Sunday, 14 June 2020

Chapter 32 - Leaving the Mountain

Leaving the Mountain

When Qihao and Zeng Shushu saw Zhang Xiaofan, they would more or less smile or greet, only Lu Xueqi was expressionless but her gaze still brushed past him, unknown emotions flashed past deep inside her eyes and instantly disappeared.

Reverend Daoxuan looked at the four people in the hall, smiled and said, "Today we have asked the four of you here for a matter, is to let you all to leave the mountain to gain experience."

Qihao and the rest were stunned.

Reverend Daoxuan explained to them about the Kongsang Mountain 'Ten thousands Bats Ancient Cave' incident and said, "This is a matter of importance, four of you are our sect elites and so we are sending you to investigate. But the Evil sect is cunning and vicious, all of you have to be careful."

Four of them replied, "Yes."

Reverend Daoxuan nodded, said, "In addition, other than our sect, Fenxiang Valley and Tianyin Temple are also sending out their best disciples, do not show poor etiquette but do not also bring down our sect reputation. Other than that, eldest branch Xiao Yicai Xiao senior brother has already gone to Kongsang Mountain to investigate, if you manage to find him, discuss the matter with him"

Four of them looked at each other, and acknowledged at the same time.

Reverend Daoxuan looked carefully at the four young disciples and finally on Qihao, waved and said, "Qihao, come over."

Qihao was surprised, walked forward, Reverend Daoxuan assessed him, turned and smiled, said to Cangsong Taoist, "Junior brother, you have a successor for Longshou Valley!"

Cangsong Taoist had been black-faced all these while, finally revealed a smile, said, "Senior brother is too kind."

Reverend Daoxuan took out something from his bosom, passed to Qihao, "Receive it."

Qihao took it and looked, it was a small mirror, had an odd shape and bronze engraving around it, above dragon engraving, below tiger, the mirror was engraved with the Eight Trigrams, the mirror itself was not like the usual bronze mirror, obscure and yellow.

Qihao had not reacted but Cangsong Taoist was already overjoyed, shouted, "Silly boy, what are you staring at, quickly kneel and give thanks."

Qihao immediately realized that this insignificant looking thing in his hands was most likely the treasure, 'Six directions mirror', quickly knelt and said, "Many thanks sect head teacher uncle."

Reverend Daoxuan smiled and said, "No need, no need, you can get up." and spoke to the rest, "All of you leave first."

The rest knew he would be passing Qihao the secret formula for the Six directions Mirror and so retreated out together.

Walking outside the hall, Zhang Xiaofan and Tian Buyi walked aside, Tian Buyi glanced at him, indifferently said, "You are now holding a heavy responsibility, don't return to Big Bamboo Valley and in a while leave with the other three, I will let the others at Big Bamboo Valley know."

Zhang Xiaofan was surprised and lowered his head, spoke softly, "Yes, teacher."

Tian Buyi said, "While you are recuperating during this past month, I heard that your teacher's wife has taught you some skills to wield the sword and Taoism secret formulas, have you all remembered it?"

Zhang Xiaofan nodded and said, "Yes, disciple has remembered it all."

Tian Buyi turned around and spoke unhurriedly, "Then it is good, although your aptitude is low but you still belong to our Big Bamboo Valley, don't make me lose face."

Zhang Xiaofan immediately replied, "Yes, teacher, disciple will never make teacher lose face."

Tian Buyi snorted, back facing him, Zhang Xiaofan was unable to see his expression but hearing his tone, he did not seem angry. After a long time, Tian Buyi let out a sigh, turned and looked at Zhang Xiaofan, did not speak, waved, considered a gesture, wielded his sword up and left.

Zhang Xiaofan stared blankly at his teacher's image which had transformed into a red ray and disappeared into the horizon. Until someone tapped on his shoulder, he startled and turned around, it was Zeng Shushu who was smiling happily. He looked around and noticed the other branch leaders had all left, leaving the two of them and Lu Xueqi who was standing alone at a distance.

Zeng Shushu smiled and said, "You are really lucky this time, I was still worried you wouldn't be able to make it through this time!"

Zhang Xiaofan with him, immediately felt himself loosening up, smiled and said, "Yes, I was also terrified to death."

Zeng Shushu patted him on his shoulder, peered around and asked quietly, "Why didn't you bring Xiao Hui?"

Zhang Xiaofan made a bitter face, said, "I was brought over by teacher in the early morning, didn't expect to be leaving the mountain immediately, I didn't bring anything, how would I think of Xiao Hui?"

Zeng Shushu smiled and said, "It's alright, clothes I can lend you, if not we can go to Heyang City to buy too when we go down the mountain." After speaking, he blinked at Zhang Xiaofan, whispered, "Hehe, anyway this time we gain an advantage."

Zhang Xiaofan didn't understand, said, "What?"

Zeng Shushu raised his brows, swept his glance back, hehe sneaked a laugh and said, "We have a beautiful woman with us on this trip!"

Zhang Xiaofan felt mad and funny at the same time but also glanced towards Lu Xueqi. At the same time, Lu Xueqi seemed to sense it and also looked over, both of their gazes met from far, Zhang Xiaofan felt a chill from her gaze, got a shock and quickly shifted his eyes.

Both of them chatted for a while, Zeng Shushu was about to whisper to him on what he intended to do after they started their travels with Lu Xueqi and suddenly realized Zhang Xiaofan's smile was frozen, his eyes also staring straight, staring behind him.

Zeng Shushu was bewildered, turned and looked, saw at the bottom of the long stairs, a man was walking up swaying left and right. About forty plus, his clothes looked rather clean but his face looked lost, his eyes dull, his mouth muttering incoherent words:

"It's raining, the sky is dark...smelly...mother ah...celestial beings, celestial beings, hehe, celestial beings ah..."

Before their eyes, Zhang Xiaofan walked over, he walked very slowly very slowly, as if after a long time, he then finally reached that man.

Like, walking back to the past!

"Wang Ershu, are you still doing well?" He struggled to contain his emotions, quietly said.

That man did not seem to register Zhang Xiaofan, his mouth was still muttering, leaving Zhang Xiaofan and walking off, not long after he disappeared behind the hall.

“Who is he?" Zeng Shushu walked to him and asked.

Zhang Xiaofan gazed at where Wang Ershu had disappeared, said bleakly, "A madman!"

Zeng Shushu looked at him, did not ask anymore. After a while, Qihao came out beaming from the Crystal Hall, waved to the three of them.

Zhang Xiaofan absently walked over with Zeng Shushu, after the few of them discussed (Zhang Xiaofan was preoccupied and quiet), they decided to first head for Heyang City.

Zeng Shushu smiled and said to Qihao, "Qi senior brother, sect head teacher uncle handed the 'Six Directions Mirror' to you, is it powerful?"

Qihao laughed and said, "Six Directions Mirror is our Qing Yun sect's treasure, naturally it is, I am only afraid that my cultivation is not enough! Hehe, alright, this is the summit, other than the seven branch leaders the rest of the disciples are unable to fly, let's go down to the Sea of Clouds, from there we will fly to Heyang City."

