Monthly Archives: March 2020


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Chapter 47: Into the Misty Desolate Valley (4)

Lu Qingyun had taken out a silver pill and popped it into Leng Qiuyue’s mouth as he said, “Xingyuan, I need your help”. This silver pill was actually the Triple Divine Essence Pill.

Lie Xingyuan immediately understood what he was thinking and she gently used her profound strength to melt the pill that was in Leng Qiuyue’s mouth by rubbing her stomach.

“Thank you…” he said. He did not want to take any close advantage of Leng Qiuyue while she was unconscious.

When Ouyang Xue saw the silver pill, she was startled. It was because this was the Triple Divine Essence Pill, an extremely rare pill that cost a huge bomb of rare resources. This rare pill could even aid Leng Qiuyue to overcome her cultivation deadlock and had a good chance of propelling her into the fourth realm level!

And yet Lu Qingyun had so casually taken it out to give it to her?

Lu Qingyun did not have any other pills that could treat severe internal injuries and moreover he had suddenly understood that Leng Qiuyue had been severely injured three days back. It was just that she managed to keep her condition a secret with her casual countenance. But the truth was that she had been struggling with her internal injuries.

The strength of a fourth rank desolate beast was powerful enough to whack any second and first realm cultivators to death even if they managed to block the attack. Although Leng Qiuyue had blocked off the attacks from the two fourth rank desolate beasts, she suffered severe internal injuries as she did so.

But he knew that the Triple Divine Essence Pill was not only good for raising the cultivation strength of the cultivator but it could also heal internal injuries. Therefore he had taken it out without any hesitation.

Ouyang Xue looked at Lu Qingyun as she asked quietly, “Senior brother, what realm are you at now?”

Lu Qingyun was startled when Ouyang Xue had suddenly asked him this question. So he casually replied, “Upper third realm.”

Ouyang Xue gasped in shock. He was the same realm as her now? But she had always thought that he was just a lowly first realm cultivator…

Behind Lu Qingyun, the rest of the ordinary protégés were muttering.

“Did you see that? Our senior brother has actually killed a fourth rank desolate beast in a single strike.”

“I always knew that our senior brother is a hidden dragon. He is just pretending to be weak. Or else our sect leader won’t make him her direct disciple.”

“I always know that our senior brother is a high level expert. It’s just that you guys may not believe me if I tell you so…”

Ouyang Xue smiled weakly as she looked at Lu Qingyun, “Thank you for saving all of us.” This was heartfelt thank that was coming from the bottom of her heart as she felt that she may not be able to defeat the Star Desolate Ape alone after Leng Qiuyue was down.

Lu Qingyun replied awkwardly, “This is nothing at all. I have owed it to Xingyuan for the successful attack.”

Ouyang Xue nodded and turned to Lie Xingyuan, “Xingyuan, that Winds Entropy Dance. Are you…”

Lie Xingyuan panicky replied, “I actually have a lot of practice with such that stroke. I am only at the second realm. Maybe in my panicky moment, I did much better than my usual self.” She really did not want anyone to know that she was a third realm cultivator or else she would be promoted to be a core protege. She just wanted to be Lu Qingyun’s attendant forever…

Ouyang Xue nodded but she did not force Lie Xingyuan to admit otherwise. It was because she herself was a third realm cultivator and she knew from the way Lie Xingyuan reacted that she was already a third realm cultivator.

She thought, “So we actually have four third realm cultivators in this experiential mission…”

Leng Qiuyue was aroused from her unconsciousness and was looking blankly at Lie Xingyuan and Lu Qingyun as she muttered weakly, “What did you feed me just now?” It was because she had suddenly felt her strength renewing and that her internal injuries were smoothened.

Ouyang Xue could not resist replying for Lu Qingyun as she smiled weakly, “Senior brother he has given you the Triple Divine Essence Pill to consume and has saved you. You ought to say thank you to him.”

Leng Qiuyue was startled as she stared blankly at Lu Qingyun. Although she did not say thanks but in her heart, she had already sworn to follow him…

Lu Qingyun smiled awkwardly as he quickly said, “There is no need to say thank you at all. I’m only helping what I can do.”

Then he said, “You should try to take a good rest first.”

Rushuang was immediately at the side of Leng Qiuyue as she said softly, “Senior sister, let me take you to the tent to rest.”

Leng Qiuyue nodded lightly but her eyes had never left Lu Qingyun…

However Lu Qingyun did not notice it as his eyes had already wandered off to the scene of the carnage as he looked at the vicinity keenly but it was not lost on both Ouyang Xue and Lie Xingyuan who were watching them keenly.

Somehow Lu Qingyun’s sixth sense had told him that there was something amiss in the vicinity. Well, his sixth had always been accurate. At least it did warn him right never to court Qin Keqin and it was proven to be right…

He gave a weak smile as he said, “I’m going out of the camp to scout the vicinity for a while.”

Ouyang Xue gasped, “Let me go with you. You won’t be safe alone.”

Lu Qingyun smiled, “Someone needs to be around to protect the camp. Am I right?”

Ouyang Xue was forced to nod reluctantly…

“Well, I’ll just bring Xingyuan along.” He said soon after. “I will be back in no time at all. I am just curious about the vicinity.”

Ouyang Xue lowered glances, “Alright, you’ve got to watch your back.” Then she took out a fire flare and said, “Please bring this along with you. If you have met with any danger, please light this fire flare and please don’t wander too far.”

Lu Qingyun took the fire flare with a smile, “Don’t worry. I’ll be fine.”

As Lu Qingyun and Lie Xingyuan walked out of the camp, Lie Xingyuan was smiling. “Senior brother, you are indeed generous.”

Lu Qingyun laughed awkwardly, “You mean that Triple Divine Essence Pill?”

She nodded and said, “If I were you, I will never use it for a stranger. Moreover it is for an icy maiden like Leng Qiuyue.”

“I think she isn’t really that bad based on my past encounter with her.” He said thoughtfully.

“You have actually met her before?”

“Yes. I’ve met her and talk to her once when I was at the Red Heaven Sword Library.”

Lie Xingyuan: …

She was actually quite surprised that they had actually been talking to each other prior to this experiential mission.

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Chapter 46: Into the Misty Desolate Valley (3)

Lu Qingyun was actually quite impressed by the fighting skills of Ouyang Xue and Leng Qiuyue. They had actually dared to face such a formidable fourth rank desolate beast without showing any sign of fear or emotion.

Ouyang Xue was more impressive than he had thought and to think that she had once offered herself to him to be his consort.

But Lu Qingyun really did not have any undue intentions toward her except that he was quite in awe of her quiet resilient strength.

As for Leng Qiuyue, he was quite worried about her injuries but she did not say a word about it. It was obvious that she was limping and this would affect her performance in the battle. In fact, she should be returning to the top with the seven other ordinary protégés.

During the fight with the King Desolate Lizard, he had actually wanted to rush forward to fight it but he was held back by Lie Xingyuan who had whispered quietly to him, “Senior brother, don’t. You will only distract Ouyang Xue and Leng Qiuyue and only endangering them.”

Warned by Lie Xingyuan just in time, he had nodded quietly and held back. It was not because he was a real coward but because he knew that in a fight, the timing, the terrain and the emotion state played a huge part. He had studied all these before and realized that he would only be disturbing their train of thoughts with his rash acts.

Therefore, he had held back.

Three days later, they had reached a white rock inside the Misty Desolate Valley.

During those three days, they had slain a few of the first rank and second rank desolate beasts. Even a third rank desolate beast was successfully handled by them without any major hurdle.

Ouyang Xue solemnly said to the party, “This white rock marked the boundary where the fourth rank desolate beasts frequently roamed.”

Leng Qiuyue added with a weak smile, “Usually when this huge white rock is seen, it is sign for most of the weaker parties to turn back immediately. This boundary is where we can find more of the fourth rank and even fifth rank desolate beasts that are roaming within the valley. Even for me, I’ve been inside for less than five times.” She had actually only been deep inside for only three times.

Ouyang Xue nodded, “Once we are inside, third rank desolate beasts will be a common sight and there will be more frequent sighing of the fourth rank desolate beasts. Our mission is to hunt down a fifth rank desolate beast.”

Then she looked at the party and said, “If anyone doesn’t want to follow, you can turn back now and wait us at the top. I won’t blame anyone for taking this decision and there will be no punishment or letting the elders know.”

Although the ordinary protégés were solemn but none of them shown any sign of fear of and had a determined look.

Lu Qingyun said quietly, “It is still not too late to turn back now. All of us.”

Some of the ordinary protégés had overheard him and were secretly cursing him for being such a coward.

Leng Qiuyue said with a weak smile, “Senior brother, why don’t you go and wait for us at the top first? We will be alright.”

“No, I will stay with the party,” he said firmly.

Then he heaved a soft sigh, “How is your leg? You are still limping after three days…”

Leng Qiuyue quietly interrupted, “I’m alright, really. It is just a little inconvenient but as long as I can still wield my sword, I won’t be a hindrance to anyone.”

Ouyang Xue looked quietly at Leng Qiuyue. Although they were rivals but lately, she had a better understanding of her. This was the Leng Qiuyue that she had not known, who had fought with all her best when they were fighting the King Desolate Lizard together. And when she was injured, she still shouldered on her pains and discomfort to continue the experiential mission. She could easily have decided to wait at the top due to her injuries but she did not want to abandon the experiential mission halfway even though she knew that her combat ability was more than halfway down.

In the past three days, she did not make things difficult for Leng Qiuyue at all. It was because she was not the type that hit upon someone who was down at the moment. On the contrary, she had secretly prayed for Leng Qiuyue to make a speedy recovery as she needed her combat strength.

After a short preparation, they made their way cautiously past the white rock and continued their way down to the mountains.

A day had quickly passed and a third rank desolate beast was quickly encountered.

But Ouyang Xue quickly made a swift work out of it and dispatched it in no time.

The desolate mists here were heavy and the spiritual aura was quite poor. This made it hard for the cultivators to regain their profound strength. Also, this affected everyone’s spiritual perception and made it harder for them to sense the approach of the desolate beasts. Therefore they had to scout with their own eyes.

As the party was about to setup camp, all of a sudden the ground shook as a gigantic Star Desolate Ape had suddenly flew down from the cliff above and landed with a tremendous hard landing. Before anyone could react, the Star Ape had plummeted to death one cultivator and had crushed another cultivator!

The scene was absolutely horrifying!

Leng Qiuyue had barely lifted all her profound strength to defend the rest of the ordinary protégés when she was sent flying off with a might swing from the Star Desolate Ape attack!

