Yun Ruoyan was trying to forcibly break Qiuqiu’s seal on the silver bracelet. She was a ninth-rank blademaster, and the bracelet would allow her to step into the realm of a sword saint—at a cost.
Qiuqiu watched the seal break apart, powerless to stop it. “Mistress, you won’t be able to handle the backlash!” With that last chirp, the seal broke in its entirety, and Yun Ruoyan was once again able to draw from the power of the bracelet.
Her spiritual energy, greatly augmented by the bracelet, exploded out of her body and began pushing Pi Yan back. Pi Yan, who was still constricting Yun Ruoyan with his oppressive aura, felt a sudden pulse of spiritual energy emanating from Yun Ruoyan, far stronger than anything she had previously displayed.
What’s going on? Pi Yan had never encountered such a situation. Yun Ruoyan was clearly only a ninth-rank blademaster, but she was somehow exhibiting the spiritual energy of a sword saint. The sudden burst of energy grew stronger and stronger; Pi Yan, caught by surprise, spat out a mouthful of blood, the backlash from his repelled attack.
He instantly released more of his aura to combat Yun Ruoyan’s rising strength. As the two cultivators’ spiritual energy crashed into each other, Yun Ruoyan was finally unable to bear the burden of the rampant energy through her body and was knocked up into the air.
Li Mo arrived just in time to see Yun Ruoyan’s body falling toward the ground like a drifting feather.
“Yan’er!” With a pained, half-crazed shout, Li Mo flew faster than ever before to catch Yun Ruoyan in his lap.
“Li Mo…” Yun Ruoyan’s face was sheet-white, but her smile was gentle and unforced. Against the blaze of the burning inn, it was so dazzling that Li Mo couldn’t help holding his breath. “You’ve come for me.”
“We’re leaving, Yan’er.” Li Mo turned to leave.
“Since you’re already here, I won’t let you escape again!” Pi Yan flew in front of Li Mo.
“Screw off!” Li Mo shouted back, not even looking at him.
Pi Yan wiped at the blood trickling down his lips. “Make me.” His cultivation was far more advanced than Li Mo’s. Even if Li Mo weren’t saddled with Yun Ruoyan, he would have been no match for Pi Yan. Given that he had to bring Yun Ruoyan with him, it would be nearly impossible for him to escape unscathed.
Just as Li Mo prepared himself for a fight to the death, a black shadow suddenly appeared from the horizon. “Young Master Li, quick, bring Miss Yun away.” The voice was deliberately artificial; immediately after speaking, the shadow began attacking Pi Yan fiercely.
A huge icicle shot toward Pi Yan, who summoned a glowing greatsword. With both hands, he swung the sword down against the icicle’s onslaught, causing shards of ice to scatter everywhere through the air like a miniature snowstorm.
By the time his vision cleared, the black-robed man, Li Mo, and Yun Ruoyan had disappeared without a trace.
Pi Yan bellowed so fiercely that the entirety of Peak Darkness seemed to tremble.
Li Mo hurriedly retreated back to the pleasure den with Yun Ruoyan in his arms. She was vomiting out a steady stream of blood, and her eyes struggled to remain open. She looked as though she were going into shock.
“Yan’er, don’t! You can’t sleep—no, open your eyes, your eyes!” He tried to infuse spiritual energy into her body, only to find that her spiritual pathways were tattered and broken.
“Brother Li, I’ve brought some medicine!” Feng Yicheng rushed up to him and handed over all manner of herbs and pills, which Li Mo began feeding Yun Ruoyan. However, her body rejected them and vomited them up, along with copious amounts of blood. Li Mo, who remained stoic even when the skies seemed poised to fall, was trembling visibly, his face as white as Yun Ruoyan’s own. Fear, terror, and despair, the likes of which he had never before experienced, threatened to overwhelm him.
“Feng Bo’s here!” Feng Yicheng pulled Feng Bo, who had just rushed back, to Li Mo’s side. “Quick, let Feng Bo have a look at Miss Yun.”
Feng Bo glanced at Yun Ruoyan’s injuries and almost recoiled in shock. “Her spiritual vortex is all but blown apart, her spiritual pathways have all snapped… honestly, I’ve never seen any cultivator suffer such grievous injuries and live to tell the tale.”
“No, Yan’er will live.” Li Mo wrapped Yun Ruoyan tightly in an embrace. “She has to.”
“Feng Bo, no matter what, let’s try to treat her injuries. Can you stanch her bleeding?” Feng Yicheng asked.
Feng Bo nodded, then used his spiritual energy to seal the damaged regions on her body. Finally, she stopped vomiting out blood.
“The rest will depend on heaven’s will,” Feng Bo said solemnly.
The next day, when Feng Yicheng got wind of the fact that the Pi family was about to leave Peak Darkness, he immediately brought a troop of guards with him to the inn that had been taken over by the Pi delegation, ready to cause some trouble.
