Chapter 38: Battle of the Wits
When Ye Jing was within the perimeter of their camp, Chu Yunfeng could not resist saying. “Holy Consort, I still don’t understand how you can beat off Tang Yiren with that stroke of yours. I’ve never seen your profound swordplay before.”
Li’Er was nodding as well, “I don’t think I can even hold three strokes from him. Mistress, how do you pull off this feat and what is the name of the swordplay that you are using?”
Tang Yiren was not only a Sacred Saint and but he was also the strongest of the Three Saint Sword Elders. When Chu Yunfeng and Li’Er had seen his swordplay, they were astonished and they knew that they did not stand a chance. They were startled when Ye Jing had not only received his strokes but she had also retaliated against his strokes. But the swordplay that she was using was not a swordplay that they had seen before.
Ye Jing sighed as her eyes turned watery, “It isn’t a swordplay. It is just some random strokes that I have used.”
Chu Yunfeng and Li’Er looked at each other, not truly understanding what was being said. A random stroke was rarely being used because in a real fight, a wrong move could be extremely fatal!
Therefore the more skilled a fighter, the more fluent they would be in executing a well-practiced stroke. Linking several interchanging attacking and defending strokes were difficult and needed continuous practice. A strong cultivator may not necessary be a better fighter because having martial talents were two different thing.
Ye Jing explained, “Tang Yiren is really strong. The moment that I’ve used the third stroke of the Holy Citadel Swordplay halfway, he had already seen through my entire swordplay and had retaliated with a new counter measurement. Therefore I have to counter his sword strokes on the fly. What you have seen is just based on my pure instinct. We have exchanged dozens of feints and our swordplay devolved to pure attack of opportunities.”
Li’Er asked, “Random strokes? Pure instinct? Mistress, you mean that it is all unintentional?”
Ye Jing nodded indifferently, “That’s right.”
She did not tell them that she had executed her sword strokes because she could sense the minute energy emanation that was from Tang Yiren. When she had dueled with Tang Yiren, she was even able to see the pulsing of his energy veins from his inner core as he executed his sword energies. Therefore before he could even fully execute his sword energies, she had already swung her divine sword to disperse his energy attacks.
It was not until today that she had realized how formidable her Ancestress Ye was.
Ye Jing suddenly asked, “Li’Er, Elder Chu. What do you think will happen after today?”
Li’Er asked curiously, “You mean the choices that mistress will have to make?”
Ye Jing nodded lightly as her eyes began to look distant. In three days’ time she had to make a difficult decision!
Li’Er said quietly, “It is not proper for me to say. Moreover this concerns the happiness of my mistress.”
Ye Jing sighed softly, “It seems that I must really marry this Young Master Yun Xinghe then.”
Li’Er was puzzled and she muttered with a curious look, “Why?”
Ye Jing smiled faintly, “In three days’ time, they will surely surround our camp and ensure that we will comply with them.”
Chu Yunfeng was startled, “They number over 5000 while we have only less than 200…”
Ye Jing nodded lightly, “Therefore I won’t even have a choice in this matter. So if you say that I have to marry Yun Xinghe then it has to be the truth.”
Chu Yunfeng nodded, not knowing what to say.
Ye Jing suddenly said, “I am sure that the camp of the Divine Sovereign Clan is nearby. After all, they are the host and they can’t afford to be late. Elder Chu, I want you to invite Young Master Yuan Chengzhi to my camp. Do it hastily.”
Chu Yunfeng was startled, “Invite Young Master Yuan Chengzhi for? Isn’t he supposed to be our enemy?”
Ye Jing explained unhurriedly, “He is no more an enemy than the Celestial Sword Clan. The reason why I have paid the Celestial Sword Clan a visit is because I’ve thought that they are more cordial. However it turns out that we are also nothing but their pawns in their schemes. A smarter way is to let the Celestial Sword Clan and the Divine Sovereign Clan comes into a premature conflict. This is the only way for me to be safe.”
Li’Er had a weak smile, “Mistress, I think this may not solve the problem. In the end, you may still need to choose between Young Master Yuan Chengzhi and Young Master Yun Xinghe.”
Ye Jing gave a faint smile, “We’ll see about it. Elder Chu, you know your mission. Return speedily within 3 days with Young Master Yuan Chengzhi. Tell him that Young Master Yun Xinghe is coming to take me as his bride. If he doesn’t want to come then I’ll have to marry him.”
Chu Yunfeng immediately said, “Yes, I will do as you say.”
He hesitated for a while before asking, “What if he really doesn’t want to come?”
Ye Jing smiled, “He will surely come because he is the one that is spreading the rumor of our impeding marriage. Moreover he has already invested two divine swords on me. If he doesn’t come then he will have lost his investments.”
