Chapter 695: I Have Sinned
Translator: Sparrow Translations Editor: Sparrow Translations
In the elegant room, after watching the battle between Zhou Yuncong and Lin Tong, Ying Luozha, who had been silent all this while, suddenly stood up as he turned his gaze to Xu Yunsheng.
His gaze was not longer as sharp and fiery as before, but it was still proud.
“Earlier on, I heard a saying. However, I didn’t hold it to heart. Now, however, it kind of makes sense,” Ying Luozha said calmly. “A path of a thousand kilometers starts with a single step. It has to be done step-by-step.”
“Regardless what’s Zhou Yuncong’s ability, we need to determine who’s the better one between you and I. If you are stronger than Zhou Yuncong, then there’s no need to fear him. If not, then I must surpass you first before I can challenge him.”
Xu Yunsheng stood up and looked at Ying Luozha. His gaze was slightly complicated. He said nothing in response to Ying Luozha. However, he nodded simply and said, “Let’s go down.” With that, he left the room and walked straight to the battleground.
Ying Luozha arched his eyebrows as he followed tightly behind him out of the room.
When Ying Luozha and Xu Yunsheng entered the battleground, Xu Yunsheng began to set his preferred battleground. The disciples of the Celestial Sect of Wonders in the Dharma Hall began to pay attention.
During the many battles between the two of them, not only would disciples from the Heavenly Temple come and watch, almost every single disciple of the Celestial Sect would spectate.
In the Grand Heavens Pavilion, Lin Feng sat on the master seat and smiled suddenly.
He had long predicted the outcome of this battle without any hesitation.
Xu Yunsheng was sure to lose.
It was still the same saying. If one wished to lose, then one would surely lose unless one’s opponent was a pig.
However, Lin Feng believed that it would still be an interesting and ferocious battle. The final result would still be similar to their usual performance, where victory and defeat were just inches away.
Reality had already proven Lin Feng’s prediction. In the upcoming round, the two of them battled more ferociously and bloodily than they had ever done.
Finally, Ying Luozha managed to clinch victory from Xu Yunsheng at the cost of serious injuries to himself.
As Xu Yunsheng was protected by the defensive mechanism of the Dharma Hall that prevented fatal blows from landing, Ying Luozha was ironically the more injured one when the two of them left the Dharma Hall. If not for the immediate medical attention his sect provided for him, he would not have survived his injuries, much less progressed to the next round.
In this intensive battle, the result was Pyrrhic.
The cultivators in the Dharma Hall were glued to the battle. Even some Nascent Soul stage elders too looked approvingly at the battle between these two disciples.
The battle between Xu Yunsheng and Ying Luozha not only demonstrated the extraordinary amount of power and talent the two of them possessed at the Foundation Establishment stage, but it was also a battle between their wills and minds.
Many younger disciples from the more powerful sect asked themselves how would they have performed had they been one of the two combatants.
Many of them shook their heads in their hearts.
Earlier on, some of the cultivators who were eliminated in earlier rounds were unsatisfied with how things turned out for them. For example, Fan Xuefeng, Shi Jingyun, Shi Shaoqian, Kang Hai, and company. They believed that there were too many random factors that affected the results of the first and second round.
However, after watching the fight between Xu Yunsheng and Ying Luozha, all of them admitted that had they met either one of them, they would have lost too.
The disciples of the Celestial Sect of Wonders stared at them in awe. Some of them even felt like a good opportunity had been wasted. “If only Senior Xu and Senior Ying Luozha did not meet in the first round, both of them could enter the top 4. Now, Senior Xu is regrettably onlyin the top 8.”
Xu Yunsheng himself however was extremely calm.
In the Grand Heavens Pavilion, Lin Feng’s gaze turned to Zhu Yi as he smiled slightly. Zhu Yi nodded his head, stood up and said, “I shall go and take a look at my disciples. Please excuse me, seniors.” With that, he disappeared from the Pavilion.
Ying Luozha was severely injured and Zhu Yi, as his master, had the right to care for him. After all, it was like how Wang Lin went to take a look at Li Xingfei after the latter was injured.
At this point in time, Ying Luozha was already unconscious. He had to be sent out by Shi Tianhao. Xu Yunsheng, who had been sent out by the powers of the Dharma Hall first, was waiting for him outside.
Shi Tianhao looked at him, smiled and said, “Send him to a quiet chamber. My second senior will treat his wounds.”
“Right away,” Xu Yunsheng nodded his head as he used his mana to envelop Ying Luozha. With that, he went about his job straightaway.
While he lost and could only be counted amongst the top eight, Xu Yunsheng’s appeared to be rather good spirits for someone who had just lost to his ‘mortal enemy’. It was as if he had freed himself from chains.
When he came to the quiet chamber, he saw a purple-robed scholar sitting there, quietly and calmly awaiting his arrival.
Zhu Yi received Ying Luozha and tended to his wounds. He did not rush to talk to Xu Yunsheng. Thus, Xu Yunsheng stood quietly there, waiting.
After a long while, Xu Yunsheng’s mind began to wander as he thought about all that he had experienced.
Officially, he was from a family of bureaucrats from the Great Qin Empire. He had no tie to the Great Zhou Empire, except for a tiny bit of animosity.
