Chapter 745: Issuing The Challenge
Translator: Sparrow Translations Editor: Sparrow Translations
Shao Qingcheng was still calm as she responded to her daughter’s furious outburst. “Zhu Yi was lucky to have the leader of the Celestial Sect of Wonders as his master. He has reached quite an impressive standard since then. However, you have been cultivating for a much longer period of time than he has and yet you have been left in the dust – you should reflect as well.”
“Even though the Celestial Sect of Wonders have their own unique traits and abilities, you have been brought up and nurtured with tireless effort from your parents, and our mantras and abhijnas are equally powerful as well.”
Shao Qingcheng continued softly, “Even though you’ve experienced a lot more these few years, your life has been too smooth and easy after all.”
“It’s natural that you’re upset. However, you can’t let this kind of emotions eat into your willpower and your mind. You have to treat this like a lesson and return this humiliation to him a hundred times over in the future. Only cowards and weaklings curse and complain all the time.”
Shao Huayang took a deep breath as her expression mellowed and the fire in her eyes disappeared. “I understand. We will see who reaches the immortal soul stage first. I will swallow today’s humiliation and return it to him a hundred times over another day!”
Shao Qingcheng smiled at her daughter’s revelation. “That’s the way. Meng Bingyun was unable to defeat me, and this unholy child of hers will not be able to defeat my daughter as well.”
She turned to look at Zhu Yi calmly and said, “Xuan… Yi? Is that the title you gave yourself on the invitation letter you sent to Liang Yuan?”
“Zhu Hongwu has always wanted to teach you a lesson himself. However, if you’re here today for the Green Glass Jade Stand as well, then let me be the judge of your abilities.”
She was an immortal soul stage cultivator, but even if she wanted to murder Zhu Yi on the spot, she had to take Lin Feng into consideration.
Even though Lin Feng was not too concerned about Xiao Yan and Zhu Yi facing off against first-level immortal soul stage cultivators, that was just his own personal opinion. To outsiders, Xiao Yan and company were only nascent soul stage cultivators after all.
According to traditional perceptions, Shao Huayang challenging Zhu Yi to a duel was reasonable and perfectly normal. Even if Zhu Yi lost the battle, it was his own fault for not training hard enough or that he was simply not good enough. However, if Shao Qingcheng was the one initiating the challenge, it would seem like she was trying to bully an obviously weaker opponent.
Lin Feng was particularly sensitive to this kind of actions.
However, if Zhu Yi was the one that antagonized her and initiated the challenge, then it would be something else altogether. Immortal Soul stage cultivators possessed a certain degree of self-confidence and dignity, and she was not about to let Zhu Yi get away with humiliating her and her daughter just because he had a powerful master and a powerful sect behind him. Her turning a blind eye to something like that was unthinkable.
“I will never violate you for nothing. However, if you start showing me humiliating disrespect then I’ll just murder you on the spot. I don’t care if this triggers your master or not. If I can’t beat him, then I’ll just run. If I can’t run, then I’ll just compensate in any way I can. If I can’t compensate him, then it’ll just be a fight to the death.”
Even if it would cost them their lives, most immortal soul stage cultivators would never let such impudence of nascent soul stage cultivators go unpunished. Turning a blind eye to something like this was simply unimaginable for people like them.
Of course, it would be completely different if the immortal soul stage discovered that this nascent soul stage cultivator was much more powerful than the usual. At least, if the immortal soul stage cultivator knew that this nascent soul stage cultivator was strong enough to match his or her own abilities, then he or she would have a different mentality.
This was the reason why the Freshwater Holy Man, the Falling Waves Dragon King and the others treated Xiao Yan and Zhu Yi the same way before they really knew the extent of their abilities.
No matter how much Shao Qingcheng disliked Zhu Yi, she would never initiate the challenge. The only exception to that possibility was that the Great Zhou Empire and the East Heaven’s Gate was engaged in an all-out battle with the Celestial Sect of Wonders – only then would she not hold back.
She was here to retrieve the Green Glass Jade Stand. If Zhu Yi was here for the Green Glass Jade Stand as well, then he would be in her way, and the winner would be the most powerful individual – all the typical concerns of immortal soul stage cultivators bullying nascent soul stage cultivators and whatsoever were out of the question.
Zhu Yi was still standing upright on Jieyu’s back. His long purple robe swayed in the wind as he answered calmly, “You wish to see what I can do? That’s perfect as I also wish to see what you’re made of.”
“The Heaven’s Gate Sect were considered one of the more reputable sects in ancient times. The reappearance of the Heaven’s Gate mantras has made me very happy indeed. Although I do wonder, exactly how much of your East Heaven’s Gate has received the true teachings of the Heaven’s Gate Sect?”
Everybody was slightly taken aback at his words. Even though they were all aware of the notorious reputations of Zhu Yi, Shi Tianhao and the others, it was still rather shocking and unbelievable that he dared to challenge an immortal soul stage cultivator when he was only in the nascent soul stage.
Of everybody on the island, the Vivant Joy Holy Man and the other cultivators from the Great Qin Empre were the most familiar with Zhu Yi’s true abilities. Even though they were uncertain about the outcome of this battle – Zhu Yi was only in the nascent soul intermediate stage – they were still relatively cool and collected about it all.
Shi Xingyun glanced at Zhu Yi as she shook her head and laughed. “That’s how he does things.”
The Sun-Swallowing Grand Sage and the Red Dragon King were a little surprised about the news of the East Heaven’s Gate bringing back part of the teachings of the Heaven’s Gate Sect. Even though they knew that Shao Qingcheng and the others were quite powerful, they had yet to officially battle each other and were still unsure of their adversaries’ backgrounds and identities.
