As they climbed up Sinking Sword Peak’s own mountain, they noticed it was extremely spacious, able to accommodate hundreds of people walking hand in hand. However, it was also very high and couldn’t be seen entirely at a glance.
Zhan Fengting pointed to the Taoist temples, “This is the main peak of Sinking Sword. Although you could fly with your sword, according to the rules of Sinking Sword Peak, the first person to climb the peak will have to walk the 999 steps and go up on his own.”
Yan Tianhen was stunned. Looking at the steps, which were half as high as him, he opened his mouth, “Fengting Gege, are you kidding me? 999 steps is too high and, even if I climb them, I’m afraid it’ll take ten days to half a month! No, no, ten days to half a month aren’t enough, maybe three to five months is possible.”
Even after reaching the Foundation Stage, Yan Tianhen was still a human, not a god. Even a god would get tired and sleepy.
Zhan Fengting smiled, “This is the rule that Master left behind. Although Xuanzhi is the disciple he personally selected, he still has to abide by the rules. Otherwise, the Master will not accept it.”
Lin Xuanzhi narrowed his eyes and took Yan Tianhen’s hand. “It doesn’t matter. We can go up slowly.”
Yan Tianhen nodded, somewhat anxious, but he didn’t worry much about Lin Xuanzhi. He was more worried that his lame foot would drag them down.
Lin Xuanzhi did as he said but it wasn’t easy climbing up the stairs while pulling Yan Tianhen. Lin Xuanzhi’s movements were light and skillful, but Yan Tianhen was short so he couldn’t climb up several steps and had to use both his hands and feet.
Standing on his sword, Zhan Fengting didn’t move too fast either. He only maintained a speed of about ten steps faster than Lin Xuanzhi and Yan Tianhen.
Ah Bai was held in Zhan Fengting’s arms. Hu Po also learned to be lazy and climbed directly onto Zhan Fengting’s shoulder.
The two cubs were gnawing happily at the demonic delight fruit while watching their two masters climb together with difficulty under Zhan Fengting’s gaze. They had absolutely no intention of helping.
It was not long before Yan Tianhen began to sweat after a hundred steps or so. He was surprised to find that the steps were not only high but also had a strange force that pulled them to the ground, forcing them to fight against it with their Dantian Qi just to be able to lift their feet.
As a result, it took even greater effort to climb up the stairs, and the rapid speed at which their Qi diminished was astonishing. It was even greater than when Qi was consumed during a fight.
He gritted his teeth and climbed two hundred steps. By this point, Yan Tianhen was soaked to the skin and his forehead was already sweaty.
Meanwhile, Lin Xuanzhi was in much better shape than him.
He stopped, his beautiful eyes tinged with sadness. He held up his sleeve to wipe away the beads of sweat from Yan Tianhen’s forehead, “Let’s have a rest first before we move on.”
Yan Tianhen sat on the ground, panting. He stretched out his hand to fan himself and complained, “Dage, this is just too much. Now I think it will take about a year and a half to climb to the top of the mountain.”
Lin Xuanzhi looked at his little red face and replied, “Or let’s not climb and just go back down the mountain.”
Standing nearby, Zhan Fengting heard their exchange and couldn’t help but raise his brows. He was suddenly feeling a little nervous.
Yan Tianhen, however, smiled brightly as he looked at Lin Xuanzhi, “Dage, don’t worry about me. If you have the strength, climb up first. I’ll … I’ll take it slow. If you get to the top of the mountain, just send me some food.”
Lin Xuanzhi suddenly was at a loss on whether to laugh or cry. “If you want to climb together, I have no reason to leave you alone. Since I brought you here, I will not give up on you.”
Lin Xuanzhi looked up and glanced around. He saw colorful fire clouds rolling in the sky and several wild cranes and blue birds dancing around it. They flew high to the top with graceful postures, moving till they were a vast distance away.
“When I get tired, I like to enjoy the surrounding scenery. It’s not so bad.” Lin Xuanzhi added.
Yan Tianhen was very happy. He suddenly felt that even if he was tired, he could bear it a bit longer. As long as Lin Xuanzhi accompanied him, he would have some fun.
