Luo Bao was the first one to move. He started off with a quick jab to the stomach aiming for a quick victory. Xin Fan retaliated by narrowly dodging the blow and returning it with an uppercut. Luo Bao dodged the blow and retreated a couple of steps back and re-positioned his stance.
"Tch... Looks like you have improved."
Luo Bao's eyes turned sharper. It was not the look he usually had and emanated an aura similar to that of a wolf. He leaped forwards again, this time with a drop kick and sent a heavy blow down to Xin Fan's head. Xin Fan reacted accordingly and moved his arms to block. However, it simply was not enough and was brought to his knees before he can knock the other back.
"Huh...Huh...You were holding back this much the whole time. Looks like I was getting a bit too cocky."
Xin Fan stood back up and assumed a tiger stance. This time, Xin Fan did not hold back. He quickly shortened the distance and landed two blows to Luo Bao's chest and a quick chop to the neck. All of this was done in a span of less than a second. The movement was too quick and the most Luo Bao could do is to change into a defensive stance. He took the blows head on. He quickly lunged forwards attempting to tackle Xin Fan to the ground however barely missed.
"Looks like its my turn."
Xin Fan lifted up his leg and gave Luo Bao an axe kick. However, the excitement was short lived as Luo Bao grabbed the leg before it gained momentum.
"Not so fast."
Luo Bao slammed Xin Fan onto the ground before attempting to bring Xin Fan into a lock. However, Xin Fan easily dodged the grab and retaliated with a hook to the face. The battle continued with no signs of a winner. On one side, was Luo Bao with extremely heavy attacks, unending stamina and strong defenses. On the other was Xin Fan who was easily able to dodge blows and land fast attacks. Just as the battle was about to reach a stalemate, Luo Bao relaxed his guard.
A Chance! Xin Fan was quick to jump on the opportunity and assumed a forward stance before unleashing the strongest punch he could muster with his current cultivation base. Luo Bao however responded with a toothy grin. Luo Bao flexed all the muscles he had to absorb the force from the punch.
The punch caused Luo Bao to spit blood however, it didn't matter. Luo Bao sent the strongest side kick back at Xin Fan. This was the deciding blow. This time Xin Fan could not dodge. Xin Fan was sent flying 10 meters spitting out 3 times the amount of blood Luo Bao spat. The match had ended and once again, Luo Bao left as the victor.
Luo Bao extended his hand to Xin Fan."I didn't expect you to also break through."
Xin Fan wiped away the remaining blood from his lips and stared at Luo Bao.
"When I graduate from Dragon Root Academy, I will defeat you."
"Heh...looking how much you changed over the last few months, that may happen."
Luo Bao picked up a flat rock along the side of the road and wrote something on it with his blood. He then threw it over to Xin Fan to catch. The rock was covered in unique markings that had no real pattern.
"The 5 year promise... I like it. Let that rock be there to remind you of your goal."
Xin Fan put the rock inside his shirt before moving it to his inventory. He then took out a small pot of Ice Heart rice and passed it over to Luo Bao.
"The loser always has to offer."
The two parted ways and returned home as if nothing had happened. Luo Bao took a peek inside the pot and his pupils dilated.
"Heh...I guess everyone has secrets."
He then closed his eyes and had the first bit of rest in a long time.
A few days passed and a man in soldier uniform stepped inside the village. He moved passed the houses and entered the village hall to see 3 children sitting there meditating.
"It's good to see you again Xin Mu."
The man gave the village head a strong handshake before looking at the children.
"I assume these are the ones."
Xin Mu gave a small nod of approval before shaking them to get up.
"Kids. This is Captain Wang. He will take you to school. Luo Bao...Man Qiu, I hope you prepared everything."
The two nodded and then followed the captain with Xin Fan to the outskirts of the village. There sat a large, golden eagle with wearing an outfit. Embroidered on it, was the word "Murong".
"Wow...what is that?"
"This my little friend, is Xiao Xing, my mount."
Captain Wang lifted Luo Bao first before looking at the other two.
"Is this your first time flying?"
The two nodded their heads but they were grabbed and thrown on the bird without care. The bird quickly lifted off and they were soaring in no time at all.
In the alleyways of Black Swallow town
"Hahaha mister! You will never catch me!"
A girl clicked her fingers and a blinding light was emitted. The man in uniform was temporarily blinded before quickly catching up. She then conjured up smoke from her finger tips and created a smokescreen behind her.
"Bai Tianfei! This is state order! I will bring you to school whether you like it or not!"
The man grabbed the girl by the collar and dumped her inside the carriage and locked the door.
"H...Hateful... I will escape one day!"
The man sighed and rode off to the city.
A boy with a thin physique single-handedly wielded a large axe cut down on a nearby tree. The tree fell upon two blows and landed quietly on the forest floor. A soft footsteps approached him from behind before stopping 5 meters behind him.
"I guess school has started," he said not even looking back.
"Indeed...Hei Chilong, I will take you now, with force if I have to."
The boy turned around looking at the figure behind him.
"No need. This king wants a new playground."
The boy climbed on top of the elephant rode off to the city.
An eagle landed near a barn just outside a big city.
"Welcome to Longmu City."
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