Chapter 359 – Fury
Zhang Zhen gulped as he sat back down in his seat, distressed. He didn’t dare look at how frosty old lady Yuhuang’s countenance may have become.
At this moment, Zhou Xiaoling smiled. She wasn’t smiling at Zhang Zhen, but at Lin Ming. The challenge in this smile was very obvious.
“I was too careless, far too careless, I actually looked down on such a little girl.” Zhang Zhen was ashamed. He was originally a very arrogant individual. Losing was one thing, but the one he lost to was not only a year younger than him, but also a woman.
“My fire controlling technique isn’t good enough. If we compared martial arts, I might not lose to her.” As Zhang Zhen thought back, he created another flimsy excuse in order to save whatever face he had left.
Lin Ming smiled, not bursting his bubble. After all, the reason Zhang Zhen was in such dire straits was because of him. This Thundercrest Sect girl was obviously aiming at him. Without a doubt, she was someone who was at the rank of a direct disciple. Although she was young, in another two to three years, Zhou Xiaoling would most likely become someone who was equal to the Sunfire Princess or the Thunderclap. Zhang Zhen naturally wasn’t her match.
Until now, there had been a total of seven matches. Divine Phoenix Island had lost four and won three. Although they were falling a bit behind, Divine Phoenix Island was still one against six. To have this sort of result was already very good. Of the eight sects that had come, the South Horizon Region’s Supreme Mystery Temple and Dire Space Sect hadn’t taken action. They probably cared about maintaining their friendship because they shared the same region, and didn’t try to challenge Divine Phoenix Island. If the South Sea Demon Region was ever restored to the same grandiosity to the degree of Silent Demon Emperor City, then their days wouldn’t be much better. For them, it was better to yield to Divine Phoenix Island and accept their bottom line offer.
This time, at the seat of honor, old lady Yuhuang’s expression wasn’t the least bit relieved or happy. She was well aware that no matter how pleasant or humble she became, it was not possible to offset the greediness of the Five Element Region sects. Those old bags wouldn’t ever accept any concessions.
So it was better to just meet them head-on. In the world of martial artists, there was a prevailing rule – if one couldn’t convince them, then defeat them. Strength was the best bargaining chip. If Divine Phoenix Island could win a total victory at this comparison of skills, then the other parties would obviously be at a disadvantage at the negotiating table. This invisible momentum was greatly beneficial to any kind of diplomacy.
But as old lady Yuhuang thought of Mu Dingshan and Mu Xiaoqing’s strength, she was ultimately a bit doubtful. Mu Dingshan and Mu Xiaoling were strong; they would definitely have a chance of defeating any of the chief disciples from the Five Element Region’s sects. But, to have the two of them fight continuous opponents would put an extreme pressure on them, and would be very hard for them to do.
Of the seven great sects from the Five Element Region, the Verdant Wood Sect didn’t come to the birthday celebrations because of faults within their younger generation. As for the South Horizon Region’s Supreme Mystery Temple and Dire Space Sect, they wouldn’t take action against them. Thus, Mu Dingshan and Mu Xiaoqing were two against six!
Besides Mu Dingshan and Mu Xiaoqing, there was also Lin Ming. Yu’er had strongly recommended him based on his strength, so he should be able to show some skills. But, Lin Ming was inevitably too young, and his ability was insufficient for the challenges ahead. He was also a bit young at 16 or 17 years of age. To have him share the burden of Mu Dingshan and Mu Xiaoqing would be very difficult for him.
After Zhou Xiaoling left the stage, Zhan Yunjian sighed. These years, the Thundercrest Sect was becoming increasingly fierce. In a few years, even he might not be able to look down on her.
The Verdant Wood Sect had already produced two continual generations of waste. As for the Thunderclap Sect, they produced two top second rank talents in the Thunderclap and Zhou Xiaoling. The balance of the Five Element Region’s seven great sects was becoming increasingly unstable.
As Zhan Yunjian was thinking, he noticed that Divine Phoenix Island’s Yan Fuhong was winking at him from afar, indicating for him to make his move.