Lu Xueqi was expressionless, Zhang Xiaofan nodded his head absent-mindedly, only Zeng Shushu was smiling broadly, seemed like this trip down was a good thing for someone like him who liked to have fun.

From Qing Yun sect to Heyang City, on the way there, Qing Yun sect most 'outstanding' four disciples wielded their swords and flew over, the others looked comfortable, only Zhang Xiaofan looked strained.

After recuperating for a month, Suru seemed to expect that he would be fine and taught him some secret formulas of Qing Yun sect and also at the same time, the skills to wield the sword for flight. Actually it was an easy task, as long as the person's cultivation was enough and the weapon not too lousy, with Qing Yun skills as the willpower would be sufficient. However, Zhang Xiaofan's cultivation was still weak, the weapon naturally not lousy but odd, he was also rather new to Qing Yun sect skills and so felt a lot to handle when he started to use the new skill.

Initially Suru also did not expect he would be leaving the mountain after going to Tongtian Peak, intended to first let him remember the formulas and to let him practise more when he returned. The other branch leaders naturally would not know this strange fellow's cultivation, watching him at the contest they would assume he would know the most basic sword wielding skill for flight and would not know that he secretly learnt the Taoism skills and by obscure luck tumbled into the 'Wield Object' realm, and yet did not know how to use it for flight.

Watching as others wielded their swords, Qihao's white 'Icy Cold' celestial sword, Lu Xueqi's blue 'Tianya' sword, Zeng Shushu was a light purple celestial sword - 'Xuanyuan'. Zhang Xiaofan feeling nervous, struggled to wield the firestick but somehow felt it weaker, did not have the reaction to his hand as compared to the fight in the competition.

After traversing through the mountain and clouds, this was originally a half day route but they only reached Heyang City at sunset. They landed at a secluded area outside the city to be inconspicuous, by then Zhang Xiaofan's was already drenched in sweat, his face pale and seemed like this was more difficult than the competitions.

During the journey, there were a few times he almost couldn't control the firestick, if it was not for Qihao and the rest who noticed something amissed, maintained a near distance to him and at time assisted him, most likely this newly attained 'outstanding disciple' would have drop from the sky and have his body smashed to pieces, before he could gain glory for his sect he would have left his name to stink for eternity, shaming Qing Yun sect entirely.

Qihao and the rest decided to stop outside the city and travel in by foot, although the intention was to be inconspicuous but they were also worried while under the stares of the city people, Zhang Xiaofan accidentally fell off, Qing Yun sect for two thousand years of hard work to build up their awe and reputation would be destroyed alas!

After a quick rest, Zhang Xiaofan seemed to recover, the four of them headed to the city. Zhang Xiaofan was the last, felt Qihao and Lu Xueqi's suspicious stares at times, clearly they could not understand why someone who shone at the competition could not even fly well with his sword. As for Zeng Shushu, he was still smiling and chatting happily with Zhang Xiaofan, didn't bring up the flight issue and continued to introduce Zhang Xiaofan to the city:

"Within a hundred miles, this is the biggest and the most prosperous place. The commoners who live here, there will be at least twenty to thirty thousands of them, and the location is good too, there are many business travellers, even more bustling..."

Zhang Xiaofan listened, his heart feeling admiration for Zeng Shushu, said, "Shushu, how do you know everything?"

Zeng Shushu looked conceited, said, "This is nothing, read more books and naturally will know more." After speaking he revealed a cunning smile, secretly whispered to Zhang Xiaofan's ear, "Actually I have been here a few times, all secretly."

Zhang Xiaofan was shocked, said, "You, you..."

Zeng Shushu pursed his lips, said, "Look at how scared you are! This is nothing, ever since I learnt to wield the sword, naturally I have to practise it and as I flew around, I came here and feeling tired, there was nothing wrong to descend and walk around!"

Zhang Xiaofan was speechless.

Hearing them chatting away at the back, Qihao smiled and said to Lu Xueqi, "Lu junior sister, the sky is getting dark, let's spend the night here and continue tomorrow."

Lu Xueqi's face as cold as frost, without any expression, nodded.

Entering the city, in order to avoid trouble, they had changed out of their disciples' uniforms and so did not attract any suspicions. But Lu Xueqi's beauty instead attracted quite a stir and caused many of the passersby to pause and stare. Zhang Xiaofan glanced at Lu Xueqi, saw her face although was expressionless, her eyes had a flash of anger. He couldn't help but be worried for those passerbys, in case if Tianya came out, this ancient city would be at least destroyed by half first.

But Lu Xueqi's upbringing was clearly much better than what Zhang Xiaofan had thought, until they had entered an inn called 'Mountain Sea Garden', Lu Xueqi did not take any action. Qihao was the most experienced among them, the four of them took him as lead and like this lodging logistic he was also the one to settle it, the rest of them were arranged by the innkeeper to the luxury rear garden.

The inn was rather spacious, there were four separate gardens at the rear, the four of them were staying at the west and each one had their own room. After resting for a while, Qihao called them out and headed to the front for dinner.

The inn had its own restaurant, located on Heyang City's busiest big street but at the third level of the guest hall, it was quiet, the big hall had only at most ten tables and right now only about five tables were taken. Qihao called the waiter and ordered a few dishes, he seemed very familiar with the place and most likely was a regular.

Zhang Xiaofan thought, he came from a farmer's family, had never came to such a luxurious place like this, when he passed by the second level he saw that the big hall was beautiful and imposing but at the third level it was adored with dragons and phoenixes, red wood beams and an air of antiquity, completely different from the second level. He naturally would not know that when commoners come to a rich area, they would seek status and rank, even though some would like lustre and extravagant, but some would prefer to be seen as cultured.

The four of them sat at a small table beside the window, Zeng Shushu glanced at the decor and said to Qihao, "Qi senior brother, the prices here are not cheap right?"

Qihao smiled and said, "This is the best restaurant in Heyang City, of course it would not be cheap but our Qing Yun sect is well-known here, their boss can't wait for us to come here, they won't charge us much."

Zeng Shushu with an "ah", nodded and agreed. After a while, the waiter brought small dishes up and the final dish was a fresh stewed fish. The fish was rather long, the upper part round and the lower rather narrow, its body a dark brown with two sets of feelers, thick. The most important was the meat was white and soft, flavourful, making everyone tucked in immediately.    

Zhang Xiaofan had always been interested in cooking and had never seen this fish before, couldn't help but asked the waiter, "Waiter brother, what is the name of this fish and how is it cooked?"

The waiter laughed and said, "Customer you have good taste, this is 'Stewed Mei Fish', it is our Mountain Sea Garden's speciality, fragrant and smooth, sweetness in the mouth, within Heyang City hundred miles, it is very famous..."

