Chapter 259 – Puppet Faction
“Look at how scorching hot the flames on Sun Lin’s sword are, maybe his Hollow Flame Essence has already been strengthened to the 1000 year rank! It’s just too abnormal.
A Flame Essence was an immortal fire that would never extinguish, but a Hollow Flame Essence was not. If a Hollow Flame Essence wasn’t augmented with fire origin energy for a long enough period of time, then the Hollow Flame Essence would gradually weaken until it finally withered into nothingness.
Of course, the more powerful a Hollow Flame Essence was, the longer it would take until it began to fade away. As for a weak Hollow Flame Essence, a 1000 year rank meant that it could naturally exist in perpetuity for 1000 years after a supply of fire origin energy was cut off from it.
1000 years was a fairly long period of time; the Seven Profound Valleys only had a heritage of 600 years.
Even for the core disciples of the Seven Profound Valleys who had a massive amount of resources, a Flame Essence was extremely extravagant, to the point of being unattainable. Having a 1000 year rank Hollow Flame Essence was a high honor.
“How many moves do you think it will take for Senior-apprentice Brother Jiang to win?”
“Not sure. I think around 10 moves, or it could even go up to 20!” Although Sun Lin had showed a considerable improvement in strength, the disciples present still favored Jiang Lanjian as before.
“Senior-apprentice Brother Jiang! Take my move, Violent Flame Rising Heat!”
On the martial stage, Sun Lin struck out with his most famous technique. The sound of whistling flames and a roaring combustion filled the air, and a rain of crimson flames surged forth from Sun Lin’s blade, covering the skies before rolling towards Jiang Lanjian! What was strange was that these flames didn’t form snakes of fire like normal flames would, but instead condensed into sharp arrows of fire!
“Abyssal Flames, it’s the high-grade human-step Abyssal Flames! Sun Lin actually managed to get his hands on this kind of fire in order to nourish his Hollow Flame Essence!” A disciple of the Refiner Faction couldn’t help but cry out in jealousy as his eyes filled with envy and greed. Obviously, the Abyssal Flames had given him a great shock. This sort of high-grade human-step flame was definitely not something that Sun Lin would have been able to obtain by himself. There was only one possibility: that this was granted to him by the Refiner Faction.
This was the privilege and advantage that a core disciple held. A common disciple would never in a hundred years be given such a high-grade human-step flame to refine into their Hollow Flame Essence.
Facing this crimson rain of fire, Jiang Lanjian was calm as usual as he pulled his longsword out of its scabbard. This deep green blade was three fingers wide, and seemed simple and unthreatening. It was just like a long leek leaf, completely unremarkable.
“Sword to the Cloudy Sky!”
Jiang Lanjian slashed out with his sword, his movements so fast that his hands were nothing but a blur. There was only a green flash of light, as if a green dragon was soaring into the sky!
The sword energy brutally struck the rain of fire arrows, and with a series of popping sounds, the rain of crimson fire vanished in the air!
The aftermath created a brilliant bloom of sparks just like a hail of summer fireworks that obscured the audience’s eyes. Before the audience even had a chance to react, Jiang Lanjian’s blade shot forth. This blade whistled with a sharp explosive sound as it thrust towards Sun Lin’s chest!
“Violent Flame Wall!”
Sun Lin was surprised. He hadn’t expected his Violent Flame Rising Heat to injure Jiang Lanjian, but he also hadn’t expected his move to be so easily broken. As Sun Lin retreated in a panic, he threw up walls of flame that surrounded him.
Hu hu hu!
Three consecutive walls of flame rose into the air in front of him, each more vibrant than the last. Massive tongues of crimson flames shot out dozens of feet into the sky!
Jiang Lanjian slashed out with his longsword, and the sword energy cut straight through with a peerless momentum, completely dividing all three flame walls and even the martial stage! Jiang Lanjian slashed out one more time with his sword, and all of the flames were then blown out by the sword wind!
Jiang Lanjian’s speed instantly peaked to the extreme; in the next moment, a green form had already appeared in front of Sun Lin.
