Hollow Dragon Sect

Externalize and Pulse

Chapter 3: Jiao Xuan and Xiao Ming

”Xiao Ming? ”

Xiao Ming and Jiao Xuan were childhood friends. They grew up together in Mud Rain village, a village located within the territory of the Ethereal River Sect. Right from a young age, they had always held feelings for one another. One day, they happened to see a man fly past their village, and since that day, Jiao Xuan was obsessed with cultivators.

One day, underneath a Fir tree, Jiao Xuan made a declaration in front of Xiao Ming.

”Minger, one day I am going to become a very powerful cultivator. I will soar across the skies like a bird and even give you and the rest of the villagers a ride. I will become the strongest in the River lands. ” A young Jiao Xuan said while waving a stick in his hand like a sword.

”That amazing Xiao Xuan, the strongest cultivator eh? I won lose to you either, I will become the strongest female cultivator. But you know the River lands aren that large compared to the rest of the world right? ” A pretty young girl, barely into puberty confidently said.

”Geh, of course, I know. ” The young boy replied embarrassingly.

”Do you? Xiao Xuan has always been bad at geography. ” The girl asked innocently but mockingly.

”I am not! ”

The girl giggled when she saw the boys face puffed up in embarrassment.

”Lets make a bet then. Lets see who will become the strongest! ” The boy shouted.

”Oh, so what are the stakes then? What do I gain if you lose? ” The girl asked with her chin resting on her hand.

”Anything, I will fulfill any of your wishes if you win. ” The boy replied.

”Oh, okay, what about this, if I become the strongest, you will marry me. ” The girl giggled as she watched the boys reaction.

”What!? ” The boy blushed furiously.

”I said you would marry me if I win our bet. ” She repeated.

Jiao Xuan grumbled, jumped on his feet, and said. ”Deal, if you become the strongest, I will marry you. ”

”Deal, the last person to reach the market is the weakest person. ” Xiao Ming said before running off into the distance.

”Wait, Xiao Ming you cheater. ”

Their childhood was a lovely one. When they both reached the age of fourteen, they both took the entrance examination of the Ethereal River Sect.

”Wow, who is that? A gold-ranked Earthly talent? I have never seen that before, aren they supposed to be rare. ” One of the examinees shouted in shock at the results of the talent test of another examinee, a beautiful young girl with purple and black hair.

”No. 2332 Xiao Ming, age fourteen, 8th level of the Warrior Gate Realm, gold-ranked earthly talent. Total score, 79/100, proceed straight to outer disciple circle. ”

”No.2334 Jiao Xuan, step forward. ” Jiao Xuan step into the formation circle that would test his talent.

Wow, Xiao Ming is amazing, a gold-ranked talent. What talent am I going to be, a gold rank too, or maybe even the legendary Heavenly rank talent? If my talent is on the same level as Minger, I might reach the eighties, allowing me to receive teachings directly from the sect master himself. ” Jiao Xuan was giddy as he stood within the circle which enveloped his body in light. This continued for about a minute before coming to an end.

”No.2334 Jiao Xuan, age fourteen, 8th level of the Warrior Gate Realm, clay-ranked earthly talent. Total score, 49/100, proceed to the common disciple area. ” The announcer announces.

”What!? ” Jiao Xuan said, his mind was in shambles and he was unable to comprehend what was happening.

”Pfft, Hahahaha. Clay ranked, how pathetic. I had no idea that clay-ranked talents even existed, lame, so lame. ” The crowd burst into laughter and began to mock the motionless Jiao Xuan.

”How is this possible? Minger, she had… ” Jiao Xuan muttered to himself in front of a crowd of people jeering at him.

”You, step aside for the next participant. ” The examiner said coldly.

”Yes, step off the formation, loser. ” Someone said within the crowd.

”Hey, you stop that. For his scores to still be enough for him to enter, it means his combat proficiency test scores were very high despite his age, unlike you old man. ” Another spectator reprimanded him.

Jiao Xuan stepped off the podium, still reeling in shock from what just happened. Xiao Ming walked up to him and said innocently.

”Don be sad Xiao Xuan, those talent tests mean nothing, being clay ranked means nothing. I have been with you for years and I know just how talented you are. You will rise through the ranks and shut up those fools that underestimate you, youll see. ”

You don understand, Xiao Ming. Talent matters, it denotes my attunement to Qi and the energy of Heaven and Earth. With a talent such as mine, it will be a long time before I can break the limiters on my brain and spine to break through the Knight Gate talk-less of feeling the energy of heaven and Earth to unlock my meridians and break through the Great-Knight gate. My future is doomed, I cannot become the strongest. ” Jiao Xuan smiled wryly at her even as he spiraled further into depression.

”Get out of here trash. What does a clay-rank like you think he is doing here? ”

”What is Senior Sister Xiao Ming doing with trash like you? ”

”I never want to see you anywhere near Minger. A rat like you doesn belong with her, an inner disciple. You are the type of person to scavenge and leave off of Junior Sister Xiao Ming, I never want to see you here again. ”

Jiao Xuan could still hear all their voices, jeering him, taunting him, telling him he was trash. They called him trash and beat him bloody, just for existing. His first few years in the sect were pure hell. With the aid of his hard work and some fortuitous encounter, he was able to break through the Knight Gate in just two years.