Zhang Xiaofan swallowed his saliva, picked up his chopsticks and placed a piece into his mouth, immediately he closed his eyes and nodded, "Ah, the meat texture is really good but the method of cooking is even better, the sweetness part is because of some sugar, added ginger slices to remove the fishy smell, eh, there is fragrance of quick-fry onions, it must be fresh young onions, ah, the rarity is to put pepper, five spices, e...right, there is also sesame oil taste which matches so right, amazing, amazing!"

His look of satisfaction made Qihao, Zeng Shushu stared in surprise, even Lu Xueqi was also looking at him, her face a strange expression, the waiter standing beside was extremely impressed, praised him loudly, "Customer is really an expert, know the goods!"

Zhang Xiaofan then realized the rest of their looks, his face turned red, quickly placed the chopsticks down but continued to ask, "Will like to ask, where do this Mei fish come from?"

Before the waiter could speak, a lady sitting beside was heard saying, "This Mei fish is south Zhugou Mountain[1] speciality, about thousand miles far from here, how can it be transported here, isn't your restaurant cheating customers?"

Everyone was shocked, looked over, saw over that big table, there were about eight people, six men wearing yellow clothes and there were two ladies, one was wearing light purple long dress, her face covered with a veil, unable to see her face clearly but the parts of her skin which was exposed was snow-white; the other lady was the one who had spoken, looked about sixteen to seventeen years old, wearing green, her face graceful, her brows thin and fair skin, a pair of big bright eyes, a sight before others and could be comparable to Lu Xueqi.

Zhang Xiaofan with a [ah], noticed after that lady finished, she looked over at Lu Xueqi, she seemed to be taken aback by Lu Xueqi's looks. Women loved being beautiful, even Lu Xueqi who had always been cold and aloof, couldn't help but also took a few glances at this lady.

The waiter apologetically laughed and said, "This customer is right but you didn't know, hundred years ago, this Mei fish truly only belonged to south Zhuguo Mountain but after Qing Yun sect Reverend Daoxuan passed by the mountain, he purposely moved this Mei fish over and placed it at Qing Yun Hill northern shady Hong river, until today it not only survived, it multiplied. It is because of Qing Yun Hill Reverend Daoxuan's blessing that we can have this gourmet's luck!" After speaking, his face revealed a revered look.

Zhang Xiaofan and the rest heard it, naturally felt happy, all revealing smiles but that lady turned and looked at the veiled lady, sat back and only muttered a snort.

[1] <<Mountain Sea Classics. Fourth volume. Zhuguo Mountain>>: And from south river five hundred miles, it is known as Zhuguo Mountain, no vegetations, mostly sands and stones. It is a mountain, wide and vicinity for hundred miles, many Mei fish.

After finishing the delicious dinner, they walked contentedly back to their lodging areas. At the west garden entrance, Qihao said to them, "We will rest here for tonight, tomorrow morning we will make our way to Kongsang Mountain."

Zhang Xiaofan and Zeng Shushu acknowledged, Lu Xueqi did not speak, walked straight back to her room, [pong] a sound closed the door. Qihao was stunned for a moment, with a wry laugh to the other two, said, "Both junior brothers, better rest early too."

Zhang Xiaofan took a glance at his handsome face, under the sunset, Qihao's bearing was still the same, and seemed to have more celestial air, his heart suddenly felt dejected, forced himself to bade Zeng Shushu and ignoring Qihao, returned to his own room.

Zeng Shushu laughed, said a few words to Qihao and they both also returned to their own rooms.

This night, it was the first time Zhang Xiaofan left Qing Yun Hill after five years, tossing and turning, he did not sleep well. He managed to doze off in the middle of the night and dreamt himself in blood, hideously-looking and standing on top of a mountain of corpses, at the same time deep inside his heart, a turbulent wild rage of murderous intent, as if the red fresh blood in front of him was sweet fountain water, attracting him, seducing him, to obtain all of these through massacre.


Zhang Xiaofan woke up from his dream, sat up abruptly, panting greatly, his body sweating buckets, after a while, his pounding heart finally slowed down.

He sat dumbfoundedly in the dark for a long time, subconsciously stretched his hand, touched the firestick beside his pillow, a cold feeling enveloped him. This dream was similar to the nightmares he had incessantly dreamt of these past few years, the blood-sucking and massacre scene, made him feel afraid.

The surroundings were silent, everywhere was dark.

He crossed his legs, sat straight, inhaled deeply, closed his eyes and both palms before him.

Darkness was like a gentle lady, softly surrounded his body, a faint golden light emitted out from his body. Reflecting from that faint glow, his face seemed to also have a dignified layer he should not be having.

Not knowing how long had passed, the golden light gradually faded, he opened his eyes, his heart calm. Everytime at this moment, he would miss that kind Puzhi Monk greatly.

He did not feel sleepy anymore, walked to the door and opened. The other rooms were in darkness, most likely Qihao and the rest were still sleeping. The rear garden was built within a flower garden, the four directions had four sets of courtyards. Zhang Xiaofan walked out of his west garden and came to the centre.

This was already late night, looking at the sky, stars filled it, a round moon hung in the horizon. The night breeze blew gently, carrying a faint of fragrance. The small path twisted and turned, not knowing where it would lead to. Beside the path, green grass and shrubs, different colours of flowers bloomed.

Zhang Xiaofan feeling lost, followed the path down, the wind brushed past his face, a cooling feeling.

On this quiet night, a youth, walking alone in the flower garden, reminiscing about the past.

Beside the road, a small flower gently swayed in the breeze, sparkling dews on its petals, beautifully wrought, Zhang Xiaofan stopped his steps, unknowingly lost in his thoughts while staring.

Faint fragrance, drifted over.

Suddenly a jade-like hand, as if stretching out from the eternal darkness, carrying with it a quiet beauty, reflecting the moonlight, reached onto this flower.

And plucked it!

[Zeng] a sound went off in Zhang Xiaofan's head, as if the sky full of moonlight had lost its brilliance, the entire garden fell into darkness.

He turned around, looked over with a slight unknown hatred. 

A young lady in green, stood there, as if sucking in all of the brilliance in the sky, gently placed the flower before her nose, inhaled deeply.

Tuesday, 2 June 2020

Chapter 31 - Good Faction

Da Huang lay on the ground, its eyes shut close, its tail wagging non-stopped, Xiao Hui lay sideways on his bed, a pair of bright eyes staring at Zhang Xiaofan who looked rather haggard. Zhang Xiaofan glared at it, rudely said, "What are you looking at?"

Xiao Hui naturally would not speak human words to him, [zhi zhi] twice, looking at its monkey's face, its master was injured but it not only looked unconcerned but instead seemed to be gloating.

Zhang Xiaofan felt irritated, snapped, "Go, go, go, go aside!"

Footsteps were heard suddenly, before the person entered, Zhang Xiaofan laughed and said, "Sixth senior brother, today why are you here so early to deliver the meal..."

