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Chapter 53: The Martial Sage

It was late at night and there were four men drinking heavily in the pavilion.

Yi Ping, Gongsun Jing, Nangong Le and Qiu Wufeng were drowning their sorrows with binge after binge of wines. The floor and the table were scattered with flasks and jars of wines. They were just drinking flasks after flasks of wines and none of them had said a single word throughout the night.

Gongsun Jing was drinking alone when Yi Ping popped in with more jars of wine in his hands as he sat down.

He was thinking bitterly, “You have so many ladies as company and you choose to drink with me?”

Even before Yi Ping had sat down, Qiu Wufeng had walked to the pavilion with more jars of wines. Without saying a word, he began to drink from one of the jars of wine that he had brought with him.

Gongsun Jing was startled, “What is wrong with Brother Wufeng?”

Even before his thoughts had settled, Nangong Le had walked to the pavilion in a half-drunk state, “Good, there is more wines here.” And he just took a jar of wine that was on the table and began to drink.

After some time, Gongsun Jing could not resist the temptation to ask anymore. “All of you. What is wrong with all of you? I thought that I am the only who is unhappy here. How come everyone is drinking their sorrows?”

Qiu Wufeng smiled bitterly, “You can’t be as unhappy as I am.”

Yi Ping laughed sadly as he drowned another flask of wine, “Not you I am.”

Nangong Le banged the table with his hand, “You? You will be unhappy? There so many extraordinary beautiful maidens around you. Will you be unhappy? Is this a joke?”

Yi Ping sighed, “Precisely it is because of them that it is causing me so much distress now.”

Gongsun Jing said quietly, “Brother Yi Ping, do you mind sharing with us what actually is bothering you? Maybe we can help.”

Yi Ping sighed sorrowfully, “It is rather embarrassing.”

Qiu Wufeng said, “If you don’t share, how do you know that you are unhappier than us? Since we are already here and are brothers, is there anything we cannot share?”

Nangong Le rebuked him wobbly, “Wines can be shared and talks can be shared but women, no.”

Qiu Wufeng asked, “Which maiden has caused such distress in you?”

Nangong Le was startled, “How do you know?”

Qiu Wufeng smiled awkwardly, “Is there anything else other than women that can cause you to gloom over it?”

Nangong Le said, “There is. Money is one of them.”

Qiu Wufeng said, “Obviously it is not now for you.”

Gongsun Jing said, “Since we all have a problem, why don’t we share it? Maybe it will make us feel better. Brother Yi Ping, will you like to start first? It seems that none of us believe that you can be troubled as much as we do.”

Yi Ping hummed coldly, “After I have shared my miseries with you, you will know how troubled I am.”

He sighed and his eyes were downcast as he began to relate the source of his sorrows.

When he had just regained conscious, he found himself in a compromising and intimating embrace with a semi-nude Youxue. Before he had realized what was happening, Mei’Er, Yu’Er, Lingfeng, Lie Qing and Ding Yun had walked in with stunned looks at the scene.

Before he could explain, Youxue had said shyly. “I have already given my chastity to Ping’Er…”

Lingfeng recovered from her initial shock as she whimpering tearfully. “Hmph! At first I don’t believe what Brother Huo Fu has said about you being alone with a maiden in the cave. But now I do. Now it all makes sense to me. Now I know how the Celestial Fairy and how the Joyful Goddess succumbed to you one by one, one after another!”

She purposely dragged her sentence long because she wanted to let her hurtful feelings sink into Yi Ping’s heart so that he would forever remember what she had just said to him!

When she had said everything that was in her heart, she burst into tears and stormed out of the room!

Mei’Er cried out, “You are no longer our Master!”

Immediately after she had made her outcry, she left the room in tears.

Yu’Er stared hatefully at Yi Ping and left without saying a word. Unlike Mei’Er, Yu’Er rarely talk to strangers. When she could not be bothered to say anything to him now; that already spoke volumes of her heartbreak!

Lie Qing said coldly, “So all along, you are just putting on an act in front of us. You have victimized Sister Youxue and yet you refuse to admit what you have done. No wonder, Lele has your…I am really disappointed in you…my heart is cold now and filled with darkness. Like all men, you cannot be trusted!”

Yi Ping quickly said, “Qing’Er, hear me out. This is really not what you have imagined…”

He tried to pull Youxue away from him until he suddenly realized that she was shyly holding onto him tightly…

Lie Qing interrupted him coldly as her tears flowed silently down her cheeks, “Tomorrow at noon, prepare your swords. We will duel in a sword fight and cease only when one of us is dead.”

She stormed out angrily.

