Yan Tianhen dragged Lin Xuanzhi away, staggering a few steps. Both of them tumbled to the ground together under the tremendous momentum.
Over on the other side, Yuan Tianwen’s situation was relatively better. He only coughed up a mouthful of blood as he stabilized himself with one hand on his sword.
Duan Yuyang, whose heart had already risen to his throat, let out a strained sigh of relief when he saw the situation, stopping himself mid-step from moving forward like he’d intended.
“Dage, are you crazy!? What are you saving him for? Don’t you want your life anymore?!” Yan Tianhen shouted, both of his hands trembling. He saw Lin Xuanzhi’s body, which looked like it had been stained with blood from the ruptured wounds, and his heart couldn’t help but quiver.
“Lin Xuanzhi, what are you doing!?” Shen Rubing was furious. She had used up all of her hidden cards in that attack just now, but it was actually destroyed by Lin Xuanzhi’s reckless actions!
Even if Shen Rubing had been slightly infatuated with Lin Xuanzhi before, those feelings had cooled at this moment.
Lin Xuanzhi pursed his lips and stood up with Yan Tianhen’s support. His lips were pale. “I owe the Qi family karma. Naturally, I can’t bear it if any more Qi family members were to die in front of me.”
Qi Er struggled to get up, but his right leg was already broken, so he could only lean against the mountain wall and sit down.
Shen Rubing glared at Lin Xuanzhi venomously, like a poisonous snake. “Exactly what kind of karma do you have with the Qi family, to actually make you be willing to give up even your life?”
“The grace of bestowing a sword.” Lin Xuanzhi replied lightly as he stretched out his fingers to wipe away the blood on the corner of his lips.
The Zhige sword in his hand was personally made by a great power from the Qi family.
Rumor had it that the Zhige sword was forged from a piece of heavy vital iron at the bottom of a lake dug up from the North Continent’s northernmost arctic regions, but few people knew that the one who forged the Zhige sword was actually that powerful person from the Qi family.
Even Qi Er didn’t know.
Qi Er was stunned. He didn’t even care about the pain from his own body as he asked, “How could it be forged by my great grandfather? All the swords my great grandfather forged were recorded in the stone inscription; there are 181 swords in total, and I’ve never seen your Zhige sword there.”
Lin Xuanzhi didn’t continue to explain and only lightly replied, “I saved you once, but I won’t save you again. Young Second Master Qi, if the stone chamber opens up once again, you should leave as soon as possible.”
The Qi family was obsessed with forging swords.
Even if that old man had already sacrificed his body to the sword and was no longer in this world, the Qi family still persevered on the path of sword forging.
Although Qi Er didn’t forge swords himself, he understood sword forging and also what it meant to the Qi family.
It was exactly because he understood that he couldn’t comprehend why his grandfather didn’t record Zhige in the family records — this was definitely not the Qi family’s style.
Qi Er’s heart burned with curiosity. He wished to know the reason and truth at once, but Lin Xuanzhi made it clear that he wasn’t going to talk about this matter again.
…Well, that’s fine. In the end, he had benefited from his family’s good fortune and was able to survive that Primary-level attack just now.
Qi Er thought about the attack just now and felt some lingering fear in his heart. At the same time, he also felt sincere gratitude and admiration towards Lin Xuanzhi.
Not just anyone would dare to block a blow from a Primary-level cultivator. Even if Lin Xuanzhi was already a Foundation Stage Second or Third Layer cultivator, he was still a craftsman and not an elemental cultivator.
Qi Er sat beside the mountain wall and waited for the moment when the mountain door would open again. His thoughts were calmer and more settled now, and his mood was also more tranquil. He naturally understood that he had been too impulsive before.
Shen Rubing couldn’t launch a second attack either; it wasn’t because she didn’t want to, but because she had already exhausted all her spiritual Qi at this point. Even the life-saving magic treasures that she took with her had been consumed as well. Currently, even Yan Tianhen could easily kill her.
Shen Rubing suddenly hated Lin Xuanzhi, that nosy person who meddled in other people’s business. If it wasn’t for him, then right now, Qi Er, this liability, would already be dead, and the other unnecessary people would be as well.
Shen Rubing’s ice-cold gaze swept over Yan Tianhen and the people beside him. She whispered something to Qiu Lu next to her.
Qiu Lu walked over to Wan Linghua and Jin Fangfei, who were standing quite some distance away from her, and whispered, “Shijie wants Wan Shijie to give her those medicinal pills that can rapidly replenish Qi.”
