At the highest point of the highest tower of Kongming Academy, two men—one in black, the other in white—sat quietly as they gazed into a copper mirror. Both men were hooded, their faces blocked from sight.
Shown in the copper mirror was Yun Ruoyan and Rong Yueshan’s standoff.
“Who do you think will win this conflict?” the white-robed man asked in a bleak, hoarse voice.
The black-robed man didn’t speak. Instead, he pointed at Yun Ruoyan.
The elder in white seemed rather shocked. “This student doesn’t seem to have the upper hand at the moment. Why favor her?”
Yun Ruoyan had been paralyzed, as had her two cousins. Even accounting for the fact that Zhuo Yifeng was prepared for an ambush from the forest, Rong Yueshan’s victory certainly seemed more likely.
Under his broad hood, the black-robed man smiled. “Just watch.”
“It’s almost dark, and you know this scrying orb automatically stops functioning at night. I doubt we’ll be able to watch the battle play out in its entirety…” The elder stroked his beard, sighing.
The black-robed man didn’t respond; both were looking attentively into the mirror.
“Your sister died of her arrogance and conceit. As for you…” Yun Ruoyan’s once-expressionless face morphed into a half-smile. “You’ll die because you overestimated yourself!”
“What do you mean?” Rong Yueshan asked.
Despite her favorable position, Rong Yueshan was still made rather anxious by Yun Ruoyan’s words. She feared the unknown, and Yun Ruoyan seemed like a wholly inscrutable presence to her.
Yun Ruoyan continued smiling. “You’ve tried to discover too many of my secrets, so much so that I don’t have a reason not to kill you.”
Yun Ruoyan’s past life had taught her to be decisive. Once she decided to kill Rong Yueshan, she wouldn’t relent until Rong Yueshan was dead. However, this didn’t mean that she was cruel or particularly interested in slaughter: to her, killing was a method of last resort.
Yun Ruoyan was unwilling to reveal her true appearance. Similarly, unless she had to, she was equally unwilling to reveal her true strength. She had been very, very careful not to arouse others’ suspicions, but someone just had to focus all her attention on Yun Ruoyan.
Furthermore, that person had demonstrated a clear intent to kill her. This sort of person was undoubtedly the most dangerous for Yun Ruoyan—just like a ticking time bomb, one that could explode at any moment.
As a result, Rong Yueshan had to die.
Despite Rong Yueshan’s advantageous position, Yun Ruoyan’s killing intent and confidence that she would be able to follow through left Rong Yueshan somewhat anxious. As far as she could tell, Yun Ruoyan always seemed able to turn the tides, winning what seemed at first glance to be an unwinnable fight.
However, although she was anxious, Rong Yueshan looked as calm as ever. Smiling contemptuously, she announced, “As if you have a chance of killing me.” She turned in the general direction of Zhuo Yifeng. “Don’t you think I know that your archer’s waiting to shoot me? You underestimate me, Yun Ruoyan.”
Rong Yueshan could easily have stepped forward with the chubby youth to deal with Yun Ruoyan, but she chose to stand a far distance away from the forest. The reason she did so was because she was aware of Zhuo Yifeng, lying in ambush.
Because the chubby youth had taken Zhuo Yifeng’s bow and arrows, he wasn’t worried of him. However, Rong Yueshan had seen his archery with her own eyes. She was quite aware that, for an archer of his caliber, even rough, handmade equipment could become highly effective weapons.
Zhuo Yifeng’s arrow was indeed pointed at Rong Yueshan. However, she was standing too far out of range of his wooden bow, so Zhuo Yifeng had been patiently waiting for an opportunity to strike.
However, Rong Yueshan had no intent of stepping forward, and even the patient, coolheaded Zhuo Yifeng began to turn anxious.
“It’s almost time for my teammates to return,” Rong Yueshan announced. “No matter how strong your demonic arts, you can’t handle that many people in one go, can you?”
The reason Rong Yueshan had monologued for so long was to delay the confrontation until her teammates returned from hunting beasts. The only people left at the clearing had been the chubby youth, Rong Yueshan, and Rong Yueshan’s four teammates.
“In that case, I’ll simply kill you before they return.”
Yun Ruoyan made her move immediately, mobilizing the Feilai Blade and directing it toward Rong Yueshan. She readied it with her mental energy, then gave Rong Yueshan a piercing glance. The Feilai Blade shot toward Rong Yueshan as a beam of light.
This all happened in the blink of an eye, but Rong Yueshan had been staring at Yun Ruoyan unwaveringly. As a result, she caught the near-instantaneous motion.
