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Chapter 26: Self Esteem

 Chapter 26 Self Esteem A

"Xiao Fan, didn't you said you are going to find Ashh and that big yellow dog, why you bring me to the kitchen?" Issa was behind Shaw Danon, kept murmuring while they were entering the kitchen.

The kitchen was much larger than Bamboo Peak's. It was also brighter. He searched carefully while saying: "I didn't see them at the morning, so I guess they must be here."

Issa shrugged his shoulder, said: "Impossible. What do you think Monkey Phantasm is? They are celestial nature. Far holy than the men kind. And you see it as a thief, a greedy thief!"

Then Issa was stunned to see Shaw Danon held Ashh out behind the jar at the corner of the kitchen. Ashh screamed in mid-air. Big Yella came out behind the jar and barked at them.

Shaw Danon looked at Issa. Issa did not know he should laugh or cry.

Shaw Danon held Ashh in his arms, and scolded Big Yella: "Stupid dog, stop barking. You want people to catch us?"

Big Yella understood what he meant, and stopped barking. It looked at Ashh and moaned. Shaw Danon looked around and see everything was fine. It seem like the two thief hadn't steal anything yet. He quickly carried Ashh outside, but then he discovered Big Yella did not follow them. Shaw Danon turned and saw Big Yella took a bone out from the jar.

Shaw Danon glared at Ashh. Ashh grinned with a silly smile on its face. Issa stood next to them, shook his head.

They brought the monkey and the dog sneaked out of the kitchen. If someone discover them, the shameful record will never able to wash away. They relieved when they got far enough.

Shaw Danon said as he gasp for breath: "Right, I still haven't congrate you for wining an other round."

Issa didn't care, his eyes were on Ashh, said: "So what? Going to lose to someone sooner or later. Why Ashh is so dirty? You didn't wash it for days?"

Shaw Danon startled: "Never wash it."

Issa seem about to faint, he hitted himself at the forehead: "You, you, how could you treat it like this!"

Shaw Danon thought that moneky often running around, how can it be clean even if he does wash it. But seeing Issa's heart hurted face, he knew Issa wouldn't listen to any reason. So Shaw Danon changed the subject: "Right, do you know at tomorrow contest, Anan's opponent is my Shijie Hidi?"

Issa startled: "Is your Shijie, the Hidi with Pheonix Soul?"

"Yeah." Shaw Danon patted Ashh: "These two days Anan was really showing off. I am really worry about Shijie."

Issa nodded: "That's right. Anan's "Aeolian Firmus" alone already bad enough."

Shaw Danon began to worry: "Shushu, do you think my Shijie will be in danger? You see Anan had destoried her opponent's sword at the first battle. We also heard the Shixiong from main house was serverely injuried at the second battle."

Issa stared at him: "You worry too much. I can see that your Shijie's cultivation is far higher than yours. You better worry about yourself instead. The opponent will get stronger and stronger later on. According to you, you haven't get to Pure Essence's Yu Qing's level three yet. At that time, you will get killed by one blow! Let me hold Ashh."

Shaw Danon hesitated for a moment, then handed Ashh to him. Issa cheerfully held it in his arms. Ashh was not happy it. It "creak creak" screaming.

Shaw Danon sighed: "You are right. Shijie's cultivation is very high. She is also beautiful. So many, so many people like her. How it is suppose for me to worry about her?"

Issa held Ashh tight. His eyes was fixed on Ashh. It was like he will suffer some losses if he doesn't look at Ashh for a second. He said casually: "Its good that you understand that. You should focus on how to save yourself tomorrow. I am telling you. The opponent you are facing tomorrow is my Peak of Wind Devi Shixiong. His cultivation is definately can not be compare by Chu Yu Wang. Especially his sword Wu Gou, it is crafted by thousands years old Flame Copper. Very powerful."

Shaw Danon's eyebrows touched, said: "Everyone of you have good esper with you. What can I do about it?"

Issa's eyes was still on Ashh. He was walking away: "Ashh, come with me. I will give you some banana, good? Er, Xiao Fan, what did you said?"