Ouyang Xue gasped, “This is a fourth rank desolate beast. Everyone, be careful…”

This time Lu Qingyun was not about to be idle. As it was a surprise attack, Ouyang Xue and Leng Qiuyue did not have the time to issue more commands or to warn him to stay away. Therefore he took the opportunity to say to Lie Xingyuan, “Xingyuan, I need your help to distract this monster while I executed my Crimson Flaming Sword. However, this sword technique is erm, a little slow to warm up.”

Lie Xingyuan nodded and immediately she had displayed her newly acquired sword skill the Winds Entropy Dance as she flew to intercept the Star Desolate Ape.

Ouyang Xue’s strength was faltering as she evaded and counter-attack against the Star Desolate Ape when Lie Xingyuan had suddenly intercepted the swift attacks of the Star Desolate Ape.

In a blink of an eye, Lie Xingyuan had slashed twice against the thick fur of the Star Desolate Ape as she sent the Star Desolate Ape to take two steps backward and slowing its attack pace.

Although it was only a brief setback to the Star Desolate Ape, it allowed everyone to regroup and to compose their minds, buying everyone valuable time to think of their next actions.

Ouyang Xue was gasping secretly. She had recognized the Winds Entropy Dance and that Lie Xingyuan had just executed a tricky move that required the cultivator to have the profound strength of the third realm level. But she had thought that Lie Xingyuan was only a second realm cultivator?

Even Leng Qiuyue was startled by the startling martial display that was being displayed by Lie Xingyuan.

She thought, “She is actually a third realm cultivator? This is not possible. She has only been with the Heavens Ridge Villa for only a year…”

But before their surprises with Lie Xingyuan had faded away, Lu Qingyun had suddenly taken a dozen rapid steps forward as he raised his divine sword to display the second stage of the Flaming Crimson Sword the Lethal Burning Sword as he leapt high into the air to aim for the heart of the Star Desolate Ape.

It was as though the profound aura that was around Lu Qingyun had suddenly exploded as he sent his sword through the heart of the Star Desolate Ape. So great was the sudden thunderous explosion that was generated that the Star Desolate Ape was sent flying up into the mid-air before it landed with a large crash on the ground in the next instant.

This caught everyone who was looking in awe as they was shocked at how easily Lu Qingyun had killed a fourth rank desolate beast!

“This…is this our first realm senior brother?”

“What kind of a sword art is this…”

“It seemed to be the Flaming Crimson Sword but I’ve heard that it is an extremely difficult to master sword art. Moreover the sword practitioner has to be at least a third realm cultivator in order to have the profound strength to use the sword art…”

“I have heard that even a fifth rank cultivator will also have problem learning it. Our Elder Celestial Shi Guanyin has once mentioned to me…”

Ouyang Xue and Leng Qiuyue were shocked beyond words as they stared at Lu Qingyun as they thought at the same time, “Is he really our good-for-nothing senior brother?”

Leng Qiuyue gasped to herself, “He is really a third realm cultivator and not a first realm cultivator? I have thought that he is only boasting…”

Lu Qingyun was looking a little sheepish. He was actually surprised by the martial power of the Lethal Burning Sword as it easily pierced through the almost impervious thick fur of the Star Desolate Ape.

“This sword art is indeed powerful and it is only the second stage sword art. I have yet to display the third stage yet. But it is all thanks to Xingyuan who provides me with the short preparation. I guess that the Star Desolate Ape did not expect me to attack and hence its guard was lowered.”

Leng Qiuyue muttered as she looked at him, “Senior brother, you are so strong…” But before she could finish saying what was on her mind, she had spurt blood all of a sudden and had collapsed!

Everyone was shocked!

Rushuang put her hand to cover her mouth as she was shocked to see Leng Qiuyue collapsing all of a sudden.

Ouyang Xue panicky caught hold of Leng Qiuyue as she said anxiously, “She had taken an indirect hit earlier and she was forcing herself to stand despite the internal injuries that she had sustained. It does not look too good for her…”

Lu Qingyun was also startled as he quickly said solemnly, “Let me take a look at her…”

Ouyang Xue looked up at him but before she could ask him further, he said quietly. “I may be able to help her. But hurry.”

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Chapter 45: Into the Misty Desolate Valley (2)

Ouyang Xue quickly gently pushed Lu Qingyun away as she said solemnly, “Xingyuan, please take Senior Brother Lu to the back. We will handle this.”

Lu Qingyun protested immediately as he was already all warmed up for his fight real battle but Ouyang Xue turned to say icily to him, “No but. You will only distract us. I can’t afford any minute distractions even it is just a brief.”

There was a look of sincerity and concern as she said quietly, “This is a real battle. I can only afford to look out for myself. If I were to constantly check on you then I may not survive the battle. We may not survive the battle together.”

Even Leng Qiuyue was saying, “Xingyuan, quickly take him away to the second line. Hurry! There is no time to lose!”

What else could Lu Qingyun do?

With great reluctant, he forced himself to be dragged away by Lie Xingyuan. He wanted to participate in the battle but he did not want to be their distraction. From their solemn eyes, he knew that he would only be endangering them if he decided to fight alongside them.

He could only think this way first, “If they are in any danger, surely it is not too late for me to intervene? I just need to prepare myself for any contingencies then.”

No sooner had he and Lie Xingyuan and reached the second line where the first realm cultivators were which numbered about half of the group, a terrifying large King Desolate Lizard had emerged from the confines of the mountain shadows as the ground beneath them trembled nonstop!

This King Desolate Lizard was a powerful fourth rank desolate beast with great agility and strength. The jaws of this King Desolate Lizard could easily tear apart any cultivators and turned them into mincemeat!

Leng Qiuyue shouted to the cultivators that had formed the first line, “What are you all fighting for? Form your sword formations, split into two sword formations and support Grand Elder Xue and I as we make our moves.”

The first line of cultivators of about 16 quickly divided themselves into two groups of 8 each with each group following either Ouyang Xue or Leng Qiuyue. The first line of cultivators consisted of all the second realm master practitioners cultivators which included Rushuang.

The second line of cultivators was all first realm cultivators and there were 15 of them. When Lu Qingyun and Lie Xingyuan were added, there were now 17 of them at the back who were ready to support anyone who was injured. This was the general role of the second line and they provided the first line with their timely support so that the first line of cultivators could focus all their attentions in their battles.

It was a little ironic that Lie Xingyuan and Lu Qingyun were both third realm cultivators and they were now supporting at the back.

Only Leng Qiuyue knew that Lu Qingyun was not a lowly first realm cultivator. It was because Lu Qingyun had told her he was already a third realm cultivator. However in Leng Qiuyue’s mind, she did not really believe him and thought that there was a chance that he may be boasting. Moreover, she knew that Lu Qingyun lacked any experience and lack of experience was fatal in a fight. So she was equally as eager as Ouyang Xue to see him supporting at the back rather than the front. This way, she could focus all her attention on the intruding desolate beast.

This King Desolate Lizard was confident of itself despite seeing a group of thirty and it quickly charged into the group swiftly.

Ouyang Xue raised her sword as she swung against the thick hide of the King Desolate Lizard but her profound sword stroke just did not have the impact that she had desired. This King Desolate Lizard was a top tier fourth realm desolate beast best known for its resilient, speed and strength.

She gasped softly as the King Desolate Lizard rushed past her and charged headlong into Leng Qiuyue.

Leng Qiuyue took the charge calmly as she slipped high upward into the air as she cried out to the two groups behind, “Don’t let it get past your line to our support lines!”

The two groups quickly formed two massive sword arrays as they readied their swords to meet the charge. There were real fears in their eyes as they really did not know if they could halt the advance of this King Desolate Lizard.

Dozens of sword flashes were immediately brought down on the King Desolate Lizard as it approached. Almost immediately, an unfortunate protégé was heard screaming as he got grabbed into the jaws of the King Desolate Lizard while two others were smacked hard and sent flying off.

The advance of the King Desolate Lizard was halted and almost immediately half of the 16 cultivators that formed the two sword arrays had all sustained injuries.

Ouyang Xue had quickly doubled back as she raised her sword forward the King Desolate Lizard with all her profound strength as she leapt up to deliver a powerful slash with her sword.

At the same time Leng Qiuyue had just landed softly on the ground but her reaction was nimble. No sooner had she landed, she too had turned with all her profound strength to pierce a weak point of the King Desolate Lizard at its back leg.

The King Desolate Lizard was enraged as it sent its tail to whack toward Leng Qiuyue who raised her sword just in time to fend the tail whack but the attack had sent her flying tens of metres away as she spurted blood.

Within three blinks of an eye, another unfortunately protégé was crushed under the King Desolate Lizard claw while yet another was whacked by its tail and the protégé was dead immediately.

The second line of protégés were all rushing forward to drag the heavily wounded away and were raising their swords to provide a defensive cover for those that required time to regroup.

Lu Qingyun sighed heavily as he witnessed the on-going battle with a heavy heart. This fourth realm desolate beast was indeed extremely powerful and he was unsure if he could even handle it alone.

Ouyang Xue flashed and attacked several times, fully making use of the distractions provided by the ordinary protégés to search for vulnerabilities for her attack. Finally she had found it as she delivered a deep slash by the side of the King Desolate Beast.

This caused the King Desolate Beast to roar aloud in great pain and its momentum was halted as it began to weaken. Suddenly it was slashed and hacked from many sides.

Ouyang Xue shouted, “Everyone, all-out attack!”

Within a few minutes, the King Desolate Beast was dead but not before it killed one more protégé and heavily injured another two.

When it was finally over, there were five dead and another five were heavily wounded.

Ouyang Xue looked extremely solemn at the bloody scene that was laid before her. Although she had taken part in many of the experiential missions, this was the first time that she had fought such a dangerous fourth rank desolate beast.

By right, their main objective was a fourth rank desolate beast and with the death of this desolate beast, their main mission would have been accomplished. What they need to do next was to find another two weaker third rank desolate beasts and this entire experiential mission would end and they could return home.

However the experiential mission objective was changed to a fifth realm desolate beast and two fourth realm desolate beast now.

This experiential mission was not going to be easy.

She was sweating profusely from the exertion that she had put into. It was not only her but all the front line fighters were all sweating profusely. This fight was not easy at all.

Leng Qiuyue walked with a limp as she stole a glance at Lu Qingyun and noted that he was perfectly alright.

Ouyang Xue said quietly to her, “Are you alright?”

Leng Qiuyue nodded lightly. She was drained from the fight and she had suffered some injuries from the impact.

But there was a look of respect in the eyes of both maidens for each other after the fight. This was actually the first time that they had worked together.

