Halfway up the mountain behind the ancestral residence was a funeral hall. Constructed in the col was the place that the Chen Family ancestors were enshrined.
Early in the morning, Chen Mo roused from his Nose Locking Art training, then practiced the Bagua inside his room. His qi and blood was continuous, his breath remote. The One Qi Ring made his Essence Flower Realm already near perfection, and having spent a long time naturally cultivating the Nose Locking Art, his Qi Flower was already slowly starting to enter the next threshold.
Changluo’s metropolitan examination was no more than three days. Chen Mo was very confident he could reach Qi Flower Realm.
A whinny came from outside the door.
Chen Mo saw that Chen Qing had come, and he pushed the gate open and walked out. Chen Qing sat on a tall, white horse. The youth was immaculately yet elegantly dressed, and his seemingly indistinct wisp of Essence Qi in particular gave him an even steadier appearance. Chen Mo narrowed his eyes, knowing that this so-called cousin in front of him harbored evil intentions without revealing anything outwardly. However, Chen Mo basically did not treat him as a worthy opponent right now.
“Brother Chen Mo.” Chen Qing dismounted, his expression somewhat panic-stricken.
“Something happened at him. I must return immediately, so I’m afraid that Brother Chen Mo will have to go worship our ancestors first. I will come as soon as the issue is resolved.” Chen Qing said as he handed the white horse’s reins to Chen Mo, as if this was already agreed to, his expression confident: “This is Brother Chen Mo’s first time you’ve returned to Changluo. Please do not be neglectful at all with worshipping our ancestors.”
“En.” Chen Mo thought, still taking the reins. Although he felt that Chen Mo appeared sneaky, what he said was actually correct. This was his first time back in Changluo. Logically, he should first pay respects to his ancestors.
“Something happened to your family, go on for now then. I know what to do myself.” Chen Mo said.
“I will return at once.” After Chen Qing said this, he mounted another steed and quickly sped back.
“I actually want to see what kind of trick you’re playing.” Chen Mo said self-confidently. He straddled the horse, tugged the reins and ventured towards the back mountain. Treading the clear morning dew, the mountain forest’s vegetation was fragrant, relaxing his spirits.
Entering the back mountain, it was completely deserted.
In the funeral hall, Chen Mo paid his respects. All of a sudden, a slightly sing-songy and boisterous voice came from faraway.
The ancient moon shines on the river flowing.
The water accompanies the ancient moon through and spring.
The remaining water reflects the dazzling ancient moon.
Blue waves deep enough to boat through.1
This voice was resonant, bearing a vaguely air-breaking strength. Just listening to this voice was ear-splitting enough. Evidently, the other party had high cultivation for just their voice to be able to make Chen Mo feel weak.
Chen Mo’s expression slightly changed. He followed the voice with his gaze, unable to spot the newcomer even while using Divine Hawk Eyesight.
The voice came from all around, as indeterminate as a ghost.
“Your Distinguished Self, who are you. Why not come out.” Chen Mo activated his Star Energy, secretly vigilant. He emitted a mouthful of True Qi, dispelling the ear-splitting song in his mind.
“To still be able to be so calm even under Your Servant’s song, you are a bit skilled.” The singing stopped, full of mockery and derision. At last, it was located atop a locust tree not far from Chen Mo.
There was a man wearing a green long robe whose facial features could not be said to be the most attractive, but his general features were neat and his eyes slender. He quietly sat on the tree, his face wearing an amused smile, a carefree expression.
With just a glance, Chen Mo’s heart had a kind of powerful premonition of danger. This man was unfathomable. It appeared he had cultivation that had undergone Thunder Tribulation, his expression exceedingly formidable.
“Your Servant is paying respects to his ancestors and wonders why you obstruct his way.” Chen Mo asked, neither servile nor overbearing.
“The son of Chen Zhangtian is indeed a bit bold. Good, very good.” The man curled into a bored grin: “That song just now was a word puzzle. If you can answer correctly, I shall inform you why Your Servant has wasted time in this place waiting for you.”
“The answer to that puzzle just now is ‘lake,’ right.”2 Chen Mo bluntly gave the correct answer.
The man was slightly taken aback. He narrowed his eyes: “You think quite quickly. I even thought you would need a moment.”
“Since Your Servant has already answered, would you explain?”
