The speed of the rod was very fast, and it’s power quite pressing, but it was unable to endanger Shangguan Feng in any way. Even if he lightly dodged he could immediately get out of the way.
But Shangguan Feng unexpectedly did neither evade, nor did he have any intention to do so. Today if he decided to get out of the way, then tomorrow the entire Ye Xiu Manor and even the inner courtyard, would assemble outside of the entrance of Ye Xiu Manor to make fun of the fact that, facing a person who had just joined Pure Yang Palace a few days ago as preparatory outer disciple, he had been forced to use martial techniques to get out of the way.
If this news were to spread to the outside, that would be even more embarrassing than death for Shangguan Feng. So Shangguan Feng could not dodge and could only catch it firmly. Towards a person who had barely joined as a preparatory disciple and hadn’t even cultivated any cultivation technique, throwing the metal rod, the adult manager had to break his confidence and stop this, only then he would he be able to keep Yang Chen under control and illustrate the might of Ye Xiu Manor.
Like Yang Chen had done before, Shangguan Feng extended only one hand to grab the flying metal rod. That female servant had been between Yang Chen and Shangguan Feng, and now that metal rod coming towards him, seemed like a giant siege crossbow in Shangguan Feng’s point of view, and he was going to catch the head of this giant siege crossbow.
Just as the iron rod came into contact with his hand Shangguan Feng loudly shouted. Not good. The large impulse almost made his entire body go along with the metal rod’s trajectory and fly off. Fortunately Shangguan Feng was alert at all times, so at the most critical time he used his other hand at lightening speed to keep the rod under control, but at the same time his body sank and halted at the same place as before, like a steel cast image of an ancient god.
Despite this, the metal rod within his hand still slipped out of his palm for a length of no less than half a foot, and the violent friction made Shangguan Feng feel a burning hot sensation in the hollow of his palm. But in this short moment, Shangguan Feng had already swiftly destroyed the painstakingly engraved Thousand Jing Talisman at the top of the rod.
Just as the Thousand Jin Talisman was destroyed, the weight of the iron rod suddenly lightened many times and holding it was not that laborious anymore. Its forward momentum had also decreased due to the lower weight. Hence the metal rod was clamped within Shangguan Feng’s hands and was unable to budge anymore.
Fortunately, he was able to stop the metal rod at long last, using only his hands with almost eighty percent of his power. Only then was he able to overcome Yang Chen’s power and could block his powerful throw. Shangguan Feng knew that it was due to destroying the Thousand Jin Talisman and some cheap tricks, but to the outsiders looking on, it seemed as if he had received Yang Chen’s throw, face to face, directly and quite elegantly.
Just as Manager Shangguan relaxed, under his foot, two loud cracking noises arose, as a two foot tile on top of the entrance gate suddenly split open and shattered into many pieces. The force had been too fierce and although Shangguan Feng had already exercised sufficient control over it and had neutralized the impulse at that time, the force still passed on through his feet and the two foot tile of common materials was unable to endure it and immediately shattered.
Hearing this sound, Shangguan Feng immediately knew what had happened without looking. He could not help but smile bitterly, in this exchange between them, Yang Chen had come out as the winner. He himself was an expert at the peak of the qi layer, facing an ordinary person would be degrading his status, but now, even after using eighty percent of his strength, this tile under his feet had still been shattered completly. He had completely lost face now.
“Ah! Not good!”
Yang Chen’s voice came from below, actually he had already subdued that female servant and was facing upwards, watching leisurely, but nevertheless there was not a bit of sincerity when he cried out ‘in fear’ loudly:
“Take care, Manager Shangguan!”
Shangguan Feng wasn’t enraged by Yang Chen’s attitude, as the manager of the Ye Xiu Manor he had seen too many talented individuals to care about Yang Chen’s minor ridicule. Curious, he asked Yang Chen:
“Yang Chen, what kind of miracle medicine did Shi Fairy give you, that you actually have so much strength?”
“How would I know?”
Yang Chen smiled at him, but also did not conceal anything and directly answered him:
“Originally I already had great strength, but after eating the medicine given to me by Shi Fairy it has increased by much, but she did not tell me anything about that medicine.”
After Yang Chen explained all this, Shangguan Feng nodded in his heart.
“He is just an insignificant executioner, how could he recognize the medicinal pellet given to him by Shi Fairy?”
Suddenly he thought of something and he asked Yang Chen again:
“Yang Chen, have you practiced martial arts before?”
“I have followed my county town’s experienced military drill master for several days.”
Yang Chen told a half truth. He had indeed practiced martial arts, only he had not followed his town’s military drill master. He had actually practiced the heavenly court’s secret martial technique which was used to increase the strength of celestial troops and generals, compared to techniques of the mortal world it was several times better.
Listening to Yang Chen’s reply, Shangguan Feng’s thoughts changed countless times. A common person practicing martial arts, even with great innate power, he could still not have the strength of a thousand jin. The only explanation could be the medicinal pellet given to Yang Chen by Shi Fairy. But if it was just an ordinary relationship, who would give such a precious medicinal pill as present to strangers?