Shaw Danon walked with him, sighed: "I really admire that you can use esper. How does that feel like?"

Issa shrugged: "It just the same. Once you use it long enough, the esper will naturally has some response to you. Then you can use your mind to navigate your esper. It will follow you where ever you go."

Shaw Danon startled a little, said: "Response, is it like some coolness feeling?"

Issa's eyes were on Ashh, answered: "Not necessary, depend on your esper's material."

Shaw Danon thought for a moment, then shook his head and threw away the idea in his mind, said: "Shushu, the godly weapon like Aeolian Firmus, how did they crafted it. The scene must be magnificent right?"

Issa looked at Shaw Danon, said: "How would I know? It is also the first time I see the legendary esper." Then he lowered his head and looked at Ashh. Not care about Ashh's angry face, he patted its hair. He said: "But about response. I had read it from an ancient book. The esper that can truly connect to cultivator's heart is not some heavenly, divine esper."

Shaw Danon surprised: "What is that?"

Issa said: "It is the esper that added owner's blood while crafting. Use blood to fuse the materials together. The esper will usually has some evil energy and chi. But it is like become part of owner's body. Althought the book say this is Evil way, it usually crafted out some evil esper, not accepted by the Good. But these type of espers can only use by the person with owner's blood, not like our espers that will surrender to higher cultivated elders!"

Issa stopped, discovered no one was next to him. He turned and saw Shaw Danon stopped. He was lost in thought. His look was weird.

Issa was bewildered: "What it is, Xiao Fan?"

Shaw Danon's body shocked, he forced himself to smile: "Not, nothing."

Issa looked him, assumed that he was worrying about the contest. He went to him, smiled and patted his shoulder: "Rest assured. I already talked to Devi Shixiong. Tomorrow contest, he won't give a hard time and let you lose no so miserable, so your master won't be mad at you."

Shaw Danon was still quite absent minded, but nodded: "Oh, thank you."

They continued walking. Issa was busy looking at Ashh. Shaw Danon's mind was filled with thought, didn't say anything. After a while, Ashh could not take Issa any longer, it screamed angrily and scratched Issa's face. Issa thought Ashh was being obedience, so he lowered his guard. This time he couldn't dodge it. Few scratch marks were added on his face, so painful that he let go of Ashh.

Ashh regain freedom. It did not go back to Shaw Danon, instead, it ran swiftly forward. It went on someone that was walking to Ashh.

Shaw Danon startled. A lady was standing there with a red silk around her waist. It was Hidi. Just when he was about to speak, the boiled blood frozen down. Standing next to Hidi, it was a handsome young men. Isn't it Kevern?

Hidi was also surprised. Ashh normally sticked with Shaw Danon. Today it suddenly changed and came to her unexpectedly. She actually like that smart monkey. She patted Ashh and smiled: "Xiao Fan, why you are here?"

Shaw Danon shown no expression. He said quietly: "I am walking with my friend."

Kevern saw Issa, he smiled and folded his hands: "Ceng Shidi, we meet again."

Issa returned the salute, said: "Qi Shixiong, hello."

Hidi looked at time, surprised: "You two know each other?"

Kevern smiled: "Ceng Shidi is beloved son of Peak of Wind's Ceng Shishu. With his family secret teaching, he is very cultivated. He is an opponent that we must watch out for in Seven Peaks Tournament!"

Issa chuckled: "Qi Shixiong your name is shocking in Jadeon. You are the lead of the disciples. How could I dare to do anything!"

Kevern laughed: "Ceng Shidi overpraised me. I don't deserve this title."

Hidi noticed Shaw Danon was a little weird. She went to him, said: "Xiao Fan, what happened?"

Shaw Danon shook his head, said: "Shijie, you know tomorrow your opponent is Anan. You must be careful!"

Hidi smiled, then looked at Kevern. Kevern smiled and did not say anything. Hidi replied him with a smile, then turned to Shaw Danon: "I know. Kevern is highly cultivated and kind. He specially asked me out here to instruct me a few notices that I need to beware of during the contest."

