Keith walked towards the Demiliore Manor with his hands in his pockets, leisurely looking at the dark sky that was showering the first snow of the winter in Sameran.
Yingying and Victor were quite surprised to see him totally comfortable in the cold weather. They knew very well that Keith had not yet started cultivating, but it did not look like he was pretending to not be bothered by the cold.
“Master, shall I bring you a coat?” Yingying politely asked.
“No need.” He closed his eyes and took a deep breath, exhaling a small cloud of fog. “You should have told me earlier that cold feels so pleasant once you have broken past the Body Refinement stage, and I wouldn’t have wasted so many years not cultivating.”
“Master…” Victor’s eyes widened in astonishment. “You are…”
He smiled at their reaction and drew his hand to Yingying. Understanding what he was asking her to do, she took stepped forward and grabbed it, scanning his body.
“Peak of Foundation Profound Realm?!” The disbelief in her voice reflected the chaos her mind was in.
The shock proved too much for the cold Yingying, who had trained for years to control her emotions.
“Peak of Foundation Profound Realm?” Victor looked at Keith in amazement. He knew that Yingying would never joke about it. “Master, when did you start cultivating?”
“On Friday morning,” Keith smirked at him and replied.
“Are you serious?”
“Yes.” He seriously nodded his head.
“W-what?!” Victor was a simple-minded man and believed his Master’s words without doubting them. “How is that possible…” But the question still remained.
Yingying was much calmer than Victor, but her mind was in chaos too.
She remembered checking Keith’s body on Friday morning when he had abruptly woken up from a nightmare. He had not started cultivating at that time. And now, two days later, he is at the Peak of Foundation Profound Realm! There were no words that could describe this situation.
To start on the path of Cultivation was not an easy task. The first Realm of the five Mortal Realms was the Foundation Profound Realm, and it was the trickiest of all five.
There were three Phases of Foundation Profound Realm; Aura Circulation, Body Refinement, and finally, Aura-Soul Formation.
For a person to complete an Aura Circulation, opening all the Aura Channels in their body, usually took around seven to twelve months. For some inborn geniuses, it still took up to five months.
The next stage of Body Refinement was harder and required more time. Even Yingying, who was hailed as a genius, took twelve months to successfully refine her body.
However, the most difficult phase was the Aura-Soul Formation, where the Aura of the Person starts taking the form of a beast, depending on the personality of the individual. And the completion of Aura-Soul generally took five to eight years. It also depended on the type of Beastly Form, but for someone to successfully form his Aura-Soul in less than four years was unheard of.
“Don’t tell anyone about it. And if someone asks you later, tell them that I have been cultivating for five years. Okay?” He seriously said to the two of them.
Both Victor and Yingying nodded their heads and managed to gather their wits, but their hearts were now uncomfortable. They spent years to get past the Foundation Profound Realm, and their Master was on the verge of stepping out of it in just two days. How could it not make them feel uncomfortable?
If he continues cultivating at this pace, would he still have a need for them to guard him? Won’t they become useless?
Keith was not worried that they would give away his secret. The two of them were his most trusted subordinates, and unlike the rest of the Shadow Guards in the Demiliore Family, the two of them were only answerable to him alone. And he had deliberately revealed the secret to them, to make them uncomfortable. And in just a minute, he saw the result he wanted to see.
Yingying and Victor’s eyes were brimming with determination to get stronger. Ever since the two of them had taken the job of his bodyguards, they had not had enough time on their hands to cultivate. It was especially the case with Yingying, who had been stuck in the Late Stage of Great Profound Realm for four years now.
“Focus on getting stronger if you want to stay by my side.” He simply said without looking at them, and they both nodded to his command.
Victor was at the Peak of Nascent Profound Realm, only a step away from entering the Great Profound Realm. And he was determined to enter the next Realm before Keith breaks past the Foundation Profound Realm and enters the Nascent Profound Realm.
And as soon as Keith Entered the Manor, he darted off towards his quarters to cultivate.
