Chapter 254: Three-step Plan
Translator: Sparrow Translations Editor: Sparrow Translations
Murong Yanran was daring to take on the challenge not because she had a plan to defeat the opponent, but merely because she knew that it would do her no good to drag this on. She would be better off agreeing to the battle and to settle the issue early on.
Therefore, it was a battle that ended before it had even started.
Murong Yanran did not adopt a pessimistic attitude. She gave her best as soon as the battle started. Unfortunately, at this point, she and Xiao Yan were not on the same level.
The Flaming Dragon Celestial Armor was unnecessary, neither was the Nefarious Almighty Sword, nor the two Primordial Flames, nor the Heaven and Earth Mirror, nor the Black Cloud Flag.
Despite having fought a tough battle with Prince Chong Yun prior to that, Xiao Yan could still overpower Murong Yanran easily with his own Mana and Abhijna.
All the Sword of Radiance Sect disciples turned their heads; they could not bring themselves to witness the outcome of the battle.
The colors on Murong Yanran’s face had drained completely, but she still held on stubbornly, unwilling to collapse. Xiao Yan and she were one step apart; they stared at each other face-to-face, akin to a couple from afar.
However, in reality, between this man and woman, the attraction was zilch.
“Speaking from the bottom of my heart, during that time, I admit that I looked down on you because of your ability then. But today, it is clear as day that I was short-sighted then.”
Murong Yanran looked at Xiao Yan stubbornly, knowing very well that even her Master was not his opponent, much less her. And now that she had witnessed Xiao Yan’s vast powers after combining the two Primordial Flames, she believed that even her Grandmaster, Azure Clouds Grandmaster was not his opponent.
“However, as I have said before, even if time rewinds itself, I would still choose to go to the Xiao’s family to reject the marriage proposal! This is my marriage; I don’t need them to decide for me. To have to be by a stranger’s side for the rest of life is something I can never do.”
Xiao Yan’s expression was one of weariness. He said calmly and rather emotionlessly, “Neither can I be with a stranger for the rest of my life.”
“As such, I never blamed you for rejecting the marriage proposal. I just think that the way you chose the method of rejection was wrong. Unfortunately, arrogant as you are, you would not understand.”
“However, as it stands today, arguing who is to blame is meaningless. I also don’t need you to slog for me. After today, we will go our separate ways without crossing paths.”
“Initially, I thought that even though I did not want you to slog for me, I still wanted you to admit your mistake and concede defeat in public to make up for the shame you brought to my family. Now that I think about it, that won’t be necessary and is no longer important. The outcome could not have been clearer. The rest, the world will judge for themselves.”
Xiao Yan sighed softly. Three years of hard work finally brought him today’s victory. He felt relieved as though the weight pressing against his chest all these years had been removed.
“The promise to meet after three years has now come to an end, Murong Yanran.”
Xiao Yan howled at the sky. The Primordial Flame Golden Elixir vibrated non-stop in his body. Raging fire ignited and burned from his body.
The facial expressions of the Purple Cloud Grandmaster, Azure Cloud Grandmaster and company changed slightly. Zhao Yan and the Sword of Radiance Sect disciples seemed even more worried.
They had also experienced it, so they could tell that the raging fire surrounding Xiao Yan was not the product of his individual Mana, but because he extracted the fire and spiritual energy from the external dimension and transformed them into raging fire.
Being able to manipulate the spiritual energy in the heaven and earth for one’s own use was the realm of mastery of the Intermediate Aurous Core Stage!
In the battle with Prince Chong Yun, he pushed his limits to the extreme; in the battle with Murong Yanran, he found closure after all these years. After achieving tremendous progress in his powers and state of mind, he succeeded in reaching the middle level of the Aurous Core Stage!
The Tribulations of the Yin Fire that made so many Cultivators of the initial level of the Aurous Core Stage cower seemed to have little effect on Xiao Yan. Xiao Yan overcome them easily, as though he were walking on a flat land. They did not seem to affect him at all.
The raging fires lit up Murong Yanran’s pretty face, accentuating the sense of loss and helplessness written on her face. Her cheeks were not rosy at all, but seemed to grow paler with each second.