The inn had burned for the entire night before the fire was finally put out. Almost every room had been burned to cinders, and Feng Yicheng’s mouth was agape at the destruction.
“Young Master Feng, please, you have to help me!” The innkeeper, having seen Feng Yicheng from the distance, rushed up to him and knelt down by his feet. “I’ve lived in Peak Darkness for over a decade, and I’ve always paid all my fees and taxes on time. But now that my livelihood’s been burned down—!”
“Innkeeper, calm down.” Feng Yicheng helped the old man up. “If this fire were an accident, the Feng family will definitely help you recoup your losses. If it was arson, I’ll also make sure that you’re compensated by the perpetrator. Can you tell me about what happened?”
As Feng Yicheng spoke, he glanced slyly at Pi Batian, who was standing in the courtyard. Last night, Pi Batian had received news that someone had seen Li Mo in a small town close to Peak Darkness, and he had rushed over there with his men. In fact, that was a false report arranged by the Feng family to confuse him. When he returned the next morning to find the inn burned to cinders…
“It, it was arson!” The loss of his livelihood had strengthened his resolve. “Last night, for some reason, there was an internal conflict within the Pi family. A female Pi servant suddenly rebelled. The head of the Pi family brought a number of his personal guards over to stop that woman from leaving, at which point the woman burned down the entire inn in an attempt to escape. Oh, my livelihood!” The sixty-year-old man leaned against Feng Yicheng’s shoulder and began bawling away like a baby.
Despite his entire life’s efforts disintegrating within a single night, he didn’t dare to ask for compensation directly from the Pi family. He had lain in wait until Feng Yicheng arrived before unloading his grievances in full.
“Innkeeper, don’t you worry. As long as the Feng family still maintains oversight of Peak Darkness, the rules of the region will be strictly enforced.” He deliberately spoke loudly enough that Pi Batian whirled around and focused on him.
Feng Yicheng raised his head to meet Pi Batian’s gaze. “Young Master Pi,” he called out, walking into the ruined courtyard toward Pi Batian, the bawling innkeeper still by his side. “Please resolve your conflict with this innkeeper.”
Pi Batian was having his guards preparing a few carriages for departure.
“What?” He turned and scowled irritably at the innkeeper, who shrank back in fear. The Pi family was well-known for being domineering, and they had been known to completely eradicate families who had slighted or were somehow hostile to them. If not for the fact that he had suffered such grave losses, he wouldn’t have dared to beg the Feng family to intercede on his behalf.
“Young Master Pi, there’s no honor in frightening the weak,” Feng Yicheng replied. “An internal struggle within the Pi family caused this innkeeper’s inn to burn down. Aren’t you going to provide anything in compensation?”
“Internal struggle?” Pi Batian scoffed. “You know full well what happened last night. Why pretend that you don’t?”
“Young Master Pi, what exactly do you mean?”
“Weren’t you the ones who saved Yun Ruoyan?”
“What Yun Ruoyan?” Feng Yicheng pretended to know nothing about the affair. “I don’t understand what you’re saying. All I know is that the Pi family caused this inn to be burned down. As part of the family that governs Peak Darkness, I must ask that you compensate this man in full before I’ll allow you to leave.”
Feng Yicheng’s voice was loud and clear, and the guards that he’d brought along with him quickly blocked the entrance to the inn.
“You want a fight?” Pi Batian spat out. After his fruitless search last night, he had returned to the inn to find it destroyed by Yun Ruoyan, who had been impersonating the mute woman all along. He was in a vicious mood, and Feng Yicheng was deliberately prodding at him.
Before they could get into a fight, however, Pi Yan called out from a carriage, “Tian’er, we’ll pay this innkeeper.”
“There’s no need to dally further. Time is of the essence,” Pi Yan commanded.
“Yes, Father.” Despite how unjust the whole situation seemed to him, he could only do as his father commanded.
“Lord Pi is gracious,” Feng Yicheng praised, then smiled winningly.
“How much do you want?” Pi Batian barely resisted the urge to punch Feng Yicheng in the face.
“Building such a spacious, well-crafted inn would cost at least ten thousand spirit crystals,” Feng Yicheng counted. “Rebuilding would take at least six months, and the innkeeper would have easily made five thousand spirit crystals during this time. Add in management fees and all sorts of other miscellaneous upkeep, and you’re looking at a total compensation of around twenty thousand spirit crystals.”
“Absolutely ridiculous,” Pi Batian gritted out.
“Young Master Pi, weren’t you the one who spent ten thousand spirit crystals on three women at a pleasure den? Twenty thousand spirit crystals would only be the price of six women. What would other cultivators think if they knew you were so willing to spend money on women, but not on compensating a poor old innkeeper for damages?”Previous Chapter Next Chapter