Tang Yunshen did not know how long he had been running. The sound of the wind behind him seemed to carry Chen Mo’s scent, and he did not dare stop for even a second. A long time afterwards, only when there were no sounds in the surroundings did he finally stop.
Tang Yunshen’s essence, qi, and spirit were flowing smoothly. Then, the Black Turtle Seven Changes’ aftereffects flared up. He stopped his cultivation and promptly took out a bottle of medicine, ingested some pills, and sat cross legged in meditation.
True Qi flowed throughout his body, moistening his meridians like a spring rain.
A while afterwards, Tang Yunshen finally rested when two flowers appeared over his head.
“Bastard! Bastard! Chen Mo!! I will definitely kill you and leave you without an intact corpse.” His cultivation had dropped instantly from Fourth Layer Thunder Tribulation to Qi Flower Realm.1 Tang Yunshen raged to the point black smoke poured out from him. He smashed a fist against a nearby tree.
A big hole was punched through the large tree. Normally, he could arbitrarily punch and be able to disintegrate this hundred year old tree in a single strike.
Tang Yunshen cursed. A gloomy qi swirled about in his heart, difficult to shake off.
Tang Yunshen, thirteenth prince of the imperial family. He was given every kind of spirit medicine from the moment he was conceived in his mother’s womb up until the moment of his birth, where thereupon she lost her life. In the imperial family, other than the empress and favored concubines, the other concubines all had this kind of status. Each and every pregnancy would be given all kinds of natural medicines to establish a cultivation foundation. By doing so, the princes who were born could have Qi-blood Nine Turns while in the womb. After being born, they could form the Essence Flower before age three.
The imperial family did not have any geniuses, only strong people who risked everything.
Tang Yunshen, who did not receive a mother’s affection, trained bitterly, all for the sake of receiving his father’s love. He finally stood above the rest of his father’s several dozen sons, catching Emperor Tang’s eye when he reached Qi Flower Realm at seven years of age.
But Emperor Tang’s fatherly love consisted only of cultivation and even harsher training.
As a result, Tang Yunshen entered the strongest Azure Dragon Imperial Guard of the Four Great Imperial Guards and stayed there for a decade. He trained and trained all year round. Tang Yunshen never slacked off in the slightest, and the fatherly love he once wished to earn was already repressed into the will to become the strongest. Among warriors of his age group, Tang Yunshen believed himself the most powerful.
But today, he was unexpectedly defeated.
If he had lost to Jiang Yanyu, that would actually have been acceptable. Tang Yunshen had heard that this woman obtained the recognition of the Inner Star Field. Her strength was unfathomable with no way to reckon it. But that Chen Mo was considered something else. Ten years ago, when he received the reverence of the Azure Dragon Imperial Guard, that guy was nothing more than a cripple who received every kind of ridicule. He surprisingly lost to this kind of person.
An unreconciled mood stuffed his chest. Tang Yunshen breathed deeply and activated a soul technique. “I absolutely cannot let him pass. I have to make him taste retribution.” A cold glint flashed past Tang Yunshen’s eyes. He raised his head to see through the foliage and see the sky. Time was running short; it was close to sunset.
Although he was only Qi Flower Realm, Tang Yunshen was very self-confident that he could pass. He made another plan to enter the Seven Treasures Pagoda. Tang Yunshen knew it was impossible to kill Chen Mo now. That man was far more formidable than he had imagined, for what he cultivated was unexpectedly Star Energy. Tang Yunshen wondered if perhaps he was like Jiang Yanyu and received the favor of the Inner Star Fields.
However, Tang Yunshen had other methods. He knew that Chen Mo had one very big weakness – sentimentality.
When the two groups of warriors surrounded and attacked Chen Mo before, he knew about the black-clothed woman who Chen Mo took advantage of.
Tang Yunshen’s eyes turned about. He had an idea.
Tang Yunshen would capture that woman and blackmail Chen Mo into not passing before he reached the pagoda, otherwise, Tang Yunshen would kill her. If he actually refused, that did not matter. Tang Yunshen could at least shake him. The two of them seemed to be very close anyways, and he did not mind inflicting pain on Chen Mo. Tang Yunshen was not afraid of Chen Mo taking revenge. After killing that woman, he would immediately enter the pagoda. Even with skills as great as the heavens, Chen Mo would not dare pursue. Of course, if Chen Mo actually was soft enough to agree, Tang Yunshen would kill her at the very last moment and then enter the pagoda anyways. Regardless of what he thought, Tang Yunshen felt this was an absolutely helpful plan. Only with this method could he calm the failure in his heart.
Thinking of this, Tang Yunshen immediately set to work.
