Chapter 24: The Origin of the Virtuous Palace
Yi Ping continued another flurry of dozens of powerful attacks against Ding Yunzi, who coolly parried all his attacks with just a single left stroke or just a single right stroke.
She smiled with a cool demeanor, it was as though she was the trainer and Yi Ping was the trainee.
Even though Yi Ping was attacking her with all his martial power and strength, he was still forced to take a walk backward with every attack!
He was mystified why even though he had the superior strength and technique, Ding Yunzi could still parry off his attacks effortlessly!
Ding Yunzi had practiced the sword since she was five years old. Her precision and timing was so uncanny and steady that no matter how fast Yi Ping’s sword strokes were, she could always strike at the weakest point of his attacks and swerved his attacks to one side with just a sword stroke!
By now, Yi Ping had taken more than forty steps backward and was sweating heavily! Even though his sword arm was aching painfully and his entire body was trembling, he persisted with the Absolute Spirits Intricacy Recite and forced himself to focus on finding a breakthrough!
As long as he did not give up, he believed that he would have a chance to overcome her. It was because he believed that evil cannot triumph over good!
Just when his vision had begun to blur and the last of his strength had faltered, a most unlikely thing happened and stunned him!
Ding Yunzi had suddenly tripped over with a soft shriek as she fell on the ground. She had sprained her left ankle as she took a gentle step forward!
Yi Ping quickly halted his attacks in time when he saw her tripping! He refused to take advantage of her in this situation.
He put down his long sword in a downward pose as he said, “I wait for you to get up first.”
Ding Yunzi could not believe that she would be so unlucky to have sprained her ankle at the most unlikely of all timing!
Her soft eyes were immediately in tears as she tried to get up awkwardly. She knew that even if she was given a chance of getting up, her combat ability was already affected and she would not be able to fight as well as before.
She supported herself by thrusting her long sword into the ground and pointing the foldable sword at Yi Ping, “You have not won yet. Even if I stay at the same spot, I can still able to kill you. Why don’t you try again?”
Yi Ping said to her, “I just want to know who the person that has killed my wife is. Is that you? Or someone else?”
Ding Yunzi asked, “Who…who’s your wife? You are married?”
Yi Ping said solemnly, “My wife is Shui Yixian…the one that have killed her knows the Penetrating Hands Skill. Who else knows this skill other than the Virtuous Palace?”
Ding Yunzi was startled, “Shui Yixian is your wife and she has passed away?”
Yi Ping nodded, “That’s right…”
Ding Yunzi asked, “When did she die?”
Yi Ping said, “Five to six months ago, judging by the seasons…maybe longer…I can’t remember, really.”
Ding Yunzi was startled. It was because she had just seen her three months ago! She said, “That’s impossible. Are you kidding?”
Yi Ping sighed, “I know that all of you refuse to believe that the Celestial Fairy is my wife but…” All of a sudden, he froze. It was because he had seen Maiden Xiao and she was covered with blood!
Xiao Youxue was wounded as she fought her brother in a headlong clash out of desperation. She really had no confident at all. But because she was worried about Yi Ping and had the Absolute Spirits Intricacy Recite to reinforce her fighting spirits, she managed to do the impossible and defeated her brother narrowly.
Of course, this was also because she had also wounded her brother earlier, had the thousand year silvery scale armor and she had also mastered the Golden Impervious Body Divine Skill!
When she saw the man that she liked was talking to Ding Yunzi, there was a great sorrow in her heart immediately and her eyes were fluffy with tears. It was because she had been so worried for him. Instead of finding him in trouble, he was actually talking to Ding Yunzi!
When Yi Ping saw Maiden Xiao, he immediately went to her side and asked gently, “Youxue, are you alright?”
Xiao Youxue was trembling in her blood soaked dress!
Yi Ping tried to give her a helping hand but Xiao Youxue stared coldly at him instead.
For a moment, he did not know what to do.
Ding Yunzi gasped, “Where is Xiao Yuanjia? Did you…?”
Xiao Youxue mustered all her strength as she said, “He has been defeated by me.”
Ding Yunzi was stunned. She had defeated Xiao Yuanjia on her own? That was impossible. Was her victory purely due to her resolute or…; she took a look at Yi Ping as she thought, “Youxue mental fortitude comes from this young man? She likes him?”
