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Ma Jiang Ming was startled at first. Then, he suddenly patted his thigh and exclaimed, "How come I didn't think of this? This is great! This makes sense!" the two men had been talking in secret cipher via their spirit sense. But, he had ended up shouting-out now since his heart had begun to throb at this realization. This obviously attracted everyone's attention towards him. Consequently, the others casted side-long glances at him.
"Shh!" the sound of Ning Wu Qing's stern voice reached him. Then, Ning Wu Qing continued further, "Now, you ought to be capable of imagining the advantages of having a beast pet, right? That Yun Bie Chen is a generation younger to us. But, his strength advanced by leaps and bounds after he came to possess a Xuan Beast pet… So much so that he even became stronger than us! This is the biggest advantage of having a beast pet!"
"That's right! It's already tough to find a worthy opponent for us because of the realms we've reached. So, wouldn't leveling-up our realms further be akin to scaling the heavens? Having a beast pet of considerable strength would make a huge difference. In fact, it wouldn't matter even if it's somewhat weaker. After all, its strength would still be ample for our mutual progression since we could train with it every day. And, the benefits won't be limited to skills and training… it could even help in making a speedy breakthrough! We might even be able to cross the bottleneck quicker! And, those outsiders won't be able to pose us any problems when the time comes…"
Ma Jiang Ming had spoken this part out of sheer excitement.
"Therefore, it's better if we let go of our personal grievances from the past at this time. Instead, we must erase this humiliation wrought upon us by the existence of Tian Fa! And, we will also have better odds of success in the Battle for Seizing the Heavens if we do this! Moreover, these Xuan Beast pets will be able to fight in many more wars than us humans!"
Ning Wu Qing exposed a shady smile on his face as he continued, "This is exactly what our empress had planned on doing. And, this is why this Old Man has personally arrived here. The first advantage of doing away with the Tian Fa Forest is that… only our Three Holy Lands would remain as the most-powerful entities in the continent. Therefore, all the glory will be ours. We'll also be able to wash-off the shame brought upon us by our ancestors since they had been using the strengths of these Xuan Beasts to protect our mainland over these last thousands of years!
"Second advantage — each of us can use the strength of an individual beast, and we would be able to enhance our strengths!" Ma Jiang Ming was stroking his chin. His eyes brimmed with satisfaction as he chuckled. "And, we can also take the beast's Xuan core in they become useless to us. And, that too would be amazing for us!
"And, there's still a third advantage to this!" Ning Wu Qing recited as he recalled the list, "The Jun Family and Tian Fa have the greatest of relationships with each other! We can use the beasts to get to that mysterious alchemist behind those pills… Do you get it? This is called…'pull a hair, and the whole body moves'!"
He let out a long sigh. Then, he added, "It's a pity that I somewhat like this Jun Mo Xie's nature. I liked meeting him today. But, we have no other choice. This is for the sake of the common people's future! This sacrifice has to be sacrificed!"
"Also, wouldn't it be possible for us to have an endless supply of these mysterious pills in the future?" Ma Jiang Ming had ingested one of these pills a while ago. Therefore, his mind was still full of their fancy.
"Hey! This is why I say that you have no foresight. You only desire this one type of pills?" Ning Wu Qing gave him a profound glance and spoke, "The Aristocratic Hall has already auctioned three kinds of magical pills in the past as far as I remember. So, would you only desire an endless production of these kinds of pills, Old Ma? I sure there must be a fourth kind. Perhaps there's also the fifth kind. And, who knows… maybe this person can also produce pills that can make us live longer!"
Ma Jiang Ming's body started to tremble. His deathly pale face flushed, and remained like that for a long time before it got back to normal. Then, his eyes emitted an extremely avaricious and mysterious ray of light, "Old Ning, it's needless to say that I'll go and report this to the Lord of my city. Moreover, I'll strongly advise him to bring this plan into action!"
"This entire matter would've turned cold by the time you come back. Our empress has already sent communication to the Lord of your city. So, they must be negotiating over it right now. Therefore, they would've likely reached a conclusion by the time you got back!"
Ning Wu Qing gave a meaningful glance, "Anyway, we must concentrate on the Jun Family at this time. Perhaps I should say that we should focus on this woman named Mei! Furthermore, I estimate that this Mei woman could possibly be the strongest link in the Jun Family. Therefore, everything should go as per plan as long as we can beat her."
"That's right!" Ma Jiang Ming heavily nodded in agreement.
"Moreover, I can already confirm that this woman is a Xuan Beast in human form," Ning Wu Qing said with a gloomy expression on his face, "Brother Ma, this woman doesn't appear to be more than twenty years of age. So, she has to be a Xuan Beast. After all, how else does she possess such a terrifyingly Xuan strength that even you and I can't fight against her? I know that some people are able to enhance their Xuan strength through external medication. But, there are numerous conditions for using those medications. An Earth Xuan can be upgraded to a Sky Xuan if given a chance. And, a Sky Xuan can go as far as a Spirit Xuan with the help of external medicines. I must say that going to a Spirit Xuan is difficult, but it isn't impossible. But, have you ever seen anyone reach the Great Master Level like this? Besides, how can someone find so many heavenly treasures?"
"That's obvious! Attaining strength that's higher than the Great Master Level requires a great amount of training and self-discipline. And, it takes a very long time as well. How can some medicine push an individual to that level so easily?" Ma Jiang Ming's eyes lit-up as he continued, "Perhaps there exists a heavenly treasure which can increase a person's strength by leaps and bounds. However, even such treasures can't enhance an individual's experiences… I must say that Brother Ning's words sounds reasonable. This is only possible if she's a Xuan Beast in human form!"