Youxue comforted Yi Ping, “Don’t worry, Ping’Er. Tomorrow I will help you. You need more rest to fully recuperate from your injuries. She suggests a sword duel but must we adhere to a sword duel? If I insist on an intricate strokes martial duel, there is nothing she can protest about.”

Yi Ping smiled bitterly, “Youxue, you should know. You have fought with her at the Longevity Hall of the Tranquil Clan before. Even though Qing’Er never left the sight of her sword, her intricate strokes are even more startling than her swordplay.”

Youxue muttered, “I won’t give her any advantage and knows her disadvantage. I will prolong the fight and drawn her into exhausting her martial power…”

Only Ding Yun was still standing with her usual quiet demeanor in the room. But something in her eyes tell him that something was not right.

Yi Ping panicked said, “Yun, hear me out first. I know that you are the most understanding…”

But Ding Yun ignored Yi Ping as she muttered incoherent, “Youxue, I have ruined you. I…”

Youxue was suddenly cold. She had seen the reactions of Lingfeng, Mei’Er, Yu’Er and Lie Qing as they stormed out one by one.

She said coldly, “This is not Ping’Er fault. Why are you all reacting in such an awful manner? I did it willingly and…and we will eventually be married to each other. It is just a matter of sooner or later!”

Yi Ping was startled to hear this coming from Youxue as he muttered, “Youxue…”

Ding Yun looked at Yi Ping coldly even as she said to Youxue, “I know that by now, nothing that I have said will convince you to change your minds. But do you know why we are so upset?”

Youxue asked coldly, “What else? You must all be jealous to see that I am the one that had resuscitated Ping’Er.”

Yi Ping was startled. So it was Youxue that had saved his life and purge out the conflicting Celestial Force from his body. Instantly, he was filled with gratuity for her as he thought silently, “Youxue, you have sacrificed your chastity and yet you have to endure so much humiliation for my sake. It must be hard on you…alas…once again, you have saved my life. Why am I so useless?”

Ding Yun said quietly, “Yi Ping has lied to us all. He can purge the Celestial Force on his own. But he had pretended otherwise. Do you know we have been so worried for him and we did not sleep a wink? Instead…instead of being honest with you, he had taken advantage of you!”

Youxue said coldly, “I don’t know what you are saying. That is so unlike you, Sister Yun. This is too irrational isn’t it? It is impossible for Ping’Er to fake his injuries with so many sharp eyes around…”

Ding Yun said, “A normal practitioner may not be able to. But a super martial exponent is able to. Don’t you find that it is weird that Yi Ping is able to defeat the Celestial Liege but yet he can be afflicted by the Celestial Force? Since he can fight the Celestial Liege on equal terms, the Celestial Force can never overcome his inherent martial force and invade his meridian channels. That’s not possible at all. Have you ever thought of that? Is that considered irrational, if you come to think of that? The fact is, he doesn’t seem to be afflicted at all and from the looks of it, he looks perfectly vigorous.”

Youxue said shyly, “That is because he has…absorbed my cold and negative intricate energy when I sacrificed my chastity for him. It is exactly like what the Celestial Liege has said. Yi Ping is young and he is naturally stronger than most. So it is not surprising that after that one exchange, he has recovered. What’s so strange about it? Why are all of you thinks that Ping’Er has taken advantage of me and has lied to all of you, just because…just because…it does not go according to what you have planned? There are always exceptional in many things. What’s so astounding and strange about all this?”

Ding Yun said, “Sister, you are too naïve and too innocent. You…I explain to you when you have calmed down first.”

She said turned coldly to Yi Ping, “You really disappointed me. Since that day in the valley, I have already pledged my heart to you and I considered myself to be your wife. No matter how bad you are…no matter how despicable you are…if tomorrow Lie Qing kills you; I will take my own life too!”

She left the room in tears!

Yi Ping was startled as he muttered incoherently in bewilderment as he thought, “What did I do actually?!”

Youxue muttered shyly as she embraced him, “Ping’Er, why is that I can sense that your martial force seems to be different now? There seems to be a strong inherent force now. And weird, why is that I cannot feel your Icy Heavenly Tears anymore? Strange, it shouldn’t just vanish like this. When you have consumed the Thousand Year Ice Fish, it should be stronger than ever. Don’t tell me, don’t tell me, your Icy Heavenly Tears has merged with the Celestial Force?!”

However, Yi Ping was not paying attention to her mutterings as he was still looking forlornly at the room entrance…

Gongsun Jing, Qiu Wufeng and Nangong Le were looking at Yi Ping with startled expressions.

Qiu Wufeng muttered with astonishment, “So you are saying, you have fallen out with Yu’Er, Mei’Er, Lie Qing, Ding Yun and Lingfeng?”