But at this moment, Leng Qiuyue had wished that it was Lu Qingyun who could step forward to offer her some condolences. Although that did not happen, she was secretly glad that he was alright…

All of a sudden Lu Qingyun had walked to Leng Qiuyue and Ouyang Xue as he asked, “Are the two of you alright? You have fought well. Thank you.”

Leng Qiuyue took a sudden look at Lu Qingyun as she thought, “He is really asking if I’m alright?”

But she could only give a weak nod while Ouyang Xue replied, “I’m alright. I am glad that senior brother you are fine too.”

Lu Qingyun was smiling weakly as he stole a sheepish glance at Lie Xingyuan as he sighed heavily.

It was not out of total concern for Ouyang Xue and Leng Qiuyue when he had walked over to ask about their wellbeing. It was because after the fight, some of the ordinary protégés were whispering, “So this is our good-for-nothing first realm senior brother. He just stands there and does nothing at all…”

“He is just cowering behind his two junior sisters while they do the hard work…”

“Even Ouyang Xue and Leng Qiuyue put their lives on the frontline for us but what is our senior brother doing?”

“He is really no better than an ordinary protégé…”

All the soft muttering had caused his back to be burning and this was the reason why he had suddenly approach Ouyang Xue and Leng Qiuyue. It was because the ordinary protégés dared not whisper anything within their earshot.

But somehow, Ouyang Xue and Leng Qiuyue had mistaken that he was overly concerned for them…

Ouyang Xue took one last look at Lu Qingyun before she walked over to the ordinary protégés to inspect the damages before she said solemnly, “The two of you over there, take these five badly injured protégés to the top first and wait for us at the entrance until we are back.”

She heaved a soft sigh before she said quietly to them, “I need your help to take the five bodies too for burial.”

As she said that, her voice grew hoarse and her eyes had also become watery. But she quickly said, “The rest of you help to dissect the important parts of this desolate beast…”

Out of 30 ordinary protégés, only 18 would remain to continue the experiential mission. This was not looking good at all. Even Leng Qiuyue got a bad hit and she was limping.

She was even thinking of throwing in the gauntlet and declared that their experiential mission was a failure. She really did not know if she alone would be enough to handle more of the upcoming dangers and to protect this group…

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Chapter 44: Into the Misty Desolate Valley (1)

After a quick break and preparation, Ouyang Xue announced to the party that it was time to go into the Misty Desolate Valley.

Leng Qiuyue lifted her head to say to Ouyang Xue, “Since senior brother is here, you should allow him to make the call.”

Ouyang Xue: …

Lu Qingyun smiled weakly, “It doesn’t matter who makes the call. This is my first time with everyone. It is wiser that I heed the advice of the more experienced hands.”

Leng Qiuyue said coolly, “In terms of experiences, I have done more experiential missions than anyone here. So you should all heed my call?”

Ouyang Xue said coldly, “In terms of rank, you are my junior now. Should I remind you not to overstep your boundaries. Surely you know what I mean.”

Leng Qiuyue: …

But she added with a cold hum, “You may be my senior in rank but you are not the one with the highest rank in this experiential mission. This honor belongs to our senior brother here.”

Lu Qingyun smiled weakly as he muttered, “Alright, we shall break camp. Alright?”

Ouyang Xue and Leng Qiuyue replied at almost the same time, “Alright…”

As they replied, they began to look coldly at each other…

Lie Xingyuan, Rushuang and the rest of the ordinary protégés were all smiling weakly as they started to break camp.

As Lu Qingyun started to walk into the Misty Desolate Valley, he noticed that Leng Qiuyue and Ouyang Xue were also walking behind him.

He thought, “Actually I don’t mind following their leads but why is that they are now following my lead? I don’t even know the way.”

As he walked to the front, he noticed that the rest of the ordinary protégés were also giving way to him…

Lie Xingyuan whispered to him with a weak smile, “You are the senior brother, naturally you are expected to lead the way now. Did you not hear what Leng Qiuyue said earlier? You are the most senior in the party.”

Lu Qingyun smiled awkwardly before he had an idea.

He turned around and said to Leng Qiuyue and Ouyang Xue, “Junior sisters, why don’t we walk together? It is easier this way. I honestly do not know the way.”

Without replying to him, both Leng Qiuyue and Ouyang Xue had quietly walked next to him while they were exchanging cold glances at each other.

Standing in their midst, Lu Qingyun could feel the frosty bitterness that was in the air…

This experiential mission was totally out of his expectations.

He began to make a sigh soft before he turned around to continue the walk into the Misty Desolate Valley.

The Misty Desolate Valley was below the desolate mists that blankets the mountains below. As he had lived in the mountains before he came to New Empyrean City, he knew that certain mountain vicinities were danger zones and he could sense a similar feeling in this place.

The spiritual aura in this mountains were poor which means that the desolate aura below the desolate mists were particular thick here and was a good breeding grounds for the desolate beasts below. Usually it was a place where non-cultivators would dare to venture.

Although he seemed to be taking the lead, it was actually Ouyang Xue and Leng Qiuyue who were leading the party and they took the party down a trail that led to below the mountains.

Several hours had passed and they had entered the desolate fog and visibility was poor. Along the way, they had met seven other celestial clans that were on their way back to the top. All of them were solemn and there were many injured cultivators in their group.

Because the Heavens Ridge Villa was a respected celestial clan, some of the clans greeted their party politely and looked a little relieved. It was because they were almost out of danger and the sight of a large experiential party of thirty odds gave them some courage to hurry back to the top.

Ouyang Xue said quietly, “It doesn’t look too good for these celestial clans this time hence their solemn expressions.”

Even Leng Qiuyue was forced to agree with Ouyang Xue as she nodded lightly, “I don’t think they have the strength to venture deep into the valley and they seem to be capable of handling only the third rank desolate beasts. But from the look of it, it seemed that they may have encountered some fourth rank desolate beasts.”

Ouyang Xue took a quiet glance at her rival and nodded, “You are right.”

Leng Qiuyue was a little startled that her rival had actually agreed with her. She just smiled weakly and did not say anything more.

It was because deep down, the two of them knew that they had to be on full combat readiness and they also had the responsibility to take care of the ordinary protégés that were with them.

Although they did have some rivalries with each other, now it was not the time for it. Moreover, they had actually felt a little guilty for upping the difficulty of the experiential mission.

When Lu Qingyun had heard them, he was already smiling weakly as he took a cautious look around the trails.

“How long must we continue down the trail? The further we go, the more dangerous it is.” He said solemnly. He had never stepped down into the desolate mists before but there were frequent attacks from the desolate beasts as they emerged to run rampage above the mountains.

Ouyang Xue said, “Sometimes if we are lucky, within a few hours. Sometimes a few days.”

Lu Qingyun was startled, “A few days? You mean we have to go deeper? That is really some risk taking.”

Lie Xingyuan was smiling weakly as she stole a glance at Rushuang. With Ouyang Xue and Leng Qiuyue around, she did not dare to even talk to Lu Qingyun or to voice out her concerns…

Ouyang Xue replied, “This is a known trail. Dozens of celestial clans have been using this familar trail. Even the desolate beasts are smart enough to avoid it unless it is some powerful desolate beasts that suddenly decide to emerge from their dens.”

Leng Qiuyue nodded, “It is said that the Misty Desolate Valley is a gathering place of thousands of desolate beasts below. It is like a separate divine realm for these desolate beasts below. That is why the entrance of the Misty Desolate Valley is marked as particular dangerous and by the decree of the Patriarch Heavenly Fragrance Villa, all the celestial clans around this area must send their protégés for experiential missions to regularly clean out the desolate beasts here.”

Lu Qingyun asked, “What if we should encounter a seventh rank, eighth rank or even a ninth rank desolate beast?”

Leng Qiuyue smiled weakly at him before she said, “Then we should run. As fast as possible. However as long as we don’t go too deep, we will be alright. After all, these high ranking desolate beasts do not like the poor desolate aura above the mountains.”

Lu Qingyun smiled weakly, “I’ve once seen a nine rank golden roc near New Empyrean City.”

Leng Qiuyue smiled as she took a knowing glance at him, “And you survive the encounter?” It was obvious or else Lu Qingyun would not be standing right here now.

Lu Qingyun nodded weakly.

It was at this moment that Ouyang Xue gave a soft gap as she had suddenly thought of something. When she had gasped, even Leng Qiuyue was gasping. It was because they had both thought of the same thing too!

They whispered at almost the same time, “And you have killed the Golden Roc or else how did you get your golden roc flame?”

Ouyang Xue was particular interested in studying Lu Qingyun’s golden roc flame. It was because she needed a breakthrough to the energy level to become a fourth realm expert. Likewise, even Leng Qiuyue was aroused with interest in his golden roc flame.

Leng Qiuyue asked quietly, “Don’t tell that a low level first realm cultivator like you can actually kill it?”

Ouyang Xue was also looking at Lu Qingyun with disbelief and she was interested to know more as well.

Lu Qingyun laughed softly, “Actually I had met sect leader at that time. She was the one that had killed it, not me. Naturally she was also the one that had given me the golden roc flame.”

Behind Lu Qingyun, Lie Xingyuan was secretly startled. She had never asked how senior brother got his sentient spirit. So it was from Qin Keqin. Now that she knew, there were many things that had suddenly made sense to her now…

Ouyang Xue and Leng Qiuyue were also startled. They had all thought that Lu Qingyun had some lucky occurrence and managed to obtain a wisp of the golden roc flame. But it seemed that he got more than just a wisp and it had come directly from the ninth rank desolate beast.

At the same time they were exchanging startled glances silently. It was because Qin Keqin was only a fifth realm expert. How was it possible for her to be able to defeat a powerful ninth rank desolate beast that could even trampled a seventh realm expert?

Just as they were about to ask more for more details, there was a deep howling sound that echoed aloud and the earth seemed to be trembling!

Ouyang Xue was alarmed as she quickly shouted panicky, “Everyone, on your guard and drawn out your swords for battle.”

Leng Qiuyue was also shouting, “All the first realm protégés, form a defensive line behind the second realm protégés. Ready the sword formation immediately!”

Lu Qingyun was also alarmed as he quickly unsheathed his divine sword from his spatial ring as he muttered, “We are in a real battle with a desolate beast this soon?”

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Chapter 43: The Misty Desolate Valley

Heavens Ridge Villa.

At this moment, the council of the grand elders was having a meeting.

Celestial Shi Guanyin was lamenting, “Look at our sect leader. She is already our sect leader and yet, we didn’t even catch a sight of her anywhere.”

