Chapter 21: Dark Night
Seven Peaks Tournament was the most important event of Jadeon. Peak of Widows needed to ﬁnd a place for several hundred additional disciples. If the Bamboo Peak disciples wanted to continue their relaxing day, it would be a silly dream. Except Hidi, the other seven disciples were squeezed inside one room.
In Peak of Widows, it was normally four disciples per room. Three people were sleeping on the ﬂoor, it should be enough space for them; however, it would be slightly crowded. Suddenly, someone complained: "Really, you guys kept saying how good the main house is. Now they asked seven of us to squeeze in one room, so stingy!"
"Sixth, stop complaining. If other Shixiong hear this, that will not be good."
"Second Shixiong, you're sleeping on a bed, of course it is comfortable. But I am sleeping on a freezing ﬂoor, why don't we switch positions?" "Zzzzzz "
"What, you fall asleep all of a sudden, and snore?"
"Hmph hmph, ah, fourth Shixiong, you are always so handsome, humor, intelligent."
"What is that, is it really popular to fall asleep instantly nowadays? Eh, Da Shixiong, you are always so kind, how could you let your Shidi-"
"You--ah, third Shixiong" "Roar roar"
They were surprised. Suddenly, the wall shook, someone shouted angrily from the next room: "Hey, does everyone in Bamboo Peak snore that loud?"
The room immediately fell silent. After a while, someone giggled. Then, the previous voice began to speak again: "Ah, ﬁfth Shixiong, you..."
"What you, you, you? I am sleeping right next to you. You want to switch places? I don't care. We are both sleeping on the ﬂoor, anyway!"
"Ahem, nothing. Alas, the ﬂoor is cold which is already bad enough, the worst part is that there is too little space. It's impossible to be comfortable when sleeping. Xiao Shidi is ﬁne, his body is exactly right for the size."
"Sixth Shixiong, why do you talk with your eyes closed? Don't you see a dog and a monkey are ﬁghting for my spot, now? I am the most crowded, yet you still say I am the most comfortable?"
"But I am still-"
"Shut up, sixth!" They shouted all at once.
After dark, many disciples went for a walk, amazed by the beautiful Peak of Widows. But, as it was getting late, many people went back to their room.
As darkness arrived at this sky reaching peak, in the clear sky, the moon shone on the mountain.
Just when Shaw Danon was sleeping deeply, he felt something move next to him. He opened his dreamy eyes and found Ashh and Big Yella were missing. He sat up and saw Big Yella's ﬁgure run past the door. Ashh was sitting on his back. Shaw Danon was curious. He wondered where the dog and monkey were going at such a late hour in the night. He quietly got up and randomly grabbed some clothes. As he went to the door, under the moon light, he saw Big Yella carrying Ashh towards Cloud Sea.
Shaw Danon remembered Xavion had told him that direction was to Peak of Widows' kitchen. Big Yella lived for hundreds of years, already a cultivated dog, but still so greedy. He turned and wanted to go back to sleep; but then, he thought it would be embarrassing if someone saw Bamboo Peak's Big Yella and Ashh went to steal food. So, he decided to chase them back.
Once he had made the decision, he saw Big Yella and Ashh had already become a blurry ﬁgure. He quickly chased after them.
He went swiftly and cautiously to avoid disturbing other people. When he got to Cloud Sea, Big Yella and Ashh were already gone. Under the shine of the cold moon, the clouds softly ﬂoating, like veins and smoke. Just when he was heading toward the kitchen, suddenly, there was something that caused his heart to beat heavily.
At the opposite side of the kitchen, between the clouds, there was a slim ﬁgure walking to the Rainbow Bridge.
Shaw Danon stared at that ﬁgure. Even from far away, that ﬁgure had deeply engraved on his heart. He could easily recognize it was Hidi Shijie.
Night, so dark!
Why had she walked out here alone and where is she going?
Shaw Danon stood still. He was not sure what to do. Thousands of thoughts rushed into his brain. He could already guess what it is, but he just didn't want to admit it.
He turned toward the kitchen where Big Yella and Ashh had went. He walked as he kept telling himself: "Shaw Danon, don't step into other people's business!"
Those seven steps, the moon shone down on this lonely youngster; then, he stopped, raised his head and looked at the cold moon. His lips moved. After a moment, he turned back and ran to where the ﬁgure had disappeared.
Hidi's ﬁgure already vanished within the Cloud Sea. But Shaw Danon ran toward Rainbow Bridge without looking in the other direction. Very soon, he was at Rainbow Bridge. The water rippled on both sides of the bridge and reﬂected the moon in the sky. All Shaw Danon cared about now is running.
Run, run, run!
As he was running across the Rainbow Bridge, he didn't see anyone's ﬁgure. When he reached the end of the bridge, he saw a beautiful ﬁgure was staring at the water of the pond. The moon had shone on the pond as bright as day.
A sudden indescribable fear rose in Shaw Danon's mind. He only knew he could not be seen by his Shijie. He found a small grove at the right side of the pond near the bridge. He quietly hid there and watched Hidi from the shadows.
This was almost as it was eternity!
Under the moonlight, near the green pond, that young lady had a bit of sorrow, a bit of loneliness. Her eyelashes were dropped. She appeared to be waiting. The wind passed by next to her, blocked the breath, stopped the sound, waved her lapel and hair.
In the depths of Shaw Danon's heart, there was a gentle feeling rising. It seemed like the lady there was the person whom he should protect with his life. He would do anything for her without hesitation and regret.
That moment, he wished it could be eternity.
"Ling'Er Shimei!" Suddenly, a call came from Rainbow Bridge. Hidi turned, her eyes were ﬁlled with happiness. Her lips smiled. "Qi Shixiong, you are here."
Shaw Danon's heart felt like it had broken, but he didn't feel any pain. The entirety of his heart was empty but repeated the words "Qi Shixiong, Qi Shixiong, Qi Shixiong."
He turned his head toward the Rainbow Bridge. A person came down. It was Kevern.
Kevern walked quickly to Hidi, gently said: "Sorry. My Shidis love to fool around, so they went to sleep really late; made you wait a long time."
Hidi held a bit of anger in her heart. But, as she saw Kevern, the anger was gone. She shook her head and smiled: "Doesn't matter, I didn't wait for long." She stopped, looked at the pond, said: "But why do we need to meet here? Today, Master Spirit suddenly got mad. I am still a little afraid of him."
Kevern laughed: "That was nothing. I heard my master say Master Spirit was just playing, everything was alright. Compared to this morning, isn't it much more quiet at night?" Hidi blushed, lowered her head: "We secretly meet like this. I don't know if this is alright?"
Kevern looked at her beautiful face, softly said: "Ling'Er Shimei, from two years ago when we ﬁrst met, I kept thinking about you. It made it difﬁcult to go to sleep. My mind was ﬁlled with your ﬁgure."
Hidi bit her lip. Her face was getting more red. She didn't seem angry, but sweet.
Kevern said again: "Ling'Er Shimei, I..."
Hidi suddenly raised her head, said: "Qi Shixiong, you can call me Ling'Er." Then, she lowered her head, whispered: "My, my dad and mom call me that."
Kevern seemed like he didn't believe his ears, then he asked: "Really, Ling, Ling'Er?" Hidi took out a small box. She stared at the ground. It seemed like it took all her courage to quietly say: "I had carried this 'Refresh Bead' with me for the past two years."
She didn't dare to look at Kevern. But after a long time, Kevern didn't say anything. Hidi was curious and peeked at Kevern. He was smiling, with an indescribable happiness.
They looked at each other for a long time; then, they opened their arms and embraced.
The moon shone upon them, shone upon the bushes, but couldn't shine upon the dark corner.
The couple were whispering some sweet words until Kevern said the moon had passed the east sky, then he said: "Ling'Er, it's late now. We better return. If people found out we were here, it won't be good."
Hidi nodded. They looked at each other and smiled. Kevern took Hidi's hand and slowly walked toward Rainbow Bridge. The moon shone on the couple. After a while, they disappeared on the Rainbow Bridge.
The night; it became more sorrowful.
Within the bushes, within the shadow, Shaw Danon slowly came out, stared at the pond. Watching the moon in the water, swaying with the waves of water.
He wanted to cry.
But, in the end, he didn't. The pain in his heart like a mad beast ramming wildly, creating wounds everywhere.
However, he grit his teeth, didn't say anything.
It was like back to ﬁve years ago. That time, he lost everything, except Baye by his side. The world had completely changed. Tonight, at this moment, only he alone was facing it all by himself.
"Roar." A low roar, like the snore of a beast, came from behind. Shaw Danon was awoken from his mixed feelings. He turned and was frightened by what he saw.
The Jadeon's celestial beast, "Master Spirit," the giant Water Kirin silently appeared very close behind him. It lowered its head. Its eyes almost touched his body. Perhaps Shaw Danon was so dead that he didn't notice it.
Shaw Danon saw Water Kirin's mountain sized body was in front of him. Its fangs shone under the moonlight. He stepped back and tripped over a rock.
His clothes were already messy. Something fell out from his clothes when he tripped.
Both Shaw Danon and Water Kirin looked down. In between them, a black "ﬁre stick" was laying on the ground peacefully. The eyes of Water Kirin reﬂected Shaw Danon and the ugly ﬁre stick. Shaw Danon's mind kept shouting: "Run, run, hurry!"
But in front of the Water Kirin, no matter how hard he wanted to run away, his pair of legs were like they did not belong to him. It sat there and did not move. Water Kirin looked at Shaw Danon for a moment, then it turned its attention to the ﬁre stick. The giant beast ﬁxed its eyes on the dark ﬁre stick. Its eyes examined the stick from top to bottom. Its large head turned in circles but still couldn't ﬁgure anything out. Then, it carefully touched the ﬁre stick with its front claw.
Shaw Danon was stunned by what he saw. Although he was still scared by the giant beast, he was curious, did "Master Spirit" go crazy due to its thousands of years of age, or is it just like Big Yella, still an old child, and was interested in a ﬁre stick?
Water Kirin's claw touched the ﬁre stick, then immediately took its claw back. It seemed like Water Kirin was really afraid of the stick. The ﬁre stick rolled a little, then stopped. It lay there peacefully. Water Kirin was puzzled, but still not giving up. Its head suddenly turned to Shaw Danon. A low roar came from its mouth. Shaw Danon was surprised and his muscles were tightened. He immediately held his breath.
But that was only for a second, its head turned back to the ﬁre stick again. This time, it even lowered its head and sniffed the ﬁre stick. Shaw Danon's heart was beating hard; however, watching this beast's weird behavior, he realized it looked precisely like Big Yella. If he was not extremely nervous, he would have laughed already.
After a while, clearly Water Kirin didn't discover anything. It raised its head. Its large head looked around and was still puzzled. After a moment, it gave up. Water Kirin snorted and glared at Shaw Danon. Again, Shaw Danon was frightened. It walked to the pond and dived in.
Shaw Danon put himself together and slowly got up. He felt the back of his clothes were all wet. The sweat on his forehead was like rain drops. He picked up the ﬁre stick and saw nothing weird. He complained loudly: "God!" Suddenly, the water sprayed out from the pond. The giant tail of Water Kirin appeared on the surface of the pond.
Shaw Danon quickly put the ﬁre stick back into his clothes. He ran away as fast as he could. He could hear the sound of water behind him, but he didn't have the guts to look back. All he wanted was to get away from the beast as far as possible. He got on Rainbow Bridge and kept running until he could hear the sound no longer. When he ﬁnally reached the end of the bridge, he stopped and panted.
Shaw Danon's breathing was back to normal. He was tired. He lowered his head and saw, under the moon, a lonely shadow was following him.
He raised his head, looked at the sky, the cold moon hanging in the sky. He watched it, blankly.
Dawn, everyone woke up. Amandla kept rubbing his back, complained loudly: "Really, my back is almost broken for the whole night; how am I going to participate in the contest?"
Fifth Ludaxin frowned: "Sixth, don't yell. I don't feel anything on my back."
Xavion said: "Right, sixth, you complained for the whole night, still not enough? Didn't you hear ﬁfth and Xiao Shidi say nothing?"
Amandla rolled his eyes, said: "Fifth Shixiong has hard muscles and skin. Ask Xiao Shidi, look at him. Hey, Xiao Shidi, why are your eyes all bloodshot? Last night you really didn't sleep well?"
Shaw Danon ﬁnished packing up the sheets and sat in the chair next to the window, staring at the sky. Big Yella lay next to his feet. Ashh was searching for ﬂeas in Big Yella's fur.
Amandla walked to him and slapped Shaw Danon's shoulder heavily. Shaw Danon was surprised. Ashh and Big Yella were surprised by him. Shaw Danon said: "What, what is it?"
Amandla frowned: "Xiao Fan, why are you absent minded?
You really didn't sleep well last night?"
Shaw Danon was startled: "No, nothing."
Amandla said: "Then why are your eyes bloodshot?"
Just as Shaw Danon was about to reply, He Dazhi cut in: "Sixth, don't step into other people's business. It does not matter if Xiao Shidi didn't sleep well. Today, he doesn't need to duel. However, you, on the other hand, if you don't hurry and get ready, don't blame anyone else if you are late."
Amandla could no longer worry about Shaw Danon. He dashed to the other side of the room and took Ludaxin's basin, washed his face roughly, murmuring: "Hmph, Xiao Shidi has such a good life, look at his half-dead sleepy face. Really, ﬁfth Shixiong, give me back the basin, it's late for me!" "Bah, I haven't washed my face, yet!"
Shaw Danon was tired of his Shixiongs ﬁghting over the basin, so he walked outside. Xavion asked him from behind: "Xiao Shidi, have you washed your face, yet?"
Shaw Danon turned and answered: "I did, Da Shixiong."
Xavion nodded: "That's good. It is ﬁne for you to go for a walk, but remember to go to the dinning hall to eat breakfast, got it?"
Shaw Danon replied: "Yes." Ashh jumped on Shaw Danon's shoulder. Big Yella saw Ashh was leaving, it got up and followed lazily behind them. Shaw Danon saw the busy ﬁgures of Jadeon's disciples in the corridor. After a while, Shaw Danon unwittingly arrived at Cloud Sea.
The day was still early. Only a few disciples were walking around Cloud Sea. The cool wind came by, passed Shaw Danon's cheek. It was cold. It just like last night!
His heart hurt. He was already sixteen years old. For ﬁve years at Bamboo Peak, the love for his Shijie was already deeply rooted in his heart. Last night, he saw Hidi secretly met Kevern with his own eyes. His mind was in a state of chaos.
His mind was ﬂashing the images of last night that pained his heart to death. His entire body was wandering aimlessly.
"Eh?" suddenly an exclamation came from behind. It surprised Shaw Dannon. He saw a young Jadeon disciple was standing next to him. In his hand, there was a golden fan with mountains and rivers drawn on it. His bright eyes didn't look at Shaw Danon, but stared at Ashh who was sitting on Shaw Danon's shoulder.
Chapter 22: Contest
Ashh saw that person staring at itself with a weird look. Ashh got angry and scratched the person with its claw. The person wasn't prepared. His face almost got scratched; fortunately, he reacted fast, his neck bent back and dodged it.
Shaw Danon was surprised and told Ashh to stop. The person was also surprised. With his hand covering his cheek, he mumbled: "That was close."
Shaw Danon was a bit embarrassed, said: "Shixiong, sorry!"
Unexpectedly, he didn't care. He waved his arm and smiled: "That's alright. It was my carelessness. I forgot that 'Monkey Phantasm' have very bad tempers; very easily harm people."
Shaw Danon was startled: "Monkey Phantasm?"
The person was surprised: "What? You don't know that monkey is a Monkey Phantasm?" Shaw Danon was puzzled: "What is Monkey Phantasm?"
That person opened his eyes wide, examined Shaw Danon, asked: "You don't even know it's Monkey Phantasm, why would you have it?"
Shaw Danon said: "When I was cutting down bamboo, it smacked me with pine cones, then, it followed me back home."
The Jadeon disciple's jaw seemed to almost fall off, murmered: "Got smacked by pine cones and it followed you back home, got smacked by pine cones and it followed you back home..."
Shaw Danon shook his head and walked away. After he took a few steps, the person followed him. The person smiled and whispered: "Shidi, oh, no, Shixiong, you."
It was the ﬁrst time Shaw Danon had been called Shixiong. The person's age was at least twenty. Shaw Danon quickly said: "Oh, I don't deserve that; just tell me what you want to say." The person grinned: "Ho ho, Shidi is so easy to approach. Let me introduce myself ﬁrst. My surname is Ceng, name Shushu. Peak of Wind's disciple. Shidi, your name is..."
Shaw Danon said: "I am Bamboo Peak's disciple, Shaw Danon; Issa Shixiong, you are, um, 'uncle?'"
The person was startled, then smiled in embarrassment: "Ah, I was not intentionally trying to gain advantage over you. My Shushu is books. Not uncle. It's all because of my dad. My mom named me Yingxiong. How digniﬁed Ceng Yingxiong sounds like. However, my father saw that I love to read books, so he named me Shushu. This became a joke, really."
Shaw Danon couldn't help but laugh. This person's name was as funny as sixth Shixiong's. The frustration in his mind was eased by this person. He said: "Ah, so, Ceng Shixiong, you really love to read, then?"
Issa smiled: "In regards to that, I don't need to be modest, no one in Peak of Wind reads as many books as I do. But, most of the time, I like to read about anecdotes and strange magical creatures; often that made my dad mad at me. Ah, anyway, you really don't know this monkey is Monkey Phantasm?"
Shaw Danon shook his head, said: "No, I thought it was just a normal monkey."
Seeming like it understood what they were talking about, Ashh suddenly screamed and pulled Shaw Danon's hair. Shaw Danon cried: "Ouch, stupid monkey!"
Issa looked at it with admiration, said: "So smart."
Shaw Danon said, while bearing the pain: "All that stupid monkey knows is how to hit people, you still call that smart?"
Issa said: "This monkey may seem common, but with this strong spiritual mind, it is a rare celestial creature. Do you see the small line between its eyes?" Shaw Danon turned and looked closely, and discovered a thin vertical line was under the grey fur. There was no way to discover it without close examination. He said to Issa in admiration: "You can even notice such small details. Amazing!"
Issa spoke solemnly: "Don't underestimate it. From what I had read in <>, Monkey Phantasm is a divine creature. It looks no different from a normal monkey when young, but it's third eye will open once it grows up. It is not only able to use magic of the ﬁve elements, it is also able to see things from thousands of miles away. The legendary faculty of 'clairvoyance' came from Monkey Phantasm."
Shaw Danon took Ashh into his arms. He couldn't believe that the monkey had such a great background. No matter how hard he tried to picture it, Ashh looked like nothing other than a normal fat monkey. Ashh seemed to have gained a few pounds over one night at Peak of Widows.
Ashh was bewildered why so many people were looking at itself. It screamed madly. Shaw Danon made a face and tossed Ashh at Big Yella. Big Yella was surprised and jumped away. It was relieved to see it was Ashh. Ashh gestured, like demonstration, and turned its attention to Big Yella's ﬂeas. Issa looked at Ashh admiringly, then turned back and asked Shaw Dannon: "Zhang Shidi also came to participate in Seven Peaks Tournament?"
Shaw Danon nodded: "What about you Ceng Shixiong?"
Issa smiled: "Me too. Yesterday, I got number thirty-three. What is your number? You had better not happen to be my opponent today."
Shaw Dannon smiled as well: "I got number one."
Issa was surprised: "You were the Bamboo Peak disciple yesterday?"
Shaw Danon's face ﬂushed, nodded.
Issa smiled: "You are so fortunate." Then, he paused and calculated in his mind, said:"It seems like we will not meet each other until the ﬁnal. This is going to be difﬁcult." Shaw Danon laughed: "With my level of cultivation, I will be out after the second round."
Issa stuck out his tongue: "I am afraid I can't even pass round one."
They both laughed. They chatted for a while, then Xavion called: "Xiao Fan, time to eat."
Shaw Danon answered, then said farewell to Issa. Big Yella and Ashh followed Shaw Danon to Xavion. Xavion asked: "Who is the person you were talking to?"
Shaw Danon said: "A Shxiong from Peak of Wind. His name is Issa."
Xavion was surprised: "Issa?"
Shaw Danon was bewildered: "What it is, Da Shixiong?" Xavion turned and said: "That person is Head of Peak of Wind: Ceng Shu Chang, Ceng Shibo's only son. He is very talented, has strong memory, high knowledge; his cultivation is also very deep. He is one of the hot topics for this tournament."
Shaw Danon was startled; he couldn't ﬁnd a word to say.
After breakfast, Jadeon disciples gathered at Cloud Sea.
Hundreds of people were there.
