Chapter 76: Qiuxiang Huan (1)
There were hundreds of eyes that were now upon Qin Keqin as Old Councilor You announced the crowning ceremony.
The crowning ceremony was actually a simple show of gesture and Qin Keqin did not have to do anything. All she needed to do was to stand next to Old Councilor You as he proclaimed to everyone that she would be crowned the top beauty of New Empyrean City.
“Today, we are honored to have Sect Leader Qin here. The ruling council has unanimously made a delightful decision to have her as New Empyrean City’s leading beauty…”
Lu Qingyun was thinking with an anxious look, “Keqin is now the top beauty in New Empyrean City…in the future, she may have a lot of admirers and suitors. I am really unworthy of her…moreover she is also a great saintess…”
The gap between them was extremely vast and Lu Qingyun felt inferior in many ways to her. He began to heave a soft sigh of melancholy to himself…
While he was feeling inferior and unworthy of Qin Keqin, he did not know that Lie Xingyuan, Ouyang Xue, Leng Qiuyue and Fairy Ling Xiu were all looking at him secretly at various points of time. To them, Lu Qingyun seemed to be someone who was going to shine in the future.
Fairy Ling Xiu had personally witnessing him killing a formidable fifth rank desolate monster and he had even saved her life. Although she was a fourth realm cultivator but it was difficult for her and her brother to defeat a fifth rank desolate monster single-handedly. But he had actually killed one on his own.
When she had told her father about it, he was in disbelief and shock as well.
“Even if he has a divine sword, it is useless in the hands of a lowly cultivator.” He had said.
Ever since that fateful day when he had rescued her, she had been thinking of him day in and night out…
As for Leng Qiuyue, although she appeared to be emotionless and cool to Lu Qingyun but her heart was filled with delightful warmth when he was around. It was just that she did not dare to look into his eyes lest she would not be able to control her emotions…
She was extremely grateful to him because he had given her a precious Triple Divine Essence Pill to treat her internal injuries during the experiential mission. Because of that, not only was her cultivation core not impaired by her serious internal injuries but she had also secretly advanced to the fourth realm immortal celestial level.
“Why did he give me the Triple Divine Essence Pill? Doesn’t he know how precious it is? Don’t tell me that he likes me as well..”
Ouyang Xue had also advanced to the fourth realm immortal celestial level after gaining access to the cultivation library of the Crystal Cloud Spirit Hall. She could be considered a monstrous genius as she was only 19 this year.
But her breakthrough to the fourth realm was mostly accomplished because she had wanted to forget about Lu Qingyun and also because she was forced to gain the respect of the protégés of the Crystal Cloud Spirit Hall that she was leading. Therefore she had spent almost all her time on her cultivation.
But, no matter how hard she had tried, she could not forget about this man that had once rejected her…
These were the hidden thoughts that were from Fairy Ling Xiu, Leng Qiuyue and Ouyang Xue.
As for Lie Xingyuan, she was the closest to Lu Qingyun and was aware that he had only Qin Keqin in his heart. Therefore she did not really have any wistful thoughts. Moreover one day she would leave the Heavens Ridge Villa and there was no chance for her to be with him.
And she knew Qin Keqin’s secrets all too well…
She thought, “It may be many centuries later that I will be able to cultivate to a saintess. Only when I am saintess can I hope to be the Devil Goddess’ match. Senior brother, I hope that by then you will be well…”
Old Councilor You was heard exclaiming, “So let us welcome Sect Leader Qin into the ranking of the top twenty beauties of New Empyrean City…”
All of a sudden there was an interruption by a beautiful dressed maiden, “Hold! I think that isn’t quite appropriate, am I right to do say so?”
There were few in the hall that could recognize who this beautiful dressed maiden was but many of the beautiful maidens were now smiling. It was because they had all wanted Qin Keqin to fumble and could not wait to see her in all kinds of ugly situation.
And of course, the most delightful maiden was Qiuxiang Huan. It was because the beautiful maiden that had just spoken was her hired black hand. But of course, this beautiful maiden did not know she was actually the mastermind. She was crafty enough to conceal her own tracks.
In the eyes of the public, she was always the most beautiful and apolitical innocent damsel while she pulled the strings from behind.
Old Councilor You had a furious frown on his countenance. He knew what this maiden and what the other maidens were thinking. That they were envious that Qin Keqin had won the top beauty position, had long reached his ears.
The smiles that were on Qin Keqin had suddenly faded away and she was startled that there was actually out to ruin her happy occasion in front of Lu Qingyun…
This beautiful dressed maiden chuckled as she swept her glances around, “Do all of you agree with me?”
To her surprise, there were few supporters who were actually nodding.
It was because most of the maidens that were presented were not foolish to express their displeasure with Qin Keqin in public. After all, this Qin Keqin was a sect leader of one of the four powerhouses in New Empyrean and she had just defeated Supremacy Wen recently.
This beautiful maiden was expecting claps of applauds from the crowd but there were mute silence. In fact, many of the men in the crowd were showing great displeasure at this interruption for this new goddess of their hearts. And the unhappiest was of course Lu Qingyun.
Qiuxiang Huan was humming quietly to herself. This was also not the reaction that she had been expecting too. It was because she had never expected this Qin Keqin to be so peerless in her looks. She had of course heard rumors that Qin Keqin was astonishing beautiful but that was only a rumor; it was quite difficult for an ordinary protégé in the Heavens Ridge Villa to catch a glimpse of her and moreover she had heard that she was almost never in the Heavens Ridge Villa.
