Chapter 165: Uncertain Temperature

Chapter 165: Uncertain Temperature [Volume 3 - The Place Where My Heart Feels At Peace] 

Qianye’s Combatant Formula had already exceeded twenty five cycles, and every move he made were accompanied by faint noises of tides, wind, and thunder. The dark red origin glow on his fists grew brighter and brighter, and it merged together with the blue light around Song Zining’s hand. Their upper bodies suddenly shook. Although their attacks hadn’t connected with each other, their discharged origin power did!

A hint of surprise passed through Song Zining’s eyes, and it quickly turned into that of a smile. Qianye himself didn’t notice anything strange from the clash of origin power, however. He only thought that Song Zining’s origin power was now completely different from before. Song Zining’s origin power was now flexible, strong and unpredictable, while Qianye’s was the same since the day he cultivated the Combatant Formula: fierce, brave, distinct and sharp!

The personages of importance on the grandstand had a good eye for things. They noticed the clash that might’ve slipped through another person’s attention.

Count Huayang, the person seated at the second lower left side of Duke Wei exclaimed in surprise, “Did my eyes deceive me just now? Anyone who can liberate their origin power before rank seven is considered a genius already, but did these two just do it without using any secret combat techniques at all?”

Beside him, Count Changping said, “The seventh son of the Song’s direct line of descent is one thing, but the guy he’s fighting is just a commoner, isn’t he…” Before he could finish, the battle situation changed drastically all of a sudden.

Qianye’s fist and Song Zining’s palm finally connected solidly for the first time since the battle began! A boom later, the dark red origin power and the blue origin power abruptly exploded into a ball of glaring white flash as the duo flew backwards from the impact.

Qianye had just stood still when he saw Song Zining smiling at him and raising his hands for no particular reason. His puzzlement lasted until the moment Duke Wei’s guards entered the ring, and Qianye finally realized that Song Zining had surrendered the match.

Everyone present at the scene was shocked by this turn of events!

Qianye asked in astonishment, “What are you doing?”

Song Zining put a hand to his chest and frowned slightly, “I fought too long against that barbaric bull and suffered some internal injuries just now. I feel like it’s worsened after I clashed against your forceful origin power, so I really don’t think I could fight you any longer like this.”

Qianye couldn’t say anything for a time. Good luck couldn’t even begin to describe his situation considering that his sixth round opponent had also surrendered due to heavy injuries! That being said, his previous opponent couldn’t even stand properly by the time he left the ring, but Song Zining looked nothing like that at all.

Even Duke Wei himself had sent an envoy to learn about the reason, and Song Zining gave him the same explanation. And so Qianye won a puzzling match just like that.

Every VIP who was present at the grandstand was absolutely dumbfounded by Song Zining’s claim. Out of all the battles that had happened during the seventh round, Song Zining and Wei Potian’s battle was the one that drew the most attention. They saw clearly that Song Zining and Wei Potian hadn’t collided even once against each other.

The Far East Wei Clan’s secret combat techniques Thousand Mountains and Sky Shattering Bright Fist were famous for their great power and consequently their rate of consumption. That was how Song Zining managed to wear Wei Potian down, to begin with. At the time, they were even praising Song Zining for his sound choice of tactic. Did Thousand Mountains have a counter attribute that they didn’t know about?

There was an unfamiliar looking old man sitting very close to the right side of Duke Wei, and today was the first day he showed up to spectate the match. Judging from his seat, he was probably of venerated stature, which was probably why the frowning words spilling out of his mouth were pretty blunt, “Is this unambitious person really the seventh son of Song’s direct line of descent? What internal injuries, I think he just wants to avoid fighting against the Zhao Family’s second son!”

But Duke Wei stroked his beard and pondered aloud, “I heard that the reason Song Zining was selected as a successor is because he successfully cultivated the ancient secret art, Three Thousand Flying Leaves Art. Am I right?”

Marquis Yiguang nodded, but still, he looked unhappy, “It has been several hundred years since anyone managed to cultivate this secret art within the Song Household. In the empire’s history, the Three Thousand Flying Leaves Art was said to be an art that stands at the same height as Art of Heaven’s Mystery. But I never thought that the Song Household descendant who successfully cultivated this lost art would be of such temperament.”

Duke Wei simply smiled and said nothing in reply. Marquis Yiguang might be old, but his temper was only hotter than when he was younger. Now he understood why Marquis Yiguang had come all the way here to participate in this small Profound Heaven Spring Hunt. It sounded like that he was gunning for Song Zining.

Count Huayang threw in his own comment as he listened to their conversation, “I heard that Song Zining doesn’t go out at all in the past. It’s a reason why we have so little information on him.”

Marquis Yiguang’s answer didn’t exceed his expectation, “He spent all his time at the Enlightenment Manor until he grew into full adulthood. It is the place where the senior noble of the Song Household spends her retiring days. Forget outsiders like us, not everyone within the Song Household itself had the right to pay the old lady their respects.”

The senior noble of the Song Household was also Song Zining’s great-grandmother, also known as Duchess An. She was the only duchess in the entire Qin Empire who didn’t share her husband’s title as she had earned her title through her own strength.

While they were conversing with each other, the other match happening on the other side of the proving grounds had ended as well. Zhao Junhong had defeated Yin Qiqi. The second Zhao young master really was one of the top contenders of the young generation; the fact that he managed to surmount all difficulties to stand on the finals was clear proof of his strength. Moreover, every one of his battles was won cleanly without any stalemates to speak of whatsoever.

