The crown prince looked at his father with a bit of a hesitating look, but he quickly nodded. "Yes, Father," he said.

"Come on, you two," he spoke. "Let's go."

"Uncle, did you watch our battle?" Allen asked. "It was amazing, right?"

"Yes, it was great. Your sister was better than you," the Crown prince said.

"No she was not," the prince said. "She cheated. She said it herself."

"I won," the princess said simply.

The uncle, niece, and nephew went on their way, quickly leaving the arena door, leaving Ning and the Emperor alone in there.

Ning looked at the Emperor and quickly bowed in respect. "It is an honor to meet someone of your status, your majesty," he spoke. He didn't know much about the Emperor, so he decided to take it slow. He didn't even ask why he was made to stay back.

The Emperor looked at Ning for a few seconds before asking. "Where did you find the Pure Essence to reach such a high realm?" he asked.

Ning thought for a moment and wondered if he should lie, but decided not to. Maybe the Emperor knew what it was that he had eaten.

"I ate a fruit, your majesty," Ning answered. "It helped me improve my Essence a lot."

The Emperor frowned a bit. "Fruit?" he asked.

"Yes," Ning said. "It was some sort of fleshy fruit that contained a lot of juice inside. The juice from what I could tell was a highly concentrated Pure Essence. That is how I started my Essence journey."

The Emperor thought for a bit and asked. "Was it white?"

Ning's eyes widened in surprise. "Yes," he said. "Do you know it, your majesty?"

"Where did you find this fruit?" the Emperor asked.

This one Ning had to lie about. He couldn't just tell that he had found it on top of a damn Divine Beast, or he would call him crazy. Even if he did believe him, he would then have to explain how he got to the turtle's back in the first place.

"A few fishermen in our village found them floating in the ocean, and my father bought it from them. I, being a mischievous child ate them when I found them," he said.

The Emperor certainly knew what the fruit was, or at least had heard about it, but he didn't reveal what it was to Ning. Instead, he asked another question.

"Your sword, may I see it?" he asked.

Ning was slightly perplexed at the request, but he didn't think anything weird with that. He had used an amazing sword, so the Emperor would most likely want to buy it from him.

He simply wasn't going to sell to him.

He took the sword out from his storage artifact and presented it to the Emperor with two hands holding either side.

The Emperor looked at it closely and nodded. "Good sword," he said. He had confirmed up close that this was indeed the continental sword. "Where did you find the sword?" he then asked.

"It floated in the ocean and was pulled by the fishermen, same with the fruit. I think because I had eaten those fruits, it bonded with me," Ning said.

"Hmm," the Emperor looked at the sword again and spoke. "I had initially intended on coming here to order you to give this sword to me."

Ning's eyes narrowed the moment he heard that. In the back of his head, he had an inkling of this being a possibility, but he hadn't expected the Emperor to be so blunt about it.

"I was going to force you to give me that sword," he said as a silver sword formed in his hand, with a unique Essence that Ning recognized from one of the previous battles.

Crystal Essence.

"However," the Emperor continued. "Since you are going to become even stronger most definitely, I cannot let you live. Thank you for bringing the sword to me. You can rest easy in your afterlife now."

Ning's eyes widened as the sword slash came down at him with an incredibly fast speed. At the same time, crystalline spikes grew from behind him, intending to pierce his back while the old man cut him down from the front.

He had already created a spatial portal to go through, which had appeared behind him out of nowhere.

The crystal that sought to kill him from behind went into the portal from the other side, while Ning was trying to escape from this side.

However, it was too late. The old man was simply too fast.

Even if he had managed to surprise the old man by creating the portal out of nowhere, he would've still been cut down by this sword that he had no way of dodging.

Suddenly, something struck the side of the sword, sending it aside so that it didn't hit Ning at all.

Ning entered through the portal and fell 4 meters into the stage where he had made the come out. He quickly looked up through the portal to see what had happened and saw someone there that had saved him.

"Clara!" he shouted in surprise when he saw that the person that had saved him was none other than the boss of Paradise Hunters, Clara Grazer.

She held a dark sword in her hand that clashed with the Emperor's white sword, neither gaining an inch on the other.

The Emperor was surprised, even confused as to what was happening for a moment. However, when he saw that the person in front of him was using Shadow Essence, his heart skipped a beat.

"You!" he couldn't help but say in a fearful tone. He recognized the face. "How… how are you still alive?"

"Surprised to see me, old man?" Clara spoke with a merciless grin. "Did you think you had killed us all?"

"No! NO!" he shouted. "Only the younger son should have been alive."

"It was not the son, I'm afraid. It was the daughter," she said. "I had planned on letting the past be past, but no. Now that I have my chance, I'm not going to let it pass."

"I am going to kill you."