Wang Ming, fourth realm immortal celestial and grand elder of the White Spirit Hall nodded, “Precisely. She should be coming here more often.”

Wang Ming used to be the grand elder of the Crystal Cloud Spirit Hall and had just recently taken over the White Spirit Hall. It turned out that it was not that hard for him to take over the White Spirit Hall after all.

It was not actually his credit but mainly due to Sect Leader Qin Keqin who had defeated Supremacy Wen Hongguang that caused the protégés of the White Spirit Hall to be in awe of her.

In the celestial realm, cultivation strength and martial strength ruled over all else. Because Qin Keqin could prove that she could defeat even a sixth realm expert like Supremacy Wen Hongguang, her position and status within the clan was suddenly firm.

Moreover this time round the Heavens Ridge Villa had soundly shamed the Solitary Manor who had been their main rival for centuries.

Celestial Kong Guxin, Yun Xing and Mu Han were all looking awkwardly at each other. In just a matter of a few weeks, Celestial Shi Guanyin seemed to have changed her opinion of Qin Keqin and was even lamenting for her whereabouts.

This turnabout was indeed very weird.

However they did not say anything.

Yun Xing said, “Grand Elder Ouyang Xue is unable to attend our meeting today. It is because she is out on an experiential mission.”

“Oh?” Celestial Shi Guanyin said, “So is my core protégé Leng Qiuyue…”

Mu Han added with a wry smile, “I’ve heard that both of them have actually requested to Elder Bu Ming to up the difficulty of their experiential mission. Therefore they got what their wish for and they have to hunt down a fifth rank desolate beast in order to complete their experiential mission.”

Celestial Shi Guanyin was startled as she asked, “Are you sure about this?”

Mu Han answered solemnly, “I am sure. I have just met Elder Bu Ming and he had told me about it. Moreover, our Senior Brother Lu is also in this experiential mission.”

Celestial Shi Guanyin said with a surprise look, “Our Senior Brother Lu is also in this experiential mission?” This was actually a playacting from her. It was because she had already gotten wind from Elder Bu Ming that Lu Qingyun would be in the experiential mission some days ago.

She quickly said, “This is too ridiculous. Who authorizes this? This may be out of their league and moreover our Senior Brother Lu will also be in danger. How do we answer to our sect leader should he comes to harm?”

Mu Huan smiled bitterly, “I’ve heard that it is Grand Elder Ouyang Xue that forces Elder Bu Ming to increase the difficulty. But of course, it is your Leng Qiuyue that was the first to suggest it.”

Celestial Shi Guanyin was burning with rage, “The two of them are too reckless. I know that they are rivals but this is simply too ridiculous. We got to stop this experiential mission right away.”

Mu Han smiled bitterly, “It is already too late. They had already left for the Misty Desolate Valley three days ago.”

Celestial Shi Guanyin: …

Although she had specifically instructed Elder Bu Ming in secret not to pick a difficult experiential mission for Leng Qiuyue and Lu Qingyun, she did not know the exact start date of the experiential mission. To her, this was only a trivial matter so she was not particularly mindful.

But now, she was a little panicky for Leng Qiuyue and Lu Qingyun!

The Celestial Realm was just the middle realm between the lower Mundane Realm and the upper Immortal Realm.

The Nine Celestial Fraternity was one of the many celestial fraternities that were in the Celestial Realm and was the biggest celestial fraternity that consisted of ten vast divine realms.

The Celestial Realm was unlike the lower Mundane Realm where there were vast oceans and lands. The entire Celestial Realm was consisted of endless lofty mountains and it was thousands of times bigger than the lower Mundane Realm.

The many celestial clans and populations were situated high above the mountains. Usually the powerful celestial clans would be situated on mountains that were rich in spiritual veins that were refined by rich deposits of jadeites. That would be the most ideal place for cultivation. Other than spiritual veins and jadeites, mountains that were rich in silver and gold celestiums were also ideal, since silver and gold celestiums were very much needed to make precious weapons.

Below the mountains, were thick desolate mists and endless bottomless valleys that were filled with many powerful desolate monsters. The spiritual force below the desolate mists was poor and unsuitable for cultivation. Moreover the presence of the desolate forces was too overwhelming and could easily corrupt a cultivator inner core. However because of this very same reason, it was the ideal place for the desolate monsters that fed upon it.

In a way, the desolate mists acted as a natural barrier between the desolate beasts below and the divine beasts that dwelled high in the mountains.

The desolate force below the mountains had actually come from the same mountain veins as the spiritual veins that the cultivators depend upon. The only difference was that this desolate force could actually be refined by the rich deposits of jadeites in the mountains and by the purifying aura above the mountains that were continuously cleansed by the divine lightning.

From time to time, there would always be a possibility that a powerful desolate monster would emerged from the valley below.

The richer the spiritual force in the mountains, the weaker the desolate force that was at the bottom. Therefore it was not wrong to say that spiritual rich mountains usually do not have powerful desolate beasts below the desolate mists.

Since New Empyrean City was just a second tier celestial area, there were plenty of powerful middle tier desolate beasts that dwelled in the desolate mists below and one of the most dangerous places around the vicinity of New Empyrean City was the Misty Desolate Valley.

At this moment, Lu Qingyun and his party had already reached the vicinity of the Misty Desolate Valley.

Except for Leng Qiuyue and Ouyang Xue, the moods of the rest of the protégés were solemn indeed. Even Lie Xingyuan looked a little unhappy as she heaved melancholy sighs along the way.

It was because everyone knew that they were heading toward a certain unknown destination that may well cost them their lives.

Although they could gain plenty of clan contributions for this difficult experiential mission but none of the ordinary protégés were actually rejoicing. It was because they had to first ‘survive’ the outcome first.

It was well known to them that some of the core protégés spared no good morals as they used the ordinary protégés as cannon fodders for them to defeat the powerful desolate beasts and to gain for themselves the clan contribution points at the expense of the others.

Clan contribution points were an important contribution in the Heavens Ridge Villa where the protégés could use to buy rare celestial resources for themselves to further their cultivation and to gain access to spirit arrays that could aid them to overcome their celestial realm levels.

Rushuang was smiling bitterly as she followed Leng Qiuyue as her personal attendant. She had thought that she was fortunate to be Leng Qiuyue’s personal attendant after her decision to leave Tang Bufan. But to think that this Leng Qiuyue would be so crazy enough to request for a more difficult experiential mission…

She really did not want to die in this experiential mission…

Ouyang Xue had come alone as she currently had no personal attendant or maidservant.

Almost all the ordinary protégés had known that Leng Qiuyue and Ouyang Xue were rivals. At the same time, they were fond of changing their personal attendants on a yearly basis. Although this provided many female ordinary protégés with an opportunity to follow a core protégé but they knew that these two jade beauties had no real attachment to any of them.

And now that they knew how crazy they were, all the female ordinary protégés that were in the party resolved never to become their personal attendants in the future.

Lu Qingyun took a look around the vicinity and he was quite surprised to see hundreds of cultivators at the entrance of the Misty Desolate Valley. There were actually dozens of celestial clans presented in the vicinity and even one of the big four celestial clans the Flying Armament Sect was also presented.

However most of the celestial clans did not talk to the other celestial clans and kept to themselves.

The protégés of the Flying Armament Sect had looks of hostility when they saw the party of the Heavens Ridge Villa but other than that, they continued to mind their own businesses.

Leng Qiuyue hummed coldly when she saw the protégés of the Flying Armament Sect, “Hmph, so one of the big four celestial clans is also here. Are they such cowards that they choose to remain at the entrance?”

Although her voice was soft, it was quite audible to the Flying Armament Sect and to the other celestial clans that had setup camp nearby.

Ouyang Xue, Lu Qingyun, Rushuang, Lie Xingyuan: …

The ordinary protégés of the Heavens Ridge Villa were all quite startled and some of them had even turned ashen. It was because Leng Qiuyue had chosen to stir up shit at this time. What if there were real celestial experts in the party of the Flying Armament Sect then they would all be in trouble!

Maybe before they could even step into the Misty Desolate Valley, they would all get killed!

Indeed, a fine looking man and a beautiful maiden from the Flying Armament Sect had quietly approached them and from their attires, it was obviously that they were the core protégés of the Flying Armament Sect.

The beautiful maiden was indeed very beautiful and immediately Lie Xingyuan whispered to Lu Qingyun, “We are in luck or rather bad luck. She is Fairy Ling Xiu, one of the top twenty beauties of New Empyrean City.”

The fine looking man said coldly as he approached Leng Qiuyue, “Maiden, did you just say that we are cowards? Do you want to repeat those words again?”

Leng Qiuyue pulled back her curtain veil as she said coldly, “I dare to and who are you?”

When the fine looking man saw the astonishing beauty of Leng Qiuyue, he was quite startled as he asked, “You are Ouyang Xue or Leng Qiuyue?”

Ouyang Xue pulled back her curtain veil and said coldly, “I’m Ouyang Xue and she is Leng Qiuyue. Do not confuse us!”

The fine looking man chuckled softly, “So it is the Twin Alluring Flowers of the Heavens Ridge Villa. I’m Young Master Ling Chong and this is my sister Fairy Ling Xiu. So the two of you are in charge here?”

Many of the ordinary protégés of the Heavens Ridge Villa had immediately turned pale when they had heard his name. It was because Ling Chong and Ling Xiu was the young master and young mistress of the Flying Armament Sect and they were the children of the grandmaster of the Flying Armament Sect. Their statuses exceeded that of any core protégés!

Moreover, it was rumored that Ling Chong was an intermediate fourth realm expert while Ling Xiu was an initial fourth realm expert.

The ordinary protégés of the Heavens Ridge Villa were all smiling weakly. This was really slapping themselves on the face!

Lie Xingyuan whispered to the startled Lu Qingyun, “They are fourth realm experts…”

Lu Qingyun began to smile weakly. The difference between a third realm expert and a fourth realm expert was actually quite a big gap. A fourth realm expert was one that had cultivated to the energy level and hence the fourth realm was also known as the energy level as well as the immortal celestial level. At this level, the celestial practitioner would cease to age completely as they had full mastery of their cultivation energy.

He was thinking, “This junior sister of mine, Leng Qiuyue has really barked up to the wrong tree. Since she has stirred up this shit, I shall just stand here quietly while they settle their differences. Hopefully, this can be resolved without any fist fights…”

Leng Qiuyue had suddenly pointed to Lu Qingyun and said to Ling Chong, “Did you see that person over there? He is my senior brother.”