Old Councilor You said solemnly, “Quickly back off before it gets too unsightly.”
This beautiful dressed maiden was not backing off. Since she had already spoken, she was not going to let this matter rest easily. After all, she was a known shrewd so she coldly said. “All the beauties in the top twenty ranking have a considerable good background and are the leading ladies of New Empyrean City.”
She waved her hand and said, “Have all of you forgotten the previous beauty that had fallen from grace because of her scandal? And now we have a scandalous beauty here that is here to replace her? Isn’t this something that is extremely ridiculous? If Councilor You did not give us a good explanation, not only will I not be convinced but the others here are not convinced at all!”
This time, there were more people that were nodding…
Old Councilor You said angrily, “What scandalous beauty? Be mindful of your words!”
This beautiful dressed maiden mocked coldly, “Since Councilor You wants me to say it out loud then I shouldn’t decline your kind offer. There are rumors that Sect Leader Qin Keqin and the Old Patriarch Wen are…”
She had purposely let her words lingered in mid-air for the imaginations of the people to fire up.
Qiuxiang Huan was smiling to herself, “This maiden isn’t a complete idiot. In this way, she can even protect herself because they can’t accuse her of smearing later. But this shrewd isn’t too smart to realize that that a hole has already been dug for herself.”
Then she was looking quietly at Qin Keqin, “So how are you going to get out of this? My soon-to-be disgraced Sect Leader Qin…”
Qin Keqin was trembling slightly and there were flashes of anger in her eyes…
Even Lu Qingyun was clenching his fists. It was because he knew that nothing had happened between Qin Keqin and Old Saint Wen…
Leng Qiuyue and Ouyang Xue were seething with anger. Their sect leader had sacrificed herself for the Heavens Ridge Villa. Even if that is the truth, they could not allow their sect leader to be humiliated by anyone. They were just feeling strange that there had been no news from Old Saint Wen and for the past several days, the entire Heavens Ridge Villa was actually in high state of alert as they had fear that Old Saint Wen might have attacked them all of a sudden to repay the humiliating insult.
But it was like, Old Saint Wen had suddenly disappeared and even the Solitary Manor had suddenly gone very quiet after a day or two of unrest.
“Shut up!” It was Lu Qingyun and he could not suppress his anger anymore.
Qin Keqin was startled. It was because she had never seen him so angry before. But she was also secretly pleased, “He is defending my honor?”
She had quietly withdrawn her fingers to her back. In just a split second later, she would have flashed to the maiden that had just humiliated her and would have given her a few slaps.
There would be no one that could stop her from doing so. She did not mind losing her grace because she had no real attachments to New Empyrean City and moreover she was the vengeful Devil Goddess that never forgives a slight…
“Oh? Heh! What did you just say?” The beautiful dressed maiden mocked coldly.
Lu Qingyun returned a cold gaze, “What you have heard is just a rumor so you shouldn’t be spreading rumors without any proof.”
“Hey! This is a rumor that everyone in New Empyrean knows about. Rather, you should be the one showing me the proof that the rumor is falsified!”
Although Lu Qingyun had a burst of outrage but he had not completely lost his cool-headedness.
He replied coldly, “You may not know this but Old Saint Wen and my sect leader are actually old friends.”
The beautiful dressed maiden laughed, “Of course they are old friends. After what had happened…”
All of a sudden Lu Qingyun had flashed in front of the beautiful dressed maiden and had given her a tight slap on her cheek, causing her to fall onto the floor in stunned silence…
This beautiful maiden was stammering, “You…dare to slap a lady…are you still a man…you’re a bully…”
Not only was she stunned, but Qin Keqin, Leng Qiuyue, Ouyang Xue, Fairy Ling Xiu and many others were all gasping with shock.
Lu Qingyun replied coldly, “I am not a gentleman. I’m just a lowly good-for-nothing cultivator that is also my sect leader’s disciple. Her honor is mine as well. Therefore before you insult her, please think again.”
All of a sudden there were a few claps from a beautiful dressed maiden with a half-mask as she quietly walked forward.
Although she was only wearing a half-mask that veiled her upper face, her lips and chin were extremely refined and it was not hard to recognize her as the renowned beauty Qiuxiang Huan.
“Maiden Qiuxiang Huan has also stepped forward?”
“I’ve heard that she is a formidable fourth realm cultivator as well…”
“She is the successor to the Clear Sky Pavilion, so what do you think?”
Many of the beautiful maidens were all smiling wryly. It seemed that there may soon be a catfight very soon…
Qiuxiang Huan smiled as she said in a low voice to Lu Qingyun, “Did you just slap her?”
It was now time for her Plan C. Plan B was unworkable now because the situation had suddenly changed and Plan C was a plan that she had just come out with and it was crucial that she would be involved herself.
She lifted a slow hand to the beautiful dressed maiden, “It is a little awkward for a beautiful maiden to be lying on the ground in such a state. Come, let me assist you up…”
Lu Qingyun felt a little awkward now after he was rebuked lightly by this gentle maiden who had just come forward. In normal circumstances, he would never have slapped someone in this manner, especially someone who was weaker than him. He would never have used force to bully anyone but this was an impulsive act because he was really infuriated that Qin Keqin’s honor was being insulted upon.
There was now soft mutterings by the maidens in the hall, “He is not only a good-for-nothing cultivator but he is also a good-for-nothing man that uses force against a weaker sex…”