She thought again, “I know that Youxue have a feud with the Eternal Ice Palace. If this Yi Ping is looking for the person that killed his wife, it has to be Youxue. But the Celestial Fairy is still alive, so how did Youxue kills his wife? And if Youxue did not kills his wife, then why is he looking for Youxue? Maybe he did not even know that Youxue is the one that he is looking for?”
Ding Yunzi looked at Xiao Youxue as she said, “You kill him?”
Xiao Youxue looked coldly at her as she said, “I am not as heartless as you. I treat you as my good sister and you even want to kill me.”
Ding Yunzi said gently, “I have my orders and my reasons…”
Xiao Youxue hummed coldly, “So you are saying that my life is not worth your reasons?”
Ding Yunzi said equally coldly, “Do you think that in your state of condition you have even the strength to withstand my flying swords? And yet, you can still argue with me.”
Xiao Youxue had already noticed that she had sprained her ankle as she said, “You can try but don’t let me get close to you.”
Ding Yunzi said coolly as she raised her swords, “You really think too highly of yourself.”
Yi Ping said, “Since both of you know one another, why don’t all of you sit down and talk over first?”
Xiao Youxue looked at Yi Ping, “Did you just forget that she is trying to kill you?”
Ding Yunzi said, “Yi Ping, do you know who she is?”
Yi Ping asked, “Who…”
But before he could ask, he was interrupted by a soft merry laugh.
Yi Ping, Xiao Youxue and Ding Yunzi looked at the direction where Xiao Youxue had just come from and saw Lie Qing!
She was looking rosy and in high spirits. Her air was totally different from a while ago!
As Lie Qing walked towards them, she said. “What about me then? Do you mind if I join in the fun? Three versus one, what do you think of your odds of winning?”
Lie Qing blinked at Xiao Youxue who took a step backward all of a sudden!
Xiao Youxue was startled at Lie Qing’s sudden transformation in her aura. It seemed that she had suddenly recovered her internal strength. Moreover, from the looks of it, she had been eavesdropping for some time!
Even Ding Yunzi was startled at her appearances!
Xiao Youxue asked of a sudden, “What did you do with Xiao Yuanjia?”
Lie Qing was puzzled why Xiao Youxue had all of a sudden asked her this question, so she said. “Nothing…”
Xiao Youxue said coldly, “You have killed him? Don’t lie to me…”
Lie Qing was immediately guilty as she said, “He tries to kill you earlier. I am just trying to help you…”
Xiao Youxue said coldly, “But I have already defeated him and there is no reason for you to do that.”
Lie Qing said, “He may be a threat in the future. Do you think if you let him off this time, you can really win him a second time? He already knows all the tricks in your sleeves!”
Ding Yunzi began to tremble, “Xiao Yuanjia is now dead…?”
Xiao Youxue hummed coldly, “So you have finally admitted to killing him. Not only have you killed him but you have also sucked him dry of any internal energy.”
Lie Qing was stunned, “How do you know?”
Ding Yunzi interrupted coldly, “Your red eyes…”
Yi Ping was confused. What were they talking about?
The Virtuous Palace had a deadly legend that was passed down by the elders. In the past, there was a red eye fraction within the Virtuous Palace. They were the masters and they fed upon their slaves. The masters passed down an imperfect skill, the Virtuous Divine Force to their slaves. When their slaves had reached a certain attainment in the Virtuous Divine Force, they would be sacrificed to their masters; their blood and intricate energy would be drained by them.
Eventually, the slaves decided to rebel against their masters. After a hard sought victory over their former masters, the Xiao Clan emerged as the dominant clan within the Virtuous Palace.
Even though this was a legend but this story was part of their martial training and every protégés in the Virtuous Palace knew of this story.
That was why Xiao Youxue was caution of Lie Qing. When she saw her jubilant aura, she had suspected that the worst had fallen to her brother!
The Virtuous Palace, like the majority of the clans in the martial fraternity loathed exponents that practiced evil skills that drained practitioners of their intricate energies. The Virtuous Palace had strict orders to kill anyone that possessed such abilities.
However, it was a legend and over time, this rule had been forgotten. It was only when Xiao Youxue and Ding Yunzi had seen her red eyes did they remember the legends. But they did not suspect that Lie Qing actually had such ability!
Yi Ping looked Lie Qing and asked her, “Did you really practice such an evil skill? And exactly as Youxue has said?”
Lie Qing was annoyed as she pointed at Ding Yunzi with her sword, “Just who are the enemy? That is her! We should be united and fighting against a common enemy, am I not right to say so?”
