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(None of your business)

When morning came, Zen got out of bed and bathed.     

Though he had a really strong body, he still took a lot of blows from Jesse's persistent attacks.     

But, to say that he had to worry about the inflicted wounds was an overstatement—they really weren't that deep.     

Moreover, Zen gained more than he had lost from the fight he had with Jesse. He had learned how to defend himself from his opponent and he had gone over the strategies he could harness the next time another opponent chose to battle him.     

In addition, Zen's body absorbed the strong forces within the Destruction Hoop which further refined his marrow in the grand scheme of things.     

In the process, the fight had taken away almost every impurity that resided in Zen's marrow; he kept this up and soon he would be reaching the peak of the marrow refining level.   

Zen wasn't particularly celebrating anything just yet, as he was not impressed with whatever milestone he had taken.    

 If he were in a backwoods county, he would have stirred something else entirely with the abilities he currently honed.     

But things were different in the Cloud Sect; it was normal for people to peak at their marrow refining level. Besides, there were so many disciples from noble clans rivaling you all the time.    

 Zen thought all of these things while preparing and could not help but get a little worried, but this did not stop him from leaving the confines of his own room to go for the ridge.     

As he walked out of the door, there was an extensive amount of outer disciples that greeted Zen very warmly along the way.   

They knew Zen not as the new disciple that he used to be. They had already been certain that this man was going to make a huge reputation for himself after he defeated Leo who was ranked thirtieth among all the outer disciples of Drizzle Peak.     

What they had not anticipated was the immediate rise of Zen and no one had foreseen that it would happen in this way.   

  After everything, Zen did not get into the charts; nothing proved his worth on paper, but everyone had it plastered in their minds that the man Zen should have ranked first in the outer disciples of Drizzle Peak.     

This was what he impressed in people. Zen left their presence to find Aura, who was waiting for him.     

Zen returned from the south unscathed; Aura was sure that he must have been loaded up with trophies of his trip.   

She had seen Zen's fight with Jesse only to realize that she had been underestimating the man.     

Zen had been so persistent to go to the south. Because of this, Aura had thought Zen was being impatient—if he went to hunt blade locusts, it would be a risk.     Now that she thought about this, she assumed that Zen had been confident in himself.   

  She remained perplexed as to why Zen was so anxious to earn points.     

She thought, how many points could one gather just from one trip to the south?     How many locust blades he could kill? One thousand? Or maybe two thousand blade locusts?     

Zen could probably get one, if not two, hundred points just from doing this, but what good would he gain from doing that?   

At Zen's state, she thought, did a number of points like that really matter?     

It was in this moment that Zen arrived, knocking on the door. "Master Su, I am here to report to you," said Zen who then entered the room.    

 When Aura saw him, she was only kind enough to give him a cold nod with her grim expression on her face.     

Just because Zen made it out alive, did not mean she had already forgiven him for his carelessness. She knew better than to just forgive such a reckless decision.    

 "Look who we have here," Aura would boldly say. "An outer disciple of Drizzle Peak has joined the blade locusts hunt, but how many of these beasts can he actually kill? Did this man take a hundred? Maybe two hundred?" She said all of these things in such a sarcastic tone, clearly mocking the man she had no mercy for.   

Zen knew that Aura had no tolerance for what he had done and simply let out a sigh to express his frustration. She was still angry after all. On top of that, it was never as if Aura had a great hold of her temper in the first place.     

All the helpless man could do was silently take the crystal cores out of his space ring; these crystal cores were from ordinary blade locusts.     

One, two, three…    

A small mountain of crystal cores were piled on the ground.     

"I counted them again yesterday just to be sure. All in all, I've gathered 4, 626 common crystal cores." Zen said wearing a smile, knowing that the amount he presented would move Aura.    

 Aura smirked and said, "Four thousand, huh? And you're already cocky enough to think that this is an impressive number? This only gets you two hundred points. This is just like I expected."  

She crossed her arms, bur before she could turn away Zen took out more crystal cores from his space ring and made a new pile next to the first one he had made.     

"I also acquired higher kinds of these crystal cores from blade locusts officers."    

The arc on Aura's thin lips grew steeper when Zen once again exceeded her expectations. With the additional crystals, he would get five hundred points, which was not a small number for an outer disciple.     

"You got five hundred points now, but what of it? Five hundred points won't get you very far here in Cloud Sect."    

Her eyes narrowed and she still hadn't lost the sarcastic tone she was talking with. Despite her high status, Aura was still a capricious-natured woman.   

  It was not long until Zen took out a larger crystal core from his space ring.  

 This purple crystal core was from the queen blade locust he had killed and now was glowing softly in the palm of his hand.     

It was then that Aura's face drastically took another expression.     

She knew full well that the queen blade locust was not any man's battle; she had killed such twice herself and she knew that it was not an easy task.    

 At Zen's level, he could easily kill those ordinary blade locusts. Now he had killed thousands of ordinary blade locusts and more than two hundred blade locusts leaders, but it didn't mean anything except that Zen was diligent.    

 But, acquiring a crystal core from a queen blade locust shed an entirely new light on who Zen really was and what he could really achieve.     

In front of a queen blade locust, a man's options were limited; Zen could do nothing more than run from the queen as fast as he could to save himself .

Was it a gift from someone who had actually killed a queen blade locust? Aura wondered.    

 But that was rather unlikely. The crystal core of the queen blade locust was worth a thousand points, which meant two thousand cubic crystals; this was a fortune to anyone.     

If it was a gift, this man must be mad to give it away to a powerless and helpless guy like Zen.    

 "Crystal core of the queen blade locust. Who gave it to you?" Aura asked with an incomprehensible expression on her face.    

 "No one. I found it." Zen replied with a smile.     

Aura believed not a word of that. She snorted at his smiling face and extended her hand to ask for the man's disciple card and task token. "Hand them over," Aura commanded.   

Zen meekly handed the cards to her.     Aura marked his task card. After this, her slender white fingers skimmed over his disciple card, where Zen saw a light flash. Then she held it out to him. "Done," Aura said, "I've written one thousand five hundred points in your card."   

 Zen's face brightened in excitement as he reached out his hand for it.     

His fingers almost touched the card before Aura withdrew her hand and smiled. "You can have this, but you can only have it under one condition."    

That brought Zen up short. "What is it?" he asked, mildly irritated and let down.  

   "Tell me what you're going to do with all these points," Aura demanded.     

It was not the first time that she had asked Zen this question. In fact, she had already asked this when Zen took on the hunting task.   

Last time she had this question for him, Zen danced around it, careful not to spill anything that he shouldn't.   

  He was still not willing to give the woman any answers. He shook his head as a notion of not wavering to the will of Aura, only saying, "'I've got something important that I have to do." 

   Consumed by her eagerness and curiosity, Aura kept asking. 'What is it? Tell me. Maybe I could help." She twirled the card in her hands with a blank expression on her face, showing her expectancy for an answer right then and there.   

  "This is something I need to do on my own, Master Su. Not to be disrespectful, but it is none of your business. It has nothing to do with you and I do not wish to involve you."    

He did all of the things that he did to reunite with his sister, Yan. Zen had no desire to involve anyone else in this.   

"You!' Aura finally lost her grip and puffed her cheeks with her eyebrows arching.   

Zen didn't relent. Reaching out, he said in a stiff voice, "Give my disciple card back, Master Su."

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