“Yes.” The old man knew what Liyu Zhen was thinking. After a brief pause, he said, “Han Sen did a better job than you. Therefore, he is better suited for looking after the star tree.”
“That is impossible! I bet he didn’t even kill 1000 King star beetles. How can you claim he did a better job than me?” Liyu Zhen demanded. He simply couldn’t believe this.
He knew Han Sen had been chased by a deified star beetle the whole time. There was no way he could still have done a better job than one of the Very High.
“Go take a look. You can find out for yourself.” Instead of explaining, the old man gestured absently up at the tree.
Liyu Zhen had received a recommendation for this job. The old man didn’t really care about Liyu Zhen’s personal feelings, but he still owed the young man an explanation. Otherwise, others would question the choice. Han Sen wouldn’t earn the job properly, and people would speak ill of the events of the day.
Instead of going and looking for himself, Liyu Zhen simply turned to Han Sen. “How many King star beetles did you kill?”
“Three thousand six hundred and fourteen,” Han Sen answered.
“Impossible! You were being chased by the deified star beetle. Even if you weren’t, you couldn’t have killed that many star beetles in such a short amount of time.” Liyu Zhen’s eyes were filled with disbelief.
Because they weren’t allowed to harm the star tree when they fought, they couldn’t use geno arts that had an area-of-effect. They had to kill the beetles one-by-one with great care. Killing 2000 in a single day was a shocking sum in itself. But Han Sen claimed to have killed 3614. That was the sort of tally reserved for deifieds only. It should have been impossible for him to achieve that.
And Han Sen had to spend additional time traveling. So he had spent less than a day killing the fiends.
Han Sen smiled, but he didn’t say anything.
Liyu Zhen’s face hardened. He teleported up to visit where Han Sen had been.
Quickly, Liyu Zhen found the star beetles that Han Sen had killed. When he first saw them, he thought they were alive. It didn’t look as if any damage had been done to them.
But their lifeforce was all gone. They were dead.
Liyu Zhen frowned. He examined the body of the nearest star beetle and discovered the tiny wound on the star beetle’s forehead.
“One hit to kill them by severing their nervous systems. That way the beetles had no time to struggle. That is both a very powerful geno art and a remarkable control of power,” Liyu Zhen murmured.
But he didn’t believe Han Sen could have killed 3614 star beetles. Geno arts that accurate could only be used in very favorable conditions, and executing a strike like that would be impossible while being chased by a deified star beetle.
Liyu Zhen quickly flew around. He found many star beetles scattered around, all dead. There were many across the branches, many more across the leaves… They had all died of the same precise head wound.
The damage had been inflicted with such accuracy that Liyu Zhen wasn’t sure if he could do the same even if he had time to prepare. And if he was getting chased by a deified foe, he definitely couldn’t have done it.
After a short time of searching, Liyu Zhen discovered 3000 star beetles. He then decided to stop looking. Han Sen’s number was most likely correct, and there was no way Han Sen could lie to the elder about how many he killed.
But now, Liyu Zhen believed Han Sen must have cheated or made use of a powerful weapon. If he hadn’t, there was no way he could have slain so many powerful King beetles while also being chased.
He teleported back to the old man. Liyu Zhen bowed to him and said, “Uncle, can I take a look at your video of the event?”
“Sure,” the old man said with a shrug.
Liyu Zhen opened the video of the test. One side of the screen played Liyu Zhen’s test, whereas the other was a recording of Han Sen. He didn’t watch his own video. He focused on Han Sen’s. He watched it at eight times the normal speed, examining how Han Sen progressed in his killing of all the beetles.
In the beginning, Liyu Zhen was trying to find evidence of Han Sen cheating. But after watching for a while, Liyu Zhen’s face slowly morphed into a mask of shock.
Despite the hot pursuit of the deified star beetle, Han Sen was able to continue hunting the King class star beetles. Every time he killed one, he moved elsewhere. His progress was as fluid as could be, and there was a satisfaction to watching it all unfold.
After watching for a while, Liyu Zhen came to the conclusion that the way Han Sen killed his enemies was weird, but he hadn’t cheated. Han Sen had treated the deified star beetle like a doll, as if it was no more than a puppet on strings.
Han Sen lured it left and it went left. He lured it to the right and it went right. It followed him like a puppy dog.
But Liyu Zhen knew the deified star beetle was no puppy. It was a skilled and dangerous fighter. Even if he used a deified treasure, Liyu Zhen didn’t think he could easily kill it.
Han Sen hadn’t used any treasures, and he was still able to play the deified star beetle like a fiddle. Liyu Zhen was at a loss. The way Han Sen controlled his surroundings was vaguely reminiscent of a deified using the Very High Sense. Even so, it seemed different.
“Have you practiced the Very High Sense?” Liyu Zhen asked Han Sen.
Han Sen shook his head. “I have never practiced the Very High Sense. I used Sky Palace’s legendary knife skill Under the Sky.”
Exquisite nodded and said, “Yes. He is known for his use of Under the Sky.”
Since Exquisite had just confirmed it, Liyu Zhen couldn’t doubt it any further. Han Sen was Exquisite’s silkworm, so his thoughts couldn’t be hidden from her.
Liyu Zhen was so annoyed. He had planned to teach Han Sen a lesson by beating some manners into him. But he hadn’t taught Han Sen a lesson, and on top of that, the silkworm had claimed the guardianship of the star tree—a role that had previously been reserved for Liyu Zhen.
Liyu Zhen really regretted it now. He regretted suggesting they do the test together. If he hadn’t pushed it, he wouldn’t have lost his bid to control the tree.
After seeing the replay of Han Sen’s battle, Liyu Zhen didn’t say anything more. He bowed to the old man and left. He was far too embarrassed to stay.
They were both ninth-tier Kings. Han Sen had been chased by a deified star beetle, and he had still managed to kill 1000 more King class star beetles than Liyu Zhen. This result crushed Liyu Zhen.
But when Liyu Zhen left, he took Han Sen’s video with him. No one knew what he planned to do with it.
“According to the agreement, you can start off with 36 star fruit. Why don’t I round it up and give you 40, then?” The old man smiled, and then he went on to say, “From now on, you are in charge of protecting the star tree. You can have 10 star fruits a month as a reward. You can take the ones for this month now. So, for now, you may take 50 star fruits with you.”
Han Sen was delighted. It had been a long time since something this good had happened to him. He quickly agreed.
He would only have to watch over the star tree and slay some bugs. That would earn him 10 star fruit a month. It was easy money. And killing the star beetles yielded a form of reward, as well.
Exquisite explained the method for taking the star fruit to him. Han Sen couldn’t wait to start. He flew up toward the star fruits that looked like suns.