Monthly Archives: May 2018

10

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Chapter 10

The morning sun felt warm and comforting.

Jiang Le was delighted as he shouted excitedly, “We are out of the valley at long last! Woohoo, finally!”

He had no idea how long they had been traveling through the winding passages of the desolate valley but when they had finally ascended to the top, he was joyous.

Qingshuang, Xue Ji and Xia Ji looked at him and were amused.

Jiang Le shouted excitedly, “This is freedom!”

Xia Ji hummed coldly and threw her bundle to him, “Hey junior protégé, carry this.”

Jiang Le blinked and said, “This isn’t mine…”

But before he could finish what was in his mind, Xue Ji and Qingshuang had both thrown their bundles at him, forcing him to catch it. “What…does this mean…”

Qingshuang smiled gently, “That means that you are to be our carrier, junior protégé.”

Xue Ji gave him a little nudge and laughed merrily, “Great hero Jiang Le, this will be your first major heroic task in the martial fraternity. So, do it well.”

Jiang Le muttered as he gathered the three bundles in his arms, “Whatever.”

He sniffed at Qingshuang’s bundle and thought, “It is so fragrant. I wonder what her undergarment look like?”

Xue Ji interrupted his thoughts and chuckled, “What are you doing? Don’t just stand there. Are you unwilling to help me to carry my little bundle?”

Jiang Le reacted quickly and laughed jovially, “For my senior protégé sister Xue Ji, I am the most willing of course!”

Xue Ji clapped her hands as she smiled enchantingly, “My good protégé junior brother! It is so good to have a protégé junior brother. I feel so bad for troubling you!”

“Not at all, not at all!” Jiang Le laughed awkwardly, feeling a little shy that the mesmerizing Xue Ji was showering him with affectionate attention.

Xia Ji giggled, “Thank you my good protégé junior brother!”

Jiang Le laughed jovially, “We are all from the same protégé clan. This is really nothing at all. I am a strong man and I am glad to be of some services.”

Qingshuang muttered sarcastically, “Maybe that is the only service that he can be of good use. When troubles come, we may even have to protect him. I hope he stays out of trouble.”

Jiang Le was abashed as he replied almost incoherently, “I am not that useless you know and you can depend on me to protect you. So just sit back and relax while I do the job.”

Xue Ji grabbed his arm and nodded delightfully, “Brother Jiang Le, you’re so great. Your protégé sister Xue’Er is not afraid anymore.”

Xia Ji grabbed his other arm and nodded eagerly, “Same here, Brother Jiang Le! With you around, Xia’Er is not scared as well!”

Jiang Le quickly patted his chest, “Count on me, protégé sisters!”

Qingshuang flashed her displeasure, “At this rate, it’ll take us forever to get to our destination. Stop flattering him and don’t get to close to him.”

Jiang Le smiled weakly, “You sound like I am some monster.”

Qingshuang hummed coldly, “Not some monster but a demon, a lecherous demon.”

Jiang Le grinned and cast a wry look at her, “If I am a demon then you’re a demoness. A demon and a demoness, we are so compatible!”

Qingshuang gave him an annoyed look but she was soon smiling, “Very soon you will know what a demoness I am.”

She turned to Xue Ji and Xia JI, saying. “We are outside now and we should veil ourselves accordingly lest we would attract unwanted attention.”

Xue Ji and Xia Ji were suddenly quiet and obediently veiled their faces!

This was not a request but a command!

Jiang Le mused and said coolly, “With three such enticing maidens here, it is really hard not to attract any attention. But rest assures that I will be here to protect all of you in our travels.”

Qingshuang hummed coldly, “You only have to look out for yourself. I don’t want to be the one saving you.”

But she quickly softened her eyes and said, “Jiang Le.”

Jiang Le was a little startled by her expressions and answered, “Yes?”

She said softly, “This is the time of troubles and the Heavens Calamity will soon befall upon us. Do you have any idea how perilous our situation is? The dark celestial practitioners are not what your level of competency is able to deal with. They are ruthless and vicious…”

Jiang Le muttered, “Oh?…”

She looked at him and said sternly, “They will rip your heart from your beating body, eat your heart and drink your blood. They have red eyes and may be easy to identify. But once they have reached the Crisis Level, their red eyes will vanish and you will no longer be able to discern their true self. So be on your guard at all times. The dark celestial practitioners have eyes and ears everywhere, do you understand and is aware of the dangers that we will be in?”

Jiang Le smiled weakly, “You are just trying to scare me.”

She answered coolly, “Our enemies are all super exponents and some are even supernatural exponents. At your present level it is too unfathomable for you to even comprehend until it is too late. Our mission is to quickly investigate the place that you have mentioned and retreated back to the safe haven of the Tranquil Palace. In the case when we are really discovered by the dark celestial practitioners and cannot defeat them, we shouldn’t go back to the Tranquil Palace anymore. When needed, we will take our own lives to safeguard the Tranquil Palace!”