There could be only one reason for this, Yang Chen and Shi Fairy, even if they don’t have a very friendly or intimate relationship, should at least have some ties of blood or have some other kind of relationship. Otherwise, if he were replaced by any other person, she would not give away this kind of precious medicinal pill.
Perhaps Chu Heng had also received benefits from others to make things difficult for Yang Chen, but Shangguan Feng did not need to participate in this. Although Chu Heng was an inner disciple, Shi Fairy on the contrary was popular throughout the entire cultivation world and had the reputation of being young and outstanding, both of them could not be mentioned in the same sentence. For Chu Heng to offend Shi Fairy for someone else’s friendship, this had to be taken into account very carefully..
“Manager, can these four people now be considered as having lost?”
Just as Shangguan Feng was muttering to himself, he heard Yang Chen’s questioning voice.
Looking at the circumstances below, Shangguan Feng could not help but shake his head. Of the four beaten servants, the first, Shen Da, had been beaten so much, that it was not known whether he was dead or alive. On the face of the one who had been using the peach wooden sword, a fist imprint could still be seen. The other male servant who had flames within his palms looked as if several of his ribs were entirely broken, and the remaining female servant, who had soared in the sky and had finally fallen on the ground, had not yet determined injuries. Nevertheless all four had indeed lost their consciousness.
If this was not called winning, then what is losing? Even if Chu Heng had been here and he had wanted to make Yang Chen lose, in his heart, under such circumstances he would also not be able to say even one word.
Shangguan Feng could only nod.
“That is good!”
Yang Chen didn’t raise any objection. Extending his hand to point towards the four people lying on ground he said to Shangguan Feng:
“Manager Shangguan, I will have to trouble you to treat their injuries. Furthermore, seeing this place, I fear I would require a new place to live, so I will have to trouble Manager for the arrangements.
Shangguan Feng was not angered by Yang Chen’s commanding tone. He was the manager, so these kinds of matters were just his responsibilities. After nodding, Shangguan Feng asked:
“How about substituting them for a few obedient servants?”
Yang Chen shook his head.
“I have handled these with great difficulty. Exchange these for new ones, only to beat them again?”
Shangguan Feng’s speed was very fast and in less than a moment, someone came over at lightening speed to take these four injured and unconscious servants for treatment. Shangguan Feng himself looked after Yang Chen and exchanged his previous residence for a courtyard that was apparently more lavish and refined when compared to the previous one. The servants serving here were already waiting and solemnly welcomed Yang Chen and Shangguan Feng.
“This Profound Pavilion is the dwelling place of supervising inner disciples, who come to inspect and test the outer preparatory disciples of my Pure Yang Palace.”
Shangguan Feng enthusiastically introduced Yang Chen:
“From now on, for three years, it belongs to you!”
“Manager Shangguan, isn’t this breaking the rules?”
Yang Chen naturally knew about this Profound Pavilion. Unexpectedly Shangguan Feng had arranged this courtyard for Yang Chen to live in. This made Yang Chen unable to say anything, as he had no idea about Shangguan Feng’s intentions.
“This courtyard originally had double the number of servants, including those four servants of yours, after their injuries are treated, they will immediately be transferred here.”
Shangguan Feng nevertheless did not reply to Yang Chen’s question. As if just minding his own business, he said:
“Anyway, you will live here, as no one in the Ye Xiu Manor currently owns it.”
Yang Chen had no choice but to ask Shangguan Feng again:
“This is not in compliance with the sect rules!”
“What rules? Those are not rules! Usually we are just accustomed to these kinds of arrangements, but it isn’t stated anywhere that we absolutely must follow them. You can relieve your mind and live here. This is not counted as breaking the rules.”
Shangguan Feng indifferently said, showing off right now. After having seen and experienced Yang Chen’s battle prowess earlier, Shangguan Feng had totally changed his attitude:
“Previously, due to Uncle Master Chu Heng’s instructions, I had no choice but to punish you according to his arrangements, but after witnessing your earlier battle, my mind has cleared up.”
“You still haven’t cultivated but already have this kind of strength. If you successfully cultivate to the qi layer or the foundation realm, I don’t know what kind of frightening talent you will become.”
Shangguan Feng, upon seeing Yang Chen’s distrust, slowly explained this to him.
“I think highly of you!”
Just thinking highly of Yang Chen’s future, this explanation was not at all sufficient to remove the doubts in Yang Chen’s heart. Under these kind of circumstances, if Yang Chen’s new privileges were to provoke Chu Heng’s anger and he could slyly use some underhanded methods to dispose Yang Chen, that would not be good. Far too many cultivation geniuses have died before maturing, due to various sorts of ‘unexpected accidents’.
“You are different from others, you are someone whom even Shi Fairy highly thinks of.”
