In the sky, the clouds rolled on lazily. The fairy mist drifted slowly, with an occasional mountain breeze barging through, sweeping and rustling the leaves in the immortal forest. The sunlight filtered through the clouds, falling on the endless mountains. The golden light shimmered, cloaking the earth in gold flakes.
Nearby was a stalwart pine that grew on a cliff. Its extensive roots were powerful, and it was verdant. Beneath the pine, white clothes were waving in the breeze, with colored trails floating. Long hair that was straight, lustrous, and dark. All of this caught Wu Yu's eye immediately.
At that moment, the person turned, revealing pristine complexion, cherry-red lips, and eyes as warm and soft as water. Framed in these mountains, it was the picture of beauty that belonged to heaven, and not to the mortal realm.
"Senior Sister Su." Wu Yu had not thought that she would find time amidst her busy schedule to wait and receive him. In his heart, he was happy and surprised.
"Congratulations, you get to see the sun again." Su Yanli gave a rare smile. Wu Yu, long trapped in the darkness, felt the warmth of human emotion again and lost focus for a moment.
"Stop staring..." Su Yanli softly said. She was not embarrassed, but said so openly, which left Wu Yu a little embarrassed. After all, she would possibly be his senior sister in the future, so he should not treat her disrespectfully.
"Reflection Peak is a ways away from Sky Gazing Mountain. I knew you were being released today, so I brought your Immortal Crane to speed your way back. Let's go."
Beside Su Yanli were two tall Immortal Cranes.
Mounting their Immortal Cranes, the sentient beasts rose into the clouds with speed. Wu Yu would dearly love to know what had changed in a year, but before he could speak, Su Yanli said, "Half a year ago, Situ Minglang succeeded in condensing his qi and became one of the Sect Protector's disciples. He has waited for this day for too long."
Seemed like she had come to pick him up not just out of worry that the journey was too long, but also for Wu Yu's safety.
"Wu Yu, I cannot protect you at all times." Su Yanli was watching him from the Immortal Crane, her eyes shining with light.
"I understand. I can take care of myself." Wu Yu smiled grimly. The news had not surprised him, but was instead within his expectations. His determination and frame of mind today, as well as his physical changes, eased Su Yanli's mind a little.
"It seems like I have underestimated you. You worked hard for a year. You should be able to protect yourself." Su Yanli nodded.
But Wu Yu was not just thinking of self-defense.
Sky Gazing Mountain's highest point was Sky Gazing Platform. It was similar to Heaven's Lament's Platform - a place where the disciples on Sky Gazing Mountain would take their ease, gathering on this platform to drink and discuss the sword and investigate the path of immortals.
The external disciples were all still mortals and were tied down by physical concerns of clothing, food, and shelter. And the House of Rain Sounds was the most popular place for it.
Fine delicacies from the five lakes and four seas had been brought here by mortals so that these immortals could enjoy them for free.
At a window seat at the House of Rain Sounds sat a girl in green. She was not old, and yet to reach her full growth. But at this age, her looks had a high standard. It was the youth Qing Mang.
All around were the disciples of Sky Gazing Mountain. A majority were servants who had entered at the same time. Zhao Danlong and Ju Huo were both here, but they did not sit at Qing Mang's side. Occasionally, they looked over with a glimmer of respect in their eyes.
Qing Mang was currently staring impatiently out the window, her little mouth in a pout. That was because opposite her was a sloppy-looking middle-aged man with a head of messy hair and a beard. He wore a dirty robe, and his squinty eyes were sleazy and constantly darting about, as though harboring some ill intent. He checked out Qing Mang's body, his hand wrapped around a bottle of wine. As he imbibed, he directed praise at Qing Mang's direction.
"Qing Mang, it's really something. You were initiated for just a year, and you're already at the eighth tier of the Body Refining Realm. And you're only 13. Look at Zhao Danlong, Ju Huo, you made all of them eat your dust." The middle-aged man laughed heartily. But that look was too obvious. He was trying to get Qing Mang's attention.
"How despicable!" Zhao Danlong and the rest were enraged, but did not dare to approach, because that middle-aged man was an older disciple at Sky Gazing Mountain. He was very influential here, and throughout this year, Zhao Danlong and the other newcomers had been bullied many times. Besides, this middle-aged man had been living on Sky Gazing Mountain for a few decades and was at the ninth tier of the Body Refining Realm, attaining Immortal Transformation.
This middle-aged man's bad reputation preceded him. It was rumored that he liked little girls the most. In this year, Qing Mang had been harrassed frequently, but she could only seethe in silence. Of course, Qing Mang had supporters, but she was a stubborn child and did not want to bother her elders with such matters. If it were not for that backup, Qing Mang would have long met with trouble.
"Yu Huaishan, I do not wish to speak to you." Qing Mang wanted to come to the House of Rain Sounds to take her mind off things. Meeting this person here left one sighing.
"Don't be like that, have a chat with brother here, yeah?" Yu Huaishan was fooling around. But he had the strength of Immortal Transformation, and that was something that held Qing Mang in check.
He stared like a tiger watching his prey. Qing Mang had already been surrounded by his people and thus could not leave. She stood up, only to be immediately pressed back down. A pair of beady eyes shone with vindictive pleasure.
"Little Sister Qing Mang, that's right. Accompany Brother here for a few cups. It won’t be too late to leave afterwards, right?" Yu Huaishan smiled salaciously. That expression made one dearly want to slap him.
