As Lie Fenglan spoke, the relatively small courtyard quickly filled up with Lie swordsmen, surrounding Yun Ruoyan and Li Mo. Another dozen swordsmen rose to the skies, blocking off any aerial escape route.
All this happened so quickly and noiselessly that they seemed to have gotten into formation within the blink of an eye.
“Lord Lie,” Yun Ruoyan began. “We don’t bear you any ill will—”
“Infiltrating my manor at night and still claiming to bear me no ill will?” Lie Fenglan’s face was lined with anger. Before Yun Ruoyan could explain herself further, he continued, “Lord Pi has sent me news that you’re the traitors of the Pi family, Yun Ruoyan and Li Mo! Men, catch these traitors!”
With Lie Fenglan’s command, the two dozen swordsmen attacked Yun Ruoyan and Li Mo at once. The swordsmen in the air sent vines around them, weaving a net that prevented any escape. Meanwhile, the swordsmen on the ground rushed up and began to tussle with the two cultivators.
These swordsmen had evidently all received intense training, because their attacks and techniques all proceeded in a soundless manner.
Yun Ruoyan and Li Mo didn’t want to offend the Lie family any further, so they focused solely on defense. Even though the swordsmen were using attacks designed to kill, the most that Yun Ruoyan and Li Mo did was hurt them and force them to retreat, without any intention to kill.
However, if they were to continue fighting with such a handicap, they would eventually run out of stamina first.
“Li Mo,” Yun Ruoyan whispered, “it seems like it’s true that Lie Yun can’t be disturbed at all. In that case, I have an idea.”
“What idea?” Li Mo kicked away a swordsman running at him with a cleaver. He somersaulted a few times in the air but, somehow, landed stably on top of a wall. Rubbing his chest, he leapt off the wall and came running at Li Mo again.
“Make noise, as much noise as you can!”
Li Mo immediately understood Yun Ruoyan’s intentions. He nodded, then kicked at the running swordsman again. A number of the swordsman’s ribs cracked, and he shot out toward the wall. When his back crashed against it, the impact knocked half the wall down.
Lie Fenglan’s heavy brows furrowed in a frown. Toward his surroundings, he whispered, “Be careful not to make any noise!”
However, Yun Ruoyan ignored him, shouting out loud, “Don’t think a few vines will trap us here!”
She raised her hands over her head and conjured up a number of large fireballs, which she launched above her head using the Scarlet Eye. As a peak ninth-rank blademaster, Yun Ruoyan could conjure incomparably better fireballs than before. When further augmented by the Scarlet Eye, their strength was particularly shocking.
The moment they struck the net of vines, the vines began to burn. The spiritual fire quickly spread to the dozen cultivators in the air weaving the net, who began to scream in pain.
Despite their intense training, the scorching, bone-deep pain was near-impossible to bear. Li Mo also increased the severity of his attacks, sending the cultivators arrayed against him flying. Some landed against a wall, others against a tree; in a matter of moments, all sorts of groans and thumps could be heard in the yard.
“You dare…!” Lie Fenglan thundered, but even then his voice seemed muted. He jumped up into the air, his fingers spread like claws. A mud-yellow glow encased his hands as he swiped at Yun Ruoyan and Li Mo.
Lie Fenglan’s blow was particularly imposing. Concentrated spiritual energy enveloped his fists; despite the fact that he was using spiritual energy at nearly maximum output, Li Mo wasn’t able to analyze his cultivation. Clearly, Lie Fenglan was stronger than even Li Mo.
“Yan’er, move aside!” Li Mo grabbed Yun Ruoyan and flung her behind him, then encased his fists in pale-blue ice as he grappled with Lie Fenglan.
The two men collided with an ear-splitting crash. Li Mo stumbled back a few steps, half the ice encasing his fists already cracked and splintered.
Lie Fenglan looked at his own fists. The mud-yellow spiritual energy encasing them didn’t seem to be affected, but it had begun to swirl and shake. He turned to Li Mo once more, his eyes more intense than ever. He hadn’t attended the seven cities’ tournament or the Feng banquet and was thus unfamiliar with Li Mo’s strength. Now that they had exchanged blows, Lie Fenglan was clearly surprised by how strong Li Mo seemed to be.
To think you two slaves would have such advanced cultivation! It looks like I’ll have to keep both of you here, or you’ll surely be strong rivals on the battlefield.
“Lord Lie, will you allow us to explain why we’ve come?” Li Mo asked again.