Zhan Yunjian shook his head, sighing. This Yan Fuhong’s jealousy and pride was too heavy on his soul. Such a person would never have great achievements.
As he thought about it, he turned to the junior-apprentice brother near him and said, “Junhui, go and challenge Lin Ming.”
“Hehe, you finally want me to make a move?” The youth named Ma Junhui twisted his neck, looking at Lin Ming like a wolf spotting his prey, a rabid excitement dawning in his eyes.
If he managed to injure Lin Ming so that he needed a day to recover in bed, he would be given five medium-grade true essence stones. If he injured Lin Ming so that he needed 20 days, then he would receive 100 medium-grade true essence stones.
If he could damage Lin Ming’s meridians and make him need months to recover and delay his cultivation, he would receive 300 medium-grade true essence stones. This amount of true essence stones was equal to the resources he received in an entire year.
As for how to do so in a comparison of skills, Ma Junhui didn’t take it too seriously. In a battle between juniors, often one would become too angry and injure the other. If he used his full strength, how could Lin Ming not be injured?
Besides, there was a vast murderous intent that flooded the entire stage. The top characters of both sides were anxious to massacre the other party. As long as he didn’t kill anyone, then a bit of blood wasn’t anything at all!
“Will that Yan fellow keep his promise?” Ma Junhui asked as he cracked his knuckles.
“He will. He’s already given me 50 medium-grade true essence stones as a deposit.”
“Hehe, that’s good. I just happen to be lacking true essence stones for practice, and now someone’s just delivered them to me.” Ma Junhui thrillingly said as he licked his lips.
“Don’t underestimate him, that boy isn’t simple. For him to reach the late Pulse Condensation period at 16 is already very good. Not only that, but Mu Qianyu thinks highly of his strength. I fear his talent is probably on the same level as someone like the Sunfire Princess, if not more so.” Zhan Yunjian warned.
“Who cares how good his talent is. How can a late Pulse Condensation boy challenge my half-step Houtian cultivation? This boy has potential, however, he’s just too young and naïve.” Ma Junhui said as he leapt up. With the assistance of his wind-attribute true essence, he flashed onto the stage.
“Storm Valley’s Ma Junhui, 18 years old. I challenge all heroes present!” Ma Junhui said as he cupped his fists across his chest.
“Ma Junhui, he came up so quickly. Before, I thought that it would be someone like Zhou Xiaoling coming on stage, but it seems that the Storm Valley core disciple Ma Junhui wants to challenge someone. I remember he’s at the upper middle ranks of the core disciples.” The disciples of the Five Element Region’s seven great sects had a good understanding of each other. The name Ma Junhui was known by many people.
“Mm. It’s mostly been the lower or middle rank core disciples going on stage. Now that Ma Junhui has gone onstage, the level of the matches has increased yet again. It might difficult for us to find an opportunity to display our skills. I wonder who made Ma Junhui so anxious that he jumped up so early to challenge them.”
As the disciples of the Five Element Region murmured to themselves, Ma Junhui swept his gaze past the Divine Phoenix Island disciples. He pointed to Lin Ming and said, “You’re the one called Lin Ming right? Do you dare to face me?”
“What?” Zhang Zhen was the first to be shocked. This kid was too f*cking shameless, didn’t he care about face at all? An 18 year old against a 16 year old, and he actually had the gall to open that big mouth of his?
A two year gap didn’t seem like much, but the truth was to those top talented youths, every day was extremely precious.
Two years was enough to accomplish many things. For instance, Mu Qianyu had reached Pulse Condensation at 15, and that was considered a Saint level talent. However, if she was late by two years and reached Pulse Condensation at 17, then she wouldn’t be considered much. That was something that any casual student of the Seven Profound Valleys could accomplish. But when Mu Qianyu was 16 years old, she had already stepped into the Houtian realm.
If Lin Ming was given another two years, breaking through to the Houtian realm would be simple; he might even be able to defeat a Xiantian master. That was not a level that someone like Ma Junhui could compare with.