Nangong Le was even more startled, “You and Youxue…? You have really taken her chastity?”

Yi Ping drowned another flask of wine as he said bitterly, “So, is anyone of you more unfortunate and more miserable than I am?”

Gongsun Jing who was quiet until now, laughed bitterly. “You think you are miserable? You think you are more miserable than me?”

Nangong Le, Qiu Wufeng and Yi Ping were startled by Gongsun Jing outburst.

Gongsun Jing sighed sorrowfully, “I used to be the Young Master of the renowned Honor Manor which is the most powerful orthodox clan in the entire fraternity, enjoying the admiration and envy of the entire fraternity. But now, I am just a wanted man on the run…”

Yi Ping interrupted, “You blame Ding Yun?”

Gongsun Jing shook his head, “She is really a gentle maiden and a pitiful maiden. I do like her a lot. Alas…she likes you Yi Ping, take good care of her. But you know. Even if she isn’t with you, we cannot be together. It is an undeniable fact that that my father is killed by her sword…”

Yi Ping was silent.

Nangong Le muttered incoherently, “That isn’t something new at all. Do you need to drink yourself silly over some old memories?”

Gongsun Jing smiled bitterly, “Of course, that’s not all. I was scolded as a beast in disguise. This is the first time that I am being so mindful…”

Qiu Wufeng smiled bitterly, “Do you mean Suxin? You like her?”

Gongsun Jing was startled, “You know?”

Qiu Wufeng said, “Actually you don’t have to be so bothered about it. Lingfeng has already explained and clear everything. It is just that we don’t have any evidence to prove our innocents…alas…”

Gongsun Jing asked, “Why are you sighing? You seem even more eager to find the proof more than I.”

Qiu Wufeng made deep sighs, “It’s Sufeng…to think that I will like someone from the unorthodox clan. The Qiu Martial Clan has always been reputable in the fraternity…not only have I destroy all my clan repute, I have lost everything now. I don’t know what she thinks of me. Alas…is anyone of you more miserable than me?”

Yi Ping and Nangong Le immediately said, “This wine is a toast for you!”

Qiu Wufeng startling halt them, “Don’t you finish all the wine and please leave some for me. Both of you sound more like taking advantage of the situation to finish all the wines. You scoundrels…alas…never mind…”

Nangong Le sighed, “Getting disowned by my father is one thing but none of you can be more miserable than I am tonight.”

Qiu Wufeng hummed, “I don’t believe.”

Nangong Le said bitterly, “At least all is not lost with you, Brother Wufeng. The same goes to Brother Jing too. At least Brother Yi Ping can still try his best to explain and at least there is still Youxue who is still willing to listen…”

Yi Ping interrupted, “Tomorrow at noon I am going to get killed by Qing’Er. Is this some kind of a small comfort?”

Gongsun Jing smiled bitterly, “Why don’t you come to the point immediately?”

Nangong Le sighed deeply, “I got rejected tonight by Suyue…alas.”

Everyone was startled.

Qiu Wufeng stammered, “You actually approach Suyue and make advances to her?”

Nangong Le sighed even deeper, “She says I am Nangong Le the Flirtatious and completely rejected me. My reputation is so bad…why didn’t Lingfeng clarify for me…”

Gongsun Jing smiled even more bitterly, “You have been known as Nangong Le the Flirtatious for as long as I can remember. Nothing can change that.”

Nangong Le said, “I thought I am known as Nangong Le the Joyous?”

Qiu Wufeng laughed, “That’s because they are giving you some face saving measures on accord of the Nangong Clan in the fraternity. But that’s what everyone is calling you behind your back.”

Nangong Le was stunned, “This is the first time I have known about it. How come none of my friends have ever told me that?”

All of a sudden, everyone had noticed that Yi Ping had frozen and was looking in his opposite direction.

Nangong Le, Gongsun Jing and Qiu Wufeng quickly turned around and were startled to see Xiao Youxue who was just standing quietly. There was a forbidden cold demeanor around her that was terrifying to behold.

From the look of it, she had been standing there for quite some time.

Youxue said coldly, “Ping’Er, how could you tell everyone about us and describing it?”

She hummed coldly before she storm off indignantly!

Yi Ping asked, “Now who is the most miserable?”

“There are so much wines lying around here? It seems that my guests forget that we are under siege and taking the opportunity to empty my wine cellar, leaving none for me?”

It was the Holy Sectarian Master, Ji Wuzheng!

They quickly rose to pay their respects except for Nangong Le who was too drunk to stand.

Ji Wuzheng said, “It seems that none of you are as miserable as me.”

Yi Ping was startled, “What makes you say so?”

Gongsun Jing and Qiu Wufeng looked curiously at him.

