Chapter 160: The Third Trial (1)
Lu Qingyun quietly waited to see where Yue Lingxi was going before he made a mental note to avoid where she was going.
Leng Qiuyue whispered, “Senior brother, you seem to be really afraid of that maiden earlier. I wonder why.”
She was not the only one who noticed that Lu Qingyun was watching her warily. Qian Jingjing and Ling Xiu had also noticed that his hand was on his sword when she was near.
Ling Xiu said, “I’ve heard that she is Yue Lingling, Qiuxiang Huan’s new Celestial Teacher. She is also an elder of the Clear Sky Pavilion.”
Qian Jingjing smiled, “What is so frightening about her? She is only at most a fourth realm cultivator. We are all almost the same cultivation level, am I right? Moreover none of us here can use any of our secret weapons. Brother Qingyun, am I right to say so? You don’t have to be afraid of her. I can help you to deal with her.”
Leng Qiuyue looked at her with a wryly smile, “For once, I have to agree with you.”
Lu Qingyun sighed softly before he said in a low voice, “Do you not think that it is a little strange that she is Qiuxiang Huan’s Celestial Teacher? Qiuxiang Huan herself is an upper fourth realm expert. If she wants the guidance of a Celestial Teacher, she will surely look for someone who has the higher realm than her. Don’t you think so?”
Leng Qiuyue, Qian Jingjing and Ling Xiu were suddenly startled by Lu Qingyun’s reply. It was because they did not really think too far ahead. But when Lu Qingyun had said so, suddenly it had started to make sense to them.
He lowered his head to whisper, “This Yue Lingling is actually a high level cultivator and I’m sure that she is cheating or else she will not be qualified to enter this tournament.”
Qian Jingjing gasped, “She is a cheater!”
Even Ling Xiu was covering her mouth as she gasped, “How are we going to beat her if we chance into her?”
Lu Qingyun smiled bitterly, “That is why we have to avoid her or we will surely perish under her sword.”
Qian Jingjing suggested with a hopeful look on Lu Qingyun, “Maybe we can ambush her? I don’t believe that the four of us can’t handle her?”
“It is better than we try to avoid her as much as possible or we will be digging our own graves.” Lu Qingyun replied her.
“Hehe. It is only a suggestion.” Qian Jingjing said sheepishly.
Lu Qingyun took a step forward before he called out to them, “Come. We should hurry now.”
Almost two thousands cultivators had entered through the portals by now and there were some four hundred cultivators that were still undecided.
Unknown to everyone, Lu Qingyun had the ability to remember exactly how many cultivators had entered through each of the portal due to his alchemy training which required him to differentiate the herbs into their age with uncanny precision.
Therefore the portal that he was going to pick was the one that had the least number of cultivators and also the one with the weaker cultivators.
Although he was unable to tell their cultivation realms with such a look but his eyes were extremely sharp; he was able to judge how skillful they were by the way they were handling their swords. A skillful opponent was actually much more dangerous than a higher realm cultivator.
Except for Yue Lingxi, most of the higher realm cultivators were actually on par with him. Therefore he was not particularly worried about them having a higher superior realm level than him. He was more concerned if they were actually more skillful than what he could handle.
Leng Qiuyue, Ling Xiu and Qian Jingjing began to follow him into a yellow portal.
They soon emerged from the other side and saw that they seemed to be in an open space building with several opening all around them.
A cultivator was startled when he saw them emerging from the portal but he soon calmed down with a wryly smile as he said to them, “If you think that you have four of you here and have an advantage over me then you are wrong.”
He proceeded to point at the red circle that was around the portal, “While I am inside this red circle, I am perfectly safe. You won’t be able to muster your profound strength to hurt me.”
Lu Qingyun and the rest knew that he was not lying because they could not muster any strength while in the red circle.
This red circle covered almost the entire floor of the building so it was impossible for a cultivator that had attained the sword energy level to strike them down with sword energies from the outside as long as they stay close to the yellow portal.
That was the reason why this cultivator was still staying near the portal and was unafraid of them.