It came as a surprise to all his detractors. They began to spread rumors that Xiao Ming was giving him extra resources to aid him. On the night he broke through, he got a visit from Xiao Ming who he had not seen in six months. Jiao Xuan was about to tell her the news of his breakthrough when she said.

”Xiao Xuan, I have good news, Ive broken through to the Great Knight realm. ”

”What!? When? ” Jiao Xuan asked, unable to hide his jealousy.

”Huh? About three months ago. ” She replied.

”Three months ago, three months ago!!! Hahahaha ” Jiao Xuan began to laugh maniacally.

I am pathetic, aren I? I thought I could bridge the gap of talent but it was all a pipe dream. Despite all my struggles, going on missions outside the sect for resources, fighting tough opponents, and even consuming obscure drugs just to break through, it was all for naught. She simply just stayed and sat within her masters tower, eating high-grade alchemical products and now shes in the Great-Knight realm? This is unfair, life is unfair.

”Senior brother Cao Jin said that with the rate at which I am going, I will probably enter the Beast Realm in no time. It is at this stage where our meridians are open, that talent starts to shine. ” Xiao Ming continued talking without noticing the changes in Jiao Xuans expression.

”So you have to catch up Xiao Xuan, at the rate at which Im going, I will be the one to end up winning our bet. ”

Our bet?

”Our bet!? Screw you slut, after everything youve done. Did you think I wouldn realize that you have been sabotaging me all along? That your gold-ranked talent is a lie? This Senior Brother Cao Jin must be nice right, giving you all sorts of alchemical products that help further falsify your so-called talent. Tell me, what you lost to gain so many resources from him!? Let me see, maybe your virtue!? ” Jiao Xuan screamed in rage at her, causing her to turn pale with shock.

”I have no idea what you are talking about? ”

”I know Xiao Ming, everyone in the sect knows and they talk about it! ”

”So, you would rather believe a bunch of rumors than trust in me!! ”

”Goodbye Xuan, I hope the lack of my presence helps you regain some of that fragile ego of yours. ” Xiao Ming stood up and left Jiao Xuan sitting alone, sulking.

That was the last time he spoke to Xiao Ming. About a year later, the Ethereal River Sect got into a dispute with the Hollow Dragon Sect due to a young master from the Hollow Dragon Sect taking an interest in the sect masters daughter. The Ethereal River Sect did not stand a chance against them. The Hollow River Sect sent just one of their Inner sect elders and a bunch of outer sect elders and disciples and they were able to level the sect within just two days. The remaining months were spent hunting down the remnants.

During one such hunt, Jiao Xuan happened to get separated from the rest of his group and ended up in a ravine where he discovered the legacy of some expert. He stayed in the ravine for two months where he absorbed the legacy of the expert and raised his cultivation to a higher realm.

When he left the ravine, he was distraught to discover that Xiao Ming had been captured by the Hollow Dragon Sect. He regretted talking the way he did to her and resolved to rescue her.

”Xiao Ming… What is happening? ” Jiao Xuans mind was unable to comprehend why she was naked beneath some other guy.

”Don get distracted now! ” Ah Jun dashed toward Jiao Xuan when he saw an opening in his shock.

He held his short sword in a backhand grip and slashed at Jiao Xuans face.

”Shit! ” Jiao Xuan was able to snap out of it and dodged the attack aimed at his face but Ah Jun anticipated this move, switching his sword to his left hand, and aimed a stab at his stomach.

Panicking, Jiao Xuan grabbed the sword with his hand to stop him from piercing his stomach.

”Got you. ” Jiao Xuan raised his saber to bring it down with a lethal slash upon Ah Juns head.

Now, your only options are to let go of your sword and retreat or lose your head?

Fool, Ah Jun mocked Jiao Xuan internally. He did not let go of his sword but used it as leverage to close the distance between them and land a solid punch on Jiao Xuans face before he could react. Jiao Xuan was sent flying and landed just outside the room.

”Shit, ” Jiao Xuan stood up immediately and spat the blood formed in his mouth.

”Is that all you have got? Disappointing, but color me surprised, a few months ago, you were still in the Knight realm, were you not? I remember you from Belcrest Ravine. I had such a fun time chasing down you rats and spilling your guts, the screams of your friends were exquisite. You were the one that got away right? I would love to hear your screams too. ” Ah Jun licked his blade as he approached him.

Jiao Xuan immediately went blind with fury when the image of the cultivator who chased him and his friends down overlapped with Ah Juns face.

”It was you, I will kill you, bastard!!! ” Jiao Xuan dashed toward him in rage, in the process, shattering the wooden floor.

”Come little rat, I will whittle you down. ”

Vasha sat on the sidelines, watching the battle between them proceed. Look at Xiao Ming and then at the wrath-filled Jiao Xuan, and a wicked idea surfaced in his mind. A sinister smile formed on his handsome face, giving him the appearance of a creepy doll.

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