The news of John’s draconic transformation spread throughout the continent like wildfire, reaching the farthest corners of the continent in a matter of hours. While many knew about the dark horse known as John who had turned the Three Dao tournament on its head, that had been before the transformation art he had revealed.
Everyone knew of the strong underdog who constantly defied expectations, but the overwhelming opinion was that he was still faking his strength, and that his illusory test score was still false. After all, his score was the highest in tournament history, even higher than Ji’Hans, making it almost impossible to believe.
That confidence in his score being false shattered as the news of his newly revealed powers spread. His powers, coupled with the fact that he managed to physically withstand Chloe’s final attack head on, turned more than a couple of people into believers. After all, no one could fake withstanding over fifty million pounds of force through strength alone. That type of thing could not be faked in front of tens of millions of spectators without them noticing any tricks.
As the news of his feats spread, so did his growing legend. Stories of those who had seen John before the tournament, of those claiming to have known him and see his feats in person spread, each more outlandish than the last. In mere hours, his status went from cheating loser to heaven-defying genius, one who now stood firmly amongst the other heaven-defying names such as Ji’Han and Jaxus.
As discussions around him grew, so did a singular topic. His attack power score. In the illusory testing trials, John had managed to score a one hundred on the ‘Attack Power’ score. This score tested the absolute might, the absolute potency of what one could unleash through battle arts or other means, and was typically the number one indicator of how far a genius could go in the tournament.
A score of one hundred meant that amongst all the Dao Transformation geniuses who had ever taken the illusory trials, John had scored the highest. That spanned back hundreds of thousands of years, and included hundreds of millions of the top geniuses who had ever taken the trial. The thought that this score was not false, and that John was actually capable of such a feat stunned everyone to their core.
If the score was real, then how heaven-defying would such an attack be? The billions who followed the tournament could only wait with baited breath, hoping to soon see the true power of the one known as John Fenix.
In the underground hallways of the Soaring Sword Sect, Grandmaster Darkcloud was being led through a sprawling library. The library was quite dark and dusty, with many of the books, scrolls and jade pieces covered in dust, revealing most of the documents had gone unused for hundreds of years or more.
“I must say, this is quite an unusual request,” the Soaring Sword Sect Elder said as he walked through the endless rows of shelves. “But I don’t doubt the crest of authority you carry, so I will do what I can for you.”
“Thank you,” Grandmaster Darkcloud said, following closely behind the Middle World Expansion Elder. As this was a Third-Rate Sect, this Elder was quite high ranking despite his middling cultivation.
He walked passed row after row of bookshelves, eventually stopping and turning into one of the rows. He walked several dozen yards down the row until he stopped and turned towards one of the shelves which was covered in books and scrolls.
“Ah, here it is,” the Elder said, reaching out towards one of the books. He grabbed it, wiped the dust off the cover, then opened the book. After flipping through hundreds of pages, he stopped and read a particular section.
“Hmmmm, ah. Here it is. The one you seek, Azurae, was born in Jagged Cliff City. Her address of origin is listed as nineteen twelve, Cinder Street,” the Elder said, turning to Grandmaster Darkcloud. “Is that everything you need?”
“It is,” Grandmaster Darkcloud said appreciatively. “I have taken enough of your time. I bid you farewell.”
The Grandmaster then vanished before the Elder could react, who was startled by the Grandmasters ability to evade his senses despite their somewhat similar cultivations. The Elder muttered something under his breath, put the book back on the shelf, and left the archive library, returning it to its usual darkness.
Several hours later, the Grandmaster arrived at Jagged Cliff City. The city was given its name by the cliffs it was built next to, which soared up to the sky and then broke in uneven patterns, like a titanic beast had taken a large bite of the cliffs. Grandmaster Darkcloud hovered over the bustling city for a moment, then sped towards it, entering through the main entrance.
He paid the city entry dues and made his way through the busy streets, eventually finding the location mentioned. He confirmed the address, then read the signboard above the entrance to the rather plain looking building.
Nineteen Twelve, Cinder Street. The Cinder Street Orphanage.
The orphanage was a rather simple building, three stories tall. It was colored a simple yellow, and had a medium sized plot of land to the side of it, which was filled with young children running about. Some were running about, playing games, while others were sparring in a contest of might.
Grandmaster Darkcloud watched them play for a moment, then stepped towards the front entrance. He opened the gate leading to into the orphanage grounds, then stopped as the door to the orphanage building a short distance ahead parted open. A middle aged woman stepped out of the entrance. She was rather tall, and wore a simple yet tight fitting workers dress, giving her a conflicting appearance of alluring yet casual.
She had long black hair and a piercing gaze, one that seemed as though it could see through souls and read minds. Grandmaster Darkcloud looked at her, a curious expression appearing on his face as he studied her cultivation.
Late World Transformation.
“Can I help you?” the woman asked Grandmaster Darkcloud.
“Yes, I’m looking for some information on someone known as Azurae,” Grandmaster Darkcloud said, stepping through the open gate. “I was told she grew up here, so I was hoping to inquire about her upbringing.”
A sharp look raced across the woman’s face for an instant, so fast that it was almost imperceptible. Grandmaster Darkcloud caught the look however, his demeanor remaining relaxed to not betray his thoughts.
“I do not recall one with such a name growing up here,” the woman said. “I’m sorry, but I cannot help you. Please leave. I have children to attend to.”
She closed the door in the Grandmaster’s face, leaving him alone in the front yard of the orphanage. The Grandmaster’s eyes narrowed for a moment before he retreated. He moved several streets away, then took out a long-range transmission disk.
“I have discovered a location of interest, one that seems to be guarding secrets regarding Azurae. I will dig deeper and relay my findings,” he sent through the communication disk, then put it away and slipped into the shadows, disappearing from sight.
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