“Go and get some rest,” Keith commanded Yingying, who was still following him, before walking towards his mother’s room.
When he arrived outside her room, he came across a middle-aged woman who looked to be in her mid-forties. She had peculiar grey hair, which was not because of her old age, but the natural color of her hair, and as soon as she saw him, she respectfully lowered her head.
“Is mother in her room, Sibyl?”
“Yes, Young Master!”
“Did you tell her where I went today?”
The sudden question froze her mind, but then she recovered and kept her head lowered, not saying anything.
“Go, get some rest. Don’t stand here.”
He was not angry with her for what she had done. She was his mother’s shadow, just like Yingying was his Shadow, and her job was to do as her Master commanded.
Sibyl was responsible for gathering information for his mother, and he knew that his activities of the day did not miss her. He had asked Caesar to not try to cover his tracks when he visited the Angelini estate.
Keith knocked on the door of his mother’s room after Sibyl walked away, and without waiting for her call, he entered and closed the door behind him.
“Mother.” He politely greeted her when he found her sitting on the couch, with her pet Mountain Lion resting its head in her lap.
She was softly running her fingers through its coat, brushing it, which was making the big cat purr in satisfaction.
His heart constricted when she raised her head to look at him with those tear-stricken red eyes. And he immediately walked up to her in worry.
His movement disturbed the big cat, but it simply jumped off the couch and walked to the other side of the room, as if understanding that it better not be around what was about to happen.
“Where were you?” Venessa asked in a hoarse voice.
Keith frowned at the coldness in her voice and came to stand right in front of her, looking her in the eyes.
“You already know where I was, Mother.”
“I want to hear it from your mouth.” She coldly said, which only made him frown deeper.
“I went to see Greatfather.”
As soon as he said that, Venessa stood up, clenching her fists tightly, trying her best to control the urge to slap him.
“You can hit me if you want, Mother.” He lightly smiled at her and said, not answering her question. And he got what he asked for.
A loud smack sounded out in the room after Vanessa’s palm connected his left cheek.
Had it been anyone else, Keith would have sentenced that person to death in his heart. But it was not someone else but his mother, and he did not mind it. He was actually relieved that she hit him because she managed to control her rage as soon as she hit him, regretting it.
It was the first time in her life that she had raised her hand at him, and a tear slipped out of her left eye in pain.
“Why would you go there?!” She asked, half-crying.
“Because I had to, Mother.” He turned to look at her in the eyes and said. “It is for the best of our Family.”
“They killed my Father and Brother! My mother died because she could not cope with the loss of her husband and son! They were your Grandparents and Uncle!” She hysterically shouted at him. “How could you do this to me?” She rested her forehead on his chest and smacked it with her fist, again and again, repeating the question. But Keith stayed silent.
“Greatfather lost his Daughter and Son-in-law, and he lost his Son and Daughter-in-law. He lost his Grandchildren, and now only you and Uncle Damien remain. Tell me mother, is his loss any less than ours?” He questioned her once she calmed down.
“It was his son who took the first step!” She pushed him away and glared at him. “It was them that started it all!”
“And now they are on the verge of destruction.”
“Then let them be destroyed!” She dangerously said. “It should not be your concern!”
Keith lightly smiled at her when he heard her words.
“They are family, Mother. He is your Grandfather. And Uncle Damien is your cousin.” He lightly said. “Are you really asking us to turn our backs on them when the enemies are ready to devour them?”
His words only angered Venessa more.
“Who is she?” And she finally got to the point that worried her the most.
“Who is who, Mother?” He playfully asked.
“The girl you took with yourself to the Angelini Estate.”
Keith turned silent after he heard her words. And kept looking her in the eyes.
“Did Grandfather call you?” He guessed and asked, and Vanessa’s silence meant that he guessed right.
Five Mortal Realms:
1. Foundation Profound Realm
> Aura Circulation
> Body Refinement
> Aura-Soul Formation
2. Nascent Profound Realm
3. Great Profound Realm
4. True Profound Realm
5. Spirit Profound Realm
♛ Author’s Note:
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