“Where’s that old jerk Chi Bupang? Why didn’t he come?” Only the Photographer would dare talk about Jue Di in that tone. Her sharp eyes had been sweeping the crowds looking for him the moment they touched down. So far he’d alluded her. Her was mythical, so there was no way he could be hiding.
“Father’s cultivating,” Lan Qing “He’ll meet with everyone tomorrow.”
Luo Xianni sniffed. “I don’t care about the others, but I’m seeing him right now. Bring him to me, or don’t me for the trouble I’ll cause!
“This…” Lan Qing was a man of the military. Orders had to be followed, structure had to be maintained. However, his title as admiral did nothing for him when faced against Luo Xianni. She had a streak, to put it mildly. However, even Lan Qing felt his father had done her wrong.
“Chi Bupang, you get out here this instant. Don’t make me take out my on your children!” Luo Xianni was entirely nonplused by the of eyes watching her. She wasn’t shy to call the old man out. Her voice did not boom dramatically, but it did echo harshly through every crest and valley of An Luo. Clearly the product of tomfoolery. However, only an Adept of a strength would be able to pick the sound out. The normal soldiers were, so far, not bothered.
“You’re a special kind of crazy, aren’t you.” Jue Di’s defeated voice answered her.
When they heard him, the collective eyes of the other three Paragons contracted. Was this that legendary man, the strongest of all the Paragons? Was that the voice of Jue Di?
Luo Xianni grunted. “You call yourself a man? If you were you wouldn’t be hiding like a coward.”
There was a of light, then Jue Di appeared before the gathering with a face as dark as a thunderhead. He slowly pointed an finger at Luo Xianni. “We’re all supposed to be adults here. Are you incapable of acting your age? You’re not off the ship five minutes and you’re already causing trouble. And then threaten my kids!”
Luo Xianni thrust her shoulders back and faced Jue Di with the same indignant menace he showed. “I’m right here threatening you, what about it?! You wanna hit me? The others are afraid you, some sort of living legend. Bullshit! This old lady ain’t scared of nothing! If you got a problem then bring it!”
But Jue Di could do nothing. Before his only had been to hide, but he couldn’t do that anymore. Alien invaders threatened their very species, and his children were in the thick of it. So long as Luo Xianni was guarding one of them, he wouldn’t be rid of her.
When they’d parted ways Jue Di’s had been uncharacteristically gentle. She came at him teeth bared this time. It took him off guard.
“Pardon us, Majesty Jue Di!” The Wine Master hurriedly intervened to try and smooth things over. The Clockmaker and the Pauper each offered the famed Paragon bows of respect.
At Jue Di’s arrival, not a soul was caught lounging. Lan Jue shuffled over to the two of them and a hand on his mother’s arm. “Ma, maybe there’s a better time for these family matters, right? Others are laughing…”
She turned on Lan Jue, her personality flipping faster than the pages of a book. She regarding him with a wide, beaming smile and ruffled his hair. “Such a good boy, he knows how to talk. And you, screw off and don’t sit near me!” The last part of the sentence was spat at Jue Di.
Lan Jue’s father could hardly bite back his anger, but in front of so many he had no choice. He also knew that no matter what he did, it wouldn’t matter to Luo Xianni. Could he even really hurt her if he had to? He trundled over to his eldest son’s side and slumped into a seat. Jue Di glowered at nothing in and stayed quiet.
Luo Xianni shot Lan Jue a mischievous look, her pretty eyes sparkling Clearly verbally abusing his old man brought her a special kind of joy. He looked back at her with a helpless My old ma, he thought to himself, she’s got a child’s temperament.
Lan Qing coughed in a bid to refocus “Everyone, let’s eat.”
With Jue Di here, no one’s mind was on the food. It could have been a ten course spread of delicacies and it wouldn’t have mattered. They were sitting at the same table from a nearly mythical man.
… he didn’t look like much, really.
He was dressed in dirty mecha mechanic overalls with stains on the front. Stubble peppered the leathery faced of an average-looking middle-aged man. Why was he dressed like a mechanic? Where was the splendor they’d imagined?
Despite his appearance, this didn’t impact the respect by the Wine Master, Clockmaker or Pauper one bit. They were all Paragons, and they could sense the threads of protogenia that seemed interwoven through the man. They could not, however, sense anything from Jue Di himself.
To their Jue Di was as void and limitless as the universe, unfathomable. Protogenia seemed to be absent from him, but in its stead certainly was nothing. To the Skyfire Paragons he felt like a of universe, its avatar in the flesh. The they felt wasn’t oppressive, but awe-inspiring.