His voice suddenly stopped, and saw Tian Buyi's short and plump body strolling in from the door. Zhang Xiaofan was shocked, for the past few days, Suru wanted him to meditate quietly, the other senior brothers including Tian Linger, only came to see him once, the rest of the time only Du Bishu came to deliver his meals over, didn't expect Tian Buyi would suddenly appear.

He lay stunned on the bed for a moment then jumped up and wanted to do a big bow, Tian Buyi looked solemn, his mood unclear, he waved his hand and said, "Forget it."

Zhang Xiaofan acknowledged, stood up and stepped aside, Tian Buyi walked over and sat beside the table, not daring to breathe aloud.

Tian Buyi looked at this disciple, from the reaction just now, this little disciple no matter how did not look at a rare talent with bright prospects, instead he seemed slightly worse than an average person, yet...

Tian Buyi shook his head, sighed and said, "Lao qi, come over here and sit."

Zhang Xiaofan was surprised again, Tian Buyi had never hidden his moods with him, today he seemed rather amiable, he couldn't really believe his own ears.

Tian Buyi waited for a while, saw Zhang Xiaofan looking hesitatingly at him and in his own thoughts, feeling another wave of irritation, with slight anger he said, "Must I invite you to sit down?"

With the reprimand, Zhang Xiaofan immediately felt a sense of familiarity, and hurriedly came over and sat down.

Tian Buyi looked at him, seemed to cool down a little, glanced at him again and with a wry laugh, shook his head and said, "How are you feeling?"

Zhang Xiaofan respectfully replied, "Replying teacher, ever since coming back from Tongtian Valley, due to teacher, teacher's wife treatments, and various senior brothers' care, I am feeling almost good."

Tian Buyi glanced at him, indifferently said, "'Seven branches contest' completed more than a month, seems like you have also almost recovered, I have a few questions, I will ask you now."

Zhang Xiaofan's heart sank, indistinctly felt that his worst fears were finally happening, but he could only say, "Yes, teacher please speak."

Tian Buyi unhurriedly spoke, "That black stick of yours, where did you get it?"

Zhang Xiaofan's heart jumped, couldn't help glance at Tian Buyi, saw him staring at him back, although looking calm but his eyes were bright and piercing.

That moment he had a thousand thoughts in his head, unable to speak, Tian Buyi's face turned dark, his expression extremely ugly, again spoke deeply, "Speak!"

Zhang Xiaofan being pressured, sweat beads appeared on his forehead. Although he was not much knowledgeable but that Sinister Orb and that black stick battle in the Secluded Valley many years ago and the incidental merger, were really too weird, and among it there were ominous and cruel energies with blood-sucking ability. All of these he knew from the conversations he had with the various senior brothers were definitely not tolerated by Good Faction, if Tian Buyi knew the truth, he could not imagine the consequences.

Other than that, deep inside his heart, there was still the other matter, had always been a hidden taboo, especially ever since he knew Puzhi Monk was one of Tianyin Temple Four Holy Monks, and realizing that formula he had passed on to him...

In that instant, he had made up his mind, no matter what he could never talk about Puzhi's matter, not even a single hint.

Tian Buyi stared at him.

Zhang Xiaofan under that piercing stare, stood up, knelt.


Tian Buyi frowned, snorted, and coldly said, "Speak."

Zhang Xiaofan hung his head, slowly spoke, "That black stick, was found by accident when I went with senior sister to that secluded valley many years ago."

Tian Buyi was slightly surprised and recalled, there was indeed such a thing two years ago. Tian Linger had fainted for no reason in that secluded valley, Suru had once gone to investigate but found nothing unusual, and he himself had gone to take a look, it was indeed so. This matter had been a small mystery but as time passed, he himself also forgot about it, looking at it now, most likely it was due to this black stick.

But a black stick without any manipulation by anyone would make Tian Linger blacked out, such a ferocious object, how could Zhang Xiaofan wield it? Tian Buyi thought of this, he became more doubtful, in a deep voice said, "How did you obtain this?"

Zhang Xiaofan did not dare to look up, afraid Tian Buyi would see his expression, he was not a quick-witted person by nature and became more anxious, no matter how he tried he was unable to find a good excuse.

Tian Buyi saw him hesitated, him being an experienced and worldly person, immediately shouted, "Speak."

Zhang Xiaofan was startled by the shout, cold sweat dripping, his mind in a panic, did not dare to hide the facts anymore and finally spoke about what had happened. In his speech, in the end he still did not reveal about the Sinister Orb, only spoke about how he saw the black stick and out of curiosity picked it up and the stick had sucked out his blood (actually that was the Sinister Orb), he felt nauseous and terrible and fainted. Before he fainted, he indistinctly witnessed his blood being absorbed into the stick itself. 

After he finished, he did not dare to lift up his head, did not dare to look at Tian Buyi, Tian Buyi was instead frowning and deep in thoughts: this little disciple didn't seem to be lying, the weapon's ability would not be something he could conjured out. But such a strange weapon, it was the first time he had heard of, to compare it to something similar, it would only be that ominous object, Sinister Orb, which belonged to Evil Sect thousand years ago.

But clearly, this black stick and that Sinister Orb was completely different.

Tian Buyi stood up, paced in the room, after a long while, he turned and looked at Zhang Xiaofan, said, "Get up first."

Zhang Xiaofan acknowledged and stood up but was still looking down, stood aside.

"But even if it was so, that weapon is connected to you by your blood, an object smelted by blood..."

Zhang Xiaofan was taken aback, "Teacher, what is a blood-smelted object?"

Tian Buyi was surprised then impatiently replied, "If you don't know of it then forget it, you will just reply to what I am going to ask."

Zhang Xiaofan immediately lowered his head, quietly said, "Yes."

Tian Buyi looked at him, "Even if that black stick is an unknown treasure but regardless you would have to train to minimally Taiji Xuan Qing Jade Realm Fourth level before you could wield it..."

Zhang Xiaofan's countenance changed.

Tian Buyi asked unhurriedly, "That day at Tongtian Peak, I have asked you, today I am going to ask you again, who is it that taught you the formula secretly?"

Zhang Xiaofan's body shook, he knew he was in deep trouble for this unknown black stick, if he were to add in he was secretly learning skills, he could not imagine his punishment.

Before his eyes, Tian Linger's image flashed past: bringing him up the mountain to chop bamboos during their youth; the gentle face beside the lonely lamp during a stormy night; and the bickering and running during the usual days in Big Bamboo Valley; even that faint fragrance in his memory, right now was so vivid.

Every drop, every spot, surfaced from his heart!

He once again knelt down, unmoving, his body which had thinned down after recovering, yet increased in determination, he looked desolate.

Tian Buyi looked deeply at him, after a long time, he suddenly let out a breath and said, "You can get up, follow me to Tongtian Peak, as to whether you can come back alive, it will depend on your luck."

Deep inside the white clouds, celestial air swirled around, everything was peaceful and tranquil like the paradise people imagined.

Qing Yun Hill, Tongtian Peak, Crystal Hall.

