Qiu Hengkong stood there in a daze.
Gu Tengying was an inner sect disciple. In Qiu Hengkong’s heart, he was already an illustrious elite of the Origin Palace Realm; ordinary cultivators of the same realm were far from comparable to him.
And Tao Yunchi was even stronger than Gu Tengying; he was one in ten thousand, with foundations and cultivation that stood out even in the Fulcrum of Heaven Sword Sect’s inner sect.
But now, even Tao Yunchi had lost.
In the time it took for Su Yi to take a single step, the Divine Ape Carrying the Mountain Seal shattered!
Tao Yunchi bent at the knee and thudded to the ground!
This tyrannical scene made Qiu Hengkong’s mind go blank, and his eyes were vacant.
“How is this possible?”
“Among inner sect disciples, Senior Apprentice Brother Tao’s cultivation is in the top five. His Gathering Stars Realm cultivation makes even the outer sect elders seem dull by comparison, so… How did this happen…?”
The young men and women of the Fulcrum of Heaven Sword Sect were all dumbstruck. This scene left them startled.
With a wave of his sleeves, he defeated Gu Tengying.
With a single step, he defeated Tao Yunchi too.
Who would dare believe such a thing?
When they looked at Su Yi, the young men and women were alarmed and uncertain, and their expressions were unprecedentedly grave.
Earlier, they were smug and conceited. They saw Su Yi as a rogue cultivator from a backwater nation, and they thus looked down on him from on high.
They saw him as foolish and ignorant of the height of the heavens or the depths of the earth. They thought him laughable, pitiable, and lamentable.
Su Yi’s display of strength was like a hammer to the skull; the impact completely cleared their heads.
How could they fail to realize that they’d made an error in judgment?
This Su guy was no ordinary rogue cultivator. He was obviously a terrifyingly tough customer!
Even Jiang Li looked a bit dazed, and her starry eyes shifted; she’d lost her former calm composure.
Despite his early-stage Origin Palace Realm cultivation, Su Yi had effortlessly suppressed the Gathering Stars Realm Tao Yunchi in a single attack. His strength startled even her.
Su Yi then put his hands behind his back and looked down at the kneeling Tao Yunchi struggling and failing to get up. “I can’t even be bothered to kill someone like you.”
Having said this, he looked up and swept his gaze around those present.
The young men and women were all terrified. They dared not meet his gaze.
Only Jiang Li raised her jaw and narrowed her long, phoenix eyes. Every inch of her emanated an imposing majesty as she met Su Yi’s gaze. She was calm and not the least bit uneasy,
In her purple clothing, she looked as proud and beautiful as a peacock. Su Yi looked at her and asked, “Earlier, you showed signs of intervening twice. Why did you refrain in the end?”
It was just one sentence, but Jiang Li’s air and beautiful face shifted in response. “You noticed, Fellow Daoist?”
“When the heavens plot your demise, the stars and constellations shift. When the earth wishes you dead, dragons and serpents rise from its depths. When people exude murderous intent, heaven and earth are overturned,” said Su Yi casually. “You’ve yet to temper your energy to the point of flawlessness. When you’re about to attack, your qi is like a tensed bowstring. How could I possibly fail to notice it?”
Jiang Li’s phoenix eyes shifted, a rare hint of solemnity on her distant-mountain eyebrows.
She had indeed considered intervening to stop Su Yi twice, but she suppressed this impulse as soon as it arose.
She wouldn’t have guessed that Su Yi would pick up on this just by sensing the subtle shifts in her energy.
His powers of perception were far too terrifying!
“You’ve got good eyes, Fellow Daoist. I’m impressed,” said Jiang Li with what sounded like a gentle sigh.
She was the legendary Phoenix Jade Fairy of the Fulcrum of Heaven Sword Sect’s younger generation, but it was obvious that Su Yi’s strength and perceptiveness had surprised her.
