Kunlun was neither the name of a person nor that of a sect.
However, it represented the most powerful force in a mighty nation. The Special Case Departments were, in reality, an offshoot branch of the Kunlun unit.
As Hua Yunfeng had revealed, most first-generation members of the Kunlun unit had already retired with Ye Qincang. The current "Red Sparrow" and "Azure Dragon" were the second generation of warriors who had used those names.
"Sixty years ago, Ye Qincang had swept across East Asia and cleared the path for the newly formed Chinese nation. By then, no one knew how powerful he had gotten. He is much younger than my ancestral chief, and Lord Shuming, so he must still be very healthy and strong physically."
Hua Yunfeng put in.
Cheng Danqin and Yukishiro Sa both pulled a taut face after hearing the old man's words.
Yukishiro Sa looked the most troubled. She cast a worried glance at Chen Fan. Although Chen Fan was practically a god in her mind, Ye Qincang's illustrative achievement and the fact that he had even defeated Lin Shuming opened a flood gate of concern and worry in the girl's mind.
Could Chen Fan really take on such a powerful foe?
On the other hand, Cheng Danqin cast a smug glance at Chen Fan with an upturned brow that read: "Chen Fan, there is finally someone that can keep you in check. Don't think that you can do whatever you want."
Hua Yunfeng's words were obviously a warning to Chen Fan.
He wanted to warn the young man to watch out for his own actions and have his wits about. His perceived dominance was in part because of the inactivity of more powerful warriors.
"I guess Ye Qincang was the one who made the Heaven roll? No wonder Red Sparrow always looked so unimpressed with me." The thought brought a smile onto Chen Fan's face
"Indeed. Other than General Ye, no one, other than General Ye would have the wisdom and the open mindedness that are required to create the Heaven roll."
"Ever since General Ye founded the Ye family of Mount Yan, the family had produced many renowned heirs. There were other Immortal State warriors even in this generation of the Ye family. No wonder Lin Shuming was in such a hurry to seek his revenge. I think Lin Shuming is worried that his remaining days in this world are numbered and he needs to act quickly."
"Therefore he had rallied his old allies to wage a war against Ye Qincang. Should he succeed, he would also have gotten rid of a potential rival for his heirs, if not pave the way to dominance for them."
Chen Fan narrowed his eyes and murmured.
"That must be it. Lin Shuming knew that Kunlun would not lay a finger on the Lin Family as long as he was still alive. However, as soon as he was dead, General Ye would lash out and eliminate the remaining forces of the Lin Family. The Hong Sect's Ancestral Patriarch must have felt the same."
Hua Yunfeng nodded and said: "Indeed. Lord Shuming is an Immortal State warrior, so it's impossible for him to make a move without attracting attention. They must have planned this attack in secrecy for many years. They only have one shot at this and once they make a move, there is no return."
Hua Yunfeng said.
He had thought that his words of caution might help bring Chen Fan down a notch or two.
However, Chen Fan didn't seem to hear his words. His levity didn't rub Cheng Danqin the wrong way, so the girl felt she had to speak out the obvious loudly to Chen Fan.
"Immortal Master Chen—if I may say so—you need to be careful about your actions. You are already the enemy of the Hong Sect and the Lin Family, you don't want to make another one, especially not Kunlun. I hope you learn from what happened to the Ancestral Chief of Hua Family. "
"Shut your trap!"
Hua Yunfeng's face darkened as he refuted the girl hotly.
The girl's remarks bore no sign of respect. To talk to an Immortal State warrior in such a tone was blasphemy! She should count herself lucky that Chen Fan didn't slap her in the face or outright kill her.
"Immortal Master Chen, please forgive Danqin. She is young and still has lots to learn…" Hua Yunfeng hurried to his feet and bowed deeply to Chen Fan.
"Foolish girl, I should have killed you, and I will if you ever use that tone on me again. Have your wits about, don't act like an idiot and practice what you preach." Chen Fan grunted and then shot a piercing glare at the girl.
The tension in the room squeezed oxygen out of Cheng Danqin's lungs, suffocating her.
She suddenly felt naked under Chen Fan's questioning gaze. It was as if an invisible hand had rummaged through her memory, unearthing every single secret she had buried in her memories. She quickly lowered her head to avert the gaze.
Chen Fan slowly rose from his chair and paced to the edge of the pavilion, looking down at the sprawling city.
"Hua Yunfeng, I know what you are trying to tell me. But you have underestimated my power. As long as neither Lin Shuming nor Ye Qincang have reached the Connate Spirit, I can take on both of them at once with ease."
Chen Fan's words were filled with assuredness and an unswerving conviction.
In the listener's minds; eye, Chen Fan's body seemed to have grown taller and taller until his head had reached the clouds; he was not a mortal, he had become a Celestial Lord!.
"Whatever… anyone can just say that. ‘I can take on both of the…' humph! Do words mean anything?" Cheng Danqin murmured in her mind. She clearly didn't believe Chen Fan's claim.
"Connate Spirit? What is that?"
Hua Yunfeng furrowed his brows and asked curiously.
"That's a term used by Immortal cultivators. I believe you call it Earth Level Deity on this planet. It's the same as the level of attainment achieved by Sword Secret the Exalted Cultivator."
"What? Earth Level Deity!"
Hua Yunfeng exclaimed.
Cheng Danqin also let out a surprised cry.
