A gigantic wave was approaching the island at a speed of about 150 km/hr. Lan Ju and Mark were waiting at the beach to face it.

Soon, it struck both of them and then washed away everything on the island that is on its path. Thousands of small fishes and other aquatic beasts crashed onto the island.

Lan Ju was not only unharmed but also didn't move an inch from the spot.

As for Mark, who wore the Exo suit in order not to waste his defensive skills and ether energy, he was pushed away atleast for a hundred meters before the water retreated to the ocean. He was of course unharmed.

However, his attention was on the house with the barrier as it was also hit by the wave. Seeing that there were only cracks in the barrier, Mark let out a sigh of relief and rose to his feet.

Meanwhile, Lan Ju's focus was on the ocean. His senses were at their peak but couldn't sense the enemy no matter how far or how deep he searched.

"Is there a demigod trying to play hide and seek with us or was Lu Zhen just mistaken?" The zheng wondered as he cannot sense any other presence.

It was at that moment a heavy sigh was heard in the surroundings, making the demigod-realm beast emperor jump on his feet in an alert. "Who is it?" Lan Ju asked in a loud tone.

A reply came in the form of two words, "Truly disappointing." The voice was quite deep and quite commanding to the zheng, increasing his curiosity.

Lan Ju looked around and tried his best to locate the enemy but to no avail. He couldn't help but wonder out aloud, "Did the enemy master the art of invisibility or something?"

The voice responded once again, this time with a bigger sentence, "Feline creature, you are too noisy. Stay silent for a while and let me concentrate on the guy with the weird costume."

As soon as his words ended, four large turtles were summoned around Lan Ju with each one releasing an energy chain. These chains bound Lan Ju and completely restricted his movements.

Lan Ju resisted for a couple of seconds and then became silent, although, for some reason, he didn't transform into a beast to free himself.

Meanwhile, Mark halted his footsteps in shock. After all, the zheng is his greatest backing. Anything that can capture him is something that is too powerful and running away is a terrible idea. He understood that very well.

Now, this situation leaves him with only one choice. He would have to raise the upper limit of his skill prowess. In the present situation, all the damages of his skills were capped at 10.9 points of stat, which might or might not be enough if this unknown enemy was prepared.

Luckily, the stat pills were also in his storage ring.

However, this also had a problem. Even after he raises his cultivation level, his ether points will still be at around 1 million. It means that he might have to depend only on the skills that consume a fixed percentage of ether energy rather than a numerical amount.

So, bloodline skills like Absolute Freezing, Blizzard wings, and summoning his beasts might be out of the question. But then again, with Baltrow and Lan Ju on his side, he never had to depend on his summons either. Hence, there wasn't much to lose.

Before he proceeded, he just needed to be sure that what he was going to do is worth the trouble. Judging by the tone of the invisible stranger, it appeared more like he wasn't that hostile.

Should he trust his instincts or should he take the intelligence pill to be safe?

Just as Mark was contemplating on whether to make a breakthrough to 7-circle or talk it out with the ambusher, the voice was heard from the sky once again, "Good, stay that way without making any trouble, feline creature. Now, the master of the zheng, hear me out carefully. Before I reveal myself, you will have to prove your worthiness. You failed the earlier test. But, I was willing to give you another chance. Of course, you weren't given any choice about this. So, get prepared to face the trial."

"Trial?" Mark's thoughts about the breakthrough were thrown into the back of his head as his attention was picked by the voice from the sky. Naturally, he wasn't pleased by the proposal either. "Who are you? What do you want?" he asked, trying his best to stay calm on the surface.

"Calmness is a good trait for any kind of Spirit Warrior but having pride should be in respect with one's strength. After all, excessive pride will only lead to a downfall in the end. Let's see if your pride is in the same equation as your strength or if it is excessive." An odd reply came from the sky before a golden portal appeared before Mark and engulfed him.

After Mark disappeared from sight, Lan Ju took a deep breath and asked, "Why are you doing this? For what reason do you want to test Lu Zhen?"

"Ho, now that's unexpected." The voice exclaimed in surprise. It further commented, "It appears that you have discovered my identity."

Lan Ju nodded firmly and then spoke in a polite manner despite his hands and legs being tied up by energy chains, "Yes. Those spirit-suppressing turtles gave away your identity. It is also the reason why I no longer wanted to resist, Lord Yuqiang."

Once Lan Ju spoke those words, the turtles disappeared and he was freed. Followed by that, an old man with an ordinary-looking face made his appearance.

One cannot be fooled by his average build and the peaceful vibes of a civilian he was giving at first glance. Lan Ju knew how dangerous this fellow is.

Hence, he fell on his knees and kowtowed to greet the stranger.

In response to the greeting, the old man chuckled and made a comment on the appearance of the zheng, "You rejected the human civilization for three decades without bothering to integrate into their society, and yet, you like to stay and behave like them in the end."

Lord Yuqiang's comment was only met with Lan Ju's silence.

Seeing this, Yuqiang lost interest to converse about other matters and proceeded to speak of his real intentions, taking the zheng by surprise.

Meanwhile, Mark was transported to a place where he can only see a stairway to some kind of door in the end. Everything else was blocked.

At first, he was angry at this mysterious being for transporting him to this place without his consent but then as he calmed down himself, Mark realized that the enemy isn't hostile and wanted to test him for something.

With the zheng being captured too easily, he became worried about Song Yue's safety. After all, none of those will be able to protect her. Adding on top of this, the system is offline.

Hence, he first needed to control his emotions and get out of this situation by following the rules set by the enemy. Mark proceeded to go through this trial by stepping on the first step without knowing what kind of test he was going to face.

Quickly, his surroundings changed once again. The place looks like a cave of an ether mine. Thousands of ether ores could be seen protruding from the walls.

However, none of that mattered as there is a giant creature waiting for him.