Jiang Le was slightly disturbed by her solemn words because it did not sound like she was kidding with him.

Then she turned around and said softly, almost inaudibly. “Even if I would to perish, I will not let you perish. That’s because you may represent the last hope of the Eternal Virtue Sect. You do not need to question why because many years later, you will be able to understand that our sacrifices are a necessary.”

Jiang Le stole a look at Xue Ji and Xia Ji; they too, were deadly solemn and their smiles had already vanished from their countenances.

All of a sudden Jiang Le roared with laughter and broke the deadly atmosphere, “I don’t need protection. I am good enough on my own. I can protect myself better than you think. Dark celestial practitioners or not, I am not afraid. What is most important now is to find some great wines and bottoms up!”

Then he took several strides to the east as he beats his chest, “What are you all waiting for? Come, let’s us be on our way and appreciate the scenery!”

Qingshuang replied coolly as she walked to another direction, “That is the wrong way. We should go in this direction.”

Jiang Le turned around and said, “I recognized the surrounding hills and the position of the sun. I can’t be wrong for sure…”

Qingshuang smiled mysteriously, “Except that we have something to do first before we’re headed to the place that you’ve mentioned.”

Jiang Le groaned softly as he walked to her, “Whatever you say. But don’t blame me for not warning you first that that is the wrong way.”

Xue Ji tapped Jiang Le and smiled, “Brother Jiang Le, we do have a little business to attend first.”

Just as Jiang Le was about to ask what the business was, Xia Ji tugged him on his sleeve and laughed softly. “Soon you will know. Brother Jiang Le, why don’t you tell us more about the martial fraternity and your adventures first? Which are the most prominent sects at the moment and what are most earthshaking things that had happened in the past 20 years?”

Jiang Le laughed aloud as he said, “There is no one that knows more about the martial fraternity than me. Oh well, where should we start?…”

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Chapter 9

That very night, Jiang Le was pondering in his bed chamber the events of the past few days.

Who had sent him that unknown invitation and who was that masked assailant that had ambushed him soon after?

He had thought that he was dead for sure after falling down the steep cliff and stumbled into the sacred grounds of the Tranquil Palace where he encountered a group of mysterious maidens that identified themselves as the protégés of the Eternal Virtue Sect?

He had never heard of their sect nor a place called the Tranquil Palace and yet he was now one of them!

“Forcing to join them in any case is the exact word,” he muttered to himself.

But not before he could pass their celestial trials which almost took his life!

He unsheathed the Celestial Gallantry and stared at the shining reflection, “These mysterious maidens who claimed to be celestial practitioners and their unfathomable martial skills…every one of them is equaled to a super exponent of the martial fraternity. Even I am not their match and I have regarded myself as one of the top tier martial expert. Now who is the frog in the well…”

He heaved a soft sigh, “And this Qingshuang the Verdant Scarlet Fairy, she is really interesting. Her mannerism looks like an old friend of mine…”

Even now he could still feel a soft tingling on his face as he recalled how she had slapped him when they had first met as she smiled gently, “You deserve a slap because you are too stupid to realize the situation that you are in. You ought to be begging for mercy and pleading for your pathetic existence.”

And there was his new protégé mistress Yueling and her two other protégé sisters, Xia Ji and Xue Ji.

They had threatened to forever confine him to the Tranquil Palace but now Yueling had suddenly said that he was allowed to go to the outside world and to retrieve the sword that he had mentioned, although that sword may be just a fragment of a dream and not his exact memories.

He wished that the past few days had been a dream though it was not the case. His wounds had miraculously healed and his vigor has increased tremendously ever since he had taken the Sacred Dragon Blood Divine Pill.

He muttered, “So I am a celestial practitioner now? And that at the first light of dawn, the Verdant Scarlet Fairy and I are to set off at once.”

“You’re afraid to travel with me?”

Jiang Le was startled as he jumped out of his bed and saw that it was the Verdant Scarlet Fairy!

Why didn’t he hear her coming?

He stammered, “Of course I’m not! Why should I?”

Qingshuang smiled gently, “Then why aren’t you sleeping yet?”

Jiang Le growled softly, “That’s because I have many things in my mind that is perplexing to me. How long have you been eavesdropping on me? ”

Qingshuang sat down and poured herself a cup of water as she said coolly, “I didn’t mean to eavesdrop on you but you are muttering to yourself ceaselessly and I don’t particular like it when someone is constantly putting my name in his mouth.”

Jiang Le smiled weakly, “That doesn’t mean that you’re not eavesdropping on me.”

Qingshuang lifted her phoenix eyes and looked at Jiang Le, slightly startled by his reply before she replied coolly, “If you have not been muttering my name then you will not have known that I have been eavesdropping and if you have not known then it doesn’t count as eavesdropping.”

Jiang Le smiled weakly, “My Protégé Aunt, please spare me your warped logic. I surrender!”

