Paragon Of Sin - Chapter 624 - 619: Down Payment

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Chapter 624 – 619: Down Payment

A sky-rippling draconic roar resounded. The clouds above roiled, the ground shook, and the air pulsed explosively outwards. The might behind this roar was backed by tremendous power, fueled by the fiery rage of a dragon!

Ma Zheng's lazy eyes looked towards the distance as a vast shadow took to the skies. At the top of their shadow, a silver light radiated with a pulsating resonance. The fixed space in the world was going chaotic, distorting and twisting. The World Realm's spatial foundation was being shaken!

Anu's enormous wings were completely unfurled, and his horn at the base of his forehead became silver with various mystical runes swimming animatedly within. It was gorgeous, but the pressure it emitted was heart-palpitating!

Dragons in legends were often told as having a reverse scale, a location on their bodies that contained their most vital essence, holding their greatest vulnerabilities. When threatened, they didn't shrink back, but grew ravenous and destructive, thrashing about in utter rage. This legend translated many sayings regarding touching a person's most important treasure.

To Anu, his reverse scale was threatening his family. Xue Yifei was his grandmother reincarnated, and he loved her to the zenith. In his mind, Ma Sujiang acted against his grandmother! They could beat on him, they could keep him here, but they couldn't harm his family!

He was about to unleash the greatest bloodline ability of Horned Firmament Dragons, Chaotic Firmament Surge! If released, even if this World Realm was reinforced, it'll collapse! In this chaos, he'll take the dragons in his Internal World and escape!

Ma Zheng softly sighed.

"Sleep," he slowly waved his hand towards Anu's figure. The spatial fluctuation instantly ceased, and Anu's enormous body started to freefall towards the ground. But just as he was about to crash heavily into the hard surface, Ma Zheng coughed as he waved his hand again. Like a feather, Anu's body landed on the ground without disturbing even the air.

Ma Zheng sighed again. With another stuffy cough, his lazy look became a little dim.

Ma Ru was awed by Ma Zheng's power, yet slightly shaken by Anu's bloodline ability. She was at the Mystic Star Phase, depending on who you speak to, she could be considered an Ascended at the Mystic Star Realm, yet the fluctuation from Anu caused her to grow a little fearful. She didn't think she could deal with whatever Anu intended to unleash.

Xue Yifei fiercely shouted, "No!" She felt Anu's aura dwindle considerably in a short span of time; she feared the absolute worst. Without any hesitation, she flew towards Anu with her swiftest speed. While she was just targeted by Ma Sujiang, her priorities had been overtaken by Anu's state.

However, before she got far, she felt her surroundings change. Instantly, she saw Anu's closed eyelids, and felt his steady breathing that rumbled the air. She hurriedly touched his azure scales and softly sighed with relief. He was unhurt.

Nyla Shur and Zuhei were beside her. Zuhei's facial expression was emotionless, a stark contrast from his earlier feral state. The danger of Ma Sujiang had vanished, and he witnessed it all. He glanced at the old man that stood a few feet from him alongside the petite little woman, and he remained protectively beside Xue Yifei.

"He's fine," Ma Zheng consoled. "He'll be asleep for a few hours, and he'll be perfectly fine when he wakes." Those words had great effect as Xue Yifei's emotions noticeably calmed down.

"On behalf of Ma Sujiang, the Golden Life Pavilion, and my Ma Clan, I apologize for her actions; she allowed her desires to overtake her reason, and has been punished." If anyone were to hear that Ma Zheng apologized to a mortal, they would never believe it.

Even Ma Ru was deeply startled. How could this Xue Yifei, a measly mortal woman who lived for less than a hundred years, be worthy of Ma Zheng's personal apology? Be it his identity as the Third Manager of the Golden Life Pavilion, overseer of operations spanning three Domains, his independent status as a High-Lord—an existence at the Third Stage of the Mystic Ascendant Realm, the Demi-Mortal Lord Phase, or the patriarch of the Ma Clan, which one wasn't so highly regarded that most mortals couldn't even fathom?

Yet Ma Zheng held the calm aura of an old manager, amicable and gentle in tone.

Xue Yifei turned her hazel eyes towards Ma Zheng. She didn't know who this figure was, but she commanded respect from Ma Sujiang, an existence that she couldn't even resist. His cultivation base and status must be absurdly high. Therefore, she didn't hold any ill-emotions.

Just him interfering was sufficient to state his stance. Moreover, she didn't consider herself important enough to have Mystic Ascendants act against her. To have an Ascended act, the contents of that spatial ring must be incredibly tempting.