On the large square, eight platform stages were set up while everyone was eating breakfast. Each platform was about twenty meters away from each other. They were placed in the shape of Bagua. Next to the largest platform, Qian, a tall red list displayed the disciples' names, numbered in gold characters. Shaw Danon's name was at the farthest right, without an opponent. Shaw Danon looked at his Shixiongs. They were all smiling except for Amandla who was complaining: "Not fair, not fair, not-"
"Shut up!" A shout came from their side. They were surprised and found it was Tian Bolis, Surin and Hidi. Bamboo Peak disciples immediately saluted: "Master Shi Niang!"
Tian Bolis nodded and did not say anything. Surin said: "The contest will be beginning soon. You must make us proud, understand?"
"Yes." They said all at once.
All Shaw Danon noticed was Hidi who is standing next to Shi Niang. Today, she seemed to be more beautiful. She seemed to be in a very good mood.
Shaw Danon's heart was felt like it had been stabbed by a needle. He lowered his head. "Xiao Fan." Surin noticed her disciple was unusual today. She walked toward him.
Shaw Danon quickly raised his head and responded: "Yes, Shi Niang."
Surin asked: "Are you all right?"
Shaw Danon shook his head: "Nothing, Shi Niang."
Surin took a look at Shaw Danon: "Xiao Fan, your luck allowed you to skip the ﬁrst round, but you still need to pay attention to Shixiong Shijie's duel. It is good for you, understand?"
Shaw Danon nodded: "Yes, Shi Niang."
Surin turned to Tian Bolis. He nodded and walked toward the platform. Bamboo Peak's disciples followed. "Dang!" A clear bell ringing sounded in Cloud Sea. The noisy square suddenly became all silent.
On the center of the large platform, Master Doyal Shen and Master Vasp Caelo appeared. Master Doyal Shen took a step in front and announced to the disciples: "The tournament begins."
Then he waved his sleeve, the bell rang again. "Dang dang" ﬁlled the sky. Shaw Danon peeked at Hidi, seeing her excited smile.
He couldn't move his eyes to anywhere else and couldn't hear what Master Doyal Shen and Master Vasp Caelo said. Then another bell ringing came again and pulled Shaw Danon back to reality. He realized the contest had already begun.
Sixty-three people, eight platforms, so there will be four groups. Within the ﬁrst group, Hidi was the only one from Bamboo Peak. Her platform was at Li of the west. All Bamboo Peak disciples rushed there. Hidi's ﬁrst opponent was a disciple of Sun Rise Peak. His name was Mansa. He jumped onto the stage. The disciples cheered for him. Surrounding the "Li" platform, most of the disciples were from Sun Rise Peak. Even their head, Shang Zheng Liang, was there. It appeared that they valued Mansa greatly.
Tian Bolis and others were covered by the Sun Rise Peak disciples. Almost everyone at the platform wore Sun Rise Peak's robes. Tian Bolis did not care. His eyes met with Shang Zheng Liang's. All they did was give a faint smile.
There were disciples already bringing the seats for the masters and Surin. Tian Bolis and Surin sat down. Hidi came and said: "Dad, Mom, I am going up there."
Tian Bolis looked at his daughter, said: "Go."
Surin said kindly: "Careful."
Hidi looked at the stage, smiled without a bit of nervousness, said: "Wait for my good news." Then she turned, with the smile still on her face. Her left hand formed an incantation, shouted: "Up!"
Red light ﬂashed. The Phoenix Soul around her waist had moved under her feet, carrying her to the platform.
This performance was far better than Mansa's jumping up to the stage like a monkey. Since most of the disciples were males, they were attracted by Hidi's beauty. The applause was so loud that even disciples at the other platforms turned and wondered what happened.
Shaw Danon and others were standing behind Tian Bolis and Surin. Surin smiled and told Tian Bolis: "Seems like Ling'Er's cultivation has improved."
Tian Bolis smiled. Although he said nothing, he appeared to be in a very good mood.
Hidi already arrived at the stage. She was only one yard away from Mansa. Her hands folded, said: "Shen Shixiong, it is an honor to face you." Mansa noticed the red glow coming from Hidi's esper. It must be the "Phoenix Soul" that his master had warned him about. He replied: "Tian Shimei, please go easy on me."
He took a step back. His right hand summoned a sword with faint brown glow in front of him.
Surin frowned, whispered to Tian Bolis: "This sword is same as Ling'Er's Phoenix Soul, both are earth element. This battle will be dependent on the level of cultivation of the caster."
Tian Bolis smiled: "Of all the earth espers in Jadeon, who can match your Phoenix Soul? I say that sword is eighteen thousand times worse than yours."
Surin said: "Nonsense."
The bell rang, announcing the contest had begun. Right after the bell, Hidi immediately pointed. The Phoenix Soul with red glow charged at Mansa as fast as lightning.
Mansa didn't expect Hidi would attack immediately. He fell back two steps and sent his sword to face Phoenix Soul.
Red light and brown light crashed together. Hidi and Mansa's bodies shook, then returned to normal. The two espers battled in mid-air.
Tian Bolis frowned. Surin was also surprised: "That Mansa's cultivation isn't low." At the same time, the Sun Rise Peak disciples cheered: "Yeah!"
The cry from nearly a hundred people immediately covered Bamboo Peak's disciples' voices. Sixth Amandla snorted: "Why so loud? It isn't a screaming contest."
On the stage, the two espers were in a draw and returned to their respective masters. Mansa took seven steps, murmured some kind of incantation, then shouted: "Dash!" His brown sword went high into the sky, then, in the speed of lightning it struck at Hidi from above her head. The force could be felt before the sword even landed.
Hidi had no sign of withdrawing. Her left hand grabbed Phoenix Soul and pulled it above her head. Phoenix Soul widened several times, formed a wall of red light above her head. At the next moment, Mansa's sword crashed on the red wall. The red light severely shook but there was no danger.
Surin was relieved, whispered to Tian Bolis: "Ling'Er is so silly and arrogant."
Tian Bolis snorted, shook his head.
Mansa's sword's attack was blocked and the sword returned to its master. Hidi didn't rest. Phoenix Soul extended and rolled up like a long staff. Hidi caught the staff in hand.
The audience was amazed. Mansa frowned. The sword had returned back to him. He grit his teeth. His right hand held the sword while his left hand twisted. As the large staff was about to strike at Mansa's head, the audience was silent. Then, suddenly, the wooden ﬂoor of the platform cracked. Five or six huge stones rose out and blocked in front of him.
Tian Bolis and Surin's faces darkened while Shang Zheng Liang nodded.
The staff struck heavily on the stone. The dust covered the entire stage. Hidi's body shook heavily, but the stone was indestructible. Phoenix Soul bounced back.
The dust hadn't settled. Mansa's face was slightly pale, but still didn't rest. He roared. His body ﬂoated above one of the stones. He held the sword with both hands. The sword brightened and stabbed against extremely hard stone.
Another creaking sound. Hidi felt the ground under her feet shake. Then, after several sounds, the wooden ﬂoor where Hidi was standing splintered into thousands of pieces. Countless numbers of rock spikes were shooting out from the ground. "Ah!" Shaw Danon let out a scream. He then immediately fell quiet. Surin began to worry. Sun Rise Peak cheered loudly.
"Nice one, Shen Shixiong."
The stage was still covered with dust. Hardly anything could be seen. Mansa, who was still standing on top of the stone, didn't relax. His eyes widened, search. Expectantly, after a while, within the thick dust, red light ﬂashed and brightened instantly. Hidi was like a ﬂaming phoenix, ﬂew out from the dust with the red glow of Phoenix Soul circling her waist.
Hidi formed an incantation with both hands. Then, she swung her hands down. Phoenix Soul stopped circling and entered into the earth like a viper. Without thinking, Mansa immediately ﬂew backward. Just as he thought, at the location where he was standing, viper- like Phoenix Soul came out from the earth, appearing like a red dragon. A large hole was created.
Hidi was standing in mid-air, her hands formed an orchid shape, crossed in front of her chest, shouted: "Extend!"
Phoenix Soul paused, then the red light brightened and extended hundreds of times. It went in a circle, went into the ground and came out from the other side. It surrounded Mansa. Countless layers of silks tightly covered him.
Bamboo Peak disciples looked at each other. This was the magic Hidi used two years ago against Baye. Today, it became even more powerful. With the sky and earth covered by silks, how will Mansa differ from Baye?
As Hidi kept channeling the incantation, the giant ball of silk slowly contracted. Between the gasp of the lines of silk, the brown glow was faintly visible; Mansa was clearly continuing to resist, still. Even the silks slowed down due to the resistance; however, it still continued to contract. The Sun Rise Peak disciples were quiet, nervously watching the giant red ball. Everyone knew what may happen if they got squeezed like that by an esper.
The red silk was six feet wide. The red light had completely forced down the brown light. No one could see Mansa. Hidi was still in mid-air. Her face began to ﬂush. Her hands began to shake.
After a while, Phoenix Soul contracted one more foot. Everyone held their breath. At that moment, Mansa broke through the silk and came out; however, his face was completely pale.
The Sun Rise Peak disciples cheered loudly; however, Shang Zheng Liang closed his eyes and sighed. Tian Bolis and Surin smiled to each other.
Mansa was dying trying. Hidi pointed her hand. Phoenix Soul quickly followed and hit Mansa's back. Mansa couldn't dodge; even turning his body seemed to be a great difﬁculty for him. Phoenix Soul hit him, and Mansa fell off of the stage. Sun Rise Peak disciples stopped their cheering, as though muted. Shang Zheng Liang stood up, shook his head, yelled at the disciple next to him: "Hurry and help Shen Shixiong."
The Sun Rise Peak disciples realized and went to Mansa, helped him to get up. Hidi took back her esper and landed on the ground. She smiled to Mansa: "hank you, Shen Shixiong, for going easy on me."
Mansa looked at her, smiled bitterly: "Tian Shimei is very gifted. I hold admiration." Then, he let the disciples carry him away.
Shang Zheng Liang came, said to Tian Bolis and Surin: "Tian Shixiong, although niece is still young, she already has developed great talent. It really ﬁlls me with admiration."
Tian Bolis smiled proudly: "I am ﬂattered."
Surin also smiled, said: "Shang Shixiong's house has many talented disciples. I believe there are stronger opponents in your house." Shang Zheng Liang smiled and walked away. Tian Bolis did not press further questioning. He turned and walked. Hidi returned to them, immediately she was surrounded by Bamboo Peak's disciples. They were all smiling, saying many praising words to drown Hidi with. Shaw Danon was happier than anyone else. Tian Bolis came over. Hidi swiftly went to Surin's side, pulled her arms and smiled: "How was it Mom? Aren't I tough?"
Surin rolled her eyes, but then laughed: "Yes, yes."
Tian Bolis was also smiling. His daughter had given them a good start. He was ﬁnally able to let out his pressure. He patted Hidi's head. Then, he turned back to the disciples: "Now is your turn. Ling'Er has set an example for you all. You must try hard. It is possible for you to match disciples from other houses."
They said together: "Yes!"
Shaw Danon shouted along with them. They left and prepared for their own battle. Next round, three disciples from Bamboo Peak were up; Tian Bolis and Surin seperated to observer different matches. Surin noticed Shaw Danon was still standing in the same spot, she reminded him to closely observe the contest, then left. Shaw Danon thought for a moment, planning to ﬁnd Hidi and go with her to cheer for their Shixiong. His eyes searched through the crowd and found Hidi was walking quickly toward Kevern.
Shaw Danon's heart sank.
Hidi spoke with Kevern. Kevern and talked to Hidi. Hidi laughed. Together they picked on of the platforms to watch the contest.
Shaw Danon stood still. A sorrowed disappointment rose in his heart. His blood turned cold and froze his heart.
Shenmo Ziyi Spiritual Creatures Monkey Phantasm-Came from Mount Sumeru. Extreamly smart and naughty. The third eyes open when it become thousands years old. It can see things thouands miles away. Able to control nature. Protector of Buddha.
Shenmo Ziyi-An ancient book with collection of strange creatures, gods and devils, theasures. Wrote by Xiao Ding
Xiao Ding-His name didn't recorded in any history. Bla bla bla....(let's not translate this part. It is just how Xiao Ding keep saying how smart he is in this part of the note) Very
intelligent since young age. Very strong memory. Had traveled around the world. He wrote the best book of the world: "Shenmo Ziyi"....
P.S If you don't know, Xiao Ding is actually the author of this book, Zhu Xian. Er...you know what I trying to say about the notes above...
Chapter 23: Divine Sword
"Ha ha, Zhang Shidi!"
Suddenly, Shaw Danon's shoulder was heavily patted upon by someone.
Shaw Danon was too focus on Hidi, he didn't notice anyone around him. He was surprised, then he discovered that it was Issa who he met earlier.
Issa smiled at Shaw Danon, then turned his attention to Ashh.
Ashh saw that annoying guy was here again. It made a face and jumped on Big Yella's back. It patted Big Yella's head. Big Yella turned its head, glared and barked at Shaw Danon and Issa, then ran away.
Shaw Danon frowned, called: "Ashh, come back, don't wander around." Issa laughed: "Don't worry. Monkey Phantasms are extremely smart. It won't get lost."
Shaw Danon shrugged. He turned and was about to speak ti Issa, he realized something and turned back. He saw the direction where Big Yella and Ashh were going was to the kitchen. He said: "Ah, stupid monkey, there you go again."
Issa was curious: "What is it?"
Shaw Danon coughed, smiled: "Not-nothing. Oh, right, don't you need to attend the contest, too? How come you still have time to see me?"
Issa laughed: "Oh, I am already done. Got nothing to do, so I came to say hi to you."
Shaw Danon was surprised: "What? You are already done?
How is the result?" Issa folded his fan and scratched his head: "Um, accidentally won a round. Heh heh."
Shaw Danon looked at Issa's casual tone, it didn't seem Issa got into a huge ﬁght. He carefully asked: "Ceng Shixiong, is your cultivation that high?"
Issa immediately waved his hand: "Alas, Zhang Shidi, what are you saying? With such little cultivation as I have, how am I suitable to walk on the stage? If not because my father forced me to practice, I will be too lazy to care about it. I'd rather garden, feed birds, read books. How relaxing is that! But, anyway..." he put his arm on Shaw Danon's shoulder, walked with him, whispered: "But, I can never expect in Seven Peaks Tournament that there is someone that is worse than me."
Shaw Danon laughed bitterly: "There are many that are worse than you."
Issa shrugged his shoulders, said casually: "That doesn't matter. No matter how greedy I am, I cannot expect to be the winner; however, I am rather interested by your Monkey Phantasm. Heh heh, Zhang Shidi, I will be better if you..." Shaw Danon saw his evil look, immediately said: "Ceng Shixiong, don't think about taking my Ashh!"
Issa stopped, then rolled his eyes, said: "Then let me trade with you. You know, I have a lot of rare, fun, valuable creatures in Peak of Wind. For example, the three-legs rabbit, black- white peacock, shelless turtle, and snake with wings!"
Shaw Danon couldn't help but ask: "You really have so many strange creatures?"
Issa was complacent, said: "Of course. I have spent much effort on collecting those and received punishment from my dad all the time. However, I still like your Monkey Phantasm. How is it, which one do you want to trade for?"
Shaw Danon shook his head: "No. I kept Ashh because I think we have a strong bond between us. Also, the black-white rabbit, shelless peacock you said..."
Issa immediately corrected him: "It is three-legs rabbit, black-white peacock and the one without a shell is the turtle!" Shaw Danon stuck out his tongue, said: "Oh, yes, yes; however, I am not interested in those. I am not going to trade."
Issa rolled his eyes again. He took Shaw Danon away from the crowd of people. He looked around with a strange look on his face. Then, he whispered: "Zhang Shidi, I'll show you something good. See if you like it or not." He took out a thick, blue-covered book; handed it to Shaw Danon.
Shaw Danon took a look at the cover. It did not have a title. The cover seemed old. Issa pretended to look normal, but his eyes were peeking around, very cautiously.
Shaw Danon shook his head, said: "Ceng Shixiong, I cannot take such a valuable book. My potential is not good enough. It is useless for me to read it. I also don't want to trade Ashh. Please, take it back."
Issa glared at him, said quietly: "That is because you haven't read it yet. Read it ﬁrst, hurry." Shaw Danon looked at his strange behavior. He couldn't help but be curious. He opened it and was stunned. His face immediately ﬂushed. In the book, besides large amount of words, there was also a lot of drawings. They were all naked men and women. It was a pornography book. It was the ﬁrst time in Shaw Danon's life to see such a thing. He cried out: "Ceng Shixiong, why do you have such a thing?"
"Shush!" Issa was surprised, and quickly took back the book; hiding it in his clothes. Then he carefully looked at the disciples around them and glared at Shaw Danon: "Don't be so loud."
Shaw Danon understood. However, he was still surprised, he whispered: "Ceng Shixiong, why you have, um, read such a book?"
Issa's lips curved, said: "So what? Let me tell you, there is only one copy of this book in the world! I had put extreme amounts of effort to get it. I promise, after you read it, you will be able to get every ladies' heart in the world. How is it, us it to trade for Ashh?" Shaw Danon shook his head: "No."
Issa said angrily: "This is a no, that is a no. Tell me: what do you want?"
Shaw Danon replied honestly: "I don't want anything."
Issa could not do anything about it, said: "Why are you so much like wood."
Shaw Danon chuckled, didn't mind it. His eyes faintly able to see the beautiful ﬁgure within the cloud.
Issa gave up. He opened his fan. Then, the bell rang from far away. Another contest had begun.
Issa looked in that direction, smiled suddenly and pulled Shaw Danon, said: "Come, I will bring you to watch the most popular person in Jadeon." Shaw Danon was startled, asked: "Who?" Then, he paused, his face darkened, said: "Is it Dragon Head Peak's Kevern Shixiong?"
Issa said: "Huh?" Seemed like he was amazed, then he shook his head: "Qi Shixiong's cultivation was well known already. But didn't you hear? This session's spotlight is on another person."
Shaw Danon thought for a moment, asked: "Who?"
Issa seemed to have forgotten the argument they had a while ago. He smiled mysteriously: "You will know if you come with me!" He pulled Shaw Danon with him. Shaw Danon was also curious of who that person is, so he followed along.
Issa took Shaw Danon to the largest platform, "Qian." Shaw Danon followed behind Issa. He saw below the stage it was overcrowded by hundreds of Jadeon disciples. At least four or ﬁve hundred people. Shaw Danon guessed more than half of the Jadeon disciples were all gathered here. As they walked near, they could hear the Jadeon disciples were all discussing excitedly around them.
"Bamboo Height always has so many beauties. I heard Anan is said to be the most beautiful lady in ﬁve hundreds years."
"Of' course. That day I saw her at Crystal Hall. She is so enchanting. Huh? Who hit my head, Shishu?"
A white bearded old man was next to the disciple, he said angrily: "Brat, you are a cultivator. Your mind is supposed to be still; yet you still care about women? If you are up there, all you know is her face, you will be lost before you are even able to make a move."
"Hmph! I already told Head Shixiong, Jadeon should not be adopting females as disciples." "Ahem, Shishu you senior is really, um, brilliant, intelligent, wise, but isn't your voice a bit too loud?"
"What? Am I wrong?" The old bearded man's voice raised higher.
"No, no." The disciples quickly surrounded him. They whispered: "Shishu, Master Shui Yue is sitting there."
"Hhmp!" The old man lowered his voice, said: "If not because she is from the same faction, I already would have-"
The disciples immediately agreed and praised the old man who was highly cultivated who would not bother with the younger one. Issa and Shaw Danon looked at each other. Issa shrugged. Shaw Danon whispered: "The person you mentioned is a Shijie from Bamboo Height?"
Issa nodded, looked at the stage, said: "Haven't started yet.
You will know her soon. But, alas, there are too many people." They circled around the stage; however, it was too crowded by Jadeon disciples, they couldn't ﬁnd a way to get into the crowd. Shaw Danon was even more curious. He wondered who was so popular that could draw so many Jadeon disciples here.
Issa was anxious, he kept saying: "Darn it, too many people. I should have waited here last night to get a good spot."
Shaw Danon was surprised, but before he could say anything, suddenly Issa's eyes brightened. He saw that there was a group of Peak of Wind disciples standing there. Without saying anything, he took Shaw Danon to the group. The Peak of Wind disciples recognized it was Issa. They all smiled. A huge man said: "Ho ho, you are late."
Issa didn't bother with him. He took Shaw Danon, squeezed into the crowd. The Peak of Wind disciples were very nice to him. They all moved out of the way. Shaw Danon followed him. They got inside of the crowd, the view was much better. Near the platform, eight people were sitting there. They were Jadeon's Head Master Doyal Shen, Head of Dragon Peak Master Vasp Caelo and head of Bamboo Height Master Shui Yue. Other people were elders from different houses. Standing behind them, the Jadeon disciples were tightly crowded together. The most attractive were the Bamboo Height's female disciples who were standing behind Master Shui Yue. Shaw Danon recognized Baako. The one who stood the closest to Master Shui Yue was a beautiful lady in a blue dress he saw yesterday in Hall of Crystal during sortation. Her face was still as cold as ice, attracting many people.
