Chapter 785: Establishing Dominance
“Slap him.” Lu Zhou did not look at the elder of the Twelve Sects of Cloud Mountain when he spoke in a calm and indifferent voice.
Then, there was a blur of movement as someone advanced toward the elder, leaving afterimages in his wake.
The elder did not think much of this. He tried to push the attacker away with a blast of energy. However, the figure seemed to mysteriously bypass his attack. It avoided the energy and was now in front of him.
The elder was firmly slapped across the face, causing him to wince. His cheek was already swollen.
The figure moved back to its original position, leaving afterimages in the air again.
The one who dealt the punishment was Yu Zhenghai.
This was the Twelve Sects of Cloud Mountain, a major sect whose name shocked the heavens. All of its 12 elders were revered individuals.
As the saying went, ‘Before hitting a dog, it’s best to consider its owner.’ However, it seemed like the guests did not take that into consideration at all when they hit the elder.
Nie Qingyun did not stop this from happening; he was focused on Lu Zhou and Sikong Beichen who were standing in front of him. Moreover, he did not expect these guests to make a move against his own people.
“Sect Master!” The elder cradled his face with one hand as his heart burned with flames of fury.
“Silence,” Nie Qingyun said as he stood with one hand on his back. He tried to suppress the displeasure that rose in his heart.
The 12 elders seemed disgruntled as they stepped backward.
Lu Zhou stroked his beard and said, “Xia Changqiu is on my side. If you mock Xia Changqiu, you’re mocking me… Do you have any complaints about the punishment I’ve given you?”
The elder held his cheek and remained silent. The old man had a point.
Nie Qingyun cupped his fists together and said, “I apologize on his behalf, old mister. Shall we adjourn to the cloud platform? Ready the wine.” He turned and made an inviting gesture toward the cloud platform.
Most of the disciples did not understand their sect master’s actions. However, they had no choice but to obey.
Lu Zhou glanced at the cloud platform. He placed his hands on his back and flew toward the cloud platform.
The others followed closely behind him.
Xia Changqiu was the last one in the group. He straightened his back and scoffed at the Cloud Mountain elder. ‘That felt great!’
Tian Buji shook his head speechlessly. He hastily reminded him, “Your Thousand Willow Monastery is small, but you’re still the monastery master. You’re someone our 1,000 disciples look up to. Can you not behave like a ruffian in the city?”
On the cloud platform that was surrounded by towering mountains and precipitous ridges.
The forests were filled with bamboo plants. The scenic view and roofless platform were indeed a wonderful place to have a feast with friends.
Everyone took their seats without considering the order of seniority.
After Nie Qing Yun took a seat, the 12 elders moved to stand behind him.
“How shall I address you, old mister?” Nie Qingyun asked.
Sikong Beichen took it upon himself to make the introductions. “Nie Qingyun, listen well. This man standing before you is the only person under the heavens who has initiated his Birth Chart. He’s Senior Lu.”
Nie Qingyun was about to pour them some wine. When he heard these words, his arm froze in midair. A shocked expression could be seen on his face when he looked up at Lu Zhou.
Birth Chart was a great limitation that all Ten-leaf cultivators were interested in. Nobody had been able to initiate their Birth Charts for over 2,000 years now. For those who wanted to form the Thousand Realms Whirling avatar and become a Mysterious Heaven elite, they had to activate their Birth Charts.
Nie Qing Yun understood the implication behind Sikong Beichen’s words. The way he regarded Lu Zhou changed immediately; his expression was now one of fearful respect.
The 12 elders standing at the back were shocked as well.
Cloud Mountain was not afraid of Ten-leaf experts; there was no need for them to bow to other sects. However, an expert who had activated his Birth Chart was a different story.
The wine overflowed onto the table.
Nie Qingyun instantly regained his senses. He quickly lowered the pitcher. Then, he turned his head to the side slightly as he asked in a hushed tone, “Who was it that mocked Monastery Master Xia earlier?”
The 11 elders turned to look at someone standing at the end on the right side. That elder’s name was Xu Chang
Xu Chang shuddered slightly as an ominous feeling rose in his heart. He said timidly, “It… it was me.”
“Take him away and give him 30 hits with the plank. Seal his cultivation base and lock him up behind the mountain. Nobody’s allowed to free him unless I say so.” Nie Qingyun’s expression was stern.
The disciples were utterly confused. They hesitated, unsure of what to do.
When Nie Qingyun saw this, he sighed softly. “Is this a mutiny?”
The 12 Elders prostrated themselves immediately upon hearing these words.
Xu Chang gritted his teeth and said, “I’m willing to accept the punishment!” He kneeled on the ground and kowtowed before he obediently walked away.
Xia Changqiu sat up straighter upon seeing this. Perhaps, this was the most glorious moment in his entire life. It was possible that the Thousand Willow Monastery no longer needed to resign itself to disdain and bullying.
At this moment, Nie Qingyun raised his hand slightly. The wine cup levitated before him as he said respectfully, “Brother Lu, as the Sect Master of Cloud Mountain, I apologize to you on Xu Chang’s behalf.”
Lu Zhou glanced at the wine. He did not seem interested at all; he was not used to drinking wine.
Instead, Yu Zhenghai picked up the cup of wine and said, “I’ll drink with you.”
After the toast, Yu Zhenghai tossed the cup to the ground. “The cup is too small. It’s not refreshing enough.”