Lu Qingyun was startled as Ling Chong and Ling Xiu had suddenly looked toward his direction. He was thinking, “Did she just drag me into her shit hole…”

He began to smile weakly toward Ling Chong and Ling Xiu.

Fairy Ling Xiu had an interesting flash in her eyes as she appraised Lu Qingyun before she said quietly, “This senior brother of yours, what is his name?”

Lu Qingyun smiled weakly as he answered, “Lu Qingyun here. Please pardon us for our rudeness-”

Leng Qiuyue interrupted him coldly, “We do not need to apologize to them.”

Lu Qingyun: …

If we do not, he was thinking, then we would all be in terrible troubles pretty soon…

Ling Xiu said gently, “Since your senior brother looks like a nice person, we shall let this rest.” She took a last glance at Lu Qingyun before she took her leave.

Ling Chong was smiling as he stared intently at both Leng Qiuyue and Ouyang Xue, “Indeed, indeed. Why not? We are only here for our experiential training and it is interesting to meet people…”

He began to laugh as he took a reluctantly last look at Leng Qiuyue and Ouyang Xue as he said politely, “I shall take my leave. Hopefully we can meet again.”

Leng Qiuyue and Ouyang Xue were suddenly looking at Lu Qingyun coldly, startling him.

He was perplexed as he thought, “What did I do? I’m just trying to break a fight. Don’t tell me you really want to fight with them?”

But what he was thinking was completely different from what Leng Qiuyue and Ouyang Xue were thinking. They were unhappy that Fairy Ling Xiu had dropped the matter because she had taken one look at Lu Qingyun. They were actually secretly jealous.

To the rest of the ordinary protégés of the Heavens Ridge Villa and to Lie Xingyuan, they were all thinking. “It seems that if one has the good looks, they can get out of any troubles…”

The minute Ling Chong had seen Leng Qiuyue and Ouyang Xue, his hostile reaction had immediately faded away.

Leng Qiuyue was secretly sighing. She was acting too out of the norm. This was unlike her usual self. Maybe she just wanted to get Lu Qingyun to notice her and even get his attention on her for a while…

Even Ouyang Xue was thinking, “Leng Qiuyue, what are you trying to do? We are lucky this time. Don’t tell me, you like senior brother?”

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Chapter 42: Day of the Experiential Training

Three days were quickly up and it was soon the start of Lu Qingyun’s clan experiential training.

He had got up very early with Lie Xingyuan and they had made their way to the Experiential Hall. They were feeling refreshed after just consuming the Triple Divine Essence Pill that he had prepared the night before.

Lu Qingyun could feel that he had already reached the peak of the upper third realm enlighten level while Lie Xingyuan felt that she could break through to the intermediate enlighten level anytime soon.

Because this was the second time that they had consumed the Triple Divine Essence Pill, it did not have a much greater impact to them than the very first time.

It was exactly as what Lu Qingyun had told Lie Xingyuan that night.

Just before they had left, Lu Qingyun quickly wrote a note where Qin Keqin could easily see if she was to come.

When they had reached the Experiential Hall, there were already more than thirty protégés that had gathered.

Lu Qingyun was feeling a little awkward because he had thought that he was the first but there were many others that were already even earlier than him.

Many of the protégés were chatting noisily when they had entered the Experiential Hall. A quick scan around the place indicated that there were around ten female protégés and twenty male protégés.

All the female protégés were wearing their curtain hat veils that reached to their waists while the male protégés were wearing a shorter curtain hat veil that just covered their necks. Because they had not gone into the wilderness yet, all the curtain veils were actually pulled to their backs for easy identifications.

When he had stepped inside the Experiential Hall, almost all the protégés had stopped their chatters or were looking in his direction as they greeted, “Senior brother.”

“So senior brother is also in this experiential training with us?”

“But he is only a lowly first realm cultivator, tsk tsk.”

“Does it mean that we have to look out for him? What bad luck.”

“He is the weakest core protégé that we have ever had and he is lower than most of the fellow protégés here.”

“He is so handsome,” a female protégé muttered.

There were both positive and negative soft remarks about Lu Qingyun after they had greeted him but he did not mind at all. It was because he knew that he had actually no right to be a core protégé and in the first place, he was actually just content to be an ordinary protégé like them. If it was not for Qin Keqin who had hand picked him as a core protégé, he would be just an ordinary protégé.

But the most surprising reaction that he got was that he had recognized three of the female protégés that were now looking at him.

They were Rushuang who used to be Tang Bufan’s personal attendant, Ouyang Xue and Leng Qiuyue!

Ouyang Xue and Leng Qiuyue were of course the other two core protégés that were in this experiential training.

Ouyang Xue was not just a core protégé now but she was also the grand elder of the Crystal Cloud Spirit Hall.

She was extremely startled when she saw Lu Qingyun. It was because she had been trying to avoid him but in the end, she had kept dumping into him…

Leng Qiuyue was equally startled when she saw Lu Qingyun as she thought, “Why is he here? Mm, don’t tell me we are really fated after all…”

She sighed softly as she said quietly to herself, “But my rival Ouyang Xue is also here. What bad luck to have her with me during the experiential training. Now I have to listen to her commands just because she is a grand elder.”

Rushuang was looking awkward when she saw Lu Qingyun. It was because she had scoffed at him in the past. As for now, she was a personal attendant of Leng Qiuyue and had accompanied her for this experiential training.

Elder Bu Ming was the officiator of this experiential training and he said aloud, “Now that everyone is here, we can begin the briefing in advance.”

Then he smiled to Lu Qingyun and said, “Senior brother, will that do for you?”

Lu Qingyun replied awkwardly, “The sooner we start, the faster we can get on the clan mission.”

Elder Bu Ming smiled and turned to the rest of the protégés, “Some of you may be new to the clan experiential training and some of you may be old birds already. It is our customary rules that we do not tell any of the protégés what the missions are until the start of the experiential training. This is to prevent any of the protégés to pick an easy mission.”

Then he sighed heavily and said solemnly, “But there are actually no easy missions except for lucky missions. When you are out of the city and into the desolate wilderness, you must always be on your best vigilant. This is because dangers abound everywhere. Even a small injury can kill you if you are not careful enough!”

He smiled and said, “Today, we have our Senior Brother Lu Qingyun, Grand Elder Ouyang Xue and Core Protégé Leng Qiuyue who will be joining you in this experiential training. As Grand Elder Xue and Core Protégé Qiuyue are both upper third realm experts, you will probably have an easier time than the other experiential trainings. But still, do not be careless!”

Leng Xingyuan was smiling as she thought, “If only Elder Bu Ming knows that senior brother is also an upper third realm expert now. He will be so surprised.”

Elder Bu Ming unsealed a scroll and read out its contents, “Now for the details of the experiential training. You are to form a party to the Misty Desolate Valley and to hunt down at least a fourth rank desolate beast and at least three third rank desolate beasts before you are allowed to return. Should you return before you accomplish the mission then this mission will be considered a fail and it will be recorded down as a black mark.”

Many of the protégés were smiling and muttering excitingly.

The Misty Desolate Valley was just nearby and not too far. It was only a three days journey by foot and was a well-known training ground for the celestial clans.

Moreover their experiential mission was to hunt down only a formidable fourth rank desolate beast and it was not a big issue to an intermediate third realm expert. Moreover, they had two upper third realm experts in their ranks plus there were some thirty of them. With their dazzling sword formations and wolf pack tactics, they would be completing the mission in no time.

A protégé began to mutter, “Is it because we have senior brother here? He is terribly weak. That is why we are given an easy mission?”

“Since no one knows the mission in advance, it is likely the elders are cheating for him…”

“Isn’t that great? I just want to get over this experiential mission as quickly as possible…”

“I have butterflies in my stomach whenever I go on experiential mission. The last mission, I was almost killed…”

Elder Bu Ming made a loud cough to silence the background noises before he said aloud, “If you have no more questions then you shall hurry and be on your way. Your rations will be given to you once the experiential mission token is given to you on your way out.”

Leng Qiuyue had suddenly stepped out to say coldly, “Elder Bu Ming, honestly I feel that this experiential mission lacks challenge. I have already been through numerous fourth rank desolate beast missions. Can we have a little bit more challenge?”

Half of the protégés were smiling bitterly. But none of them dare to say anything loud. It was because this icy beauty was renowned for her pettiness.

Elder Bu Ming smiled, “I’m afraid that we can’t change the mission once it has already been decided…”

“Elder Bu Ming, although you can’t change the mission but you can certainly upgrade the mission, am I right?” This time it was Ouyang Xue who was speaking.

She did not want to portray a weaker self in front of her rival Leng Qiuyue.

Elder Bu Ming was smiling weakly, “Indeed I can but…”

Ouyang Xue said, “Then as grand elder, I command you to upgrade the mission difficulty. This is too easy for us to accomplish.”

Elder Bu Ming smiled weakly as he secretly stolen a glance at Lu Qingyun. He had been secretly instructed by Celestial Shi Guanyin not to make the missions too hard for Lu Qingyun and Leng Qiuyue.

But now Ouyang Xue was ordering him directly to increase the difficulty of the mission.

With a bitter smile, he could only say. “Alright then. I shall increase the mission completion to that of a fifth rank desolate beast and two fourth rank desolate beasts.”

When he had said that, many of the protégés had a cold shiver down their spines. It was because a fifth rank desolate was as strong as an upper third realm expert to a fourth realm expert. If they were lucky, they could be able to meet the weakest fifth rank desolate beast. At the same time, if they were to go deeper into the Misty Desolate Valley, there was a chance that they would meet with even higher ranks desolate beasts and the mission time would also be lengthened considerably.

Even Lu Qingyun’s jaws almost dropped when he had heard of the new mission objectives. He began to smile bitterly at Leng Xingyuan who was also smiling bitterly at him.

He muttered, “What are these two maidens doing…”

He was not them so he did not understand what they were thinking.

He did not know that both maidens were using the guise of ‘not enough challenge’ to purposely make the experiential training harder. It was also because they were trying to impress Lu Qingyun and at the same time, this means that they would be on this trip far longer with him.

Because he was not them, he totally did not understand their true intentions at all.

But to the rest of the protégés, they all knew that these two beauties had a feud with each other and were merely trying to outdo one another. At first all the male protégés were extremely delighted to have two of the top twenty beauties in New Empyrean City in this mission but now, they were extremely worried!

Leng Qiuyue was thinking as she stole a glance at Lu Qingyun, “So this is a suicide mission. Very good then.”

Even Ouyang Xue was muttering to herself, “Hmph, what am I doing. Am I still rational anymore?”

