Pi Batian turned toward Yun Ruoyan. He slowly landed on the ground, his eyes filled with killing intent.
“Scarlet Eye, return!” Yun Ruoyan extended a hand, and the sword flew back into it. By then, the cultivators in beast pelts had either run, been captured, or been slaughtered, and the only one still standing was Yun Ruoyan.
A swordsman suddenly ran up to report to Pi Batian, “According to one of the captured slaves, they found a sage-grade spirit crystal within the vein, and it’s in this woman’s hands.”
“A sage-grade spirit crystal!” Pi Batian’s gaze, already filled with killing intent, turned even darker. The swordsman’s voice was so loud that everyone present had heard his words.
Yun Ruoyan, Yun Ruoyan… no one can save you now! Pi Yang sighed.
“Hand over that spirit crystal.” Pi Batian’s voice sounded calm, but it was brimming with killing intent.
“If I do, will you spare my life?” Yun Ruoyan smiled.
“Of course not. The crimes you’ve committed are enough for you to die ten times over. Killing you once is already a light punishment.”
“In that case, why should I do as you say?”
“You’re just like your husband, aren’t you? You don’t know when to give up!” With another crack of his whip, a scarlet bolt of forked lightning darted toward Yun Ruoyan, so quickly that she couldn’t even attempt to dodge it.
Gritting her teeth, Yun Ruoyan held the Scarlet Eye in front of herself, ready to take the blow. The force of the lightning sent her flying into the white, rocky mountain that was the entrance to the mine. A large piece of stone broke off, and dust smothered the air.
Back in the Pi manor, Li Mo was sitting cross-legged in bed as the middle finger on his right hand trembled. Li Mo had once smeared a drop of blood over the qilin beads. Whenever Yun Ruoyan was in grave danger, the finger from which his blood came would tremble. Over short distances, Li Mo would be able to discern where the signal was coming from and travel there to help her, but she was currently too far away.
Yan’er, where in the world are you?
When Yun Ruoyan landed on the ground, her ankles trembled, and she was forced to her knees. She spat out a fresh mouthful of blood; before she could catch her breath, another crack of the whip resounded in the air. Though Yun Ruoyan defended with the Scarlet Eye, she was once again catapulted into the mountain. This time, when she fell, she didn’t even have the energy to stand.
She lay on the ground, her white attire drenched with fresh blood. Her spiritual vortex, recently healed, began to show signs of instability once more.
“To be able to withstand two of my blows at full strength as a ninth-rank blademaster…” Pi Batian mumbled to himself. As a second-rank sword saint, he should have been able to kill her in one hit, but she hadn’t died even after two! I bet it’s that sword of hers.
Despite knowing that she didn’t have the strength to defend against yet another of Pi Batian’s attacks, she forced herself to sit up, holding the Scarlet Eye as a crutch. She stared unflinchingly at Pi Batian.
Pi Batian stared back at the petite yet obstinate woman. As their eyes met, he suddenly saw a red flash gleam in her eyes before she underwent a strange transformation. The wound on her forehead scabbed over with what seemed to be small scales.
“What sort of technique is this?” Pi Batian frowned and drew his whip once more. His philosophy was to simply annihilate anything that he couldn’t control.
“Brother, isn’t it a pity for you to kill her just like this?” Pi Yang asked.
“Better a dead woman than an uncontrollable one,” Pi Batian replied, then cracked his whip for the final time.
Yun Ruoyan could clearly see the blow coming toward her, and she was shocked to find that she didn’t seem to be fearful at all. It felt as though her body was undergoing a metamorphosis of sorts, one that had numbed her sense of fear.
The moment the whip was about to strike Yun Ruoyan, a black shadow appeared out of nowhere and blocked the lethal blow for her.
“Well? Can you still stand?” Feng Bo, dressed entirely in black, turned and asked Yun Ruoyan.
Yun Ruoyan seemed to have gone into a daze, and she didn’t respond to the question at all. Feng Bo frowned and had just lifted Yun Ruoyan up when he felt a blow to his back. With the swing of an arm, he neutralized the attack. A mud-yellow glow appeared underneath his feet as he soared to the skies, intending to leave.
“Who dares interfere in Pi family business?!” Another gold-colored sword aura flashed by, and Feng Bo found Pi Yan blocking his path.
“Father!” Pi Yang and Pi Batian both cried out.
Pi Batian had sent a message to Pi Yan before bringing his men to the spirit crystal vein. This was the largest of the Pi mines, and Pi Yan had evidently deemed it serious enough a matter to merit his own presence. Coincidentally, he arrived to find Feng Bo trying to leave with Yun Ruoyan in tow.