"See her? It is her." Issa elbowed Shaw Danon, told him to look at the blue dressed lady. Shaw Danon looked at her, said quietly: "is she the one you said is the most cultivated?"
Issa was like a drunk, he said: "Not necessary to be the most cultivated. She entered Jadeon not long ago. Her cultivation is hard to predict. However, everyone says she is certainly the most beautiful!"
Shaw Danon frowned: "Ceng Shixiong, your drooling face makes you look weird."
Issa said: "Ahem, did, did I? Heh heh, you must be wrong. Do you see the Shixiongdi around us?" Shaw Danon saw most of the disciples' eyes were on the Bamboo Height's disciples, especially blue dress Anan. But it seemed like the girls had already gotten used to it. Everyone of them acted normal. Anan's face was emotionless, cold like frost and ice; ignoring all the males behind her.
Issa swallowed, whispered to Shaw Danon: "You can't blame anyone for it. Jadeon suddenly adopted many young disciples in recent years. Look around, at least four hundred disciples are around our age. Heh heh, our cultivation isn't high enough. Hard to resist."
Shaw Danon peered at him. Drawing association with the book Issa had shown, he felt there was a word "Se" written on Issa's face.
Issa turned and asked surprisingly: "Zhang Shidi, why you not look at them but me. You and I are friends, that's why I brought you here. Right, who do you think get the best body?"
Shaw Danon immediately turned his head away. He added a "Lang" behind the comment he thought for Issa. The noise suddenly disappeared. Under the watch of people, Anan stepped up, saluted Master Shui Yue. Master Shui Yue nodded, said: "Go."
Anan responded. She tidied up her dress. Her right hand softly formed an incantation. Her eyes looked at the stage. The faint white smoke around her feet quickly gathered. Soon, a cloud formed. Anan stood on top of the cloud like a fairy. Slowly ﬂoating up into the air it carried her to the stage.
Wind came by, the white smoke was like the softest, most beautiful silk. Her dress ﬂuttering between the clouds. Like a goddess from nine skies descended to the earth. Causing people to love and also respect.
Then, the sudden applause made Shaw Danon's ears ring. He was surprised how popular Anan is. But as he looked at the beautiful ﬁgure in mid-air, he couldn't help to control himself but to think there could be such a beautiful person in this world.
A smile appeared on Master Shui Yue's cold face. After a moment, a young disciple walked to the stage (no one noticed him). Square face and thick eyebrows. His look was ﬁne, but at that moment his face seemed excited. Once he got on the stage, he said to Anan: "Lu Shimei, I am Dragon Head Peak's disciple Aiko. Today I can ﬁght against Shimei, it is very fortunate for me."
"Boo!" Hiss and boo were everywhere.
Anan was calm, standing in mid-air and said coldly: "Fang Shixiong is courteous. Bamboo Height's eight generation Anan, today asking Fang Shixiong for knowledge."
Shaw Danon looked at Anan standing in mid-air like a fairy. It reminded him of Hidi who was also standing there in mid-air not long ago. He could faintly see Hidi's ﬁgure from Anan.
On the stage, Aiko was still talking. It seemed like he did not mind if he was talking like this forever and not beginning the contest. Fortunately, many people disliked it. After he spoke a word or two many people, including Issa, who was standing next to Shaw Danon, many people began to shout angrily: "Why still not beginning?" "Pervert!"
"So annoying like a woman! Huh, that Bamboo Height's Shijie-Ouch! What are you trying to do? No, I didn't mean-"
Finally the bell rang. Anan's eyes glared straight at Aiko. Aiko trembled under the cold glare of Anan. He couldn't dare to say stupid things any longer. He took back his smile, focused his mind. He held out his right hand and summoned a silver-white sword.
Shaw Danon frowned. The sword had reminded him of Kevern's esper "Frozen Ice." Issa snorted: "With Kevern's example, many people in Dragon Head Peak love to craft this kind of sword."
Shaw Danon looked around but couldn't ﬁnd Kevern anywhere in the sea of people. He did not want to see Kevern anyway. Where did they go? Shaw Danon lowered his head. Sorrow rose in his heart.
Suddenly, Issa pulled his arm, said happily: "Xiao Fan, look, the contest has begun."
Shaw Danon saw Aiko already summoned his sword. He could feel the chill coming from it. However, Shaw Danon discovered Aiko's ice magic's power was still a distance away compared to the day Kevern battled against Tian Bolis.
However, Anan was still standing on the cloud, coldly watching Aiko channel energy and form an ice wall. She had no sign of attacking. On her back was a sky-blue sword. This sword seemed unable to combine with its owner like most cultivators' espers. However, no one here dared to underestimate this sword.
In cultivation, most espers could combine with their owner after a long time of practicing. They could summon the esper when it was needed. However, some strange espers, due to extreme high spiritual strength, the human body could not bear as a burden; so, the owner must carry the esper with him or her. This type of esper always has spiritual power. The stronger the owner's cultivation is, the more power the esper could release. The Jaden's treasure-ancient sword "Regenesis," belonged to this type.
In a three-yard radius around Aiko, a thin layer of ice was formed. The nearby disciples could feel the chill that came from it. Anan who was standing in mid-air, did nothing and continued watching Aiko.
Aiko danced with the sword lonely under the eyes of hundreds of disciples. The eyes of other people were ﬁne. But Anan's eyes were much colder than the chill that came from his own sword. It kind of limited his functionality.
Aiko was in a rush. His hand pointed at Anan from below. The silver sword charged at Anan. He said: "Lu Shimei, careful!"
Laughter came out from the crowd. Aiko appeared to be fearful of harming Anan. Master Vasp Caelo was embarrassed. He snorted heavily. The person seated next to him immediately responded: "What? Vasp Caelo Shixiong is dissatisﬁed?"
Master Vasp Caelo didn't turn. He said: "Shui Yue Shimei, every disciples in your house are all so pretty!"
During the contest, Master Vasp Caelo did not praise her disciples' talents but instead mentioned the ladies' beautiful faces. It was clearly sarcasm. Master Shui Yue replied: "I also didn't know that under Jadeon there is such an abundance of lechers and trash."
Master Vasp Caelo ﬂew into a fury. Just when he was about to retort, Master Doyal Shen held up his hand, smiled: "Okay, okay, we are hundreds of years old already. Don't you feel humiliated to argue in front of so many disciples? Watch the contest, watch the contest."
The two masters snorted heavily, then turned away.
Aiko's silver sword was already under Anan's cloud. Anan's cold face didn't show anything and she didn't move. The cloud carried her backward. But Aiko's sword was so fast that it caught up to Anan within an instant. The audience screamed or sighed as they watched the sword get close to Anan.
Anan held the sword in her hand. She didn't draw the sword out from the sheath. She only used the skyblue sword block in front of her.
The clear sound ﬁlled the entire square.
It was as though Aiko's sword received a hard blow. The sword fell back. Aiko and Master Vasp Caelo were both surprised. Without hesitation, Anan tossed away her sword. The ﬁngers on the right hand twisted and formed a seal. The sky-blue sword sword brightened in mid-air. Blue light covered the entire stage. It appeared as though this sword was deﬁnitely not a normal esper.
Aiko was shocked by the bright blue light, but he was also angered by Anan not pulling out the sword from the sheath. He used his sword and formed three layers of ice wall.
In mid-air, Anan's eyes were as bright as stars. Her hairs danced in the wind. Her mouth was quietly pronouncing the incantation. Her icy face had no emotion. A loud bang came from the sky-blue sword, like a roar of a mighty beast. The cloud vapor within twenty yards were blown away by the bright blue light.
The light was as blue as the sky. The sword ﬂew toward Aiko.
Sweat dropped from Aiko's forehead like rain. He was clearly shocked by the power of Anan's sword. Within an instant, the sword was in front of him.
"Ka, ka, ka"
The disciples were stunned as they saw the sword cut through Aiko's ice wall as if it was nothing. With Aiko's strength, it was not that he could not form any more ice walls to defend, it was that he thought three layers of ice walls were already enough. He didn't expect Anan's cultivation was so high, and the sky-blue sword was surprisingly powerful.
At that moment between life and death, Aiko forced himself to concentrate. The silver sword lay in front of him, formed a white shield. Then, Anan's blue sword crashed with the white shield.
With the two swords as the center, the loud bang swiftly spread. The Jadeon disciples felt the gale hit against them. They all fell backward. The circle of the crowd enlarged instantly.
They had never seen such power came from an esper before.
After that surprise, everyone turned their attention back tot he stage. Anan already landed on the platform. The had returned to her hand. The blue and white light also disappeared. Everyone could see the pale colour of Aiko's face.
Aiko raised his head, pointed at Anan, his voice was cracked: "You-"
Everyone was confused about what happened. Then a strange thing occurred. A cracking noise came out from the white sword that was ﬂoating in front of Aiko. Under the eyes of the audience, a large split appeared. The sword then broke into half, fell on the ﬂoor.
It was silent. Everyone here knew what an esper meant to a cultivator.
On the platform, Aiko spit out a large amount of blood. His hand held his chest. Then, he couldn't hold out any longer and fainted.
Se Lang mean pervert. P
Chapter 24: Unexpected
Immediately several disciples from Dragon Head Peak rushed to the stage and lifted up Aiko. They looked at the broken sword. Their eyes were ﬁlled with fury, glaring at Anan like they were wishing they could kill that beautiful lady in front of them.
Master Vasp Caelo held his ﬁsts tight, said coldly: "Shui Yue Shimei, your disciple's heart is very ﬁerce. Winning the battle is not enough, she even broke his esper with the power of a divine esper. What logic is that?"
Master Shui Yue said coldly: "Xueqi's cultivation is not good enough. She can't control 'Aeolian Firmus' well. Not that big of a deal."
Master Vasp Caelo was about to burst in his anger; suddenly, a hand patted on his shoulder. Master Doyal Shen had risen. He patted Master Casp Caelo's shoulder. Master Vasp Caelo looked at him and was forced to hold his hanger. He snorted heavily and strode away. Master Doyal Shen looked at Master Vasp Caelo's back, shook his head and smiled bitterly. He turned and saw Master Shui Yue also walked away. Anan came down from the stage and arrived in front of Shui Yue. Shui Yue looked at her, smiled and nodded. Anan didn't say anything. She bowed and followed as Shui Yue walked away.
Shaw Danon put himself back together after the soul stirring battle. Seeing Shui Yue walking with Anan, he realized how alike both of them were. They were both cold as frost. They seemed like they had come out of the same mold.
Suddenly Issa sighed: "Can't believe that even Aeolian Firmus has reappeared."
Shaw Danon was confused, said: "What is Aeolian Firmus?"
The Jadeon were slowly dispersing. Issa greeted several disciples of Peak of Wind, then walked away with Shaw Danon, saying: "Aeolian Firmus is the sword that Anan was using. I had read about it from <>. Aeolian Firmus ﬁrst appeared in the hand of a cultivator known as Dead Heart Master a thousand years ago. Legend said that this sword is made of steel that comes from nine skies. Dead Heart Master found it in the northern ice plain; he crafted the sword with it. At the battle between Good and Evil, the leader of Good was our Jadeon clan's Master Jade Leaf, but Dead Heart Master was also rather well known. Especially with his godly sword Aeolian Firmus, he battled Evil's Elder Black Heart for three days and nights. Then he severely injured Elder Black Heart, got rid of one of our biggest threats. During that time, it was said only Aeolian Firmus could restrain Sinister Orb. From that time, Aeolian Firmus became famous. A dream among the cultivators. However, after Dead Heart Master passed away, Aeolian Firmus vanished. Never thought that it was in the hands of Bamboo Height."
Then Issa shook his head, said: "Xiao Fan Shidi, sine Anan has such a godly weapon, this contest will not leave us with any hope."
Shaw Danon was not disappointed. He never thought of achieving anything anyway. But seeing Issa's disappointed look, he was curious: "Huh, Ceng Shixiong, didn't you tell me that you are not interested in the tournament? Why do you look so disappointed?" Issa blushed, said: "If I am, at least, able to stand on top of the stage in the ﬁnal, it would look quite impressive, don't you think?"
Shaw Danon laughed.
Issa looked at his weird face and felt embarrassed. He punched Shaw Danon: "What's so funny?" Then he himself laughed also.
The walked to another platform and watched another battle.
That day, Bamboo Peak had the record of four wins and three losses. Xavion, Hidi, He Dazhi, Amandla and the inclusion of the lucky Shaw Danon, ﬁve people advanced into the next round. This was the best record of hundreds of years. It made Tian Bolis so happy that he couldn't close his mouth.
※※※ Second day.
Dawn sunlight shown upon Cloud Sea. Jadeon disciples came to the square like yesterday; they continued to watch Jadeon's Seven Peaks Tournament.
Bamboo Peak people stood under the red list same as yesterday. Half of the names had been taken out. Next to Shaw Danon's name, his opponent was written there--Chu Yu Wang.
Since the morning, Shaw Danon started to feel nervous. Although he knew he came here to absorb knowledge, his heart couldn't help but feel uneasy. He couldn't eat breakfast.
He whispered to Xavion who was sitting next to him: "Da Shixiong, who is Chu Yu Wang? Is he strong?"
Xavion frowned, shook his head: "I am not sure. I have never heard of him. The list says he is Sun Ris Peak's disciple. But, as for the level of cultivation, I do not know." Then, he looked at Shaw Danon, seeing him appear nervous, he smiled: "Xiao Shidi, don't worry. It is not that big of a deal. The ﬁrst time I participated in the contest, I was also extremely nervous."
Shaw Danon murmured: "Yes."
Amandla came, with an evil smile on his face: "Hey, Shixings.
Let us have a gamble on Xiao Shidi's result."
"Right, right, I bet Xiao Shidi lose!"
"Me also, I put double shares!"
"Add me in."
Xavion was angry, pointed at everyone: "What do you guys think you are doing? Xiao Shidi has a battle ahead of him and you guys want to hurt him more?" Shaw Danon said thankfully: "Da Shixiong."
Xavion said: "Sixth."
Amandla stuck out his tongue, said: "Da Shixiong, I was just joking. Please don't tell master."
Xavion said: "No, you hurt him already anyway. This gamble I put in ﬁve shares!"
Amandla and Shaw Danon said at the same time: "What?"
Tian Bolis and Surin came in. Bamboo Peak disciples stood up and greeted them. Tian Bolis looked at them, said: "Yesterday your performance was not bad. However today, in the second round, the opponents are basically Jadeon's elites. You must be cautious."
They answered: "Yes." Surin looked at Shaw Danon, came to him, said: "Xiao Fan, today is your ﬁrst battle. You must be careful, understand?"
Shaw Danon's heart was warmed, he said quietly: "Yes, Shi niang."
Surin nodded. She wanted to say something more; however, the ringing bell announced the contest had begun. Tian Bolis and Surin looked at each other, nodded, said: "You all know which platform you should go to. The red list has stated it. When the contest begins, your Shi niang and I will come watch your battle. Make sure not to make use lose face."
They responded. Tian Bolis nodded, spoke with Surin privately, then walked away. Hidi looked around, then went to Shaw Danon. Shaw Danon's heart beat rapidly.
Hidi looked closely at Shaw Danon, then laughed. Turned to everyone and said: "Look how nervous Xian Fan is. His forehead is sweating." The disciples laughed. Xavion said: "I had already tried to comfort Xiao Shidi, but it didn't work. It seems we need Xiao Shimei's help."
Hidi said to Shaw Danon: "Xiao Fan, I have a battle, too. I can't cheer for you. You need to try hard and be careful!"
Her face was so close to Shaw Danon that he could smell her faint fragrance. He nodded, but he couldn't say anything.
Hidi clearly didn't think too much of it. She smiled to Shaw Danon, then talked to her Shixiongs for a bit. After a while, everyone went to their own platform for the contest. The people who did not need to ﬁght were cheering for their members; however, no one came with Shaw Danon. Perhaps everyone thought Shaw Danon was hopeless.
As Shaw Danon stood there watching his Shixiongs walking away, his heart had an indescribable pain. Then he slowly walked to the red list, carefully read through it again. The platform for him and the Sun Rise Peak disciple Chu Yu Wang was the farthest "Zhen" platform.
Shaw Danon gave a bitter smile. On his way to the platform, he heard many people were talking about the contest yesterday. The well-known disciples advanced to the next round easily. They spoke of a very talented disciple in Dragon Head Peak asid from Kevern; Shaw Danon guessed it must be Baye. Most people's topic of focus was Anan, the beautiful lady with the divine sword "Aeolian Firmus." Her level of cultivation had surpassed everyone's expectations. Most people were not happy that Anan had destroyed her opponent's swords. But this also brought even more disciples to watch her battle. The vanished "Aeolian Firmus" attracted even more people. Some elders also wished to witness the godly esper from the Good and Evil battle a thousand years ago.
As he heard the discussion between the disciples along the way, he recalled the cold, beautiful face of Anan. He shook his head. Then, someone called: "Xiao Fan."
This voice was familiar. Shaw Danon raised his head and smiled. It was Baye. Shaw Danon quickly went to him, said: "I was thinking why I could not ﬁnd you. There you are." Baye pointed behind him: "Today, I still need to go to the contest. It is at this 'Kan' platform, so I came early to prepare." Then he looked closely at Shaw Danon, smiled: "Today is also your turn; which platform are you at?"
Shaw Danon said: "I am going to 'Zhen' platform. It will begin soon; I can't come cheer for you. Be careful up there."
Baye smiled: "You too. Huh? How come your Shixiongs and elders don't come to watch you?"
Shaw Danon was startled, forced himself to smile: "You know my house does not have much people. Today many of us need to go to the contest. Master and Shi niang are watching Da Shixiong and Shijie's battle."
Baye looked at him, sighed and patted Shaw Dannon's shoulder.
Shaw Danon smiled: "Does not matter. I came here to obtain experience. Don't worry. You need to try hard, however. Don't let them think our Grasstemple Village people are useless." Baye nodded. The bell behind him rang. He turned his head back and checked, said: "My contest is about to begin. I can't talk with you. If I can, I will come to see you after this battle."
Shaw Danon nodded, said: "Go."
Baye turned. Shaw Danon watched Baye leaving, he thought to himself: "It will be a miracle if I can still hold out until you get here."
He laughed at himself as he made his way slowly to the "Zhen" platform. It was the far easter part of Cloud Sea. The were only several disciples, most were from Sun Rise Peak. The number of people was signiﬁcantly different than Anan's "Qian" platform. There was only one chair. A white bearded old man was sitting there. Shaw Danon found that old man was a bit familiar. He remembered that old man was the elder who scolded all the disciples during Anan's battle yesterday. He complained Jadeon should never adopt any female disciples. Shaw Danon did not know which house that elder was from.
In Seven Peaks Tournament, there were eight platforms. Normally, there would be at least one elder for each platform to watch over the disciples; otherwise, they would be out of control.
Shaw Danon walked to the white bearded old man and bowed, said: "Shibo, I am Bamboo Peak disciple Shaw Danon. Today's contest at the 'Zhen' platform."
The old man turned and peered at Shaw Danon, casually said: "Oh, you are here. Hurry, go on to the stage."
Shaw Danon responded; however, he saw no one on the stage. It was apparent that Chu Yu Wang hadn't arrived yet. He hesitated for a second, then decided to follow the old man's order and walked onto the stage. At the same time, Sun Rise Peak disciples were whispering; it was clear they were discussion Shaw Danon.
The morning sun had risen. The sun light of Peak of Widows gently shone down upon them. Shaw Danon was standing on the platform, looking at the east sky. The early sun slowly rising upward. The light was soft and red, brightening up the clouds from far away. Many feelings rose in Shaw Danon's heart. Five years ago he was still an ignorant farmer child. He had never dreamed that he could stand at Peak of Widows to watch the sunrise. No, it was not that he never dreamed of it; it was that he could never imagine there could be such a beautiful sunrise.
Life was endless like the clouds.
His sixteen years old mind, now it was like a sixty years old men.
Shaw Danon put his hands into his clothes and touched the cold ﬁre stick. A month ago, without anyone knowing it, Shaw Danon was surprised to ﬁnd that he could manage to control the black ﬁre stick. That moment, he could not believe his eyes. Later, after countless numbers of repeats, the ﬁre stick did move under his mind's strength.
"Navigate Object" was a shocking term in Jadeon's way of cultivation. It was a symbol of level four Pure Essence. It was what new disciples focused on, hoped for and practiced for. Shaw Danon could only dream to reach that level; to make his master proud and to make his master smile. But, is it possible?
Shaw Danon tried hard to control himself and not tell anyone about it. At the same time, he also tried to navigate other objects in the kitchen; however, they did not move. It weakened his conﬁdence. He was also confused. Why did that happen?
At night, when he stared at this mysterious ﬁre stick, he could feel the icy chill slowly circling in his body.
"Ding!" A clear bell rang, surprised Shaw Danon. There were still several Sun Rise Peak disciples standing present. The white bearded old man was still half sleeping, sitting on his chair; however, on the opposite side of of Shaw Danon there was a man standing, about thirty years old, smiling at him.