Leng Qiuyue turned to smile coldly at Ouyang Xue, “Let’s see which one of us will be able to get the fifth rank desolate beast first.”

Ouyang Xue returned a cold smile, “Surely I will be the one. Is there even a need to say so?”

Leng Qiuyue smiled coldly, “We shall see. It will be so funny if you can bite more than you can chew.”

Elder Bu Ming was smiling bitterly as he thought, “Why is that I’ve got a really bad feeling about all this?”

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Chapter 41: Qingyun Not So Secret Dream

When Lu Qingyun returned to his abode, he was feeling very happy.

Although it was just a simple dinner with Qin Keqin and her two sisters, he felt that he was one step closer to her now. He had finally seen a side of her that he had never seen before; during the dinner she was happily boasting to her two saintess sisters how great an alchemist she was now.

He thought that this was her cute side.

He was beginning to wonder how Qin Keqin got two seventh realm experts as her sisters? During the light dinner, he had come to know that they were not real sisters but rather very close friends. Hence, they were addressing each other as sisters similar to the way men addressed close friends as brothers.

Lie Xingyuan smiled when she saw him, “Senior brother, you are back? It is so late. So how are things going? Did you…” she hesitated for a while before saying. “Did you find sect leader?”

“Yes, I’ve found her. She promises me that she will be here in a few more days after she has finished settled some matters.” Lu Qingyun said with a dreamy smile.

“That is good,” Lie Xingyuan said after she had seen his happy countenance. “Then it must have been a fruitful trip. By the way, I have reserved the experiential training for us. It will start in three days.”

Lu Qingyun was startled, “So soon?”

“I have tried to get the one after this but the elders told me that it has reached the quota of three core protégés. So only this one is available. If not, we have to wait for another two months and since we don’t know how long an experiential training will take, you may miss the martial tournament. So I quickly make a reservation for you.”

Lu Qingyun pondered for a while, “Well, I guess this will do fine. I’m just worried that Keqin will not be able to find me then. I can leave her a note…”

Then he realized he had made a blunder by calling out her name to Xingyuan and it was impolite to the sect leader, so he quickly said. “I wonder who will be the core protégés that will be going with us?”

Lie Xingyuan smiled, “The elders won’t reveal it to anyone. Only on the day will we know. I have tried to ask them but they still refuse to tell me even though I’ve mentioned to them that you are the senior brother. Maybe there is no one else and it will be up to senior brother to take care of the junior protégé brothers and sisters.”

Lu Qingyun smiled as he laughed at himself, “Maybe. Hopefully, it is not them who will be ones that are taking care of me.”

Then he said, “So we have three days before the start of the experiential training. I am a little excited as it will be first time that I will be out on experiential training.”

Lie Xingyuan smiled, “You will soon get used to it. This will be my third experiential training.”

Lu Qingyun smiled. “Xingyuan at least you have been to the experiential training before so you are not nervous.”

Lie Xingyuan laughed softly, “Who says I’m not nervous? I am always afraid that I may not come back alive after each experiential training.”

“It is dangerous?” he asked with a startled expression.

“There will be always be dangers so we ought to be careful and exercise cautious at all times.” She explained.

Lu Qingyun nodded, “Alright. I will keep it in mind.”

All of a sudden he clapped his hands, giving her a startled jump as he said excitingly. “Xingyuan, look what do I have for us here?”

He promptly took out three Triple Divine Essence Pills and said, “Master gives this to me. She is indeed kind to me.”

Lie Xingyuan was quite shocked when she saw the three Triple Divine Essence Pills as she muttered, “She still got more of these?”

Lu Qingyun smiled weakly, “I think these three are the last ones so we ought to be careful with its uses.”

“We?” asked Lie Xingyuan curiously.

“Yes, we. I’m going to split the pills into halve for us to consume again. We will take one just before the start of the experiential training.” He explained.

Lie Xingyuan looked at him with a startled expression, “Senior brother, actually you don’t have to be so nice toward me. These are from your master. What if she knows about it?”

Lu Qingyun gave her a smile, “It is pointless for me to consume the full pill. So I may as well share half of it with you. In fact, the third pill here will lose its effectiveness for us so I’m thinking that we shall keep it first.”

As he took a glance at the pills, he could not help sighing secretly. It was because until now, he did not know why Qin Keqin had added the starforge substances into these pills…

“Alright then. Then I shall turn in early tonight. I’m a little tired.” He said with a soft yawn.

“Shall I prepare a bath for you, senior brother?” She asked hurriedly.

Lu Qingyun shook his head, “There is no need. See you tomorrow then. I am just going to do a small wash up and rinsing before I head to my bed.”

With that he had walked back to his room.

That night, Lu Qingyun had a most pleasant dream about Qin Keqin and him.

He dreamed that he was kissing her and cuddling her. It quickly turned into an erotic wet dream…

All of a sudden he had heard a small scream in his head and he quickly woke up panicky. He opened his eyes and saw that it was Yan’Er who was looking at him.

He asked dreamily, “Yan’Er, why did you shout me out for?”

Yan’Er said weakly, “Master, I saw you have undressed Big Sister Keqin and you, and you…”

Lu Qingyun stared at her blankly before he asked, “How come you can still read my thoughts? I’ve thought that I’m a third realm cultivator now?”

Yan’Er chuckled, “That is because your Yan’Er is also a third realm cultivator therefore I can see what you are thinking!”

Lu Qingyun was completely stunned…

He had never thought that a spirit entity that could cultivate and who was on the same cultivation level as him could still see his thoughts. Usually the master would be several realms higher than the spirit entity.

Because he was depending on Yan’Er to cultivate for him, this means that it was difficult for his cultivation level to exceed Yan’Er. Which means that he had now completely screwed himself…?

He was now smiling bitterly as he looked at Yan’Er.

Yan’Er was still asking, “Master, what are you doing to Big Sister Keqin just now? I don’t understand at all. If you don’t tell me, I’m going to ask Big Sister Keqin when she is here.”

Lu Qingyun had immediately turned ashen as he quickly muttered, “Oh no, please don’t! Erm, I was just paying her a great deal of honor. This is our way of repaying our master with the highest respect and honor.”

Yan’Er started to look at Lu Qingyun weirdly but he had already closed his eyes and covered himself with his blanket…

Yan’Er was thinking shyly, “Mm, since he is my master and I am respecting him so much. Should I do the same to him?”

But she was soon saddened, “But Yan’Er is a spirit without a corporeal body. I can’t touch master…”

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Chapter 40: Keqin I miss you

As Lu Qingyun did not see Qin Keqin for so many days and it was almost close to two weeks, he decided to visit her while Lie Xingyuan had gone to the mission hall to register them for the experiential mission.

It actually took him a great deal of courage to finally decide to make this move because he did not know how she would think if he was to come unannounced. Although they were master and disciple relationship but he knew very little about her.

Finally he had stood outside the Heavenly Lotus Teahouse where Qin Keqin’s hideout was.

After standing there for nearly an hour, he finally took the courage to step inside the Heavenly Lotus Teahouse.

No one greeted him. All the stewards treated him as though he was invisible.

Therefore he made his own way to the upper floors of the Heavenly Lotus Teahouse. Although there were more guards and stewards on the upper floors but again, no one stopped him from approaching.

He was smiling bitterly.

It was as though he was really invisible!

Finally he came to the hideout door and was staring sheepishly at it. Until now, he was still unsure whether he should enter?

But a feminine voice called out from beyond door, “Since you’re already here, why don’t you enter? Do you know that you are looking so silly standing outside the teahouse for nearly an hour and not entering?”

He recognized the voice of Feng Minyue and pushed opened the door awkwardly as he said, “Hello…Lu Qingyun greets seniors-”

Inside were Feng Minyue and Xuan Danfeng. They were both sipping tea and Feng Minyue interrupted him softly, “There is no need to greet us next time. Just be casual. After all, you’re one of us now.”

Feng Minyue and Xuan Danfeng were dazzling beautiful and Lu Qingyun dared to look at them directly as he averted his eyes to say, “I’m here to look for my master. Is she around? I have not seen her for many days so I am a little concerned.”

Feng Minyue heaved a soft sigh of melancholy, “Finally you are here. She isn’t in a good state and is sleeping in the alchemy room. Let me bring you to her but I shouldn’t advise you to disturb her for too long. She didn’t have any sleep for several days now.”

Xuan Danfeng said, “Keqin has been trying to concoct some pills for you and is working so hard. You ought to thank her profusely and not disappoint her in the future.”

Lu Qingyun asked, “She is making some pills for me? What pills are those ?”

Xuan Danfeng replied, “She is trying to make the Triple Divine Essence Pill for you.”

Feng Minyue added miserably, “And she is bankrupting us with her many failures.”

Lu Qingyun was smiling weakly. He knew how precious the herbs and spiritual resources were for concocting the Triple Divine Essence Pill.

“Come.” Feng Minyue said quietly.

He followed them and soon he was taken to a large room with many urns and cauldrons. In the middle of the room were two burning cauldron and he could sniff the fragrance of the Triple Divine Essence Pill and the Seven Hearts Hollow Pill.

Feng Minyue said, “She is sleeping in the interior of this room. You can look for her there. Since we are already here and she has not responded, this means that she is sound asleep. She must be truly so exhausted that she is unable to sense our approach. We shall take our leave first. See you later.”

Xuan Danfeng was looking around as she smiled weakly, “All these stuffs are money, money. It’s all in that cauldron now. I guess that this month we ought to tighten our pockets.”

Then she suddenly shut up and chuckled to Lu Qingyun, “Don’t mind me. Please continue your visit. See you in a while time.”

With that she and Feng Minyue had exited the room, leaving Lu Qingyun all alone inside.

Lu Qingyun did not go into the interior directly. Instead his attention was on the burning cauldrons.

He approached the cauldron and sniffed. This batch of Triple Divine Essence Pills was the same as the last pill that he had consumed and it also contained the starforge substances.

Why did Qin Keqin added the starforge substances to the Triple Divine Essence Pill and to the Seven Hearts Hollow Pill? Why did she need him to be forgettable about?

Although the starforge substances were not in any large quantities but it was still harmful in the longer term.

Looking around, he saw several discarded batches. It seemed that Qin Keqin was not really a good alchemist and was actually quite wasteful. She was just throwing everything into the cauldron and hoped that she could actually succeed. Her rate of success was like one in ten…

This was a horrible result. A skilled alchemist could easily have a rate of success of three in ten for the Triple Divine Essence Pills.

Luckily the Triple Divine Essence Pills was not beyond him and he gently took out the lid of the cauldron.

