Chapter 232 - Interception
After a few unsuccessful attempts to penetrate the palace’s walls with his will-force, Ye Wei gave up trying altogether. ‘There are some people over there, I should get my stone first and worry about the palace later!’
“So those are the golden puppets Qing Yao and Xue Er mentioned.” Ye Wei smiled, mumbling to himself while looking afar at the palace. “They are indeed below returned prime level, nothing I can’t handle.”
More than twenty initiates were fighting the puppets, none of them were above condensed prime level.
“So one of these return prime stones shoots out from the palace once you have defeated the puppet. That’s what she meant when she said everyone can only get the stone once...”
“That doesn’t look too hard!”
Ye Wei’s feet viciously propelled against the ground, riding a bow of starlike runic patterns as he sped towards the palace in the middle of the sea.
“It’s Ye Wei!”
“He is my hero! But what is he doing here?”
“He just got himself onto the Black Dragon List! We should go ask him for some cultivation tips!” Everyone was excited to see the person that saved them from being humiliated by the veterans.
After ten breaths’ time, Ye Wei landed in front of the palace, taking a closer look at the initiates. ‘Jian Chen isn’t here, but I recognize Hong Hai, I got him out of a beating from the veterans.’
“Ye Wei! You are here?” Hong Hai bowed respectfully at Ye Wei, “thanks again for the intervention, I would still be in a sick bed now if you didn’t help me.”
“Hi. I remember you.” Ye Wei smiled and nodded.
“I appreciate that!” Hong Hai replied while clenching his fists, excited to speak to Ye Wei. “You inspired me! I am here because of you. Hopefully I will be able to catch up with the veterans quicker after getting a stone. I gave myself a goal to become a returned prime Warrior within two to three months.”
As talented a cultivator as he was, Hong Hai’s pride and confidence were scarred by the experience of getting humiliated by Feng Shan. Luckily for him, he found motivation on the very same day from the person who avenged him.
“Ye Wei, you have to be careful. I heard that a lot of high-ranking Black Dragon listers are planning to challenge you during the tournament…” Hong Hai came closer to his idol and whispered.
“I know.” Ye Wei nodded indifferently. ‘And I’ve known for a while now. It’s normal that the veterans feel threatened considering the amount of attention I drew onto myself. They might think I am disrespectful.’
Ye Wei saw the challenges ahead more as positive obstacles he will have to eventually overcome than something that stressed him. However after getting defeated by Xue Er, breaking through had become a more urgent matter for Ye Wei as he realized who he would be fighting in the tournament were likely to be on the same level as Xue Er.
“Why are you lot just standing there?” Ye Wei looked towards the golden puppets and asked bewilderedly.
“These puppets are below returned prime level, but it takes more than an ordinary ten-star condensed prime Warrior to bring them down…” Hong Hai glanced at the puppets and said shamefully.
“We only have one chance, if we are defeated by the puppet, we won’t be able to get our hands on a stone later on. Everyone is playing it safe, we can’t afford to risk what might be our only chance to become a returned prime Warrior before we are too old to be recruited by powerful families.” Hong Hai’s eyes scanned across the group of initiates and explained slowly.
“I see…” Ye Wei nodded, “I am kind of in a hurry, you guys are welcome to watch and learn more about how these puppets fight.”
Ye Wei then casually walked through the initiates towards one of the golden puppets, mumbling as he was getting close. “Eight days, no room for mistakes.”
“Ye Wei is in a league of his own, he only just came here and he is just going to go in blind!? He might be stronger than all of us assume him to be!”
“What did you expect? He did beat the strongest three-star returned prime Warrior in the palace, he can surely handle a puppet.”
The initiates looked at Ye Wei with respect and admiration.
Confident about his four-star returned prime level body strength, Ye Wei walked up to one of the golden puppets and just after a brief look struck without much hesitation.
Just before his fist was about to connect onto the puppet, a beam of blue light shot from afar and destroyed the puppet before Ye Wei’s eyes.
His fist flew through a screen of golden dust.
The runic array of the palace did not react to the puppet’s destruction.
‘Whoever did this had already gotten a stone in the past!’ Ye Wei frowned and looked towards the blue beam’s source.
His glare landed on Shi Kun, Qian Dao and Zhou Huan, the trio pridefully stared back at Ye Wei with disdainful smiles on their faces.