“Demonic arts!” Rong Yueshan screamed.
Reflected in the mirror, this sight also appeared in front of the white-robed elder and black-robed man.
“A sage-grade spiritual weapon!” The white-robed elder let out a sharp cry as he raised his right palm and clawed at the mirror, and a shockingly powerful surge of spiritual energy rushed from his palm into the mirror.
The Feilai Blade was right about to decapitate Rong Yueshan when a sudden gust of spiritual energy emerged from mid-air, morphed into a rope, and bound the Feilai Blade, stopping it right in front of Rong Yueshan’s eyes.
Because of the sudden bondage, the Feilai Blade’s original appearance became clear. The blade was sickle-shaped and forged of a dark, lustrous metal. The edge of the blade was enveloped in a sheen of white light and emitted a bitter cold.
“Ah!” Rong Yueshan, saved from the brink of death, was so shocked that her face had turned white. She screamed out as she fell onto the ground. “Demon… demonic… spiritual weapon?!” Rong Yueshan opened her eyes wide as she realized that the weapon that had shocked her half to death wasn’t an occult construction, but was just a spiritual weapon.
“So it was a spiritual weapon all along! Ha!” Rong Yueshan shifted her gaze from the Feilai Blade to Yun Ruoyan’s body. Because of the shock, her voice was still quavering a little as she crowed victoriously, “It was just a powerful spiritual weapon—and here I thought you were some three-headed, six-armed demon!”
Although spiritual weapons which could morph into a beam of light were relatively uncommon, they weren’t unheard of. The high-grade concealed weapon which the Rong family had once possessed, a small silver needle, would even follow its target until it struck. Because Rong Yueshan had seen such weapons before, she wasn’t particularly amazed by the Feilai Blade.
Unfortunately, that concealed weapon had been confiscated by Li Mo during the flower-viewing party. Otherwise, if it were in Rong Yueshan’s hands, she would have shot it at Yun Ruoyan without a doubt.
Yun Ruoyan was very surprised to see the Feilai Blade stop short right before killing Rong Yueshan. When she looked more closely at the body of the blade, she noticed that it was surrounded by a sheen of spiritual energy. It was that spiritual energy that was preventing the Feilai Blade from striking.
“Mistress, someone’s restraining the Feilai Blade with spiritual energy. They’re trying to take control of it!” Qiuqiu’s voice was almost incredulous.
“Can you sense who’s doing it?”
“No, I can’t. The person isn’t in this realm, and likely transmitted his spiritual energy into the realm using an artifact of some sort. However, his cultivation is immensely high.” Qiuqiu’s tone was filled with shock. “Being able to restrain the Feilai Blade like that… this cultivator must have reached the realm of a sword saint! He might be heading towards the realm of a sage!”
“Sword saint… Sage…!” These unfathomable realms of cultivation left Yun Ruoyan equally shocked. At least on the Chenyuan continent, it was widely acknowledged that ninth-rank blademasters had already reached the peak of blademaster cultivation. As for the realm of a sword saint, Yun Ruoyan had only heard Li Mo mention it once. Li Mo hadn’t described it to her in detail, only mentioning that she would naturally learn about the next few realms once she became a ninth-rank blademaster.
Yun Ruoyan had asked Qiuqiu about those realms, but because the information was sealed, even Qiuqiu couldn’t divulge too much to her.
However, she had now found out that even sword saints weren’t at the peak of cultivation; above them were the so-called sages. Yun Ruoyan had only ever heard of sage-grade beasts and spiritual treasures, but never a sage-rank cultivation.
As Yun Ruoyan was processing her newfound information, a shadow appeared above the Feilai Blade: it was the blade spirit, which hadn’t made an appearance since its subjugation. It looked like a long-bearded elder who gazed piercingly at the direction of the spiritual energy binding the blade.
In front of the copper mirror, the white-robed elder was still making a claw with his right hand, skeins of pure-white spiritual energy leaving his fingers and manifesting as thick ropes within the secret realm. His original intention was to snatch the Feilai Blade away in one go, but even after using up half his spiritual energy reserves, he still couldn’t seem to retrieve the Feilai Blade and pull it out of the secret realm.
When the elder tried to strengthen his grip, the blade spirit appeared. “What ignorant fool dares disturb me from my slumber?!”
This enraged shout caused Rong Yueshan, who had barely gotten over her shock and stood back up, to fall back down to the ground again.Previous Chapter Next Chapter