However, Lie Fenglan had already made up his mind. He raised his spiritual energy output to the maximum, and the quivering spiritual energy around his fists stabilized once more. Their mud-yellow light shone brighter than ever before.
“I was just wondering what sort of gift to hand the Pi family for our newly formed alliance, so it’s quite opportune that you’ve both shown up.” Lie Fenglan raised his palms.
Li Mo stepped forward, completely shielding Yun Ruoyan.
“I’ve just mastered my thousand palms technique, and you’ll have the honor of being the first cultivator I’m testing it against!” Lie Fenglan shouted, then dashed at Li Mo once more. Before his fists landed, he had already generated a billowing wind that swept at Yun Ruoyan’s hair and clothes.
Li Mo raised his spiritual energy output to the maximum and again congealed a layer of ice encasing his fists, prepared to defend against the blows.
Right before the attack landed, a girl’s furious cry came from behind Lie Fenglan.
“A, aaaa, aaaaaah!” Her shrill scream, so filled with pain, caused goosebumps to rise on the skin of all present. Lie Fenglan involuntarily turned behind him in the midst of his attack.
Li Mo dragged Yun Ruoyan to one side and barely dodged the blow. With a great Peng!, Lie Fenglan’s blow landed on the ground, which immediately split and cracked. The resulting noise provoked another scream, even shriller than before.
“Miss, no, please don’t!” More female voices could be heard from the cultivation chamber within. Two servant girls hurriedly rushed out of the chamber. “Lord Lie, Lord Lie, Miss Lie has gone crazy again!”
Lie Fenglan ignored Yun Ruoyan and Li Mo and immediately began sprinting toward the chamber.
“Li Mo, stop him!” Yun Ruoyan shouted. She too rushed toward the chamber, while Li Mo blocked Lie Fenglan’s path.
“Move!” Lie Fenglan thundered at Li Mo, seeing Yun Ruoyan enter the chamber.
“Lord Lie, my wife’s here to help your daughter. If you rush in, Miss Lie will only suffer further.”
“I’ve expended half my estate and my own resources to save my daughter. What makes you think that girl can do it? Stop speaking nonsense!” Lie Fenglan cocked a fist and made to attack Li Mo again, but he continued blocking his way.
After Yun Ruoyan entered the chamber, the first thing she saw was Lie Yun’s hair in disarray. Her entire body was wrapped up in heavy steel chains, and her beautiful face had turned a purplish-black from the corpse poison’s corruption. Her eyes had turned blood-red, and her body was as skeletal as her shade.
“Kill me, kill me!” Lie Yun moaned in pain, the black energy rushing toward her red eyes.
“Miss Lie, hold still. I’ll save you immediately,” Yun Ruoyan began, then tried to uncork her shade from its bottle. However, before she was able to uncork it, Lie Yun had pulled her chains loose and struck Yun Ruoyan’s wrists with them.
Yun Ruoyan let out a pained gasp and dropped the bottle containing her shade, which landed on the floor well behind Lie Yun.
“Miss, Miss, you can’t go outside!”
Her servants tried to prevent Lie Yun from struggling any further, but they were all knocked unconscious by her chains. Lie Yun had already lost her rationality, and if the poison couldn’t be counteracted, she would quickly become nothing more than a mindless corpse. Not long after, the corpse poison would reach her heart, and not even the silver dragon clan elder would be able to save her then.
Instead of trying to prevent Lie Yun from struggling, Yun Ruoyan darted around her to pick up the bottle containing her shade.
Back in the yard, Li Mo and Lie Fenglan were still struggling with each other. In his desire to save his daughter, Lie Fenglan had traded power for speed, and he sent a flurry of blows in Li Mo’s direction. Despite their limited strength, Li Mo still found himself unable to fully defend against his attacks.
Meanwhile, Lie Yun had run out of the chamber, dragging her chains behind her.
“Yun’er!” When Lie Fenglan saw Lie Yun’s terrible appearance, he stumbled in shock. Loudly, he commanded, “Don’t let the young miss run out of this yard, but don’t harm her!”
“Yes, Lord Lie!” the swordsmen all chorused in unison.
At the same time, additional reinforcements arrived from all around the manor. Even Lie Sen made an appearance, though he only dared hide behind the entrance to the facility without stepping inside. These guards, under Lord Lie’s command, quickly surrounded Lie Yun.
Lie Yun spread her fingers like claws, prepared to fight to break out of her encirclement.
“Stop her!” Yun Ruoyan suddenly shouted, bursting out of the chamber. “Don’t let her use any attacks, or the corpse poison will spread even faster.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter