For an average person, if they were told that they could be a genius, there’s little doubt that they would claim their fame and live the high life. For the run-of-the-mill person like Xiao Yan, when he started training his Dou Zhi Qi, the temptation of being able to rise to fame would be unbearable. Of course he wouldn’t choose to stay hidden and continue to train!
If there wasn’t any accident, Xiao Yan could perhaps grow even more with his ‘genius’ label. Unfortunately, at 11, his label was stolen from him and in one night, a genius turned into a piece of trash.
After shouting at the top of his lungs for a while, Xiao Yan finally calmed down and his face turned calm again. No matter how angry he got, he wouldn’t be able to get his strength back.
Bitterly shaking his head, Xiao Yan felt miserable. He had no clue what happened to his body, and nothing seemed out of the ordinary. His spirit was growing as he aged, as expected. His absorbtion of Dou Zhi Qi was also extraordinarly fast. It was faster than the strongest fighter from a few years back. All these factors should have meant that Xiao Yan was a natural genius, but all the Dou Zhi Qi that he absorbed seemed to be completely gone. His self-esteem took a big hit and he could only feel depressed.
Taking another deep breath, Xiao Yan raised his hand. On his finger was a black ring of simple design. The material used to make it was unknown. On it were some markings as well. This was the only present his late mother gave to him before she passed. He started wearing it since the age of 4 and even now, 10 years later, he was still wearing. It was a precious gift from his mother and Xiao Yan treasured it dearly. He rubbed the ring and said bitterly: “These few years, I’ve really let Mother down, huh?”
Sighing deeply, Xiao Yan quickly stood up and turned around, saying to the black figure from the woods: “Father, why have you come?”
Though his Dou Zhi Qi was only 3rd stage, his spiritual awareness was akin to that of a 5 star Dou Zhe, perhaps even better. While thinking about his mother, he felt a sudden disturbance from the woods.
“Ah ah, Yan Er3. It’s already quite late. Why are you still here?” From within the cluster of trees, after a moment of silence, a tender voice sounded.
The trees shaked a little and a middle-aged man jumped out, face smiling widely. His eyes were locked on his son under the moonlight.
The middle-aged man was wearing an expensive looking grey tunic. He walked with pride and dignity and his face showed it. He was the Xiao clan leader, as well as Xiao Yan’s father, a 5 star Dou Shi – Xiao Zhan!
“Father, why have you not returned to rest yet?” Facing the middle-aged man, Xiao Yan’s smiled thickened. Although he had another set of memories, when he was born, the person before him treated him as with love and care. When he lost his power and spirit, the love did not lessen but grew instead. This poked at Xiao Yan’s heart, making Xiao Yan recognise him as his father.
“Yan Er, are you still thinking about what happened this afternoon?” Taking a big step forward, Xiao Zhan smiled again.
“Ha ha, what’s there to think about? It’s within my expectations.” Xiao Yan shaked his head and forced a smile.
“Ai…” Looking at Xiao Yan’s tender face, Xiao Zhan let out a sigh. The both of them sinked into silence for a while, before Xiao Zhan said: “Yan Er, you’re 15 now, aren’t you?”
“Just one more year… and you have to attend the Adulthood Ceremony…” Xiao Zhan said.
“Yes, father. Only a year left.” Xiao Yan’s fist clenched for a while before he replied. He was extremely clear what the Adulthood Ceremony meant. Once the ceremony had past, for the Xiao Yan that didn’t train, he would be subject to the criteria of searching for Dou Qi techniques. Because he was so weak, he would be sent to do a normal job in the other parts of the Xiao clan. This was a clan rule and even if the clan leader was his father, he would not be able to do anything about it.
If one didn’t reach Dou Zhe by the age of 25, the clan would abadon them.
“Sorry, Yan Er. If you don’t reach the Dou Zhi Qi 7th stage by next year, I can’t do anything to help you, no matter how much I want to. In this clan, I’m not the sole decision maker. There’s also those old geezers waiting for me to make a mistake…” Looking at the peaceful Xiao Yan, Xiao Zhan voiced guiltily.
“Father, I will continue to work hard. One year later, I’ll definitely reach the Dou Zhi Qi 7th stage!” Xiao Yan reassured his father.
“4 stages in 1 year? Ahh… if it were me from before, it may have been possible, but now… I might not have much of a chance…” Though Xiao Yan was trying to reassure his father, he himself was bitter about it.
Knowing full well Xiao Yan’s position, Xiao Zhan could only answer with a sigh. He knew that 4 stages of Dou Zhi Qi in a year was extremely difficult. He gently patted Xiao Yan’s head, and smiled, saying: “It’s getting quite late, you should go back and get some rest. Tomorrow, the clan has a guest and you shouldn’t miss the ceremony.”
“Guest? Who?” Xiao Yan asked, full of curiousity.
“You’ll find out tomorrow.” Xiao Zhan winked at the restless Xiao Yan, leaving with a big smile on his face.
“Don’t you worry, father. I’ll work really hard.” Xiao Yan rubbed the simple ring while raising his head and whispering.