Shangguan Feng continued speaking:
“Even if Greatest Sky Sect’s Li Qing Chen feels jealous, he still cannot dare to ask for your life. As for Chu Heng, he would dare even less. He can only use his status as a famous inner disciple to arrange layer after layer of obstructions to hinder your progress, but nothing more. Rules are rules, if you are able to bypass his obstructions, who would dare to repeatedly hinder you.”
When Shangguan Feng had started speaking, he had addressed Chu Heng as Uncle Master Chu, but afterwards he directly addressed him by name. Clearly he absolutely resented these plans arranged by Chu Heng.
After discussing to this point, Yang Chen was finally convinced that Shangguan sincerely did not want to cause him harm, but rather, due to Chu Heng’s instructions, he had no choice but to act like this. He couldn’t do anything about it, as Chu Heng was an inner disciple and also quite an accomplished one at that. He was also skilled at persuasive argument, on one hand claimed wanting to help Yang Chen temper himself, but on the other he created so many obstructions for Yang Chen and said: ‘I permitted you to enjoy the status of a third qi layer disciple, don’t tell me it is still not enough?’ As for others not daring to teach Yang Chen, this was the problem of other people, what did it have to do with Chu Heng?
Thinking about these things, Yang Chen also let his guard down and lightly nodded, accepting Shangguan Feng’s goodwill in the end.
“Younger Brother Yang must still not have eaten lunch, I will immediately order someone to arrange it!”
Shangguan Feng also became aware that in the future there would be ample time for these things. He had not planned for things to go this way today. So after he finished instructing those servants, he intended to leave directly, but Yang Chen shouted to stop him.
“Younger Brother Yang, do you still have other instructions?”
Shangguan Feng stopped on the spot and laughingly asked.
Yang Chen held out his hand, as if inviting him and asked him to sit down. Two female servants meaningfully glanced at each other, quickly served a fragrant tea and then immediately retreated from the drawing hall.
“Manager Shangguan, do not blame me for talking as an outsider, but if I offend you in any way, I ask Manager to forgive me.”
As soon as Yang Chen opened his mouth, he immediately tried to uttered an excuse for himself, apparently he had planned to say some unpleasant things.
However Shangguan Feng did not have any qualms, so he laughingly replied:
“There is no harm in just speaking!”
“Then I will not be polite, Manager Shangguan!”
Yang Chen cupped his hand in respect towards Shangguan Feng. Afterwards he earnestly said:
“Manager although I still haven’t cultivated yet, I have still practiced martial arts for several days.”
“I saw that, when Manager tried to catch that rod thrown by me, you evidently used just one hand to take care of it, but that was not enough and you had to use both hands in the end. Even if I suppose that you didn’t use your full strength, it still broke a two foot tile under your feet.”
Yang Chen’s words were related to the earlier battle’s last moments, when Shangguan Feng had resolutely received Yang Chen’s rod.
“What do you want to ask, exactly?”
Seeing Yang Chen’s earnest words, Shangguan Feng thought Yang Chen was not a simple person. He asked with equal seriousness:
“Please advise me, Younger Disciple Yang!”
“I do not dare!”
Yang Chen hastily interrupted.
“The strategy to estimate an opponent’s strength and but retaining an escape route is used very commonly and is entirely understandable. Only some situations require one to stake everything in one go, in a spurt of energy, but feeling fearful and nervous like then, and prudently thinking and calculating a clear method to handle things would rather make this kind of situation a lost cause from the start. Under these situations it might be a better idea to make prompt decisions, overturning the cauldrons and sinking the boat, thinking that this is your moment to shine. Maybe under this kind of irresistible force the enemy will just become incapable of resisting.”
Yang Chen did not dare to give any advice when saying this, but his tone clearly indicated that he was sharing advice. Even the successive contents were all like that.
At the beginning Shangguan Feng only appeared to pay attention, while disapproving within his heart. Yang Chen was using words to teach him a lesson about fighting, was this not insulting him?
Only, the more Shangguan Feng heard, the more serious he became. When Yang Chen started to talk about certain situations, he immediately thought back to when he tried to attack the junction to the foundation stage. Could it be that Yang Chen was giving him advice on how to reach the foundation stage?
“However, when attacking the juncture, if, at the most crucial point, one has no choice but to hold back a portion of his power, then how should one proceed?”
Shangguan Feng couldn’t help but ask, as if Yang Chen was some kind of master.
“Pushing a huge boulder takes a large amount of strength.”
Yang Chen wrinkled his brows, using an example to explain:
“However, if you use your full strength to push the boulder, it will be more rapid. If something is obstructing the huge boulder, it would naturally take several times more, or even tenfold more strength. You can definitely preserve strength and slowly push the huge boulder at the top of the juncture, but then you have to add more power if you want to cross the barrier. You might as well push the boulder up and it will help you cross that juncture.”
1. Break The Cauldrons and Sink the Boat- To cut off one’s means of retreat.