Ji Wuzheng sighed, “My wines are almost finished up by you guys. The Holy Hex Sect is on the brink of destruction. My sister, Lingfeng is crying tearfully. I have just recently lost four Guardians of the Holy Chapter. My daughters have suddenly gone quiet. Who can be more miserable than I am?”

He sighed, adding. “Do you know that the Orthodox Clans have issued me a challenge in three days’ time? I have already accepted it. There are simple too many sacrifices and too many innocents that have perished. Perhaps that is the best course of action. If I am willing to accept their challenge, then they will be willing to spare the Holy Hex Sect from total destruction. Of course, they want my sister Lingfeng the Holy Maiden and our sacred relic the Heavenly Relic as a pledge of peace if we lose the duels.”

He hummed coldly, “That is after all, their real objectives. In additional, they want six persons from me; the four of you plus Maiden Youxue and Maiden Yun. The four of you will be handed over to the Honor Manor to be executed and to appease the orthodox fraternity. Maiden Youxue and Maiden Yun will be handed over to the Virtuous Palace. If you are in my shoe, what will you do?”

Everyone was silent. Compared to Holy Sectarian Master Ji Wuzheng’s problems, theirs were actually trivial.

Ji Wuzheng said, “The four of you are young and have a bright future. What’s there to worry about? A hero will always pick himself up. If there are difficulties, he will overcome it. The four of you have come all the way from the Central Fraternity to aid the Holy Hex Sect to fight the Honor Manor. It is indeed admirable.”

Gongsun Jing was blunt, “It is because our feuds with the Honor Manor are not something that we can hope to end alone. We just hope that at least we can fight against a common enemy together and at least stand a better chance to settle our score with the Honor Manor once and for all. Even if we have failed, at least our deaths will not be in vain!”

Ji Wuzheng immediately clapped his hand on the table, “Great aspirations!”

He paused for a while before asking, “Have you heroes thought of joining the Holy Hex Sect instead?”

Qiu Wufeng said, “The Holy Hex Sect is an unorthodox clan. I’m from the orthodox clan…”

Ji Wuzheng said, “What is orthodox and what is unorthodox? Just because the Holy Hex Sect has our own beliefs, we are branded unorthodox? Just because we settle our feuds with the other martial clans in an open manner, we are called the unorthodox sects? The so call righteous orthodox martial clans are the ones that are attacking us. In name, they are avenging the death of the Old Sword Saint. In secret, the Honor Manor and the Virtuous Palace are actually trying to seize our Heavenly Relic. Can their actions be considered orthodox or even righteous?”

Yi Ping said, “Even though my knowledge is limited and maybe you are right but good can only falter for a while and not vanquished. The recognized orthodox clans have fought hard to be recognized as part of the orthodox martial fraternity. Even though these orthodox clans can be misled and even their leadership can be evil for a time, it will soon revert to the orthodox in due time. If an unorthodox clan wants to be an orthodox clan, then it will need to prove itself and take steps to move forward to that direction. That’s why these orthodox clans are able to endure for centuries, with many ups and downs. As for the unorthodox clans, how many actually survived for long? If an unorthodox clan is not careful, it may even drift and becomes a secret heretic clan, unable to do things in the open and can only operate in the darkness.”

Ji Wuzheng was silent for a while, “I do have the intention to bring the Holy Hex Sect to be part of the orthodox martial fraternity. But prejudice against our sect runs deep in the orthodox martial fraternity or else they won’t raise their arms against us and view us as a threat.”

Yi Ping said, “Then it has to depend if the ascendency of the Holy Hex Sect in the fraternity is your lofty ambition to dominate others by your strength or be recognized by the fraternity.”

Ji Wuzheng asked, “Is there a difference?”

Yi Ping said, “To dominate over others will bring a grudging feeling. To be recognized by others will bring a grudging respect. I don’t know what actually happens during the duel between the Old Sword Saint and you. Everyone says that you have caused the death of the Sword Saint and hence, your next step is domination over the martial fraternity.”

Ji Wuzheng hummed coldly, “These are mere rumors. With my martial skills and swordplay, I don’t have a chance against the Old Sword Saint. Our secret duel is a contest over our sect intricate internal skills, the Holy Amalgamate Skill and the Infinitude Recite. At that time, both of us are seeking a breakthrough. The duel was just an internal strength contest to test our limits. Both of us know the dangerous risk involved but we willingly decide to take this peril to accomplish what we had in mind.”

