Chapter 427: Th-this…

    Chapter 427: Th-this...

    She'd seen it. The angel knew that her opponent was using the powers of Taiji. His mastery over the skill allowed him to face her strike and deflected it to the shields.

    Zeus was just this kind of person, completely different once he put on the mask. But the Zeus she knew was powerful - strong enough to survive a confrontation with the Angel of War, Michael. Why, then, was the energy he released today so weak by comparison? None but her saw, for the golden lightning hid everything from the view of the audience.

    Lan Jue lifted his right hand, which crackled with faint arcs of golden lightning. The air felt charged, moments away from another blast of his Forest of Lightning.

    "Do you want to continue?" He asked.

    Sariel shook her head and sighed. She fixed him with a look. "I forfeit." It was the right choice, she was already down to forty percent of her power, much less than she'd need to face Lan Jue and his Taiji mastery. There was no path to victory for her.

    Lan Jue smiled a small smile, and nodded. Sariel - representative of the Pontiff's Citadel - was removed from the tournament lists.

    Despite the theatrics, few were surprised by the fight. After all, Zeus had a reputation that probably served him better than his Discipline did. His hatred for evil was legendary, as was his status as king of mercenaries and one of the Four Divine Monarchs. Defeating Sariel wasn't any great accomplishment for him. The same was true for all of his previous fights as well. People would have been much more animated if Sariel had won.

    Lan Jue knew he'd won victory only by the skin of his teeth. He had only just managed to deflect Sariel's attack, but only by joining his dual Disciplines and Taiji skills together. If he hadn't, than he most likely would have lost to Sariel due to her superior rank. This was also just a friendly competition. In a life or death confrontation, who knows what would have happened. He wasn't without a contingency plan, but he was saving that for when there was really no other option.

    Man! Being second rank was a real pain in the ass! He longed for those passed days when he could tangle with the best of them.

    Chu Cheng's voice called to him. "You're down-right insidious."

    Lan Jue answered with an impatient sniff. "I think you meant 'clever!' Anyway, how much can I trust the advice of someone who got trounced so badly? You lost, go home and rest."

    "Let's go." It was another voice that answered from somewhere behind Lan Jue. Before he could even turn around, a hand had him by the crook of his elbow and was pulling him away. Chu Cheng, who had wanted to answer with some snide remark, now only watched with his mouth hanging open.

    He wasn't alone, either. Every Adept around looked at them with the same stunned expression. Lan Jue jumped at the unexpected contact, and had his complaints silenced when he saw it was the Pharmacist who had grabbed him. He nodded wordlessly and followed her.

    The second round had just finished. The ruckus from the audience didn't start to swell until Lan Jue had already been dragged a few steps.


    It wouldn't have been such a big deal if this had occurred before her fight with Chu Cheng. Now, though, she'd captured everyone's attention with her power. Then, first thing she did after her fight was drag Zeus from the resting area. Could this mean they were a pair?

    The dragon lady swept her eyes over the crowd, and just like that they all fell deathly silent. Where her gaze fell, a chill followed. She didn't look at any one person, but the whole audience felt like she was staring right in to their soul. It was unsettling, to say the least. When her face pointed their way, whole sections busily tried to look everywhere but at her. There weren't any more jeers directed at Lan Jue.

    Suddenly is struck Lan Jue. He knew what she was up to; taking care of him! It was certainly a strange sensation, being protected by a woman. Strange, but heart-warming. Lan Jue and his brother had been orphans ever since he could remember. He had no memory of his parents, only the old instructor who took care of them 1. Since he'd never had a mother, he never felt this sensation before. Perhaps that was why he had such a soft spot for sensitive, compassionate women. It's why he loved Hera.


    Su Xiao Su shot a sideways glance to Qianlin, seated beside her. She looked a little pale, but otherwise perfectly composed.

    "Aren't you jealous?" Xiaosu asked. "What are they doing?"

    Qianlin answered with a smile. "Jealousy is the most pathetic and self-abasing reaction a woman can have. If it means he no longer loves me and has an interest in someone else, then I must not be charming enough. Not enough to keep him." With that said, Qianlin rose to her feet and left. Lan Jue's fight was over, there was no other reason for her to here.

    She was a smart girl. She knew what the Pharmacist was doing.

    Lan Jue had already told her about the situation between him, the Pharmacist and Jun'er. There was nothing for her to be suspicious about. That didn't mean she wasn't adversely affected by the image of her pulling him out in front of the crowd. She had faith in her estimations.


    The Pharmacist didn't retract her hand until they were out of the sports arena. Only then did she give him a little space.

    "Thank you." Lan Jue's appreciation was sincere.

    She smiled. "You should."

    "Big sis-!" The words came out before he could stop them. The Pharmacist's eyes slowly went wide.


    He shook his head. "I don't know... I just, suddenly had to call you that. Like a protective big sister."

    The extraordinarily powerful woman snorted a laugh. "How old are you? Who says I'm your elder?"

    He coughed in embarrassment. "Really not important. It just blurted out."

    "It's not so bad having a younger brother," she mused with a grin. "Of course you mustn't speak like that when Jun'er is around. I'm counting on you to keep up appearances."

    He smiled reassuringly. "Never around Jun'er. Going from father to uncle is a demotion, don't you think? Unless..."

    "Unless what?" She asked.

    He looked at her again with that sober gaze. "Well, unless her real father comes back."

    There was a visible jerk from the Pharmacist. Her mouth turned turn at the bitter memories. "If that day were to come, I could die and meet the afterlife willingly."

    1. Earlier chapters - very early, unless I'm mistaken - referred to Lan Jue's teacher as 'father' or 'gramps'. The word they used to describe him - lao fu - can have these and other meanings. This is the first time it is explicitly stated that 'lao fu' is Jue Di, and that he isn't related. It was probably inferred and I misread it - my bad. Earlier translations eluding to a 'father' or grandfather are wrong. We now know that Lan Jue and his brothers are orphans. Sorry conspiracy theorists.
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