Chapter 10: Storm Rages On
Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
If any of Taiyuan’s royal sons were around, they would surely be amazed. “Sacrificial Blood Miracle” was a secret imperial technique, and the fact that Pei Yuan had decided to employ it meant that she was calling for a deathmatch.
However, even if she was begging for it, her opponent might not accede. The latter, upon sighting the devilish red glow, had rushed to the door, made a kickflip and evaded the area of effect. The perpetrator’s silhouette appeared like a falcon, and within seconds, it was already meters away from the house, disappearing into a blurry shadow amid the storm.
Pei Yuan withdrew her sword and gave chase. Her skill activation was complete; she raised her feet, as quick as lighting, as her long sword radiated a ray so extensive that it was almost as though she could reach that shadow by simply lifting her hand.
Nevertheless, before she could actually lift it up properly, something satiny brushed across her body, producing a rather gentle breeze. Immediately after, she felt a pain in her fingers, and her sword was swept to the ground.
Assuming that there were more enemies indoors, Pei Yuan forced her eyes wide open. Between the red that dimmed her vision, she could roughly make out a round silhouette that left as quickly as it came.
The next moment, as if stumbling over something, her legs turned to jelly, and she staggered.
Numbness set in at this point, and she felt as though countless worms were wiggling on her facial wounds. Overwhelmed with shock, Pei Yuan lost all interest in seeking the perpetrator. She anxiously touched her injury, which was getting increasingly itchy. Unable to see anything through a sea of red, she called out at the top of her voice, “Servant! Servant! Water! Get the physician right now!”
The servants who had stayed in the rain and whom she was afraid would degrade her floor gazed at her sluggishly while holding onto their ruined lanterns.
They were absolutely stupefied. Their usually sophisticated and domineering owner was now standing under the rain with her hair draping all over her face. There was blood on her face and hands, which she spread open while screaming in distress. Fresh blood continued to ooze of the sinister-looking cross on her forehead and dripped onto the corridor that no one had been allowed to enter, causing it to be thoroughly stained.
No one moved or talked. Despite having witnessed a brutal assassination attempt, they simply stood coldly in the rain.
As a result of the strong wind, the rain formed sheets of clear walls that isolated Pei Yuan from their hate-filled gazes, which had accumulated from years of abuse and finally unleashed.
Her pitiful sobs gradually drowned in the storm as she ran wildly, back and forth, along the corridor. Pei Yuan was so out of it that she occasionally crashed into pillars, adding injuries to her face. Her energy only depleted along with the intensification of the tingles on her face.
The rain seeping through the dark red veils that were suspended from the pillars carried a blood color, which complemented Pei Yuan’s awfully-stained dress and sorrowful cries.
Eventually, she weakened to the point of collapsing. Her body landed on the steps, and her black hair slithered like snakes on the cold, wet ground. Pei Yuan extended a hand out, as far as possible, as if trying desperately to cling onto any hope that she was merely experiencing a bad dream.
But that glimmer of hope was practically unreachable.
The night remained dark as the storm raged on.
She let out a disoriented groan that harmonized with the sky-splitting thunder.
“You… why… not saving me…”
In no time, her blood was submerged by the pitch-black sky, and her shaky whimpers were completely buried by the cruel storm.
During the moment when Pei Yuan was given a cross on her forehead, a man could be seen smiling atop a faraway roof, his surprisingly dry robes fluttering in the wind. He cupped his hands together in satisfaction while observing the situation below.
A few steps behind him stood another man in black.
“Go over to her house later,” Yuan Zhaoxu ordered. “Not only is there a feud between the Pei and Yun Family, but they’re also political enemies… Know what to do now?”
The man nodded without a word before disappearing in a flash.
Yuan Zhaoxu smiled and looked down from the roof. In spite of the pattering sounds, his voice remained strong, “Looking clean with the cross, this woman…”
In a hidden corner, Meng Fuyao tapped on Lord Yuan Bao’s shoulder with one hand while wiping the blood off her body with another. “Thanks,” she expressed.
Lord Yuan Bao nudged her hand away in contempt as if meaning to say, “Don’t dirty my snow-white fur with your dirty claw.”
“You stupid meatball!” Meng Fuyao exploded before striding off.
After she left and unknown to her, a god-like lighting bolt, sent from the highest of heavens, pierced through the five big continents.
The reflection of an unconscious Pei Yuan and her room could be seen in the bolt. Amid its whiteness flashed an even brighter light, followed by splatters of red.
That night was destined to be a chaotic one.
Lin Xuanyuan was called up not long after he fell asleep. His expression, upon witnessing Pei Yuan’s state, was indescribably horrifying.
The wounds on Pei Yuan face had rotted so much that her skull was exposed. It was clear, from blood to bone, that her once beautiful face would never revert back to how it was.
