“Brother Xiao, this tea party is saved, thanks to you.” Bai Lang gave Xiao Chen a cupped-fist salute.
Xiao Chen said rather calmly, “Brother Bai is being too polite. I really like the atmosphere of the tea party and benefited a lot from it. Since someone came to cause trouble, naturally, I will do my best to help.”
A thought occurred to Bai Lang. He said, “How about I leave the next tea party to Xiao Chen to organize? I will speak to my master; there should not be any problems.”
“That’s right, Brother Xiao. Ten years later, if we are all still around, we will leave the next tea party to you to organize.”
The others all started to voice their opinions as well. They did not have any objection to Xiao Chen organizing the tea party. On the contrary, they already looked forward to it.
When Xiao Chen heard their response, he could not help but feel excited. However, after thinking for a while, he rejected the suggestion. Organizing the tea party might look very simple, but he would have to spend a lot of effort and resources, a huge amount of them. It would be overly problematic.
Bai Lang smiled faintly and said, “Don’t be in such a rush to refuse. If you are willing, you can come to me any time. I still have some matters to deal with. I need to settle them right away, so I’ll take my leave first.”
At this point, the tea party could be considered to have ended perfectly. After the others came to say a few words to Xiao Chen, they left one after another.
Once everyone had left, Xiao Chen turned around and looked at Xiao Bai.
In the many years since he last met Xiao Bai, she had grown a lot. Not a whit of the young and naive look she had remained on her lovely face, which could now trigger a national disaster.
Her charming air had gained a touch of nobility and sacredness. As the Spirit Fox King’s adoptive daughter, she had a status similar to that of the Divine Daughter or a Holy Scion in the Fiend Domain, whether she liked it or not.
Xiao Chen looked somewhat distracted. Was this still the gentle and pure Xiao Bai from back then?
He glanced casually at Xiao Bai’s waist and found an exquisite gourd hanging there. His lips could not help but curl up. No matter the change, Xiao Bai would forever be that Xiao Bai.
“Hehe! Elder Brother Xiao Chen, don’t look at Xiao Bai like this.” Xiao Bai blushed and lowered her head. Clearly, after a few years of growth, she had gained a better understanding of the relationship between men and women.
Xiao Chen smiled gently. When he recovered his wits, he said, “I seem to recall hearing that Gu Jianheng call you Yuan Shichen.”
Raising her head, Xiao Bai revealed a serious expression and said, “Yup, that is the name that my adoptive father gave me. In the future, only Elder Brother Xiao Chen can call me Xiao Bai.”
Xiao Chen thought about it and agreed. When they were in the Sky Dome Realm, it was not a problem for others to call her Xiao Bai. Now, given her identity, it was unbecoming if others were to do so.
“Elder Brother Xiao Chen, go and treat your injuries first. There is no need to keep talking,” Xiao Bai said worriedly as she recalled something.
Indeed, every sword strike of Qin Shaoqing’s destruction sword intent had been like a volcano erupting, the destructiveness astonishing. After receiving a few hundred moves, his physical body had accumulated significant injury.
Five kilometers away in the sky, Kong Yuan and Yuan Xu stood on a white cloud smiling. “Indeed, we have not seen Brother Xiao Chen for a long time. Let’s go down now and say hi to him.”
Yuan Xu held Kong Yuan back, asking, “Wood for brains, do you think that this is a suitable time to go and say hi?”
“What’s wrong? Xiao Chen saved my life in the Sage Mark Monument. Although I envy him, there is no need to make it so obvious, not even going to greet him,” Kong Yuan replied with some dissatisfaction in his tone.
A look of helplessness flashed across Yuan Xu’s gorgeous face. He could only scold Kong Yuan for idiocy in his heart. Then, he said impatiently, “It’s up to you. If you really go down, Shichen will probably not speak to you, you block of wood, for at least half a year.”
Yuan Kong looked carefully. He saw Xiao Chen sitting cross-legged on a distant peak and circulating his energies to treat his injuries. Xiao Bai had her head propped up on her hands, watching Xiao Chen with a warm smile.
The place was silent as warmth and tranquility slowly spread out.
Kong Yuan suddenly came to his senses, and he smiled embarrassedly. “We can greet him at any time. Just let it go for now. However, now that we offended Qin Shaoqing, getting into the Heavenly Sword Pavilion will be somewhat problematic.”
