Master Shade clearly underestimated the power of Yun Ruoyan’s shadow. Finally realizing that he wouldn’t be able to deal with it so easily, he switched to defense and began to position himself against the shade. Because both were practitioners of the shadow arts, they countered each other: despite its subtle and ethereal mode of movement, the shade found its attempts to kill the man blocked at every juncture.
When Yun Ruoyan saw that her shade had been trapped in battle with Master Shade, she held her dagger against Pi Yang’s neck and began walking them both out of the courtyard. The three guards moved with her, not daring to risk their second young master’s life.
The moment Yun Ruoyan was about to step through the front entrance of the inn, however, Pi Yan showed up with a troop of guards. “We scoured the entire Pi city in search of you, only to find you right under our noses all along!” Pi Yan called out. “At least it’ll save us the trouble of having to capture you.”
“Unfortunately, I don’t intend to be captured. Your son’s in my hands, so you’d better not do anything rash.”
“Pi Yang,” Pi Yan called out, glancing at his younger son. “Yun Ruoyan’s capture is essential for our family’s well-being. If she were to escape, it would be an immeasurable blow to the Pi family, one surpassing even our loss at the seven cities’ tournament. For the Pi family, I’m afraid I won’t be able to protect you this time.”
Pi Yan had breathed in Yun Ruoyan’s intoxicating fog, and his eyes were glazed over. Before he received any commands from Yun Ruoyan, he would be nothing more than a wooden puppet.
I’m that important? Yun Ruoyan narrowed her eyes. Her father had also been captured by Pi Yan—could it be that he was looking for those possessing the demonic dragon bloodline?
Before she could think through the implications of that hypothesis, Pi Yan commanded his guards, “Catch Yun Ruoyan alive!”
Yun Ruoyan could hardly have anticipated that Pi Yan would even sacrifice his own son for her, but she heard how Pi Yan had emphasized ‘alive’.
“You’d better be careful,” Yun Ruoyan whispered to Pi Yang, then pushed him away from her as she faced the three guards’ attacks. They were all ninth-rank blademasters, each about equal to Yun Ruoyan in terms of cultivation. If she had faced them one-on-one, it would be an easy win for her. With three of them surrounding her, however, it wouldn’t be impossible that they could kill her. However, if they wanted to catch her alive, they would have to expend considerable effort to do so.
If the guards were to charge forward with their weapons and attack Yun Ruoyan in close range, she would be hard-pressed to counter all their attacks. Since they wanted her alive, however, they couldn’t risk accidentally killing her. Instead, their confrontation would be decided by spiritual techniques which could act from a distance.
One of the guards was apparently a wood-attuned cultivator. He extended his hand and summoned a number of vines, which sprawled toward Yun Ruoyan in an attempt to tangle her up. Yun Ruoyan unsheathed her Scarlet Eye and sliced the vines apart.
The next guard had lobbed a fireball in her direction, which she pierced with her sword. Instead of dissipating it, however, she infused spiritual energy into the Scarlet Eye and augmented the fireball instead.
The final guard ran at Yun Ruoyan with a conjured sword of ice, which she deflected with the engorged fireball now attached to her sword. With a great explosion, the fireball detonated and melted the icy sword instantly, enveloping the final guard in flames.
Yun Ruoyan began to counterattack. She summoned a dozen fireballs in front of her with the wave of a hand, which she sent flying at the crowd around her. As a peak ninth-rank blademaster, her fireballs boasted considerable attack power, which were then augmented by her Scarlet Eye’s flames.
The enflamed guard, desperately trying to put the flames on his body out, was struck again by another of Yun Ruoyan’s fireballs. The spiritual membrane surrounding his body cracked, as though it had reached its limit, and spiritual fire began scorching his skin. He roared in pain as his body was slowly consumed.
Some less advanced guards, who were watching the fight, hurriedly tried to extinguish the spiritual flames on the guard’s body with water, but the spiritual flame persisted and even seemed to grow more intense. By the time they were finally extinguished, he had turned into a pile of ash.
Yun Ruoyan summoned another volley of fireballs, which she sent flying with a wave of the Scarlet Eye. As soon as the sword touched the fireballs, they instantly blazed even hotter than before.
Quite a few of the fireballs smashed toward Pi Yan, but while he was able to deflect them easily, his personal guards and the guards patrolling the courtyard shouldered the brunt of the attack. Their bodies would catch on fire even if the slightest lick of flame touched them, and soon the courtyard was filled with howling and the somewhat disturbing stench of cooked flesh.