She respectfully bowed, "It is my greatest honor to greet Senior. I sincerely thank you for your help."

Ma Zheng smiled, lifting his wrinkles upwards. "You're too kind. Helping the concubine of a Mortal Sovereign Alchemist is my honor, but you'll soon realize that." He hinted to Xue Yifei about her exalted status.

Xue Yifei felt her heart tremble. No one besides the Valkyrie and Wei Wuyin's most trusted subordinates were aware of his abilities as a Mortal Sovereign Alchemist, and she never told anyone nor mentioned it.

Ma Ru's eyes widened. Concubine of a Mortal Sovereign Alchemist? What?! She couldn't help but look at the spatial ring that Ma Sujiang had passed to her, and she finally understood why Ma Sujiang had acted. There must be valuable products here, outrageously valuable.

What type of alchemical product could cause her cousin to act? A genuine Ascended?!

Ma Zheng held out his hand to Ma Ru. Instinctively, she handed the spatial ring to Ma Zheng, but there was a fraction of a second of hesitation as she was about to release it. Her heart shivered, and she let go. For a moment, curiosity and greed had sunk into her heart.

Ma Zheng didn't react to this, giving the spatial ring back to Xue Yifei. After retrieving it, Xue Yifei gave further thanks, gripping the ring harder subconsciously. She had similar thoughts, a desire to inspect it was burning in her heart at this moment.

Ma Zheng waved his hand and Tuo Bihan shifted from his location to before him. He floated before Xue Yifei. At the moment, he was bleeding from his eyes, ears, and mouth, and his skin was fracturing. He looked ghastly. If one inspected his internal state, they would be further horrified.

Not only was his Domain Seed cracked, his Astral Core was incredibly dim, the energies within were chaotic and ravaging his insides. He was injuring himself with every passing second due to losing control of his powers.

Xue Yifei's expression paled. She recalled Tuo Bihan's invigorated and refreshed expression, yet he was reduced to this state a moment later. "Can he be healed?" She cautiously asked, not wanting to act in fear of making it worse. This old man was a powerful expert, so he could handle it.

Ma Zheng glanced at Tuo Bihan. Tuo Bihan's body moved, rotating until he was directly before Ma Zheng. With a soft tap on Tuo Bihan's glabella, his physical state started to rapidly heal and his fractured skin vanished. The blood at his eyes, ears, and mouth dissipated and he returned to normal.

Tuo Bihan coughed, simultaneously, Ma Zheng coughed. Slowly, Tuo Bihan opened his eyes and was left to his own devices. When his feet touched the ground, he hastily looked around and found an unharmed Xue Yifei. A wave of relief coursed through his body.

Ma Zheng coughed again, this time it was heavier than before. He seemed sick, yet his aura was stable and his eyes were bright. It formed such a strange contrast that Xue Yifei thought he was faking it for sympathy. But why would an expert of his caliber ever do such a thing? There had to be something else to it.

Ma Zheng corrected himself soon enough, seemingly returning to a healthy state. "Young lad, I'm Ma Zheng, Third Manager of the Golden Life Pavilion. I wonder, what's this message you have for me?"

Young lad?

Tuo Bihan turned to Ma Zheng, shocked that someone was calling him young, but when he saw the elderly appearance of Ma Zheng and his status, he realized he definitely was far, far older than him.

"Junior greets Senior Ma," Tuo Bihan respectfully said. He was startled to find that he was completely fine after losing consciousness. He was certain his Worldly Domain had been shattered!

Ma Ru frowned. Tuo Bihan should refer to Ma Zheng as High-Lord or Third Manager, not senior. That should be reserved solely for those who were of the young generation and backed by a figure of equivalent or higher status. But this was just a difference in etiquette, if Ma Zheng said nothing, then it was fine.

"You have a strong Heart of Cultivation. The light of potential is very strong in your eyes—Don't lose it," Ma Zheng said. It was clear he referred to Tuo Bihan as a junior because of his reinvigorated mindset towards cultivation. Most his age and cultivation base had already lost their will to ascend, their Heart of Cultivation. It was extremely rare to see.

Tuo Bihan was startled by those words. "Thank you, Senior Ma. I do have something for you," he retrieved the silver box that was back on his bag. He was somewhat confused. When did it return to his bag?

But he still acted, and he didn't doubt Ma Zheng's identity. He didn't think many had the courage to falsely assume the identity of Ma Zheng in his own territory. He thought about something, "My Young Lord told me to tell you to take good care of Xue Yifei, Nyla Shur, and Zuhei. He also said he'll cover the cost of the dragons as well."

