Author’s Note: hello everyone! Welcome to another chapter! I’m going on a Eurotrip this Friday, so I’m hurriedly making two chapters a day in order to make up for the time I might not be able to write ? I’m on the 27th chapter now! Woot!?
I’m most excited to visit Russia, as its architecture is just too splendid! I can’t wait! ???
Oh, and I also started posting this story on RRL! CLICK HERE ❤️
“You haven’t replied to me,” Taren said as his eyes bore into mine.
“Huh? About what?” I kept my eyes on the battlefield, and I was excited to see that it was Zixin who stepped proudly on the stage, his robe dancing as a wind flew past. He looked extremely well-prepared, and I was hoping he would use the [Wind Phoenix] skill I had created for him ever since I saw he had an aptitude for wind magic. He could also use skills of water and fire, but he preferred the wind since he could make his hair float for aesthetic purposes. Boys were so vain.
“Are you perhaps a royal of another country? With your unparalleled beauty, perhaps you come from the North?” Taren’s words went through one ear and passed through the other.
Zixin was battling against a brat from the Hua clan named Dijun. Dijun was at the peak of Nascent realm, and I realized he had the potential to break through to the Xian profound realm in any time. Zixin was still at the middle stages of Nascent realm, and he had a hurdle of 5 levels to go over if he wanted to defeat Dijun.
I bit my lip. There were 12 levels for each realm, and even one level difference between the other competitor was a vast gap in skills. Although I had made him learn how to efficiently control his spiritual energy, so as not to expend so much effort in just a simple technique, I wasn’t quite sure if this 5 level difference was a hurdle he could surpass. I thought my techniques for him would suffice, but with his opponent at Peak Nascent realm, I was having my doubts.
Maybe if he used [Dragon Dance], he would be able to win. It was a technique I had given to him after Seiran had been bored with eating and decided to be creative one day. He created the technique to showcase the power of the mighty dragon by a powerful illusion, and since Seiran himself was a dragon, he was able to capture its skill essence completely and impart it as a formation. It was of Jade grade, but its effects were more that of Legendary grade. Seiran was an intelligent creature, as he came from the line of ancient sacred beasts in Heaven, but nowadays his stomach controlled his brain more than I would normally allow. I wanted to slap his furry behind.
In Dewei’s previous competition, his opponent was at the middle stages of Nascent realm as well, so it was obvious who the winner would be. I just hoped Zixin would use my techniques well and incapacitate his opponent. Those were the techniques I had made up on a whim as I had my mock battles with the imps in the Netherworld. It was surely effective.
“Are you a runaway bride? You don’t want to marry the eldest son of the duke of some household in your country, so you escaped to here?” I tuned my ears and realized that Taren had not stopped his incessant chatter since the beginning.
“Uh, aren’t you going to watch the competition?” I asked grimly with my eyes still focused on the ring. Dijun had released his tiger aura, and I could see that it had caused Zixin to inevitably tremble.
“My questions are more important.”
“Could you shut up.”
“There’s only one way for you to make me.”
“Oh, I know what that one way is. I’ll kiss you later,” I lied.
Through the corner of my eyes, I saw that he had stiffened up as a red blush slowly suffused his whole face. So this thick-skinned person had the ability to be embarrassed as well? It was rather shocking.
“R-really?” He stammered. “I was…I was just kidding!”
“I know. That’s why I lied,” I said nonchalantly and he was instantly hit with gloom.
Zixin subdued the tiger aura with his own willpower, and he started to fly as if the winds were carrying him around the ring. Dijun started his skill, and lightening bolts flew from his palms, trying to strike the Zixin that had carefully evaded each one.
“A true man takes these bolts head on!” Dijun was angry as he spouted these words.
“Who would be stupid enough to not realize those bolts would kill him?” Zixin retorted. He gathered the winds and sent a cyclone to where Dijun was standing. Dijun instantly dissipated the winds by dispersing them with his bolts.
It was a stalemate for quite a long time. The audience’s boredom was immensely palpable. However, the prominent Hua clan could not lose face right now, or they would be definitely kicked out of the top 5. They had to win or they wouldn’t be able to walk with dignity anymore. In the end, pride was all that mattered to them.
“Impossible!” Dijun screamed as his flaming tiger had been slashed to minute pieces by the [Wind Phoenix] skill that Zixin used. Dijun already looked well spent, his legs wobbling to stand up. Because his spiritual energy was circulated haphazardly, his energy expenditures were significant every time a skill was used. In contrast, Zixin had circulated his spiritual energy through his meridians evenly, leaving no fenestrations.
Zixin was standing serenely in the rink, his breathing even and paced. At times, he would secretly attack the weak points of Dijun’s circulated energy, rendering him even more frazzled. Everyone could see the significant difference between these two, and it was as clear as day that Zixin’s level of skill mastery was on a completely higher level than that of Dijun’s.
The announcer Ping did not want to proclaim the winner so fast, as it was obvious he still held the commoner’s Moonlight Sect as one unworthy of winning, but these blatant facts could not be denied. In the end, because Dijun was already crawling on the ground, refusing to give up so pitifully, announcer Ping could not help but proclaim the winner with a cracking voice.
