From the thick spiritual qi oozing from the red cloth, it was clear it held a century old knotweed.
Of the four greatest clans in China, Bai clan and Lin clan were the strongest, while Su clan and Yang clan had vast knowledge. And if one would scour the entire nation for an expert clan in plants, none could hold a candle to Yang clan. Li Mo asked Yang Honglei for the century old knotweed precisely because he knew Yang Honglei would deliver.
The century old knotweed wasn’t as uncommon as the rare millennium old spiritual herbs, but just as people were good or bad, so were the plants. Because of different growing methods and environment, spiritual herbs with the same age may have different potency.
Same century old knotweed was far better if it came from the Yang clan.
“A bet must be honored. I have no complains about that, but I don’t accept the result. That is why I want to challenge you again.”
Yang Honglei showed a transparent bottle with two leaves inside.
Li Mo couldn’t help conceal the light in his eyes as he saw them. ‘The Yang clan has an ancient tea tree, their clan’s treasure. Can this be…’
“These are two leaves from a two millenia old ancient tea tree. These two mere leaves are not something money can buy. Since you won, it shows you also cultivate ancient martial arts and became enhanced. To a normal human, the most these leaves can do is make him healthier and cure hundreds of illnesses. But to someone like us, it is an item that can increase our cultivation.”
“Dao Comprehending Tea, no?”
“How do you know my Yang clan’s ancient tee tree’s name?” Yang Honglei’s face changed.
“You said it yourself, I am someone who cultivates ancient martial arts. The Yang clans’ Dao Comprehending Tea rose your clan to fame. Is it that odd for me to know of such a famous name?”
Yang Honglei’s face eased a bit, “Since you know of Dao Comprehending Tea, then you must know of its value. Well, what’s it going to be? Are you man enough to compete with me again?
“If I lose, the two tea leaves are yours. If I win, you’ll return the century old knotweed.”
Li Mo smiled, “No one will be at a disadvantage in this transaction.”
“Then let’s compete!”
Yang Honglei put away the Dao Comprehending Tea tea leaves, took off his leg weights and all other heavy items on him.
Last time he lost, but he just couldn’t accept it. He summed up his loss because of one, he underestimate his enemy by wearing weights and adding even more, making his standing unfair from the start.
Second, running at high speed was too foolish. In an endurance race, what mattered wasn’t speed but rhythm. With a good rhythm one could run much further.
Third was tied to his health. Because of the rules of the contest, he suffered a lot. Throughout the race, Li Mo always followed behind him. As for exceeding him, that only happened at the last moment when he was spent. This kind of win was too cheap.
“We are both cultivators of ancient martial arts. If we compete by normal human standards, we’ll see dawn before we can make out a winner. That’s why this time I thought of adding an extra rule. Regardless of who is first, if one of us stays ten minutes in the lead, the contest is over.
“Well?” Yang Honglei taunted Li Mo with his eyes.
Li Mo was now 15 years old and Yang Honglei, in fact, wasn’t that much older. He enlisted in the army at 17, and was now 20 years old.
Li Mo nodded his consent.
Yang Honglei laughed, “Then let’s get to it.
“I am bigger than you and, to be fair, I will let you run first.”
“Ha-ha, then you better not complain I was hard on you.”
“Come, come, let’s start right now. We shall run along this straight path.”
Yang Honglei was eager to start.
Li Mo walked to where Yang Honglei dumped his weights and placed them on his legs. Then he hauled the backpack.
Yang Honglei was stunned, “You want to run with weights?”
“I don’t have any weights on myself!”
“Yeah, I know.”
“Are you looking down on me?” Yang Honglei snapped in anger.
“Not at all. We are just beings living in different worlds.” Li Mo bluntly said.
‘When fighting for six hundred years in the universe in my previous life, didn’t I come across that strong one who could rip apart stars with a flip of his hand?’
“We shall soon see as we race!”
Yang Honglei was pissed off.
Li Mo hopped and nodded to Yang Honglei, “We can begin.”
“What do you mean?”
“To be fair, I’ll let you run first.”
“Kid, you asked for it, so you better not complain to me later.”
Yang Honglei’s rage towered as he shot like an arrow.
Yang Honglei was running like mad, so fast that he even surpassed the 100 meter dash world record.
‘Ten minutes in the lead and the contest is done. Li Mo, don’t think an ancient martial art makes you all powerful. You’re not the only one who practices it!’
‘Winning with an ancient martial art feels like cheating!’
Reaching that thought, Yang Honglei took out from his chest two talismans with super speed written on them. He stuck them on his legs and his speed jumped higher in an instant.
As he was speeding on, Yang Honglei heard the wind in his ears and looked to see Li Mo taking one step at a time, at leisure. Yet the fact remained, he was gaining on Yang Honglei.
Yang Honglei was stunned, howled, and picked up speed like crazy. However, Li Mo was step after step right on his trail, and gaining.
Yang Honglei watched in a daze as Li Mo outran him, but his style was as relaxed as before…
One minute, two minutes, three minutes…
Having gained the lead, Li Mo kept his speed constant, always staying in Yang Honglei’s sight. Regardless of the effort, the strain he was under, Yang Honglei could never overtake Li Mo again.
This contest was over…
Yang Honglei stopped and watched Li Mo with dismay.
“Here are the tea leaves.”
Yang Honglei gave Li Mo the Dao Comprehending Tea leaves.
The Dao Comprehending Tea was priceless. The two millenia old Dao Comprehending Tea of the Yang clan allowed less then ten leaves to be harvested every third year. Because Yang Honglei was outstanding, the Yang clan’s patriarch bestowed him two leaves of Dao Comprehending Tea as reward.
Yang Honglei watched Li Mo dumbfounded. Only now he grasped the meaning of gap.
“How can this be? Of the four great clans, if we exclude Lin Qingrou, who I never met, and my clan sister, my talent should be the best there is. I’m not even 20 this year yet I broke through to the 4th layer of Enhanced Stage. Grandfather always says I am an incredible genius and Yang clan’s best chance at being a Spirit Driving Stage before the age of 30… “
“I lost. A complete defeat that I can accept. But let me ask you, how big is the gap between us?”
“You are the nation’s sharp blade, your duty is to defend the nation and not get swayed by emotions that you keep nagging me with, a middle-school student.”
Yang Honglei was startled.
“What do you pursue?”
“To surpass the current Army God and become the new one!” Yang Honglei spoke without the slightest hesitation.
Li Mo looked at the sky and pointed, “There.”