“No.” Jin Fangfei refused at once.
Qiu Lu felt somewhat helpless. “Little Sister, although Shijie isn’t normally very warm towards you, we’re still from the same sect. In this kind of situation where there’s neither a village in front of us nor a shop behind us, we should help each other out.”
Jin Fangfei only sneered, her small face that usually looked cute now full of disdain. “Now you guys dare to say ‘help each other out’, isn’t that just because you have a use for my Wan Shijie? I didn’t forget that when we were in Cloud Jade Sect, you guys mocked my Wan Shijie behind her back and even directly humiliated her.”
Qiu Lu’s face was somewhat red for a moment. Though she had never said offensive things about Wan Linghua herself, many people in Cloud Jade Sect secretly ridiculed her in the dark, saying that she was a pervert, that she liked to peep at female cultivators bathing, was despicable and vulgar…
All in all, there wasn’t a single nice word said.
Wan Linghua didn’t care about them, but Jin Fangfei wasn’t a good person to provoke.
Jin Fangfei sincerely wished to slap every single one of them. However, Cloud Jade Sect could still be considered a strict sect, and she was also a junior martial sister, so she would certainly be punished if she dared to insult her senior sisters.
At this moment, Jin Fangfei’s vengeful thoughts ignited again.
Qiu Lu shrank back a little and looked to Shen Rubing for help.
Shen Rubing looked at her coldly. Wu Shiyin, who was standing next to her, also showed a dissatisfied expression. She walked over as well. “The one surnamed Wan, the fact that Young Sect Master wants to ask you for a medicinal pill today is because she thinks highly of you. What are you still dilly-dallying here for?”
“Get lost for great aunt!” A repulsed expression appeared on Jin Fangfei’s face as she reached out a small hand and waved it in front of her nose. “You stink, so disgusting. Don’t pollute the air here.”
“Jin Fangfei, do you still have any respect for your elders?” Wu Shiyin’s facial expression changed greatly as her entire face flushed with shame. “Wait till we get back, I will most certainly report this matter to my Shifu and have her decide. She’ll teach you a good lesson!”
“Whatever you like.” Jin Fangfei didn’t care. “Don’t tell me you won’t have smelly breath or body odor anymore if you let your master discipline me?”
“You…” Wu Shiyin’s face flushed red in embarrassment, furious.
She did have some bad breath and body odor, but ordinarily, she paid great attention to it. Now that Jin Fangfei directly called her out on it in public in front of so many people, how could she not be angry and humiliated?
At Cloud Jade Sect, Wan Linghua really was a person who never tried to offend anyone, so she was a great target whom anyone could casually bully. She disliked arguing with people and disliked arguing with this gaggle of female cultivators who chattered and gossiped to no end even more. A great majority of the time, Wan Linghua would give these female cultivators whatever they asked for.
It was the same this time as well.
But everyone had a reverse scale and a bottom line.
Wan Linghua’s face was expressionless as she told Wu Shiyin, “Tell Young Sect Master Shen that I, Wan Linghua, can’t live up to her high expectations of me; let her slowly recover on her own.”
Wan Linghua refused to give it to them, and Wu Shiyin couldn’t rob her by force either. Let’s not mention whether she could afford to lose this kind of face first, but just Jin Fangfei’s pair of hooks alone wasn’t to be trifled with.
Cloud Jade Sect’s little junior martial sister caused trouble for people wherever she went and shot her mouth off all day long, but her cultivation was second only to Shen Rubing.
No one dared to provoke the strong.
At this moment, Shen Rubing felt even more hatred in her heart. She really wished that those who opposed her would all die in this mountain chamber.
Jin Fangfei’s heart felt at ease and she made faces at Wu Shiyin’s back. Wan Linghua lightly patted the top of Jin Fangfei’s head, indicating that she shouldn’t show her emotions so clearly.
Jin Fangfei stuck her tongue out and giggled, “I didn’t think that the day would come when Shijie actually refuses Shen Rubing.”
Wan Linghua said lightly, “Who let them anger you?”
Jin Fangfei paused, then sweetly shouted a “Shijie you’re so nice”, hugging onto her arm and not letting go.
On their side, Yan Tianhen’s small face was gloomy. He took out an ointment meant to heal wounds and, without allowing for any room to protest, made Lin Xuanzhi undo his clothing so that he could personally apply it.
Lin Xuanzhi was unable to persuade him otherwise, so he could only sit cross-legged on the ground and let Yan Tianhen do as he wished.