Qing Wan found herself to be a bit absentminded. Her mind was filled with the scene of Chen Mo kissing her. Qing Wan shook her head and dispelled these thoughts. That man only did so because he wanted to seize the chance to humiliate her.
Qing Wan noticed that her steps somehow resembled the Bagua ever so slightly, and the movements of her hands seemed vaguely like the Bagua Punches that Chen Mo struck.
The girl was extremely talented. However, because of the limitations of her family, her cultivation was a mere Qi Flower Early Stage. With Chen Mo’s pointers, Qing Wan had somewhat of an epiphany. She also had the fortune to have engaged Chen Mo in a life and death battle before, personally experiencing the might of the Bagua. Now, she surprisingly somehow had comprehension of the Bagua.2
Qing Wan spied a piece of tridacna in the underbrush. Tridacna was similar to a shell, worth only one point among the Buddhist Seven Treasures, but it was the most difficult to find.
Just as she bent over to pick it up, a foehn wind suddenly gusted from the ground, transforming into a claw that scratched at her chest.
Qing Wan used the Green Snake Body Techniques to coil, her body swaying at an inconceivable angle, but the claw-wind was too fast, still tearing apart the clothes on her chest. Gashes dripping with blood appeared.
As she turned around, a figure suddenly rushed out like a hawk divebombing for the kill.
A punch-intent that rend the wind immediately bubbled forth. If it was before, Qing Wan would fundamentally have had no way to defend, but she just had comprehension of the Bagua. She acted on instinct, leaping aside like a rabbit dodging the hawk. Her legs carved the ground beneath her, and she swung.
Her punch was like a cannon.
The faintest shadow of Li Center Empty.
The opponent did not anticipate this. When his grab failed, he was struck by the punch, pushed backwards several dozen steps.
“You are His Highness the Prince?” Qing Wan was taken aback, for she recognized these clothes as the beautiful long robe of the imperial family.
Tang Yunshen’s heart was full of disdain. Really, to hell with this. He was unable to even take down a Qi Flower Early Stage warrior. “It is good that you know My identity. I need you to do something for Me.”
“Forgive Your Servant for not complying.” Qing Wan took several steps back.
“An insect dares to resist.” Tang Yunshen sneered. He leapt forth. Although he was only Qi Flower Stage in strength, he had ample experience and punch-intent. Seizing Qing Wan was as easy as turning over his hand.
He grabbed the girl’s shoulder, his fingers stabbing like knives to the bone. Qing Wan grit her teeth and attacked with the Green Snake Punch. Tang Yunshen caught the attack and was about to rip Qing Wan’s arm off to subdue her.
All of a sudden, there were several whooshes from the forest.
The falling leaves were penetrated.
Three arrows flew out at the same time, like three golden eagles, their killing intent overflowing the heavens and rolling tens of thousands of leaves in their wake, extremely breathtaking. If he had Thunder Tribulation strength, Tang Yunshen could seize these ridiculous arrows with naught but a single thought, but right now, he was only Qi Flower Realm. He did not dare be careless and used a Cloud Dragon Searching Claw.
The three arrows were splintered by the claw.
The fluttering trees and leaves were suddenly disintegrated. Before Tang Yunshen could breathe, he lifted his head to see a thick downpour of rain descending upon him, like a swarm of locusts.
Locust Repeating Crossbow!
Tang Yunshen recognized this weapon, but to be able to fire the Locust Repeating Crossbow with such proficiency, he feared the opponent was an expert.
A tiger will be bullied by a dog on a treeless plain!
These Three Flowers warriors dared to be impudent before him. Tang Yunshen sneered and used a claw attack. Meanwhile, Qing Wan seized her chance, striking with Kan Center Full. Her arms flowed like water and broke free of Tang Yunshen’s vicegrip on her bones. The man did not expect this and was too late to react. Qing Wan was one with her technique, seemingly becoming a green serpent that launched herself away.
Although Qing Wan did not train in martial intent, her best martial arts were her mimicry martial arts that were brought to the point of perfection. She used this technique with all her might, doing everything she could to fight.
Her Green Snake slammed into Tang Yunshen. Although the man’s cultivation was debilitated, his body itself had already undergone the tempering of Lesser Thunder Tribulation. Even if she was any stronger, Qing Wan could not possibly hurt him. His body merely rocked ever so slightly.
In that brief moment he sway, a bow and crossbow fired at the same time.
Tang Yunshen was struck in succession by a series of arrows. His heart was infuriated to the extreme. A man and woman scuttled out from the forest. One held a bow, the other a crossbow. Tang Yunshen moved his hand, and an Azure Dragon Shredding Wind Claw slashed towards the girl holding the crossbow.
The Locust Repeating Crossbow was broken, and the girl tumbled to the ground.
