Immortal Ascension Tower
Book 1: Reborn
First Arc: The Child And The Dragon
Chapter 10 – See boss? I knew you’d be here!
“To live… Together with me?” the golden-eyed youth inquired: did he perhaps misinterpret what he had just heard? Was this body he had taken over mentally impaired by any chance?
“Yes! Sorry if the sudden news startled you, it was decided on the spot by Senior Lao and this Disciple went along with it!” Xiao Li giggled.
Startled? Cheng Hao had indeed been startled. But it was the kind of being startled that made people want to choke certain old men on the spot: what the was that old fart thinking? Was he a shotacon planning to build an harem of unsuspecting eight-year olds?
Sigh… seriously, what the hell is going on in this world? Why would a declining Clan still recovering from a century of war, send one of its precious Young Masters almost six months’ worth of travelling away?
The golden-eyed youth scratched his head. A thought, or more accurately, a memory from his past life, had suddenly flashed across his mind…
Back then, the him from his past life had been just a little older than forty. Although he was clearly much older than what he looked like, he had stop aging after he had broken through the Ageless Realm at the staggering age of twenty-four. As such, his appearance had staled at that of a handsome young man with black hair and breathtaking blue eyes.
He had just assassinated a Patriarch of a certain Family. The assassination attempt had been akin to a suicide mission so, as per usual, he had chosen to undertake the ordeal himself and had infiltrated the mansion before his comrades could stop him. The Patriarch was assassinated, but the blue-eyed youth had been gravely wounded in the process and couldn’t retreat to headquarters. To avoid his pursuers, he had even gone as far as running away to another plane of existence, but was followed and was ultimately cornered after more than a week of playing hide and seek. Although his opponents were many times weaker than his usual self, at the time his wounds had prevented him from using the full extent of his power. Furthermore, having to run away he could spare no energy to heal himself, so when he finally came face to face with his enraged chasers, he barely had any strength left to stand. Just as he was about to be killed, the figure of a purple-haired youth with emerald eyes had suddenly appeared! His strength was amongst the youngest and weakest in Cheng Hao’s band of ragtag rebels, being still in his late teens and still not in the Ageless Realm. And yet, for two days and three nights, this ‘weakling’ had stood his ground against dozens, hundreds of enemies many times stronger than him, long enough for Cheng Hao’s past self to recover and slaughter the remaining enemies himself.
“Why would you go so far? Just how…” the, blue-eyed youth had asked in astonishment, as he held in his hands an injured, purple-haired, green-eyed youth. “How did you find me?”
“What do you mean ‘why’ and ‘how’, boss?” had replied the wounded man while smiling blissfully. “I’m your number one stalker and self-proclaimed number one fan, boss, I have your presence memorized by every single cell in my body! Of course I’d know where you’d be! I knew you’d be here, in this strange-looking gorge, in this strange-looking mountain range! Sorry if I was late, it took me a while to catch up to you, you run really fast! I will always find you and save you, wherever you might be, boss! Just leave it to me, boss!””
At the time, after wandering on the meaning behind the words of this youth that called him boss so enthusiastically, he had ultimately disregarded that statement from the wounded youth and concluded that him being found had been a fruit of luck, and nothing more.
Years later, the now forty-five-something-years-old man had fallen to a scheme of some shrewd cultivators, had his strength sealed, and was thus caught and soon to be executed. As he was about to be killed, the purple-haired youth, without any regards for the countless injuries he received, had charged amongst countless enemy cultivators and freed him at the very moment, before falling unconscious from the pain. Having had shackles removed and seeing the wounded figure of the young man laying on the ground, the blue-eyed youth slaughtered everybody present in a fit of rage.
“See boss? I knew you’d be here, in this strange-looking hall, in this strange-looking castle! Sorry if I was late, it took me a while to get past the guards outside! I will always find you and save you, wherever you might be, boss! Just leave it to me, boss!”
But… wasn’t this location decided on the spot? Barely half an hour had passed since the time he was caught until the executioner was ready to go. And yet, this brat found him? Could it be… No! Once again, he had been ‘lucky’. Next time, he might not have such luck and he would truly die! He will have to be more careful in the future…
Again. He had let down his guard again. He had explored underwater ruin full of defensive memories alone, without a guide, and had carelessly been caught into a sealing formation. What exactly did he expect? Now, trapped into a neigh-Indestructible Seal that could neither be seen nor sensed, and all that while in an ancient Tomb at the depths of an ocean, the blue-eyed man in his fifties could only sigh as he began to ration his food: he could only hope for a miracle now.