Lu Qingyun heaved a soft sigh of relief. He was glad that there was something like this. It was because he was a little afraid that they may be ambushed by the other cultivators as soon as they had stepped out of the portal.
The cultivator smiled as he saw that that the maidens that were in Lu Qingyun’s group were all so beautiful. He could resist introducing himself, “I am Jia Youpeng, core protégé of the Black Sword Divine Sect. You must be Lu Qingyun.”
Lu Qingyun returned a polite greeting, “Indeed I am. “
Jia Youpeng knew Lu Qingyun was even before this chance meeting. There were few cultivators that did not know who he was. He was the talking point among the cultivators and moreover he was also among the cultivators that were mocking him earlier for his suggestion.
The aim of his introduction was just to get the maidens to introduce themselves and to leave upon them a good impression of himself.
But to his surprise, all the other three maidens did not bother to introduce themselves and they were all looking with great loftiness at him.
“Don’t tell me that they are all this womanizing Lu Qingyun’s women?” Jia Youpeng thought. After all, he had seen them all in Lu Qingyun’s embrace earlier.
Jia Youpeng gave them a polite hand bow as he said, “I shall make my move first…” He was too awkward to stay much longer.
With that, he had dashed for one of the openings in the building.
Lu Qingyun smiled awkwardly as he looked at the three maidens, “I think that he is a friendly person. Why didn’t you introduce yourself?”
Leng Qiuyue protested softly, “Senior brother, you know me. I don’t like to talk to strangers.”
Ling Xiu replied gently, “I am too shy to reply.”
“Is he talking to me?” Qian Jingjing hummed coldly.
Lu Qingyun: …
“It is better to have one more friend than one more enemy. Alas, Never mind. Let’s go.” Lu Qingyun said weakly.
“Senior brother, it is better to be more wary of the intentions of strangers than to trust them. You will never know how vicious their venomous hearts are.” Leng Qiuyue said quietly.
Ling Xiu, Qian Jingjing: …
Qian Jingjing tugged Lu Qingyun’s sleeves and said, “You can’t trust your junior sisters nowadays as well. There are many stories of junior sisters betraying their senior brothers. Trust me, I have seen too many of such dramas.”
Leng Qiuyue: …
Ling Xiu looked shyly at Lu Qingyun, “Brother Qingyun, your Sister Ling Xiu is your sworn sister. I’ll never betray you.”
Lu Qingyun said weakly as he looked at them, “Let take that entrance over there. It seems safe enough.”
All the maidens nodded and began to follow him.
As soon as Lu Qingyun stepped out of the building, he saw that they were indeed in an underground city. There were street lights but the place was mostly covered in darkness.
All of a sudden Qian Jingjing had leapt to the second storey of a building as she suddenly displayed the Rippling Three Heavens Spirit Sword, sending three sword energies shockwaves into the building.
There was loud screams from inside the building.
When Qian Jingjing had landed on the ground, there were two faint blue rings around her right wrist.
She was immediately delighted, “I guess that I have got two contribution points?”
Lu Qingyun and the others were startled as they all said at the same time, “There is an ambush?”
Qian Jingjing chuckled, “Serve them right for trying to ambush me. I don’t think that they are fourth realm experts since they can’t even evade my sword technique and they can’t even conceal their killing intents.”
Then she looked at Lu Qingyun, “Brother Qingyun, so I just need to kill one more cultivator to complete the trial?”
Lu Qingyun frowned lightly, “Unless they attack us, we should not try to kill the other cultivators for contribution points. Let us just focus on finding the desolate beasts instead.”
Qian Jingjing looked a little sheepish, “Alright.”
Ling Xiu was a startled when she saw Qian Jingjing’s secret sword art. Among the group, her sword art was perhaps the strongest. The ease at which she could penetrate through the hiding places of the ambushers spoke volumes of her formidable sword art.
Leng Qiuyue had naturally seen her sword art before but seeing it again gave her an uneasy feeling. It was because she knew that her own sword arts could not compare to the sword arts of the Spirit Sword Manor. Although they were a ‘team’ but they were actually all competitors in the tournament. It was only a temporary alliance.
