Chapter 221 – The Luo Shen Clan
The curtains closed on the fierce battle that took place at the Battle Spirit Stage, leaving many surprised expressions in the crowd. The spectators studied the tattered remains of the battle stage and couldn’t help clicking their tongues. They understood that, from this day onwards, the freshman known as Mu Chen would be renowned throughout the Northern Heavens Spiritual Academy.
Even though he only had a Heavenly Fusion Stage Initial Phase cultivation, he’d endured two moves from Li Xuantong. Then he’d swapped to offense for the last move, and even then he’d been able to wound Li Xuantong.
Such an accomplishment would make even the seniors exclaim in admiration. A freshman was actually able to do all that! Regardless of whether it was his courage or his methods, they felt admiration towards Mu Chen’s qualities.
This didn’t mean that Mu Chen was strong enough to take down Li Xuantong, but everyone knew that if he was given another year to train, it might not be impossible.
Within a year, his name would probably appear in the Northern Heavens Spiritual Academy’s top 3 Heavenly Ranking.
The battle was finally over. However, everyone understood that the ripples caused by this battle would influence the Northern Heavens Spiritual Academy for a long time. Mu Chen’s fame in the Northern Heavens Spiritual Academy skyrocketed.
He was well-known before, but this pushed his name to much greater heights. Even though Mu Chen had given an outstanding performance at the Freshmen’s Competition and attracted the attention of a few seniors, he still couldn’t have compared to Li Xuantong. Back then, there was no way he could’ve achieved as much fame as he had this time around.
After this battle, Mu Chen’s name soared within the Northern Heavens Spiritual Academy.
For the few days after the battle, Mu Chen cultivated in a small building. Even though he’d been injured in the battle, it was nothing serious; they were far lighter than the injuries he’d sustained while fighting Liu Jingshan, so he managed to recover in only half a day. However, he knows that this battle had caused huge ripples. He was also too lazy to go out and deal with the people who, undoubtedly, noticed him now.
Mu Chen quietly sat in his room. The Spiritual Energy surged around him. His breathing was as steady as a mountain and had vigour to it. Even though it’d been a desperate battle with Li Xuantong, he’d reaped quite a few benefits from it.
He’d gotten the chance to test the strength of a Heavenly Transform Stage. If he ever faced someone of that cultivation again, he’d know what to expect from his experience. Even though he’d successfully confronted Li Xuantong this time, it also served as a lesson as to how powerful Li Xuantong was.
If it hadn’t been for the pact of three moves, Mu Chen would’ve been forced to borrow the power of the Nine Netherbird to defeat Li Xuantong. However, that wasn’t the kind of victory that Mu Chen wanted. Even though Li Xuantong had stood between himself and Luo Li, Mu Chen honestly didn’t harbor any ill will towards him. Even though Li Xuantong was his opponent, he was someone worth regarding. If it wasn’t a life or death battle, then Mu Chen didn’t want to borrow someone else’s power to obtain a victory over him. That was his pride, as well as his way of showing respect towards the opponents he acknowledged.
Of course, if his opponent had been someone like Liu Qingshan, then Mu Chen wouldn’t have thought twice about whether to play fair or foul.
The reason why Mu Chen treated Li Xuantong as a true competitor was because he wanted to compete against Li Xuantong in a fair fight. Without any restrictions or aids. He wanted a true victory over Li Xuantong.
However, there was quite a distance between them right now. That’s why Mu Chen wasn’t slacking off after his so-called victory; instead, he was working even harder on his cultivation, so that he might be able to truly overtake Li Xuantong.
The next time they fought, Mu Chen wanted to tell Li Xuantong that he no longer needed this “pact of three moves”.
Mu Chen smiled as he thought about that. He glanced to the area right outside the room. Luo Li had gone out earlier. And Mu Chen knew exactly why she’d gone out. He helplessly shook his head and prayed for the unlucky guy. Then, he closed his eyes again.
Northern Heavens Spiritual Academy, a certain towering mountain peak
On that mountaintop was Li Xuantong, helplessly face-to-face with a girl dressed in black and an icy-cold expression, who was wielding a dark longsword.
“Was that fight fun?” Luo Li’s glass-like pupils coldly glared at Li Xuantong. Her clear voice flowed like a mountain stream, yet it carried a chill.
“If you didn’t have enough fun, I’d be glad to play with you.”
Li Xuantong scratched his nose and bitterly laughed at Luo Li’s words. Sharp rays of light swords tore through the air in a storm.
Li Xuantong tapped his fingers and rays of Spiritual Energy shot out to meet the light swords.
The Spiritual Energy rays were destroyed by the light swords upon contact and put Li Xuantong on edge. Luo Li’s Luoshen Art had been trained to a point past perfection. Indeed, she was worthy of her reputation as the rare genius of the Luo Shen Clan that only appeared once in a hundred years.
