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 Season 2

Episode 33

(A stunning smile from Yan)

Pushing himself to run faster, Zen raced uphill more alert than ever.     

Several people pursued close behind, intent on capturing Zen.     

Wanting to block Zen's path, one of his stalkers took a detour, at a stunning speed.     

"Ha ha! Someone, like you, at the marrow refining level, from the Cloud Sect provides perfect amusement for us!" The robust man in his thirties had a sturdy looking face, his skin tone was dark, and his eyes looked menacing, "Out of my way!" warned Zen in a sharp voice, while he was calm and collected, ready to land a fatal blow on the man, who was supposedly at the nature level.     

The man's voice dripped with cynicism as he said, "You are at my mercy! If it suits my wishes, you will lose your life right now at my command, in Hell Mountain."  

As their leader dealt with Zen, the man's companions stopped to watch.  

   "Last warning, move aside or die where you stand!" threatened Zen.     

Feeling superior to Zen, the man dismissed the warning.     

Extending his large, black hands, the man attempted to grasp Zen.   

  If he fell victim to this man, Zen would suffer greatly!    

 In a flash, Zen used his soul to form a thorn as his opponent bore down on him.     

"Spiritual thorn strike!"    

As the weapon struck the man, he cried out in excruciating pain.     

As his scream rang out, Zen hurled the broken flying knife at the man.   



 Like a dart, the sharp weapon shot through the air, and struck the target. The knife punctured his chest, exiting his back and stuck in the rock behind him. 

    Then Zen pulled, bringing his lethal weapon swinging back.     

Zen destroyed his enemy with a single clean thrust, not leaving a drop of blood on his blade.     

His weapon returned to his hand, and Zen glared at the remaining pursuers before climbing uphill.     

As a nature creature, the man died wondering how he'd been humbled or beaten by Zen, especially considering that Zen was only at the marrow refining level.    

 Actually, the man lacked any defenses which resulted in his defeat. If he had regarded Zen as a threat, he wouldn't have been defeated so miserably.   

At the sight of their fallen leader, the remaining attackers were too cowardly to give chase to Zen.     

They decided Zen was a formidable opponent.     

On second thought, they turned tail and ran.     

Smirking at their cowardice, Zen resumed his climb until he reached the mountain, where the buildings were constructed of black rock, most of which were shabby, and neglected, giving them an oppressive sense.    

 Inside the buildings, Zen found many people sitting, reclining, meditating and some were mumbling respectively.    

 Despite being exiled to Hell Mountain, they applied themselves to refining their martial arts skills and paid no attention to Zen's arrival.   

Sauntering, Zen glanced carefully and deliberately at each person...    

 High up on the zenith of Hell Mountain, the waves of the lava flowing bubbled, and there was an overwhelming heat that rose from the abyss.     

A platform loomed out over the ravine    and sitting on the precarious edge was a young girl dressed in pink, fearlessly swinging her slim legs, despite the dizzying height.     

Her brows arched elegantly, her beauty was unsurpassed, and her increasing loneliness mirrored the look in her haunted gaze.     

From behind her, a figure raced in her direction from the entrance.     

As he sprinted, plumes resembling exquisite, pink lotuses sprang from the ground.     

The person was vaulting over the lotuses.   

Such a sight would have onlookers thinking of magic and power if there had been any.    

 It took little effort or time for the form running to reach the platform.    

 Continuing to gaze into the crescent, the girl didn't turn around to see who had joined her, and instead said in an annoyed tone, "There isn't any reason for you to visit me! Can't you take a hint?"   

 She could hear the steady footfall as the person approached her from behind.   

  An impressive looking youth dressed in purple, who appeared to be about twenty, composed himself before replying, "I'm here on behalf of your cousin, who cannot gain admission of Hell Mountain."    

"Perrin is accustomed to not seeing me, making your justification lame!" grunted the girl rudely, without the slightest consideration or respect for the youth.   

  The young man in purple remained in high spirits as he removed an article hidden close to his chest within his robes, "Perrin asked me to deliver this, in hopes it would please you."  

Turning, the girl's eyes lit up as she stared at the article.    

 In an instant, her best mannerisms were presented to the youth.     

The young man was entranced by her unearthly beauty, even though he was highly refined and well disciplined.    

 As if she was a fairy, she moved from the edge and gracefully took the offered gift.     

Essentially, the item was merely an ordinary slingshot that was carved from elm.     

Though worn and outdated looking, the slingshot was her treasured possession.     
"Perrin hoped this would make you smile, so, when he hears about the pure joy lighting your features it'll thrill him!" 

commented the young man, a pleased smile touching his face at the sight of her lifted spirits.   

This lithe, spirited girl of unearthly beauty was none other than Zen's younger sister, Yan, imprisoned in the confines of Hell Mountain.     

The youth's name was Vale, Billy's brother, who was a descent of the noble Wang Clan as well as a major disciple at the Cloud Sect.     

Because of his honorable position, Vale wore purple robes and was able to visit Hell Mountain.    

 "When I was a child, my older brother made this slingshot for me," stated Yan as she stared at the slingshot in her hands. She looked at Vale and asked, "and messages? Are there any from Perrin? I am especially interested in any recent news about Zen...."    

Eagerly asking questions, and looking for details, Yan went from icy, short, clipped responses to chatty and nearly gushing ones, as Vale volleyed each one happily responding to her.   

"Perrin relayed that your family is doing well, and Zen is doing well. But as he lives at the Cloud Sect, he can only contact the family with letters at times," responded Vale Wang smiling.    

 Continuing to focus her attention on the slingshot, Yan said, "For the time being, since Perrin isn't entitled to visit Hell Mountain's summit, you are kindly requested to deliver messages for us." 

   "There's no need even to mention it! I'm ready to take on the job because of our friendship!" Any chance to be near to Yan was a stroke of good luck to Vale Wang.     
Appreciative of Vale's willingness, Yan nodded, and then picked up a stone off the platform, fixing it to the string and shooting it out over the crescent.     

As though it was a dart, Yan shot the stone, sending it soaring in the direction of the target. Unfortunately, it collapsed halfway over the chasm in a downward curve.   

Despite her shot missing its mark, Yan looked happier than ever - a sharp contrast to her earlier quiet mood.   

  Taking advantage of Yan's rare bright spirit, Vale sat and chatted more before he departed, satisfied that everything had gone well.     

Two men were waiting eagerly for Vale to return from within Hell Mountain.    

 "Did you meet with Yan yet, Vale?" asked Billy as he approached Vale, curious about how Yan was faring. Following close to Billy was Perrin.     

Passing Billy, Vale walked up to Perrin and patted him on the shoulder as he said, "Oh, Perrin! It was such a pleasure seeing Yan smile!"    

Perrin nodded appreciatively and replied, "Yan must be pining for her family. Your frequent visits will lift her spirits!"  

"Of course, I'll keep visiting her for short periods. Now, let's go! We're celebrating tonight!" Vale was evidently happy and then left with the rest.

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