Lin Xuanyuan stood rooted to the ground, completely at a loss. His disciples were none the wiser about Pei Yuan’s background, but he knew better that her family wasn’t one to be provoked. Now that she had fallen into such a terrible state, how was he going to explain?
He had already interrogated Pei Yuan’s servants, but they simply insisted that it was a black shadow that had jumped out of her house and that they knew nothing more.
It was unfortunate that the sudden downpour had erased all traces of evidence.
The wrinkles on Lin Xuanyuan’s face had evidently deepened overnight. He looked toward the sky with a heavy heart.
“Perhaps the heavens want me dead?”
His eyes swept past the dark guestroom, and a thought struck him. ‘Something like this happens immediately upon his arrival. Could it be…’
He quickly dismissed that suspicion. The advisor rarely went out and had always been friendly with Mystic Essence Sword Sect. There were no discernible motives, and Pei Yuan’s injuries had already been assessed by the physician – half a section of her right pinky finger had been chopped off. Judging from the jaggedness of the cut, the culprit must have employed a kind of convulsive sword technique. Someone, presumably from Yun Family, must have sent an assassin over to hurt her.
Only… her identity was unknown to members of Mystic Essence Sword Sect. With a big frown on his face, Lin Xuanyuan decided that he had better explain everything clearly to Pei Yuan’s family.
“No sleeping tonight, everyone. Go out and find someone for me. I’ve already engaged the troops guarding respective junctions. The perpetrator couldn’t have fled down the mountains in this storm. You guys better keep him up here!”
His disciples immediately obeyed. Looking at the storm that was still going strong, Lin Xuanyuan warned, “This is a life and death situation for Mystic Essence Sword Sect, so remember, I need that person, dead or alive!”
A black figure penetrated the thick rain walls like an arrow leaving its bow. Because of its speed, it seemed to leave a remnant shadow wherever it passed.
The figure dashed straight to the back mountain. Mystic Essence Sword Sect was built along the mountains, and the area after the manor was the most disadvantageous place to guard against enemies.
It was quiet as usual at the back mountain. Shadows could be seen trekking up a strayed path. Having explored the whole mountainous area, she knew that there was a valley behind this particular mountain and that there was a cave in the valley, which would lead her out of Xuanyuan mountain range.
As she sprinted, the sword under her belt started emitting a slight jade-green light.
Jade-green was a color representing a swordsman’s ability to break through the fourth level of Cleaving Nine Heavens and to break through all soft, internal Yin energy.
Not only had Yuan Zhaoxu’s internal energy assisted Meng Fuyao in recovering her original skill level, but it had also pushed her to break through the third gate, at which she had been stuck for the longest time.
Entering the fourth realm doubled her speed, which had allowed her to leave that beautiful cross on Pei Yuan’s forehead earlier, despite the latter already being aware of her presence.
It was a pity that Pei Yuan had been so determined to fight a deathmatch. Not ready to die young, Meng Fuyao had no choice but to slip away, even though the aftermath could be troublesome.
In front, on a faint black colored mountain, lush trees were swaying vigorously along with the wind. Overall it seemed that no one had passed by.
Meng Fuyao exhaled gently and a slight smile formed on her face.
She strode forward.
Something felt strange under her feet, as though she had just kicked a little rock.
Meng Fuyao wasn’t convinced that it was a rock, of course, so she instantly turned around and fled!
The low-lying bushes rose suddenly like snakes. Upon closer inspection, it was a giant net, cast from behind, that had uprooted all the plants. Whistles filled the sky as a green light, hidden amid the bushes, shot out from the mesh and toward Meng Fuyao!
“Sh*t!” Meng Fuyao cursed at the old fox Lin Xuanyuan for being so efficient, but more so at herself for failing to notice this all these while.
The giant net covered an area of about 30 square meters. Because her internal energy had started to dissipate, there was no way for her to make an instant escape. Green light flickered as the black net started expanding. Meng Fuyao closed her eyes in despair.
“Hey, asleep?” A low and graceful voice floated above her ear.
Meng Fuyao opened her eyes in surprise.
A distance before her stood Yuan Zhaoxu, tidy and elegant, as if ready to enter a palace. His clothes were dry in spite of the crazy storm. She felt as though the bright moon had just risen above the distant cliffs, amid a lush green landscape.
He stood so far away and did not appear one bit anxious, which could logically mean that it was too late for her to be saved. Nevertheless, his presence made her feel at ease and that in this moment of life and death, nothing was too frightening to handle.
Before her lips could curl up completely, she caught Yuan Zhaoxu throwing her a smile.
He moved suddenly.
His movement was extremely fast and powerful, like an avalanche, making the storm in the background seem even more majestic. The grass beneath started to rustle and was quickly uplifted, forming stacks of walls to intercept the incoming net.