Li Xuantong heaved a helpless sigh and backed off, dodging the sword rays. He knew that Luo Li wouldn’t listen to anyone when she was angry, so the only thing he could do was let her vent.
The light swords and Spiritual Energy whistled on that mountaintop, causing utter chaos. Anyone who saw the commotion would be astonished. They would know that this mountaintop was part of Li Xuantong’s territory. Who would dare scale that mountain to cause trouble for Li Xuantong?
Even though the spectators were surprised, they didn’t dare to ascend the mountain to check. They only watched as the sharp rays of sword light rained down like a storm upon that peak.
The torrent carried on for several minutes before settling down. Then, all was peaceful.
However, the scene wasn’t as elegant and serene as it had been before; rather, it was in complete disorder. Deep ravines spiderwebbed the ground, clean cuts as if they’d been carved by a razor-sharp weapon.
Li Xuantong stood on a stone platform, his previous confidence and ease were nowhere to be seen. Even his clothes had a few tears to them. His hair draped down1, giving him a very sorry appearance. However, it wasn’t all because he was allowing Luo Li to vent her anger. Luo Li’s strength had truly surpassed his expectations.
He inspected his tattered clothes and the girl with the longsword. Then he cautiously asked, “Are you done venting?”
Luo Li combed and twisted her long hair with her jade-like hands. Her exquisitely charming face was expressionless as she spoke. “Li Xuantong, I hope this will be the last time. I still consider you a friend, but if you take it too far, I may turn hostile.”
Li Xuantong bitterly smiled as he seriously replied, “If he couldn’t even handle the likes of myself, how could he handle matters in the future? You can’t be the one to handle all of it, right?”
Luo Li went silent and didn’t respond.
Li Xuantong lightly sighed. “How much longer can your grandfather endure? Two years? Maybe three?”
Luo Li trembled. Her small hands clutched the sword handle so hard that even her fingertips were turning white. Her petite figure suddenly seemed especially frail and pitiful.
“You’re the only hope the Luo Shen Clan has. For how much longer can you remain by his side? You’re the Empress of the Luo Shen Clan and the one with the purest bloodline within the royal family. You have many followers who are loyal to the the Luo Shen Clan’s Royal Family, and they have seen you as the Emperor’s successor. With your personality, I know you won’t be able to abandon everything. Therefore, when the time comes, you’ll definitely go back. And at that time, you’ll have to leave him. There’s no happy ending for the two of you.” Li Xuantong said slowly.
“I’ll wait for him,” Luo Li replied in a soft voice.
“Wait for him to grow? Let’s not even mention whether he can actually reach that stage. Even if it were possible, do you have the time to wait? The other three God Clans2 are also eyeing yours. The Luo Shen Clan has fallen, the lion has aged. Right now, you are the only intimidating force.” Li Xuantong sighed. Reality was always so cruel.
Luo Li looked up towards Li Xuantong. Her voice was soft and slow as she articulated each word with an unquestionable resoluteness. “I believe in him.”
Li Xuantong speechlessly looked at her exquisite beauty.
Luo Li also spoke no more. Her jade hands waved as she skimmed away from the stone stage, turned into a streak of light, and rapidly disappeared.
For the next few days, if things went as Mu Chen expected, the entire Northern Heavens Spiritual Academy would be talking about that pact of three move that he’d had with Li Xuantong. Even the entire freshmen’s area was talking about it in excitement. There was nothing Mu Chen could do but hole up in the building and seclude himself in cultivation.
Luo Li looked after him for a few days. Only after she was certain he was fine did she head for the Convergence Array to cultivate. Mu Chen could sense that recently, her need to cultivate had become a little more pressing.
Mu Chen could only bitterly smile inwardly at that. Luo Li’s dedication to cultivation made his heart ache for her, but there was nothing he could do.
He had no idea about the details of her life, that cultivating was everything. That she had to, because of her responsibility. That’s why her world had always been monotone and dull. A character created, but nothing in her heart. A dull character.
It was later, after they’d met, that something had appeared in that girl’s heart that allowed her to smile, despite the exhaustion from cultivating.
To her, time was usually the most precious commodity. But she’d still come all the way to the Northern Heavens Spiritual Academy, just for him.
It was another night. Mu Chen was seated in his room, cultivating, when he suddenly opened his eyes. His figure moved and he appeared on top of the building, where he saw Li Xuantong, standing, with his hands behind him.
A crease appeared in Mu Chen’s brow when he saw Li Xuantong. “What did you say to Luo Li? Why’s she cultivating so hard these past few days?”
Li Xuantong turned around, glanced at Mu Chen, and lightly said, “Rather than saying ‘she’s cultivating so hard’, why not say ‘she’s trying to lighten your burdens’?”
“What do you mean?” Mu Chen’s brows were tightly locked together.
Li Xuantong sat down, looked at the round moon, and lightly sighed, “Have you heard of the Luo Shen Clan?”
Mu Chen listened with full attention.