The crowd stared in stunned silence at the scene before them. While they had been expecting one side to die due to it being a Life and Death duel, they had not expected it to end so quickly.
After a brief moment of silence, an absolute thunderous cacophony erupted within the crowd.
"Two moves! He just killed Hunter in two moves!"
"I know. Not only that, but he did so with a cultivation of a minor realm lower than Hunters."
"How is that possible? Has such a thing been done before? And did I see that correctly? Is he already utilizing profound Dao's to enhance his attacks?"
Heated discussions immediately broke out, with hardly anyone remaining silent.
John's cold eyes stared down at the corpse beneath him. The final threads to this nuisance were finally tied up. After a momentary pause, John reached out to gather Hunter's remains. However, his eyes narrowed as Hunter's body suddenly disappeared before him.
His eyes trailed upwards, as he saw the hate filled eyes of Elder Wren staring at him. He had snatched the body from John.
"You may have taken his life, but I will not allow you to take anything else from him," Elder Wren said to John, anger and sadness mixed within his voice and face.
John looked at the Elder but said nothing. While he did want the body, he didn't have a good reason to demand it from the Elder. Trying to do so would draw suspicion on him and his cultivation technique, which was not good.
Not only that, but John could tell that the Elder truly did care for Hunter, and most likely wanted to give him a proper burial.
However, Hunter had something that didn't belong to him.
"You can have his body, but give my friend his formation back. Hunter took the liberty to steal it from him earlier," John replied, his gaze unwavering even in the presence of an angered Heaven Tribulation Elder.
The Elder's eyes narrowed, especially when John said the word 'steal', as he was smearing Hunter's name even more, but did not argue. After a brief inspection of Hunter's spatial ring, the Elder found the item John was talking about.
He threw the item at John's feet without a word, before turning around and leaving. John's eyes locked on the Elders back for a moment before he reached down and gathered Adam's formation item.
"You've done well," Elder Ragur suddenly said to John as he placed his hand on his shoulder.
"Elder, where can one bury the dead of those belonging to the Heavenly Lightning Sect?" John asked, changing the subject.
His question was unexpected to the Elder, but he replied nonetheless.
"There is a Sect burial ground, where all those who died in service to the Sect may be put to rest. Why do you ask?"
John remained silent for a moment before replying, his voice heavy. "It's to bury Russell."
Elder Ragur's eyes lit up in surprise, and soon changed to sadness. "I see. I'll take you there. Follow me."
John nodded his head and followed Elder Ragur, who took to the sky to fly to the burial ground. Now that John was free of the restrictions of the ancient temple, his ability to fly was restored, and he was able to do so for the first time in his life.
Once one reached the Core Formation Realm, flying became as natural as walking. John's body quickly left the ground, as he soared higher and higher into the sky. Adam, overhearing their conversation, joined behind John, making sure he was there for the burial.
The crowd watched John leave, slightly surprised to see him leave so soon. They began to slowly disperse, but the subject of John and his battle spread all throughout the sect, becoming the hottest topic of discussion.
"After you are done with all you have to do, come see me," a voice suddenly appeared in John's head. It was the voice of the Sect Leader.
John continued onwards, flying for several minutes before landing in a large, expansive area. Headstones were visible as far as the eye could see, and easily numbered in the hundreds of thousands.
Elder Ragur noticed John's gaze, and sighed deeply.
"The path of cultivation is a dangerous one, and is one that claims many lives. When those we care about fall, the only thing we can do is live on for them, for they will always exist in our memories."
John felt a slight wave of emotion wash over him upon hearing those words, and couldn't help but nod his head in agreement, while his eyes lit up with fire.
"It's not the only thing we can do. And it's not the only thing I will do. I will drown the Bloodfiend sect in their own blood, and erase them from this world."
His voice was filled with determined passion, as his thoughts lingered on the Bloodfiend Sect. While he had killed the one responsible for Russell's death, that had not satiated his blood lust nearly enough....
Elder Ragur looked to John with a concerned expression, but could only sigh. John walked a much more dangerous path than him, one filled with battle, death, and blood. His talent was incredible, but that would only draw the eyes of his enemies to him even more.
"I will not try to deter you from this path, but I will advise you. You cannot fully avenge Russell if you are dead. Only by remaining alive can you carry out your vengeance."
He gave these words of caution to temper John's fiery emotions, and hopefully stop him from throwing his life away in a futile effort.
John nodded his head to Elder Ragur's words, but did not respond. He walked through the burial ground for some time, before finally finding an empty spot.
"You can bury him here. I'll speak with the Sect to erect a headstone for him later today."
John waved his hand, and a small hole in the ground suddenly opened up. The fragments of Rusell's body, which had been used as a corpse puppet, suddenly appeared in John's hands, and he lowered them into the hole.
Russell's head suddenly appeared in John's hands, causing Elder Ragur to sigh once more.
"Goodbye, my brother. I will drown the Bloodfiend Sect for you."
Adam stood there in silence, unsure of what to say. However, his face was scrunched up with emotions, as he watched his brother get laid to rest.
After saying these last words, John lowered Russells head into the hole. He stared at the body for a short while before waving his hand once more, covering up the hole with the dirt he had removed.
"I am returning to my abode, Elder Ragur. Thank you for your help today."
John's words echoed out, as he turned to the Elder and thanked him. Were it not for him, Elder Wren may have taken his life today.
Elder Ragur patted John on the shoulders, saying no words, as no words were necessary.
"Here," John said to Adam as his formation disk was tossed to him.
"My Fuck You Formation!" Adam exclaimed, his mood suddenly brightened.
John chuckled slightly at Adam's childlike antics, his mood also lightening slightly. Without saying any other words, John took to the sky, heading off to his home. After a long and arduous journey within the mysterious lands and ancient city, he wanted a brief moment of solitude.
"Welcome back. We are pleased to see you have safely returned," the voices of Francel and Reya entered John's ears as he strode into his house.
John nodded his head towards the two of them, who had been going about their day making sure his house was in top shape.
"I'll be going into seclusion for a while. Unless something is urgent, make sure I am not disturbed," John replied without missing a stride.
Francel and Reya nodded their heads in affirmation. "It will be done."
"Oh, and take this as payment for your diligent service thus far," John replied without looking back. Two spatial rings suddenly appeared in the air and floated towards the two of them.
Confused looks appeared on both their faces, as John was not in charge of paying them, but they grabbed the rings nonetheless and inspected them. Their faces lit up with absolute shock, as they both noticed the mountain of spirit crystals within each ring.
Such a sum was more than they would make in a lifetime of working, and was far beyond their expectations.
"We cannot accep-" Reya cried out as she looked back up towards John, but found him long gone.
Francel and Reya looked at each other, unsure of what to do. However, elation could be seen in both their eyes, and they quickly went back to their work, more diligent than ever.
John sat in his mediation chamber in the basement of his abode, taking in the rare silence. His life had been completely hectic these past few months, and had contained many highs, as well as several lows.
A large amount of spatial rings and other items suddenly appeared before him.
"Now, let's see what these rings contain."