Suddenly, mere hours after the activation of the death trap, the sound of hurried footsteps echoed into the darkness of the Tomb and a familiar cascade of purple strands entered the blue-eyed youth’s field of vision. How? He was shocked, but still did not lose his calm and checked whether he could somehow grab the attention of the green-eyed youth… Nope, nothing worked. This seal blocked sight, hearing and smell from passing through. Sigh, in the end, that boy will probably leave, why would he even stick around? He’s not even aware of the existence of this formation; it was just by chance that he entered this room first, yes, that had to be it. However, even after six days had passed, the purple-haired youth still had not left! Instead, he had spent all this time scouring every inch of the room like a madman! Looking at this unbelievable scene from behind the walls of the invisible formation, a pair of blue eyes followed the young man’s movements. Finally, on the dawn of the seventh day, the youth with purple hair found the switch to deactivate the formation! No food, no water, not blinking for seven days straight, the green-eyed young man collapsed on the ground.
“Just…” He muttered as he took the exhausted youth in his arms, “How?”
You are so much younger. You are so much weaker. And yet, you are always there when I need you the most…
“See boss?” A weakened voice rang out. “I knew you’d be here, in this strange-looking room, in these strange-looking ruins! Sorry if I was late, it took me a while to find the switch! I will always find you and save you, wherever you might be, boss! Just leave it to me, boss!”
The blue-eyed man fell silent and used a special method to allow the other to rest peacefully. Then, he allowed himself to shed a tear. Luck? How could he possibly think of this as being ‘Luck’? How could he discard this child’s efforts as them simply being fruit of something as feeble as ‘Luck’? He would not insult him like this, after all that he had done and sacrificed for him!
“Leave it to you?” He chuckled bitterly and then nodded, caressing the sleeping youth. “Fine. I’m counting on you, Xiao Lan…”
“You’re my self-proclaimed number one fan, you say?” Drop. Drop. Drop. A stream of hot tears began to fall. “Very well. I shall accept it. Because now I finally understand what it’s like to have an idol.”
“See boss? I knew you’d be here, in this strange-looking chamber, in this strange-looking dungeon! Sorry if I was late, it took me a while to climb down the air ducts! I will always find you and save you, wherever you might be, boss! Just leave it to- Oh? Boss! Is that a smile I see? Ouch! I’m sorry boss, no need to slap me…”
“See boss? I knew you’d be here, in this strange-looking alcove, in this strange-looking temple! Sorry if I was late, it took me a while to convince the crazed followers outside to let me join the procession! I will always find you and save you, wherever you might be, boss! Just leave it to me, boss! Uhm, why is boss laughing?”
“See boss? I knew you’d be here, in this strange-looking cave, in this strange-looking underground tunnel! Oh, this dirt? Ahaha, sorry I got a bit dirty, while digging the hole to get here! Sorry if I made you wait! I will always find you and save you, wherever you might be, boss! Just leave it to me, boss! Uh? Why is boss crying? Am I that amazing?”
“See boss? I knew you’d be here- Agh!“
“What boss and boss! I am no one’s boss, we are all brothers! Now just shut up you little brother of mine and accept my bear-hug, AHAHAHAHAH! Oh? You’re blushing now? You’re just too cute, Little Lan!”
“S-See boss? I knew-“
“Yes, yes, you knew, but you also know the drill! Bear-hug!”
“Yup! The usual routine! Come here, boy, I missed you!”
There was nowhere that young man with purple hair wouldn’t be able find him, and there was nothing those green eyes wouldn’t happily put on the line to save him from any sort of peril. When he finally also stepped into the Ageless Realm at twenty-seven years of age, he caused an uproar within the esteemed Xiao Clan: breakthrough to the Ageless Realm at the age of twenty-seven was like getting a doctorate degree on Earth at the age of five! It was a never-seen-before event in the history of the Xiao clan! Bad luck had it however, that this had been achieved by none other than the same Young Master that they had expelled from the Clan a few years prior! How ironic was this?
Roughly a dozen years ago, Xiao Lan had been a part of the Main Lineage of the Xiao Clan as well as the publicly recognized future Head of the Clan. Thus, one day, he had expressed the wish to join a certain blue-eyed youth’s quest to wage war against the Heavens.
He later announced that he would be leaving the Clan’s Grounds soon. As soon as he did, his status as Young Master and member of the Xiao Clan had been revoked. Had the member of their Xiao Clan publicly announced his intention to fight against Tian, it would be disastrous! It would be like a declaration of war! Thus, he was forcibly expelled.
After the news of the young Xiao Lan’s achievements spread and reached the ears of the Xiao Clan, those same Elders of the Clan that had kicked him out back then all felt like going back in time and kicking themselves, yes, but in the balls. Hard. That was because, not only was the rebellion against the Nine Heavens slowly leaning towards success and they had announced their intention to fight on Tian’s side, but they had also banished a genius that could have brought the Xiao Clan’s reputation soaring through the sky!
After his breakthrough into the Realm of the Ageless, the young man with purple hair and green eyes had also stopped aging. For a while after that, he would often joke around how, “Eheh, how is it that I’m younger than boss, and yet I look older?”, which would be soon followed by a fierce headlock and a round of laughter on the blue-eyed youth’s part.
