As for the rest of the story, Yun Ruoyan had already learned it from Qin Jianmei. Yun Lan, who had secretly loved Lin Yuemei all along, took advantage of Long Yin’s presence to get together with her. The result of their marriage was Yun Moxiao.
A few years later, however, Long Yin suddenly appeared once more and took Lin Yuemei away. They vanished for a few months; during this period, Lin Yuemei became pregnant with Yun Ruoyan.
“Long Yin’s sudden appearance was the prelude to strife,” Lin Tianming continued. “He revealed his true identity as a descendant of the demonic dragons to us, then explained the reason for his disappearance: he had been summoned by the demonic dragon souls to revive them, as was his duty.”
Reviving the demonic dragons was hardly a trifling task, and he would likely have died in the process of trying to do so. Long Yin didn’t feel responsible for revitalizing the demonic dragon clan, so he found an opportunity to sneak out.
The Lin brothers knew that their sister deeply loved Long Yin. Despite being married to Yun Lan, she had never been as happy as she had been during those carefree days that she and Long Yin had spent together. Her doting brothers, persuaded both by their sister’s glumness and Long Yin’s earnest request, arranged for the two of them to meet.
When Lin Yuemei understood the reason for Long Yin’s disappearance, she forgave him. The couple then decided to elope. The Lin brothers were naturally shocked and upset by their sister’s audacious plan, but they finally relented when Lin Yuemei staked her life on it.
Long Yin claimed that the demonic dragon clan would never let him go; as for Lin Yuemei, the Yun family would hardly be happy with such a scandal. The four of them put their heads together in an attempt to think of a secure, hidden location where they could temporarily stay until matters had died down.
It was Lin Tianhai who had first thought of the far-seeing mirror in Kongming Academy. By then, the Lin brothers had entered Kongming Academy to augment their cultivation, and they had learned the formation for operating the all-seeing mirror.
The group of four snuck up the Kongming Summit and set up the formation. With Lin Tianming and Lin Tianhai’s cultivation, they were only able to send the star-crossed lovers into a random realm.
“We thought that that would be the end of Long Yin and Lin Yuemei’s escapade, but someone somehow managed to find us,” Lin Tianming continued.
“The demonic dragon clan?” Yun Ruoyan asked.
“No.” Lin Tianming shook his head. “Rather than the demonic dragon clan, it was the silver dragon clan who found us first—more precisely, a person working under the silver dragons, the current head of the Pi family, Pi Yan.”
Yun Ruoyan knew of Pi Yan, having seen his face both in her dreams and in reality. Pi Batian and Pi Yan looked very much alike, so much so that Yun Ruoyan had confused the two of them initially.
“Pi Yan was unable to find Long Yin, so he threatened Tianhai and me with force. We swore not to divulge their locations, so he brought us here,” Lin Tianming continued.
“My father was brought here too?!” Lin Qingxue’s eyes shone. “Uncle, where is he?”
Lin Tianming lowered his head. “I’m sorry, Qingxue, I couldn’t protect your father.”
He told Yun Ruoyan and Lin Qingxue about how they were tortured for information in the Pi dungeon. In the end, Pi Yan threatened to kill Lin Tianming in front of Lin Tianhai. In order to protect Lin Tianming’s life, Lin Tianhai finally revealed where Long Yin and Lin Yuemei had been sent. Soon afterwards, Lin Tianhai succumbed to the wounds he had received at the hands of Pi Yan.
When she heard from her uncle that her father had died, Lin Qingxue’s face visibly contorted with pain. She slunk down and cupped her face, unable to bear looking at anyone.
Yun Ruoyan patted her on the back, trying her best to console her.
“Tianhai gave up his life for mine. Before he died, he had me promise to keep on living, no matter what. All these years, I’ve focused on doing just that. I initially thought that I would die alone in Pi Yan’s dungeon, but you saved my life,” Lin Tianming finished.
Lin Tianming didn’t know what happened after Pi Yan found out about Long Yin and Lin Yuemei’s current location, but Yun Ruoyan did. In her dreams, she recalled seeing Pi Yan capture Long Yin. Lin Yuemei successfully escaped with a teleportation scroll, returning to the Chenyuan continent and the Yun manor, where she gave birth to Yun Ruoyan.
Yun Ruoyan told Lin Tianming the sorrowful conclusion to the tale.
“We all thought that my mother had passed away, but Grandfather coincidentally found that Mother’s corpse wasn’t actually hers. That’s why he suspects that she might still be alive,” Yun Ruoyan continued. “And as for my father… what could have happened after Pi Yan caught him? He’s likely the only one on the Mingyuan continent who knows.”
Yun Ruoyan’s eyes blazed with ardor. She might not be able to discover her mother’s whereabouts at the moment, but Pi Yan would surely know of what had happened to her father! Before she left the Mingyuan continent, she had to extract the truth from him!
When Li Mo received the news that Lin Tianming had been successfully rescued and had met up with Yun Ruoyan and Lin Qingxue, a burden lifted from his chest. The next step was for him to escape with Lin Qingxue and Qin Feng. Without Lin Tianming around, it would be far easier for the three of them to escape, but the Pi swordsmen had suddenly become far more vigilant around them.