Qingshuang lit a smile, “Finally you have decided to be respectfully to me.  Well then you shall be forgiven.”

Jiang Le asked, “My respectfully Protégé Aunt, what brings your honor presence late in the night? Surely you’re not thinking of chatting or drinking with me?”

Qingshuang gave a soft chuckle, “Naturally not and it’s isn’t that late yet. I have come tell you that there is a change of plan. Xue Ji and Xia Ji will be traveling with us as well.”

Jiang Le’s eyes beamed with delight, “This is really good news. With three ladies then the journey won’t be so bored..”

Qingshuang interrupted as she glanced at him coldly, “So you think that it will be boring with me around?”

Jiang Le smiled, “Of course not. I am afraid that you won’t be safe around me.”

Qingshuang looked at him and said, “Oh?”

Jiang Le laughed and blew the side of her ear gently and said, “I am a man and you are a tempting woman. You may not have the desires in your heart but I have not yet overcome my mortal desires. So do you think that you will be safe with me?”

Qingshuang’s ears had redden and her eyes looked a little confused as she stammered, “You dare?! I am your Protégé Aunt!”

Jiang Le laughed softly, “I’ll be stupid to let such a desirable lady be my Protégé Aunt. In my eyes, you are only fit to be my lover. If I have a choice then this is what I will be choosing.”

Qingshuang was flustered as she got up hastily and reached for the entrance, saying. “This is so outrageous. I’ll let your Protégé Mistress know and see that you got your due sect punishments!”

Just as she was about to walk off, her left hand were caught by Jiang Le who said. “Wait!”

Qingshuang shot him a cold stare and said, “So you are afraid now?”

Jiang Le was suddenly solemn, “I’m not and I know that you are only making an empty threat.”

Qingshuang said coldly, “Then what do you want? Let go of my hand now.”

Jiang Le loosened his grip on her as he managed a weak smile, “Pardon my rudeness. Since you are already here, can we have a little chat?”

Qingshuang replied coldly, “Then end your frivolous remarks.”

Jiang Le gave a wry smile, “Alright, alright. Please have a seat.”

Qingshuang did not take the seat but asked instead, “I am not interested in any chat. Quickly pour out what is in your stomach.”

Jiang Le smiled weakly as he looked blankly at her, “You know, I don’t even know if I can trust you. I don’t even know if you guys are fooling me and telling me that you are centuries old and are celestial practitioners. I have seen all these fantastic things but I don’t even trust my eyes now. For all I know, these could be illusions that you have setup for me. So what exactly are you? How can I trust you?”

Qingshuang sat down as she looked at him, “That’s a lot of questions and I think I help myself to a seat first.”

She said softly, “You’re confused by your new identify. You are asking if you are able to trust us but let me ask you, why should we trust you in the first place?”

Jiang Le smiled weakly, “That is my question. Why are you asking me the same question?”

She replied with a soft sigh, “That’s because we don’t know your background and who you are. For all we know, you may be a spy sent to us by our enemies. This is our place and you are a stranger. Why should we trust a stranger? We are cautious of you and that’s the norm. Do you think that you ought to be the one that is supposed to gain our trust first and not the other way? You may think that we have a grand design in place for you so that is why we are confining you. You’re so wrong. You have disturbed our peaceful meditation and we have never wanted to do anything with you in the first place. You have thought too highly of yourself and suspect that we have a plot in waiting for you. If you mistrust us then why should we trust you as well?”

Jiang Le was startled as he murmured, “That’s right. You don’t know my background…”

But he quickly composed himself to say, “No wait. I do have some renown in the martial fraternity. It is not difficult to find out who I am…”

Qingshuang interrupted coldly, “Except that I can crush you like a little ant anytime and forgo all the tricks. Do you think that your puny skills can be shown off in front of me…”

Jiang Le smiled weakly and said, “Maybe I deserve another slap because I am too stupid to realize my current situation. I should be begging for mercy and pleading for my pathetic existence from you.

This caused Qingshuang to chuckle softly and tiny tears should be seen from the brim of her eyes, “Maybe you are not so stupid after all so I won’t give you a slap.”

Jiang Le suddenly found his Protégé Aunt to be really adorable and he cursed the fact that she was his Protégé Aunt.

Jiang Le laughed and said, “I am not that pathetic. I have a renowned reputation in the martial fraternity…”

Qingshuang rose up as she interrupted him, “Quit your boasting and get a good night rest. Don’t blame us if you are unable to keep pace with us.”

Jiang Le smiled weakly, “Farewell my Protégé Aunt.”

He heaved a soft sigh as he jumped into his bed as he thought, “Jiang Le, Jiang Le. Maybe you ought to murmur only in your mind next time. Hmm, tomorrow is a great day, Maybe it is a real chance to escape from my confinement. Maybe I should really escape. I cannot imagine staying in such a place for years.”

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