yang Chen replied. “So that’s why she took in female disciples like you and forced you all to live her frugal lifestyle. If it wasn’t for me, I bet you’d still be a blooming flower in a pit of sand.”

Cai Ning turned red as she stretched out her fair, silky fingers to stroke Yang Chen’s cheek. “How thick-skinned can you possibly be?”

Yang Chen was clearly unbothered as he proudly giggled. But he was soon reminded of something and asked, “Ning’er… how many female disciples did you say your master took in? Is there by any chance a disciple with the surname Xiao?”