Therefore, in a comparison of skills, it was always between individuals that were similar in age. Even if there was a one year difference, it would usually be the junior challenging the senior. If the tables were reversed, then this despicable action was really looked down on by others.
“Lin Ming, there’s no need to go up. This little punk probably wants to harm you.” Zhang Zhen could feel a dark intent coming from Ma Junhui.
Old lady Yuhuang was silent. She turned to glance and Mu Qianyu and saw Mu Qianyu returning a little nod of the head to her, also not speaking.
“Since this is a boy that Yu’er thinks so highly of, if he can’t even overcome a mere two year gap, he’s no better than Xiaoqing or Dingshan. This old woman wants to see just what sort of surprises you have in store for me.”
Ma Junhui ignored everyone around him that was glaring at him with disgust. He pointed to Lin Ming as before and shouted, “Boy, do you dare?”
Lin Ming rose up. “I didn’t think that my name would actually reach the Five Element Region; it is truly the highest of honors. Since you challenge me, then I naturally must accompany you.”
As Lin Ming spoke, he directly walked over to the square, ignoring Zhang Zhen’s frantic winking.
“So he’s Lin Ming.”
“Mm. He also live at Parasol Tree Pavilion. This is my first time seeing him. I heard that he is 16 years old, and that Her Highness Qianyu thinks very highly of him.”
“Then we’ll see just how strong he is. If he can deal with that Ma Junhui then he has some skill, but it isn’t a shame if he loses either.”
Lin Ming was only known to a few people from the Five Element Region, but he was already famous throughout the entire Divine Phoenix Island. He was a talent that Mu Qianyu valued, and one that she had personally recruited from the Seven Profound Valleys. As soon as he entered the sect, he was admitted to the Parasol Tree Pavilion. All of this was enough to make him the focus of the disciples from Divine Phoenix Island.
“Hehe, you think I heard your name in the Five Element Regions because of some glorious deed you accomplished? I only heard that you betrayed your sect and whored yourself out to Divine Phoenix Island to become a core disciple. Am I right?”
Ma Junhui sneered, his words extremely poisonous and insidious. He was intentionally trying to provoke Lin Ming, so that it would be a completely justifiable action to wound him to the point that he would need to recuperate in bed.
Ma Junhui’s voice had just fallen when he heard a voice like a thunderclap explode in his ears. He instantly turned white, forced back several steps.
“Ignorant boy, you dare to spread such preposterous talk!?” Old lady Yuhuang slapped her right hand against her chair, and a terrifying surge of energy flooded out towards Ma Junhui. Ma Junhui only felt his entire body go ice-cold, as if he were a tiny boat about to be overturned in a endlessly churning ocean.
Ma Junhui was terrified. He didn’t think that with just a few words, Mu Yuhuang would not care about her status as a Revolving Core master and move against a junior.
But at this moment, a surge of wind rolled forwards, protecting Ma Junhui’s body, sweeping away that terrifying tide of energy. A black-clothed old man stood up and said, “High Master Yuhuang, please calm down. Junhui, what sort of utter nonsense are you speaking of! Hurry up and apologize!”
Ma Junhui let out a breath of relief as the dangerous moment passed. This old woman was an utterly crazy old bag. He had just mocked Lin Ming, but hadn’t cursed her at all. How many days had Lin Ming been in the sect and how many times had he seen old lady Yuhuang, for her to move against him like this?
The truth was that Ma Junhui was too negligent. When he said that Lin Ming had whored himself out, that was no different than slandering Mu Qianyu’s crystal clear reputation. Mu Qianyu was Mu Yuhuang’s most beloved disciple; how could she tolerate someone disparaging her?
Lin Ming glanced at Mu Qianyu whose expression wasn’t looking too good, and his eyes suddenly fell to sub-zero temperatures. He turned to Ma Junhui, his voice desolate and somber as he said, “You want to intentionally provoke me into a rage so that I’ll participate in some little deathmatch with you? Well, then I must congratulate you. You have succeeded.”