The group quietly moved along the shadows of the streets until they had suddenly spotted a large boar-like second rank desolate beast on the street.
Lu Qingyun blinked his eyes as he muttered with a look of surprise, “A second rank desolate beast? Is it too easy for two contribution points?!”
All the other maidens were also startled that there would actually be a weak second rank desolate beast for the third trial.
Was there a catch somewhere?
Right now, they did not believe that Shen Yufeng would actually make things so easy for the trial cultivators!
Even Lu Qingyun could not believe it as well.
So they continued to observe the desolate beast for a short while before Lu Qingyun said, “It is safe. Qiuyue, why don’t you make a killing blow at that desolate beast?”
Ling Xiu and Qian Jingjing both looked away, saying nothing.
“Alright senior brother, since you have said so.” Leng Qiuyue answered.
Leng Qiuyue immediately proceeded to swing her sword at the desolate beast. The desolate beast was completely taken by surprise by Leng Qiuyue who had flashed like a flying sparrow and was instant kill.
She turned around with a smile as she lifted her wrist which got two blue faint rings, “Look senior brother, I have two contribution points now.”
Lu Qingyun was in awe of her lightless movement skill. He smiled, “It seems that I must really work on my lightless movement skill.”
Even Ling Xiu and Qian Jingjing had to admit silently that Leng Qiuyue lightless movement skill was indeed better than them.
Lu Qingyun said quietly, “Weird. This trial seems a little easy?”
Leng Qiuyue nodded, “Senior brother, I have the same feeling too and it is an uneasy feeling.”
They continued to prowl the underground city quietly. There were sounds of sporadic fighting that had broken all around them and it was getting more and more frequent.
All of a sudden Lu Qingyun was startled by a revelation and he had quickly turned to his group to say, “Oh no! We have been tricked!”
Leng Qiuyue, Ling Xiu and Qian Jingjing were all looking curiously at Lu Qingyun. It was because they had no idea why he had said so.
Lu Qingyun explained with a dark look, “The desolate beasts are just a red herring to distract us. If I am not wrong, the desolate beasts are actually few in numbers. We are just lucky to find one. Have you wonder why the desolate beast that we have encountered is only a low level desolate beast? It is because it is to place us off guarded.”
Then he sighed deeply, “My original suggestion to the cultivators will never work because there are never enough of these desolate beasts in the first place. The real trial is to trick us into fighting against one another within a time limit.”
“How much time do we have now?” He asked casually.
“Slightly more than one hour.” Ling Xiu replied. She had been keeping track of the time.
Lu Qingyun muttered, “We have wasted plenty of time trying to move cautiously. In the end, we have only succeeded in wasting more time. Time is actually the key essence here.”
Ling Xiu nodded before she said quietly, “If all the cultivators remain holed up then no one will be able to get any contribution points too.”
Lu Qingyun had turned ashen immediately. “That is true.”
Qian Jingjing said weakly, “I am afraid that is not all. We still haven’t found the portal to the fourth trial yet. Even if we have three contribution points, we still have to find the portal. The only clue we got is that the portal is in the middle of the underground city. But look at this place. It is so dark and I can’t even tell which part of the underground city that we are at now.”
Lu Qingyun blinked his eyes as he looked at Qian Jingjing, “For someone that doesn’t have a sense of direction, you may have just pointed out something that we have not thought of yet.”
Qian Jingjing was delighted, “I am glad to be helpful! It pays to have a poor sense of direction sometimes!”
Ling Xiu and Leng Qiuyue almost flipped at her self-praises.
Lu Qingyun said all of a sudden, “I have a plan…”
On the viewing stage;
Shen Yufeng was laughing, “It seems that some of the cultivators are starting to figure out the real trial.”
Qin Keqin was muttering unhappily, “These maidens are too shameless by following my Yun’Er. Why did he have to let Leng Qiuyue to have two contribution points ahead of him? Yun’Er, wake up to your senses, these maidens are only making use of you.”
Shen Yufeng took a half-amused look at Qin Keqin because she was just talking to herself. But because they were sitting so near to each other, she could be heard quite clearly.