Shaw Danon lowered his head, after a while he said: "Shijie, tomorrow I have a contest with Peak of Wind's Devi Shixiong. I can't cheer for you. You be careful!"

Hidi casually said: "Doesn't matter, Xiao Fan, dad and mom will come watch me. And beside, " She peeked at Kevern: "Qi Shxiong will also come watch my contest. With his advise, I can not lose."

Kevern laughed: "I can't promise that."

Hidi turned her head back and glared at Kevern, but then she chuckled. Her white skin with faint color of pink, really enchanting.

Issa could clearly see Shaw Danon's eyes darken quickly, but he didn't get mad. Issa couldn't help but frown.

※※※

Deep in night, the cold moon hanging on the sky.

In Cloud Sea, it's silence. A lonely figure under the cold moon light aimlessly walking, walking.

He walked on the Rainbow Bridge, back to the green pond. The water was as smooth as mirror. It reflected the stars, like they had fell into the water.

A beautiful scene in a fine night, it was so pretty.

Chapter 26 Self-Esteem B

But that person appeared not notice that. He was just staring at the water. Seem like he was trying to recall something. After a while, his body trembled. His hands held tight like it was very painful.

Then, he slowly turned his head to the dark woods near the Rainbow Bridge. He slowly walked to there.

The moonlight shone upon Shaw Danon's face, there was a little sadness.

Should he just, forever stood there at the dark corner, quietly watching other people's happiness, while himself tasting his own pain?

Far away, there were sound of foot steps.

Dark, he quietly hiding in the woods.

"So late, what is Head Shixiong summoning us for?" Following the sound, six people appeared. They were the head of the six peaks. Tian Bolis was there. The one who just spoke was Shang Zheng Liang.

Master Vasp Caelo, who was walking in the front, said: " I heard Head Shixiong used Psychic Art on Master Spirit. I am fear he had discovered something, so he ask us to come and discuss."

"Master Spirit" Water Kirin was the Jadeon's guardian spiritual beast. It was very important. No one said anything more. Then, they were getting far away.

After they were gone, Shaw Danon came out from the woods. He looked at the pond. The pond was calm like usual. Master Spirit already slept.

He raise his head and looked at the cold moon. When he was planning to go back, he took the fire stick out from his clothes. What Issa had told him really shocked him. But at that moment, there were no idea in his mind other than Hidi and Kevern standing together.

His heart, alway seem stabbed by a needle. But now, his heart was already numb. It was all empty. His souls and spirits were seem to be gone.

He slowly held up the fire stick. Under the green surface, he could clearly see the thin, red threads, like blood vessels, spread all over the stick, even on the orb.

Isn't that my blood?

At the moment he heard what Issa told him, he had an impulse in his mind that he wanted to throw away his fire stick. But then Keven and Hidi gave him a much more heavy blow. He could no longer care about the so-called evil item.

"Hmph!" He laughed bitterly, "even if it's evil, it's still a powerful esper. How could I be suitable for such thing. With me, isn't it the ugly fire stick?"

A coldness slowly rose from the fire stick and entered his body, seem like comforting him.

"Esper? Esper?"

Shaw Danon gritted his teeth, "What am I? How could I know how to use esper?" Then, his voice choked. The icy energy seem also surprised by his sadness. The coldness became more active.

Shaw Danon could feel it, but did not worry about it. He pretended it was just the mountain wind blew passed him. He slowly raise head, looked at the fire stick. The scene of him and Hidi went to the ancient valley appeared in his brain. It was like happened in previous life.

The blood vessels of fire stick slowly brighten up with green light. It was responsing. Shaw Danon was surprised. He remembered what Issa told him today. An uncontrollable impulse suddenly appeared in his heart.

He closed his eyes.

Instantly, he felt no chill even though the coldness had spread through his entire body. Around him it was silent, but he could hear a roar in deep of his heart, like countless of souls screaming in hell, with the endless grief, rising in his heart.

White bone, flesh blood, screaming, smell of blood!

Shaw Danon opened his eyes, panting. Then, he calmed his breath.