All of a sudden, Ding Yunzi whirled her foldable sword and threw it as a flying sword against her while she was talking. That was because that was the moment when she had let down her guard and was distracted!
There was a thunderous clashing as the flying sword spins multiple times as it struck against Lie Qing’s black sword as she raised it to block against her attacks!
Lie Qing was stunned at the martial power of Ding Yunzi and the ferocity of her flying swords at this distance even though she had secretly observed the duel between Xiao Youxue and Xiao Yuanjia.
She quickly took more than ten steps backward as she tried to deflect the power of the spinning flying sword! But even before she got a respite, Ding Yunzi had raised her other long sword as she leapt forward!
But before she could even took a step forward, Xiao Youxue had raised her long sleeves upward, sending a scurrying of windforce that sent her backward!
Yi Ping quickly intercepted Xiao Youxue as he said hurriedly, “Youxue, she has lost her mobility…”
Xiao Youxue said, “Why are you defending her?”
Just when Ding Yunzi had just recovered her footings, Lie Qing had leapt forward and attacked her with a lightning sword arc!
Yi Ping saw the attack and he quickly raised his long sword and deflected Lie Qing’s attacks as he said, “Qing’Er, stop. This is all a misunderstanding…”
Xiao Youxue had attacked Lie Qing with her palm and had struck against Lie Qing on her shoulder as she said, “There is no misunderstanding. She is evil!”
Lie Qing was knocked painfully backward as a cracking sound could be heard from her left shoulder!
She hatefully said, “You hit me!?” If she were not protected by her Impervious Golden Body Divine Skill, Xiao Youxue would have fractured her left shoulder!
She immediately attacked Xiao Youxue with her long sword but Yi Ping immediately raised his sword to intercept her as he said, “Qing’Er, Youxue does not have any weapons on her…”
Before Yi Ping had even realized it, he was fighting Lie Qing, Xiao Youxue and Ding Yunzi at the same time, and so were they!
The fights were extremely messy. Yi Ping was trying to stop them from harming one another; the only way to stop them was to fight them and intercept their attacks but at the same time, he was also protecting them at the same time!
None of the maidens really wished to hurt Yi Ping so they stayed their hands. It was because they could tell that Yi Ping was trying to protect them too. But the more Yi Ping defended the other maidens, the more upset they were and the more ruthless their strokes were!
Yi Ping was shouting, “Stop! Stop it!”
But his pleads fell on deaf ears as they continued to fight.
He was parrying, blocking, moving to and forth. This was the most difficult fight in this life; he had never felt so hurried and frantic in his life before!
All of a sudden, Lie Qing gave a soft cry as her black sword become dozens of black blurs that spit out towards Ding Yunzi!
Ding Yunzi gave a startled cry, “What kind of swordplay is this?”
Yi Ping immediately displayed his Horizon Swordplay, the Shadow Horizon Stance and intercepted Lie Qing’s attacks!
This stance of his happened to be her swordplay nemesis.
Lie Qing was startled, “How did you know this stance?”
But as she gasped out, Xiao Youxue and Ding Yunzi attacked her at the same time!
Yi Ping turned and parry off Ding Yunzi sword thrust while he intercepted Xiao Youxue’s attacks with his left hand!
Xiao Youxue and Lie Qing suddenly blurred out, “Whose side are you on?!”
When Yi Ping heard it, he was momentarily stunned. It was because someone else used to exclaim the same phrase to him; he had remembered Ji Lingfeng all of a sudden.
In this crucial moment, he had actually allowed his mind to wander. If he was fighting others, he would never allow his concentration to lapse. But because he did not really treat Lie Qing, Xiao Youxue or even Ding Yunzi as his enemies; he was distracted when he had suddenly thought of Maiden Ji. Moreover, he was already on his verge of his limits and he could not concentrate further!
Xiao Youxue, Ding Yunzi and Lie Qing were already lenient and careful when they were fighting Yi Ping. But because Yi Ping was suddenly distracted and they had not expected him not to evade their attacks with his current martial progression, they had all slashed and struck him at the same time!
Yi Ping gave a loud cry as he was slashed and was struck by them as he fell onto the ground immediately!
The fighting maidens immediately froze in their tracks at the same time!
Xiao Youxue said melancholy to them, “Why did you two slash him for?”
Lie Qing had turned white with ashen as she spoke back and said, “You’re the one that struck him the hardest…”
Ding Yunzi shook her head as she smiled bitterly, “You are all his friends..?”