"Therefore, I boldly determined that this woman is a Xuan Beast in human form! Moreover, it's extremely probable that this person is Venerable Mei himself!" Ning Wu Qing clenched his teeth as he spoke this out.
"What? That's impossible!" Ma Jiang Ming opened his eyes wide, "Venerable Mei is a man! Everyone knows this for a fact!"
"That may not be true!" Ning Wu Qing groaned, "No one has seen Venerable Mei's true appearance ever since he's made his debut. So, no one knows his true identity. Hence, it's hard to verify whether he's male or female! Even the ten Great Masters hadn't been able to force him to reveal his body and face when they had besieged him. However, it's not necessary that he's a man! In fact, I'm even hoping that the two of them are the same individual."
"Why do you say this?" Ma Jiang Ming asked; he seemed somewhat surprised.
"That Venerable Mei's strength isn't lesser than that of our empress. However, the Beast Kings under his command have been extremely sluggish in their advancement over the years. Therefore, none of them have been able to surpass the Great Master Level. But, this Mei girl's strength is a profound mystery. She's definitely stronger than you and me. Therefore, we will have to re-evaluate Tian Fa's strength in case she's not Venerable Mei. And, I'm afraid that this will even bring a change to our previous plans."
Ma Jiang Ming contemplated in silence.
"Moreover, this is a good time to act. We were able to inflict serious injuries to Venerable Mei even though we couldn't stop him from escaping the last time around. So, there's a chance that he still hasn't made a full recovery. And, this means that he may not be as strong as he used to be. Consequently, his strength may be nothing in comparison to our empress. However, we still need to be very careful…
"Therefore, we need to be immensely careful if a serious action has to be taken this time. Moreover, this should be kept a secret so that the enemy isn't alerted beforehand! Ten experts couldn't finish this task the last time. So, a minimum of thirty individuals will be dispatched for this task this time…" Ning Wu Qing took a deep breath, "A group of ten experts will be asked of each of the Three Holy Lands! Thirty experts shall certainly be able to kill him. In fact, this shouldn't leave any room for luck."
"That's right. Moreover, the Illusory Ocean of Blood has also started to harbor animosity towards them after this incident. Therefore, the Illusory Ocean of Blood is likely to participate actively if any action is taken!" Ma Jiang Ming flashed a cold smile, "Old Ning, we've been fighting for a long time. I had never imagined that we would come together to cooperate with each other in good faith."
"It still won't be too late to sort out our mutual grievances even after this matter has been taken care of," Ning Wu Qing gave him a cold shoulder, and began to speak, "We will have to gear up for the Battle for Seizing the Heavens after this matter is over. How about… whosoever among us is able to destroy a higher number of those outsiders would be considered the winner. What do you say?"
"This sounds like a wonderful plan!" Ma Jiang Ming burst into a loud laughter.
"The afternoon round of the auction is about to begin. Besides, we still need to get hold of another batch of these pills!" Ning Wu Qing leisurely began to walk away with a faint smile on his face.
"Yes, I'll be going around Tian Xiang City to meet someone after this is over," Ma Jiang Ming nodded and followed him outside.
"Who?" Ning Wu Qing asked with some interest.
"It's one of Lei Wu Bei's disciples. I would be recommending him to the Great Golden City. He seems like an appropriate candidate for the next generation's Battle for Seizing the Heavens. In fact, this Old Man will personally train him if he appears suitable for this. Then, I'll recommend him to the Great Golden City."
Ma Jiang Ming sighed in a sorrowful voice, "We haven't been able to rout those outsiders in their entirety since our people can't cross the Pillar of Heavens Mountains. These once-in five-hundred-years decisive battles are a serious problem. Our generation might be able to win this time. But, who can be sure about the next battle?"
"Do everything you can as a human, and obey the orders of the Heaven. What else can you do for the world? Things will work out as long as we do our best. And, let's hope that the later generations will also listen to their calls. Anyway… Has that Lei Wu Bei joined the Great Golden City yet?"
"No. But, Lei Wu Bei is great… He's close to the Great Golden City as well. So, his joining shouldn't be far into the future…" Ma Jiang Ming exclaimed with a strange laughter, "Oh Damn it! I'll be training the greatest heroes for the next generation…!"
Ning Wu Qing sneered, and began to walk away without speaking another word.
Jun Mo Xie and Mei Xue Yan had taken a few turns after they had exited the room. However, Jun Mo Xie's face had sunk after they had ensured that they were away from everyone's line of sight. Meanwhile, the usually elegant face of Mei Xue Yan had turned somewhat pale. It had hard to guess what she was thinking about…
Jun Mo Xie tightly grabbed her wrist, and pulled her a few more turns until they reached the place where Tang Yuan was present. Then, Jun Mo Xie reached out and pressed a point on the wall. Suddenly, a squeaking noise was heard, and the passage to a secret room was opened in front of them. There was an emission of magical jewel-like lights as soon as the room's door closed with a 'bang'.
Mei Xue Yan seemed at a loss. This scene was nothing short of magical, but she wasn't in the right frame of mind to appreciate it. She only knew that she was supposed to follow Jun Mo Xie. They descended into to a private room, and silently closed the door behind them.
However, Jun Mo Xie's face looked unsightly under the illumination of the night pearls…
"They're suspecting you," It had become difficult to look at Jun Mo Xie's face. In fact, his face had turned green.
"What?!" Mei Xue Yan was startled by this. So, she suddenly responded, "What would they be suspecting me over?"
"They doubt that you are the mysterious alchemist! They suspect that you are a Xuan Beast in human form. Moreover, they're convinced that you are the Lord of Tian Fa — Venerable Mei!" Jun Mo Xie narrowed his eyes, and two sharp rays of light flashed in them.
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