Now that they knew, these two powerful demons grew a little anxious. The name of the Heaven’s Gate Sect was relatively renown inside the Barren Expanses even though it had been extinct for a long time.
The cultivators from the Great Qin Empire and the Vast Sea Sword Sect shared the same astonishment. Only the Vivant Joy Holy Man and the Tidal Sword Elder remained expressionless as they probably knew about this beforehand.
The higher levels in the hierarchy of the Great Qin Empire were naturally familiar with the existence of the East Heaven’s Gate. This was a powerful force under the wing of the Great Zhou Empire, and it was inevitable that they would draw the attention of the Great Qin Empire. Only the insider details were unbeknownst to them.
The Vast Sea Sword Sect were a big sect that relied and leaned towards the Great Zhou Empire, just like the East Heaven’s Gate. They were both located on the oceans as well, so it was not surprising that they knew something about it. However, the East Heaven’s Gate was extremely low-profile, so the Tidal Sword Elder knew nothing much other than their existence.
The East Heaven’s Gate cultivators behind Shao Qingcheng, including Shao Huayang, all stared at Zhu Yi with mocking eyes.
The reappearance of the Three Mountains of the Ying Sea could be said to be of national importance to the Great Zhou Empire. It was also a great opportunity for the Heaven’s Gate Sect, and both parties had already decided to go full force in this endeavor.
The East Heaven’s Gate Sect were prepared for the day they would show themselves to the world. Therefore, they were not too concerned about Zhu Yi exposing their identities. Everyone reacted with mocking laughter as, in their eyes, Zhu Yi engaging in battle with Shao Qingcheng was like a mantis stopping a car with its arm.
“Very well. Do bear in mind that you won’t have a chance to regret this decision as well.” Shao Qingcheng’s expression remained the same. She opened her eyes a little wider as she stared straight at Zhu Yi. The amount of pressure she exuded was enough to cause Jieyu, Baiguang and Li Yuanfang to frown with solemn anticipation.
She did not make her move after finishing her statement, but turned towards the Green Glass Jade Stand somewhere else on the island.
Zhu Yi was not in a hurry to start the duel as well. Even though his challenge was shot back at him, he still kept in mind the true reason for their venture into the Ying Sea. The Green Glass Jade Stand was connected to the Yingzhou Celestial Mountain, and thus it was indirectly connected to the progress of the Celestial Sect of Wonders.
Private matters could not be mixed up with professional ones. Zhu Yi was very clear about this, and he was not about to give anything up.
They both knew that if they engaged in battle right away, it would only benefit the other four parties for free.
The fight could only happen after the illusion surrounding the island had been broken, and after the Green Glass Jade Stand was in their possession. Everybody else was also here for the Green Glass Jade Stand, and it was inevitable that conflicts would break out all around.
The other immortal soul stage individuals were not too surprised that Zhu Yi and Shao Qingcheng were not too eager to start their duel.
The Vivant Joy Holy Man said, “Let’s break the illusion above the island before anything else.”
Even if conflict would eventually arise, everybody also wanted to make sure that the item was secure.
This stand-off was bad news for everyone in the long run. After all, more and more parties who heard the same piece of news would be coming into the island.
The more people there were, the lower their chance of retrieving the Green Glass Jade Stand for themselves.
The Tidal Sword Elder was in agreement and said nothing more. He pointed a finger towards the island beneath him and the ocean water around the island started to churn. Raging tides and waves condensed into sword-like water pillars and shot up towards the illusion around the island.
There were multiple ‘water-swords’, and they all looked rather thin and weak but nobody dared to underestimate the sword techniques of an immortal soul stage sword cultivator.
The thin ‘water-swords’ embodied the powers of space and were formed through the integration of large volumes of ocean water. They were a lot harder than most metals in the world, and under the guidance of the Tidal Sword Elder, each and every sword was as sharp as ever.
Normal nascent soul stage cultivators would not have been able to repel even a single water-sword, and would probably be killed on the spot.
However, the water-swords pierced the illusion but did nothing other than go directly through it. The water-swords went through the island as well, and made it seem like the island itself was virtual.
The Tidal Sword Elder was still calm as he changed the stance of his swords. The tough and sharp water-swords turned into soft and malleable water pillars as they layered upon each other and encircled the illusion from the outside. A giant sphere of water with a radius of more than ten miles appeared in an instant.
The Tidal Sword Elder started to erode the illusion bit by bit as crackling sounds could be heard as his mana clashed against the illusion.
Even though the illusion that had the Green Glass Jade Stand trapped was powerful, it was not too much trouble for immortal soul stage cultivators. As long as they were careful and avoided getting trapped inside the illusions themselves, they would be able to destroy the illusions from the outside.
Since everybody was in in consensual agreement, the group of immortal soul stage cultivators were decisive as everybody started to team up with the Tidal Sword Elder to corrupt the illusion together.
A ball of green light appeared in the hands of the Vivant Joy Holy Man. The ball of green light drifted around in the sphere of water before transforming into a small tree and started to grow on the ground.
Complex and intricate roots started to reach deep down into the illusion and started to consume the spiritual energies of the illusion for their own nutrition like a parasite. The illusion was getting weaker and weaker as the small tree was growing bigger and bigger.
The Sun-Swallowing Condor howled once and the black mist surrounding him expanded outwards and started enveloping the illusion from the outside as the latter eventually became a patch of black.
The Red Dragon King channeled the Eight Barrens Divine Lightning and fired lightning strikes after lightning strikes that caused the illusion to tremble violently.
Zhu Yi looked up at Shao Qingcheng as she raised her right hand and seven streams of blood-red flames started to condense in the center of her palm. The ball of fire spiraled round and round, and transformed into a rotating flaming wheel in an instant.