His hands lay flat. His finger formed incanation mark. The black fire stick flight away from his palm. Standing in mid-air, with black gas and green light.

In front of the fire stick, a heathly tree completely withered all the sudden. The leave fell on the ground. It was like its life got taken away by some force.

It was the first time Shaw Danon felt how closely he were with the fire stick. Even the fire stick was stopped in mid-air, he could still feel he is holding it. The familar coldness had never be so strong before. A strange flesh energy was absorbed by the fire stick, and spread through Shaw Danon's body.

At that moment, Shaw Danon heard a low whiz behind him. He turned and found the water of the pond was no longer calm. It seem like something was surprised. He did not think more and quickly ran away. Ran across the Rainbow Bridge. He did not turned his head. When he finally arrived at Cloud Sea, felt there was nothing strange behind him, he stopped and gasp for breath.

Then, he looked at his black fire stick again. Now, the fire stick was like usual, laying on his hand quietly.

※※※

The next day, Jadeon Seven Peaks Tournament entered the third round.

Eight platform was exactly enough for sixteen disciples, start the contest at the same time. Shaw Danon was assigned to "Kan" platform, Xavion at "Li", as for Anan and Hidi's contest, they were assigned to the largest platform, "Qian".

According to Shaw Danon's friend Issa who he met for only three days, the Jadeon's old men were having problem on assigning platform. But that was no wonder, Anan and Hidi's battle attracted the most people. Anan and her "Aeolian Firmus", everytime when she had a contest there would be hundreds of Jadeon disciples crowding around the platform. Bamboo Peak's Hidi was also well known in Jadeon for her wisdom at young age. She defeated many powerful opponent in the past two days. She was also attractive to many young disciples.

Today the two most outstanding, young female disciples were crossing in battle, elders may felt sorry for them, but the Jadeon disciples already surrounded the Qian platform like a steel bucket.

Xavion and Shaw Danon were standing in front of Tian Bolis. Tian Bolis said to Xavion: "Today your opponent is main house's Dubaku. He is very hard working and cultivated for long time. Extreamly strong in defenive magic, the opposite of your 'Ten Tigers' sword. You need to be careful."

Xavion said respectfully: "Yes, master."

Shaw Danon felt this name was familar. He remembered it was Dubaku who lead him and Baye to Crystal Hall five years ago. Thought of that, it reminded him of Baye. He heard his friend had won the second round yesterday, and see as a prodigy, but Shaw Danon did not get the time to congrate him.

Tian Bolis turned to Shaw Danon. Shaw Danon stood there, lowered his head. Tian Bolis frowned, said: "Seventh, you too need to be careful. It doesn't matter if you lose, just careful not to hurt yourself."

Shaw Danon's body shook. No one could see how he felt, he said quietly: "Yes, master."

Xavion looked at far away, told Tian Bolis: "Master, it's not early now, Xiao Shidi and I should get going."

Tian Bolis nodded. Surin smiled: "Look out for everything."

Xavion answered and walked with Shaw Danon to the outside of the crowd. He had a feeling that this Xiao Shidi was unusual today. He was so quiet unlike normal days. He said to Shaw Danon: "Xiao Shidi, why you did not say anything today, are you nervous?"

Shaw Danon looked at Xavion, forced himself to smiled, but didn't answer.

Xavion cheerfully smiled: "Don't think too much, and don't worry about win and lose. Although master and Shi niang really care about reputation, but they will not blame you. Understand?"

"Yes." Shaw Danon answered. His mind thought: They don't have any hope on me anyway, of'course they won't blame on me.

Xavion nodded. They finally got out of the crowd. Xavion laughed: "Xiao Shidi, we will need to go different direction. Good luck to you. Hope you win again." Not wait for Shaw Danon to react, he laughed and walked away.

Shaw Danon sighed and walked toward to his platform.

Below "Kan" platform, most Peak of Wind disciples were there. Shaw Danon could see Gao Shixiong and others. Peak of Wind was an important house in Jadeon. It had over two hundreds disciples, after Peak of Widows and Dragon Head Peak. It's appeared that they heard something from Issa. Everyone smiled to Shaw Danon friendly.

