Four people were standing silently in a room furnished with lavish furniture and carpets. The evening sun quietly illuminated the room as they stood there watching Rigel, who was sleeping peacefully on the bed.
The chief physician sighed as he completed his examination. He then bowed silently to the three people and left the room with a serious expression on his face. It didn’t matter who, everyone would have become anxious by the atmosphere created by the trio.
Those three people were at the pinnacle of power and authority within the Xia sect. The three people included two Violet-robed elders and a Black-robed Patriarch.
With white skin and curly hair, a man in his late forties slowly moved forward until he stood beside Rigel. He had a frown on his face as he saw the calm expression on Rigel’s face. He snorted coldly and turned around to face the Patriarch and the other elder. He was Elder Ley.
Elder Ley looked at the patriarch and said in a respectful voice, “Patriarch SilverLeaf, this boy named Rigel has been convicted of murdering Diaz, a Spark formation stage disciple of our sect. As I see it, the only reason why we should even be saving his life is to execute him ourselves for his crimes.”
Ley then proceeded to look at Feng and continued in a cold voice, “However, Elder Feng seems to disagree with my opinion, Lord Patriarch.”
Elder Feng standing behind Patriarch SilverLeaf narrowed his eyes as he heard Ley. Unlike Ley, Feng was already in his late sixties. Two decades worth of experience had made him a lot more complacent and thoughtful.
He shook his head and said in a calm voice, “Elder Ley, I assume you have misunderstood my words. I stated that there is no proof to prove your theory, and thus, the boy cannot be convicted of the crime.
If you can be so sure of your opinion, tell me, Elder Ley, how can a kid who has only completed his awakening kill an expert in early Spark formation stage.”
Ley shook his head as he heard Feng and said, “Aren’t you too kind to a foreigner Elder Feng? Besides, how can you be so certain that this kid isn’t hiding his strength?”
Feng’s eyes finally revealed a sharp glint as he said in a cold voice, “I checked his internal power myself. Don’t tell me; you doubt my judgment, Elder Ley.”
The black-robed Patriarch SilverLeaf finally opened his mouth and said in a calm voice, “It is impossible for this boy to kill Diaz, Ley. However, that is true only if he is your average cultivator. We will never reach the truth through assumptions.
All your questions will be answered eventually but until then, find me the culprit who tried to assassinate this boy within my sect.”
Ley frowned and said in a cold voice, “Patriarch, it is painfully obvious that he has inflicted those wounds himself. He is trying to fool us. He…….”
Ley stopped mid sentence as an enormous pressure came like a raging storm and suppressed him to the point that his cultivation base was trembling. Patriarch SilverLeaf slowly turned around and looked at Ley with cold eyes.
His eyes radiated a chilling intent which surpassed anything ever seen by Ley in his lifetime. His aura was like a hurricane which assaulted his senses and made him stutter. His figure was like a towering castle which made him unable to open his mouth.
Patriarch SilverLeaf snorted coldly and said in a low voice, “In the hundred and forty years I have lived, I haven’t seen many with the conviction to injure themselves to this state, to merely escape a predicament where they aren’t sure that they would be trapped.
Ley, you will find me the culprit, and you will forget about this incident. This boy is also a victim. My sect is not a cruel refugee camp. The minute he entered the sect, worthy or not, he was a member of this sect. Don’t make me repeat myself, Ley.”
Ley stood there still with a pale face. He then bowed silently and said, “Junior understands.” Saying that, he immediately left the room leaving SilverLeaf and Feng behind.
SilverLeaf turned around to see Rigel. He slowly sighed and thought to himself, “Poison Lady, Bing Oil, Ganola Seeds, Joint Keig. Every poison in his bag can be lethal to a Qi condensation stage cultivator, but you haven’t started cultivating. Just who are you, kid?”
Deep within the mysterious space, Rigel narrowed his eyes and asked in a cold voice, “Tell me, Tal, if you are the guardian of this locker and this space is the locker, What is locked away within it?”
Tal’s face flickered as he heard Rigel. He snorted coldly and said in a deadly voice, “Brat, know your station. With the power you now command, you can’t even sense the presence of this locker, and you dare question me.”