So Yan Tianhen nodded with a smile, “It’s settled. Let’s climb up slowly and keep our promise to reach the top together.”
After watching the scenery together for a while, the two recovered some strength and continued to climb up the steps.
After a period of time, Lin Xuanzhi stopped again when Yan Tianhen needed rest. He took him to another angle and height to continue enjoying the beautiful scenery of Sinking Sword Peak.
Unknowingly, an hour passed by quickly.
Zhan Fengting originally thought that Lin Xuanzhi would leave Yan Tianhen behind and go up the mountain alone, but that didn’t happen. He also assumed that according to the information he found, Yan Tianhen was a temperamental child spoiled by Lin Xuanzhi. He thought Yan Tianhen would be mentally weak and couldn’t suffer hardships. Unexpectedly, he was such an open-minded person with a pure and virtuous heart, who was not burdened by external things. It seemed that the information Zhan Fengting received was wrong.
When Lin Xuanzhi and Yan Tianhen climbed three hundred steps and were going to rest for the fourth time, Zhan Fengting finally couldn’t help it.
He helplessly came down from the sword and stood in front of the two men watching the sunset. He sincerely admired them, “Two younger martial brothers, it was because a few people in the gate wanted to test your mind that this game was set. However, you have already passed.”
As soon as he finished speaking, Zhan Fengting waved his sleeve, threw out a magical weapon, and made a seal. Then, with a crack, the surrounding scene dramatically changed one by one.
The endless steps beneath their feet turned flat. The setting sun on the horizon moved back up, and the pavilions, terraces and open halls in the distance were suddenly close at hand. A closer look showed that what they were standing on was a flat jade marble slab. This was the large terrace outside Sinking Sword Peak’s Taoist temple, which could accommodate thousands.
Yan Tianhen was at once stunned as he had been completely convinced by the lifelike illusion.
“This is… too much, right? Even the changes of time were made up. I didn’t even notice it.”
“This is natural. My elder martial brother’s strongest skill is not swordsmanship but magical arrays.”
A very magnetic voice came from behind them. Yan Tianhen turned to look and met a handsome man in a black robe with long hair sweeping down his side.
The man looked to be in his twenties, tall and straight back. He had dark golden hair tied loosely with a silver clasp and dark stripes, his hair placed over one shoulder.
He wore a forehead band that was made of invisible metal. In the center of it was a pale blue oval gem that sparkled under the sunlight, looking extremely gorgeous and conspicuous.
Yan Tianhen stared at the man’s forehead.
Lin Xuanzhi naturally knew this person and nodded at him gently. “Hai Kuanglang.”
“Lin Xuanzhi.” Hai Kuanglang raised a corner of his mouth, making him appear extremely evil. “You used to be so arrogant. No matter how my master tried to invite you over, you used to simply thank your guests and shut the door in their face, not deigning to meet with anyone. Why are you not arrogant now?”
This is not a good person, Yan Tianhen thought. Were all beautiful and handsome people, aside from his Dage, not very good-natured?
Zhan Fengting frowned and said discontentedly, “Xiao Lang, have you forgotten what I told you before?”
“I didn’t forget. You said you couldn’t embarrass the new junior brother, but it’s merely just—” Hai Kuanglang was very aggressive. He said defiantly, “Can it be regarded as an embarrassment to say a few words of truth? I haven’t even started a fight with him yet.”
Zhan Fengting had a headache, “Don’t be rude.”
“Ao wu!” Ah Bai let out a cry.
Hai Kuanglang was attracted by the sight of Ah Bai and his face darkened at once, “Where did you get that little hairy bastard? Didn’t I say you’re not allowed to pick up ugly monster beasts like this?”
Ah Bai immediately blew up in anger. He howled at Hai Kuanglang, “You’re the little bastard, your whole family are all bastards! This grown-up is a white tiger, a noble white tiger!”