The first thing he did was to adjust the fire and the portions of the Triple Divine Essence Pills. Next he added more herbs to neutralize the starforge substances.

After a while, he closed the lid again and adjusted the fire until it turned blue.

He did the same for the cauldron that contained the Seven Hearts Hollow Pill.

With a satisfied look and at no sweat, he began to walk to the interior of this chamber.

Indeed, there was another room at the end and gently he knocked on the door.

Still there was no respond.

So he gently pushed open the door and walked in.

At the end of the room was a bed and Qin Keqin was sleeping inside. She was sound asleep and was fully clothed. It seemed that she did not even have the energy to remove her outer garment before she fell asleep.

As Lu Qingyun approached the bed, Qin Keqin had suddenly gasped and jumped out of her bed with her fingers in an attack stance at him!

Qin Keqin was startled as she quickly stopped her attack, “Qingyun, it is you? Why are you?”

She was sound asleep and was in a deep sleep. But even then, she had a high sense of alertness and was alerted to danger. When her inner perception senses the approach of a stranger, she was quickly startled from her deep sleep.

Lu Qingyun said weakly, “Keqin…I mean master…”

Qin Keqin chuckled softly, “Here, you can call me Keqin. Here, I am not your master.”

Lu Qingyun nodded slowly, “I didn’t see you for several days so I am a little concern. So I am here to take a look and wonder how you have been doing?”

She averted her eyes and sighed regretfully, “I have actually wanted to visit you sooner but I keep failing in my alchemy. I want to make you more of the Triple Divine Essence Pills to increase your cultivation base. I’m also making the Seven Hearts Hollow Pill for you as well.”

Lu Qingyun smiled weakly, “Yes, I saw.”

“Don’t worry. If I fail again, I can just go and buy the pill materials again. I will try until I’ve succeeded.” She was laughing jovially as she said to Lu Qingyun.

Lu Qingyun looked a little sheepish as he recalled the vast amount of wasted pill materials. It was enough to give him a big heartache.

Qin Keqin suddenly had a jolt, “Oh, my fires. I’ve fallen asleep. I need to maintain the furnace heat or the pills will be screwed. Come, follow me quickly. I’ve got to take a look.”

She quickly rushed to the alchemy chamber where the two cauldrons were. There was an anxious look on her countenance as she inspected the two cauldrons.

All of a sudden she gave a soft gasp of surprise as she turned to look at Lu Qingyun with an angelic smile, “You won’t believe it but look what I’ve made!”

Lu Qingyun walked over to her side and saw that the Triple Divine Essence Pills were ready and were giving off a brilliant silver luster.

Qin Keqin chuckled, “I’ve actually got three! I have never gotten more than one before. My alchemy skills must be improving a lot now.”

Lu Qingyun smiled weakly to himself, “Actually if you have set it up properly, you should have gotten five or even six of those pills. I was helping you to do some damage control earlier…”

Qin Keqin was soon gasping with more delight as she opened the other cauldron and saw that she got two Seven Hearts Hollow Pills. She was absolute beaming with delight as she exclaimed happily, “I didn’t know that it is possible to get two of these. I must really be a genius alchemist.”

She turned to look at Lu Qingyun and chuckled, “One of the Seven Hearts Hollow Pills is for you. The other one I will be selling it as I need to recoup some of my losses. If I don’t recoup some of the losses, my sisters will be screaming at me day in and night out. They may look gentle but they can really be fierce. So don’t you daydream about them or anything. They are really badass saintess.”

Then she was really afraid that Lu Qingyun may fall in love with them so she added seriously, “They have a lot of weird fetishes too and dislike men. Why do you think that they are still single after so many years?”

Xuan Danfeng and Feng Minyue were of course very beautiful. They were the renowned beauties of the Nine Celestial Fraternity in the past before they disappeared completely from view.

Qin Keqin was also an astonishing beautiful maiden but she knew that most men were lecherous and were attracted to anything beautiful. It was not a matter of who was the more beautiful but who could keep the hearts of men better.

She was chuckling to herself, “I hope you sisters don’t mind me slurring your good names. Just treat this as doing me a favor and I will buy you vintage wines the next time.”

Lu Qingyun just smiled awkwardly. He was only interested in Qin Keqin. He had thought that she looked very cute when she was so earnest in doing alchemy. He thought, “So she likes to do alchemy as much as I do. This is great. But I shouldn’t correct her since she is my master…”

Qin Keqin grabbed all three of the Triple Divine Essence Pills and said to Lu Qingyun, “Here, you can have them all. Remember to take one pill every month. As for the Seven Hearts Hollow Pill, I will give it to you once it is ready. This thing still needs a lot of heat to purify it.”

Lu Qingyun nodded as he agreed with her. Indeed, the Seven Hearts Hollow Pills were still not ready to be taken out yet. At least not for another month.

She gave him a wry smile, “It seems that you have some interest in alchemy too. Well, you got a good master here. In the future, you still got a lot of things to learn from me. But it is an extremely complicated process and a lot of hard work. So I rather that you focus on your cultivation first.”

Lu Qingyun smiled weakly, “Alright…”

She gave him a smile before she asked, “So, what is your cultivation level now? After all the aid that I’ve given you?”

Lu Qingyun replied awkwardly, “I’m at the upper third realm enlighten celestial now. It is all thanks to master.”

“Oh.” Qin Keqin began to ponder for a while before she replied, “That seems fast? Seems good. But it is still not enough. You need to be a fifth realm expert to be at least good.”

This time, it was Lu Qingyun’s turn to be surprised. He had thought that his master would be so startled at his sudden progression. But her reaction was too normal…

The truth was Qin Keqin had totally no concept how difficult cultivation was. She was already a seventh realm cultivator when she was twenty. She was a unique existence in the entire celestial realm and was the true daughter of the heavens.

Qin Keqin suddenly looked at him, “Since you have come, shall we go out to have dinner?”

Lu Qingyun was startled. This was his first date with her!

So he eagerly said, “Alright. I am free anyway. You have any place in mind?”

But he was saying to himself, “Please don’t daydream about your master. This is just a normal dinner and not a date.”

Qin Keqin rolled her enticing eyes before she chuckled, “Since this is our teahouse, we can have our dinner in this place. It is free of expenses to me. We can also invite Feng Minyue and Xuan Danfeng as well. It is not that they really need any food or drink but we can treat it as a gathering.”

When Lu Qingyun heard that the dinner place was actually at the same place and that she was going to invite Feng Minyue and Xuan Danfeng along, his eyes began to roll awkwardly before he smiled weakly, “This…sounds like a good idea…”

“You think so too? That’s great.” Laughed Qin Keqin. “We can even share with you some of the gossips that we have heard over the past two weeks. It seems that one of the top twenty beauties in New Empyrean was caught two timing two men and her scandal has been discovered.”

Lu Qingyun smiled weakly in return.

He was actually not interested in any of the city gossips…

Qin Keqin smiled as she returned a quiet glance at him before she said gently, “Thank you for coming today. I’m really happy to see you.”

He was startled by her sudden words that he found himself stammering, “This is nothing at all. I am also really glad to see you too.”

She smiled quietly as she turned around, “Is that so? I’m really happy to hear that.”

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Chapter 39: Shocking Lie Xingyuan

When Lu Qingyun opened his eyes, he found himself on his bed and there was Lie Xingyuan who was looking tenderly at him.

When she saw that he had opened his eyes, she said excitingly, “Senior brother, you have finally woke up! Do you know that you have been sleeping for the past three days?”

He was startled and was muttering, “What? I’ve been sleeping for three days? Xingyuan, thank you for putting me on my bed…”

Lie Xingyuan smiled, “It is Yan’Er who told me about your condition. She is spirit and can’t move you so she sought help from me.”

Then she lowered her glances as she said quietly and her eyes were full of concern, “Senior brother, it is alright to fail. Don’t make it so hard for yourself, alright? Even if you don’t win in the competition, there is nothing to be ashamed about. You will always be my senior brother and the person that I will respect the most. Please drop that sword art that you are learning. You are only killing yourself in this manner.”

Lu Qingyun grinned, “Alright I will stop practicing from now on. Actually I have already mastered the Flaming Crimson Sword to the third stage. So I can finally take a break now.”

Lie Xingyuan was startled, “You what? But this is impossible…”

He laughed softly, “And I am now an upper third realm expert. It is all thanks to Yan’Er.”

Lie Xingyuan: …

Upper third realm expert! That was the same level as Ouyang Xue and Leng Qiuyue! Moreover he had even mastered past the first stage of the Flaming Crimson Sword in a matter of days and had even attained to the third stage? This was monstrous talent at work.

She stared with disbelief at Lu Qingyun, “I don’t get it…”

To jump two small realms in a matter of days especially as a Third Realm Expert was almost totally unheard of.

Lu Qingyun grinned, “It is hard for me to explain now as I am a little confused myself. But yes, I manage to do it.”

Then he paused for a little while, “Did Keqin…erm I mean master looks for me while I was in the practice chamber?”

Lie Xingyuan shook her head, “No, she did not come at all.”

She was secretly upset with Qin Keqin for not coming to look for Lu Qingyun. Maybe she did not want to see her therefore she did not want to come at all. But Lu Qingyun was her disciple and she had not even spent a single day to properly instruct him. She was a totally reckless master and unfitted to be one.

She sighed secretly. Qin Keqin was the Devil Goddess as well as the Great Saintess Fan Yuqing. Was she a good or a bad person? This, she really did not know. But since her master had made her promised not to reveal anything about Qin Keqin to Lu Qingyun or to anyone else, she had to keep her sacred promise to her master.

“Oh…” Lu Qingyun looked a little disappointed when he had heard that. He muttered, “Maybe she is really busy…”

Lie Xingyuan nodded and said, “Yes, she is probably too busy.” Too busy for you, she added silently.

Lu Qingyun quickly regained his smiles, “You know. Now that we both have a new sword art to our sleeves, we may need some practical training to see whether the sword skills that we’ve learnt are really effective. Or else we won’t know its actual performance in real combat.”

Lie Xingyuan pondered for a while before she said, “Actually all protégés of the Heavens Ridge Villa have to go for experiential training twice a year. Usually there is at least one experiential training mission every week. We can sign up for it if there is a mission slot available.”

Lu Qingyun’s eyes immediately lit up, “Oh great. Then let’s do it then.”

Lie Xingyuan responded, “I will get it done for us then.”

Lu Qingyun nodded and asked, “But I am the sect’s senior brother, can I really go?”

Lie Xingyuan smiled, “Of course you can. They will treat you as a core disciple. Other than no more than three core protégés can partake in the same experiential training, there are no other rules to prevent you from going. Moreover, it is required for everyone including the elders.”