As Chu Yunfeng took his leave, he was still startled at Ye Jing’s coolness. Normally any person would have given way to panic but Ye Jing seemed to have taken her crisis rather easy.
The truth was that Ye Jing had run out of ideas and that was only a temporary plan to stop the fire but not extinguished it.
She was sighing softly, “Li’Er, I want to see Xiaofang right now…”
Without seeing Xiaofang for a short while, she was already missing him…
Li’Er smiled and she hurried into the camp, “I’ll get him right away!”
Ye Jing walked quietly into the camp and said gently to the delegation that was behind her, “You’re dismissed. Thank you.”
The protégés behind her quickly gave a bow with their hands as they went their way. When they had left, they were all filled with amazing awe for her. Even though they had not been inside the main tent of the Celestial Sword Clan but when they had overheard that their Holy Consort had defeated the Saint Sword Elder Tang Yiren, they were filled with astonishment. Who had never heard of the Saint Sword Elder Tang Yiren!
So when they were dismissed, they quickly went excitedly around the camp and to share their new gossips like a wildfire!
Ye Jing sighed softly. Taking care of a clan was not an easy task, especially when she herself had become part of the bargaining chip.
As she walked around the camp, she saw the large blue sedan that Fan Yuqing was using for her recuperation. She had not visited her since the day she had brought her back.
It was because she was wary of her.
All of a sudden she decided to pay her a visit today.
Therefore she had stepped into the blue sedan.
But to her surprise, the bed was emptied.
“Where did she go to? She has recovered and has left?”
“Jing’Er, you are looking for me?”
Ye Jing turned around and smiled. It was Xiaofang and he had come alone.
“Yes. Where is she? I thought that she hasn’t recovered yet?”
Xiaofang took a peek inside and there was a surprised look, “That’s weird. She was still here in the morning. She is still immobilized and will not be able to move on her own…”
“You are looking for me?” A beautiful voice said behind them.
When Ye Jing had turned around she was totally stunned at her transformation.
It was Fan Yuqing alright. But she had transformed into a peerless heavenly maiden that could cause the hearts of women to burn with deep envious for her looks.
Ye Jing said coldly, “You can walk already? So you can leave already.”
She secretly scanned her with her divine sense and saw that the spiritual force in her body was still weak and broken. It seemed that she really had not recovered yet.
Unknown to Ye Jing, Fan Yuqing had already suspected that Ye Jing possessed an uncanny ability to sense energy. It was because Xiaofang had told her that Ye Jing had picked up her aura while they were still far at the entrance. Therefore when she had appeared before Ye Jing, she had already suppressed her spiritual force and had even intentionally ‘created’ the broken spiritual force lines.
When she had seen the subtle flashes that was in Ye Jing’s eyes, she knew that her suspicion was confirmed. It was not something that she wanted to let her know about it so she deliberately kept her quiet.
Fan Yuqing smiled coldly, “Although I can walk but I can’t walk for long. I am still a little too weak. I need more time.”
Ye Jing turned to look at Xiaofang as she said coldly, “Since she is now able to walk now, your future treatments for her won’t be necessary. You are not to see her again.”
She paused before adding jealously, “Your Holy Consort commands you never to see her again.”
Fan Yuqing smiled, “Are you jealous of me?”
Ye Jing was startled by her sudden question. She quickly regained her composure and said, “I am just protecting you. You have no idea what a badass Xiaofang is in the past. No women are safe in his hands.”
Fan Yuqing smiled, “Oh? That’s sounds interesting. So you are saying that he is a woman killer then? I have never met a real woman killer before. Why don’t you let me put him to the test?”
Xiaofang was smiling bitterly at the side when Ye Jing had suddenly scolded him as a badass…
Ye Jing said coldly, “No need for that because you may be a badass woman yourself.”
Fan Yuqing smiled, “You are really so humorous. Maybe you are a victim of his?”
Ye Jing was really made speechless by her. After giving her a quick stare, she said. “Something bad will happen in three days’ time. If you are wise enough, I will advise you to flee as soon as possible. Don’t ever say I didn’t warn you.”
Fan Yuqing responded coldly, “You’re really too nice to me. I don’t know how I should return the favors that you have granted. Really thank you for warning me in advance. It seems that you have really run into deep troubles.”
Ye Jing said unhappily, “That’s none of your business.”
Fan Yuqing chuckled lightly, “I have overheard your plans earlier. Unfortunately your plan has a little flaw.”
Ye Jing said coldly, “What flaw?”
Fan Yuqing smiled coldly, “There is only one of you but you have two grooms. One of them will be crazily upset. When that happens, what do you think will happen? Even worse, what if both grooms were to return empty-handed?”