However, his position in the Xu Family was extremely awkward. Strictly speaking, Xu Yunsheng’s surname was not Xu. He himself did not know what his original surname.
Many years ago, during one of the conflicts between the two empires, his mother was abducted by the Zhou soldiers. Then, she became pregnant with him and his twin sister for ten months. To his mother, both his sister and he were a source of shame.
Once the mother escaped, she abandoned Xu Yunsheng and his sister. The two of them relied on each other for everything. Then, the two of them joined the sect and were scouted by the intelligence agency of the Great Zhou Empire.
Fortunately, his mother returned to the Xu Family. There, her husband had no offspring with her and was under immense pressure from his family. Thus, she lied that she had been pregnant before the invasion and hence, she brought Xu Yunsheng and his sister back to the Xu Family.
Xu Yunsheng returned to the Xu Family in this fashion. In the start, his talent was not evident. He was only a spy the Great Zhou Empire had planted in the Great Qin Empire.
The Xu Family had never suspected anything. Hence, while Xu Yunsheng appeared to be in a privileged position as the heir of the Xu Family, his position there was as thin as ice.
After he demonstrated his talents, he was instructed by the Great Zhou Empire to join the Celestial Sect of Wonders in Shazhou City.
Thinking about it here, complicated expressions appeared on Xu Yunsheng’s face. To him, the days after he had joined the sect were the most carefree days of his life.
In a relaxed environment with amicable fellow disciples in a powerful sect, everything seemed perfect.
However, the more he thought about it, the more he sensed an uncontrollable fear forming in his heart. There seemed to be a voice telling him, “Nothing belongs to you!”
The fear grew stronger and stronger. It was like a chain on his body that suffocated him.
Because of this fear, Xu Yunsheng dared not think of the day where his true identity would be revealed. He did not know what was awaiting him then.
He was not scared of death.
However, the disappointed look of his master, coupled with the disgust of his fellow disciple and his eviction from the Celestial Sect of Wonders, which was like a paradise to him, choked him in terror.
After the Heart-Revealing Steps was revealed during the second sect-opening ceremony, Xu Yunsheng’s fear reached its apogee. While he did not need to go through its tribulation as a disciple who had joined the sect during the first sect-opening ceremony, Xu Yunsheng never doubted the fact that his grandmaster, Lin Feng, had long seen through him.
Hence, to avoid rousing suspicion, he took part in the temptation trial by the Purple Clouds Treasure Pagoda. Xu Yunsheng’s heart crept with fear as he knew that his identity had already been exposed.
However, Lin Feng and Zhu Yi did not change their attitudes to him at all. In daily trainings and interaction, they treated him as per normal as if he was just any other cultivator.
This caused Xu Yunsheng to brim with doubt. At the same time, he tried to lie to himself, “Perhaps I haven’t been exposed…”
However, he knew better than anyone else that the reality could not be further away. However, he would still rather bury his head in the sand like an ostrich, lying to himself.
This was just so that he could spend a few more days in his current life.
Also, he did it for his sister, his only relative. She was the only one he truly cared about he joined the Celestial Sect of Wonders.
Other than his mother, no one from the Xu Family knew of the existence of his sister. When his mother asked, Xu Yunsheng’s reply was ‘She’s dead’.
Only Xu Yunsheng knew that she was controlled by the Great Zhou Empire.
“If I explain everything to my master clearly, perhaps they would help me save my sister. But would they do it? Would they do it be double-crossing spy like me?” Numerous worries, fear and conflicting thoughts appeared in Xu Yunsheng’s heart. This made the normally calm teenager completely at a loss as to what to do. His entire being trembled.
Sometimes, he even tried to trick himself. “I… I am Xu Yunsheng of the Celestial Sect of Wonders! I am not from the Great Qin Empire nor am I a spy for the Great Zhou Empire. I… I am also not a bastard who doesn’t even know his father!”
Under Xu Yunsheng’s humble appearance, there was arrogance. That arrogance, however, concealed an extreme self-loathing.
This made him want to be number one in anything he did, anywhere.
He hoped that he could get rid of his past baggage and focused on being the most exceptional disciple of the Celestial Sect of Wonders. However, every time he thought of his sister who was still under the control of the Great Zhou Empire, his beautiful dream of being number one in the Celestial Sect of Wonders turned into a nightmare. He himself then woke up from that nightmare.
Hence, as he was breaking out in cold sweat, Xu Yunsheng was very conflicted internally. His could feel his mind turning to glue and his entire person becoming more stupid.
In the past three years, he was tortured by his dream and nightmare.
This time, during the Spiritual Conference of Kunlun Mountains, the Great Zhou Empire became more forceful in its demands of him. Paradoxically, it made him clearer about his true position. He resolved to be a disciple of the Celestial Sect.
“Do you have anything to tell me?” Zhu Yi asked. Xu Yunsheng immediately regained his senses. He realized that Zhu Yi had finished treating Ying Luozha’s wounds. Ying Luozha was already in a deep sleep.
Zhu Yi turned around and looked at Ying Luozha. His eyes were calm as if he had everything under control.
In the past few years, Xu Yunsheng would become even fearful and unbalanced upon seeing Zhu Yi’s gaze.
Now, Xu Yunsheng had made up his mind. He was extremely calm as he slowly kneeled down and kowtowed to Zhu Yi.
“I have sinned, master, and I am here to report it to you.”