Ma Zheng's eyebrows lifted. He nodded, realizing the hidden message within. It wasn't regarding simply taking care of them, that was obvious, but giving them autonomy and protecting them while he was absent. It wasn't outright stated, so it was open to interpretation.

But the fact remained that it didn't need to be said, so coming to this conclusion was eventual. Well, for the intelligent. 'Is he testing me or the Golden Life Pavilion?' Ma Zheng amusingly smiled.

Wei Wuyin clearly wanted him to help establish the dragons lineage in the starfield, even stating he'll cover the costs. But this was a little difficult to do, so he had to carefully consider this option. But it was open to interpretation, not an outright request, so not doing so won't ruin their relationship.

He realized the mind of this little junior was a little too complex. 'But he has the Spatial Dragon Bloodline Lineage, so doing so will help him too, won't it?' As he pondered, Tuo Bihan had retrieved a spatial ring with the title: "Payment."

Ma Zheng glanced at Xue Yifei and Zuhei's spatial rings, laughing in his heart.

Tuo Bihan added, "My Young Lord said this was a down payment." He had to consciously use the title Young Lord, trying hard to not use boss in front of such a exalted figure. He didn't want to lower Wei Wuyin's status before such an important individual.

"Down payment?" Ma Zheng was startled. The concept of a down payment was far different from a payment. He sent a letter to inform Wei Wuyin that he'll need to compensate for their destroyed World Realm that was an ideal training ground. He didn't think it'd be paid all at once. After all, the value of the Seasonal Elemental World Realm wasn't minor.

Ma Zheng reached out for the ring and a spiritual light surged, entering his hand. The light carried a message from Wei Wuyin, but it was incredibly short. Just two words.

"Show me."

They were said calmly and with an intrigued tone.

Ma Zheng was so taken aback that he visibly recoiled a little, looking at the spatial ring with a shocked gaze, the lazy look in his eyes wiped out entirely. He looked at Tuo Bihan who was curious yet quiet, and then Xue Yifei who had a tightly clenched fist.

With curiosity abound, he inspected the spatial ring. When he did, his spiritual sense only saw two objects! Just two!

The first was a bottle with a single pill within. It was silver, clearly in the ninth-grade. It was labeled: Neo-Dawn Eclipse Pill, Low-Quality.

This caused him to be excited, his eyes brightened. Ma Sujiang's action might have been reckless and greedy, but it was understandable. She wasn't an idiot, and she considered all the possibilities. She even believed that Ma Zheng wouldn't punish her if she obtained this pill, but she couldn't verify if it was in Xue Yifei's possession.

Even if it was, she definitely couldn't allow her to keep it and refine it, especially if it was mystic-rank! As for asking her for it? There was no way anyone would willingly give this up, and she would be right! Xue Yifei definitely would not give the pill to another. It was the same as giving up Wei Wuyin's greatest treasure, and it even had his title!

She would've told Ma Sujiang to wait until Wei Wuyin arrived and ask him for one or details of it, but who knows when that'll be and if he would do so? Would another Mortal Sovereign Alchemist give up their secrets? No! Absolutely not! Would anyone, cultivator of alchemist, give up a mystic-rank pill to be deconstructed?!

ABSOLUTELY NOT!

The value of a mystic-rank pill exceeded some developed World Realms in their entity!

Ma Sujiang wasn't wrong with her instinctive actions to obtain the pill, because there was no other way to obtain it in her mind! As for offending the alchemist who concocted the pill? If the Ma Clan could recreate it, couldn't they just replace it or compensate them? They were the Ma Clan, head clan of the Golden Life Pavilion's Third Branch, did they lack wealth?

Unfortunately, she fiercely miscalculated!

Ma Zheng's yellowing hands trembled as he observed the second item in the ring with a dignified expression!

He was well-aware of Na Xinyi and her current cultivation state, how she had formed a Domain Seed at the Soul Idol Phase, bypassing the conventions of cultivation, and essentially became invincible beneath the Realmlord level! It not only gave one a Worldly Domain, it would ease their path to the Realm World Phase! It might be better to not say ease, but guarantee! It was utterly impossible to fail the Seventh Astral Tribulation with a Worldly Domain even if you had the worst foundation imaginable!

The importance of this made him punish Ma Sujiang, but he didn't go too far because he understood her! He deeply understood her!

If he was her age, in her position, he might've done the same! While he thought himself as rational and intelligent, the sheer earthquake this type of product could unleash wasn't just world-shaking—it was HEAVEN-SHAKING!

Yet…

Yet…

The second item was a slim book, and it was titled: "Concoction Method: Neo-Dawn Eclipse Pill."

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