"PAK!" a resounding slap reverberated on the scene. If Clark had made a fist instead or has not controlled the power of his love tap, then Lu Fang's head would have no doubt exploded in a blood fog.
Alas, Clark decided that the sins of Lu Fang has not at all warranted certain death in consequence. An old man rose from his fallen posture and looked at Lu Chen with the eyes of surprise.
'I live?' Lu Fang asked in the silence of his thoughts. He took a moment to calm his nerves before taking the courage to address his once upon a time friend. One that he had let down many years ago.
"Was it worth it in the end, Lu Fang?" Clark whispered the words out. His gaze softened as he recalled the bittersweet moments of his youth.
An unchangeable past he'd shared together with the one who had deceived him in the end. The two of them dreamed for a brighter future but it was sad that only one was able to complete his wishes.
Not without cost though.
"It has its good moments, Lu Chen. I could not complain how my life turned out to be." Lu Fang's eyes took a shade of nostalgia for a breath. He recalled the beautiful moments Lu Chen had spared him with.
It was ever Lu Chen who excelled more than Lu Fang. This old man could never imagine how high Lu Chen would have soared if not for the betrayal he had orchestrated willfully.
"Then that's all i wanted to hear." Clark closed his eyes and when he opened them once again, a smile could be seen to replace the recent look of hate.
"I'm here to register as a new cultivator of the clan, Hall Master Lu Fang. Will you assist me... old friend?"
"Of course, old friend." a grayish man's eyes misted for a few seconds before it was roughly wiped out by a wrinkled palm.
* * *
Three men walked into the inner sanctum of Lu Family's domains. The pathways were connected from the business hub earlier but the atmosphere could not have been more different than the former.
While the last one was filled with the noise of life and activity, this new site exuded a sense of stillness and tranquility that was simply peculiar on its own.
The busy, almost suffocating aura from before, painted a tantalizing contrast to the one that was savored by the same three men at this moment.
Two old and one middle aged.
The short walk passed wordlessly amongst the three as if each one was well aware of the sanctity that graced them an unforgettable experience to remember.
Alas, no rest was afforded for the eccentric and this proved true enough for the ever vigilant gamer.
"What's all this about, Nancy?" Clark asked his handy system.
He could feel the difference in the air and it was a special feeling, an energy of sorts, revitalizing and palpable enough to sense, one that he had never before felt in the two lives that he'd already lived.
"There is a large array in this location, host.
This particular formation condenses the spiritual essence of the world and stores it for better use unto the ones that are lucky enough to be granted a stay within this circle of power."
Nancy came to the rescue as usual.
Her knowledge boundless and absolute which made our good protagonist offer a silent thank you to whatever deity may have pulled the strings after his untimely demise.
"So this is the effect of a magical formation. Very nice!" Clark inhaled deeply and at the same time closed his eyes to relish this heavenly feeling that assailed his senses.
'FUCK! This kind of instant high could get addictive!' Clark realized thereafter but then he smiled to enjoy a good moment for what it was worth.
And to this avid perfectionist, it was worth pretty pretty high up in his notes of to do list.
'I'll get myself one of these the first chance i get my hands on some spirit stones.'
A minute and a half elapsed before a sublime view greeted the three men who, in one way or another, were beholden to the Family of Lu.
From here on out, there were no more archaic buildings to hinder their scrutiny in all directions. What came next was a total deluge of a raw and enchanting masterpiece.
The spectacular sight was that of an alluring garden that was made flawless with grand flowers wherein which neither Clark nor Old Peng could put a name to a single mesmerizing plant before them.
'These are living treasures!' Clark exclaimed inside.
The distinctive hues of the breathing fresh flowers was only second in scale to how uniquely fragrant the collective flora around them as it dispassionately blessed its mortal audience.
The three could not help but stop there and witnessed how epic the ways of nature were, sometimes.
At least Clark can swear that he has not seen such grandeur and beauty arranged perfectly before his very eyes.
"It's beautiful, isn't it?" Lu Fang was the first one to utter any word since forever.
"Yes... it really is beautiful." Clark murmured, afraid to disturb the breathtaking masterpiece nearby.
Old Peng was of course used to not talking unless addressed to so he stayed there with his jaw hanging on his face in absolute astonishment.
'Dear God, am i in Heaven already?' The good servant was almost hyperventilating in shock. He could honestly say that this was probably the most beautiful thing he had ever seen in his long life.
A few moments passed and the old slave dropped down in tears and with his eyes closed, he kissed the very ground he stood upon.
He realized that a lowly slave like him was not worthy to stand before the magnificent creation of the Divine. Clark looked at this and offered a bitter smile towards his good man.
How could he not know the woes of the old servant?
Especially during those times when bitterness ate the heart of Lu Chen in the past, it was always Old Peng who stood tall like a stalwart sentinel even through the changing seasons and tides.
'My ever dependable servant. Thank you, Lai Peng.' Clark left these words unspoken as he allowed Old Peng to feel the bliss of being here.
He wandered his eyes to the set of waving colorful flowers and had an impulse to touch these speechless creation on his palms.
Alas, he denied this impetus call because Clark instinctively felt that he was also unworthy of these flowers' caress. In the end, Clark satisfied himself in etching this stupendous locus inside his heart.
Seven minutes exited to the past before Old Peng afforded a semblance of calm unto his features.
He was still the same old ugly man, already decayed by time and its heartless tribulations, but there was a beautiful oddity that visited his mien at the moment.
He had an innocent smile on his face, mirroring a memory from a distant past when he was still full of promise and unjaded by the harshness of reality.
Old Peng resembled someone who accepted his frailties and has come to terms with his fate.
No more sorrow.
A fresh start for one so advanced in age. It was never too late embrace your inner self. If Clark had not known any better, he would have testified that he had an old enlightened Daoist Monk for a servant.
Whisking these useless thoughts off, Clark put a gentle hand unto Old Peng's shoulder.
"Are you okay, Lai Peng?"
"Yes... I am okay now, master."