All of the seven branch leaders were gathered here, looking at that youth kneeling down in the hall.

Reverend Daoxuan looked at Zhang Xiaofan, in his mind an image of a child being rescued up here five years ago surfaced, time events flowed past, as if it was all in a blink, they had already turned into adults.

He quietly sighed, his gaze left Zhang Xiaofan, and spoke to the others, "Everyone, what Zhang Xiaofan has said, what do you all think?"

Everyone was silent, after a long while, Cangsong Taoist was heard speaking resolutely, "His words, cannot be trusted."

Zhang Xiaofan's body shook, but he did not look up.

Reverend Daoxuan frowned, "Why is Cangsong junior brother so sure?"

Cangsong Taoist glanced at Zhang Xiaofan, "Blood-smelting skill, evil and sinister, if not for Evil sect evildoers guiding him, how would he have such knowledge to make such a weapon, therefore he must be a spy from the Evil Sect, we must not spare his life."

Cangsong had always been in control of Qing Yun sect punishments, his position was revered, his voice was determined and firm, Zhang Xiaofan heard it, his face turned pale, almost unable to breathe.

The rest did not speak, Tian Buyi's face was dark, said slowly, "So if he is really what you have claimed to be so meticulously infiltrated into our sect, why would he display his weapon so blatantly in front of everyone?"

Cangsong Taoist snorted, said, "Evil sect evildoer, who could guess their ways with hidden intent, it is not surprising there are odd methods."

Tian Buyi angrily spoke, "Are you drawing a forced analogy, making lame excuses?"

Cangsong Taoist coldly replied, "I make lame excuses? Then pray Tian senior brother, this blood-smelting skill, does any of our Good Faction have it?"

Tian Buyi was speechless, his face turned red, right now everyone could tell, he was still siding with his disciple. At this awkward moment, suddenly a cold voice was heard, anyone could tell it was Shuiyue Master:

"Will like to ask Cangsong senior brother, you claim that blood-smelting skill is evil and sinister, I will like to ask, how is it evil, how is it sinister?"

Cangsong Taoist opened his mouth to speak but stopped and then said, "Evil sect demonic skills, do we need to say more?"

Shuiyue Master coldly said, "So it seems Cangsong senior brother also has zero knowledge on Blood-smelting skill, why then pressume this is evil and sinister and to murder this young boy?"

Cangsong Taoist glanced at Shuiyue Master, his eyes bright and piercing, his bearing overwhelming, "Oh, Shuiyue junior sister, so what are you trying to say?"

Shuiyue Master indifferently replied, "Various senior brothers, regarding this matter, firstly we do not know much about this Blood-smelting skill, although we heard of it but mostly are guessworks, what if this skill really has this coincidence, aren't we killing a good person by mistake? Secondly, this youth is only sixteen, we also know his origins, to insist that he is one of Evil Sect members, I'm afraid isn't logical."

Cangsong Taoist shrank his eyes, through the slits sharp gaze penetrated through, said, "Shuiyue junior sister why are you behaving differently from usual, going all out to stand up for this youth, it's really puzzling?"

Shuiyue's elegant face flashed past a hint of anger, said, "I am stating the facts, definitely not like someone, can't take it that his own fellow sect branch has a talent, afraid it will threaten his own position, and so held on these trivial matters and ruthless to the end, no humanity at all!"

If to compare being sharp tongue, among the seven leaders, there were six men and yet none could go against Shuiyue Master, Cangsong Taoist turned pale, abruptly stood up.

Reverend Daoxuan quickly cut in, said, "Alright alright, why are we fighting again, sit down sit down."

Cangsong Taoist did not dare to disregard the sect head's words, could only sit back down begrudgingly, Shuiyue instead looked nonchalant, and sat up properly in her own chair.

Reverend Daoxuan shook his head, turned to the others, and said, "Everyone, what are your views?"

The others were silent for a while, Return of the Wind Valley Zeng Shuchang was the first to speak, "Sect head, I feel Shuiyue junior sister's words are reasonable. This youth's origins are clear, he has also never left the mountain after he came here, I think it is really a coincidence he has obtained this weapon, and instead it is our Qing Yun's fortune."

Reverend Daoxuan stroke his beard and nodded slightly, turned and looked at Sunset Valley Tianyun Taoist, Tianyun glanced at Cangsong, said, "I agree with Cangsong senior brother on this."

Cangsong Taoist had gotten an ally, he nodded towards Tianyun Taoist.

Finally leaving Morning Sun Valley Shang Zhengliang, he glanced at the rest, and again at Cangsong Taoist and Tianyun Taoist, finally the corner of his eyes carefully glanced at Reverend Daoxuan, a slight pause, said, "I think that Shuiyue junior sister's words are logical."

Tian Buyi's face showed relief, Cangsong Taoist instead snorted. Reverend Daoxuan nodded and said, "Everyone has spoken, then I will not stand at ceremony." He faced Zhang Xiaofan who was still kneeling, "Xiaofan, you stand up first."

Zhang Xiaofan's body shook, looked up at the leaders, and slowly stood up.

Reverend Daoxuan glanced at him a few times, as if trying to figure him out, and then said to the others, "Everyone, actually I too think Zhang Xiaofan is not a member of the Evil Sect. This black stick although has sinister aura but is implicit and not like those Evil sect ominous weapons I have seen before, murderous aura emitting, look thoroughly ferocious..."

Cangsong Taoist after hearing felt something amiss, couldn't help but exclaimed, "Sect head senior brother, Evil sect evildoers are dangerous and vicious, rather kill wrongly than let one go!" 

Reverend Daoxuan's countenance changed, glanced at him, shouted, "Cangsong junior brother, do you know what you have just said?"

Cangsong knew he had said the wrong words, lowered his head and kept quiet.

Reverend Daoxuan's face was stern but his tone turned low, spoke slowly, "Cangsong junior brother, you have held our sect disciplinary matter for two hundred over years, impartial and strict, as your brother I admire extremely. But I have seen you for the last ten over years, vicious tendencies gradually increased, murderous nature getting stronger, your brother me I am extremely concerned, do you know?"

Cangsong Taoist quietly said, "Yes, senior brother."

Reverend Daoxuan spoke piercingly cold, "Rather kill wrongly than let one go, this is what Evil sect would do, our Qing Yun sect belongs to the Good Faction, has been just and honourable all along, if we also do this then what difference is it between us and Evil sect? Cangsong junior brother, your cultivation is deep but still need to study and comprehend Taoism's meaning and ways."

Cangsong Taoist held out a palm up, said, "Thank you senior brother for guiding, Cangsong understands."

Reverend Daoxuan's face relaxed, said, "It's good you know." He then turned to the rest, the rest spoke, "We will let sect head senior brother decide."

Reverend Daoxuan nodded, said to Zhang Xiaofan, "You heard it all?"

Zhang Xiaofan's heart was touched, hurriedly said, "Yes, many thanks, many thanks to various teacher uncles." Speaking he again turned to Tian Buyi, his voice slightly choked, said, "Many thanks to teacher."