As its name suggested, the Earth Level Deity was considered a deity instead of mortal. It was the ultimate goal of countless cultivators on earth. However, no one had reached this level ever since Sword Secret, the Exalted Cultivator. Rumor had it that the legendary Taoist Zhang Sanfeng had reached such greatness, but history had proven that those were merely rumors.
"Are you… a deity now?"
Hua Yunfeng rounded his eyes and glared at Chen Fan shocked. His hands trembled in fear and excitement.
Deities were cultivators who had ascended godhood. Famous examples of deities were Lü Dongbin and Peng Zu. They could traverse great distances in the blink of an eye and kill their enemies from a mile away.
No one had heard of such a transcendental force for a thousand years.
Hua Yunfeng suddenly felt that her childhood dream of standing before a deity had finally come true.
"Deity? No, no. I am not."
Chen Fan shook his head. However, even as disappointment flashed in Hua Yunfeng's eyes, Chen Fan added: "But I am expecting to reach Connate Spirit Cultivator in three years. By then, even a real Earth Level Deity will be no match against me."
Before Hua Yunfeng could say anything, Cheng Danqin flung back at Chen Fan sarcastically.
"The world hasn't seen a real deity for a thousand years. Based on ancient records, the boundary between Deity and Immortal State was what separated a mortal from the immortals. Once one had achieved the status of a deity, he would have ascended to a higher plane of existence that was out of the reach from the Immortal State Warriors."
Hua Yunfeng nodded slowly.
Although no one in present-day had seen a deity, they were well documented in records of ancient sects.
Many ancient records described the power of deities in vivid details: that they could turn the ocean upside down, that they could move a mountain with each. The abilities of an Immortal State Warrior simply couldn't compare.
"You are talking about the Immortal State Warriors on Earth. I am an Immortal Cultivator with initial success in my Divine Body cultivation. My power is at least on par with those deities you are thinking about."
Chen Fan said proudly.
"Immortal Cultivation? Initial success in Divine Body Cultivation?"
The old man and the girl gaped at Chen Fan in confusion with no clue of what he was talking about.
Chen Fan turned around and locked his eyes onto the old man: "Hua Yunfeng, I sense that you are very close to reaching the Immortal State. So here is the deal: I will help you reach the Immortal State, and you will have to protect my family for fifty years."
Hua Yunfeng jerked himself out of his chair in utter surprise and glared at Chen Fan stupidly.
"Immortal State is so difficult to obtain that in the last hundred years, China has only seen two of them: Ye Qincang and you. It's easier said than done."
Cheng Danqin put in incredulously.
"My methods are none of your concern. All you need to do is trust me and fulfill our agreement. I can guarantee you that you will reach Immortal State." Chen Fan linked his hands behind his back and said indifferently.
Hua Yunfeng closed his eyes slowly.
His face changed from normal to green and then to pale as he struggled to make a decision.
"Teacher, don't listen to him. He must be lying. I have never heard anyone could help others achieve Immortal State." Cheng Danqin put in anxiously.
"OK, we have a deal."
Hua Yunfeng's face softened and then he said firmly.
Chen Fan shot out his right hand and traced an inscription in the air.
"Let this spell seal out a deal, and bind you to your words. If you ever walk back on your promise, the spell shall destroy your body and your soul!"
A golden Talisman Inscription appeared in the air. Although Hua Yunfeng couldn't make out the characters, he knew right away what it was.
This was a contract.
Hua Yunfeng doubled down on his decision and cut his thumb open using teeth. Blood welled in the wound and dripped onto the inscriptions.
Chen Fan then drew a fraction of Hua Yunfeng's soul out of his body to complete the contract.
The golden inscriptions suddenly lit aflame and turned into ashes.
As soon as the inscription disappeared, Hua Yunfeng felt a heavy force weighing on his soul. He knew that should he breach the contract the weight would come down and crush his fragile soul.
"It's not my first choice, but I am running out of time."
Seeing Cheng Danqin's distraught face, Hua Yunfeng lamented.
He was over a hundred years old. Although he was healthy, his time in this world was numbered if he didn't find a way to reach Immortal State.
His life was hanging by a thread, and Hua Yunfeng couldn't waste any opportunity he came across.
Chen Fan had seen through his trouble and therefore made an offer that he couldn't refuse. It's a win-win situation since he needed someone powerful to protect his family and prevent the tragedy from happening again.
After signing the Covenant of Soul and Spirit, Hua Yunfeng wouldn't betray Chen Fan even if he wanted to.
"Immortal Master Chen, when shall we start? Should I seek Numinous treasures to aid my ascension?" Hua Yunfeng bowed slightly and hazarded.
By then, he was still not entirely convinced that Chen Fan could hold up his end of the bargain.
Signing the contract with Chen Fan was his desperate last-ditch effort.
"Haha, I wouldn't need any elixirs. I will make you an Immortal State right here, right now!"
Chen Fan let out a peal of laughter as rays of azure light shot out from his eye and spilled into Hua Yunfeng's eyes.
Then he shot out a hand and grasped something in the air.
Suddenly, sixteen golden Talisman Inscriptions appeared out of thin air. These sixteen Talisman Inscriptions formed a small Spirit Gathering Array around the old man and started to channel Spirit Qi toward the Pavilion.
Yukishiro Sa and Cheng Danqin were both shocked by the incredible sight.