Li Feng!

Tao was still in shock, unable to comprehend what was happening yet.

"Who are you? And how do you know my true identity?" Tao whispered, numerous thoughts racing through his mind.

"Everyone thinks I'm crazy, and they call me a servant, but you— you know who I am," Tao spoke with a curious tone.

"I assume you saw the star last night on your way here; it signifies hope, doesn't it?" the old man said, and Tao's eyes shone.

Tao's mouth was wide open. How could someone from the human world know about the star? How did he know so much?

"You know the star too?" Tao said, and the old man chuckled.

"Who are you? And... How do you know all this?" Tao asked, and the old man smiled softly.

The old man placed a hand on his shoulder and exhaled.

"I was wondering why the ira appeared in the sky after 20 years of being here. I thought my eyes were deceiving me, but now I understand what it was trying to show me," the old man said.

Tao looked at him, not fully comprehending yet.

"You are the hope; it is you because of you that the ira appeared last night. I have found hope again after 20 years, suffering in the human world," the old man said, and Tao shifted back a little in shock.

Shock gripped Tao. He wasn't sure if he heard correctly.

"Did the old man just talk about suffering in the human world? Isn't he from this world?"

From the way the old man spoke, Tao was taken back to an old memory back at the Air Tower. Tao's mind raced through many past memories, and there was a man Tao used to know at the Air Tower.

Tao was only 6 years old then, and there was a warrior on the light side who went missing mysteriously from the Air Tower. The older warriors searched for him, but there was no trace of him. As years passed, they forgot about him.

"You are—" Tao muttered, his eyes scanning the old man from head to toe.

"Yes, light warrior! I'm Li Feng, the missing warrior of light!" Li Feng said, and Tao stood up, fell on one knee, clenched his right fist with the left, and bowed. It was a sign of respect.

When Tao was younger and was still on the elemental realm, Li Feng was the most powerful among the transcendent sect. He heard lots of stories about Li Feng and the demons he overpowered and subdued.

"Rise, I am not an immortal anymore. I'm just Li Feng. Besides, if any of the commanders find you bowing to any other person other than the desert master, you are dead," Li Feng said to him, pulling Tao back to sit on the bench.

"The elders, they all thought you went missing. Your story traveled for many years, even after you disappeared. Some believed you joined the warrior of darkness," Tao said, overwhelmed by seeing someone like him in this world.

Tao's mind was relieved. At least, there was someone here who knew him.

"How did you get here, Master Li Feng?" Tao said.

"Shhh! You can't call me master, boy! The only one you should call master here is the Desert Master. If you call me that, they might kill both of us. Also, I'm just like you now; I lost my powers after I left the Air Tower," Li Feng warned.

"How did it happen? How did you end up here?" Tao whispered, and Li Feng smiled. It was a smile that showed all the suffering he has endured over the years.

Tao had been human for only a day, and it was like hell to him; he wondered in his head how Li Feng was still alive.

"Tao, you think you are the first cultivator who tried to ascend the elder realm?" Li Feng asked.

"I was the first to make that attempt. You must have heard the rumors saying there is a demon in the elder realm that swore he would be the only one in that realm, his name, Na'ru," he said, and Tao nodded.

Tao used to think he was the first that tried to ascend from the Transcendent realm into the elder realm, but then if he were the first, then how did the rumors spread about Na'ru?

"I made the attempt before you; I faced Na'ru in my attempt to enter into the elder realm, but he drained me of my Qi and pushed me into this world," Li Feng said.

Tao's eyes shone. Now he understood why and how Li Feng went missing.

"After that, I became a servant here, and I have served for 20 years. In my earlier days, I was so desperate to find home; I wanted to return to the Air Tower. I thought there would be a way, a door that I can pass and make it back, but as time passed, I got old and so did my hope age out," Li Feng said, and it melted Tao's heart.

Tao felt bad for the hell Li Feng had been through for 20 years. He couldn't imagine.

"My hope finally died at the age of 18, exactly when the years I spent was up to 18. But then, my hope was brought back to life when I saw ira, the star of hope," Li Feng said.

"What are you talking about?" Tao asked.

"You, Tao, the warrior

 of light, you are my hope of getting back home," Li Feng said.

Tao wondered what he was talking about. Did he need to tell Li Feng about what happened to him again? He was also pushed out of the Air Tower like him.

"What are you saying, Master Li Feng? I lost my powers just like you; how can you put your hope on me?" Tao said, his brows meeting in shock.

"You must, you must hear me, warrior of the light! The star cannot lie; you are the hope!" Li Feng raised his voice, and Tao trembled.

"But how?"

"I don't know how, but I think slowly you can rebuild your Qi from scratch. You are still young, Tao, and I have lost all possibilities of retrieving my lost Qi, but you, there might be a little hope for you," Li Feng spoke with a low tone.

As Tao listened and was about to ask a question, the door pulled open.

"Fool!" they heard a voice shout from the entrance of the servants quarters.

The name made the other servants laugh as they focused on Tao. He was embarrassed as Chen walked toward him, shouting the name "fool" from afar, multiple times.

"Can't you hear me calling?" Chen said as he strode, increasing the pace of his feet.

"Don't call me; that is not my name," Tao said; he couldn't take the disrespect anymore.

"Tao, you must remain quiet. If he calls you fool and you answer it, it doesn't mean it is your name, it means you are wiser than him for trying to avoid troubles," Li Feng whispered into Tao's ear.

Tao was not sure of what Li Feng meant, but he sighed and nodded.


"I thought you wouldn't answer me; then I'd have no choice but to throw your food into the gutter!" Commander Chen said.

He held a tray with two plates on top. One with something that looked like it was fetched out of a gutter, but it was soup, and then in the other plate, there was something that looked like dry wood, but when Tao looked closely, he recognized it might be bread.

"On our way here, you said you were hungry; I had to get through a lot to bring you food," Chen said, and then Tao turned to look at Li Feng.

Li Feng gave him a nod, telling him indirectly that it was the only thing they got as food as servants.

Tao turned to Chen and as he stretched forth his hand to collect the tray, Chen let go of it, and the soup and the bread fell and wasted on the dirty floor.

Tao was shocked as his only hope of feeding for the day had just passed. His heart was shattered as hunger tore into his stomach.

"Oops! Sorry, it slipped," Chen said with a smile on his face. Tao knew he did it on purpose.

"The Master's wife would want to see you soon, so eat up!" Chen said.

"Eat up while it is still warm," Chen said glancing down at the spilled soup, and then he stepped on the bread with his dirty boot.

Tao was boiling and wanted to speak, but Li Feng held on to his arm.

"Anger will be your fall; let it go," he whispered into Tao's ear.

Tao maintained a gaze with Chen who had an annoying smile on his face.

"Technique 1: Let your anger build silently; don't express it until it builds into power," Li Feng whispered to Tao's ear, reminding him a code of conduct from the Air Tower.

Tao remembered it, and he nodded. He learned that code in the elemental realm.

Tao stepped back, picked up the bread, dusted it, and peeled off the layer where Chen's shoe touched, and he took a bite out of the bread.

The smile on Chen's face dissolved, and disappointment and anger showed on his face. He didn't know Tao would still eat the bread without complaining.

Chen turned around and stomped off without saying a word.

"Technique 2: When you follow technique 1, your enemy will stand in shame," Tao murmured.

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