Shaw Danon blushed, quickly saluted: "Bamboo Peak disciple Shaw Danon here to ask for Chu Shixiong's guidance."
Chu Yu Wang smiled: "No, no. There are many talented people. Although Zhang Shidi is still young, with the contest in front of you, you can only stand there normally; without nervousness or fear. This is far better compared to me in the last session. I am in admiration."
Shaw Danon startled, murmured: "Not to conceal the truth, Shixiong, I was actually day-dreaming."
Below the stage, all the Sun Rise Peak disciples almost fell down due to laughter. Chu Yu Wang was also startled. He couldn't hold the laughter, then thought it was improper, so he forced himself to hold it: "Zhang Shidi must be joking. Um, it is the time. I will need Shidi to teach me a lesson."
Shaw Danon became nervous. He said slowly: "Chu Shixiong please go easy on me."
Chu Yu Wang didn't reply. It seemed like he was very conﬁdent. His right hand shook. A sword with a soft yellow glow was summoned.
"Sword name 'Shaoyang'. Zhang Shidi, please." Shaw Danon looked at Shaoyang sword. The yellow glow was soft and comfortable. It seemed like this sword was not common quality. He swallowed; however, he still reached his hand into his clothes and took out the ﬁre stick.
Everyone's eyes were on that dark black, ﬁre stick.
"Hahahaha" someone laughed and broke the silence.
Laughter burst. Someone painfully said: "What is that, that?"
"I said it already. Everyone from Bamboo Peak are weird. Yesterday, there was a guy that used gambling dice as esper. Today, there is someone with a ﬁre stick. So, so funny! Hahaha!"
Even Chu Yu Wang couldn't hold it. He struggled to restrain his laughter, said: "Zhang Shidi, that, haha, is yours, haha, sorry, I can't control it. Ah, is it your esper?" Shaw Danon listened to their laughter. His face ﬂushed. He didn't say anything. He knew the ﬁre stick was ugly and would cause people to laugh at him. However, he couldn't navigate anything other than the ﬁre stick. He had a small, tiny hope, to hope that his ﬁre stick could prove himself, so he decided to bring it.
But, in the end, the ﬁre stick had brought him disdain and sneers. People were laughing loudly. Shaw Danon lowered his head. All he could see was the black, ugly ﬁre stick in his hand.
They laughed, laughed loudly. Just like when they were leaving, his Shixiongs were laughing; even his beloved Ling'Er Shijie also laughed.
He lowered his head, closed his eyes.
The coolness in his body was calling him.
A person...when is it that a person will feel the most lonely? Is it when facing the world's apathy alone? Is it when facing all the sneers alone?
A person's blood, is it cold or boiling?
He raised his head.
The sun shone on his face. No one could see his expression.
Chu Yu Wang's Shaoyang sword glowed almost as bright as the early sun light. He shouted. Shaoyang sword's light followed his ﬁnger and crashed on Shaw Danon.
The heat blew against his face, but Shaw Danon's heart was as cold as ice. Seeing the brightness in front of him, he recalled the morning a long time ago: After the soul shocking night out there with Baye, when they got back to Grasstemple Village they saw the bloody scene. At that morning, all his happiness was gone. He could feel as though he were buried in a sea of blood, try as he might to ﬁnd his parents, but couldn't. The heat felt like it was burning his skin. Another night appeared in his eyes. Next to the pond, a beautiful lady was standing next to the water and embraced with her lover.
"Alas!" The sixteen year old youngster sight. The pain was so strong that he forgot the glowing light in front of him. He bit his lip. A drop of blood, slowly falling.
It landed on the black and green ﬁre stick with blood-like threads..
In the next moment, he was engulfed by a light that was as bright as the sun.
The Sun Rise Peak disciples cheered. Within that, there was an exclamation.
Issa ignored the eyes ﬁlled with hostility next to him. He sighed and felt sorry for his new friend. Pity that the contest's rule did not allow him to help Shaw Danon, or else he would already go up there. The bearded old man was also surprised by Issa.
On the stage, the bright glow fused with the sun light. Chu Yu Wang even thought he had reached the peak of cultivation; and then, after he defeat this trashy opponent, he will defeat every other until the last! After all, all he needed to do is win four more battles.
At the thought of that, Chu Yu Wang could not hide his smile. Shaoyang's light became brighter. He watched Shaw Danon frown and bit his lip under the pain of the heat.
Then, at that moment, his heart beat heavily. It seemed like someone used a hammer to hit him inside of his body. No one could see Shaw Danon clearly except for Chu Yu Wang, who was standing in front of Shaw Danon. He could see through the light of Shaoyang. He could see him raise his head, open his eyes.
A pair of red, blood thirsty eyes ﬁlled with rage! An unexpected, unknown coldness began to spread. Chu Yu Wang could see the black ﬁre stick seemed to come to life. The black gas rose. The orb on the top of the stick brightened with a green glow, shone on Shaw Danon. It was like he had become a different person. Everything happened inside of Shaoyang's aura. No body could see it other than Chu Yu Wang.
Chu Yu Wang was shocked. Not waiting for him to react, the icy chill had surrounded him. He felt the world was spinning. There was a disgusting feeling inside of him; moments later, the light green glow from the orb shone on his body.
Issa nervously watched Shaw Danon being surrounded by the light. He thought of Shaw Danon as a roasted monkey (normally people would think roasted pig; however, Issa thought of monkey, which is weird), he did not want to watch anymore. As the opposite, the Sun Rise Peak disciples were cheering.
Then, they heard Chu Yu Wang roared. Shaoyang sword ﬂew up into the air. The light immediately disappeared. Shaw Danon's ﬁgure reappered. Chu Yu Wang seemed to be heavily injured. He took a few steps backward. Then, blood spouted from his nose, ears, eyes and mouth. He pointed at Shaw Danon with his right hand, but couldn't make any sound.
Then his body shook, and fell on the ﬂoor, fainted.
It was silent. Everyone looked at each other. So surprise that they could not speak.
Chapter 25: Luck
After a moment, the white bearded old man was the ﬁrst to put himself back together. He jumped on the stage and examined Chu Yu Wang. His bod was ﬁne. No sign of poison. It appeared that his inside was severely injured by the esper.
He frowned, rose up and looked at Shaw Danon. He was impressed by this youngster. He peered at the black ﬁre stick in Shaw Danon's hand.
"You won." Putting away his uncertainty, the white bearded old man said calmly.
When Chu Yu Wang was about to win, but instead fell after a roar. The scenario was mysterious and unacceptable; however, the result was laying in front of them, they couldn't say anything.
Issa was also stunned. However, after he heard what the old man announced, he ran to the stage to Shaw Danon, as well; hitting him on the shoulder, he chuckled: "Good lad, so you were just hiding your skill!" Shaw Danon turned, stared at him as cold as frost.
With a pair of cold, dark black eyes!
Issa felt chilled, surprised: "Xiao Fan, what is it?"
Shaw Danon's body shook as he heard this question; it seemed to remind him of something. His eyes softened. The coldness in his eyes also disappeared; returning to normal, except for confusion in his eyes. He replied: "No, nothing. I am alright. What is it?"
Issa stared at him: "You are asking me what? Why don't you ask me as if you don't know that you won this round."
Shaw Danon was surprised: "What? I won? I really won?"
Issa was even more surprised. His face turned pale and immediately put his hand on Shaw Danon's Forehead, said: "That's bad. Did your brain get burned by that ﬁre?" Shaw Danon scratched his head, watched the Sun Rise Peak disciples carry Chu Yu Wang away. Several people glared at Shaw Danon angrily.
In Shaw Danon's mind, the scene of the battle replayed. He looked at his black ﬁre stick. The ugly stick lay in his hand quietly. However, in Shaw Danon's eyes, the ﬁre stick that had been with him for two years became unfamiliar, just like the nightmare the day in the ancient valley.
"Pop." Issa saw Shaw Danon was lost in thought, used the fan to hit his head, said: "What are you thinking?"
Shaw Danon shook his head, sighed. He putted the ﬁre stick back into his clothes, said: "Nothing. Let's go. Right, why did you come to see my contest?"
Issa peered at Shaw Danon's ﬁre stick, said: "Mine hasn't started yet. I have nothing so I came to watch your ﬁght. I had never expected it could be such great battle. Huh? Today your Monkey Phantasm, what its name-" Shaw Danon said: "Ashh."
Issa said: "Right, Ashh. Why I don't see Ashh today?"
Shaw Danon shook his head: "I didn't see its ﬁgure for the entire morning. Probably hanging around with Big Yella again."
Issa said: "Aw." Seemed like he was disappointed. Shaw Danon guess that, although Issa said he came to watch his ﬁght, he actually came to see Ashh.
From the distance, there was a wave of loud noise. The could hear it clearly, even from far away. In the center of the square, many Jadeon disciples were surrounding the "Qian" platform. Wave after wave of exclamation was issuing from the disciples.
Shaw Danon hadn't reacted to it, Issa was already stamping his feet: "Damnit, damn it. I was too concerned about you, forgot the most important thing." Then he pulled Shaw Danon's arm and began to run.
Shaw Danon was confused, asked while running: "What is it?"
Issa's face showed regret: "That is Anan's contest!"
Shaw Danon smiled, but his heart was also moved by this friend that he only knew for two days. On the deserted platform, he couldn't see his master, or any of his Shixiongs, except for Issa.
A feeling of warmth, rose in his heart.
"Issa, thank you for coming to see me."
Issa startled and slowed the pace. He turned and looked at Shaw Danon, smiled: "Hoho, that was nothing. If you want to thank me you can give Ashh-" "We need to be hurry!"
Issa shook his head. Then followed Shaw Danon, with his mouth murmuring.
As they approached nearer, they saw the Jadeon disciples were walking away. They were excited and debating. They looked up at the stage. No one was on the platform; however, it was severely scarred. It appeared that the contest was already ﬁnished.
Issa rolled his eyes, pushed through the crowd with Shaw Danon. Then, he found his target: a group of Peak of Wind disciples.
Issa quickly went near them. The Peak of Wind disciples smiled when they saw it was Issa. The tall man said: "Shidi, didn't you say you must see Anan's battle? Why were you not there?" Issa coughed, said: "I had, um, something to do. Right, hurry; what is the result?"
A man with thick eyebrows said: "No need to ask in order to know. With Aeolian Firmus, even if it is Peak of Widows' Duwan, he still is no match as her opponent!"
Issa was surprised: "Even Duwan Shixiong loss to her?"
Shaw Danon asked Issa: "Is Duwan Shixiong strong?"
Issa nodded: "Yes. Duwan is one of the most outstanding disciples in the main house. Many people believe that he can win this tournament."
The tall man shook his head: "That doesn't matter much. You didn't see it. The power of Aeolian Firmus is far too strong. The blue light ﬂashed, then a few sounds arose, after that, Duwan Shixiong lost." Then he paused and sighed: "You may not believe this; however, in the end, Anan still had not pulled Aeolian Firmus out of the sheath." Issa was startled, said: "What is the use of having the tournament? Who can stand as her opponent?"
The tall man shook his head: "That is not necessary. A godly weapon like Aeolian Firmus, the power is not much different without the sheath. As for Anan's cultivation, it is terriﬁc."
Issa looked at him, said: "Gao Shixiong, how do you know?"
Shaw Danon looked at the tall man, his mind thought that person really lived up to his name. Gao Shixiong said: "That's what I heard from master."
Issa was surprised: "My dad?"
Gao Shixiong said: "Yes. Before you arrived, master was here. At the end of the battle, he said that she might have already surpassed level eight of Pure Essence, perhaps she is already at level nine." Issa was stunned. He couldn't say anything. Shaw Danon was bewildered. Issa said he did not care about the result of the tournament, but he seemed to be very concerned about it.
A ringing bell sounded in the distance. The Peak of Wind disciples seemed to have a contest. They all went to the direction of the ringing bell. Shaw Danon saw Issa was still standing there. He pulled him.
Issa awakened, then smiled: "It's all over. Now we have no hope."
Shaw Danon truly didn't care. He said: "Over is over. Right, why your contest still hasn't begun?"
Issa looked into the distance, said: "It still hasn't begun, yet, but I should go now. Where are you going to go?"
Shaw Danon thought for a moment, then said: "I am going to report to master and Shi niang, even though it's just a lucky win." Issa nodded: "Come see me if you have time."
Shaw Danon answered, and they said good bye to each other.
Traveling on his way, he could hear many people were discussing the battle between Anan and Duwan. After a long while, Shaw Danon ﬁnally found the Bamboo Peak people in the west. He could see the angry face of Tian Bolis from far away. Shaw Danon always feared Tian Bolis, so he quietly walked to the disciples. Tian Bolis saw him. He quickly turned his face away without asking about the contest's result. Surin, Hidi and the other Bamboo Peak disciples were there except for Xavion. Shaw Danon peered at everyone. Hidi was ﬁne, but the others were depressed. Shaw Danon asked Amandla: "Sixth Shixiong, how is it?"
Amandla peered at Tian Bolis, seeing he was not looking in their direction, he whispered: "Except for Da Shixiong, all of our contests are over. Only Xiao Shimei won. Master is mad, now."
Shaw Danon was startled, did not know what to say. Surin shook her head and sighed, asked Shaw Danon gently: "Xiao Fan, you are back. How is the result?"
Shaw Danon hesitated, said quietly: "Shi niang, I, I won."
Surin: "Oh, doesn't matter, it is just a loss. Just pretend this is...." Then her voice became smaller, she looked at Shaw Danon, surprised: "What did you just say?"
Everyone, even Tian Bolis, turned to Shaw Danon. This was the ﬁrst time Shaw Danon felt proud under the regard of everyone, especially Hidi's surprised eyes. He looked at Tian Bolis, raised his voice higher and said: "Master, Shi niang, I won."
They were surprised.
※※※ They were now at the "Kun" platform, watching Xavion's battle. On the stage, the "Ten Tigers" sword was like a number of tigers, creating earth-shaking roars. It took full offensive and gained the upper hand over the opponent.
Besides being cheerful, the Bamboo Peak people could not believe what Shaw Danon had told them.
"Xiao Shidi, so you say that in the contest, you were about to lose; however, Chu Yu Wang suddenly became ill, bled and fainted?"
"Yes. Fourth Shixiong, you and second Shixiong, third Shixiong, ﬁfth Shixiong already asked me twenty-two times. Why are you still asking me? Sixth Shixiong, can you please tell them I am speaking the truth."
Amandla replied: "Xiao Shidi, so you said that during the contest, you were about to lose but that Chu Yu Wang suddenly became ill, bled and fainted?" Shaw Danon held his head, groaned: "Yes, this is the twenty- third time."
Hidi said: "Why are you guys forcing him? Xiao Dan wouldn't lie." But, then, she still shook her head, said: "But Xiao Fan, your luck is so good. Isn't it a bit too much? No wonder other people don't believe you."
Shaw Danon couldn't say anything.
Listening to their disciples' argument, Surin asked Tian Bolis: "What do you think?"
Tian Bolis frowned, asked her back: "If he said he won with his own skill, would you believe it?"
Surin smiled: "This disciple's luck is not like other people's normal luck!"
Tian Bolis snorted. "Bang!" A loud noise. Xavion roared. The brightness of Ten Tigers sword was so powerful that people could not keep their eyes open. The opponent ﬁnally collapsed by this mighty strength, ﬂew backwards and spit out blood.
The Bamboo Peak disciples cheered loudly. Tian Bolis' face ﬁnally smiled.
Xavion walked down the stage. He ﬁrst greeted his master and Shi niang, followed by the warm congratulations of the people.
"Hoho, that was just lucky! Sixth Shidi, don't say things that are so disgusting! Eh, Xiao Shidi, you are back. What is the result? Didn't get hurt, right? Aw, look at you. Listen to Da Shixiong, your cultivation is still not deep, there are a lot of chances in the future. Don't put the result of one battle into your heart. Why are you guys looking at me like that?"
Tian Bolis was the ﬁrst that walked away. Surin smiled to Xavion, then followed Tian Bolis. Xavion was puzzled, and asked the people: "What is it?" Hidi told Xavion what happened. Xavion turned to Shaw Danon with an unbelievable look on his face. Shaw Danon curled in a little: "Da Shixiong, I know it's not good for my luck to be so good; however, this is the truth. I can't control it."
Xavion's eyes widened: "Xiao Shidi, so you said that in the contest, you were about to loss, but that Chu Yu Wang suddenly became ill, bleeded and fainted?"
Xavion's eyes widened: "Xiao Shidi, so you say that in the contest, you were about to lose, but that Chu Yu Wang suddenly became ill, bled and fainted?"
Shaw Danon fell on the ground hopelessly.
There were only sixteen disciples in the third round of Seven Peaks Tournament. Bamboo Peak had three people in the third round, which was surprising. For the entire day, Tian Bolis had a smile on his face. Disciples were discussing secretly. Amandla : "Look at Master's happy face. This time, we are ﬁnally able to throw away our shame."
Wu Dayi : "Da Shixiong and Xiao Shimei really made our master proud."
He Dazhi: "That is a shame for me. Although Xiao Shimei is still young, she is much better than I. Her future is so bright."
Zheng Dali: "Don't forget about Xiao Shidi, he entered the third round, too."
Amandla: "Let's gamble again: What is the likelihood for Xiao Shidi to pass this round? Do you guys dare to bet?"
Wu Dayi, He Dazhi, Zheng Dali, Ludaxin: "I bet he loses!
Amandla: "Ahem, eh, where is Da Shixiong? Ah, Xiao Shidi?
Xiao Shimei? What the, where did they go?" He Dazhi thought for a moment, responded: "I am not sure about Xiao Shidi and Xiao Shimei; however, I can guess where Da Shixiong is."
They looked at each other, then said together: "Bamboo Height's Baako Shijie!"
Xavion suddenly trembled. Baako was curious: "What happened to you?"
Xavion frowned: "I don't know. My body just felt a sudden chill."
Baako peered at him, said: "Aren't you feeling guilty!"
Xavion immediately shook his head: "No such thing! No such thing!"
Baako's face softened, but still snorted, said: "Then why did you sneak into Bamboo Height's girls' room?" Laughter came out near him. Xavion looked around embarrassed. The contest was already over. Most of Bamboo Height's female disciples had already returned. They were all smiling and looking at him with interest. Xavion quickly changed the topic: "Oh, why don't I see my Xiao Shimei?"
Baako smiled: "Your Xiao Shimei was so pretty and enthusiastic. It is natural that someone asked her out already."
Xavion was surprised: "What? By whom?"
Baako shook her head and did not continue, instead she said: "If you see your Ling'Er Shimei, best tell her to be careful tomorrow."
Speaking about Hidi, Xavion did not feel embarrassed to talk to Baako. He could speak more freely and with a steady ﬂow. He frowned: "I know Xiao Shimei has a contest with your Bamboo Height's Anan tomorrow; however, our masters have such a good relationship with each other, there shouldn't be any problem. Seven Peaks Tournament is for testing each others' strength, anyway." Baako looked at him, said: "Your Shi niang Su Shishu does, of course, have a good relationship with my master. My master greatly dislikes your master, though. She still blames your master for stealing our Su Shishu."
Xavion was waiting for Baako to continue; however, Baako looked at the other Bamboo Height disciples, seeing they were all quiet. Xavion was bewildered: "What is it?"
Baako looked at him, hesitated for a moment, then said: "Song Shixiong, Lu Shimei is different from us; however, master really likes her. Once she gets to the stage, we can't say for sure."
Xavion's face changed: "What?"
Baako stopped, didn't say anything.
Gao mean tall. So that Peak of Wind Shixiong is Tall Shixiong....
Chapter 26: Self Esteem
"Xiao Fan, didn't you said you are going to ﬁnd Ashh and that big yellow dog, why you bring me to the kitchen?" Issa was behind Shaw Danon, kept murmuring while they were entering the kitchen.
The kitchen was much larger than Bamboo Peak's. It was also brighter. He searched carefully while saying: "I didn't see them at the morning, so I guess they must be here."
Issa shrugged his shoulder, said: "Impossible. What do you think Monkey Phantasm is? They are celestial nature. Far holy than the men kind. And you see it as a thief, a greedy thief!"
Then Issa was stunned to see Shaw Danon held Ashh out behind the jar at the corner of the kitchen. Ashh screamed in mid-air. Big Yella came out behind the jar and barked at them.
Shaw Danon looked at Issa. Issa did not know he should laugh or cry. Shaw Danon held Ashh in his arms, and scolded Big Yella: "Stupid dog, stop barking. You want people to catch us?"
Big Yella understood what he meant, and stopped barking. It looked at Ashh and moaned. Shaw Danon looked around and see everything was ﬁne. It seem like the two thief hadn't steal anything yet. He quickly carried Ashh outside, but then he discovered Big Yella did not follow them. Shaw Danon turned and saw Big Yella took a bone out from the jar.
Shaw Danon glared at Ashh. Ashh grinned with a silly smile on its face. Issa stood next to them, shook his head.