Just watching, Qiu Hengkong felt waves of emotion course through his heart, and he looked dazed.
Earlier, he subconsciously assumed that Su Yi was like him—just another “frog in a well.” He felt rather wistful about it, and he’d even suggested that Su Yi join the Fulcrum of Heaven Sword Sect to avoid wasting his talent.
He’d even worried about the potential consequences should Su Yi cast aside all pretenses of cordiality with Tao Yunchi.
Yet now, he realized how self-righteous and opinionated he’d begin. It was utterly laughable!
“Tell me, then: how do you propose we resolve this?” asked Su Yi.
The disheveled, silver-robed Gu Tengying had fallen to the ground, while the kneeling Tao Yunchi looked furious and ashamed. All of their companions looked to Jiang Li.
She fell momentarily silent, then sighed. “My junior apprentice brothers and sisters were indeed in the wrong. Allow me to apologize to them on your behalf, and I ask that you do not take offense.”
She was dressed in purple, with stand-out good looks and an indescribable noble bearing.
This was the transcendent Phoenix Jade Fairy of the Fulcrum of Heaven Sword Sect. She was the pearl of the Jiang Family, one of the Great Xia’s three great clans.
She was a chosen of heaven famous throughout the world.
Yet now, she’d chosen to step back and apologize!
Tao Yunchi and the others were so stunned that they almost dared not believe their eyes.
Qiu Hengkong felt shaken to the core.
In the Fulcrum of Heaven Sword Sect, he admired none more than Jiang Li. She was like an immortal beauty or a phoenix: graceful, stunning, and transcendent.
Qiu Hengkong had never even considered the possibility that someone like her would choose to back down in the face of Su Yi.
It was simply too unbelievable!
Don’t tell me not even Senior Apprentice Sister Jiang is confident she can beat Fellow Daoist Su?
“You could have stopped all this, but you didn’t. This ‘rogue cultivator from a distant backwater’ isn’t as weak as you imagined, right?” laughed Su Yi.
Jiang Li’s eyes shone, and she met Su Yi’s gaze. She didn’t deny it. “That’s right; earlier, I was rather curious where someone like you got the confidence to ignore us. That’s why I made no attempt to stop Junior Apprentice Brother Gu from provoking you or Junior Apprentice Brother Tao from attacking.”
Her voice was pleasant and ethereal, with a lofty, majestic quality. “Had you lost, I wouldn’t be apologizing now. This is the way of the world; winners become kings and losers become bandits.”
Su Yi asked with great interest, “Then do you think I’ll accept your apology?”
Find the original at bit.ly/3iBfjkV.
Jiang Li thought for a moment, then said, “I guarantee that I won’t let this implicate Junior Apprentice Brother Qiu in any way, and that going forward, so long as I’m around, no one will bully him. Is that enough sincerity for you, Fellow Daoist?”
Her phoenix eyes were lively and bright, and her purple clothing was pristine. Despite her youth, she had a noble and majestic air, like a transcendent phoenix. Add that to city-toppling good looks, and others felt ashamed just comparing themselves to her.
Her promise caused unrest among her fellows. All of them looked dumbstruck.
They found it hard enough to accept that Jiang Li would make concessions or apologize. Now, she’d even made such a promise? This was completely beyond the limits of their imagination.
“You’re a clever woman,” said Su Yi a bit ruefully. “Today’s incident ends here.”
Jiang Li visibly relaxed.
Su Yi glanced at Qiu Hengkong, but in the end, he only nodded. “Take care of yourself.”
With that, he put his hands behind his back and walked off.
Qiu Hengkong looked conflicted. He took a deep breath, clasped his fist, and said, “Fellow Daoist Su, take care!”
He then watched until Su Yi, Yuan Heng, and Bai Wenqing disappeared into the boundless darkness of the night. Only then did he look away.