Tian Buyi waved his hand, but did not speak.

Reverend Daoxuan took up the black stick, flung it to Zhang Xiaofan, smiled and said, "This thing can only be used by you, you can take it back."

Zhang Xiaofan caught it, felt the familiar and cold energy instantly leaping up, running through his entire body, as if the stick spiritually was also extremely delighted. He bowed deeply to Reverend Daoxuan, said, "Many thanks to sect head teacher uncle."

Reverend Daoxuan smiled, clapped thrice, a young disciple immediately walked out. Reverend Daoxuan instructed a few words, the disciple nodded and walked out, not long after he led three people in. Zhang Xiaofan looked over, recognized those people: Qihao and Zeng Shushu walked ahead, Zeng Shushu while his father was not paying attention, made a funny face at Zhang Xiaofan. As for the one at the rear, it was that beautiful cold lady, Small Bamboo Valley Lu Xueqi.

These three people, including Zhang Xiaofan, happened to be the top four of the Qing Yun sect 'Seven branches martial arts contest". 

Sunday, 17 May 2020

Chapter 30 - Suspicion

Like a tunnel from the underworld, the vortex like infinite darkness hovered at the horizon, like a demon from the netherworld opening its predator mouth and about to swallow everything. Winds cutting, sweeping the clouds, thunder rumbling, lightning scurrying.

Zhang Xiaofan flew closer in, the firestick flashing, especially dazzling under the dark clouds. Lu Xueqi watched as Zhang Xiaofan figure charged over, her jade-like face pale.

‘Celestial Sword Wield Thunder True Formula’ was the supreme skill among Taoism’s celestial skills, with mortal’s body triggering Heaven and Earth’s might, one could imagine the immense pressure Lu Xueqi’s body was going through. ‘Tianya’ was an unparalleled celestial weapon, it was an excellent weapon to display ‘Celestial Sword Wield Thunder True Formula’ but compared to it, Lu Xueqi’s training was inadequate.

Right now, she could only feel within the dark clouds, an infinite huge force like an angry tide surged towards her body, from the outside nobody could tell any difference but inside her, her energy channels in turbulence, almost about to burst from this huge force. If it was not for Tianya which constantly drew the huge power away, most likely Lu Xueqi could not last long.

The wind whistled, thunder and lightning rumbled and flashed, she hovered in the air, in her trance she felt as if she was a useless little grass stalk in the wind.  

At this moment, she recalled her mentor Shuiyue Master's words when she taught her this skill, "Xueqi, your aptitude is exceptional, it is rarely seen in my lifetime but this formula's might is too powerful, the backlash from using the skill is equivalent. Your training is still early, though you can still manage to control with effort but never use the skill without care to avoid being drowned by it."


A loud explosion, almost as if coming from the sky above Tongtian Peak, everyone felt the ground quake indistinctly, like the ancient Thunder Deity disturbed from its slumber, roaring in anger!

Everyone's countenances changed in that instant!

Zhang Xiaofan was only about two zhangs away from Lu Xueqi, looking at this might, anyone would know that once she finished her spell, he would most likely be destroyed. Just that his body suddenly tensed, as if hitting a soft wall, he stopped and was unable to continue.

Zhang Xiaofan's face was ashen. ‘Celestial Sword Wield Thunder True Formula’ was one of Qing Yun sect's supreme skill, its power unfathomable, during its casting through the celestial weapon naturally it would also cast a layer of invisible protection around the caster, Zhang Xiaofan was unable to advance.

The firestick's light glowed even brighter but it could not advance. Maybe between the two divine powers, Zhang Xiaofan's firestick was not less than 'Tianya' but the skills level differences was really too great. With only his cultivation stimulating the firestick's power, it would definitely be incomparable to Lu Xueqi's supreme spell which had been refined and fine-tuned by hundreds and thousands of Qing Yun sect's various ancestors.

But at this despiring moment, looking as that huge vortex in the sky churned even more rapidly, thunder and lightning increasing, 'Tianya' sword glowed even brighter and as the unparalleled celestial spell was about to complete, Lu Xueqi suddenly trembled, her pale face turned red, [wa] a sound, spat out a big mouthful of blood, almost forming a red mist before her.

Tianya celestial sword's light immediately wavered, seemed unsteady, Lu Xueqi clenched her teeth, closed her eyes and placed all of her energy onto Tianya, the next moment, Tianya's light stabilized and turned even brighter than before, resplendent and dazzling.

A deafening sound from the dark clouds, a light seemed to appear from the deepest part of the vortex, numerous lightning converging into one, appearing to align to Tianya sword.

Just that, Lu Xueqi felt a sense of despair, in the winds, a sharp whistle was heard. She used all of her strength to protect Tianya and couldn't spare any to protect herself, Zhang Xiaofan in his delight, transformed into a dark-green light beam with the firestick, streaked across the horizon, charging towards this beautiful lady wavering in the storm. 

Was it going to be like this?

Everything would end here?

Her mind suddenly calmed, in that moment thought.

That moment, short instant, the sky and earth were quiet, frozen, everything stopped, only she was hovering in the wind, clothes fluttering, her hair dancing, she opened her eyes, looked at that swiftly approaching dark-green light.

That moment appeared to be eternal!

Zhang Xiaofan looked at her, saw her gaze!

She stood alone in the storm, facing Heaven and Earth's might and yet was so peaceful, her face was pale and her eyes a tinge of sorrow, and a ting of panic.

The storm howled, miserable Heaven and Earth, this beautiful lady, quietly staring back at him.

Whose gaze was that, sad and this mournful, as if like last night, that person who was heartbroken! That kind of pain, penetrated deeply into the bones, deeply into the soul.

Deeply! Deeply!

Was it you, who was in love with another's girl?

You resolutely forever not regretting pinning for her?

Zhang Xiaofan suddenly laughed, a sense of sadness and dejection, like last night.

The firestick merged into Tianya's light, no one could tell their figures apart, and couldn't see that the firestick's light suddenly dimmed. Right now, loud explosions were heard in the horizon, a huge enormous electricity beam descended from the sky, onto Tianya.

The entire heaven and earth, the sky full of celestial deities, almost at the same time, chanted.

The enormous light beam reflected from Tianya, carrying with it a momentum to destroy the world, towards Zhang Xiaofan, life-and-death juncture, the firestick leapt up and blocked in front of its owner.

The next moment, Zhang Xiaofan was swallowed by the beam.

Long time! Long time! Long time!

The dark clouds in the sky dispersed, the beam disappeared.

The crowd stared at the sky, watched that youth, clutching the black firestick tightly, like a stone which had suffered injuries all over, and fell straight down.

He did not crash onto the ground, Tian Buyi like an apparition appeared below him, caught him. Tian Buyi looked solemn, his hands like wind, already opened Zhang Xiaofan's mouth, took out a bottle and disregarding the quantity, poured the yellow pills into his mouth.

