“Lil Tang, you’re so powerful! It’s amazing!”
Liu Dajun walked over with a guffaw. He gave Tang Hao a thumbs-up with a face full of emotion.
He was excited and proud at the same time. Of course, the more capable his sworn brothers were, the better it was. Yet, deep down, he was still somewhat in disbelief.
He had known Lil Tang for a while now. All this while, he only knew that Lil Tang had a pair of miraculous healing hands. Yet, never did he expect Lil Tang to be even more adept at exorcism than a Taoist priest.
That was definitely not something an ordinary person could do. He was an immortal being; an expert out of the loop.
Liu Dajun could not be more honored to be associated with Lil Tang, what more to become his sworn brother! That was not an opportunity that others could get even if they begged for it!
All of a sudden, he jumped with the realization that there was more than meets the eye in Lil Tang’s medicinal prowess. It suddenly made sense why his medicine was so miraculous! Additionally, there was his blood-jade bracelet and the exquisite jadeite to account for too. Clearly, there was something more than luck at play.
Tang Hao simply smiled at Liu Dajun’s flattering praise.
Truth be told, to him, none of this was worth his attention.
Ghosts prioritized their attainment too. The higher their attainment was, the stronger the ghost would be, consequently making them harder to deal with. The horde of ghosts that he eliminated just now possessed pathetically low levels of attainment. Only the female ghosts’ attainment was above average.
Thus, he only needed to cast a simple lightning-type spell to wipe out the whole group.
Taoist Master Chang Qing walked over with a shameful face and made an obeisance by cupping one of his hands in the other before his chest. “Senior, please forgive me for all my wrongdoings! I apologize for the demonstration of my insufficient skills just now…”
“It’s nothing!” Tang Hao said with a wave of his hand.
After a pause, he smiled and continued, “Oh, right. Please don’t call me ‘senior’. It’s so weird to hear that when I’m only eighteen years old!”
Hearing that, the Taoist master’s face scrunched up so tightly it almost became as wrinkled as a bitter gourd.
Tang Hao was only eighteen?
Meanwhile, he had lived for more than fifty years; forty more years than Tang Hao. Yet, his attainment was still pitiful in comparison.
‘Sigh! Honestly, anger is the only thing that comes from comparing yourself to others!’ He mumbled to himself internally.
After scrutinizing Tang Hao once again, more chills ran down his spine. In his eyes, the young man’s bearing was so undetectable that if Tang Hao had not made the move just now, he would never have expected him to be another cultivator.
“This level of attainment is too overwhelming! Not even my senior brothers can touch it!”
With that thought in mind, the Taoist master’s expression became even more respectful.
“If you don’t like ‘senior’, then I’ll just call you ‘fellow cultivator’,” replied the Taoist master. “I wonder, under which Perfected Person’s faction is Fellow Cultivator Tang practicing?”
Tang Hao paused for a while. Then, it occurred to him that “Perfected Person” was the term used to refer to a cultivator foundation.
He shook his head and answered, “I don’t study under any teacher. I’m self-taught.”
Taoist Master Chang Qing’s eyes widened on his face that screamed of disbelief. He was looking at Tang Hao like he was some kind of monster.
It was true that cultivation could be self-taught. Yet, could self-taught cultivation turn him into a being like this?
Taoist Master Chang Qing thought only of the absurdity of it all. He stood dumbfounded and did not say anything else.
To him, it felt like he had squandered away half his life. ‘Perhaps, Fellow Cultivator Tang has some sort of destiny,’ Taoist Master Chang Qing consoled himself after a moment of contemplation.
That sounded like the most logical deduction. After all, Fellow Cultivator Tang was too young. If it was not destiny at work, it would have been impossible for him to achieve such attainment.
Nevertheless, he did not ask Tang Hao what kind of destiny he was set for. To cultivators, this subject was taboo.
“Fellow Cultivator Tang is truly a miraculous person!”
Taoist Master Chang Qing finally spat out some praise after a short attempt to hold it in.
Meanwhile, Liu Dajun gave Liu Qiang’s face a few slaps to wake him up.