With a snort, Hai Kuanglang came up and grabbed Ah Bai’s nape, lifting him up to eye-level. He spoke with derision, “Fuck, the descendants of the White Tiger clan are actually like kittens, with little skill and a careless mouth. He even dares to scold Laozi… I’ll skin you and stew you in a pot tomorrow.”
Suddenly, Ah Bai was dumbfounded. He stared at Hai Kuanglang’s eyes, his body in such a state of turmoil that he couldn’t even move.
This… this person could understand its tiger language?!
Hai Kuanglang noticed that the cub was speechless and threw him aside. “So stupid.”
Ah Bai quickly ran away to hide behind Lin Xuanzhi. Hu Po, who stood beside Yan Tianhen, rolled his eyes at his brother, feeling very ashamed.
Hai Kuanglang turned to Lin Xuanzhi and lifted his chin. “Don’t tell me you raised these two stupid and weak tiger cubs?”
Yan Tianhen stuck out his neck, “It wasn’t my Dage. I raised them.”
Hai Kuanglang stared at Yan Tianhen for a moment, “You did? Are you interested in selling them to me? Let’s cook them tonight.”
Ah Bai: “! ! !”
Hu Po also tensed. This guy was indeed terrible!
Yan Tianhen stared warily at Hai Kuanglang, “Don’t play with Ah Bai and Hu Po. They’re my little companions
“These two weak beasts are your companions?” Hai Kuanglang seemed like he couldn’t understand Yan Tianhen’s choice, but he didn’t say anything more and nodded, “Oh, they’re safe for the time being. Aren’t you called Yan Tianhen? Master mentioned you. My name is Hai Kuanglang, your second senior brother. You don’t need to call me second senior brother in the future. Just call me Lang Ge.”
Yan Tianhen was a bit confused. At first, Hai Kuanglang was very hostile to them and Yan Tianhen thought he had a very fierce character. As soon as he opened his mouth, he wanted to cook Ah Bai and Hu Po but now, he actually felt that Hai Kuanglang was very friendly.
Yan Tianhen faintly said, “Lang Ge.”
“Ah, how lovely.” Hai Kuanglang smirked. He raised a hand and threw a bulging bag at Yan Tianhen, “Lang Ge has sent you a welcoming gift. Please take it. “
Yan Tianhen hurriedly reached out and caught it. His eyes were bright and his smile turned up like a crescent moon. “Thank you, Lang Ge! Hehe.”
At the sight of Yan Tianhen’s smile, Hai Kuanglang burst into laughter, revealing two tiger teeth. He suddenly thought that the boy was very cute, “Open it and see if you like it or not.”
Yan Tianhen opened the bag and looked intently. Inside were colorful, sparkling stones!
Most of these stones could be named by Yan Tianhen. Although they weren’t big, most of them were precious. They were basically used as decorations and additional attribute materials on weapons.
Yan Tianhen was taken aback and felt that the bag in his hand was extremely hot. He repeatedly said, “This… this is too expensive. I can’t take it.”
He tried to offer the bag back to Hai Kuanglang.
However, the other man responded, “What I give cannot be taken back. If I say it’s for you, it’s for you. Your Lang Ge isn’t short on anything. Does it mean you’re not worth this little thing just because you lack money?”
Hai Kuanglang side-eyed Lin Xuanzhi, “It seems that Lin Xuanzhi doesn’t give you anything good.”
It’s true that not many people had as much money as Young Master Hai. Lin Xuanzhi was not annoyed, however. He just smiled faintly and said to Yan Tianhen, “Since second senior brother is so generous, you can take it. Otherwise, it would seem like we’re not giving him face.”
Hai Kuanglang was stunned. He touched his chin and incredulously said, “Lin Xuanzhi, when have you become so shameless?”
Lin Xuanzhi replied flatly, “I have always been like this and it has never changed. Does second senior brother have any misunderstandings about me?”
Editor’s Little Theatre:
HKL: *A new antagonist and potential love rival???*
YTH: No! Only my Dage will do!
LXZ: *is too beautiful, outshines HKL to the point of making the other look like churned up mud on the roadside, disturbed and unclean, whereas he, himself, resembled the ethereal moon’s soft glow*