"What's going on here?" a female Realizer asked. Her voice trembled when she saw the scene before her eyes. She had been a Realizer for quite some time and had killed many monsters. The woman had also seen the various conditions of the monster corpses.
She had seen the corpses of monsters charred to charcoal or dismembered into minced meat. She had seen them all. But the sight this time was terrifying and made her feel a chill. The monsters' corpses were not only dismembered but also lost their skin, making their condition look horrifying and disgusting.
"Does anyone know what has happened in this forest?" A male realizer asked. From how he spoke, he looked like the team leader. But he didn't get a single answer from the people around him.
"You all have to split up! Look for clues to what's happening here and collect valuable items around this area! Don't let our mission fail and our arrival end in vain! We'll regroup at this place in half an hour!" The male Realizer gave orders to his team members.
"We got it!" The Realizers answered in unison and dispersed to do their respective tasks. After all his team members left, the leader went into the depths of the forest alone to check the surroundings and ensure the area was safe.
Half an hour later, the Realizers returned to their predetermined gathering place. Some of them managed to collect valuable items in the area, but some returned empty-handed because they did not find the slightest clue about the massacre's perpetrators.
"From your faces, I can already tell you didn't find any clues because I am the same. This guy is very good at removing traces, and I'm having difficulty tracking him down. But one thing is for sure. The culprit is fighting using a sharp weapon-type Phantasmal Object if you look at the condition of the corpses of those monsters." The team leader smiled and said his guess.
But the Realizers around him were silent because they knew that without needing to be told by him. But they couldn't say it to his face because that person was the team leader on this mission.
"Alright. We should report this to our respective organizations. This isn't the first time this has happened in the Kanto region. The Realizers on the missions at Mount Tsukuba and Hinohara also experienced something like this. It seems this problem is more serious than we imagined." The team leader said seriously, and the surrounding realizers nodded in agreement.
After confirming that no danger remained in the area, the Realizers immediately left Totoro's Forest.
On the way back to Tokyo, Wang Haotian kept an eye on Tenku's condition while driving the car. He had checked the boy several times to ensure there were no abnormalities after the monster skin refining process.
Even though Wang Haotian knew that Tenku was fine and had just lost consciousness, he couldn't help but feel worried before the boy woke up.
"Ugh!" Tenku slowly opened his eyes and what he saw for the first time was a long road through the windshield. When he tried to move his body, he still felt the pain after the skin tempering.
"You're awake, kid?" Wang Haotian asked. He secretly sighed in relief when he saw Tenku was awake.
"Masters? Did I lose consciousness again? Then, where are we going now?" Tenku looked at Wang Haotian in confusion. His memory of the previous incident was still hazy because he had just woken up.
Tenku was worried that they would have to go somewhere else because it was already night, and he was sure that Misora must be frantically looking for him. He could only sigh in his heart and wish he could return quickly. Tenku didn't want to get too close to the people in that house, but he still needed them until he could take care of himself or at least until he had an income and a place to live.
"Yes. You're losing consciousness again. You've finished your training for today, and we're on our way back to Tokyo. I know you don't want the people in that house to worry about you, do you?" Wang Haotian said.
Even though Wang Haotian tried to act calm like a master, he couldn't hide the big smile on his face and his happiness that Tenku had succeeded in becoming a cultivator and broke through the first layer of the Tyrant King Body Tempering Art.
"Yes. You are right. Master..." Tenku wanted to say something to Wang Haotian, but he hesitated to continue.
"What is it? Normally you wouldn't hesitate like that." Wang Haotian smiled at Tenku and then drank the mineral water from the bottle placed next to his seat.
"May I live with you?" Tenku said seriously.
"Cough! Cough!" Wang Haotian choked after hearing Tenku's sudden request. He almost spat out the water in his mouth at the boy.
"No! I prefer to live alone. After all, my granddaughter often comes periodically to my apartment. I don't want her to see you." Wang Haotian refused.
"I understand." Tenku said weakly and felt a little disappointed by Wang Haotian's answer.
"We're going back to my apartment first so you can take a shower. After that, I'll take you home. You have to come back to my place tomorrow because your real training is just about to start. But before that..." Wang Haotian took a small knife from the dashboard drawer and slashed at Tenku's arm.