He looked at Yi Ping keenly, “You know. It was in fact a draw between the Old Sword Saint and me. Your father Yi Tianxing has imparted to me the Divine Revelation. When used together with the Holy Amalgamate Skill, the Holy Amalgamate Skill just narrowly won over the Infinitude Recite. The Old Sword Saint acknowledged defeat only because he had thought that would help the Holy Hex Sect regain its standing in the fraternity. He told me if he did not secretly watch the duel between Yi Tianxing and my father, Ji Yunzhong that day, his martial progress would still be hindered. So he is just returning a favor to my father.”

Yi Ping was startled, “I didn’t…Lingfeng didn’t tell me…”

Ji Wuzheng said, “No one else knows the exact details of our secret duel, not even Lingfeng. I survive my internal injuries because I am younger. But the Old Sword Saint eventually crumbles to his injuries. It is not a secret in the fraternity that I have sent an invitation to challenge the Old Sword Saint. When the Old Sword Saint dies, everyone just assumed that the duel we had is not an honorable one.”

Gongsun Jing interrupted, “Why didn’t you explain? The Honor Manor, my father Gongsun Bai has assumed that your next intention is to challenge his position in the fraternity…”

Ji Wuzheng said, “No one from the orthodox clans will give me a fair hearing. Moreover, it is not something I really cares about. What the orthodox clans likes to think are actually their own business, don’t you think so too? Furthermore, your father Gongsun Bai has the lofty ambition to dominate the entire fraternity. This is just an excuse for him to bring the other fraternities forcefully under his control. You should know this more clearly than me.”

Gongsun Jing muttered, “That is true…my father’s ambitions killed him…”

Yi Ping and Gongsun Jing exchanged looks. Yi Ping had gone to the Honor Manor to seek vendetta for his parents but the irony happened. The son of his enemy would actually become his sworn brother and they now had a common enemy; Gu Tianle and the Honor Manor.

Ji Wuzheng said, “If heroes do not mind, why don’t you join the Holy Hex Sect? I won’t give you a lowly position. How about becoming the new Guardians of the Holy Chapter? The Guardian position is similar to a deputy clan leader in the Holy Hex Sect.”

Qiu Wufeng was startled, “Join the unorthodox clan? That’s impossible…”

Ji Wuzheng said, “Orthodox or unorthodox, it is just the action that we do. If you have the righteousness in your heart, why are you fearful of being in an unorthodox clan?”

Qiu Wufeng said, “If we survive this, I hope to restore my clan honor and position in the fraternity. I can’t afford to stay in the Holy Hex Sect.”

Gongsun Jing nodded, “So am I…”

Yi Ping said, “I am afraid that I may not live that long and moreover, there are many things waiting for me to do…”

All of a sudden, Nangong Le said drunkenly. “I am willing! I have nothing now! If it means I can be close to Suyue, I am willing!”

Ji Wuzheng was startled as he thought, “This rascal is interested in my daughter Suyue? Bringing him into the Holy Hex Sect is like bring a wolf in sheep clothing into the sect. But I have already made known my intentions and can’t retract it. Hmmm…if I cannot retract my words, I can force him to quit by making things difficult for him once he is my clan protégé…”

So he smiled at Nangong Le, “Welcome, welcome. You are now the Guardian of the Holy Chapter. How about the Guardian of the Third Holy chapter?”

Nangong Le laughed, “That’s good. What are my monthly wages and benefits?”

Ji Wuzheng was startled. In the fraternity, the pugilists did not talk about wages and benefits so bashfully. Rather they would talk about loyalty and clan rules first. Moreover, once he has decided to join, Nangong Le has to respect him as the sect master. He found himself disliking this Nangong Le and decided to make things really difficult for him. It is also to protect his daughter Suyue from him.

But before he could answer Nangong Le, Nangong Le had fallen to the floor in his drunken state.

Gongsun Jing and Qiu Wufeng were secretly thinking, “Brother Nangong is going to be dead very soon if he joins the Holy Hex Sect…”

If Nangong Le were not the self-proclaim sworn brother of Yi Ping; Gongsun Jing and Qiu Wufeng would never become his sworn brothers. It was because Nangong Le had virtually no real friends except for Priest Ling Kongquan and Priest Liu Qingcheng as his insolence and lack of common etiquette in the fraternity basically offended everyone. That explained the hostile stares that he had received from Gongsun Jing and Qiu Wufeng at the Honor Manor when he had arrived late and making a huge scene.

Yi Ping muttered in his half-drunken state and did not noticed that Nangong Le had already been completely knock off, “Congrats to Brother Nangong as the new Guardian of the Holy Chapter…”

Ji Wuzheng said, “Since young heroes do not want to join the Holy Hex Sect, why don’t we become sworn brothers instead? If you don’t mind having an unorthodox person as a brother…”

Yi Ping said immediately, “I am willing!”

Gongsun Jing said, “If you don’t mind a down and trodden person as a brother, I am willing too.”