But for some reason, Shaw Danon felt the kind smiles were all annoying, like despise to him. He expressionlessly walked onto the stage. Everyone were opposition of him. This time, Issa wasn't here, because he had his own contest too.

Even if he is here, he should cheer for the Shixiong of his own house!

In Shaw Danon's heart, there was an indescribable loneiness. On the top of the stage, facing so many people's eyes, and yet he had no friend.

Because of what, why, why it is that he alway need to face everyone himself, not even able to see a friend!

A sixteen years old youngster, his heart was silently calling. He bitted his lip, lowered his head.

The mountain wind passed his face.

"Ding!"

The bell ring from far and near almost rang at the same time. Sounding over the Peak of Widows. Shaw Danon's heart beated. The first idea came to mind is: Hidi Shijie's contest should have already begin. She must not get injuried.

Then his heart sorrowed, thought: "She get hurt or not, when does this up to you to care? Not to mention about master and Shi niang are there, even Kevern said he will go there right after he quickly finish his opponent. Heh heh, quickly finish the opponent. Really impressive, really confident, seeing the opponent as nothing-"

As he was thinking, he thought that he was standing on the stage, until his opponent called for the third time: "Zhang Shidi!"

Shaw Danon suddenly awaken. He raise his head and found a Peak of Wind Shixiong was already there in front of him. He was a huge guy, but his face was kind. He saw Shaw Danon was day-dreaming, and his expression was a little strange.

Chapter 26 Self-Esteem C

Shaw Danon flushed. The people below the stage laughed.

Devi folded his hands and smiled: "I am Peak of Wind disciple, Devi. Zhang please give some guidence."

Shaw Danon quickly said: "Bamboo Peak disciple Shaw Danon, greeted Peng Shixiong."

After they greeted with each other, Devi smiled, looked at Shaw Danon then said quietly: "Zhang Shidi, Ceng Shidi already told me about you, I-"

Shaw Danon couldn't control himself, said: "Peng Shixiong, please give me all you got."

Devi startled. Then took back his smile, his right hand sliced in front of him. A sword that bright with red glow, was like it was burning by fire, was summoned.

"This sword 'Wu Gou' is crafted with the thousand years old Flame Copper. Zhang Shidi, please." Devi had turned into serious. It was like he is facing equal level opponent.

Shaw Danon could feel the heat from far away. This fire was strong and fiery, very different than Chu Yu Wang's Shaoyang sword's soft warmness.

Shaw Danon's heart beated fast. His body was shaking. But he gritted his teeth, controlled himself, and took out the black fire stick.

Mean laughter came from below the stage.

Shaw Danon's heart was like stabbed by a needle.

Devi did not laughed. He looked at the black fire stick, said solemnly: "Zhang Shidi, please!"

Shaw Danon looked at this opponent. Behind the burning fire, he was like an ancient fire god. The burning flame cause smoke in the air. He couldn't see his face clearly.

The black, ugly fire stick, slowly left his hand, and let out the green light. Although ugly, although seem weak, it stood in mid-air, facing the unstoppable fire, it and its owner, had no sign of withdraw.

One person, one fire stick, facing the entire world.

The laughter stopped. They all held their breath.

The ball of fire became stronger. No one know what made it burn so vigorous. Even the Peak of Wind disciples could feel the heat. The low cultivation disciples even stepped back. Friend of Issa like Gao Shxiong's face changed. They could see Devi was not going to go easy on him. He was completely going all out.

The fire dragon was getting stronger, covered up most of the stage. Shaw Danon's clothes, and even hair, had sign of burned. He was like in the heated oven.

And then, that youngster standing there, although felt the pain he was not stepping back. His eyes had fear but also rage. The fire in his heart was like burning in his eyes.

A whistle, the fire dragon pounced, and swallowed the world.

Seem like that moment had frozen the time.

Shaw Danon and the fire stick entered the sea of fire.

The sound of burning fire could be heard from far.

Below the stage, Gao Shixiong and others looked at each others in the eyes. Then, they sighed: "Why it turn out like this!"