“Your Servant is Wen Yiliu.”3 Wen Yiliu softly snorted. He looked at Chen Mo with a very disdainful expression. Of course, he had sufficient reason to. As one of the prince’s Four Great Officials, he was surprisingly sent to take care of a brat who was not even Three Flowers Overhead. This honestly shamed his name. But the prince’s orders were absolute. Wen Yiliu had traveled through the night to arrive at Changluo, waiting at this road for the lamb that was Chen Zhangtian’s fourth son, Chen Mo, to fall into the lion’s den.
In Wen Yiliu’s eyes, he could kill Chen Mo with naught but a thought, even simpler than squeezing an ant to death. However, killing this brat in such a fashion was a bit uninteresting, so Wen Yiliu had the idea beforehand to sing a riddle.
“Senior Wen, have you business here? Your Servant has not offended you at all.” Chen Mo smiled and said.
“You do not even have the qualifications to offend me.” Wen Yiliu sneered, “But you offended other people.”
“It seems This Chen’s life is valuable enough, to surprisingly beckon a Thunder Tribulation cultivator to come take it.” Chen Mo was calm and composed.
“You know that I came to kill you, yet you are able to remain so calm. Are you looking down on me?” Wen Yilui’s eyes had an amused expression. This brat’s attitude was a bit arrogant. He did not mind making his death a bit unpleasant.
“I am not even Three Flowers Overhead. Senior is Thunder Tribulation cultivation. Naturally, I cannot escape this day, so I may as well be poised. To make a Thunder Tribulation cultivator show himself, Your Servant is satisfied.”
“This Wen does not bully the weak. I shall give you a chance to live.” Wen Yiliu said conceitedly. “Do you want it?”
“A bow on the left and right, a hundred hits out of a hundred shots. Your answer, please!”
“Bi, then.”4 Chen Mo very quickly guessed
“Very good.” Wen Yiliu nodded. “Your Servant shall attack you thrice. If you can escape, then today your life is spared. Otherwise, you had better have someone else pay their respects in your stead.” This man’s tone was very savage. Chen Mo fundamentally did not believe he had any good faith, but his opponent’s cultivation was honestly too high. The disparity was the difference between the sky and the earth. This could not be compared with the Three Flowers Overhead warriors from before. This was bad news even for a Heart Furnace Realm Star General.
Wen Yiliu finished speaking, his eyes like lightning. A ray of tangible intent enclosed Chen Mo. This intent was like a sword, directly slashing at his will, as if to sever awareness itself.
It was a mere touch, but Chen Mo felt his head burst with an intense headache.
This is bad, it’s Divine Intent.
The last flower of Three Flowers Gathered Overhead – the Spirit Flower cultivated one’s intent, to turn pure thought into the tangible. Against cultivators of any lower level, this kind of cultivator could kill their foe with a single thought alone. Furthermore, if a cultivator wanted to cultivate sword chants or control magic weapons in the future, they would need to use Divine Intent for the manipulation.
Wen Yiliu’s intent was as vast as the ocean, a wave crashing down. Chen Mo only felt his body in the middle of a boundless ocean, tidal waves endlessly striking and devouring him. Chen Mo activated a Soul Technique and circulated his Star Energy. A Star Crest flashed, and the billows suddenly became a starry sky. All of the pressure upon him vanished in an instant. With the Star General contracts present on him, a cultivator’s intent had no way to compare against the mind of a Star General, no matter how powerful the thought.
“Is this the first move?” Chen Mo took a deep breath.
How can this be?
Wen Yiliu was taken aback.
His First Layer Thunder Tribulation’s Divine Intent was surprisingly suppressed by a cultivator who was not even at Qi Flower?
If word got out about this, he would practically be a disgrace, and there would be no need to keep him among the Four Great Officials. Wen Yiliu was furious all of a sudden, “How arrogant you are.” The man waved his sleeve, raising a magic weapon, the Heart Piercing Dagger-axe.5
With a bright flash of golden light, it became a golden halberd that stabbed at Chen Mo’s chest.
A cultivator with Thunder Tribulation strength acted too quickly. Chen Mo basically did not have any time to think. His eyes were dazzled, and this magic weapon was right in front of his chest. An intense feeling of danger made him instantly respond by instinct. He blocked, taking out Northern Dipper.
The Heart Piercing Dagger-axe stuck against the Black Python Scale Armor. In the blink of an eye, the magic weapon’s golden light let out an intense brilliance, shredding this set of Black Python Scale Armor to bits, rendering it already a pile of scraps. In the next second, just as the light was about to run through Chen Mo’s heart, Northern Dipper fortunately averted it in time.