In comparison, Qianye’s battle results were extremely controversial. His sixth and semifinal match victory was practically given to him, so much so it was almost as if the heaven had decided to cut him a little break. Even if the second place contestant wouldn’t enjoy the reward of having a gun built to their own preferences, the total value of the prize money and equipment still amounted to several thousand gold coins.

The one on one tournament ended here today, and the finals would take place by the morrow.

There were no matches that existed without a gambling scene around them, and this was even truer for a large scale event like the Profound Heaven Spring Hunt where the sheer number of bodyguards, attendants and servants alone as over ten thousand people. But when the semifinals results were up, what should’ve been the hottest betting pool of the gambling scene was completely deserted. This was because the disparity of strength between the two finalists was just too wide.

It was only until evening that the gamblers finally grew a little interested. Someone had started an option and betted a thousand or so gold coins on Qianye’s victory. As a result, a lot of people began betting against Qianye until the odds reached a shocking number of 30/1. This meant that the gamblers had to bet at least dozens of gold coins if they wished to win a single gold coin. Still, there were plenty of people who were willing to bet on a sure win setup like this and earn some pocket change.

With a precedent set, a series of small betting pools followed and breathed some life into the gambling scene despite the odds leaning completely in favor of Zhao Junhong. For example, there were betting pools on how long it would take for Zhao Junhong to win, with all sorts of odds set up just between minute one to minute thirty. The gamblers could also bet if Zhao Junhong would win within single digit minutes or double-digit minutes. There were even bets on what kind of method Zhao Junhong would win the match with such as a punch, a kick, a secret technique and so on. Of course, the odds for each method were different as well.

There were even some people who lived in dreamlands placing bets on victory by headbutt. Of course, the odds of this particular method was exceptionally high because everyone knew just how much the descendants of the Zhao Household cared about grace and appearance. Hell could freeze over before Zhao Junhong used a headbutt in his life. Although the bets involved very small sum of gold coins, the scene was lively and the bets were pretty interesting. The people couldn’t help but praise the skills of this new banker.

Qianye was completely unconcerned about the noises from the outside world. He spent his entire afternoon cultivating in silence in the cultivation room, pushing the Combatant Formula to the thirty fifth cycle and checking how his body was doing under this level of stress. While it was possible for him to reach thirty fifth cycle while cultivating, the same couldn’t be said in combat. The Combatant Formula was too fierce and intense, and it damaged one’s internal organs when circulating inside the veins. If he were to liberate his origin power from his body, the damage would only be higher.

Right now, his limit was what Qianye was trying to find. If he didn’t push himself that far, he might not be able to beat Zhao Junhong with the thirtieth cycle strike of a Fighter King even if his opponent did obey his promise and suppress his origin power to rank five. A rank five secret combat technique and a rank five standard technique were two completely different things. It was like the difference between a continental airship and a starfaring airship.

Suddenly, Qianye’s body shook a little as the gold blood energy orbiting outside his heart suddenly leaped out and pecked away a wisp of origin power from the Daybreak origin tide like a heron. Qianye was extremely surprised by its actions, and he couldn’t help but scan it for a little. He discovered that the wisp of Daybreak origin power pecked away by the gold blood energy was exceptionally pure and well refined. It was obviously the essence of the thirty fifth cycle origin tides that appeared after repeated refinement.

In the past, only the normal blood energies would consume Daybreak origin power to enlarge themselves, while the gold blood energy consumed normal blood energies only. In fact, Qianye even thought that this occurrence was just the blood powers’ rules of ascension until now. When he recalled that the gold blood energy had consumed Director Wen’s cold aura too, a strange thought suddenly appeared in his mind. Was the gold blood energy actually a picky eater? Was that why it ignored normal origin powers and consumed the special ones only?

The thought amused Qianye a little. By now he had completed today’s training and allowed his origin tide to slowly subside.

When Qianye returned to his own room, a Yin Family servant delivered to him a gift box and an unusual looking letter. When he opened the letter, he saw the lively picture of a scenery at summer night and a short written invitation to a banquet on the fine writing paper. The last image on the paper was a simple map that showed where the banquet would be held.

Although Qianye didn’t recognize the handwriting, the words’ structure and flair gave off a familiar feeling for some reason. Qianye turned over the envelope and saw Song Zining’s signature. For the past few days, Song Zining had tried to send a couple of things over to his place, but Qianye saw none of them because Qiqi had told her servants to throw them all away.

Qianye looked at the simple map on the letter once more. The location of the meeting was outside the Profound Heaven Spring Hunt Camp, near the passage of the back mountain. A moment of thought later, he greeted the guard on duty once and went out of the Yin Family’s side residence.

Right now, Qiqi was standing alone at the crown of the ancient tree at the back garden. She watched Qianye walking out of the side residence’s main entrance, vanishing behind the walls and greeneries for an instant before appearing at the little path filled with cape jasmines to the west of the side residence. He then took a turn and headed towards west. It was the direction of the outskirts.

Qiqi’s black eyes looked exceptionally calm. It wasn’t like she never heard the people talking behind her back about the possibility that Song Zining might possess an unusual taste, or that he was purposely stealing her people because they were now on bad terms. Qianye never said anything about those things, however. He never even asked about them.

Qiqi didn’t know what the hell Song Zining was planning, but she knew very well what Qianye’s attitude meant. His attitude was exactly the same as hers when she dealt with the same thing in the past, and that was total and complete indifference.

Night arrived as the mountain breeze of spring grew softer and softer. The sun baked fragrance of flowers hadn’t completely faded, and they filled her with copious amount of warmth. Qiqi walked into the canopy and sat down on Qianye’s usual spot. Slowly, she curled herself into a little ball.

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