They brought the monkey and the dog sneaked out of the kitchen. If someone discover them, the shameful record will never able to wash away. They relieved when they got far enough.
Shaw Danon said as he gasp for breath: "Right, I still haven't congrate you for wining an other round." Issa didn't care, his eyes were on Ashh, said: "So what? Going to lose to someone sooner or later. Why Ashh is so dirty? You didn't wash it for days?"
Shaw Danon startled: "Never wash it."
Issa seem about to faint, he hitted himself at the forehead: "You, you, how could you treat it like this!"
Shaw Danon thought that moneky often running around, how can it be clean even if he does wash it. But seeing Issa's heart hurted face, he knew Issa wouldn't listen to any reason. So Shaw Danon changed the subject: "Right, do you know at tomorrow contest, Anan's opponent is my Shijie Hidi?"
Issa startled: "Is your Shijie, the Hidi with Pheonix Soul?"
"Yeah." Shaw Danon patted Ashh: "These two days Anan was really showing off. I am really worry about Shijie." Issa nodded: "That's right. Anan's "Aeolian Firmus" alone already bad enough."
Shaw Danon began to worry: "Shushu, do you think my Shijie will be in danger? You see Anan had destoried her opponent's sword at the ﬁrst battle. We also heard the Shixiong from main house was serverely injuried at the second battle."
Issa stared at him: "You worry too much. I can see that your Shijie's cultivation is far higher than yours. You better worry about yourself instead. The opponent will get stronger and stronger later on. According to you, you haven't get to Pure Essence's Yu Qing's level three yet. At that time, you will get killed by one blow! Let me hold Ashh."
Shaw Danon hesitated for a moment, then handed Ashh to him. Issa cheerfully held it in his arms. Ashh was not happy it. It "creak creak" screaming.
Shaw Danon sighed: "You are right. Shijie's cultivation is very high. She is also beautiful. So many, so many people like her. How it is suppose for me to worry about her?" Issa held Ashh tight. His eyes was ﬁxed on Ashh. It was like he will suffer some losses if he doesn't look at Ashh for a second. He said casually: "Its good that you understand that. You should focus on how to save yourself tomorrow. I am telling you. The opponent you are facing tomorrow is my Peak of Wind Devi Shixiong. His cultivation is deﬁnately can not be compare by Chu Yu Wang. Especially his sword Wu Gou, it is crafted by thousands years old Flame Copper. Very powerful."
Shaw Danon's eyebrows touched, said: "Everyone of you have good esper with you. What can I do about it?"
Issa's eyes was still on Ashh. He was walking away: "Ashh, come with me. I will give you some banana, good? Er, Xiao Fan, what did you said?"
Shaw Danon walked with him, sighed: "I really admire that you can use esper. How does that feel like?"
Issa shrugged: "It just the same. Once you use it long enough, the esper will naturally has some response to you. Then you can use your mind to navigate your esper. It will follow you where ever you go." Shaw Danon startled a little, said: "Response, is it like some coolness feeling?"
Issa's eyes were on Ashh, answered: "Not necessary, depend on your esper's material."
Shaw Danon thought for a moment, then shook his head and threw away the idea in his mind, said: "Shushu, the godly weapon like Aeolian Firmus, how did they crafted it. The scene must be magniﬁcent right?"
Issa looked at Shaw Danon, said: "How would I know? It is also the ﬁrst time I see the legendary esper." Then he lowered his head and looked at Ashh. Not care about Ashh's angry face, he patted its hair. He said: "But about response. I had read it from an ancient book. The esper that can truly connect to cultivator's heart is not some heavenly, divine esper."
Shaw Danon surprised: "What is that?"
Issa said: "It is the esper that added owner's blood while crafting. Use blood to fuse the materials together. The esper will usually has some evil energy and chi. But it is like become part of owner's body. Althought the book say this is Evil way, it usually crafted out some evil esper, not accepted by the Good. But these type of espers can only use by the person with owner's blood, not like our espers that will surrender to higher cultivated elders!"
Issa stopped, discovered no one was next to him. He turned and saw Shaw Danon stopped. He was lost in thought. His look was weird.
Issa was bewildered: "What it is, Xiao Fan?"
Shaw Danon's body shocked, he forced himself to smile: "Not, nothing."
Issa looked him, assumed that he was worrying about the contest. He went to him, smiled and patted his shoulder: "Rest assured. I already talked to Devi Shixiong. Tomorrow contest, he won't give a hard time and let you lose no so miserable, so your master won't be mad at you." Shaw Danon was still quite absent minded, but nodded: "Oh, thank you."
They continued walking. Issa was busy looking at Ashh. Shaw Danon's mind was ﬁlled with thought, didn't say anything. After a while, Ashh could not take Issa any longer, it screamed angrily and scratched Issa's face. Issa thought Ashh was being obedience, so he lowered his guard. This time he couldn't dodge it. Few scratch marks were added on his face, so painful that he let go of Ashh.
Ashh regain freedom. It did not go back to Shaw Danon, instead, it ran swiftly forward. It went on someone that was walking to Ashh.
Shaw Danon startled. A lady was standing there with a red silk around her waist. It was Hidi. Just when he was about to speak, the boiled blood frozen down. Standing next to Hidi, it was a handsome young men. Isn't it Kevern?
Hidi was also surprised. Ashh normally sticked with Shaw Danon. Today it suddenly changed and came to her unexpectedly. She actually like that smart monkey. She patted Ashh and smiled: "Xiao Fan, why you are here?"
Shaw Danon shown no expression. He said quietly: "I am walking with my friend."
Kevern saw Issa, he smiled and folded his hands: "Ceng Shidi, we meet again."
Issa returned the salute, said: "Qi Shixiong, hello."
Hidi looked at time, surprised: "You two know each other?"
Kevern smiled: "Ceng Shidi is beloved son of Peak of Wind's Ceng Shishu. With his family secret teaching, he is very cultivated. He is an opponent that we must watch out for in Seven Peaks Tournament!"
Issa chuckled: "Qi Shixiong your name is shocking in Jadeon. You are the lead of the disciples. How could I dare to do anything!"
Kevern laughed: "Ceng Shidi overpraised me. I don't deserve this title."
Hidi noticed Shaw Danon was a little weird. She went to him, said: "Xiao Fan, what happened?"
Shaw Danon shook his head, said: "Shijie, you know tomorrow your opponent is Anan. You must be careful!"
Hidi smiled, then looked at Kevern. Kevern smiled and did not say anything. Hidi replied him with a smile, then turned to Shaw Danon: "I know. Kevern is highly cultivated and kind. He specially asked me out here to instruct me a few notices that I need to beware of during the contest."
Shaw Danon lowered his head, after a while he said: "Shijie, tomorrow I have a contest with Peak of Wind's Devi Shixiong. I can't cheer for you. You be careful!" Hidi casually said: "Doesn't matter, Xiao Fan, dad and mom will come watch me. And beside, " She peeked at Kevern: "Qi Shxiong will also come watch my contest. With his advise, I can not lose."
Kevern laughed: "I can't promise that."
Hidi turned her head back and glared at Kevern, but then she chuckled. Her white skin with faint color of pink, really enchanting.
Issa could clearly see Shaw Danon's eyes darken quickly, but he didn't get mad. Issa couldn't help but frown.
Deep in night, the cold moon hanging on the sky.
In Cloud Sea, it's silence. A lonely ﬁgure under the cold moon light aimlessly walking, walking. He walked on the Rainbow Bridge, back to the green pond. The water was as smooth as mirror. It reﬂected the stars, like they had fell into the water.
A beautiful scene in a ﬁne night, it was so pretty.
But that person appeared not notice that. He was just staring at the water. Seem like he was trying to recall something. After a while, his body trembled. His hands held tight like it was very painful.
Then, he slowly turned his head to the dark woods near the Rainbow Bridge. He slowly walked to there.
The moonlight shone upon Shaw Danon's face, there was a little sadness.
Should he just, forever stood there at the dark corner, quietly watching other people's happiness, while himself tasting his own pain? Far away, there were sound of foot steps.
Dark, he quietly hiding in the woods.
"So late, what is Head Shixiong summoning us for?" Following the sound, six people appeared. They were the head of the six peaks. Tian Bolis was there. The one who just spoke was Shang Zheng Liang.
Master Vasp Caelo, who was walking in the front, said: " I heard Head Shixiong used Psychic Art on Master Spirit. I am fear he had discovered something, so he ask us to come and discuss."
"Master Spirit" Water Kirin was the Jadeon's guardian spiritual beast. It was very important. No one said anything more. Then, they were getting far away.
After they were gone, Shaw Danon came out from the woods. He looked at the pond. The pond was calm like usual. Master Spirit already slept. He raise his head and looked at the cold moon. When he was planning to go back, he took the ﬁre stick out from his clothes. What Issa had told him really shocked him. But at that moment, there were no idea in his mind other than Hidi and Kevern standing together.
His heart, alway seem stabbed by a needle. But now, his heart was already numb. It was all empty. His souls and spirits were seem to be gone.
He slowly held up the ﬁre stick. Under the green surface, he could clearly see the thin, red threads, like blood vessels, spread all over the stick, even on the orb.
Isn't that my blood?
At the moment he heard what Issa told him, he had an impulse in his mind that he wanted to throw away his ﬁre stick. But then Keven and Hidi gave him a much more heavy blow. He could no longer care about the so-called evil item. "Hmph!" He laughed bitterly, "even if it's evil, it's still a powerful esper. How could I be suitable for such thing. With me, isn't it the ugly ﬁre stick?"
A coldness slowly rose from the ﬁre stick and entered his body, seem like comforting him.
Shaw Danon gritted his teeth, "What am I? How could I know how to use esper?" Then, his voice choked. The icy energy seem also surprised by his sadness. The coldness became more active.
Shaw Danon could feel it, but did not worry about it. He pretended it was just the mountain wind blew passed him. He slowly raise head, looked at the ﬁre stick. The scene of him and Hidi went to the ancient valley appeared in his brain. It was like happened in previous life.
The blood vessels of ﬁre stick slowly brighten up with green light. It was responsing. Shaw Danon was surprised. He remembered what Issa told him today. An uncontrollable impulse suddenly appeared in his heart.
He closed his eyes.
Instantly, he felt no chill even though the coldness had spread through his entire body. Around him it was silent, but he could hear a roar in deep of his heart, like countless of souls screaming in hell, with the endless grief, rising in his heart.
White bone, ﬂesh blood, screaming, smell of blood!
Shaw Danon opened his eyes, panting. Then, he calmed his breath.
His hands lay ﬂat. His ﬁnger formed incanation mark. The black ﬁre stick ﬂight away from his palm. Standing in mid-air, with black gas and green light. In front of the ﬁre stick, a heathly tree completely withered all the sudden. The leave fell on the ground. It was like its life got taken away by some force.
It was the ﬁrst time Shaw Danon felt how closely he were with the ﬁre stick. Even the ﬁre stick was stopped in mid-air, he could still feel he is holding it. The familar coldness had never be so strong before. A strange ﬂesh energy was absorbed by the ﬁre stick, and spread through Shaw Danon's body.
At that moment, Shaw Danon heard a low whiz behind him. He turned and found the water of the pond was no longer calm. It seem like something was surprised. He did not think more and quickly ran away. Ran across the Rainbow Bridge. He did not turned his head. When he ﬁnally arrived at Cloud Sea, felt there was nothing strange behind him, he stopped and gasp for breath.
Then, he looked at his black ﬁre stick again. Now, the ﬁre stick was like usual, laying on his hand quietly.
※※※ The next day, Jadeon Seven Peaks Tournament entered the third round.
Eight platform was exactly enough for sixteen disciples, start the contest at the same time. Shaw Danon was assigned to "Kan" platform, Xavion at "Li", as for Anan and Hidi's contest, they were assigned to the largest platform, "Qian".
According to Shaw Danon's friend Issa who he met for only three days, the Jadeon's old men were having problem on assigning platform. But that was no wonder, Anan and Hidi's battle attracted the most people. Anan and her "Aeolian Firmus", everytime when she had a contest there would be hundreds of Jadeon disciples crowding around the platform. Bamboo Peak's Hidi was also well known in Jadeon for her wisdom at young age. She defeated many powerful opponent in the past two days. She was also attractive to many young disciples.
Today the two most outstanding, young female disciples were crossing in battle, elders may felt sorry for them, but the Jadeon disciples already surrounded the Qian platform like a steel bucket. Xavion and Shaw Danon were standing in front of Tian Bolis. Tian Bolis said to Xavion: "Today your opponent is main house's Dubaku. He is very hard working and cultivated for long time. Extreamly strong in defenive magic, the opposite of your 'Ten Tigers' sword. You need to be careful."
Xavion said respectfully: "Yes, master."
Shaw Danon felt this name was familar. He remembered it was Dubaku who lead him and Baye to Crystal Hall ﬁve years ago. Thought of that, it reminded him of Baye. He heard his friend had won the second round yesterday, and see as a prodigy, but Shaw Danon did not get the time to congrate him.
Tian Bolis turned to Shaw Danon. Shaw Danon stood there, lowered his head. Tian Bolis frowned, said: "Seventh, you too need to be careful. It doesn't matter if you lose, just careful not to hurt yourself."
Shaw Danon's body shook. No one could see how he felt, he said quietly: "Yes, master." Xavion looked at far away, told Tian Bolis: "Master, it's not early now, Xiao Shidi and I should get going."
Tian Bolis nodded. Surin smiled: "Look out for everything."
Xavion answered and walked with Shaw Danon to the outside of the crowd. He had a feeling that this Xiao Shidi was unusual today. He was so quiet unlike normal days. He said to Shaw Danon: "Xiao Shidi, why you did not say anything today, are you nervous?"
Shaw Danon looked at Xavion, forced himself to smiled, but didn't answer.
Xavion cheerfully smiled: "Don't think too much, and don't worry about win and lose. Although master and Shi niang really care about reputation, but they will not blame you. Understand?"
"Yes." Shaw Danon answered. His mind thought: They don't have any hope on me anyway, of'course they won't blame on me. Xavion nodded. They ﬁnally got out of the crowd. Xavion laughed: "Xiao Shidi, we will need to go different direction. Good luck to you. Hope you win again." Not wait for Shaw Danon to react, he laughed and walked away.
Shaw Danon sighed and walked toward to his platform.
Below "Kan" platform, most Peak of Wind disciples were there. Shaw Danon could see Gao Shixiong and others. Peak of Wind was an important house in Jadeon. It had over two hundreds disciples, after Peak of Widows and Dragon Head Peak. It's appeared that they heard something from Issa. Everyone smiled to Shaw Danon friendly.
But for some reason, Shaw Danon felt the kind smiles were all annoying, like despise to him. He expressionlessly walked onto the stage. Everyone were opposition of him. This time, Issa wasn't here, because he had his own contest too.
Even if he is here, he should cheer for the Shixiong of his own house! In Shaw Danon's heart, there was an indescribable loneiness. On the top of the stage, facing so many people's eyes, and yet he had no friend.
Because of what, why, why it is that he alway need to face everyone himself, not even able to see a friend!
A sixteen years old youngster, his heart was silently calling.
He bitted his lip, lowered his head.
The mountain wind passed his face.
The bell ring from far and near almost rang at the same time. Sounding over the Peak of Widows. Shaw Danon's heart beated. The ﬁrst idea came to mind is: Hidi Shijie's contest should have already begin. She must not get injuried. Then his heart sorrowed, thought: "She get hurt or not, when does this up to you to care? Not to mention about master and Shi niang are there, even Kevern said he will go there right after he quickly ﬁnish his opponent. Heh heh, quickly ﬁnish the opponent. Really impressive, really conﬁdent, seeing the opponent as nothing-"
As he was thinking, he thought that he was standing on the stage, until his opponent called for the third time: "Zhang Shidi!"
Shaw Danon suddenly awaken. He raise his head and found a Peak of Wind Shixiong was already there in front of him. He was a huge guy, but his face was kind. He saw Shaw Danon was day-dreaming, and his expression was a little strange.
Shaw Danon ﬂushed. The people below the stage laughed.
Devi folded his hands and smiled: "I am Peak of Wind disciple, Devi. Zhang please give some guidence." Shaw Danon quickly said: "Bamboo Peak disciple Shaw Danon, greeted Peng Shixiong."
After they greeted with each other, Devi smiled, looked at Shaw Danon then said quietly: "Zhang Shidi, Ceng Shidi already told me about you, I-"
Shaw Danon couldn't control himself, said: "Peng Shixiong, please give me all you got."
Devi startled. Then took back his smile, his right hand sliced in front of him. A sword that bright with red glow, was like it was burning by ﬁre, was summoned.
"This sword 'Wu Gou' is crafted with the thousand years old Flame Copper. Zhang Shidi, please." Devi had turned into serious. It was like he is facing equal level opponent.
Shaw Danon could feel the heat from far away. This ﬁre was strong and ﬁery, very different than Chu Yu Wang's Shaoyang sword's soft warmness. Shaw Danon's heart beated fast. His body was shaking. But he gritted his teeth, controlled himself, and took out the black ﬁre stick.
Mean laughter came from below the stage.
Shaw Danon's heart was like stabbed by a needle.
Devi did not laughed. He looked at the black ﬁre stick, said solemnly: "Zhang Shidi, please!"
Shaw Danon looked at this opponent. Behind the burning ﬁre, he was like an ancient ﬁre god. The burning ﬂame cause smoke in the air. He couldn't see his face clearly.
The black, ugly ﬁre stick, slowly left his hand, and let out the green light. Although ugly, although seem weak, it stood in mid-air, facing the unstoppable ﬁre, it and its owner, had no sign of withdraw. One person, one ﬁre stick, facing the entire world.
The laughter stopped. They all held their breath.
The ball of ﬁre became stronger. No one know what made it burn so vigorous. Even the Peak of Wind disciples could feel the heat. The low cultivation disciples even stepped back. Friend of Issa like Gao Shxiong's face changed. They could see Devi was not going to go easy on him. He was completely going all out.
The ﬁre dragon was getting stronger, covered up most of the stage. Shaw Danon's clothes, and even hair, had sign of burned. He was like in the heated oven.
And then, that youngster standing there, although felt the pain he was not stepping back. His eyes had fear but also rage. The ﬁre in his heart was like burning in his eyes.
A whistle, the ﬁre dragon pounced, and swallowed the world. Seem like that moment had frozen the time.
Shaw Danon and the ﬁre stick entered the sea of ﬁre.
The sound of burning ﬁre could be heard from far.
Below the stage, Gao Shixiong and others looked at each others in the eyes. Then, they sighed: "Why it turn out like this!"
Chapter 27: Persist
Below the "Qian" platform, it was like an other world. Everyone were shouting loudly for the two beautiful ﬁgure on the stage.
The red light of Phoenix Soul and the blue light of Aeolian Firmus shone the stage like the fairyland. But the most beautiful thing was still the two young ladies on the stage. From the begining to now, it had last already two hours. They still hadn't able to get the result. Especially Bamboo Peak's Hidi, she had survived long under Anan's Aeolian Firmus and still had no sign of losing.
Even the Head of Jadeon Master Doyal Shen was enjoyed by the contest.
Tian Bolis and Surin were worried about Hidi. But seeing Hidi was not in any disadvantage, their hearts were relieved. Tian Bolis noticed Surin's nervous look, he said softly: "Relax. Ling'Er will be ﬁne." Surin turned and looked at her husband and smiled, then turned her attention at the platform once more. Tian Bolis shook his head, then noticed there were some disturbance behind him with the disciples.
He turned his head and looked, even with his high cultivation, he startled by what he saw.
The people were moving out of the way, let out a thin path. Shaw Danon was walking slowly. All his clothes were burned. Smoke even came out from some part of his clothes. On his face, hands, body, many places were burned black. They could see Shaw Danon was walking with great difﬁculty, it seem like every steps used up all his strength. But he was still stubbornly walking, walking.
Tian Bolis saw his youngest disciple was walking toward him. He said nothing and left his seat with his short, fat body. Surin felt something was wrong. She turned and looked at Tian Bolis. Her face immediately turned pale. She rose up.
At that moment, more people were looking at this way. Shaw Danon walked to the front of Tian Bolis. Tian Bolis looked at this disciple who he neglected most of the time, looked at his ignorance stubbornness. An unstoppable anger rose in his heart. The anger was so strong, people could hear the anger from his tone even if he tried hard to cover it: "Seventh, which guy hurted you like this, victory is not enough for him?"
Surin was surprised that Tian Bolis truly got mad because of his young disciple. She pulled Tian Bolis sleeve, but her eyes landed on Shaw Danon again.
The Bamboo Peak disciples were too shocked to help Shaw Danon.
On the stage, Anan and Hidi were battling. The espers were ﬂying around.
Shaw Danon looked at the stage, then to his master. He saw his master angry face, there seem to be an unnoticable loving care in his face. He used his remaining strength to shake his head, said quiet: "No, master, I won."