The man, on the other hand, was as immovable as a mountain. He once again pulled back on the bow and fired an arrow. Each arrow was like a roc or an eagle, his killing intent overbearing.
Tang Yunshen’s hand once again grabbed hold of Qing Wan. Before he could knock this woman out, another warrior suddenly attacked him. This young man’s arms were spread open; an intense wind seemed to twist, and his breathing was sharp, like a roc spreading its wings.
Tang Yunshen was enveloped by a foehn wind, and his body was immediately immobilized.
The man’s eyes were astonished.
The other side was already slashing at him, directly breaking open his chest. Tang Yunshen was too late to think of anything other than activating his Divine Intent to summon his Flying Swords, but he was completely drained of magic energy right now. There was basically no way to use it.
His chest stung with the pain. That warrior’s claws stabbed deep into his organs.
Tang Yunshen was tough to the extreme. His body shook under the circumstances, and he attacked with another Azure Dragon Shredding Wind Claw. A slightly weak punch-intent knocked his enemy flying.
But it was very obvious that his foe was prepared this time.
When he flew back, arrows were fired at the same time. One of these arrows flowed with True Qi, becoming a golden eagle’s talon. Shockingly, this was a True Treasure.
Tang Yunshen screamed as he was run through by the arrow, which knocked him down onto the ground.
“You people must know who I am…” Tang Yunshen’s appearance was miserable. His hair was disheveled, and his figure resembled a beggar.
“I am Zongzheng Ying, and the one I am killing right now is you, Thirteenth Imperial Highness!”
The repelled young man brought out a Three Star Golden Eagle Great Ring Saber. The moment he finished speaking, he swung the blade downwards.
Tang Yunshen’s eyes widened, and his mind blanked. The saber-qi pierced through his body, grinding his organs to pieces, disintegrating his meridians.
The chill of death covered his whole body. Scene after scene from the past flashed through his mind.
“I cultivated qi at seven, reached Three Flowers Gathered Overhead at ten, became a Saint of War at twelve, cultivated martial intent at fifteen, broke through Second Layer Thunder Tribulation at eighteen, and attained Black Turtle Five Changes. I am a peerless talent that everyone acknowledges…”
Tang Yunshen vomited blood, his speech incredulous, as if he did not dare believe his martial path would surprisingly end here. The moment he uttered the word “acknowledges,” the man fell over, his breathing stopped.
Qing Wan stared at Tang Yunshen’s corpse, her eyes full of complicated feelings. She covered her wounds and looked at the two men and woman.
Those who dared to kill the prince in this place now announced their identities.
The three of them identified themselves.
“We are all His Highness’ people. This Tang Yunshen is a scourge who must not be allowed to remain.” Zongzheng Ying coldly said.
“This Tang Yunshen was so formidable. He bore so many serious wounds despite being only Qi Flower cultivation. He actually nearly killed us instead.” Xi Wen still had some lingering fear.
In this extermination, the group had all sustained varying injuries. If Tang Yunshen was just a bit stronger, they would have been dead. However, this battle against the genius warrior of the Azure Dragon Imperial Guard proved an enormous boon to their martial arts prowess.
The more intense the battle, the more fierce and abundant their Qi-blood, the stronger their martial arts, and the more concentrated their martial intent.
“Did Chen Mo send you to protect me?” Qing Wan said.
“No, we were secretly tailing His Highness all along, and we searched for traces of Tang Yunshen. However, he actually wanted to use you to catch His Highness.” Xi Wen forced a smile.
They were unable to intervene in the battle before between Tang Yunshen and Chen Mo. They could only keep several kilometers away.
When they saw Tang Yunshen flee under the Black Turtle Seven Changes, they knew that they had an opportunity and pursued it.
“Use me, as if Chen Mo would care about me.” Qing Wan quietly said.
Xi Wen smiled: “His Highness is much more gentle than you think.”
Qing Wan was silent.
“Little Sister, enough chit-chat. The first round of the court examination is about to end. Let’s quickly go help His Highness.” Xi Wu said.
“And what about him?” Qing Wan looked at Tang Yunshen’s body. Although death and injury were part of the court examination, he was the most valued prince of the imperial family. The emperor would certainly be furious.
“Destroy the body, leave no traces!” Zongzheng Ying spat out these words.3
- Holy shit, this is a steep price to pay. ↩
- This is what, in my opinion, cements Qing Wan as a true genius. Chen Mo has cheats in the form of otherworldly knowledge, a Star General hanging on his shoulder, and an assortment of OP abilities that let him learn fast. Qing Wan has only her intuition, and while her family has assets, they pale in comparison to the Chen Family’s. ↩
- Damn, Zongzheng Ying is savage. ↩