Amidst the raging fire, Xiao Yan turned around to where Lin Feng stood. He collapsed onto his knees before Lin Feng with his head buried in the ground.
He did not utter a single word but everyone present could understand how Xiao Yan felt at that precise moment.
Lin Feng smiled slightly. He extended his arm and gestured to the air to help Xiao Yan up. Xiao Yan was dragged to his feet.
Everyone from the Sword of Radiance Sect looked at the Master and his student, feeling puzzled and bothered.
Red Cloud Grandmaster’s gaze suddenly shifted to Xiao Budian and Yue Hongyan who were in a corner. After a long while, he sighed, “A rather deserved defeat.”
The Azure Cloud Grandmaster was livid and remained silent. The Purple Cloud Grandmaster pondered, “The Leader of the Celestial Sect of Wonders is really biased towards his own disciple…”
The Supreme Radiance Swordmaster took a look at Murong Yanran. He suddenly waved his arm; a flash of white light coiled around Murong Yanran and swept her off her feet.
“From today onwards, Murong Yanran is my Immediate Disciple. I will pass on my Mantra and sword technique to her directly and teach her myself.”
All of the Sword of Radiance Sect disciples were shocked, even the Purple Cloud Grandmaster and the other Nascent Soul Grandmasters were taken by surprise. The Azure Cloud Grandmaster was even dumbfounded.
No one would have thought that a completely humiliating defeat could bring so much fortune to Murong Yanran that she became the immediate disciple of the Supreme Radiance Swordmaster.
Outsiders might not have known, but they knew very clearly that the Supreme Radiance Swordmaster had not accepted any Immediate Disciple in hundreds of years.
And the most unbelievable of all was that the lucky one in hundreds of years was actually also the one who brought so much shame to the Sword of Radiance Sect.
Lin Feng turned around and beamed at the Supreme Radiance Swordmaster. The Supreme Radiance Swordmaster, who usually wore a stern expression, started to smile slightly, except that his eyes flashed with a sense of competitiveness.
Lin Feng laughed and tilted his head, “Xiao Yan, for you, it is the end. But for someone else, this is only the beginning.”
By now the fire on Xiao Yan’s body had extinguished. He stood diagonally behind Lin Feng and smirked after hearing that, “If I can defeat her once, I can defeat her for the rest of her life.”
“What an admirable spirit,” the Supreme Radiance Swordmaster said noncommittally while his gaze never left Lin Feng, “There are many places of attraction on Peak Xingyun, Lord Lin should take a tour around this area.”
Lin Feng laughed, “The younger ones can do that. Meanwhile, I am more inclined to have some meaningful exchanges with the Leader of the Sword of Radiance Sect.”
Here, there was no intention to challenge the Leader of the Sword of Radiance Sect. It was purely an exchange for the sake of learning. Of course, if the Supreme Radiance Swordmaster wanted to battle Lin Feng, Lin Feng would not mind taking him on in an actual battle.
Prior to this, in the exchanges with the Stellar Holy Man, Lin Feng gained a lot of exposure and acquired some new understanding about the Immortal Soul Stage. To him, it was a rewarding experience.
Naturally, the Supreme Radiance Swordmaster did not misunderstand Lin Feng’s intention. He looked at Lin Feng closely; Lin Feng could sense his intention to take on him deep down, but the Supreme Radiance Swordmaster suppressed this urge forcefully.
“Let the younger ones move around as they please. Lord Lin, shall we?”
Xiao Budian still had not extinguished his powers. He still stood on the ground with his thirty-feet tall Thunderstorm Demon and God figure. After hearing the conversation between Lin Feng and the Supreme Radiance Swordmaster, he turned his head immediately to look at Zhan Yan and growled in a deep voice, “Four Red-feathered Crane. Don’t forget, it’s four!”
Tuntun, who was beside, nodded strongly. After pondering for a short while, she added, “Tianhao, add another two!”
Xiao Budian heard this and immediately bargained, “Make it six now!”