Qiu Wufeng hesitated for a while. It was because the concept of orthodox and unorthodox was too deeply ingrained in him. But when he thought of Sufeng, he immediately said. “I am willing too! So what if I am no longer from the orthodox? I am no longer a member of the orthodox ever since I am forced to be on the run!”

Ji Wuzheng smiled, “Very good. From now on, I am your eldest brother. If you need any help or request, please feel freely to ask from me!”

All of a sudden, Qiu Wufeng got up and was about to walk off when Gongsun Jing caught hold of him, “Brother Wufeng, where are you going?”

Qiu Wufeng smiled bitterly, “I am going to tell Sufeng that I am no longer an exponent of the orthodox martial fraternity. I am going to tell her…she be delighted. She likes me…I can tell…Brothers, talk to you later…”

He broke free of Gongsun Jing and left hastily even as Ji Wuzheng was looking at him with a stunned look.

Ji Wuzheng had not yet recovered from the shock of hearing that Qiu Wufeng was actually interested in his daughter Sufeng when Gongsun Jing hastily got up as he muttered, “That’s right. I got to tell Suxin as well…”

Ji Wuzheng was in a complete shock as he muttered incoherently, “Did I do the right thing by becoming their eldest brother? Now I got to help them freely in whatever they have requested. Moreover now it is so late at night and they are so drunk. Oh no!…”

All of a sudden, Yi Ping and Ji Wuzheng had heard startled cries. Even though the startled cries were almost inaudible, they were able to pick it up due to their superior hearing.

Yi Ping could even recognize the startle cries as coming from Yu’Er and Mei’Er. Their voices had completely died down almost immediately, leading Yi Ping to fear the worst had happened to them. The twin sisters were not weak; for anyone to silence them almost immediately indicated that the assailant was a dangerous exponent.

He quickly pulled himself out of the drunken state with the Absolute Spirits as he said gravely, “Yu’Er and Mei’Er are in danger!”

And he had quickly turned around and sped towards their startled cries.

Ji Wuzheng was startled to see his astounding swiftness speed display as he caught up with him, “You don’t have to worry. The only way up to this place is a narrow ridge and it is guarded by a dozen elite protégés of the sect at all times. Unless the intruder can fly, there is no way he can reach the Holy Chapter. It must be a rat that has startled them.”

Yi Ping nodded solemnly but there was no mistaking the anxious looks on his face.

They quickly arrived at the scene only to find an old man trying to silence Yu’Er and Mei’Er as they gasped for breathe!

Yi Ping immediately shouted, “Who are you!”

Ji Wuzheng was startled. How did a stranger get into the premises of the Holy Chapter that was surrounded by sheer mountain walls from all sides?

The old man quickly turned around and whispered, “Not so loud. I am busy.”

Yi Ping had immediately attacked the old man, displaying the Divine Horizon Hands! “You lecherous old man! How dare you lay your hands on Yu’Er and Mei’Er!”

The old man hummed coldly, “Young man, you don’t know who you fighting…”

He was suddenly startled when Yi Ping unleashed flurrying blows of blows onto him as he shouted, “Good martial strokes! Good martial power! Now this is something I have been expecting. Are you Ji Wuzheng then? No wait, this is the Divine Horizon Hands…”

All of a sudden, the old man had raised his palm and had pushed Yi Ping back with a thunderous blow that exploded loudly!

Yi Ping was stunned at the martial power of this old man even as he quickly recovered his balance!!!

Yu’Er and Mei’Er quickly recovered as they cried tearfully into Yi Ping’s embrace.

Yi Ping held them tightly, “Yu’Er, Mei’Er. Don’t worry I am here. Don’t be afraid. Did he take advantage of you? What happens?”

Yu’Er sniffed, “Master, you are here! You never forget your Yu’Er?”

Yi Ping was startled, “Of course I won’t…”

Mei’Er asked tearfully, “You won’t forget Mei’Er too?”

Yi Ping smiled bitterly, “Of course I won’t…what is going on here?”

Mei’Er looked relieved as she pointed at the old man, “This crazy old man just appears out of the blue, assaulted us and rumbling senseless stuff! He keeps asking where is Xian’Er. We don’t know what he is talking about!”

The old man was clearly offended as he clapped his potty belly, “What crazy old man? Young lass, mind your manners. Do you know who I am? I am asking you some questions but not only have you refuse to answer me, you have even tried to attack me. I am only trying to get you to quiet down! Where did you get your swords? Even if these two swords turn to ashes, I can tell that it belongs to Xian’Er!”

Yu’Er interrupted, “We don’t know who your Xian’Er is. Fancy an old man like you is still lusting over a maiden. That is a little too outrageous, don’t you think so? You dirty filthy old man!”