Sun Lin’s face instantly paled!
Sword light rose up!
Sun Lin’s bodily true essence protection was broken, and he was sent flying off stage, his face pallid.
Once Jiang Lanjian had approached him, Sun Lin didn’t have any chances of being able to resist. After all, he was just a disciple of the Refiner Faction. Although he used a sword, he couldn’t be considered a swordsman. His sword was more of an instrument that was used to display his flame attacks. But Jiang Lanjian was different; his sword was his lifeblood, his most cherished possession and friend. With sword and human united as one, there was no path he could not tread!
“Jiang Lanjian, victory!”
The referee Elder was also surprised. Three sword moves to defeat the enemy. And Sun Lin wasn’t some weakling either, but he had lost so thoroughly!
Jiang Lanjian’s strength was too terrifying. If nothing went wrong, then his strength already surpassed even some of the direct disciples!
It had to be known that he wasn’t even the direct disciple of the Sword Faction.
How powerful was the Sword Faction’s number one master of the younger generation, Jiang Baoyun?
It was simply unimaginable!
In the audience, the ordinary disciples were shaken with awe. Jiang Lanjian was too formidable. Even the direct disciple of the Array Faction, Fang Qi, had an ugly complexion. If that was Jiang Lanjian’s complete strength that he had displayed a moment ago, then Fang Qi would be able to barely deal with it. But if it wasn’t, then he was in a dangerous situation!
If he, as one of the seven direct disciples, lost to the second ranked disciple of the Sword Faction, then he would lose too much face.
It wasn’t only Fang Qi. Ouyang Ming and Huan Xiaodie also weren’t looking too well. For now, these two weren’t worrying about Jiang Lanjian. Instead, they were thinking about Jiang Baoyun. Although they may not have a grasp on Jiang Lanjian’s true strength, the Sword Faction certainly would. If such a fierce disciple like Jiang Lanjian was only the second ranked disciple, then that proved that Jiang Baoyun was stronger than Jiang Lanjian.
“Good! Very good!”
At this time, Ouyang Ming suddenly heard a gloomy cackling voice sound out that made his scalp tingle. He turned his head and saw a razor-thin youth whose body was like a stick of wood, and completely covered in bandages, slyly grinning.
Seeing this dried up mummy suddenly appear at his side, Ouyang Ming felt very uncomfortable. He frowned, “Mugu Buyu, what’re you smiling about?”
“Jejejeje, to have such an opponent, why would I not be excited.” The mummy stretched out his horrifyingly long tongue to lick his lips, his eyes shining with a strange light. He was just like a dried up vampire that saw a tasty prey, it really made one shudder looking at him.
This mummy had a very strange name. His surname was Mugu, and he was called Buyu. He was not someone from the South Horizon Region, but rather originated from the incomparably far extreme western region. 600 years ago, a man named Mugu Yanzhuo from the extreme western region came to the South Horizon Region’s Seven Profound territory through a super long-distance transmission array. This man was the founder of the Seven Profound Valleys’ Puppet Faction.
The Puppet Faction was the most mysterious and mystical faction within the Seven Profound Valleys. Every disciple of the Puppet Faction had one last name – Mugu. They never took in disciples that didn’t share this name. Although they were a faction of the Seven Profound Valleys sect, in truth, they were more like a family clan.
The number of people within the Puppet Faction was scant even compared to the Zither Faction or Mirage Faction. The Puppet Faction only had a third of the population of either of those two factions.
But still, no other faction dared to look down or underestimate the Puppet Faction. This was because the combat prowess of the Puppet Faction disciples was too varied and powerful, not only that, but they were united in solidarity. During this Total Faction Martial Meeting, the Puppet Faction only sent out two disciples, one Mugu Buyu, and one Mugu Jirong. Both of these disciples had swept past their groups with total victory. Of these two, Mugu Buyu was the direct disciple of the Puppet Faction. His moves and style was strange, peculiar, and his power was unpredictable – it simply could not be measured. Ouyang Ming would rather fight with Jiang Baoyun than deal with this freakish mummy.