The entire group of Sword of Radiance Sect disciples stared at the sky speechlessly; Purple Cloud Grandmaster and company also twitched their lips.
Zhao Yan’s expression darkened, “I can’t believe I just lost to a glutton!”
Lin Feng, who was preparing to leave, had the urge to facepalm and sigh in embarrassment after hearing this.
As the battle between Prince Chong Yun and Xiao Yan was too overwhelming and impressive, the battle later with Murong Yanran was, in contrast, rather anti-climactic. But perhaps it was precisely because of this that the Sword of Radiance Sect felt better about the defeat.
Now that the Supreme Radiance Swordmaster accepted Murong Yanran as his Immediate Disciple, and even though he said nothing about the decision, everyone could tell that this Immortal Soul Cultivator intended to pass on his skills to Murong Yanran himself, hoping that one-day Murong Yanran could avenge herself and salvage the situation.
It seemed that the Sword of Radiance Sect had to swallow the embarrassment they suffered today.
Lin Feng was curious. Since he accompanied Xiao Yan to this place, he had actually mentally prepared himself for a battle against the Supreme Radiance Swordmaster. But, surprisingly, it was the indomitable Immortal Soul Sword Cultivator who shied away.
Of course, it was not because the Supreme Radiance Swordmaster was afraid. In his dictionary, the word “cower” did not exist. If it did, he would not have reached the Immortal Soul Stage.
Lin Feng was confused, “What wish exactly did Wu Qingrou make for the Supreme Radiance Swordmaster to make the Sword Cultivator hold himself back?”
What Wu Qingrou’s real intention was, Lin Feng was merely curious. But to Prince Chong Yun, he was angry beyond control.
Not too far from Xingyun Peak, Prince Chong Yun stopped in his track and turned to look at Huang Jiugong calmly.
Those who knew him well knew that as soon as the invariably unreasonable and vicious Prince calmed himself down, that would only portend an upcoming thunderstorm that would be more violent.
Huang Jiugong naturally knew about it. He immediately took out a circular plate and injected some of his mana. Soft light flashed on the plate’s surface and projected a figure mid-air.
It was a scholar in his thirties clothed in cloth robe. He looked simple and elegant; his features were refined; he had a deep look in his eyes. He seemed as accommodating as the sea is able to accommodate everything. But at the same time, he was unfathomable and mysterious.
Prince Chong Yun looked at the middle-aged scholar quietly, “Prime Minister Wu, this time round you are making things difficult for me.”
The middle-aged scholar was the first-generation Prime Minister of the Great Qin, one who was able to lead the Great Qin Court despite being a mere mortal. He was Wu Qingrou.
Upon hearing this, Wu Qingrou said nonchalantly, “This is only the first step of the plan. Your Highness needs not be overly anxious.”
Prince Chong Yun fixed his stare at Wu Qingrou for a long while, “Is it? May I ask you then, Prime Minister Wu, how many steps there are in your plan?”
“Three steps,” Wu Qingrou replied calmly.
Suddenly, Prince Chong Yun calmed down completely. It was not a calm before the storm, but his state of mind was actually completely calm and relaxed.
Perhaps his brashness and irascibility were defects in his personality. But to be able to be where he was today, he was not entirely uncivilized. When he felt that the other party was inferior to him, he would be extremely arrogant; but when he met someone whom he valued, Prince Chong Yun could actually remain calm.
“Prime Minister Wu’s three steps are directed at me, or at others?”
Prince Chong Yun suddenly asked that question. And when Wu Qingrou heard it, a smile was carved out on his face.
He said unhurriedly, “Directed at those who are inimical to the Great Qin Empire.”
Prince Chong Yun’s eyes flashed. He said contemplatively, “The first step is to publicize the conflict between you and me by embarrassing me in public. This is to give people the false impression that my succession to the throne is threatened… … Nah, I don’t think it is this simple.”
He suddenly lifted his head, looked at Wu Qingrou and said slowly, “You want to make people believe that you are at odds with the Great Qin royal family, that you intend to counter and usurp the ruler’s power?”
Wu Qingrou said indifferently, “And I want whom to believe this?”