Chapter 12: Stormwind Scorpion (2)
There was a small lake in the southeast corner of the Hidden Dragon Institute. A small stone cottage was erected near the lake.
When Su Chen arrived, he saw the sloppy old man from yesterday tussling with a Formation-Piercing Rhinoceros.
The Formation-Piercing Rhinoceros was a type of high-tier Demonic Beast. It was extremely violent, roughly around thirty feet tall, could lift around five thousand kilograms of weight, and bore through a tunnel in a single charge. In the Battle of the Infernal Desolate Canyon, large packs of Formation-Piercing Rhinoceroses charged the human race’s armies, using their tyrannically powerful bodies to forcefully slam into the human Origin Qi Scholars like a tidal wave, penetrating a defensive line of three thousand Iron Guards. They were nightmares to face on the battlefield.
From that day onwards, this Demonic Beast was known as the Formation-Piercing Rhinoceros.
This Formation-Piercing Rhinoceros was like a helpless infant underneath the old man’s feet. No matter how much it struggled, it could not crawl to its feet.
The old man kept one foot on the Formation-Piercing Rhinoceros as he gently sliced open the rhinoceros’s tough skin, muttering to himself, “Only this one remains out of 124 talismans? But why is it this one? It’s different again.”
The old man continued to mutter as he pulled back the Formation-Piercing Rhinoceros’s hide.
Su Chen walked forwards, clasping his hands and greeting the old man, “Elder Shi.”
The old man turned around to glance at Su Chen. His face wrinkled, then he focused his attention back on dissecting the Formation-Piercing Rhinoceros. “You’re the kid from yesterday. Why are you here?”
Su Chen replied, “I want to ask you to become my personal instructor.”
The old man paused.
“Personal instructor?” He gazed at Su Chen. “You want me to be your personal instructor? Are you sure you haven’t made some kind of mistake?”
“Absolutely not!” Su Chen replied seriously. “I want you to be my personal instructor!”
The old man laughed. “You want me to be your personal instructor just because I scolded you yesterday? That’s pretty amusing. Do you know what kind of person I am?”
Su Chen replied, “Shi Kaihuang, the Stormwind Scorpion, of the Ji North Forest village. You joined the army when you were sixteen and guarded the frontier for 30 years. When you turned 36, you were secretly set up for reporting North Sea General Lu Shaolan for corruption and avarice. 324 people died, and you were the sole survivor. You returned, drenched in blood, and slaughtered Lu Shaolan in front of tens of thousands of soldiers. You were exiled to the Stormwind Death Camp. In your 12 years at the Stormwind Camp, six different camp leaders died, and soldiers came and went. Only Shi Kaihuang stood tall, which is why you came to be known as the Stormwind Scorpion. Later, you caught the attention of Sir Yang, who took you out of the Stormwind Camp. After serving him for 24 years, Sir Yang was ordered to become the head of the Hidden Dragon Institute, and Shi Kaihuang returned to his life of seclusion, entering the Hidden Dragon Institute and becoming a personal instructor.”
The old man was speechless. He observed Su Chen. “Not bad, kid. Your information-gathering skills are quite impressive.”
Su Chen respectfully replied, “If I want to be Elder’s student, how could I dare come without doing my homework?”
Shi Kaihuang cleaned his hands and sat down atop the Formation-Piercing Rhinocerous. He gazed at Su Chen and said, “You’re quite confident, aren’t you? But if you weren’t that confident, how could you dare make such a wild oath.”
Su Chen smiled gently. “Isn’t that the same for you, Senior? You wanted to break through the bloodline restrictions shortly after entering the Hidden Dragon Institute, and you spent fifty years researching such a method.”
“So you believe that because of this, I’ll take you in as my student?” Shi Kaihuang laughed coldly. “You must be joking!”
Su Chen didn’t expect Shi Kaihuang to adopt such an attitude. He replied in shock, “Elder is unwilling?”
Most of the instructors in the Hidden Dragon Institute would fight over students. Very few would outright refuse a student delivered to their front door.
Su Chen was dazed for a moment before realizing that personal instructors would only fight over the most outstanding students, not those they considered to be worthless. The first impression he had given Shi Kaihuang was anything but good, so his response wasn’t all that surprising. Su Chen smiled and said, “I am a second-tier seedling in the institute, and I was ranked fifth in the Three Mountains Region competition.”
“You’d better leave. Even if you were the number one student in the Hidden Dragon Institute, I wouldn’t be interested.” Shi Kaihuang didn’t even raise his head.
Su Chen paused and pondered for a moment before saying, “I created a non-bloodline Origin Skill that is comparable in power to a Bloodline Origin Skill.”
“Hm?” This seemed to pique Shi Kaihuang’s interest. He waved his hand. “Show me.”
Su Chen shot a strengthened Erupting Firebird toward a nearby large stone. The stone exploded, sending fragments in all directions. It was indeed quite powerful.
However, Shi Kaihuang reacted as if he had just been told a funny joke. He slapped his thigh and howled with laughter, “This is what you meant by ‘a non-bloodline Origin Skill comparable in power to a Bloodline Origin Skill’? Hahahaha, I’m going to die of laughter!”
He swayed with laughter, clutching at his stomach.
Su Chen was mystified by his response. “Senior, what are you trying to say? I understand this kind of technique is worthless in your eyes, but why must Senior humiliate me in such a way?”
“Do you think I’m humiliating you?” Shi Kaihuang stopped laughing, instead gazing at Su Chen coldly. “I admit, your Origin Skill is not bad. You probably combined a fireball technique and the Inferno Origin Energy Model, then used an external power technique to amplify its strength. To tell you the truth, it is an interesting concept.”
Su Chen was shocked. This old man had instantly decomposed his Erupting Firebird, recognizing the theory behind its creation.
Shi Kaihuang continued, “But to say that it’s comparable to a Bloodline Origin Skill when it’s only reached this level is far too presumptuous of you. I’m laughing at you because of your arrogance, especially considering your lack of experience.”
“But I was able to use this Origin Skill against a range of Bloodline Origin Skills from the number one ranked individual in my region’s exam, and I was never at a disadvantage!” Su Chen loudly replied.
“So you think that because of that, this move of yours is comparable to a Bloodline Origin Skill?”
Su Chen froze. “Is it not?”
Shi Kaihuang sighed. “You’re so clueless.”
The old man poked the Formation-Piercing Rhinoceros.
The Formation-Piercing Rhinoceros was still furiously struggling beneath him, but when the finger touched it, the Formation-Piercing Rhinoceros’s body began to slowly split apart. Large cracks appeared on its body before it collapsed with a loud sound. No blood gushed out of the corpse. Every piece of flesh and blood had already hardened to the point that it was basically rock-solid.
Su Chen remained expressionless when he saw this. Considering Shi Kaihuang’s cultivation base, it was not strange at all that he could accomplish such a feat.
However, Shi Kaihuang’s next sentence sent him reeling.
He said, “What would you think if I told you there are Origin Qi Scholars in the Qi Drawing Realm who could achieve the same effect?”
“What?” Su Chen was flabbergasted. “That’s impossible! Only someone at the level of Yang-Opening should be able to do this!”
Shi Kaihuang replied loftily, “That’s why I said you lack experience. In this world, there are many people whose strength far surpasses your wildest imagination. In my eyes, all of those Heaven’s Chosens you have encountered so far are worthless piles of bones and flesh.”