Lu Qingyun was surprised, “Oh even the elders?”

Lie Xingyuan nodded, “The elders, even the grand elders are counted as a core protégé to assist the weaker protégés in handling the experiential training.”

“I see. What is this experiential training about then?” He said with a laugh. He did not know what it was and had already asked Xingyuan to sign them up.

“Usually it is to venture into dangerous territories to hunt some rare desolate beasts. It is nothing new actually. All experiential training can last from a week to several weeks depending on where the assigned mission is.”

Lu Qingyun smiled, “So I see. It doesn’t seem to be so difficult after all?”

Lie Xingyuan was smiling weakly, “It is usually not too difficult unless we luck out and meet with some high ranking desolate beasts.”

Lu Qingyun was grinning, “We won’t be so unlucky, am I right?”

Lie Xingyuan smiled, “With senior brother around, we will always be lucky.”

The two of them began to laugh jovially.

“Yes, we are both lucky so we won’t meet with real dangers.”

“Hopefully so.”

“Xingyuan, you got to believe in yourself…”

“I am trying very hard…”

In another part of New Empyrean City where the Solitary Manor was.

Supremacy Wen Hongguang was looking solemnly at Celestial Bai Laoxiong and Tang Bufan before he said, “That Qin Keqin, I will have my vengeance on her soon for injuring me and destroying my hard sought spirit entity.”

Due to the destruction of his spirit entity, his cultivation core was severely injured by Qin Keqin and his realm level had temporary dropped from the initial sixth realm to the intermediate fifth realm. It would take him some time to recuperate and to get back his original strength.

Celestial Bai Laoxiong cursed Qin Keqin, “I will never forget about what she had done to me. Brother Wen, I will definitely help you.”

Since he was driven out of the Heavens Ridge Villa, he had thrown his lot with Supremacy Wen and was made an elder of the Solitary Manor.

“As for my three core protégés, I will make sure that they get their deserved ends too. They had forgotten about my kindness to them and when I’m in trouble, none of them has followed me and has chosen to be tortoises in the Heavens Ridge Villa.” Celestial Bai Laoxiong was cursing loud.

Tang Bufan smiled coldly as he said politely to Celestial Bai Laoxiong, “It is lucky that I have a new master now and I am really honored to be your new core protégé.”

Celestial Bai Laoxiong smiled, “You have the potential too. I’m so glad that I’ve you as my core protégé too. In the future, just follow me and I can promise you that you will get all the wealth and women that you want.”

Tang Bufan sighed bitterly, “Right now, I’m being pursued by the Black Hands Guild. Even my butler had lost his life to protect me. Can’t we hire the assassins to assassinate Qin Keqin and Shi Guanyin instead? At least once Shi Guanyin is dead, the Black Hands Guild won’t pursue me anymore.”

Celestial Bai Laoxiong replied solemnly, “The Black Hands Guild and other assassin guilds won’t take any offer to head hunt anyone who is a fifth realm expert and above. This is their rule. For the time being, you can hide here until everything is over.”

Tang Bufan smiled bitterly. Because of Shi Guanyin and the sudden appearance of Qin Keqin who had screwed up his plans, now he had lost everything.

Supremacy Wen Hongguang smiled coldly, “Just serve me with your loyalty and I will promise you that I will help you to get back on the Heavens Ridge Villa and anyone that has offended you. I have a score to settle with Qin Keqin and the Heavens Ridge Villa as well.”

Then he had curled up his lip, “By the way, I have summoned you all to tell you a piece of good news.”

Bai Laoxiong asked, “Good news? What good news?”

Supremacy Wen Hongguang smiled, “I have managed to invite a friend that I have been courting aggressively with gifts of goodwill for a number of years. He has agreed to come to help us to deal with Qin Keqin. He is none other than the elder of the Divine Sovereign Clan, Saint Zhou Hai!”

Celestial Bai Laoxiong muttered, “Seventh realm expert…this Saint Zhou Hai will indeed be a great help but he is from the Divine Sovereign Divine Realm and the elder of one of the nine patriarch celestial clans. Such a formidable figure, he will agree to help us?”

Supremacy Wen Hongguang laughed aloud, “It is because of our friendship over the years. Moreover, the Divine Sovereign Divine Realm has always been thinking of swallowing the Heavenly Fragrance Divine Realm so this is a good opportunity for them to act too.”

Celestial Bai Laoxiong said after a thought, “Brother Wen, let’s be careful on this. It may not be a good idea for the Divine Sovereign Clan to come to the Heavenly Fragrance Divine Realm. This may displease our patriarch master the Heavenly Fragrance Villa. Although there is only one seventh realm expert in the entire Heavenly Fragrance Divine Realm and she is currently missing at the moment but the full strength of the Heavenly Fragrance Villa is not to be underestimated. Moreover, the Solitary Manor may run into trouble.”

“Brother Bai, this you won’t have to worry too much,” Supremacy Wen Hongguang was smiling. “I have already thought of that. Therefore Saint Zhou Hai will be coming to New Empyrean City with another alias and he will be back in a matter of weeks. By then, I will have regained my strength to the upper golden celestial level.”

When Celestial Bai Laoxiong heard him, he was relieved and he too, was smiling broadly.

Even Tang Bufan was smiling as he said, “Then I hope that Saint Zhou Hai will be able to come as soon as possible. I shall wait for that day to arrive!”

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Chapter 38: I’m an Upper Third Realm Expert?

For the next few days, Lu Qingyun and Yan’Er continued to practice on the Flaming Crimson Sword.

Every day he would burn himself totally out with exhaustion. In the end, all his reserve elixir pills that could restore vitality and spiritual energies that he had before he came to New Empyrean City were all finished by him.

Although he was looking haggard and exhausted, Yan’Er was looking brighter in countenance every day.

He was a little surprised at her change.

Yan’Er merely chuckled, “It is all thanks to the Annihilating God Seed.”

Whenever Yan’Er mentioned about this mysterious Annihilating God Seed, it would give him a headache because he had totally no idea what it was.

Lie Xingyuan was particular anxious for him. It was because he would only take one meal a day toward the evening time and whenever he came out of the practice chamber, he would look terribly tired and haggard.

Even his handsome face was beginning to thin and grew shadowy.

Finally she tried to persuade him, “Senior brother, why don’t you take a break first. It is alright not to have any achievement or breakthrough for the first stage. After all this Flaming Crimson Sword that you’ve picked is really a difficult sword art. It is not a disgrace to give it up. Why don’t you take this Winds Entropy Dance back first?”

Lu Qingyun just smiled weakly as he took a quick meal, “I’m alright. I’m going back in again…”

“So soon?! You just have only a few bites…” Lie Xingyuan felt like crying when she saw his haggard state. “Don’t go…”

But he had already left for the practice chamber…

Lie Xingyuan sighed softly, “Senior brother, please take care of yourself…”

In the past few days, Lu Qingyun and Yan’Er had studied the Flaming Crimson Sword zealously. When Lu Qingyun lacked the strength to maintain both his profound energies on his sword and aura at the same time, Yan’Er would substitute her strength as his aura.

Soon they had attained the second stage. The second stage was called the Lethal Burning Sword and lethal strength of this sword art was extremely powerful. Lu Qingyun thought it was not possible for most third realm cultivators to take a direct blow from it unless they too had some superior sword arts.

Yan’Er said, “We can get Big Sister Xingyuan to test it.”

Lu Qingyun smiled weakly, “We don’t want to hurt her. Moreover, she had only just attained the third realm. Our sword skills are meant for our opponents, not allies.”

Yan’Er looked a little disappointed but she was soon happily looking at the third stage.

The third stage was even more profound than the second stage and this was the stage that Lu Qingyun was keen to master.

After several more days of arduous hard work, he managed to master the third stage with Yan’Er.

The name of this third stage sword art was the Supreme Burning Sword and when he had exercised the profound arts of the Flaming Crimson Sword, there would be a flaming hue around his sword. It was twice as devastating as the second stage Lethal Burning Sword.

Lu Qingyun felt a little weird. By right, this third stage was actually beyond his cultivation strength to even use it even with the aid of Yan’Er. Could this be attributed to the Annihilating God Seed?

He was extremely pleased that he was able to attain to the third stage of the Flaming Crimson Sword. This was an unexpected result. He had actually wanted to stop at the second stage should he be able to attain it but it was much smoother than he had expected therefore he decided to see if he could attain to the third stage.

Unfortunately, the fourth stage was too demanding and his spiritual inner sea was too weak to even start. Therefore he decided to practice the Flaming Crimson Sword once his cultivation strength had further improved.

As he was about to drop dead on the ground due to exhaustion, Yan’Er chuckled. “Master, I have just attained to the upper third realm…”

Lu Qingyun muttered sleepily, “Yan’Er, that’s good. You’re so impressive…I’m so tired now…”

“Really master?” Yan’Er chuckled delightfully.

“Yes, you are…my Little Yan’Er is so adorable and cute. I hope that Yan’Er will always be like this forever….” He actually did not know what he was saying and he had soon collapsed into a deep sleep.

Yan’Er looked at the sleeping Lu Qingyun as she said solemnly, “Then your Yan’Er will always be your adorable and cute Little Yan’Er.”

When he was sleeping, he began to dream of the time when he was a child…

His old master was concocting some pills in a cauldron and he was displeased when he saw Little Qingyun entering his alchemy chamber.

“I’ve told you not to disturb me when I’m inside. Shoo, go away. These things are dangerous and may explode anytime.”

But Little Qingyun was undeterred by the fires or the toxic heat, “Master, the fires here do not seem right. It needs a little balancing and heat.”

His old master laughed, “What do a brat knows?” But he had walked to Little Qingyun to lift him up, “Come, I get you away from here.”

But all of a sudden his keen eyes saw the spot where Little Qingyun had pointed to. It did seem a little off so he increased the heat on the side of the cauldron before he took Little Qingyun out. There was no harm trying since these pills were not really valuable.

When he was back to the alchemy chamber, the cauldron was shaking furiously.

Curiously he took a look and was startled; there were more pills that he could normally made and these pills were giving off a divine essence that indicated these pills were of superior grade.

From that day onward, his old master had allowed Little Qingyun into the alchemy chamber and had taught him alchemy.

It turned out that Little Qingyun was a true genius in alchemy. Although his alchemy level was lower than his old master but the pills that he had refined were always plentiful and of higher quality.

Even Lu Qingyun did not truly understand why he could sense the changes in the alchemy fires and he had an exceptional affinity with all things fire.

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