The sage-grade spirit crystal in Yun Ruoyan’s silver bracelet provided her with an endless supply of spiritual energy as she flung out wave after wave of fireballs, setting anything they touched on fire. Soon, everything in sight was in flames. The attack, making up for its lack of finesse by pure, brute force, actually managed to keep all the guards away from Yun Ruoyan.
Back in the pleasure den, Li Mo was currently looking toward the inn where the Pi delegation was staying, silently contemplating what to do with Yun Ruoyan.
“Brother Li,” Feng Yicheng called out from behind. He walked up to him and glanced toward the direction he was facing. “Haven’t you received any further news from Miss Yun?”
“No news might be good news,” Feng Yicheng replied. “I admire Miss Yun’s audacity. She bears significant credit for allowing us to successfully carry out our plan. When she returns, the head of the Feng family will reward her heavily.”
Just then, Li Mo saw a blaze of fire erupt from the distance, and his eyes narrowed.
“The Pi delegation’s inn is on fire.” Feng Yicheng saw the fire illuminate the night sky, spreading impossibly quickly. “It has to be spirit fire. Nothing else would spread so rapidly—”
Before he finished speaking, Li Mo had flown off toward the flame like a shooting star.
“Brother Li, don’t be rash!” Feng Yicheng called out, but Li Mo was already gone. Feng Yicheng hurriedly rushed back inside the inn to find Feng Bo, whom he immediately directed toward the Pi inn as well.
After Yun Ruoyan had conjured over a hundred fireballs, she took a deep breath. The process had been exhausting, even if the reservoir of spiritual energy from the sage-grade spirit crystal was near-inexhaustible. When her surroundings were a flaming sea, she finally stopped her attack.
This was her secondary plan for escape: if she weren’t able to make it out on her own, she would summon help!
Pi Yan could see that Yun Ruoyan was signalling for help, and he finally made his move, flying directly toward her. Afraid that he would accidentally kill Yun Ruoyan, he wasn’t using a weapon.
“Mistress, be careful!” Qiuqiu chirped, sensing a tremendous aura approaching her.
Yun Ruoyan stepped backward to avoid Pi Yan as she raised the sword in her hands to ward him off. Pi Yan tried to grab Yun Ruoyan, but the temperature of the Scarlet Eye was still far too high for him to bear with his bare skin. Instead, he began releasing his own spiritual energy in mid-air.
Yun Ruoyan was only a ninth-rank blademaster, and she could hardly expect to win in a contest of spiritual energy against a supposed third-rank sword saint. This difference in power was why Pi Yan had initially sent his guards against her rather than facing her himself. The silver dragon clan elder had been very specific about wanting her alive, but Pi Yan hadn’t expected how devastating her attacks could be.
In the end, none of his subordinates were able to get close to her, and he would have to approach her on his own. If he misjudged his own power and killed her, then all his work would be for naught.
“Surrender,” Pi Yan called out.
“Never!” Despite being surrounded by the pressure from Pi Yan’s spiritual energy from all sides, Yun Ruoyan refused to give in.
“Heh. You’re a chip off the old block, aren’t you? That’s what your father was like when I caught him, refusing to surrender even if his life depended on it. If not for a miscalculation on my part that allowed your mother to escape, you wouldn’t be around causing trouble for me now.”
“Where did you bring my father?” Yun Ruoyan gritted out.
“As long as you stop resisting, I’ll send you to where your father is,” Pi Yan replied, then sent even more spiritual energy in her direction.
Yun Ruoyan could feel that Pi Yan’s domineering spiritual energy was slowly invading her body, and her own spiritual energy had been forced to retreat deep within her body. Her spiritual vortex was being expanded beyond its limits from the influx of Pi Yan’s spiritual energy, growing more and more unstable.
Even as blood dripped out of her mouth, she remained stubborn.
“Too willful for your own good!” Pi Yan increased the density of his spiritual energy once more, and Yun Ruoyan felt as though her whole body was about to explode from the pressure. The iron tang of blood filled her throat, but she forced it down. Gritting her teeth, she forced out, “I… won’t ever succumb… to the likes of you!”
“Mistress, no!” Qiuqiu suddenly shouted, realizing what Yun Ruoyan was about to do. The silver bracelet was able to augment her spiritual power, but if her physical form was insufficient to support that increase in power, she could very well explode and die as a consequence. To avoid this danger, Qiuqiu had sealed the bracelet’s power when Yun Ruoyan broke through to seventh rank.Previous Chapter Next Chapter