Ye Jing said indifferently, “When the time comes, I will handle it. There is no need for you to worry too much.”
Fan Yuqing lit a faint smile, “But what if I can help you? You can treat it as a favor for helping me. After all, I don’t want to owe you any favors.”
It took Ye Jing awhile to respond, “Then what do you suggest?”
Fan Yuqing said with great deliberation, “I can pretend to be the high priestess of the Heavenly Temple and we can be sworn sisters. You can marry me off to one of them as a temporary measure. I don’t mind because I’m homeless anyway. In this way, you also got a handle against me in the future.”
Ye Jing was smart. The minute that Fan Yuqing gave her the outline of this brief plan, she immediately understood the entire plan.
Compared to the secrets of the Heavenly Temple and possessing the high priestess of the Heavenly Temple directly were temptations that exceeded her own value. Not only that, anyone could tell that Fan Yuqing was an extremely ravishing beauty without any equal. By putting her as a bargaining chip, the entire focus of the Celestial Sword Clan and the Divine Sovereign Clan would be completely shifted.
Fan Yuqing smiled slowly, “What do you think?”
Ye Jing flashed her eyes momentarily, “There is a major flaw in this plan. What if they insist that you surrender the secrets of the Heavenly Temple in the future? Then your cover will be blown. Also, no one has ever heard that there is a high priestess in the Heavenly Temple!”
“I’ve already thought of that,” she replied. “The one that has been to the Heavenly Temple is you. If you say that you have met me at the Heavenly Temple and have brought me back with you, who can disprove you? Because we are fated to meet so we have even become sworn sisters. However, as I have renounced reclusion, I can no longer return to the Heavenly Temple. As for the secrets of the Heavenly Temple, I’ve plenty of other secrets that I can substitute with.”
Ye Jing smiled with the realization, “You…you are really willing to help me?”
Fan Yuqing smiled faintly, “Of course. After all, I’ve been trying to return the favors that I’ve owed to you.”
Ye Jing flashed her eyes again as she examined the plans in her mind again. Suddenly she said, “No, there is still a little flaw.”
Fan Yuqing laughed softly, “You seem to be quite good in finding flaws. What is it?”
Ye Jing said in a low voice, “Anyone will assume that the high priestess of the Heavenly Temple has a body of purity. But you…”
Fan Yuqing said coldly, “I look like a harlot, is that what you’re trying to say?”
Ye Jing quickly said weakly, “I just want to say that you look like an experienced woman.”
Fan Yuqing rolled up her sleeve, revealing her left forearm. There was a scarlet dot on her forearm. That was the mark of chastity.
When Ye Jing saw it, she rolled her eyes and was filled with disbelief…
Even Xiaofang was startled…
Ye Jing said sheepishly, “Is it a fake?”
Fan Yuqing laughed softly, “Naturally it is not. Why don’t we compare our forearms together and you will see if it is a fake?”
Ye Jing said weakly, “There is no need. I believe in you.”
Fan Yuqing whispered, “My little sister, don’t tell me that you’ve already lost yours?”
Ye Jing frowned, “Of course not and who is your little sister?”
Fan Yuqing said indifferently, “At this moment you are my little sister and I’m your elder sister. And little sister will marry me off to one of the young masters.”
Ye Jing said coldly, “It is all a pretense.”
Then she turned to Xiaofang, “Xiaofang, what do you think?”
Xiaofang walked away but just before he left, he said in a low voice. “I know that I’ve no right to say anything but lying to get what your objectives, I don’t like it.”
As he left, Fan Yuqing stared at his back as she muttered almost incoherently. “In this world, if you don’t lie to the others, others will lie to you. It is only the strongest that need not lie.”
Ye Jing was silent when she saw Xiaofang leaving. There was a painful heartache in her when she had heard his comments. It was because in the past, she was the same as him…
Fan Yuqing asked, “So what do you propose to do with this plan of ours?”
Ye Jing said matter of fact, “Naturally I will let the two young masters fight over you. The loser will get nothing while the victor will get you as a trophy. It is as simple as that.”
Fan Yuqing said, “Oh.” But there was a glitter in her eyes as she said silently. “If only it is as simple as that.”
Ye Jing avoided looking at her but she was also thinking, “There must be a loophole somewhere. Saintess Fan Yuqing…should I say you are actually Saintess Fan Yuqin the Golden Mask Devil Goddess. You are infamous for playing the hearts of men and women. Now you are back to your old tricks of pulling your scheme on me. Don’t you know that I am already kind enough not to expose your identity? But if you want to fall into the abyss again then it has nothing to do with me at all!”