“Junior Apprentice Brother Qiu, that friend of yours sure is something!” Tao Yunchi had already climbed back to his feet, and his expression was utterly dark.
“I bet you’re happy. You must be feeling awfully smug right about now, huh?” Gu Tengying’s expression was unsightly too.
Both he and Tao Yunchi had been defeated, and their reputation was in shambles. They obviously planned to get even with Qiu Hengkong.
Qiu Hengkong’s heart sank.
Jiang Li’s painted eyebrows knit together, and she suddenly spoke up. “Didn’t you hear what I just said?”
Tao Yunchi was stunned, and he said in disbelief, “Senior Apprentice Sister Jiang, you don’t really plan to protect an outer sect disciple like Qiu Hengkong, do you?”
Jiang Li’s phoenix eyes were icy. “Do you have a problem with that?”
Tao Yunchi’s expression changed immediately, and he hurriedly shook his head.
Gu Tengying’s heart shook too.
Only now did they realize that Jiang Li’s earlier promise to Su Yi wasn’t just a ploy to get him to leave; she was serious about it!
Jiang Li looked at Qiu Hengkong. “I shall naturally keep my word. Back in the sect, should anyone bully you, you are welcome to come looking for me.”
When they heard this, the way the others looked at Qiu Hengkong changed. With Senior Apprentice Sister Jiang’s protection, who in the sect will dare push him around?
The other disciples couldn’t help but feel a bit jealous.
Who would have guessed that Qiu Hengkong would turn disaster into good fortune?
Tao Yunchi and Gu Tengying found this extremely hard to bear.
Tonight’s incident left their dignity in shambles, while Qiu Hengkong, someone they ordered about as they pleased, emerged as the final victor. This only further offset their embarrassing ineptitude!
Qiu Hengkong shook from head to toe, then clasped his fist. “Many thanks, Senior Apprentice Sister Jiang!”
“I’m not the one you should thank. It’s getting late, so we should leave too.” Jiang Li shook her head. Her clothing flowed around her as her graceful figure streaked through the sky.
Qiu Hengkong and company hurried after her.
Along the way, Qiu Hengkong continuously pondered Su Yi’s words: “Recognizing the gap between yourself and others isn’t a bad thing, but if you let your sword heart get coated in dust, you’ll have a hard time wiping it clean. Recovering your former sharpness will be far too difficult….”
Every word echoed throughout Qiu Hengkong’s heart. Fellow Daoist Su, thank you!
The night was increasingly dark and heavy.
The ruins of the ghost city, the Locust Tree Kingdom, were silent and desolate.
Suddenly, a dark silhouette shifted and silently transformed into a middle-aged man in Daoist robes. He had the air of an immortal, save for his eyes, which were an eerie shade of green. They were strange and imposing, and they gave him an unnerving presence.
The Blood Valiant!
The Nirvanic Winds Holy Son’s Dao Protector.
He first took action after the Spiritbend Assembly, his aim, to avenge his protectee’s death and retrieve the Demonic Womb from Su Yi.
“That fool, Madam Xihua, wasted my Sea of Blood Bone Funeral Formation,” sighed the Blood Valiant. “But that Su kid really is incredibly strong. I wonder what his origins are. Why is it that he has such heaven-defying combat prowess….?”
The Blood Valiant’s eerie green eyes flickered with uncertainty. A long time passed before he shook his head and prepared to leave.
Suddenly, a calm voice reverberated throughout the desolate silence of the night. “Are you the Blood Valiant?”
The voice was quiet, but it echoed clearly throughout the surrounding area.
Blood Valiant’s pupils constricted, and thanks to the instincts of a Spiritual Manifestation Realm cultivator, he immediately chose to dodge. In a flash, he was more than a thousand feet away.
Practically simultaneously, a Dao Sword silently slashed into the place he’d stood mere moments before, cleaving open a chasm so deep that it almost seemed bottomless.
The earth shook and the mountains swayed as sword qi ran rampant.