Li Mo could sense at least five swordsmen hidden all around the Li manor surveilling them three. Li Mo’s cultivation was advanced enough to be able to come and go at will, but it was far harder for him to do so when bringing Lin Qingchen and Qin Feng around.
Just then, Feng Yicheng brought word from the head of the Feng family, stating that the head wanted to meet him. Li Mo had met the head of the Feng family during a banquet, a rather refined middle-aged man. In a crowd of bloodthirsty brutes, he was an existence that stood out from the rest.
Li Mo agreed to the meeting. One night, he followed Feng Yicheng out of the manor and met the head of the Feng family, Feng Yanyang, in a restaurant.
“Please have a seat, Young Master Li,” Feng Yanyang began. In front of him was a teapot wreathed in a heady, fragrant mist. He poured both him and Li Mo a cup, then motioned for Li Mo to have a taste.
Most cultivators on the Mingyuan continent were warriors at heart, ones whose notion of entertainment was for slaves to have a fight to their deaths. It was rare to find those cultivators who had the sensibility for less martial pursuits.
“It’s excellent tea,” Li Mo commented, then put down the teacup in his hand. “Lord Feng, for what reason do I have the pleasure of meeting you today?”
Feng Yanyang. “There’ll be a martial tournament for the seven great houses in the near future. If I’m not mistaken, Pi Yan will send you out as his premier combatant.”
“A martial tournament for the seven great houses?” Li Mo frowned. This was the first he had ever heard of it; no one in the Pi manor had seemed privy of this.
“Lord Feng, how are you so confident that Pi Yan will send me out?”
Feng Yanyang refilled Li Mo’s cup of tea. “This tournament is of particular importance to us of the seven. The last time it was hosted, Pi Batian was sent out against Feng Bo, and Pi Batian lost.”
Li Mo glanced at Feng Bo, who was standing beside Feng Yanyang. Ever since Li Mo had entered the restaurant, Feng Bo had remained still and silent by his master’s side, his aura completely retracted. He looked exactly like an old servant of the family, with nothing outstanding except for his unusually rich robe.
“I’ve had a taste of Feng Bo’s techniques for myself,” Li Mo murmured idly. He had just broken through to a second-rank sword saint when he fought Feng Bo, but he had been unable to last even ten blows. Conservatively, he would estimate Feng Bo as a fifth-rank sword saint.
Such an advanced cultivation was undoubtedly past the peak of the Chenyuan continent. Li Mo wasn’t familiar with what the true experts of the Mingyuan continent were like, so he couldn’t judge where Feng Bo stood, but he was certainly one of the most impressive fighters in the seven families.
“If the Feng family were to send out Feng Bo again, I doubt any could be his match.”
Feng Yanyang shook his head. “The seven cities’ tournament is hosted once every three years, and the competitors must change from year to year.”
Li Mo sipped his tea as Feng Yanyang continued. “Given your cultivation as a second-rank sword saint, you’re already well beyond most of the swordsmen of the seven families. Pi Yan won’t waste your talent, and it’s almost certain that he’ll send you as a competitor.”
“In that case, Lord Feng, what would you have me do?”
“The Feng family will send Feng Yicheng as its representative. At that time, I hope the two of you will join hands to defeat the representatives of the other five families, then…” Feng Yanyang leaned forward and lowered his voice, whispering his plan to Li Mo.
“That would surely be a blow to the Pi family,” Feng Yanyang concluded.
“If I do so, it will enrage Pi Yan,” Li Mo stated mildly. “Lord Feng, I’ll act according to your wishes on one condition.”
“You must recover my two friends from the Pi family beforehand.”
After Li Mo and Feng Yanyang had worked out the details of the ploy, Li Mo returned to his coal cellar without anyone noticing. The next day, he received a summons from Pi Yan.
Just like before, Li Mo stood calmly in front of Pi Yan, neither servile nor overbearing.
“Have you recovered?” Pi Yan asked.
“More or less. For what reason have you summoned me, Lord Pi?”
Pi Yan raised his eyebrows. “Has no one informed you of the propriety and bearing of a slave?”
Li Mo followed suit. “No one has ever enslaved me.”
Pi Yan narrowed his eyes and thundered, “What kind of place do you think the Pi manor is? What other role could you possibly have?”
Pi Yan was stubborn and domineering. He forbade any sort of disobedience or rebellious behavior, even from as useful a pawn as Li Mo.
“I naturally understand.” Ignoring Pi Yan’s anger, Li Mo continued, “The Pi family leads the seven great families, and I wish to work for the Pi family as one of its swordsmen. Lord Pi, will you accept my loyalty?”
Pi Yan’s anger slowly dissipated. “Haven’t you always refused to submit? Why the sudden change of heart?” He rightfully doubted that Li Mo had done so for no reason.
Li Mo’s expression turned serious. “I know that you’ve been in search of a woman named Yun Ruoyan, Lord Pi. You’ve undoubtedly learned from your son that she’s my wife.”
“You dare try to negotiate terms?” A hint of anger asserted itself on Pi Yan’s face once more...Previous Chapter Next Chapter