Then his head felt dizzy. The sky seem darken instantly. He fell on the ground and fainted.
Shaw Danon fell on the ground, unconscious. But the words Shaw Danon said before he fell had shocked Tian Bolis as well as other Bamboo Peak disciples. After a moment, they lifted up Shaw Danon's back.
Tian Bolis closely examined Shaw Danon. His body was burned by ﬁre, but his inter organs were all right. He seem fainted due to tiredness. Tian Bolis did not know what happened in Shaw Danon's contest. He noticed many people were looking them. He did not want to stand there and watched by others. He carried Shaw Danon, said to Surin quietly: "I bring seventh back ﬁrst. You stay there and watch Ling'Er."
Surin frowned, still nodded still. Looking Shaw Danon, she couldn't hide her anxiousness any longer. The Bamboo Peak disciples circled them. Amandla said: "Master, let me come with you."
Tian Bolis shook his head, said: "No need."
Even Master Doyal Shen was attracted. He said: "Tian Shidi, he is your disciple. What happened?"
Tian Bolis said: "His skills isn't good enough and get some light injury. I will bring him back and cure him. Please excuse me."
Master Doyal Shen nodded then he turned back to the amazing battle. A while after Tian Bolis carried Shaw Danon, the disturbance was soon calmed down, the disciples were enchanted by the two beauties once again. Only small amount disciples at the outer layer of the crowd noticed a group of Peak of Wind disciples, most with ghastly pale on their face, were gathering at the platform far away.
If Shaw Danon is here, he would know that platform is where Issa contest take place. ※※※
In netherworld, hall of Yama, there were ﬁre everywhere, burning the crying people. The blood were stink and disgusting. Shaw Danon felt the sky was spinning. At that instant, he was back to the peaceful village many years ago.
A thunder. The dark clouds covered the mountain. Just in the blink of the eyes, the kind villagers became dead bodies. The peaceful village became a hell.
He shouted as hard as he could. His muscles were tensed. His heart was like stabbed. Pain came out from his chest. His body trembled and woke up.
"Ah, he wake up. Xiao Fan had woke up." The familar voice that was engraved in his heart was the ﬁrst came to him. The voice contained some anxious and relieve. Shaw Danon opened his eyes and saw Hidi. It was like, back to the time long ago. She was in all red dress with Phoenix Soul around her waist. Her beautiful hair falling hanging down smoothly around her neck. Shaw Danon could see his reﬂection in Hidi's bright eyes.
Shijie! A cry from the deep of his heart.
Shaw Danon looked at her. His eyes did not blink. How great it is if this moment become an eternity!
In the room, everyone gathered around him. Tian Bolis took his pulse, nodded: "Good. No problem now."
Everyone relieved and released a smile.
Shaw Danon saw everyone was here. He was laying on the bed while the disciples were standing, Tian Bolis and Surin were sitting on the chairs in front of the bed.
"What, what happened?" Hidi smiled: "Are you forget already? You fainted after the contest between you and Peak of Wind's Devi. It scared everyone. Lucky nothing serious."
Shaw Danon moved his body. Except for some tiredness, and the pain in his chest, every parts of his body were alright. He surprised: "How can this be? Aren't my body-"
Tian Bolis cutted in: "The burns are just skin injuries, I used the Jadeon's special ointment to cure it. Your body only received one damaging hit on the chest, but the bones did not get dislocated. It should be ﬁne after few days of rest."
Surin smiled, said: "Xiao Fan, you should thank your master for it. If not because of him cured you, just your burns alone will taks more than half year to recover."
Shaw Danon said quietly, with undescribable gratefulness: "Disciple is useless, bothered master."
Tian Bolis snorted. His face turned cold: "How are you useless? The best in the Bamboo Peak is now you!" Shaw Danon was surprised, he did not know what Tian Bolis meant. He said: "Master, I, no, like Shijie, ah, and also Da Shixiong and other Shixiongs are far ahead of me, I can not..." Then his voice got quiet. He noticed the Shixiongs and Hidi's faces were weird. Especially Da Shixiong. He looked very pale, no like his usual energetic. Now he looked like he was about to fall down.
Surin sighed, said: "Daxin, bring a chair for your Da Shixiong."
Ludaxin quickly answered and brought a chair for Xavion. Xavion wanted to refuse, but then his body couldn't hold out, and sat down, panting.
Shaw Danon was stunned: "Da Shixiong, what happened to you?"
Xavion smiled bitterly, did not reply, while He Dazhi said: "Xiao Shidi, now Seven Peaks Tournament is at fourth round, our Bamboo Peak only has you remain." Then he looked at others. Shaw Danon then realized, looked at Hidi, said: "Shijie, you also-"
Hidi's face darken, said quietly: "I lost too."
Shaw Danon looked at her disappointment in her eyes. His heart was hurted. But now it was not the time for him to think about something else.
Tian Bolis looked closely at Shaw Danon, said: "Seventh."
Shaw Danon's heart beated. He could hear the anger in Tian Bolis voice. He began to has a little fear: "Yes, master, what-"
Not waited for him to ﬁnish, Tian Bolis asked: "Your cultivation, where you learned it?"
A huge ring in his brain. He opened his mouth but did not know what to say. He looked at everyone in the room. The familar kind Shixiongs remained silent, looked at him with doubt.
But that was expected, the Xiao Shijie who was used to be dumb suddenly became surprisingly strong, no one could accept that within such short time.
Under aggressive eyes of Tian Bolis, Shaw Danon sweated hard on his forehead. He almost told his master that he was practicing other faction's martial art.
He was no longer the ignorant child ﬁve years ago. From daily conversation between his Shixiongs, he already knew about the famous Skysong temple, and also old monk Pozhi's true identity. For the past years, Shaw Danon had practiced "Fawin Wisdom", the gratefulness in his heart had not lighten.
"I, no, disciple is dumb. These years the cultivation did not have much improvement." Shaw Danon lowered his head, avoided Tian Bolis's eyes. He said slowly: "Few days ago, disciple suddenly able to drive some objects. Disciple himself couldn't believe it, so, so did not report to master, did not expect-" Tian Bolis laughed coldly: "Did not expect became famous from one battle!"
Shaw Danon immediately said: "No, not like that, master-"
Tian Bolis was not that easy to lie to, he said coldly: "You said you can drive some objects, but this need to be at least Yu Qing stage level four to accomplish. I asked Daren, he only taught you the level two incanation. Can you tell this ignorant master how did you skipped level three cultivation and got to level four?" At the end, his voice remain cold, with some fury. Everyone's faces changed.
Shaw Danon did not say anything. The room was silent.
Tian Bolis's face became worse and worse. Everyone was getting more anxious. Shaw Danon quietly got up. Though he was tired, he still got off his bed. In front of everyone, in front of Hidi, he kneed down before Tian Bolis.
Tian Bolis said coldly: "What?" Shaw Danon lowered his head, looked at the ground, did not looked at anyone he said quietly: "Master, please punish me."
Tian Bolis got even more mad. Surin frowned: "Xiao Fan, if you have any reason, just tell your master. Why make it like this?"
Tian Bolis laughed coldly: "Good, good, good! You are a hard bone. I have a good disciple!"
Shaw Danon trembled. He did not know how he feel. It seem like there was also an other person, the breath became faster. He said quietly: "It is all disciple's fault. Master please punish me!"
Tian Bolis suddenly rose up. The chair he sat on fallen apart. He said angrily to Shaw Danon: "It's all your fault, heh heh, you know it is a great forbidden in Jadeon to learn behind master's back. The punishment is from imprison for a serveral decades to destory all cultivation and expel out of Jadeon, you know that?" Shaw Danon lifted his head and looked at Tian Bolis. He saw his master's face was ﬁlled with anger, he wasn't joking. His heart sinked.
"Why it turn out like this?" His mind said. Hidi didn't tell him that when she gave him the incanation.
But still, he did not turn back.
The room was dead quiet. No one said anything.
The only sound left was the panting of people.
A person's heart, in this silent, had quietly, coldly frozen. Shaw Danon closed his eyes, lowered his head again. It was like he is taking his ﬁnal step in his life:
"Disciple dishonor, master please punish!" "Beng!" A great force hitted him. Shaw Danon ﬂight back and hitted against the wall. He fell on the ground. Large amount of blood spitted out.
Xavion kneed down. Other disciples followed, said: "Master, please forgive Xiao Shidi!"
Xavion said: "Master, I, (Coughed), I, It's me who did not teach him well and let him did such thing. It's all my fault. Please forgive Xiao Shidi!"
While everyone were whinning, Hidi did not move and stood there, stunned, and watched Shaw Danon struggling. His body was covered with blood and his face was pale.
Tian Bolis looked at the disciples and Shaw Danon. The anger was still on his face. He snorted then left. Surin looked at them, sighed and shook her head, said to Xavion and others: "You all can stand up." She looked at Shaw Danon, then said: "You guys take care of Xiao Fan, I will go see your master."
Xavion and others quickly answered: "Yes." Surin sighed again, then left.
The people looked at each other. After a while, Hidi walked slowly, and helped Shaw Danon. Bubbles came out from Shaw Danon's mouth. Laying in her arms, Shaw Danon smiled.
At that moment, a drop of tear fell on Shaw Danon's blood stained face.
It was dark night now. In Cloud Sea, the cloud vapor still ﬂoating around, like the fairyland.
Tian Bolis stood at the square, looked at the sky.
The night sky was ﬁlled with countless of stars. The moon was cold as frost. Behind him, a familar footstep came. Surin went by his side, looked at the stars with him, smiled: "Feeling better?"
Tian Bolis snorted, didn't say anything.
Surin smiled: "You can fool Daren, Ling'Er and others, but you can not fool me. That swing is probably intentionally shock Xiao Fan's blood vessels near his heart, so the congested blood can get out from his body, right?"
Tian Bolis looked at the night sky, still remain silent.
Surin shook her head, said: "Already hundreds years old, and still care so much about reputation!"
Tian Bolis turned, glared at his wife, said: "You saw that. That brat was like, 'Master, please punish me!'" Tian Bolis mocked Shaw Danon's tone, said angrily: "It's clearly his fault, and still act like he got treated wrong, make it like I, the master, is abusing him, forcing him isn't it? Out rageous!" Surin turned around and looked at the dormitories, said: "You think I will believe you did not see that?"
Tian Bolis said: "What?"
Surin said: "Ling'Er was acting strangely. Don't you think?"
Tian Bolis snorted.
Surin smiled: "You also see that. Xiao Fan had never left Bamboo Peak for ﬁve years, the only possiblility is that our disciples taught him. Ling'Er alway being nice to Xiao Fan. She is also spoil by us, she would dare to secretly pass them level three incanation. If isn't because she felt guilty, with her normal behavior, she would already help Xiao Fan. And yet this time she said nothing? Who could that be if isn't her?"
Tian Bolis seem to have expected his wife to say so. He did not seem surprised, but he still looked angry, unwillingly said: "Even if it's Ling'Er's fault, look at that Shaw Danon talk back to me and not telling anything, damn it!" Surin chuckled, patted her husband's shoulder, scolded: "Aren't you the same? And you still blame on a child. And beside, Xiao Fan did that for Ling'Er, this intention is hard to get!"
Tian Bolis rolled his eyes, didn't say anything.
Surin looked at him, said: "What are you going to do once you are back to Bamboo Peak? Learn behind master's back is great crime. For Ling'Er, let's not punish him too hard, just lock him up in back mountain for thirty or ﬁfty years."
Tian Bolis startled, snorted, said: "Hardly our house ﬁnally got a, got a crazy geek. Doesn't that let Vasp Caelo, Shang Zheng Liang get away too easily. Don't think about it. Tomorrow don't worry about life or death, just let him continue the contest.
Surin held her husband's hand, smiled: "I know you are soft hearted." Tian Bolis blushed, but quickly went back to normal. He peered around, said: "We are old couple now, you don't think people will tease us?"
Surin looked at him, said: "What, you become scare now since you are the head of the house? Three hundreds years ago, also at Peak of Widows, didn't you went into my place at dark before Seven Peaks Tournament. That time my Master Zhen Yu and Shijie Shui Yue were nearby. I did not see you scare!"
Tian Bolis giggled: "Your Master Zhen Yu was already six hundreds years old. She is already an old fool. I don't fear her; as for your vicious Shijie, I already hated her. It's ﬁne for her to be alone for the entire life, but she wanted to keep you with her. I hated her so much already, when did I ever fear her!"
Surin glared at him: "Don't say bad thing about my master and Shijie, they meant a lot to me."
Tian Bolis shrugged, didn't say anything. Under the moon light, his eyes said: no matter how good they are to you, you still married me in the end. Surin couldn't help but scolded: "Silly minded."
Tian Bolis was in a very good mood, he held his wife's hand, walking slowly in the Cloud Sea.
"Right, I forgot an important thing."
"That brat could use a ﬁre stick as esper. I was too busy to be angry and forgot to take a look at it."
"Xiao Fan was secretly practicing cultivation. He probably doesn't know much about controlling esper. I think you need to ﬁnd a time to give him some instruction on?"
"Huh, let's talk about it later. Last night Head Shixiong summoned all heads to him. He said after using Psychic Art and talked to Master Spirit, he discovered Master Spirit's odd behavior was due to some evil spirit, later it couldn't ﬁnd it." "What are we going to do?"
"What can be done about it, Master Spirit couldn't ﬁnd it. Master Spirit lived for six thousands years already. Your master became a fool after living for six hundreds years, it's not unusual if Master Spirit became a fool!"
Chapter 28: Top Four
Next day, the sun rose like usual. Bamboo Peak people arrived at the square. Four of the platforms were gone, leaving four platforms in the four directions.
Tian Bolis and Surin walked in the front. Shaw Danon's wound seem recovered over night. He walked between the disciples. Suddenly everyone valued him, and it surprised him. He turned his head back and asked Amandla: "Sixth Shixiong, is Da Shixiong's injury really bad that he couldn't even walk?"
Amandla shook his head: "Master had visited Da Shixiong his morning. He said that the battle between him and Dubaku was too intense. One all offensive while one all defenive. It end up either side win. It might damaged his cultivation."
Shaw Danon was surprised: "Even Da Shixiong can not beat him, is that, is that mean I am going to lose miserably?"
Amandla rolled his eyes, said: "If it is following common sense that is. But because of common sense, all of your Shixiongs had bet you lose for the pass two days!" Shaw Danon couldn't ﬁnd a word to say, closed his mouth.
The platform at the north was extreamly crowded. It was Anan's contest no doubt. Tian Bolis snorted as he looked at that platform. He did not have any good impression to the person who defeated his daughter. He lead his disciples to the platform at west.
After a few steps, Shaw Danon's body shocked. He saw the group of people were coming to their direction. An old men was leading them. The person who was next to the old men was Issa. Behind them were about a hundred Peak of Wind disciples. Shaw Danon saw Gao Shixiong and others, but he did not see Devi.
Like noticed Shaw Danon's eyes, Issa said as their shoulders passed: "Peng Shixiong did not come, he is resting in his room!"
Shaw Danon managed to smile. But he saw Issa's face was solemn, his eyes were cold. The leading old men was Peak of Wind disciple Ceng Shu Chang. He looked at Shaw Danon. Shaw Danon felt that old men's eyes were not shape, but it seem able to look into his deepest heart.
He curled in a bit. Tian Bolis said: "Hello Ceng Shixiong."
Ceng Shu Chang replied: "Hello Tian Shidi. I heard your house have a prodigy name Shaw Danon. His cultivation was unique and almost killed my useless disciple Devi in yesterday contest."
Shaw Danon was surprised: "What? Peng Shixiong was hurted that badly?"
The Peak of Wind disciples were discussing of how that person malicious is. Injuried someone and pretended to be surprised, showing himself was unintentional or insult Devi.
Anger ﬂashed in Ceng Shu Chang's eyes. But he could not release it in front of younger generation. He smiled coldly, said: "Tian Shidi, you had cultivated a good disciple!" Tian Bolis was frowned and thought Shaw Danon was a bad speaker. But after he heard what Ceng Shu Chang said and noticed the sarcasm within, he immediately smiled: "You ﬂattered me Ceng Shixiong. Xiao Fan, come and greet Ceng Shishu."
Shaw Danon startled. Ceng Shu Chang waved his sleeve, said coldly: "No need." then walked away.
Issa looked at Shaw Danon said: "I did not see you are actually hiding your strength all along. I asked Peng Shixiong to go easy on you, did not expect this actually caused trouble for him."
Shaw Danon said quickly: "I did not-"
He hadn't ﬁnish, Issa already walked away. The Peak of Wind people followed. Everyone's eyes were icy cold. But when he looked at Gao Shixiong, Gao Shixiong winked to him.
He startled, but Gao Shixiong already walked away. Tian Bolis peered at the Peak of Wind people. He smiled coldly, then he waved his hand and lead the people to the west platform for today contest. As they got near, they discovered there were about two hundreds people had gathered. It seem like beside Anan's platform, the most crowded place in Cloud Sea was here.
Shaw Danon was amazed, asked the Shixiongs: "So many people. That Dubaku Shixiong is surely strong?"
They laughed. He Dazhi said: "Chang Shixiong cultivation is high for sure. But I think they come here to see you most likely, Xiao Shidi!"
Shaw Danon was surprised: "How, how's that?"
He Dazhi chuckled: "Until now, only eight people remain in the Seven Peaks Tournament. The largest black horse is you. Who doesn't want to come see how many mouth or arms you got?"
Shaw Danon was muted. Tian Bolis lead them to the platform. The people moved out of the way when they saw it was the Bamboo Peak. Many disciples were from Peak of Widows. Because Dubaku had a contest today, most disciples from main house were here. But there were not many elders from main house, even Master Doyal Shen was not here.
Tian Bolis frowned, asked Surin: "Head Shixiong is not here, is there anyone from main house has today?"
Surin shook her head, said: "No. For some reason, the disciples' quality of main house this year are not that good. Only Dubaku remain now."
Tian Bolis pondered, then walked to the six chairs located right below the stage. Only a white beard old men sat there. He rose up as he saw Tian Bolis arrived.
Shaw Danon startled. It was the white beard old men in the contest between him and Chu Yu Wang. The white beard old men seem also remembered him. His eyes landed on Shaw Danon for a moment then turned to Tian Bolis: "Tian Shixiong, I can never imagin your house have such prodigy this year."
Tian Bolis seem have good relationship with this senior, he smiled, said: "Tera Shixiong overpraise me. Please sit."
The bell rang. Tian Bolis turned to Shaw Danon, said: "Seventh, go up there."
Hundreds of eyes landed on Shaw Danon at that instant. Shaw Danon had never being stared by that many people before. He ﬂushed, answered: "Yes." Then he walked to the stage without looking back.
But then he was pulled by Surin. Shaw Danon was surprised: "Shi niang, what it is?"
Surin smiled, said with loving care: "Does your body still hurt?" Shaw Danon shook his head: "Master himself had cured me, it's almost recovered."
Surin shook her head also, said: "Outside is easy to be recover but the inside is hard. Xiao Fan, Dubaku you are facing isn't a common opponent, even your Da Shixiong loss to him. Though according to your Da Shixiong, Dubaku was also serverely injuried after he won, but with your cultivation you still couldn't I am afraid. Just give up when you can't hold out. Don't take risk and get injure, understand?"
Shaw Danon didn't nod, but murmured: "Master will be mad."
Surin shook her head smiling: "Silly child, just go. Your master worry so much about you."
Shaw Danon immediately turned and looked at Tian Bolis, and saw Tian Bolis was chatting with the white beard old men. He did not look at him.
Surin patted his head, said: "Go." Shaw Danon walked slowly onto the stage. He stood there with what Surin just said: "Your master worry so much about you!"
Since he was young, Tian Bolis was no different than god in his mind. Although Tian Bolis did not treat Shaw Danon well, to get his master's approval was Shaw Danon's greatest wish.
And now, heard what Surin suddenly said, he could not believe it.
The people below the stage began to feel not right. After a while, even Shaw Danon felt something was wrong: his opponent still hadn't arrive yet.
The disciples from main house was worrying. They kept looking around. At that moment, a main house disciple was running toward them. He rushed to the white beard old men and whispered to him.
The white beard old men couldn't believe what he had heard, asked: "Really?" That disciple looked at the stage, and ﬁnally nodded. The white beard old men's face turned pale, fell back into the chair. Tian Bolis was puzzled, asked: "Tera Shixiong, what happened?"
The white beard old men looked at him weakly. He sighed and pulled himself back together, rose up and announced: "Main house disciple Dubaku, due to the injuries yesterday contest, he give up today contest."
It was silent.
After a moment, the crowd rose into an uproar! Though the Jadeon disciples were cultivators, many of them cursed. As for the Bamboo Peak people, the ﬁrst reaction of them was not cheer, but a weird look. They looked at each other for a while, then smiled bitterly.
Tian Bolis and Surin slowly rose up, staring at their young disciple on the stage. Surin smiled, said quietly to Tian Bolis: "I already said it. This small disciple's luck is not common." Tian Bolis couldn't say anything, but bitterly smiled.