The pills dissolved upon contact with his mouth, without any words, Tian Buyi leapt up, a red light immediately surfaced, carrying him away with lightning speed, he did not glance back at all, and seemed like he was heading back to Big Bamboo Valley.

Suru and the rest, also followed.

By now, Lu Xueqi looking pale had also descended, and was immediately surrounded by Small Bamboo Valley members who were in cheers. However, she did not speak and lifted her head to look at that red light which was gradually disappearing.

He seemed to have slept for thousand years in the darkness, desire to be awake but unable to open his eyes, in the darkness without boundaries, only he, alone.

Just that he was unwilling, and so walked solitary in this darkness, but other than darkness, there were no other roads.

And so he filled with grief and indignation, a burning big fire deep inside his heart was raging incessantly, and so he made a solemn vow to that netherworld evil deity: even if his body and soul turned into ashes, he want to light up this tiny bit of light, even if for this everything in the world, were to perish with him.

Since time immemorial that trace of vicious energy, as obstinate as before!

Zhang Xiaofan slowly opened his eyes.

The gentle sunlight entered his eyes, the familiar scent of his surroundings, wafted in this room.

Here, it seemed deserted.

He slowly sat up, was about to wipe off the sweat on his forehead, felt his shoulder, chest, stomach in pain, sucked in a breath of air, his face pale with agony.

He sat on the bed, did not dare to move, after a long time, the pain slowly subsided.

Now should be in the afternoon, the room door was left unlocked, the windows lifted up, the lush green bamboos in the courtyard could be seen vaguely. Xiao Hui and Da Huang were not around too, could they have gone to find meat bones again?

He smiled, facing the empty room, laughed once to himself.

[Zhi ya]. The door pushed open, dignified and beautiful Suru entered, Zhang Xiaofan was startled, called out "Teacher's wife" and before he could get up, his face contorted in pain.

Suru quickened her steps over, gently said, "Don't move, Xiaofan."

Zhang Xiaofan waited till the pain subsided, said, "Disciple didn't know you were coming..."

Suru glared at him, said, "Your life is half gone and you are thinking about this! Don't talk nonsense, sit properly."

Zhang Xiaofan smiled, Suru checked him, nodded and said, "Your external injuries are mostly recovering, just that your internal channels are too severely injured, you must meditate to heal."

Zhang Xiaofan said, "Yes, disciple has made teacher and teacher's wife ashamed, really sorry..."

Suru cut in, "You have made your teacher proud, for three hundred years other than your teacher himself entering the contest, no one in Big Bamboo Valley has outshine you."

Zhang Xiaofan turned red, lowered his head and said, "That, that is disciple was lucky."

Suru smiled, patted his shoulder. Zhang Xiaofan then remembered, said, "The contest has ended right, who took the championship in the end, is it Lu senior sister?"

Suru shook her head, said, "No, it was Longshou Valley Qihao."

Zhang Xiaofan for some reason, his heart felt sour, quietly said, "So it is Qi senior brother, he is really great, even Lu senior sister who has Tianya also lost to him."

Suru heard him speak, as if it had reminded her of something, sighed gently and avoided the topic, "Your injuries are quite serious this time, your teacher has spent much effort to treat you. Heard from him, that 'Celestial Sword Wield Thunder True Formula' by Tianya sword, although Lu Xueqi's training was inadequate but if it was not for your fire, fire...that weapon of yours to defend, most likely even the gods would not be able to return to heaven."

Zhang Xiaofan heard her words, suddenly remembered, looked around but couldn't find his ugly firestick.

Suru looked at him, said, "Your teacher took your weapon away."

Zhang Xiaofan was stunned, quietly said, "Yes". And then couldn't help but asked again, "Teacher he..."

Suru said, "You have been unconscious for five days and your condition only started to stabilize yesterday night. This morning Tongtian Peak sect head senior brother sent a notice, asking your teacher to go over, by now he should be at Tongtian Peak."

Zhang Xiaofan slowly nodded, an inexplicable feeling in his heart, told himself it should be alright but the firestick had never left him for these two years, somehow he felt a sense of loss.

Suru looked at him, a strange expression flashed past her eyes but still said, "You have just awoken, don't overtire yourself, rest more. I have instructed them not to bother you, your meals Bishu will bring over."

Zhang Xiaofan said, "Thank you teacher's wife."

Suru nodded, said, "Then you rest, later I will ask Bishu to bring the meal over." After speaking she turned around and headed out, just when she was about to walk out the door, Zhang Xiaofan called out.

"Teacher's wife."

Suru turned and asked, "What is it?"

Zhang Xiaofan looked at her, seemed to hesitate, and said, "I will like to ask, do you know Longshou Valley Ling Jingyu his competition results? At that time I was at Tongtian Peak, and was unable to go look for him and ask."

Suru glanced at him, said, "He made it to the top eight but lost to his senior brother Qihao."

Zhang Xiaofan was taken aback for a moment, said, "So he too...thanks teacher's wife."

Suru nodded slightly, said, "Rest well." and left.

Zhang Xiaofan slowly lay down, gazed at the room ceiling, and did not speak.

Qing Yun Hill Tongtian Peak, Crystal Hall.

Reverend Daoxuan sat in it, the other six branch leaders were also seated, right now there was no others.

The group was silent, Reverend Daoxuan looking down, the black firestick in his hands.

"Tian junior brother." He broke the silence, said, "What do you think?"

Tian Buyi was silent for a moment, said, "Zhang Xiaofan when he first arrived, did not have this, most likely he had got hold of this treasure during these few years."

Cangsong Taoist beside coldly said, "This stick is able to clash against Tianya, it is already classified as a celestial weapon, but in the whole wide world, this object is unheard of."

Tian Buyi's face turned dark, said coldly, "The vast divine land, how big it is, not knowing how many more unknown rare treasures, you and me are only frogs in a well."

Anger flashed past Cangsong Taoist's face, before he could flare up, Shuiyue Master was heard speaking coldly, "We are naturally frogs in a well, but this black stick display evil energy during the fight, it is clearly an evil object, wonder why Tian senior brother is unable to tell?"

Tian Buyi snorted, said, "Emitting dark energy is considered evil? Red line traces are evil? If it is so, then I will go back and paint my face black, will everyone see me as an evil sect evildoer and kill me?"

Reverend Daoxuan frowned, said, "Tian junior brother, don't say things like that, why out of a sudden say that you are evil sect evildoer!"

Tian Buyi humphed, turned his head over, did not speak anymore.

Reverend Daoxuan sighed, placed the firestick beside the tea cup, said, "Today I have asked everyone here, is to discuss, firstly in the competition, Big Bamboo Valley Zhang Xiaofan has this strange weapon, its origins unknown yet has great power. Secondly initially we have discussed sending the first four disciples to Kongsang Mountain 'Thousands Bat Ancient Cave' to investigate, the other three everyone has no opinions, only Zhang Xiaofan..."