“If we can’t get in, so be it. For the sake of Xiao Chen, that girl probably would even be willing to give up a Divine Weapon, what more the Heavenly Sword Pavilion?” Yuan Xu said with a smile.
Kong Yuan chuckled and smiled. “Speaking of which, why do I feel that your words contain an extraordinarily sour tone? That’s not like you, the prettiest man of our Fiend Race.”
Yuan Xu’s face turned stiff. After being jabbed at his sore spot, he shot a glare at Kong Yuan and ignored him.
When Xiao Chen finished circulating his energies and exchanged a few words with Xiao Bai, he understood Xiao Bai’s purpose in coming to the Profound Domain.
The Snow Feather Sword that Yan Shisan gave Xiao Bai suited her very well. Unfortunately, it still lacked an Item Spirit, which it needed to become a Sub-Divine Weapon and especially a Divine Weapon.
As Xiao Bai slowly grew stronger, the need for her to nourish an Item Spirit for the Snow Feather Sword became more pressing.
Her purpose in going to Sword Forging Peak was to ask Situ Leihong to nourish an Item Spirit for the Snow Feather Sword. Situ Leihong had agreed to help on the condition of her making it into the top ten of the sword school ranking and getting him the ten-thousand-year-old Essence Iron.
This was really coincidental. Xiao Chen’s and Xiao Bai’s purposes in going to Sword Forging Peak were strangely similar.
Xiao Bai leaned on Xiao Chen’s shoulder. “Elder Brother Xiao Chen, it has been close to three years. Why did you not go to the Fiend Domain to find Xiao Bai?” she asked with a tone of hidden bitterness, her eyes somewhat red.
It had been three years. Xiao Chen clearly promised to go and visit when they were in the Heavenly Roc King’s Star Grave Palace. However, it seemed like her expectations were unrealistic; Xiao Chen never came.
At first, Xiao Bai could occasionally hear news of Xiao Chen. Then, after he returned to the lower realm, there was no news of him at all. Rumors said that he had been trapped and died in the Sage Mark Monument.
She had sneaked out and gone to the Sage Mark Monument. However, she could not gain entry and cried many times.
If not for the Spirit Fox King obtaining news from the Supreme Sky Emperor that Xiao Chen only went to a lower realm, Xiao Bai would have stood vigil in front of the Sage Mark Monument until it next opened.
Xiao Bai did not tell Xiao Chen about any of this, keeping her hopes and concerns silently in her heart.
However, now that Xiao Chen was before her, she could no longer hold the question back and still asked it in the end.
Xiao Chen’s heart turned sour; he did not know what to say. While three years might have been long, he had not had any time to take it easy or rest at all.
This was especially so after Ao Jiao’s passing. That loss made him feel even more guilty and cultivate tirelessly, forgoing sleep and food, not caring about anything else.
Xiao Chen knew that Xiao Bai was doing well by the Spirit Fox King’s side. So he did not worry about her.
The little Spirit Fox from the Seven Horn Mountain near Mohe City back then had actually changed so much. Her strength even rivaled Xiao Chen’s, making her something like the holy daughter of the Fiend Domain.
Xiao Bai sniffled and smiled. “Elder Brother Xiao Chen, don’t apologize. It is Xiao Bai’s fault. Xiao Bai is too selfish. As long as Elder Brother Xiao Chen is happy and I can occasionally hear news of Elder Brother Xiao Chen, Xiao Bai is satisfied.”
As a traceless cool breeze wafted by, Xiao Chen’s heart filled with complex emotions, leaving a lingering bitter aftertaste.
It had been several years. Xiao Chen originally thought that as Xiao Bai grew up, she would slowly recognize her reliance for him and separate it from her feelings.
He shook his head and suddenly thought of something. “Oh, by the way, where are Yuan Xu and Kong Yuan? Didn’t they come with you?”
A crafty look flashed in Xiao Bai’s eyes as she smiled mischievously. “That’s right. Those two are too overboard. Even after seeing Elder Brother Xiao Chen, they did not even come and greet you. I will go back and teach them a lesson.
“Elder Brother Xiao Chen, tell me about Qingyun Peak, Elder Sister Ruyue, and that Elder Brother Suifeng. How are they now? Xiao Bai really wants to know.”