Mugu Jirong wasn’t much worse, he would definitely be able to firmly reach the top 10. Even the Array Faction’s Fang Qi might not be Mugu Jirong’s match.
The Puppet Faction was just too strange. Their faction had their beliefs and religion, and they seemed to worship some god that stemmed from the western region, everything they did was shrouded in mystery. Their faction was located a thousand miles away from the Seven Profound Valleys’ highest peak, in the depths of the Profound Sky Mountain Range. That area was desolate and uninhabited, and wild packs of mighty vicious beasts roamed everywhere.
The Puppet Faction did not use the resources of the Seven Profound Valleys, and they also didn’t turn in any resources to the Seven Profound Valleys. Occasionally, they would use some resources, but they would do so with equal exchange. It could be said that the Puppet Faction was a very strong independent entity that existed within the Seven Profound Valleys. They rarely contacted the other six factions. As for the orders of the Valley Master, they would listen but they might not follow.
Everyone within the Seven Profound Valleys understood one thing, that was that the disciples of the Puppet Faction could not be provoked. This wasn’t just because they were powerful or mysterious, but they were extremely serious in concealing their flaws.
If the Sword Faction was the most powerful offensive faction within the Seven Profound Valleys, then the Puppet Faction was the most difficult to deal with. No one wished to fight them. This wasn’t only because of their strange abilities, but moreover, once you were killed, there was a very high chance you would be turned into a puppet.
This was the reason why even someone as prominent and glorious as Ouyang Ming felt creeped out and his scalp tingle when he saw Mugu Buyu. He knew that the bag that Mugu Buyu carried with him was made from the skin of a Xiantian realm master, and that there was also a human puppet sleeping within that was made from the corpse of a peak Houtian realm master.
“Jiang Baoyun, you have bad luck now.”
Mugu Buyu licked his lips as he looked at Jiang Baoyun. As Ouyang Ming saw this, he felt gleeful. Ouyang Ming didn’t have full confidence he could defeat Jiang Baoyun. And against this freakish fellow who didn’t seem like a human or a ghost, he was even less sure. If these two fought and wounded each other, that would be the happiest win-win situation for him.
After Jiang Lanjian’s match, three consecutive direct disciples went on stage. All of them were able to defeat their opponents in three moves or less. At this time, the atmosphere of the martial artists in the audience was reaching a furious climax.
The seven direct disciples had a sky-high popularity. As Qin Wuxin walked on stage, the martial field resounded with shouts and cries from lovestruck men.
“Qin Wuxin will win!”
“Senior-apprentice Sister Qin, you can do it!”
“Senior-apprentice Qin, I love you!”
All sorts of loud and chaotic sounds and voices echoed, but Qin Wuxin only held her zither as she stood there, simply unaffected by her surroundings. She was wearing a pure white dress, and as a cool wind breezed past her, it sent her dress fluttering in the wind. From top to bottom, she emitted an otherworldly aura.
Her opponent was Jing Chanyu. Jing Chanyu’s face was covered with the veil like before, and she was wearing a bright yellow dress, looking like a quiet untouched beauty.
As these two beauties with different styles stood together, it naturally attracted the attention of many, many, many men. To them, the fight itself was less important than being able to see two such exquisite women.
“You are not my match.” Qin Wuxin said with indifference.
“I know. But since I’ve entered the first tier, I naturally will not miss the opportunity to fight the direct disciples.” Jing Chanyu proudly raised her head. Although she had been completely defeated by Fang Qi, she still wasn’t depressed. She was confident that in the future she would be able to catch up with them a step at a time, until she finally surpassed them.
But now, what she wanted to know was just how wide the gap was between them and her.
“Then… let me fulfill your wish!” Qin Wuxin said with a impassive expression. “Listen to the melody of my zither.”
Her delicate fingers touched upon the long strings of her zither, and heavenly notes began to flow forth like a mountain stream, resonating in the air.