“They are Qing Mu’s men, what is their business here?” Hong Hai mumbled, frowned in confusion as he recognized the trio.
“They are all Black Dragon listers above four-star returned prime level, and they’ve certainly gotten a stone in the past!”
Ye Wei narrowed his eyes and glared at the trio. ‘They are here to do nothing else than give me a hard time.’
‘There are plenty more puppets here.’ He exhaled slowly, trying to suppress his anger and decided to find himself another puppet instead of confronting the trio.
Just when Ye Wei was close to the next puppet, another blue beam flew past him and reached the target before his fist did.
“Oh, sorry about that. I accidentally broke those puppets!” Shi Kun spoke in a dry tone, ‘Newbies these days… It’s stupid enough to pick a fight with Qing Mu as a veteran. I would not want to be in his position the slightest.’
“Shi Kun, you are just so clumsy sometimes.” Zhou Huan added in a comedic tone.
“I don’t know, my Qi is just very active today. I couldn’t control it.” Shi Kun shrugged and pulled a guilty looking face.
“They are picking on Ye Wei…”
“These veterans are shameless, they have already gotten their stones, they don’t gain anything from being difficult!”
It wasn’t hard for anyone to guess that the veterans were intentionally giving Ye Wei a hard time.
“I can feel it! All three of them are four-star returned prime Warriors, Ye Wei is in trouble, they should be higher ranked than Jin Kui by quite a bit.”
“They really are trying their best to put us down!”
The initiates were angered by the injustice, sharing the same hatred in their hearts.
“Ye Wei, they won’t go away before you do, and I think they might even force you to leave this realm. If you want to participate the tournament in good condition, you just have to accept that today is not the day you get your stone...” Hong Hai urgently told Ye Wei. “We would love to fight by your side but I don’t think it will be any help…”
‘Leave?’ Ye Wei knitted his brows, ‘if I leave now, they will think I am scared of them. From there, these self-centered veterans will just push all of the initiates even harder.’
“I have great respect for all the veterans here. If you three think otherwise, you have misunderstood my intentions that other day.” Ye Wei lifted his head and said sincerely, but he had a chilling glare as if he already knew the trio did not wish to end the dispute peacefully.
“I have been here for less than a month, I don’t even know any of you. If you were displeased by something I’ve done I would like to know how we can resolve our differences.” He continued.
“What do you mean? You turned the palace’s traditions upside down and showed all of us you have the potential to rival Chi Wuxiu, small players like us dare not to cross you.” Shi Kun stared down pridefully and said in a sarcastic voice. “We are just taking a walk, all three of us like how the clouds look in here. You’ve got a problem with that?”
‘Without a doubt, you are a genius among geniuses, but if the Spiritualist doesn’t want you to have an easy life, there is nothing we can do to chance it.’ Shi Kun thought to himself.
Although the trio knew about Ye Wei’s talent and admired the initiate to an extent, they knew they must follow Qing Mu’s orders if they wished to survive the competitive palace.
“Are you three sure about this? If you want to be difficult, I will too.” Ye Wei’s face turned dark as the golden runic patterns on his bones came alive.
“It frustrates me how far you three are going without a reason.” Ye Wei clenched his fist, warm waves of energy began to leak out from his skin. “I do not bully others and I do not tolerate bullies.”
“Oh, look at that, I’ve never seen an angry genius before. I think my legs are getting soft, it’s a scary sight don't you think?” Shi Kun glared at Ye Wei and said sarcastically.
Qian Dao and Zhou Huan began to laugh hysterically.
“Let it out, it’s not healthy to hold a grudge.” Zhou Huan narrowed his eyes and beckoned.
“I will remember what you three did today. And I would like to see what made you guys think you can stop me from getting a stone.” Ye Wei glared at the trio, although uncertain about winning a fight against the four-star returned prime Warriors, he was certain he would be able to get a stone while keeping them occupied.
Ye Wei ignored the trio entirely, rushed to a puppet at his top speed while his clone headed to another. ‘I am here to get things done, I have no interest in fighting any of you.’
“Let’s go boys!” Shi Kun grunted and his eyes turned cold.
Just as Shi Kun ordered, Qian Dao launched themselves towards Ye Wei and Zhou Huan to the clone, while Shi Kun stayed at the backline to control the assault.