“And the winner is…Zixin of the Moonlight Sect!” Ping’s voice held fake enthusiasm, but the other Moonlight Sect disciples who were watching from the sidelines did not mind it, and they instead held on to each other with joy, cheering loudly.
Zixin had won! I felt so proud of both him and Dewei, that I couldn’t hide the smile that was spreading so brightly across my face. I was even prouder of Zixin for not using the other high grade skills such as [Dragon Dance], and he simply relied on his own strength and agility in overcoming the level difference, pushing the Peak Nascent realm practitioner to an exhausted state. This was considered an intelligent tactic as well, even if it did sound somewhat sneaky.
“I…won’t…give up…” Dijun said through ragged breaths as half of his face was kissing the ground. In but a moment, his eyes rolled to the back of his head, and he lost consciousness. Rest in peace, little one.
“Moonlight Sect is quite amazing,” Taren mused beside me. He had long stopped asking me about my background. He had occasionally made unwanted commentaries here and there, but I closed off my ears.
“I hope to meet their Master one day and converse with him. I have not seen techniques such as those before. Is it perhaps an ancient skill passed down in secrecy? Nothing else comes to mind.” Taren’s eyebrows were furrowed in thought. I wondered how he would react if I said I was the Master of such a Sect.
“Who knows.” I shrugged.
The Nascent Realm tournament ended, and the different winners of the fights would battle it out again after the Xian Profound Realm tournament commenced.
“Is your son taking part of the Xian Profound realm tourney?” Taren asked.
“What son?” I looked at him with a repulsed expression on my face. I knew who he was referring to, but I hated it when people thought Jin was my son. Did I look that old?? Okay, so maybe I was actually a little old if one did not simply look at my face…70,000 years old to be exact…I cried inwardly.
“Or your little brother. Him.” Taren pointed at Jin’s tall figure in the crowd of other Xian Profound realm competitors. Although Jin wasn’t as expensively dressed as the other nobles who were competing, his incredible aura was enough to turn heads.
“Is he a part of the Moonlight Sect as well?” Taren asked, curious.
“No.” But if you took in to account the fact that I too had given him instructions on how to cultivate, I guess one could say he was also under my tutelage, and somewhat part of the Moonlight Sect?
I added, “But if he wants to be part, I won’t stop him.”
“Do you know the prize of today’s competition?” Taren asked with a twinkle in his eyes.
“It hasn’t been announced yet.” I was curious. I was sure Taren would blurt it out soon.
“Do you want to know?” He said, looking shady.
“With that kind of look on your face?” I wrinkled my nose. “Never mind.”
“No, wait! Don’t mind my face at all.” He chuckled as he fixed his expression. “Do you want to know now?”
“If you want to say it, go ahead.” I acted as though he was owing me a favor.
Taren raised the corners of his lips into a smile. “Well, aside from taking home monetary assets, the winner of this competition would be selected to be the lieutenant of the Imperial army, learning under the current General so he may be the next leader.”
My eyes narrowed. “Wait, that latter doesn’t sound very promising? It sounds more like you’re forcing the winner to serve the country for your sake.”
Taren shook his head, looking a bit piqued by my words. “In this country, it is an honor to serve as part of the Imperial army. The army has had outstanding wins and very rare losses, that many people think of them as heroes in the city.”
“An honor, you say?” I snorted. “That’s quite a prejudiced view. I understand why you think this way, however, the winner should be given a choice on that matter. Not everyone thinks that sacrificing themselves is an honor to the country.” I would definitely not sacrifice my own life for this current country, but if it were the Heaven I lived, it would be an honor to sacrifice my life for my parents to live on.
I saw Taren’s fists clench, as he restrained the anger that was boiling up inside him. This was the first time I saw him so angry, and I was amazed that he would be so tetchy when it came to imperial matters. I thought he saw it as beneath himself.
“Why are you so angry when I am merely speaking up my views? As you have noticed earlier, I do not come from this country, but from somewhere far away. You can’t hold my opinions against me, as I am not an official citizen here.” I stared at him hard until he calmed down.
“Juju, don’t say those things again.” Taren’s eyes held no humor in them. “If anyone else aside from me heard your words, you would be executed on the spot for lese-majeste. Though in my father’s vocabulary it is the same as treason. This is my warning to you, because I do not want you to die.” He looked at me with a soft light in his eyes as he added, “It would be a great loss.”
“Just those things would immediately warrant an execution?” I was appalled, not caring about how different he looked at me now. “No wonder your country is not prospering. Even a little constructive criticism would cause an innocent head to roll.”
Taren glared at me, and I immediately closed my mouth. Although the nobles beside me were watching the match with tense expressions, I hoped they had not overheard the conversation that we were trying to hide by whispering.
“Let’s watch the tourney. It’s almost your little brother’s turn.” Taren said slowly as he looked away from me. He started to grab my hand on my lap again, and I pinched his flesh, causing him to yelp in surprise.