Three days later, in the restaurants of Heavenly Cauldron City, all the cultivators, without exception, discussed the various strange scenes of the tea party.
They spoke about the eighteen ancient Saber Sovereigns transcending space and time to lecture about their Dao, inciting a deluge of heavenly flowers for fifty kilometers around.
After that, there was the astonishing battle between Xiao Chen and the Sword Sovereign’s First Disciple, which leveled fifty kilometers of a mountain range to rubble. This topic set everyone abuzz for a month.
This particular tea party would be spoken of through the ages, leaving a clear mark in the long river of history.
“Haha! Did you guys see when Qin Shaoqing and the other two came so overbearingly, and Gu Jianheng forced back the Inferno Saber Sovereign’s disciple with one sword strike, declaring that they were here to slap faces?”
“Who would have imagined that the three of them would get thrashed into sorry states in the end? Now, the news already spread to the Heavenly Sword Pavilion. That group of swordsmen will not be able to raise their heads for at least half a year.”
“I heard that the person who incited the eighteen ancient Saber Sovereigns into speaking of the Dao and the person who defeated Qin Shaoqing were both the Tianwu Domain’s White Robed King Xiao Chen. Is that true?”
“Can it be false? Several bladesmen at the tea party witnessed it personally. How could it be false?”
It was no surprise that the largest restaurant in Heavenly Cauldron City was packed with bladesmen chatting about the tea party that took place three days ago.
There were relatively few cultivators on the third floor. Xiao Chen’s head was buried in books at a table by a window as he recorded the saber Dao that the eighteen ancient Saber Sovereigns spoke about at the tea party.
Xiao Chen’s comprehension ability far surpassed that of all the other bladesmen who had been there. He had received the most benefit from the ancient Saber Sovereigns’ discourses. Despite the heavily layered sagely voices, he remembered all the eighteen saber Dao without missing a word.
Of course, he had just committed them to memory and not comprehended them on the spot. Furthermore, he had his own Flawless saber Dao. Even if these saber Dao were from the ancients, he could only use them as references.
However, even if he did not need these saber Dao, it did not mean that others did not.
For example, the Bloody Young Master Ye Chen cultivated the Massacre saber Dao. If Xiao Chen gave the ancient Saber Sovereign’s understanding about the Massacre saber Dao to him, Ye Chen would be overjoyed and owe Xiao Chen an even more enormous favor.
Across the table, Xiao Bai was drinking wine. Her pretty face was slightly flushed as she peacefully watched Xiao Chen focusing on writing.
After he finished recording the final Heavenly Saber saber Dao, he took a deep breath and glanced at Xiao Bai, who was facing him. “It has been three days. Why have Yuan Xu and Kong Yuan not shown themselves yet?” he asked, feeling their absence strange.
Xiao Bai giggled and replied, “Who knows where they are? These two are so bad, causing Elder Brother Xiao Chen to accompany me for three days and not have time to go to the Nine Layers of Purgatory.”
For the past three days, Xiao Chen had remained with Xiao Bai, worried about her safety. He could only temporarily put down the things he had pending and wait for Yuan Xu and Kong Yuan to appear.
However, this wait ended up dragging on for three days, which made Xiao Chen somewhat anxious.
“How about Elder Brother Xiao Chen bring me to the Nine Layers of Purgatory?”
Xiao Bai put down the wine gourd and acted very cutely. Her eyes sparkled with anticipation as she said, “The Nine Layers of Purgatory—legend says that it is the underworld of the Immortal Epoch, the place where the six paths of reincarnation are managed. Now that the Immortal Epoch has ended and the cycle is broken, the place has devolved into chaos. It is a place that even Ghost Race cultivators do no dare to go too deep into. Xiao Bai will definitely be able to help Elder Brother Xiao Chen.”
[TL Note: Many Chinese and Buddhists believe that after one dies, they reincarnate. The souls of the dead enter hell and are judged based on their deeds, good and bad. Using the balance, these souls would be sentenced to be reincarnated into one of the six paths. A net positive of karma leads to one either staying in their current reincarnation cycle or going to a better one; a net negative would have the reverse effect. The six paths are—from worst to best—Hell, Hungry Ghost, Animals, Humans, Asuras, Gods. The first three are negative, and the latter three are positive. According to Buddhists, one can break out of the cycle of reincarnation by achieving nirvana, but this can only be done as a human.]
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