Even the other Heavenly Fragrance Heralds could hear her mutterings and they were all smiling weakly. It was too obvious to them that the Great Saintess Fan Yuqing was jealous.
Qin Keqin had purposed raised her voice to say, “This Qian Jingjing. Isn’t she from the Spirit Sword Manor? Why is she following my disciple? I wonder why she is so shameless?”
Grandmaster Gao Yishu of the Spirit Sword Manor had of course heard her. After all, Qin Keqin had purposely said it loud enough for him to hear.
Since Divine Mistress Jiu You of the Divine Nine Sect had already lost all her candidates, she was secretly glad that Grandmaster Gao Yishu was placed in an awkward situation. Therefore she decided to flame the fire by saying, “At least my own protégés have failed in the trial without any outside help. But someone’s protégé has been clearing the trial by riding on the others. What a joke. Totally shameless.”
Even Gao Yishu could not help cursing in his heart, “Qian Jingjing is throwing our clan’s face away!”
In the meantime many of the celestial powerhouses were shocked by the scene in the underground city. It was because many of their most talented cultivators were being killed one by one.
And the group that was killing the most number of cultivators was the Clear Sky Pavilion, stunning many of the celestials that were watching.
Everyone had thought that the Clear Sky Pavilion only had two fourth realm cultivators as representative and that the other two were only third realm experts. But it turned out that they were all fourth realm experts as evidenced by their profound animus that were surrounding them.
Even an old cultivator who was a peaked fourth realm expert from the Flying Dragon Sect was killed by Yue Lingling with just a sword stroke.
The Flying Dragon Sect was actually quite shameless to send an old cultivator to the tournament instead of giving the opportunity to a potential younger cultivator. However this was not against the rule. It was just that the Flying Dragon Sect did not want to lose and even a powerhouse like the Flying Dragon Sect would be hard pressed to find four young fourth realm cultivators to attend the tournament.
So when the Clear Sky Pavilion suddenly had four young looking cultivators who were all at the fourth realm level, it came at a surprise to the celestial clans that had looked down on the Clear Sky Pavilion as a second rate celestial clan.
“That Yue Lingling. She has already struck down three peaked fourth realm experts. This is too unbelievable…”
“How old is this Qiuxiang Hanyu?”
“I’ve heard that she is only thirteen…”
“Thirteen and she is already a fourth realm cultivator?! Is it even possible?”
“Isn’t that Shangguan Furong? She used to be from the Celestial Medical Hall until she was driven out by her father. She is actually a fourth realm expert?”
Grandmaster Shangguan Hantong was startled to see that the daughter that he had driven out was now a fourth realm expert. He himself was only a fourth realm cultivator. He was now grooming his only son who was a third realm cultivator into a fourth realm cultivator. But this journey was going to be an extremely long and difficult road.
He was astonished to see that Shangguan Furong was now a fourth realm cultivator. If he had known that she was a fourth realm cultivator, he would never have driven her out. Right now, all the candidates from the Celestial Medical Hall were all eliminated and none of them were a fourth realm cultivator.
Earlier when he had seen Shangguan Furong with the Clear Sky Pavilion, he had only scorn for her. But now he was secretly hoping to get her back to the Celestial Medical Hall. It was because third realm experts were too common whereas fourth realm experts were treasures!
The Three-Destinies-Old Man had suddenly rose up as he said excitingly, “Yue Lingling…Yue Lingxi…alas, I wonder if they are the same person? I can’t see her face…”
Xuan Danfeng kicked him and said unhappily, “So you are really here to look at a maiden.”
The Three-Destinies-Old Man growled softly, “What are you talking about? I am here to find my enemy and to save the Nine Celestial Fraternity.”
Xuan Danfeng hummed coldly, “Right. You mean you are here to save the Nine Celestial Fraternity from a pretty maiden.”
The Three-Destinies-Old Man muttered, “I think you are drunk. I am serious.”
“Weird. I am serious as well.” Xuan Danfeng stared coldly at him.
The Three-Destinies-Old Man: …