At this time, Jin Fangfei and Wan Linghua walked over.
Jin Fangfei raised her hand and threw a small bottle of medicine to Yan Tianhen, who caught it with a raised hand.
“Here, this is the ointment my Shijie personally made. One bottle is worth hundreds of gold; it’s very precious.” Jin Fangfei explained proudly.
Lin Xuanzhi cupped his hands at Wan Linghua. “Many thanks.”
Wan Linghua also cupped her hands back. “No need, many thanks to Craftsman Lin for saving Fangfei and myself earlier. I should be the one thanking you.”
Yan Tianhen looked up at Wan Linghua, then looked towards Lin Xuanzhi.
Lin Xuanzhi replied airily, “Saving the both of you is also saving myself.”
Wan Linghua nodded. “Don’t know what Craftsman Lin’s next plans are?”
“At 11 pm, the mountain gate will open. Pill Limit will break, and the great array will awaken.”
He intentionally didn’t lower his voice when he said this and deliberately didn’t avoid a certain person either, so when Shen Rubing heard this, her expression suddenly changed. She didn’t even care about her dissatisfaction with Lin Xuanzhi saving Qi Er and directly came over as she asked, “How can you know my Shen family’s secret?”
Lin Xuanzhi’s pair of eyes that looked like icy pools stared at Shen Rubing coldly. “The Shen family’s secret is nothing much. I’ve already given you enough face today. If you still have any other untoward thoughts, don’t blame me for responding heavy-handedly.”
The words could already be considered pretty heavy-handed.
Shen Rubing’s body swayed a little as she took half a step back. She took a deep breath, “I don’t understand what you’re saying.”
“There’s still a while before it reaches 11 pm. Since Young Sect Master Shen doesn’t understand, then she might as well think about it some more.”
Shen Rubing didn’t know why, but when she was facing Lin Xuanzhi, she suddenly felt a sense of dread rise up. She managed to steady her breathing and turned to walk far away from Lin Xuanzhi.
“Tch!” Jin Fangfei rolled her eyes at Shen Rubing.
Lin Xuanzhi was still a man after all. Since he needed to take off his clothes in order to apply the medicine, Jin Fangfei and Wan Linghua took the initiative to step back.
Yan Tianhen looked at the flesh that had burst open and was bleeding profusely and carefully wiped the bloodstains around the area with a handkerchief first, then used his fingers to smear ointment onto the wound.
His movements were very gentle and careful, as if he couldn’t bear to see Lin Xuanzhi in any more pain.
Lin Xuanzhi looked at Yan Tianhen, who was already sweating even on the tip of his nose. “Ah Hen, it doesn’t hurt. You need not be so careful.”
“You shut up!” Yan Tianhen yelled, his expression a little ugly. He bowed his head as he continued to tend to Lin Xuanzhi’s injuries.
Lin Xuanzhi didn’t have any Qi within his body to begin with, so it wasn’t possible for the spiritual Qi within his body to be in chaos. Thus, his internal injury wasn’t very serious; the injuries all appeared externally on his flesh, which could also be considered a blessing in disguise.
Lin Xuanzhi felt the slight itch brought about by Yan Tianhen’s slender and slightly cool hands moving on his skin and wanted to smile a little, but he choked back his laughter when he saw Yan Tianhen’s expression.
Yan Tianhen couldn’t help but sound like a broken record as he muttered, “Why did you have to meddle in other people’s business? What kind of karma can make you risk your life to save someone; who in the world is Qi Er to you? Is he such an important person to you?”
Yuan Tianwen carried his sword as he walked over and sat down. He whispered to Yan Tianhen, “Can’t blame Lin Xuanzhi for taking action either. Back then, that Shen Rubing wanted to get rid of all of us at once.”
Yan Tianhen’s finger, which was applying medicine to Lin Xuanzhi’s wounds, suddenly stopped.
“That’s right.” Duan Yuyang’s small face was dark. His cold gaze dug at Shen Rubing through the air. “A single blow from a Primary-level cultivator…if Xuanzhi didn’t detect her intention beforehand and stop it when it was still incomplete, once she finished that move, everyone here would be dead!”
“Not everyone,” Lin Xuanzhi corrected, “everyone besides me.”
Duan Yuyang, “…”
He wanted to hit a certain person; was this fellow flaunting his good looks?
Lin Xuanzhi swept him a glance. “I have on my person a magic tool that can completely resist a single blow from a Primary-level cultivator, but I only have one such tool, and it can only block a blow once. It’s a magic treasure that my father left behind.”