Roughly twenty years later, Xiao Lan was kidnapped by a Clan of swordsmen, the Ran Clan. Less than a week after that, a blue-eyed demon appeared into the battlefield, slaughtering all Ran swordsmen that dared to come out of the Clan Grounds. This enraged the Head of the Clan, who foolishly sent all the strongest members at his disposal after the demon for revenge. A few days later, the demon arrived on the Ran Clan’s grounds and, with the absence of the only people that might have posed a threat to him, slaughtered his way into the Clan, killing every single living thing that crossed his path. His killing spree only came to a stop after he found and rescued the imprisoned Xiao Lan. The two then ran away before those experts could come back, leaving behind only a city full of corpses, and the head of the Ran Clan’s hanging from city gates. It would only be in the far future that the survivors of the Ran Clan and the Rebels, lead by Xu Ling, would cross paths again, in a single, massive battlefield, with the forces of Heaven on one side, and the armies of the Evil Saint on the other…
Flash forward to ten years after the massacre of the Ran Clan, and the little boy bearing the surname Xiao finally stepped into the Immortal Realm at the age of fifty-nine years old, breaking any and all previously set records! On the same day, he went back to the Xiao Clan and, with the support of the Evil Saint Xu Ling, imposed himself as the Head, announcing the breaking off of the Xiao Clan fro the Nine Heavens and the alliance with Xu Ling’s army! From that moment onwards, the Xiao Clan and the Evil Saint became allies!
On that day, a pair of mesmerizing emeralds and two breathtaking sapphires exchanged a glance and smiled: it had been roughly forty years since their first true encounter. At that time, life had been extremely difficult for both. But now, from a group of ragtag rebels, they had both become existences the world would be unable to ignore!
The first, had become the head of the esteemed Xiao Clan, becoming the fastest person to have entered the Immortal Realm at the ‘tender’ age of fifty-nine years old! Standing on top of the Xiao Clan’s Throne, he could simply wave a hand to deploy hundreds of thousands, millions of powerful cultivators! He had become a King of mortals and immortals alike!
The other… was none other than the publicly recognized Xu Ling! The man with cold yet breathtakingly beautiful blue eyes that had eradicated countless Clans while still only in the Ageless Realm, stepped into the Immortal Realm at sixty-one, and at eighty-five years old was the head of an army of millions of beasts of all kinds and shapes!
Forty years ago, Xiao Lan had met a wounded Xu Ling and protected him with his own body, lowering himself to using his nails and teeth and coughing blood with every breath all to save the blue-eyed youth from impending death. He had repeatedly done so again and again for the following four decades, and never asked for anything in return. Now, on that faithful day forty years later, that same person he had so vehemently called “Boss” had picked him up, and placed him atop one of the tallest thrones that there could be! A friendship that spanned decades that would last for more than a century and even up to the final day, the day he finally faced Tian head on, Xiao Lan had always stayed by Xu Ling’s side, always being there when needed and somehow always aware of his position at any given time.
A thousand years have passed. He had reincarnated in the body of a young child only eight years old in a low-profile plane of existence and had spent six months to get used to the unfamiliar body and explore that region of the world he had reincarnated into. Nobody was aware of his existence, he only caught the unsuspecting Goldy that was residing in another plane of existence through a certain method. And yet, six months ago, someone had ordered the current Young Master of his family, a descendant, possibly the only descendant, by blood, to travel to abovementioned, low-key plane of existence without so much of an explanation. Coincidence? Luck?
Cheng Hao smiled and a single tear rolled down his cheek under the curious gaze of the young Xiao Li.
He almost seemed to hear the energetic voice in his head… That voice that had been so annoying, so mysterious, at first, and that with time had become the most pleasant of melodies, one that soothed the soul:
“See boss? I knew you’d be here, in this strange-looking Sect, in this strange-looking Plane of Existence! Sorry if I was late, it took me a while to reach this place as it was simply too far! I hope you’ll forgive me. I will always find you and save you, wherever you might be, boss! Just leave it to me, boss! And even if I can’t be there in person, my descendant by blood will! Eheheh, Boss, ain’t I awesome? You think I’ll also get a cool nickname someday? Something as eye-catching as Evil Saint? That would be nice…”
“Self-proclaimed number one fan of mine, you used to say?” Drop. Drop. Drop. One after another, a stream of hot tears began to roll down the golden-eyed child’s cheeks. Cheng Hao looked up towards the sky with a complicated gaze. Then, he smiled. It was a smile that was both painful and relieving at the same time, and yet communicated extreme longing. “Idiot. It’s me who should be saying that about you, little stalker!”
Cheng Hao wiped away the tears with the long sleeves of his robes and then pointed to the sky, a menacing expression on his face. “You truly do deserve a super-cool nickname. If we have the chance to meet again… I’ll make one up just for you! So don’t you dare die on me before I do just that!”
“Now then…” Cheng Hao smiled and grabbed Xiao Li’s shoulder so firmly that the other almost let out a scream. “Shall we take a look at what’s up with this nephew of yours that you so kindly sent me?”