A metallic clang.
The Heart Piercing Dagger-axe’s golden light brightened before Chen Mo’s eyes, devouring him instantly.
Wen Yiliu sneered. This magic weapon of his, the Heart Piercing Dagger-axe, was specialized in taking the enemy’s heart. Few defensive magic weapons could defend against it. How strong was this brat. His magic weapon was Thunder Calamity level. Any Three Flowers warrior would undoubtedly be dead.
“To be killed by my magic weapon can be considered your good fortune.” Wen Yiliu leisurely gestured, recalling the magic weapon. All of a sudden, his expression changed, turning pale as a sheet.
The Heart Piercing Dagger-axe carved a dangerous arc as it flew back, stopping only when Wen Yiliu used his Divine Intent to control it.
He saw that a hole had been punched through the magic weapon in front of him, its spiritual power depleted.
“To be able to see a magic weapon and live, I am indeed very fortunate.”
Chen Mo once again appeared unscathed in front of Wen Yiliu. The latter was already completely flabbergasted. In all his life, he had never seen something so outrageous. A Qi Flower warrior was able to survive his magic weapon, and he was even able to repel the magic weapon.
“What is that weapon of yours? A Destined Star Weapon?” Wen Yiliu malevolently smiled, “Then for the third move, Your Servant shall see what other abilities you have.” The man shouted. Suddenly, green qi erupted, forming into an immense Greenstone Greatsword6 above his head.
An ability that matured Three Flowers Overhead warriors were able to learn. Warriors could possess Star Weapons, but to cast stars for them was too difficult. After reaching Greater and Lesser Thunder Tribulation levels, normal Four or Five Star Star Weapons were not very useful to them. They were far from comparison to Life-cast Sword Chants that had gone through training.
Sword chants could split one into two, two into three, and three into infinity. Even against powerful Star Generals, if a sword chant was practiced to its limit, they had a chance in a fight.
Generally speaking, sword chants had sword array abilities. A sword chant had numerous sword-eyes. Perhaps owing to face, Wen Yiliu only called forth one Greenstone Greatsword, but even this one was shrouded in green qi. Just its appearance made Chen Mo feel a formidable pressure, as if a giant grindstone was pushing on him.
Wen Yiliu moved his finger.
The Greenstone Greatsword turned into a green rainbow, plunging towards Chen Mo.
Chen Mo blocked it with Northern Dipper, catching the sword. However, the sword’s formidable sword-qi immediately dispelled the Divine Wind Barrier, revealing Northern Dipper’s true form.
“Fuck, what the hell is this weapon.” Seeing the shape of that staff, Wen Yiliu was startled. His Divine Intent moved, guiding the Greenstone Greatsword to slash. Each attack that landed on Northern Dipper let out enormous noise.
Several dozen cycles later, Chen Mo had completely warded off Wen Yiliu’s sword chant attack.
Seeing this was to no avail, Wen Yiliu flew into a rage out of humiliation. He was unexpectedly was toyed with by a Qi Flower warrior today, something unforgivable. “Brat, die!!”
Fifteen more green lights flew out from his Astral Stone, simultaneously emerging as fifteen Greenstone Greatswords. Following Wen Yiliu’s movements, the sixteen Greenstone Greatswords attacked Chen Mo.
Chen Mo lifted his head to look. He immediately saw the Greenstone Greatswords descend around him like pillars. Ray after ray of sword-light crisscrossed, as if to pierce through this mountaintop. In the end, the sixteen sword-lights formed an array, finally covering Chen Mo completely.
“If you can survive this, This Old Man will call you Grandpa.” Wen Yiliu was delighted.
But by the time the sword-lights stopped, he was slackjawed.
The sixteen enormous Greenstone Greatswords towered, but Chen Mo’s figure was already nowhere to be found.
- 古月照水水長流。水伴古月度春秋。留的水光耀古月，碧波深處可泛舟。 This is a famous word puzzle. ↩
- 湖. This is a puzzle based on the radical form of “water” (水 -> 氵) and the two words “ancient” (古) and “moon” (月). Put all three of these together, and you get “lake” ↩
- 溫一柳 ↩
- 弼. 弓 = bow. 百 = hundred. Unlike the puzzle earlier which could be described with a relevant noun, this word is a verb meaning “assist.” ↩
- 穿心戈 ↩
- 青石巨劍 ↩