Tian Buyi became angrier as he listened, initially he was having some doubts over Zhang Xiaofan's advanced training and some suspicious over this firestick but here, not to say others, yet only picking on his branch's disciple, how would he not be angered, and so his face turned angry, stood up and said loudly, "Sect head senior brother, how do you want to handle it?"

Reverend Daoxuan didn't expect Tian Buyi to have such a reaction, was shocked, everyone glanced sideways, beside Tian Buyi, Return of the Wind Valley Zeng Shuchang who was on good terms with him, pulled his sleeve and said, "Buyi, sect head senior brother did not say anything, come sit down first."

Reverend Daoxuan's face was slightly tense, and said, "Tian junior brother, this matter truly is rather odd, as the elder of the sect, I will handle the matter impartially, you don't worry."

Tian Buyi's face was still showing his anger but looking at Reverend Daoxuan's expression and Zeng Shuchang's persuasion, he eventually sat back down.

Reverend Daoxuan spoke unhurriedly, "Everyone, you all have also seen this stick, its appearance ordinary, in it yet seemed to have ominous energy. But the most urgent thing is, with my level of cultivation, I am unable to control this object and yet a young disciple who most likely only have Jade Qing Realm level four cultivation is able to, what is the logic?"

Everyone including Tian Buyi were silent, each of them were highly skilled masters, how would they not know the reason for it, it was just that nobody was willing to say it out.

In the end, Reverend Daoxuan spoke, "Seems to me, this black stick most likely is a 'blood smelted' object."

Even though everyone was prepared for it but their countenances' still changed, the so-called blood-smelted object was to use the person's blood in the creation of the object. This type of strange spell, not to mention the strange method of doing it, the weapon material was demanding beyond comparison, not one for ten thousands. And the process was also dangerous, if one was not careful the person would suffer from the weapon's ominous and ferocious energy backlash, his death would be indescribably painful.

Of course, if one could succeed, this weapon's power would definitely be unequalled, and there was also an added advantage, the weapon would be linked to its owner, others would not be able to use it but because its stimulation would be using blood, usually it would have ominous energy.

Legend had said for this blood-smelted skill, it had passed from ancient demonic deity and had been passed on for generations among the Evil Sect but nobody had heard of any famous blood-smelted weapon, most likely the risk was too high and even the Evil sect disciples dared not try it.

Just that, now that it would actually be on a Qing Yun sect young disciple.

Reverend Daoxuan glanced towards Tian Buyi, Tian Buyi's face was livid, slowly stood up, said, "Senior brother, maybe what you have said is logical but I still want to say it, Zhang Xiaofan is only sixteen, how would he know such a blood-smelting skill? And ever since he came in, he has never left the mountain for five years, he was empty-handed when he came, where would he go to find such a rare weapon material?"

Cangsong Taoist sneered and said, "Maybe he is someone who the Evil sect planted into our Qing Yun sect, it will not be surprising!"

Tian Buyi became infuriated, said, "If he really has such intention, how would he be using such an object in the competition, under thousands of eyes? Besides, if he is really a spy from the Evil sect, hehe, Cangsong senior brother, then your branch Ling Jingyu I'm afraid is not clean too!"

This seemed to hit Cangsong Taoist's sore point, he stood up angrily, "What did you say, how can Jingyu be compared to with that stupid disciple of yours?"

Tian Buyi turned even more livid, snorted, glanced sideways said, "Yes, my disciple is stupid but heard that he still made it to the top four, not sure Cangsong senior brother your so-called talented Ling Jingyu what rank did he make it?"

Cangsong angrily said, "He has bad luck, met his senior brother Qihao, if it was not so, how wouldn't he make it to the top four!" After speaking, he sneered, said, "Anyway he is not as lucky as someone, along the way, depended on others to give up to move up, still dare to speak so loudly without shame!"

Tian Buyi shouted in a loud voice, "Don't tell me his fight with Lu Xueqi was also luck?"

Cangsong Taoist jumped in, "That's right, it was because it was not luck and therefore he lost, and he was defeated so badly that he almost lost his life!"

Tian Buyi became more and more angry, he was not as sharp-witted and so unable to win Cangsong but the fire in him became bigger, his face flushed red, spat, "What do you want, do you want to see if I also have an undeserved reputation?"

Cangsong Taoist still did not intend to give in, stood up and arrogantly said, "Then let me experience Tian senior brother your 'Scarlet Ray' celestial sword!"

Tian Buyi without further ado, stepped forward, his right hand already holding his sword formula, in the hall, the air suddenly froze.

"How dare you!" a loud sound, it was Reverend Daoxuan who had slapped a palm onto the tea table, his face enraged, stood up, "Both of you treat me this sect head as dead is it!"

Reverend Daoxuan had assumed the position for almost three hundred years, had high prestige and commanded respect, in usual days he was amiable but this show of anger, Tian Buyi and Cangsong Taoist were taken aback, their hearts shocked and so they stepped down, quietly said, "Yes, sect head senior brother please be appeased."

Reverend Daoxuan looked at those branch leaders, the anger on his face gradually receded after a long while, and said, "Tian junior brother."

Tian Buyi stepped forward, said, "Sect head senior brother."

Reverend Daoxuan looked at him, said, "No matter what, this black stick origin is suspicious, if it is really a Evil sect object, then whatever connection Zhang Xiaofan has with the Evil sect, we cannot allow that, you understand?"

Tian Buyi lowered his head, after a long while, said, "Yes."

Reverend Daoxuan again spoke, "Tian junior brother, I know you don't feel good but this matter has grave consequences, we cannot not treat it seriously. Today you will go back first, until Zhang Xiaofan becomes much better, question him carefully and bring him here, we will discuss again, how is it?"

Tian Buyi's face turned pale and red, suddenly he stomped his feet, nodded and without a word, turned and walked out.

A whistle was heard outside the door, most likely he had wielded his sword and left.

In the hall, Zeng Shuchang said to Reverend Daoxuan, "Sect head senior brother, Tian Buyi senior brother and Big Bamboo Valley has by chance a talent among them and yet such a thing happened, naturally he will be unhappy about it, don't take it to heart."

Reverend Daoxuan sighed, shook his head and said, "Of course I won't, I know Tian junior brother and I also trust him."

After speaking he seemed to recall something, turned and said to Shuiyue Master, "Shuiyue junior sister, these few days your female disciple Lu Xueqi..."

Shuiyu indifferently said, "Thanks for senior brother's concern, Xueqi's health has mostly recovered. If it was not for Tian Buyi senior brother that weird weapon, consumed half of Xueqi's vitality, she would not have lost to anyone!"

Cangsong's face changed, Reverend Daoxuan instead cut in first and said, "Aiya, the matter has already passed, don't harp on it anymore."

Cangsong and Shuiyue glared at each other, turned their heads around, Reverend Daoxuan saw it, his heart sighing, his gaze inadvertently shifted over to the tea table, that black ugly firestick, lay quietly there.