“Father, this woman has a sage-grade spirit crystal in her hands from the mine. We can’t let her leave!” Pi Batian called out.
Pi Yan frowned. He drew a gold broadsword as he stared warily at the man in black, noting that his cultivation didn’t seem inferior to his own.
Feng Bo shifted his gaze. The only reason he had arrived to save Yun Ruoyan was because of Li Mo. However, he hadn’t expected that Pi Yan himself would show up, and he’d even entertained the idea of discarding Yun Ruoyan and fleeing. However, when Pi Batian mentioned that Yun Ruoyan had a sage-grade spirit crystal in her hands, he changed his mind. If the Pi family were to obtain this spirit crystal, their forces would surely receive a massive boost to their cultivation.
Feng Bo streaked through the sky like a beam of yellow light, while Pi Yan followed in a golden glow. Zhuo Yifeng was rushing Lin Qingxue to safety when two sword auras whooshed by his head, then began to face off in an aerial battle. He could sense that their auras were far stronger than his own, so he shrewdly found a place to land and hide both himself and Lin Qingxue.
By then, the two sword auras had stopped moving. Zhuo Yifeng could see a woman in the hand of one of the cultivators. Before he could discern who she was, Lin Qingxue murmured, “Brother Zhuo, that’s Sister Ruoyan! The black-robed man’s taken Sister Ruoyan!”
Zhuo Yifeng immediately dropped to the ground, bringing Lin Qingxue with him. They were so close to these advanced cultivators that even the slightest movement could lead to discovery.
However, both Feng Bo and Pi Yan were focused on Yun Ruoyan, or, more precisely, on the sage-grade spirit crystal in her possession. They were discussing how to deal with the matter: afraid that their blows might accidentally destroy Yun Ruoyan and the sage-grade spirit crystal in her hands, they agreed to leave her in a relatively safe location for the victor of the duel to claim.
Feng Bo dropped Yun Ruoyan off by a patch of grass, but she didn’t seem to react. Instead, she continued to stare dazedly into the air.
“To think that there’s someone else on this continent with as advanced a cultivation as I have…! It seems that my days of solitude at the peak are over.” Pi Yan morphed into a golden beam of light as he struck at Feng Bo, who did the same. Their cultivations were equally advanced, their techniques equally dazzling, and the clash of their attacks seemed to light up the entire night sky.
Meanwhile, Zhuo Yifeng and Lin Qingxue rushed to where Yun Ruoyan had been dropped off. Zhuo Yifeng carried Yun Ruoyan on his back and began to run, while Lin Qingxue followed suit right beside her. It would have been faster to fly off on his sword, but the spiritual energy that would require would be like a beacon to the cultivators still fighting in the distance.
Pi Yan and Feng Bo continued to fight. Pi Yan was a gold-attuned cultivator, famed for his tremendous offensive power, but Feng Bo was able to negate and deflect the brunt of his attacks. However, neither was able to defeat the other.
“Where’s the woman?” In the heat of battle, Pi Yan suddenly discovered that Yun Ruoyan had gone missing.
“Who knows? Perhaps she woke up and fled on her own,” Feng Bo replied. As long as Yun Ruoyan escaped Pi Yan’s grasp, his goal would be accomplished.
Pi Yan morphed into a beam of light and tried to fly off, but Feng Bo naturally blocked his path. Despite a few furious attempts, Pi Yan found himself unable to shake off his foe. “I won’t let anyone steal what rightfully belongs to the Pis! You’ve forced my hand,” Pi Yan shouted, then raised the golden broadsword in his hand and infused the entirety of his massive well of spiritual energy into it, until it shone brighter than the sun.
A golden glow enveloped a patch of land about two or three miles wide. Even Zhuo Yifeng and Lin Qingxue, running harder than ever, were caught by the light. Then, a bolt of lightning struck Pi Yan’s broadsword, and Pi Yan cleaved the air in Feng Bo’s direction.
Feng Bo transformed into a beam of light and fled. Pi Yan didn’t give chase; instead, in the middle of the air, he began swinging his broadsword at different directions around the golden field. Whenever he did so, countless bolts of lightning would strike the ground.
Zhuo Yifeng’s party of three ran for their lives, lightning sizzling all around them and cracking the ground. They were so consumed by terror that they ran down a precipitous slope without realizing it. Along with Yun Ruoyan, they stumbled and fell, rolling down the slope...Previous Chapter Next Chapter