The mood at the House of Rain Sounds was a little embarrassed. Yu Huaishan sniggered. He looked at the window and said, "Why are you sitting at the window today? I've guessed it. Seems like a year ago today, something big happened at Heaven's Lament. Now that I count it, seems like there's some punk called Wu Yu, whose imprisonment ends today and is returning to Sky Gazing Mountain?"
"Qing Mang, are you waiting for him? He could snatch away your reputation of being number one," Yu Huaishan said as he eyed her maliciously.
Qing Mang was too lazy to heed him. She did not want to talk. But Yu Huaishan laughed of his own accord, saying, "Can't deny it. This Wu Yu has good luck. But a pity that Situ Minglang, that devil, has already condensed his qi and become a disciple of the Sect Protector. Whether in terms of quality, status, or ability, he overwhelms this Wu Yu. If Wu Yu was smart, he would stay in the sealed room forever. If he dares to come out, my guess is he won't live more than three days."
"Senior Brother Yu, you view him too highly. I wager a day, no, half a day. It's said that Situ Minglang has been waiting for this day all year."
The crowd guffawed. Evidently, Wu Yu had been the butt of jokes for the last year. After Situ Minglang had shot ahead, everyone had been anticipating. After Wu Yu was released, how long would he last?
Qing Mang was shaking with anger. Although they had not interacted for long, she knew Wu Yu's character deeply.
Qing Mang stood up with a bang and said angrily, "Situ Minglang cannot kill him. In a year's time, Wu Yu has definitely become stronger than I!"
"A year ago, I lost to him. Today, I came to wait for him in order to have rematch. To see how much he and I have improved in this year. All of you, get away. Don't bother me."
Finished, Qing Mang gripped her longsword and leaped out of the window.
"This wench, her huffy attitude is just too cute." Yu Huaishan and the rest peered out the window and laughed loudly.
Just at this time, the cries of two Immortal Cranes could be heard from the skies. Wu Yu and Su Yanli had arrived, but Su Yanli did not wish to alight. In the air, she pressed a golden-edged secret manual into Wu Yu's hands, saying, "This is a supreme-grade martial art that my Master has given you. You can practice it when you have time. It has similarities to the swordwork you used previously but is much stronger."
Wu Yu was overjoyed. Presently, Whale Slaying Sword of the East Seas was already insufficient for him to evoke his power. He was exactly lacking for a technique, and he had not expected Feng Xueya to already foresee that.
Although, to Feng Xueya, a supreme-grade martial art was not like pulling teeth, but for Wu Yu, it was all too crucial. And it was supreme-grade, and its worth was not less than the Demon Banishing Blade.
"Golden Inferno Dragon Slayer Art." The five large words were emblazoned on the manual, encircled by mystical dragons. It was very impressive. Indeed very similar to Whale Slaying Sword of the East Seas.
"I must seclude myself for harsh training. Take care. I look forward to the day you become my junior brother." Su Yanli gave over the manual and then rode her Immortal Crane away. Her figure, alluring as an immortal in a picture, vanished in the clouds.
Her nature was calm and still water, but she could be aggressive as well. In the entire Heavenly Sword Sect, the admirers and worshippers that Su Yanli had were too numerous to count.
One of which was Yu Huaishan.
Of course, he was a lecher, and salivated over all the pretty girls in the sect. But when it came to those of Su Yanli's caliber, he did not dare let his gaze linger.
Wu Yu was quite a curiosity. After being a Sky Gazing Mountain disciple for a year, today was his actual return, and this would become his home. He was like a newbie when landing on the Sky Gazing Platform. He had stowed away the Golden Inferno Dragon Slayer Art and saw a young woman in green flying towards him.
"Wu Yu!" After not meeting for a year, this little girl had blossomed beautifully. She stood in front of Wu Yu, happy and indignant, saying, "When we were first initiated, you promised to be my friend. And in the blink of an eye, you were imprisoned for a year, abandoning me. I wanted the opportunity to defeat you, but I could not find you."
"This... is unprecedented. I don't want it!" Wu Yu grimaced. Women were strange.
"No way. You won't run today. You must exchange with me." Qing Mang suddenly unsheathed her longsword, staring at him with big eyes.
"It’s not too good to pull swords when we just met, yeah?" Wu Yu said.
At this moment, many people had leaped down from the House of Rain Sounds. They had heard that Qing Mang wanted to challenge the newly returned Wu Yu, and they had gathered to watch the commotion. Of course, Yu Huaishan was part of the crowd.
"Many people make little of you. You're someone who beat me before, how could you be taken lightly? En garde!" Qing Mang was worked up. As she said this, she immediately moved.
"So that's how it is." Wu Yu understood why she was in such a hurry. She was not trying to better herself, but trying to get his back for him. She wanted to show his true ability so that those who mocked him would get a good look.
Perhaps Qing Mang was right. Friends were very important.
Wu Yu firstly retreated a few steps, dodging Qing Mang's blade.
"A year later, Qing Mang is having a rematch with Wu Yu. Quick, come and see!"
"Wu Yu? Who? Oh, the one who killed Situ Minglang's elder brother and was sealed for a year?"
The news spread quickly throughout Sky Gazing Mountain. Many of the external disciples who were still cultivating had come. Many had heard of Wu Yu's name but had not seen the real deal.Previous Chapter Next Chapter