The old man roared with anger, “You…you! Wait till I get my hands on you! If you don’t tell me where you get those swords, don’t blame me for being a lot dirtier than you think!”

Yi Ping stepped forward with an angry look as he displayed his opening stance of the Divine Horizon Hand, the Heavens Horizon Stance!

The old man said to Yi Ping, “I recognized the Divine Horizon Hand. So you are that Yi Ping. To think that the Divine Horizon Clan has such a deplorable descendant like you. You have really disgraced the good name of the Divine Horizon Clan!”

Yu’Er immediately said, “Master, be careful. There is a force within a force in his martial force. All in all, there are three continuous forces with each wave growing more powerful than the previous one. That is how he had overpowered us and caught us unaware. I have never seen such a martial force technique before.”

Mei’Er nodded as she said, “Be careful Master.”

Ji Wuzheng was startled when he had heard Yu’Er describing the details of this old man martial display. He quickly warned Yi Ping, “Be careful! He is one of the superb super exponents of the Martial Fraternity. He’s the Martial Sage from the Ironclad Clan, one of the Three Sages. He is also known as the Invincible Ironfist!”

The Martial Sage hummed coldly, “Now you are scare?”

Ji Wuzheng said angrily to the old man, “I am Ji Wuzheng. How dare did you sneak into the Holy Chapter! Is that how the orthodox exponents go around with their dirty business?”

The Martial Sage hummed coldly, “So you are Ji Wuzheng? I have been looking everywhere for you. So you are the one that have killed Brother Zuo? Good, good. Then we can settle our score here tonight! You want to fight me at the same time or one by one? You can even call all the Guardians of the Holy Chapter and I won’t even be afraid. If you don’t tell me where is Xian’Er, then I will just have to turn the entire place upside down!”

Ji Wuzheng took out the card that had issued by the Honor Manor and threw it to him, “The Honor Manor has just issued me a challenge that is due to be held in three days and both sides have agreed to observe a truce for the next three days. And now you are attacking the Holy Hex Sect. Is this what the Honor Manor meant by a truce?”

The Martial Sage was startled, “There is a truce? I really did not know.”

He really did not know for he had spent many days scaling the sheer cliffs of the Holy Amalgamate Mountains. That was why he could sneak into the Holy Chapter so silently. No one had expected an intruder to come from the back mountains!

He quickly opened the invitation card to read the contents as he muttered, “So it is true…”

By his startled expressions, Ji Wuzheng guessed that the Martial Sage was not aware of it. So he said, “Respected old senior, you can leave now. If you want to take vendetta on me, then you have to wait for three more days! Even if you are a legend of the martial fraternity, you still have to adhere to the rules of the martial fraternity!”

The Martial Sage said, “Not so easy. I have to take these two maidens away first.”

Yu’Er immediately said, “You…can you consider yourself to be a legend of the martial fraternity and a hero? Why don’t you fight someone that is in the same seniority as you? If my protégé mistress is here, she will surely kick your ***!”

The Martial Sage laughed aloud, “Young lass, even if you ask your protégé mistress to come, even your protégé mistress’s protégés mistress and even your protégé mistress’s grand protégé mistress to come, they are all not my match!”

Mei’Er interrupted coldly, “What’s an insolent old man!”

Yi Ping said, “Then what about me then? I happen to be their protégé master. Let me teach you a lesson!”

The Martial Sage laughed, “You! Young man! You are so young and are their protégé master? What’s a joke! From their lingering and affectionate eyes that are on you, they are more like your little sweethearts!”

Yu’Er and Mei’Er immediately flushed.

The Martial Sage had suddenly attacked Yi Ping with a powerful forward blow, “Let me test your martial foundation first!”

Yi Ping immediately reacted and retaliated with the Asper Horizon Hand!

There were a thunderous blow and the impact created such a bursting windforce that it immediately sent Ji Wuzheng, Yu’Er and Mei’Er scurrying backward!

Just as Yi Ping had caught the Martial Sage’s blow, all of a sudden, there was a second stronger martial force pushing through his Asper Horizon Hand!

Yi Ping quickly muster all his martial power and managed to suppress this second martial force but no sooner had he stopped the second martial force, a third martial force made its way through his palm, knocking him backward!

Yi Ping slide backward before he was took several forced steps to steady his balance!

Yu’Er and Mei’Er were panicky as they cried out, “Master, are you alright? Are you hurt? Where are you hurting?”

Yi Ping coughed, “I’m alright…don’t worry…”

The Martial Sage was astonished too. He did not expect Yi Ping to have such strong rebounding martial force as they clashed. This did not reached the result that he was hoping for so he said, “Young man, let’s fight again!”