Rigel smiled inside his heart as he heard Tal. Every person has something akin to a weakness. Find it, exploit it and you will soon be able to exploit the very person.
However, Rigel didn’t say anything. He only looked at Tal with deep, meaningful eyes. Rigel was certain that he wasn’t going to get anything out of Tal, so he chose to maintain his silence.
In that situation staying silent had a lot more merits than investigating with words. By speaking Rigel would expose his inner thoughts, it is highly likely that Tal would be able to see his inner mind. However, by maintaining his silence, he was throwing Tal into jeopardy.
Rigel was playing a psychological war. Some of the most intense battles ever fought were more of a psychological warfare rather than physical battles.
Tal looked at Rigel’s calm face and smiled lightly. His smile was very vague, but it was an all knowing smile. He was showing Rigel that he was aware of Rigel’s scheme and wasn’t going to fall for that.
Rigel clenched his fist as he saw Tal’s smile. That instant, both Rigel, and Tal understood one fact. They weren’t going to win this game of words.
Usually, the one who takes the first step is always the one who loses the battle, because he was giving the enemy a chance to see through his plans and strike on his weaknesses. However, what would happen in a war between two generals who are adept in psychological warfare?
These generals usually battle with one another using probes and decoys. They rarely ever use all their pawns. Such a fight would be intense, dangerous and far above others. It was the only battle that would completely and utterly crush an enemy in body and soul.
Even though Rigel and Tal exchanged very few words, they understood a lot more about each other. A few words taught them a lot more than a few months of battling.
Rigel saw through Tal’s weakness. Tal saw through Rigel’s plan. Tal tried to kill Rigel while Rigel tried to fool Tal. Though each sought to gain an upper hand, both of them failed in doing so.
Both of them were playing with each other at a level beyond fist fights. The one who broke the silence ultimately was Rigel. He did so because he knew that he didn’t have much time left.
“You have admitted that you tried to kill me, and you said that I command nothing but a puny amount of power Tal.” Rigel spoke in a calm voice and continued, “You clearly stated that you have enough strength to kill me, and you have shown your true colors by plotting against me.
But, you haven’t tried to kill me even for a single second in this space, the locker which you guard, the locker which should be your domain. I wonder why Tal?” Rigel asked with a cold look in his eyes.
Tal’s eyes were cold as he heard Rigel’s words. He didn’t speak out, but he snorted coldly. There was nothing unnatural about this action except for the small amount of irritation which could be felt deep in his eyes.
Rigel didn’t miss that little glint of irritation. People get irritated when they are pushed into a corner. People get intimidated when they see something far and above their reach. Rigel was probing to find the one fact which can ease his tension and allow him to experiment more.
Rigel laughed lightly and said in a cocky voice, “Don’t tell me, you can’t kill me in here. Can you, Tal?”
Tal sighed slightly and narrowed his eyes. He shook his head and said in a cold voice, “You need a lot more experience to fool me into your schemes, Rigel. I would have liked to play with me more bit looks like its time for you to wake up.”
Rigel was surprised by Tal’s words, but before he could speak more, his mind spun and the next instant, he opened his eyes only to see a faint image of Elder Feng seated beside him.
Back in the mysterious white space, Tal’s face changed from frown to surprise to delight. He laughed loudly and walked forward. With each step, he began to emit a white light which brightened until space cracked before him.
One crack multiplied into a hundred cranks and then they turned into a million cracks. The mysterious white world began to tremble until a part of it directly collapsed leading to a black world within.
Tal walked forward until he reached a huge boulder. He bowed deeply and said in a respectful voice, “Master.”
“How is he?” A voice resounded from atop the boulder.
“A little naive and a little cocky, he is too presuming and has yet to understand the consequences of his words, but it looks like he was nurtured well in his life. He isn’t perfect, but he certainly is interesting master.” Tal said with a calm expression.
A little laugh responded in the air as a man came into view. He was floating above the boulder with close eyes. His eyelids slowly opened revealing his pitch black eyes.
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