The cup shattered loudly.
Nobody reprimanded Yu Zhenghai for his behavior.
Then, Yu Zhenghai picked up the wine jar and drank from it. In just a moment, he finished it.
When Nie Qingyun saw that Lu Zhou did not move, he had no choice but to take an awkward sip. It was a common understanding that if the other party refused one’s toast, it meant that the other party did not think much of one.
At this moment, an elder could no longer endure this treatment. He rose to his feet and said indignantly, “Senior Sikong, why should we trust your words? Do you take us for gullible children?”
The Cloud Mountain disciples looked at the elder.
Sikong Beichen only said, “Is there a need for me to lie?”
“This is nothing but a psychological tactic… I respect you as a senior, but you should know how difficult it is to initiate one’s Birth Chart.” The Elder, Cao Zhi, turned to face the sect master, Nie Qingyun, and said, “Sect Master, forgive my rudeness, but for Cloud Mountain’s sake, I have to question this.”
Nie Qingyun did not stop Cao Zhi. After all, he had similar doubts as well. It was true that there was no need for Sikong Beichen to lie. However, the possibility of it being just a psychological tactic was high as well.
At this moment, Lu Zhou looked up. He did not spare a glance at Cao Zhi and looked at Nie Qingyun instead. He said calmly, “I’m here for Ye Zhen and to obtain an explanation from you… I’m not here not to discuss the Birth Chart with you.”
Little Yuan’er chimed in, “That’s right!”
Cao Zhi said, “We’ve already told you Ye Zhen isn’t here… What explanation do you want?”
Lu Zhou looked at Cao Zhi. “Before I came, I’ve already made it clear that I don’t like to beat around the bush.
“In that case, I’ll be frank… Please show us your strength that’s befitting of someone who has activated his Birth Chart,” Cao Zhi said.
The other elders nodded. It was only natural that they were skeptical of Sikong Beichen’s claims.
Sikong Beichen shook his head. “Nie Qingyun, you’ve raised a bunch of fools. Why would I come here, lie, and make myself look bad?”
Nie Qingyun felt slightly hesitant now. Sikong Beichen had a point.
However, at this moment, Cao Zhi suddenly shot forward. He said gruffly, “Forgive me.”
At this moment, Yu Zhenghai raised his palm. “I’ll take care of this.” He sped forward as well.
The duo’s palms collided.
There was a blast of energy.
Both of them flipped backward at the same time and stared at each other from a distance. Both were equally shocked at their opponent’s strength.
Cao Zhi frowned and said, “Golden energy seal… So, you’re a foreign tribesman.”
The disciples of the Twelve Sects of Cloud Mountain sped over from all directions.
Tens of thousands of cultivators landed on the cloud platform. Many of them were hovering in the air and looking at Yu Zhenghai.
Nie Qingyun did not expect this. However, he dared act recklessly. He waved his arm and said, “Mind your manners.”
The disciples landed and stood at the sides.
Nie Qingyun said, “Cao Zhi, come back.”
However, Cao Zhi said, “Sect Master, we mustn’t fall for their tricks… I’m willing to take a hit from Senior Lu. If I’m wrong, I’m willing to be punished.”
“You’re not fit to be my master’s opponent,” Yu Zhenghai said.
At this moment, Lu Zhou said, “Stand down.”
Yu Zhenghai nodded. He returned to his position and continued drinking.
Lu Zhou looked at Cao Zhi. “What’s your cultivation base?”
“It’s insignificant. I’m one of the Twelve Sects of Cloud Mountain’s elders. I’m Cao Zhi, a Nine-leaf cultivator.” Cao Zhi cupped his fists.
“What are you skilled in?”
“I’ve cultivated Daoist seals since I was young. Once, I faced eight Eight-leaf cultivators north of Cloud Mountain and won with a stroke of luck,” Cao Zhi said somewhat emotionally.
Lu Zhou stroked his beard and nodded. “I commend you for your bravery.” Then, he raised his hand before he swung it.
An energy seal sailed toward Cao Zhi.
Cao Zhi looked at the sudden appearance of the energy seal. The Eight Trigrams spread under his feet as he unleashed numerous Daoist seals. He wrapped himself in red energy as he levitated. Yet, before the energy seal reached him, there seemed to be a bolt of lightning that descended from the ninth heavens.
Cao Zhi was struck.
The Daoist seals around him were instantly shattered like glass as he recoiled from the impact. He spat out a mouthful of blood.
Cao Zhi had triggered the 10% heavy-damage rate, not the 1% sure-kill rate.
Cao Zhi landed on the ground.
The others were shocked.
Apart from those who had witnessed Lu Zhou in action, everyone was shocked. They looked at the scene before them with their mouths agape.
‘Cao Zhi is so fragile!’
Lu Zhou stroked his beard indifferently as though nothing had happened.
A suffocating pressure that was difficult to describe seemed to descend on the cloud platform.
No one dared to make a sound.
Nie Qingyun fisted his hands. ‘He dealt heavy damage to a Nine-leaf cultivator with a swing of his arm… Even I am not capable of this… Did he really initiate his Birth Chart?’
It was as silent as a graveyard.
After what seemed like hours, applause rang from the sky north of the cloud platform. “Nice move, Senior Lu.”
The Cloud Mountain disciples looked over in unison.
“The Flying Star House’s Ye Zhen?!”