Ji Wuzheng had quickly stepped in front of the Martial Sage, “Old Senior. Everything ought to have a limit. You are in my premises now. Surely you know the rules of the martial fraternity? You have already vented your frustration. Surely that is enough?”

All of a sudden, Mei’Er had unsheathed her long precious sword. The cold piercing sword energy of her sword could be felt by everyone as she displayed the Swallow Slash on the Martial Sage!

The Martial Sage quickly turned his palm into a fist as he caught the tip of her long sword between the fingers of his fist! He yawned, “Young lass, you are tens of years too early to even challenge me yet. I will look for you in three days’ time after the stupid truce.”

Mei’Er was flabbergasted, “You dirty old man!”

Yi Ping had once again displayed the Divine Horizon Hands as he charged at the Martial Sage even as Ji Wuzheng shouted to him, “Brother, that’s enough for tonight!”

The Martial Sage hummed coldly, “Persistent young man!”

All of a sudden, he raised both his fists together to receive the Divine Horizon Hands. When they were near, the Martial Sage suddenly displayed dozens of fists as he rained upon Yi Ping!

Yi Ping was in utter disbelief as the martial power of the Martial Sage scattered the martial power of his Divine Horizon Hands and knocked him flat onto the ground with a smashing thunderous impact!

Yu’Er and Mei’Er were besides Yi Ping immediately as they cried and comforted him.

Yi Ping was struggling weakly on the ground and his entire body was trembling! He simply could not believe that his Divine Horizon Hands could fall apart in an instant as he stared blankly in bewilderment!”

The Martial Sage said coldly, “This is just a small lesson for you before I go. If it isn’t for an old friend of mine, I would have hit you even harder.”

And he was gone in an instant!

Ji Wuzheng was stunned and was shivering. The martial display of the Martial Sage was too profound and difficult to deal with as he muttered, “The Invincible Ironfist…the Invincible Ironfist…”

Yu’Er comforted Yi Ping, “Master, are you…alright?”

Yi Ping was trembling and muttering, “Yu’Er, don’t worry about me. I am really alright. I just surprised that he seems to know the weakness of my Divine Horizon Hands so well…”

As Mei’Er and Yu’Er were helping Yi Ping to stand, Mei’Er suddenly said. “Alas! I suddenly remember something!”

Yu’Er asked, “What is it?”

Mei’Er whispered, “Xian’Er? Isn’t that also our protégé mistress namesake?”

Yu’Er smiled, “Our protégé mistress wouldn’t know such a dirty old man and won’t be bothered to even know him. It is just a coincident.”

All of a sudden, there was a startled cry in the darkness. And it seemed to be from the Martial Sage!

Yi Ping, Yu’Er, Mei’Er and Ji Wuzheng were alarmed as they quickly dashed towards the direction of his cry.

As they turned to a smaller courtyard, they saw Lie Qing, Youxue, Lingfeng and Ding Yun. They were all looking awkwardly at Yi Ping, Ji Wuzheng, Yu’Er and Mei’Er!

Yi Ping was startled to see them together.

Even more startling, the Martial Sage was now lying on the ground in a bloody condition!

Ji Wuzheng asked in alarm, “What’s happen? Do you know that we have a truce with the Orthodox Clans at this moment and I have just allowed him to go back to his side?!”

Lie Qing was stroking her long hair as she looked sheepish, “He is not dead yet. We have already restraint ourselves.”

She added, “This dirty old man has intentional knocked into us without apologizing. After I have tried to ask for an apology from him, he keeps saying he is the legend of the martial fraternity and there is no need for him to apologize to anyone. And he even tries to grab me. Out of self-defense, I hit too hard and he is now lying like this.”

Youxue said almost inaudibly, “I only hit him just a few times…”

Yi Ping said weakly, “Not many people can survive a direct hit from your Penetrating Hands…”

Ding Yun smiled weakly, “I…only hit him once with my scabbard…”

Yi Ping muttered, “Your martial power imbued scabbard can kill almost anyone…”

Lingfeng said, “I only hit him once with the Asper Horizon Hand…and once with the Great Dissolution Skill…his martial power is so terrifying. I didn’t know that Sister Lie Qing has already subdued him…”

Yi Ping muttered, “Two of the most powerful divine skills in the martial fraternity, used at the same time and doing a direct hit…”

Ji Wuzheng said, “Do you know who he is?”

All of them shook their heads.

Ji Wuzheng smiled bitterly, “He is the Martial Sage, one of the Three Sages and also the grand protégé master of the Ironclad Clan. He didn’t lie to you. He is indeed the legend of the martial fraternity. Now can anyone tell me, what I am supposed to do now?”

Ch53 End

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