That day, it seem like everyone wanted to look at Shaw Danon like he was a precious beast. At the same time, the contest result came out. Shaw Danon was "fortunate" to be able to list into the semi-ﬁnal along with Kevern, Anan, and Issa.
Many people already expected Kevern to win the tournament. Anan was also extreamly popular for the past few days. But Issa and Shaw Danon entered semi-ﬁnal was out of many Jadeon's elders' expectation. Issa was known for being Ceng Shu Chang's only son. Though many people of Peak of Wind knew Issa was very talented, but he was not well known in Jadeon. During the contest, he defeated many opponents with his ﬂawless magic skills, amazed many people. In comparison, Shaw Danon was seem out of spot within the four people.
On the stage, the four people stood shoulders to shoulders. The Head of the faction Master Doyal Shen and Head of Dragon Head Peak Master Vasp Caelo stood in front of them. Master Doyal Shen had a smile on his face, could not see any unsatisfy for none of his disciples remain in Seven Peaks Tournament. Below the stage, near thousand disciples were gathered. All the Jadeon's elders were sitting in the front. Surin looked at the stage, whispered to Tian Bolis: "Xiao Fan seem a bit nervous!"
Tian Bolis snorted, did not say anything. How could he not see what his wife was able to see. On the the stage, Kevern was cool and calm; Anan was cold as frost; Issa was smiling; only Shaw Danon was standing there, looking at the ground, both hands did not know where to put.
Master Doyal Shen looked at the four people. He smiled, turned to the disciples below the stage: "Everyone, the Seven Peaks Tournament had selected the our top four disciples. Their talent surpass many people, amazing cultivation. They are our Jadeon's elite, burden with the future of Jadeon clan-" Suddenly someone below the stage laughed. Then, Jadeon disciples burst into laughter.
Master Doyal Shen frowned, peered at Shaw Danon who was the youngest out of the four. He shook his head. The laughter continued, the solemn situation turned into clownery. Master Vasp Caelo stepped forward. His eyes were like blade, sweep across the crowd. The laughter instantly extinguished. It soon returned to silent. Vasp Caelo had in charge of Jadeon's punishment for years. The disciples feared him more than Master Doyal Shen.
Wait until it returned to absolute silent, Master Vasp Caelo stepped back, said to Master Doyal Shen: "Head Shixiong, please."
Master Doyal Shen smiled: "I don't have much to say, Vasp Caelo Shidi, you go."
Master Vasp Caelo nodded, announced: "Tomorrow contest, Dragon Head Peak Kevern verse Peak of Wind Issa, Bamboo Height Anan verse Bamboo Peak Shaw Danon "
Master Vasp Caelo kept on talking. Everyone eyes turned to him. Shaw Danon could ﬁnally relax. Many people were looking at him, so he almost could not breathe.
"Why you sweat so much?" Suddenly, Issa asked quietly. Shaw Danon was surprised. After he defeated Devi yesterday, Issa was being cold to him. He did not expect Issa would talk to him. Though they only knew each other for three days, Shaw Danon had see Issa as his friend.
He looked at Issa, and saw he was standing there looking forward, smiling to the disciples below the stage. It was like he had never spoken to Shaw Danon.
"Idiot, don't turn your head." Issa's face did not change, only the corner of his lips moved: "You had made my dad to scold me half dead!"
Shaw Danon immediately turned his head away, whispered: "Sorry, I was, was, ai, is Peng Shixiong alright?"
"Although Peng Shixiong is heavily injuried, but its not too bad. He will recover after few days, or else why I am not make you to pay back? But I can never expect you are really hiding your strength." "No, alas, I did not know what happened. I think it must be Peng Shixiong went easy on me, and my head was burned so-"
"I asked Peng Shixiong, though he lost, he praised a lot about you. He said he had gave all he got, did not go easy. So you don't need to worry about it."
Shaw Danon surprised again, then he asked: "Then about your dad scolded you-"
"Huh, that is because Gao Shixiong and his idiots were having a big mouth, told my dad about me asking Peng Shixiong to go easy on you. Peng Shixiong was trying to help me, but dad scolded me, other wise I won't pretend to be like this in front of people."
"Shushu, I am really sorry."
"That was nothing. Don't mention it. I got scolded all the time when I was young anyway. But you bastard need to be careful tomorrow. Next battle is against Bamboo Height's icy beauty. Careful not to get killed by 'Aeolian Firmus'!" Shaw Danon said sadly: "I know that too. It will be great if the contest place me against you-" Then he stopped. He and Issa felt a frozen chill. They turned and saw Anan's cold eyes were on them.
Shaw Danon was stupeﬁed. Issa gasped. They stopped talking and pretended listening Master Vasp Caelo's reminder.
After Master Vasp Caelo ﬁnished, the disciples were dismissed, prepared for tomorrow climax of the tournament. Shaw Danon and Issa walked down the stage, they could feel the chill on their back. They wondered is Anan came from northen ice plain. Their hearts were frozen just from one stare.
Just when he wanted to say good bye to Issa, he said Issa changed his face, looked at him contemptuously and snorted, walked away. Surrounded by Peak of Wind disciples, Issa's father was looking at them.
Shaw Danon smiled bitterly, then turned and walked to the Bamboo Peak people. Tian Bolis looked at him, said: "Let us return." Then he looked at Hidi, said: "Ling'Er, come with me, your mother and I want to speak with you." Hidi answered and smiled to Shaw Danon before she left.
They returned to the dormitory. Once they were back to the room, Wu Dayi and others quickly told Xavion the good news. Ludaxin held up Shaw Danon and laughed. Only Amandla kept shaking his head, said: "God has no ears or eyes!"
Chapter 29: Supreme Art
The night returned.
Shaw Danon couldn't go to sleep. Even Ashh's eyes were also opened, looked at him. Other Shixiongs were already snoring. Big Yella also felt asleep.
Moonlight was like water, came in from the window. It landed on the ground like snow.
Shaw Danon quietly got up, Ashh immediately jumped into his arms. Shaw Danon carried it, patted its head, and walked outside.
Not a sound at the corridor. It was silent.
He smiled bitterly. Since he arrived at Peak of Widows, he never had a good sleep. Thinking of the contest tomorrow against Anan, there was still an undescribable nervous in his heart. In his arms, Ashh uneasily moved. Shaw Danon looked at it, and found its eyes were staring at the shadow in front.
In the dark, a ﬁgure passed by.
Shaw Danon followed it.
The ﬁgure did not ran fast. The shoulders kept shrugging, it was like that person was crying. Shaw Danon could recongize that person was Hidi. He was puzzled, but seeing his Shijie was crying, a pain was in his heart.
Hidi went to the Cloud Sea, arrived near the central platform. Seeing no one was nearby, she couldn't hold it anymore, fell on ground and let out the cry.
Shaw Danon had never see his Shijie was so sad before. He went to her side, said quietly: "Shijie, you-" Hidi was surprised. She jumped up and turned around. She was relieved to see it was Shaw Danon. Then her heart soured, couldn't help but threw herself on Shaw Danon, cried on his shoulder.
Shaw Danon's body was petriﬁed, couldn't move.
Her sound of sob was next to Shaw Danon's ear. He could feel the warmness from her body. It was like his dream had came true. A faint delicate fragrance came.
Shaw Danon stood there, looking far away. Even though he really wanted to hold that lady, but he did not.
Perhaps, truly embarrass you, the life will be different?
Hidi left his shoulder. Shaw Danon's heart became empty, like he had lost something.
His shoulder was wet with tears. Hidi rubbed her eyes, looked at Shaw Danon's shoulder, said: "Sorry, Xiao Fan."
Shaw Danon shook his head, said: "Shijie, what happened to you?"
Just when Hidi was about to speak, "creak creak" sound came near their feet. They looked down and saw Ashh. She bended down and held Ashh.
"It had never ever been like this, Xiao Fan, never ever." That lady stand in the moonlight under the darkness of night. Sad and beautiful. She said to Shaw Danon with some grieve: "Dad and mom had never scold me like this before."
Seeing this beauty within the sorrow, Shaw Danon's heart was like teared apart, like all her sadness was brought by him. He forced himself to remain calm, he asked gently: "Shijie, what happened? Why Master and Shi niang scolded you?"
Hidi hesitated, looked at Shaw Danon. Since young, this Xiao Shidi was her closest playmate beside her parents. In her mind, she thought of an idea: When did Xiao Fan Shidi became so gentle to me?
But this idea was only just a ﬂash and passed by. Her heart was ﬁlled with grieve at that moment, she cried to Shaw Danon: "Isn't it all because of brother Kevern!"
Shaw Danon's face instantly became pale. He held his ﬁsts tight, so tight that his nails went into his palms.
"You still don't know it?" Hidi was no longer aware of Shaw Danon, but in Shaw Danon's heart, he was shouting wildly: "I know, I know, I already know it!"
The moon coldly shone upon this earth.
"Kevern Shixiong and I in love with each other. I told them, I am really really in love with him." Hidi calmed down a little, but hadn't discover, each time she spoke, Shaw Danon became more pale. "But dad scolded me loudly, said I am ignorance. Even my mom who alway love me stood on dad's side. Why it is like this, Xiao Fan?"
Shaw Danon lowered his head, did not want Hidi to see his face. He said quietly: "How did Master and Shi niang know?"
Hidi did not discovered something was wrong about Shaw Danon. She almost cried again: "I could never expect this. I found it out later. Bamboo Height's Baako Shijie told this to Shui Yue Shishu. Shui Yue Shishu told my mom. I reminded Baako Shijie so many times not to tell anyone about this, but she still let it out. I, I-"
A drop of tear came out from her eyes.
Shaw Danon said sadly: "Perhaps master and Shi niang are doing it for you own good. They are your parents, they won't be bad to you!"
Hidi dried out her tears, said loudly: "What do they know! They only know the difference of houses! They only know brother Kevern is head of Dragon Head Peak Master Vasp Caelo's favor! They only know if people know I am with brother Kevern they will be ashamed in Jadeon! They had never think of me."
She said with anger and deﬁnite: "Those reputation compare to my happiness, what are they? I really doubt they care about reputation or their daughter?"
Shaw Danon lifted his head, looked at this unfamilar Shijie.
How sad are these eyes!
Like a small bird without its parents in the storm. How weak.
Sorrow with panic had stabbed his soul like a blade.
Shaw Danon seem immediately defeated by these eyes. A sadness that had never happened before, rose up in his heart. If he could help this lady to carry her pain, no mater how difﬁcult it is he will carry it. But he did not know what to say, all he said was: "Shijie!" "I need to be with him," Hidi said certainly. Instead to say it was to Shaw Danon, rather to say this was for her heart, for Tian Bolis and Surin who were not here, "I must stay with brother Kevern. We had made a vow, no matter how hard my parents disapprove, even wait until the sea dry up, the stone rotten, we will still be together."
She looked at the night sky, swore to the bright moon. The moonlight quietly shone upon her. Her beauty was like the grieve lily bloomed at night, completely ignored the heart dead shadow standing next to her.
Standing on the stage, the sun of early dawn shone upon Shaw Danon. Warmed his body but not his heart. He stood there expressionless facing the fairy like Anan.
The frost lady's scorn was so obvious. In the square, everyone knew Shaw Danon mostly rely on luck instead of strength to get to semi-ﬁnal. Behind her, Aeolian Firmus was glowing with blue light. Shaw Danon looked at this legendary item, he thought lightly: After a while, is it what he is going to face?
Then, he totally forgot this question. Since last night, his mind was going up and down.
In Cloud Sea, only two platform left. If talk about numbers of disciples watching, the people who were watching Kevern and Issa at west was not even one-third of the people here. Almost everyone was drew by the most popular Anan and the luckest Shaw Danon. As for the elders, most were sitting below this platform include Master Doyal Shen.
But, after everyone cheered when Anan arrived on the stage, they were discussing how fast Shaw Danon would lose, in the blink of the eyes or in a second.
Below the stage, Tian Bolis frowned. He knew the level of cultivation Shaw Danon is at. But with all the disdain behind him, it made him very uncomfortable. Surin who was sitting next to him was looking around, searching for Hidi. After the arguement last night, Hidi went away crying. With her understanding of her daughter, she was afraid Hidi went to watch Kevern's contest.
She shook her head. Although she really loved her only daughter, but this time she completely stood on her husband's side. She alway thought the people from Dragon Head Peak were not that good.
She turned and looked at the stage. At the same time, Shaw Danon also turned and looked at them. Their eyes met. Shaw Danon did not see the person he was looking for. He turned away quietly.
Surin frowned, said to Tian Bolis: "Xiao Fan look a bit strange today. Like half dead."
Tian Bolis said lightly: "He is only nervous. Child never face such great situation before, not surprising."
Surin became quiet, did not continue. Shaw Danon turned back and looked at Anan. Under the sunlight, her beautiful face was shining. Soon, Anan felt Shaw Danon's eyes and shown disdain again.
But this time, Shaw Danon did not avoid. He did not even felt her scorn. That beautiful face meant nothing to him. Only his heart was saying quietly, painfully: "She is not here. She went to watch Kevern's contest!"
Anan quickly discovered that Shaw Danon was only using his eyes to look at her, while his hollowness told her that he was actually thinking about something else and ignored her existance. This was Anan's ﬁrst time experience it. Her eyes shown a slight of surprise.
The bell rang, sounding over Peak of Widows. The surrounding quickly quiet down.
Anan straighten her body, took a deep breath. Only need to win two more battle, only two more, and she could make her dream real and reach her master's expectation. Aeolian Firmus brighten up behind her back.
"Bamboo Height disciple Anan, please leave guidance."
Shaw Danon was like waking up from dream. His ﬁrst reaction was not to salute, but to search through the crowd with his eyes. So many people, but none is the one he is searching for.
Anan's face changed. The Jadeon disciples below the stage were also in a uproar. This person was the ﬁrst one that being impolite to Anan. Tian Bolis and Surin noticed this disciple was really not right today.
Shaw Danon slowly turned his head. His face was like dying embers, said lightly: "I am Bamboo Peak disciple Shaw Danon. Shijie please don't hold back."
Anan startled. People normally said polite thing before the contest, but Shaw Danon looked weird, who will say don't hold back. It sounded like sacrasm. But he did not look like it. Anan was the favorite disciple of Master Shui Yue, her mind was strong. Her face did not change. Not speaking anymore, she held out her right hand, Aeolian Firmus slowly rose up in the air.
Shaw Danon looked at that bright blue light getting darker and darker, brighter and brighter. It had turned his entire body blue. He could not feel anymore nervousness, instead, he was like long awaited.
He took out his ugly and black ﬁre stick.
Laughter bursted from below the stage. Compare to the noble "Aeolian Firmus", his ﬁre stick was like a ugly worm.
And at this moment, it was like a dead, ugly worm.
The icy cold feeling ﬁlled his body again. For some reason, the ﬁre stick seem excited today. The circulation of the cold engergy appeared to be faster than usual. Shaw Danon could even felt if not because he was blood bonded with the ﬁre stick, if not because he was holding the ﬁre stick, the ﬁre stick would already charge at Anan.
No, it was not charge at Anan, it was to Aeolian Firmus. This strange feeling was like two deeply hated enemies.
At that moment, Anan's face also changed a little. The glow of Aeolian Firmus was too bright, even she was puzzled by it.
But Shaw Danon had no will to think. He looked at this beautiful girl in blue glow. He suddenly discovered she was like Shijie. But this "Shijie" was looking at him coldly.
On the stage, an unexpected thing happened. Shaw Danon and Anan did not make a move. They just stared at each other.
The people were in a discussion.
Anan realized Aeolian Firmus was having weird behavior. But she used her mind to check, there were nothing abnormal. Aeolian Firmus just seem a little overly excited.
Feeling the numberless eyes below the stage, Anan frowned, focus her mind. She snorted, kicked out all ideas in her mind. Aeolian Firmus brighten, rose into the sky, but it still had its sneath on.
Since the begining of Seven Peaks Tournament, Aeolian Firmus became the main focus of many people.Until now, Anan defeated all her opponets without unsheathe her sword. This caused many people to wonder who can make Anan to actually draw out her sword. Many people guessed during the ﬁnal battle, with Kevern's cultivation, he should able to do it.
The blue light shined on Shaw Danon's face, but could not reﬂect any of his expression. Black ﬁre stick glowed with ﬁant green light, slowly left his hand and stopped in mid-air.
Even they had already took a look at the ﬁre stick before, but everyone here, including the Bamboo Peak people, was the ﬁrst time seeing Shaw Danon cast magic. Amandla snorted: "If not because I see it with my own eyes, I can not believe the foolish Xiao Shidi have suddenly become a gifted genius." On the stage, Anan held her incanation mark tight. Aeolian Firmus turned and charged at Shaw Danon with unstopable momentum.
Fire stick immediate went forth. The mystic green light crashed with the bright blue light in mid-air. It was like the ﬁre stick did not fear this momentum.
At the next moment, under the stunned eyes of the audiences, Shaw Danon appeared to be vulnerable and received a hard blow. He fell backward. The ﬁre stick lost its glow, and ﬂight back to its master.
The Bamboo Peak people rose up, some screamed out like Amandla.
Shaw Danon's back hitted on the pillar and fell on the ﬂoor. Blood spitted out from his mouth, landed on the ﬁre stick. Without anyone's notice, the blood was absorbed.
The power of Aeolian Firmus had shocked everyone! Anan's cold face without sense of hesitation, the blue light ﬂashed, the Aeolian Firmus heartlessly chopped at Shaw Danon from mid-air. Black gas suddenly rose from the ﬁre stick. The green light was getting brighter. With blood on the corner of his lip, he slowly got up. Face pale but eyes red, a savage look.
The ﬁre stick already rushed toward Aeolian Firmus within the black gas and green light. The two espers met in mid-air then immediately bounced off. Anan and Shaw Danon could feel their body shocked.
The blue and green lights were ﬂying across the sky. The giant, hard woods of the platform were drifted like paper scraps. The sound was like thunder's roar. Not a single Jadeon could remain normal. Since the begining of the contest, there were no battle was as exciting, magniﬁcent as this one. Just after a while, the entire platform had completely fell apart due to the power of two esper.
The surrounded audiences had backed up for a distance away from the platform. Shaw Danon and Anan were ﬂoating in mid-air. Anan's both hands held incanation mark, focus on controlling the esper, the posture was serious and cool; Shaw Danon on the other hand was a bit strange. Although the ﬁre stick is surprisingly powerful, he did not held incanation mark but gesturing in mid-air, and the ﬁre stick followed his will, battled with Aeolian Firmus.
Even like that, Shaw Danon had the suffer that could not tell. The power of Aeolian Firmus was far greater than he could imagin. Everytime ﬁre stick hitted Aeolian Firmus, channels of his body shocked. If not because he had practiced "Fawin Wisdom" to strengthen his channels, and protected him, and managed to within Aeolian Firmus' godly power, he would already dead. Anan did not seem to feel anything. Under her control, the blue light was brighter and brighter, gradually supressed the ﬁre stick's black gas and green light.
Shaw Danon was complaining in his heart over there, Anan here was also surprised. Her opponent's ﬁre stick could have equal amount of spirit force, it also had a draining force. It kept draining her vigor. If not because she had a stable foundation, she fear she couldn't control her blood inside of her.
Thinking of that, Anan felt the blood rushed into her brain again, and almost loss balance in mid-air. Her mind became angry and anxious. From the battle, she could tell her opponent's cultivation in Pure Essence is far behind of herself, but his esper was so weird and powerful, even Aeolian Firmus could only gain the upper hand in surface.
Anan gritted her teeth, face ﬂushed with pink, Her clothes ﬂuttered without wind. After an other hit between Aeolian Firmus and the ﬁre stick, Shaw Danon's entire shocked, the ﬁre stick also slow down.
Aeolian Firmus ﬂight back. Anan held out her right hand and held Aeolian Firmus. At the instant her hand touched Aeolian Firmus, the blue light glow so bright that it swallowed her body. Aeolian Firmus let out a loud bang like dragon's roar. Anan and Aeolian Firmus rose straight into the sky.
Shaw Danon already forgot everything around him. With his bond between him and the ﬁre stick, Shaw Danon could feel the ﬁre stick was almost like alive. It was very excited, a strangth savage thinking rose in his brain.
He stood in mid-air, roared at the sky. The sound shocked earth, the sky changed!
The black gas and green light rose into the sky. The ﬁerce wind blew, the cloud whirl!
Suddenly, the blue light ﬂashed, the whistle sound increased quickly, until it was deafening, no one could hear any other sound. The blue light concentrated together, formed a giant pillar, and striked from above the head. It was like it is going to cut Mount Jadeon in half.
Shaw Danon's face twisted. His eyes, nose, mouth and ears were bleeding. But his eyes had no sense of fear. He also held the ﬁre stick. The black gas and green light were like holding in his hand, and faced the blue light pillar.
