Chu Shen grinned. This one move had already broken their formations. This next move would kill them, though. The fog-like domain started to shudder. The bandits that were fleeing started shaking and stuttering. They looked as though they were being continuously hit by some invisible force.
Many of them started to cough up blood. Their mounts were weaker than them and were also suffering. Their Golden Eagles all let out screeches almost simultaneously before going into free fall.
Chu Shen smiled. <Song of the Universe: Solar Vibrations> was far more effective then he had thought it could be. The bandit leader was affected by his attack, but he still managed to flee on his mount. He spat out a mouthful of blood before wiping his mouth. The red bird below him was barely hanging on, but it still lived, its fear allowing it to fly away swiftly. The bandit leader sighed. “That was too close. Such terrifying might.”
A boom rang out behind him. Scared, the bandit leader turned to look at the Mountain Eagle that he had just attempted to rob. He saw Chu Shen charging towards him while stepping on Qi that solidified below him. It only took two seconds for Chu Shen to catch up to the bandit leader.
Realizing he couldn’t escape, the bandit leader drew his axe. “Don’t look down on me! If you want to kill me, you will have to pay the price!” Qi surged on the man’s axe as Chu Shen got closer.
Chu Shen sneered. He was finally going to get the chance to test out a technique he had just learned. His image shimmered, becoming indistinct. Suddenly, there was two of him. This was clearly <Stars Dance: Celestial Twin>!
The bandit leader was confused but swung his axe horizontally, slashing out at both versions of Chu Shen. The two images both shot upwards, avoiding the blow. They were like mirror images, performing the exact same move in perfect synchronicity. A disk of Qi formed in front of the image on the right of the bandit leader.
The disk drew the bandit leader’s attention. Immediately, he determined this was the real Chu Shen. The disk suddenly let out a flash of bright white light, blinding the man. Yet another move of the the Stars Dance set, <Stars Dance: Stars Light>!
The man was blinded now and randomly waved his axe around. Chu Shen used this opportunity to dash in, his hammer held in his hands. With his immense strength and speed, the hammer had terrifying force. It smashed into the bandit leader’s axe, turning it into dust from the immense vibrations caused by Song of the Universe. It continued without hindrance and directly struck the bandit leader’s head, smashing it like a rock smashing an egg.
Master Lang watched as his disciple single handedly took out the bandit group that had given him such trouble. Master Lang sighed. If the bandits had been on the ground, he would have easily been able to kill them. Instead, they had almost used his own domain to increase their killing power.
Chu Shen dashed back and landed beside his master. “Heh heh. How did I do, Master? I’m pretty strong now, right?”
A fist smashed into his head. “So dumb! You don’t even know how choose who is affected by your domain! I still have a lot to teach you, it seems.”
Chu Shen rubbed his head sullenly and grumbled. “It’s not my fault. You’ve been so busy with Lucas that you haven’t had time for me.”
Master Lang shrugged. “That’s because he is an artificing genius. You can only encounter them by luck.”
“Hey! You said I was an artificing genius too!”
“But Lucas is more of a genius than you.”
The Mountain Eagle continued on its way to the Chu branch Sect Misty Pass. The tamer guided the beast, ignoring the squabble of master and disciple. Inwardly, he was trembling with fright. Such might! Truly, one couldn’t judge by appearances.
Chu Shen and Master Lang were dropped off at the entrance of the Chu branch Sect Misty Pass. They walked past stores and houses. Smoke rose from the old forge Master Lang had used. The town hadn’t changed at all.
Some of the people recognized Master Lang and bowed, respectfully greeting him. As for Chu Shen, he had changed too much for those people to recognize him. Soon, they reached the Patriarch’s building. It was the same house that Chu Shen had grown up in under his dad.
Guards stood at the gate, protecting it from intruders. Upon seeing Master Lang, the guards stiffened. One of them drew his spear. “Halt, this is-”
Another guard quickly forced the spear downwards. “Shut up, you idiot.” He turned towards Master Lang. “Master Lang, I apologize, he is new and zealous in his duties. You may go in and see Chu Gui if you wish.”
Chu Gui was a relative of Chu Shen’s and they weren’t very close. Chu Gui was his father’s right hand man and was very busy with the details of the sect, so he had never had time to bond with Chu Shen.
Walking briskly, they went to the Patriarch’s office. Master Lang knocked on the door. “Patriarch Gui, it is Artificer Lang.”
The door was opened by a graying man with black hair. He smiled and bowed to Master Lang. “Ah, Artificer Lang. It has been a while since our marvelous crafter visited us.”
Master Lang bowed in return. “Indeed. Chu Shen received word from his father that he would meet us here tomorrow. I decided to ask if we could stay here for the night.”
Chu Gui was startled, turning to look at Chu Shen. “Oh my. I am sorry Chu Shen, it has been a long time since I last saw you. My, how you’ve grown! This was your house before and I have no reason to deny your staying here now. Please, I can show you to your old chambers. Your dad insisted I keep them closed before he left on his journey around the continent.”
As Chu Gui guided them to Chu Shen’s old room, he continued talking about his dad. “Honestly, I have no idea why Chu Bai decided to leave. It’s just like him though, free spirited as the wind. I’m actually quite relieved since I hadn’t seen that side of him since your mother died.”
He remembered who he was talking to and stopped. “I’m sorry Chu Shen, I spoke without thinking.”
Chu Shen waved his hand. “Don’t think much of it, Patriarch Gui. I didn’t know my mom very well, she died when I was too young to remember.” He chuckled internally. Very soon, he would be meeting his mom anyways.
Chu Gui didn’t talk until he reached an old wooden door. “This is your room. Master Lang, I can guide you to your own if you want.”
Master Lang nodded. “Thank you Chu Gui, you honor me.”
They departed, leaving Chu Shen to his memories. He walked into the room and sat down on his bed, a cloud of dust billowing up as he plopped down. He coughed. “Man, has it really been that long?”
A surge of Qi from the roof above him startled Chu Shen. The roof exploded as black Qi in the shape of a hand broke through the roof. A man dressed in black robes swooped downwards, landing in front of Chu Shen.
His face was covered in shadows cast by his cloak. Sinister laughter rang out as he stared at Chu Shen. “Hehehe! To think the young master Chu Shen took the bait, even if you are earlier than expected. It seems as though we can finally regain that wood element girl. Hehehe!”