He was indeed the strongest human alive, more perfect than any human to have come before!
Luo Xianni cheerfully munched at her food and didn’t pay the glowering super human any further mind.
“Eat! Let’s go eat up, don’t be polite. My kid prepared this.” Luo Xianni urged the others on, giving Lan Qing nods of
“Will you stop with this ‘my kid this my kid that’ nonsense?” Jue Di snarled, no longer able to hold his tongue. “They my kids – you’ve got nothing to do with it.”
Luo Xianni wasted no time in firing back. “We’ve got over this, you aren’t man enough! If you were you’d give me one of my own. I remember you used to have trouble…”
There were certain sure-fire ways to injure a man’s pride. It was as true for the normal man as it was for Jue Di. It was bad enough to hear about it, but nothing was worse than making it public.
“You bitch!” His eyes , and in their depths arose a golden light. Everyone but for Jue Di’s children felt every hair on their body stand on end. The only way to describe the was like watching the eminent of a super nova. The promise of immeasurable ruin was so potent it even curdled the Paragons’ protogenia in their veins, rendering them defenseless.
Jue Di was gone from his seat, too fast for anyone to track his movements. A yelp from Luo Xianni drew their eyes, and that’s when they saw her cradled under Jue Di’s arm.
“Continue eating,” Jue Di tepidly offered. He turned and made to walk off, and then he and Luo Xianni vanished in a of light.
The Pauper swallowed hard. The Clockmaker was so stunned she dropped her chopsticks. The Wine Master fumbled to catch them.
Who was the Photographer? She was the strongest member of Skyfire Avenue in all its history! Yet before Jue Di she was like a little girl. She couldn’t do anything when he plucked her up and took her away like a sack of potatoes.
Her natural resistances had been tripped, though. When Jue Di’s awesome aura descended upon them, wisps of pink light flickered into reality around her. However, in the next instant and faster than anyone could have seen, Jue Di somehow slipped passed her defense and snapped her up. It all happened in the blink of an eye.
Of all the known Paragons Jue Di was indubitably the strongest. Right after him was the Photographer, Luo Xianni. The two of them were vastly stronger than anyone else, but even then the gulf between them was immense. As Jue Di
“It’s fine, we’re fine. Let’s eat,” Lan Jue said, trying to salvage the meal.
The Coffee Master and Driver who sat on either side of Lan Jue had no further desire to eat. They both looked like they had stars in their eyes. It wasn’t like -altering power was a new thing for them – Luo Xianni had offered to seal away an entire for them before. It ended up being a small fleet, but incredible. She had delivered them Moonfiend on a proverbial
For the strongest person they had ever met to be so quickly subdued, it was…
“My idol… it’s my idol.” The Coffee Master could barely contain his excitement. His hands were shaking so fast they were leaving afterimages.
Lan Jue chortled. “Alright, enough. Stop exaggerating. Mom and dad will figure their own stuff out.”
A laugh came from the Wine Master. “Hell even if they couldn’t, who would want to get in the middle of that? Eat, come on.”
His contact with Jue Di had thus bar been brief, but the Wine Master was already thoroughly convinced. Jue Di might have looked like a hog, but the unmitigated power he’d felt left no doubt in his mind that the man was every bit what people said about him. Only a man like him was worthy of his aunt! No wonder she was acting this way, how could she not? After meeting him, what other man could catch her fancy?
The rest of the meal passed beneath an awkward atmosphere. Jue Di’s arrival and dramatic exit was on everyone’s mind. Lan Jue turned to his brother.
“Have you got everything prepared?”
Lan Qing nodded. “Now that you’re here, we can begin tomorrow.” A glint of excitement shone in his normally stoic face. What could be more exciting for any Adept than joining the ranks of Paragon?
Lan Jue nodded back. Great, tomorrow it is. We’ll help look after you, but it seems your powers are stabilized. Do you anticipate a problem?”
Lan Qing shook his head. “None.”
The Wine Master interjected with a friendly grin. “Let us be the first ones to you. We very much look forward to your Have you chosen what you will call yourself?”
Lan Qing nodded. “I will tell it to you all tomorrow.”
Something stirred in Lan Jue’s chest, a sort of inkling he’d experienced during the Pauper’s rise. “Brother, is dad helping you shore up your protogenia?”
This made his older brother grin. “He is! We’ve been looking forward to this day ever since we were kids. Now that it’s time I’m nervous.”
A laugh escaped Lan Jue’s lips. “Are you capable of feeling nervous? Never once in all the years I’ve known you have I seen you act nervous. I think that’s still the case.”