The Jadeon disciples held their breath. No one underestimate Shaw Danon anymore. The elders' look changed.
This contest, is a battle of life and death. But why, no one come to stop?
"Beng!" Like a thunder. It seem like the entire Peak of Widows shook. The blue light backed up. Aana reappeared in the sky, holding Aeolian Firmus, a stream of blood ﬂow out slowly from her mouth.
Below the stage, Master Shui Yue stood up.
In mid-air, Shaw Danon could only hear the wind next to his ears. His eyes were bluried. The blood almost covered his eyes. If he can hear, he will hear the screaming from the Bamboo Peak people from below.
Surin's lips loss color. Seeing the small disciple covered by blood in mid-air, she hurriedly said to Tian Bolis quietly: "Buyi, let Xiao Fan give up, hurry tell him give up."
Tian Bolis's body shook, stared at mid-air, then slowly shook his head. Could no longer feel any pain, in the ever changing sky, an idea suddenly passed through Shaw Danon's mind: After I died, will Shijie going to visit me? After many years, many of happiness days, is she going to forget about me?
He rubbed the eyes, the blood, and, the water!
Anan felt extream pain in her body. The energy in her channels were unrest, like was about to leave her body and cheer for the savage devil within the horrify green light, black gas.
It was already the life and death moment!
It was already the eternal instant!
That beautiful lady, stood in wild wind. Let the wind blew at her face like blades, she still not back up. She lifted her head, looked at the sky. Wind, suddenly stopped, frozen in the air.
The world, suddenly quiet, stopped at that moment.
"Bang!" A low roar seem came from heaven, sounding within the earth.
Anan drew out "Divine Sword Aeolian Firmus".
The blue light disappeared, like a giant dragon sucking in the water, the blue light was absorbed by the clear blade edge.
The Peak of Widows was silent!
The thousand years Aeolian Firmus ﬁnally unsheathed!
Anan's face was cold as frost, her hand held the sword mark, took seven steps in seven stars position. Walked seven steps in mid-air. The sword pointed toward the sky. Her face was completely pale, her mouth worded the incanation:
"Rage of Nine Skies, turn to divine thunder.
Might of heaven, arrive at this sword!"
Then, the originally clear sky turned dark. Dark clouds suddenly appeared in the sky. Sound of thunder was roaring. The lighting ﬂashed at the edge of the clouds. Fierce wind blew.
Shaw Danon opened his mouth. This scene, had appeared in his memory of long time ago. On the ground, all the elders and even Master Doyal Shen stood up, turned and looked at Master Shui Yue with an unbelievable look on their faces.
After a moment, Tian Bolis said: "You have raise a good disciple!" Master Shui Yue ignored everyone. Her cold face eventually shown worry, watched the two people.
"Thunderblade!" Master Doyal Shen slowly moved his eyes away. His heart was shocked. He could never imagin in Jadeon, within the young disciples, there can be such extraordinary talented person.
But, looked at this female disciple's face, although she was able to cast this type of amazing magic, her body was shaking, face was pale. It seem her strength had reach its limit.
The thunder howl was getting more rapid. Shaw Danon could feel the ﬁre stick was ﬁlled with energy at moment Aeolian Firmus was unsheathed. It was like the blood-bonded esper shouted from its heart.
It was like it had waited for his moment for thousand years!
The sky was getting darker, the dark clouds were covering the head. A swirl appeared in the thick clouds.
Chapter 30: Suspect
Like the path to nether, the dark, bottomless, giant swirl heng up-side down on the sky. Like the devil opened its mouth and about to swallow everything of the world. Fierce wind was freezing, the wind gathered the clouds. Thunders were howling, lighting were ﬂashing.
Shaw Danon ﬂight toward Anan. The green light of ﬁre stick ﬂashed, very noticeable under the dark clouds. Anan looked at ﬁgure of Shaw Danon who was surrounded by green light, her face paled.
"Thunderblade" was the highest level of Taoist Art. Using normal body to summon the might of heaven of earth, it was clear pressure of Anan baring was extreamly heavy. "Aeolian Firmus" was a godly weapon, a prefect weapon for casting Thunderblade. But even with that, Anan's cultivation practice was not enough for that.
She could feel coming from the dark clouds, wave after wave of energy rushed into her body like angry tide. Though no one could see anything weird on the outside, her blood was boiling, like swelled by the great force. If not because Aeolian Firmus kept absorbing the energy, Anan would probably already fall.
The wind whistled, the thunder roared. She stood in mid-air, she almost thought she was a powerless grass in the wind. The next moment, she recalled what her master said when she taught her this skill: "Xueqi, the ﬁne quality of you is the only one I met in my entire life. But this incanation is too strong, the back ﬁre power is hard to withstand. Your cultivation is still basic, though you can manage to cast it, never cast it if not neccessary, otherwise you are risking your life."
A thunder burst right above Peak of Widows. Everyone could feel the earth below them was slightly shaking. It was like the ancient god of thunder was awaken from sleep, and roar in anger.
Everyone's color changed! Shaw Danon was only twenty feet away. By looking at this situation, everyone knew once Anan is done with channeling, he will turn into dust. But Shaw Danon stopped, it was like he hitted on a soft wall, couldn't advance any farther.
Shaw Danon's face turned to dead pale. "Thunderblade" is one of the Jadeon's ﬁnal art, so amazing that it form a invisible barrier while channeling. So Shaw Danon could not advance.
The ﬁre stick getting brighter, but still couldn't advance. In comparing spiritual strength, ﬁre stick is deﬁnitely not weaker than Aeolian Firmus, but in comparing cultivation, the different is too much. He only used his own spirit to drive the ﬁre stick, it could never match Anan's surpreme art that reﬁned by many Jadeon's masters for thousands years.
At that hopeless moment, just when the swirl became more rapid, lighting ﬂashing, the light of Aeolian Firmu getting brighter, the moment of this surpreme art art was about to complete, Anan's body suddenly shocked, the white face turned red, and spitted out large amount of blood. The light of Aeolian Firmus became unstable. Anan gritted her teeth, closed her eyes, and focus her mind, spirit on Aeolian Firmus. After a moment, the light became stable. It was getting even brighter, so bright that could not look at with eyes.
A bang came from the dark clouds. A light came from the deepest of the giant swirl. It was a combine of numerous of lighting. It was aiming at Anan's Aeolian Firmus.
But, hopelessness rose in Anan's heart. Just as she had expected, a sharp whistle came. She was focusing on protecting Aeolian Firmus and ignored the barrier. Without the barrier, Shaw Danon and the ﬁre stick formed a green light pillar, charged at the beautiful lady in the wind.
Is that it?
Everything end here?
Her heart calmed down. Her mind lightly thinking. At that instant, just at that short instant. The world was quiet, frozen, everything ﬁxed there. Only she was standing in mid-air, clothes and hair ﬂuttering. She reopened her eyes, watching the green light charged at her.
That moment was like eternity!
Shaw Danon saw her, and her eyes!
She stood there alone in the storm, so quietly facing the might of heaven. Only her face was a bit pale. Her eyes had a bit sorrow, a bit panic.
The wind screamed. The world was lonely. And that beautiful lady, quietly looking at him.
Who's eyes, were so sorrow and lonely. It was like last night, that person was hurted by love! This pain, deeply entered the marrow, deeply entered the soul. Deeply! Deeply!
Is she your, the lady that love other person?
The one that you will never regret to think about her for entire life?
Shaw Danon suddenly smiled, with grieve and hopeless, just like last night.
The ﬁre stick entered the light of Aeolian Firmus. No one could see the two ﬁgures anymore and could not see the light of ﬁre stick had suddenly dimmed. At that moment, a giant lighting came from the sky, landed at Aeolian Firmus.
The whole world, all the gods, seem like at the same time, sang together.
The giant light pillar reﬂected from Aeolian Firmus, with earth crashing momentum, striked at Shaw Danon. At the critical moment, ﬁre stick rose up, blocked in front of its master.
At next moment, Shaw Danon had swallowed by the light.
Long time! Long time! Long time!
The dark clouds scattered, the light disappeared.
The people stared at the sky, watched the young men holding his black ﬁre stick, like a rock covered with scars, falling.
He did not fall on the ground. Tian Bolis swiftly appeared below him like a shadow, and caught Shaw Danon. He immediate opened Shaw Danon's mouth, took out a vial and poured the yellow pills into Shaw Danon's mouth.
The pills dissolved quickly in Shaw Danon's mouth. Tian Bolis did not say anything. He jumped up and Flame Spirit rose up, carried him away. He did not look at the square for one more time, and judging by which direction he was going, it was to Bamboo Peak.
Surin and other Bamboo Peak people quickly followed.
At that time, Anan landed on the ground and soon surrounded by the ecstatic Bamboo Height disciples. She silently looked at the sky, looked at the red light in the sky.
He was like slept for thousands years. Wanted to wake up but the eyes could not open. In the endless darkness, only he alone.
He deﬁnitely did not wish to walk in the darkness alone, but beside darkness, there is no where else for him to go.
So he became angry, ﬁre burned in his heart. So he swore to the lord of nether world: Even if his body and soul turned into ash, he wanted to have a bit of light, and bury everything of the world together with him.
The anger since ancient time was wild like the begining!
Shaw Danon slowly opened its eyes.
Soft light shined into his eyes. The familar smell ﬂoating inside of the room.
Here, seem like no one is here.
He slowly sat up. Just when he raise his hand and wanted to rub away the sweat on his forehead, a heart tearing pain came from his, shoulder, chest, and stomach. He gasped and face turned pale.
He sat on the bed, did not dare to move. After a while, the pain was gone. It was afternoon now. The door was closed. The two windows were opened. He could faintly see the green bamboos in the courtyard. Big Yella and Ashh were not here. Are they looking for meat bones again?
He smiled. In this empty room, he smiled to himself.
The door was pushed open. Surin came in. Shaw Danon moved a little, said: "Shi niang", hadn't stand up, his face was already twisted together from the pain.
Surin quickly walked to him and sat on the bed, softly said: "Don't move, Xiao Fan."
Shaw Danon waited for the pain to ease a little, then said: "Disciple did not know Shi niang is coming-"
Surin glared at him, said: "Life is already half lost, you still have the heart to remember this manner! Don't talk about rubbish, sit up." Shaw Danon giggled. Surin examined him, said: "Your outer injuries are almost recovered, but the inner channels damaged too serious. It won't work if you don't rest well."
Shaw Danon said: "Yes. Disciple had disgraced master and Shi niang, I am so sorry-"
Surin cutted in, said: "It's you had made your master proud. For three hundreds years, beside your master, no other disciple was as remarkable as you in Seven Peaks Tournament."
Shaw Danon blushed, said: "That, that is because disciple has good luck."
Surin smiled, patted his shoulder. Shaw Danon remembered, asked: "Contest is over right? Who won? Is it Lu Shijie?"
Surin shook her head, said: "No, its Dragon Head Peak's Kevern." Shaw Danon felt unknown sorrow in his heart, said quietly: "So its Qi Shixiong. He is really powerful, even Lu Shijie with Aeolian Firmus lose to him."
Surin heard what he said, and seem reminded her of something. She sighed and changed topic: "Your injuries this time are not light. Your master used a lot of effort to save you. According to him, using Aeolian Firmus to cast Thunderblade, although Anan's cultivation isn't strong enough, if not your ﬁre, ﬁre-your esper blocked it for you, even gods can not save you by then."
Shaw Danon heard what she said, and suddenly remembered. He looked around but couldn't ﬁnd that ugly, black ﬁre stick.
Surin looked at him, said lightly: "You esper was taken by your master."
Shaw Danon startled, said quietly: "Yes." Then he couldn't help but ask: "Master he senior-" Surin said: "You were fainted for ﬁve days and nights. Your condition was stabilized at last night. Today morning, Head Shixiong of Peak of Widows sent a letter here, and asked your master to go there. So he should be in Peak of Widows now."
Shaw Danon slowly nodded. He did not know how he shall feel. He thought it is not a problem. But the ﬁre stick that had been with him for two years suddenly left him for the ﬁrst time, he felt a bit empty.
Surin looked at him with a strange look, but then said: "You just woke up, don't tire yourself, rest more. I instructed them to not bother you. The meals will let Bishu to bring them here."
Shaw Danon said: "Thank you Shi niang."
Surin nodded, said: "Rest. I will tell Bishu to bring the meal to you." Then she turned and walked toward outside. When she was about to left the room, Shaw Danon called:
"Shi niang." Surin turned, said: "What?"
Shaw Danon looked at her, hesitated for a moment, then said: "Shi niang, I want to ask, do you know what is the result of this contest for Baye of Dragon Head Peak? I was at Peak of Widows, did not have the time to ask him."
Surin looked at him again, said: "He entered the top eight, but lose to his Shixiong Kevern."
Shaw Danon said: "So he too-thank you Shi niang."
Surin shook her head, said: "Rest." Then turned and left.
Shaw Danon slowly lay down, looked at the ceiling, did not say anything.
※※※ Jadeon Peak of Widows, inside of Crystal Hall.
Master Doyal Shen sat at the center, other six heads were also there. Other than that, there was no one in the hall.
Everyone were silent. Master Doyal Shen lowered his eyes, looked at the black ﬁre stick in his hand.
"Tian Shidi," Master Doyal Shen bloke the silent, said: "What do you think?"
Tian Bolis pondered for a moment, then said: "When Shaw Danon adopted, he did not have this item. Most likely because of coincidence and got this treasure by chance."
Master Vasp Caelo said coldly: "This stick can be a match with Aeolian Firmus, which is a divine weapon. But across the world, there are nothing mention about this stick." Tian Bolis' face darken, said: "How large Shenzhou is. There are numbers of treasures not known by the world. You and I are just frog in the well."
Master Vasp Caelo was angry. He hadn't speak, Bamboo Height Master Shui Yue already said coldly: "Of'course we are frog in the well. But this black stick had evil gas when it casted. It is clear that the stick is a evil item. Not sure why Tian Shixiong did not see it?"
Tian Bolis snorted, said: "So black gas is evil gas? With some red threads it's a evil item? If it's like that, I go back and paint my face black , are you guys going to slay me like I am a evil heretic?"
Master Doyal Shen frowned, said: "Tian Shidi, don't say such thing. Why calling yourself a evil heretic!"
Tian Bolis snorted, then turned his head away, not saying anything more. Master Doyal Shen sighed, putted the ﬁre stick on the teapoy, said: "Today ask you all to come is for discuss about Bamboo Peak disciple Shaw Danon's weird esper that was used during Seven Peaks Tournament. It has unknown history and extreamly strong power. Also we are discussing about sending the top four disciples to Kongsang mountain, Cave of Fangs to investigate. Other three disciples you have no comment, only
The more Tian Bolis heard the more angry he got. He was already confused about how Shaw Danon's cultivation advance so fast, and also felt suspicious about the ﬁre stick. But now in Crystal Hall, not discussing other disciple but his. How could he not get mad. His face darken, immediately rose up, said loudly: "Head Shixiong, what you want to do about it?"
Master Doyal Shen never thought Tian Bolis will have such great reaction. He was surprised. Sitting next to Tian Bolis, Head of Peak of Wind Ceng Shu Chang who normally had good relationship with him, pulled Tian Bolis' sleeve, said: "Buyi, Head Shixiong did not say anything. You sit down ﬁrst."
Master Doyal Shen's face dimmed a little, said: "Tian Shidi, this thing is really strange. I as a leader of this faction, will handle this impartially. You don't need to worry."
The anger was still on Tian Bolis' face. But looked at Master Doyal Shen's face while Ceng Shu Chang persuading him, he sat down in the end.
Master Doyal Shen slowly said: "Everyone, all of you have examined this stick. On the outside it look normal, but in the inside there are savage spirit. But the most important point is, with our level of cultivation, we can not control this object, while a disciple with only Pure Essence level four could use it. Why is that?"
Everyone include Tian Bolis were silence. They were the top cultivators, how would they not know the answer? It's just none wanted to say it out.
But in the end Master Doyal Shen said: "From what I think, this stick most likely is 'blood smelted' item."
Although they were prepared for it, the heads looks were still changed a little. The blood smelted item, is the owner putted his own blood into the esper while crafting. This type of art was really difﬁcult, the esper's materials were extreamly unique, and it's very dangerious. One mistake could lead to esper's vicious energy back ﬁre and end up with painful death. Of'course, if it success, the power of esper must be extreamly powerful. And one more good thing is that the esper connect with owner's blood. Only the one with the creator's blood could use it. But because it used blood as medium, the esper often contain savage energy.
Legend said this type of blood smelt art was passed down from ancient devils. The Felkin heretics passed down from generation to the next generation. But there were no famous blood smelt esper, perhaps the way to craft it is so dangerous that even Felkin people did not dare to try.
But, in a Jadeon disciple, there was such esper.
Master Doyal Shen looked at Tian Bolis. Tian Bolis' face was ghastly pale, slowly shood up: "Shixiong, maybe you are right. But I got to say, Shaw Danon is just sixteen years old, how can he know the art of blood smelt? From the time he came, he never left the mountain for these ﬁve years. He did not even bring anything with him when he came. Where can he ﬁnd such rare esper material?"
Master Vasp Caelo suddenly said coldly: "Perhaps he is sent by Felkin people and place him in Jadeon, its not weird!"
Tian Bolis was mad, said: "If he really have the heart, then why he used it under the eyes of thousand people in Seven Peak Tournament? And beside, if he is really Felkin's spy, heh heh, Vasp Caelo Shixiong, I am fear your Baye isn't clean!"
Master Vasp Caelo was stabbed at the weakness, stood up, said angrily: "What did you said? How can my Jing Yu compare to your stupid disciple?"
Tian Bolis' face darken even more, snorted, peered at him, said: "Yes, my disciple is stupid. But I heard he entered the semi-ﬁnal. I don't know what place did Vasp Caelo Shixiong's prodigy Baye got?"
Vasp Caelo said angrily: "He was just unfortunate to face his Shixiong Kevern. If not because of they, why he can't enter semi-ﬁnal!" Then he paused, laughed coldly: "But he is not lucky like someone else who rely on people to give up to advance, and still not feel shame talk about that!"
Tian Bolis shouted: "So the battle between him and Anan is also luck?"
Master Vasp Caelo said: "Correct. Because he did not have the luck, that's why he lost, lost so badly that he almost die!"
Tian Bolis was getting more angry, but his tongue was not smart, couldn't beat Vasp Caelo. His anger caused his face turned all red: "What do you want? You want to see am I not as good as my reputation too?"
Master Vasp Caelo had no sign of stepping back. He stood up and said proudly: "Then I need to test Tian Shixiong's Flame Spirit sword!"
Tian Bolis did not bother to say anything more. He stepped forth with right hand held sword mark. The air in the hall seem frozen. "Impudent!" A loud hit. Master Doyal Shen's hand smacked on the teapoy. Face angry. He stood up, said: "You two really pretending that this Head of Faction is head is it!"
Master Doyal Shen was at the position of the head for three hundreds years already. Highly honored. Usually he was kind, but this time he was mad, it surprised Tian Bolis and Master Vasp Caelo. They stepped back and said quietly: "Yes, Head Shixiong please calm down."
Master Doyal Shen looked at the two, the anger on his face took a while to be gone. After a ponder, he said: "Tian Shidi."
Tian Bolis stepped forth, said: "Head Shixiong."
Master Doyal Shen looked at him, said: "Anyway, the history of this black stick is unclear. If its Felkin's item, and Shaw Danon got something to do with Felkin, we can not keep him. You understand?"
Tian Bolis lowered his head, quiet for a moment, then said: "Yes." Master Doyal Shen said again: "Tian Shidi, I know you don't like it. But this is very important, we can not take it lightly. You go back ﬁrst, wait for Shaw Danon to recover, then interrogate him throughly, and bring him back here. We are going to discuss about that afterward. How it is?"
Tian Bolis' face pale and then ﬂushed. Stampped his feet, nodded, not saying anything and left.
A whistle from the outside of the door, probably use sword to ﬂy back.
In the hall, Ceng Shu Chang said to Master Doyal Shen: "Head Shixiong, Tian Shixiong's Bamboo Peak hard have such talented person, but with this thing happen. It is natural that he is not happy about that. Please don't mind him."
Master Doyal Shen sighed, shook his head: "Of'course I don't mind. I know Tian Shidi. I can trust him."
Then, he seem remembered something, turned to Bamboo Height Master Shui Yue: "Shui Yue Shimei, your female disciple Anan these days-"
Shui Yue said lightly: "Thank you for Head Shixiong's worry. Xueqi's body almost recovered. If not because Tian Bolis Shixiong has a weird person and a strange esper, and consumed Xueqi so many chi within one battle, she will not lose to that person."
Vasp Caelo's face changed. Master Doyal Shen waved his hand, said: "Ai ya, the thing is the past, no need to argue it."
Vasp Caelo and Shui Yue glared at each other, then turned their head alway. Master Doyal Shen sighed, then turned his eyes on the teapoy, seeing the black and ugly ﬁre stick was laying there quietly.