After waking up, Liu Qiang’s entire body shook. He curled up into a ball and looked around frantically. “Where’s… where’s the ghost?”
Liu Dajun gave him another slap and murmured, “The ghost’s long gone, you useless piece of sh*t. You fainted the moment you saw the ghost. You embarrass me.”
Liu Qiang let out an “ouch!” His face lit up like a flame in embarrassment. “Bro, you know very well that I’ve… always been a scaredy-cat.”
Then, he suddenly perked up in excitement. “Still, is the ghost gone for real? That’s great! Master, thank you so much! No worries, I’ll pass the money to you soon.”
Taoist Master Chang Qing felt a little ashamed. He was about to clarify what had happened just now when he saw Tang Hao shaking his head lightly.
He paused. Then, understanding Tang Hao’s intention, he shut his mouth.
Liu Dajun understood what was going on too and did not comment on the matter.
To him, Lil Tang was always a person who kept things low-key. Thus, it was normal for Lil Tang to prefer keeping his abilities a secret.
“Come, come, come, master. Let’s go. I’ll pass you the money and we’ll all have a nice meal,” said Liu Qiang excitedly as he led the way.
The group of four descended the mountain, went to the county seat, and chose a nearby restaurant. They ordered a full spread of food that paired well with drinks, then started to eat.
After paying the bill, Liu Qiang left first. Taoist Master Chang Qing did not follow him out. After a long period of hesitation, he directed his inquiries at Tang Hao. “Fellow Cultivator Tang, there’s something I want to talk to you about.”
“Oh? What is it?” Asked Tang Hao, stunned.
“Actually, the reason I traveled to Westridge District is to track down a ghost. This ghost… isn’t just any ordinary ghost.” The Taoist master’s expression darkened.
“This ghost… is very powerful. Its attainment is high and it’s also evil. It has been stirring up a lot of trouble for a while now. It likes to possess people to commit various gory, heinous crimes, like flaying!
“The most recent case happened in Westridge District, where you live. It happened around three or four days ago. That’s why I’m here.
“I’m afraid that with my limited abilities, I won’t be able to go against the evil ghost. Therefore, I’m asking for your assistance, fellow cultivator. With you by my side, I’ll be more confident that we’ll succeed.”
Tang Hao’s eyebrows creased slightly but he nodded and replied, “Don’t worry, master. It is my duty to eradicate evil spirits.”
“Alright! I give you my thanks!” Nodded the Taoist master excitedly.
After a momentary pause, he continued, “There’s no rush for now as I haven’t found the evil ghost yet. I’ll call you when I find it! Fellow Cultivator Tang, what’s your phone number? Let me save your contact.”
As he spoke, he took out a cell phone, but it was the latest iPhone model.
Tang Hao was stunned as he looked at it. In his heart, he thought about how trendy this Taoist master was! It was way better than his own old cell phone.
After exchanging numbers, Tang Hao asked about matters in the cultivation world.
When he obtained his inheritance, Tang Hao knew that there were many cultivators in the world. Mao Mountain was clearly another land of inheritance.
“Sigh! I’m ashamed to talk about it. The truth is, I’m not really from Mao Mountain. I’m just a dropout. I don’t have much understanding about the cultivation world either,” sighed the Taoist master regretfully.
“Is that so!?” Tang Hao was quite disappointed.
“Fellow Cultivator Tang, don’t worry. In the future, I’ll introduce you to those I called senior brothers in the past with the highest recommendation. They know a lot.”
Tang Hao nodded.
After bidding each other farewell, Tang Hao returned to his villa and surfed the internet for news. It was true that a vicious homicide was committed in the district four days ago. It caused quite a ruckus in the local forum.
Rumor had it that the victim was flayed, placed in a peculiar position, then tied to the bed of the hotel. The crime scene was gory.
If he did not hear about it from the Taoist master, Tang Hao would think that the crime was committed by some perverted, homicidal maniac.
Tang Hao did not obtain many clues from scanning through the messages in the online forum. Therefore, he started to cultivate.
In the blink of an eye, four days passed.
A call came from Master Wu. The bracelet that Tang Hao got him to custom-make was finally ready.