"Master! You..." Tenku panicked at Wang Haotian's actions, but then he widened his eyes when he saw that his arm was fine.
"Master, what happened?" Tenku asked confusedly.
Wang Haotian nodded with satisfaction and did not answer Tenku's question. This made the boy even more confused, but he did not ask further because he knew the old man's temper.
After returning to Wang Haotian's apartment, Tenku immediately took a shower and changed into the clothes they had just bought on their way. Wang Haotian only spent half an hour in that place and left again to escort Tenku to the Karitoshi residence. But when they arrived at their destination, Tenku hesitated to knock on the door for fear that Misora would scold him.
"Why are you just standing still, kid? Quickly ring the bell. I don't have much time to accompany you here." Wang Haotian urged Tenku. The boy nodded and pressed the bell hesitantly.
It didn't take long after the bell rang, and the door opened. Misora put on a confused face when she saw Wang Haotian. But when she saw Tenku with him, she quickly hugged him.
"Tenku! Where did you go!? I'm worried that I can't find you anywhere!" Misora was crying, and that made Tenku even more guilty.
"What happened, Misora? Why are you shouting?" Kouta appeared from inside the house along with Akina. When he saw Tenku, his face became gloomy as he remembered his wife frantically searching for the boy here and there this afternoon.
"Are you done playing outside and worrying us?" Kouta asked in annoyance.
Wang Haotian frowned when he heard those words. He was not happy that other people said that to his disciple. On the other hand, Akina just silently watched Tenku and the old man next to him.
"I… I'm sorry." Tenku said in a trembling voice.
"Do you think just apologizing can solve the problem? Don't you know how worried Misora is?" Kouta didn't want to accept Tenku's apology, making Wang Haotian's face sink. But before the old man opened his mouth, Misora spoke first.
"Stop it, Kouta! You should have heard Tenku's explanation first before blaming him!" Misora glared at Kouta and reminded him. She was not happy with her husband's attitude towards Tenku. When Misora saw that Kouta was silent and turned his face the other way, she couldn't help but sigh at his behavior. Then he looked back at Tenku.
"Tenku, please tell me. Where have you been all day?" Misora smiled and asked gently.
"I… I…" Tenku was at a loss as to how he should explain it to Misora. Wang Haotian couldn't help but sigh and decided to help him talk to Misora.
"I apologize for worrying you, Mrs. Misora. I took Tenku around Tokyo because he said he was new to this city. This kid reminds me of my grandson. Because of that, I played with him until I lost track of time and finally came back at night." Wang Haotian lowered his head to Misora.
"You are…" Kouta wanted to ask about Wang Haotian's identity, but he was interrupted by Akina, who tugged at his sleeve.
"Father, mother. He is the grandfather who helped us from yesterday's robbery." Akin said.
"What!?" Misora and Kouta were both shocked after learning that.
"I heard from my daughter about you yesterday. Thank you for saving her from the robbers!" Misora bowed to Wang Haotian and expressed her sincere gratitude. Kouta did the same but didn't dare to speak out of shame for scolding Tenku in front of him.
Wang Haotian was his daughter's savior, and Kouta should have treated him well. But instead, he scolded Tenku, who was considered a grandson by the old man.
"You don't have to think about that. I helped your daughter because I happened to pass by in this neighborhood." Wang Haotian snorted as he looked at Kouta. Then he looked at Misora again and continued.
"I will entrust Tenku to you. Think of it as a payback for me. Please treat him well. Next time, I might take him for another walk. In that case, I'll take my leave now because I have other things to do. Goodbye!" Wang Haotian smiled and waved his hand.
"Yes! We promise to take care of Tenku!" Misora said determinedly. Wang Haotian nodded in satisfaction and winked at Tenku before he left the place.
Tenku nodded and smiled broadly. He felt grateful that Wang Haotian had helped him to explain the matter and made him at least be treated better in the future by Kouta. After Wang Haotian's figure disappeared from their sight, Misora patted Tenku's head gently.
"Let's go in, Tenku. I've made good food. You will like it." Misora smiled and pulled Tenku into the house. Tenku nodded and happily followed Misora. Kouta walked behind his wife while holding Akina, who was pouting. After the door closed, Tenku's troubles with the Karitoshi family were finally resolved. It was also the beginning of the boy's journey as a cultivator and Realizer.
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