Chapter 34 – Storming the Heavenly Sword Gate
“What did the Empty City Sect say?” Hua Tianji paced back and forth in the study.
In the past half a month, he has sent numerous envoys to visit various sects to form an alliance, but the reply he received was either a tactful refusal or a delay. In short, no one agreed to his request.
Those scoundrels want to watch from the sidelines!
Just like the Heavenly Sword Gate, the Empty City Sect was a second-tier sect, and its Sect Master has stepped into the Heaven Realm a year earlier than Hua Tianji. Nevertheless, it was slightly weaker than the Heavenly Sword Gate.
Anyway, if the other party agreed to his proposal, Hua Tianji would have the confidence to challenge the Merak Palace.
But events don’t happen as one wishes.
“I didn’t see the Sect Master Lin… they said he was sick.”
“Sick? What sick?” Hua Tianji sneered, “Can a majestic Heaven Realm expert get so easily sick?”
“But Sect Master Lin wrote a letter that was given to me by his disciple. Here it is, Gate Master.” With that, Liang Bozhong took out a letter from a fold of his clothing with his only remaining left hand and handed it to Hua Tianji.
Frowning, he opened the envelope, and four words quickly appeared before Hua Tianji’s eyes.
… you’re on your own.
“Nice one, Lin Yu! You damn catamite who likes to dress up as a woman! You even kick a man down on his luck?”
In a fit of rage, Hua Tianji tore the letter Lin Yu wrote to him to pieces.
“Gate Master…” Liang Bozhong cried out worriedly, yet what he got in return was a vicious glare.
Hua Tianji’s eyes fell on Liang Bozhong’s empty sleeve, and his fury extinguished as if fire doused by water and disappeared without a trace, and then was replaced by…
If I had known it would come to this! Hua Tianji lamented.
There were clearly many questionable points, so why did I agree to it at the time? Hua Tianji sighed, and the words “blinded by greed” welled up in his mind.
“Gate Master, do we seek out other sects?”
No! Hua Tianji felt like saying this out loud, but under the current circumstances, he couldn’t act impulsively.
With a pained expression on his face, he looked at the ceiling for a long time before replying in a hoarse voice: “Liang Bozhong, try your luck again and go to the Lion Mountain Sect.”
Hua Tianji felt sorrow. He still remembered how he looked disdainfully at the Lion Mountain’s Sect Master who has come to congratulate him that day.
But now, he was looking for help from the other party.
He was just like a shooting star in the sky, his time of glory short lived.
Suddenly, a shocking aura emerged.
The moment after Hua Tianji has noticed that the aura was rushing towards him, the other party has already arrived.
So fast! Hua Tianji pushed Liang Bozhong who was standing there absentmindedly away, and then quickly dodged backwards.
He saw a lightning bolt pass through the roof of the study, and then land not far in front of him along with a rumble.
The strong impact shook everything and blew the furniture inside the study away. Even Liang Bozhong couldn’t withstand the impact, and was flung away. Only Hua Tianji with his sleeve protecting his face was fine.
The fearsome and majestic aura, the pair of golden eyes that shone brightly despite the dense cloud of dust, it all was very familiar to Hua Tianji.
It’s her! It’s that monster who persevered despite being poisoned and was labeled as a mobile natural disaster.
Hua Tianji didn’t expect that she would storm into the Heavenly Sword Gate like this.
However, he wasn’t given time to think much about the situation.
A dark shadow shot out from within the cloud of dust and rushed towards Hua Tianji with the force of thunder.
It was a long chest.
Spinning his body, Hua Tianji infused true qi into his foot and kicked the chest away.
The air current raised by the chest blew the dust away, and a petite figure was revealed.
The petite figure gently leaped up. A slender, slightly crooked leg erupted with amazing strength that came from god knows where and stamped the chest that was even taller than the figure herself on the ground.
“… Xue Qi Lin.” Hua Tianji clearly enunciated the girl’s name. At the same time, his forehead broke out with cold sweat.
The girl’s bloodthirsty eyes and curled lips reminded Hua Tianji that the other party didn’t come here to have tee.
“Good evening, Little Ji, I’m relieved to see you in high spirits.”
Although her face was clearly full of smiles, but Hua Tianji couldn’t feel a trace of warmth from her. Instead, her smile concealed a thick darkness.
It wasn’t hate nor anger, but something darker, just like the mud at the bottom of a swamp. It was repulsive.
Enduring the repulsive feeling, Hua Tianji pretended to be calm and said: “I didn’t know that you will come here, Senior Xue, so please excuse my lack of manner. What might have brought you here, Senior Xue?”
“Ohhhh, Little Ji, you’re such a capricious fellow! Didn’t you want me as a guest before? Why do I feel like I’m no longer welcome here?”
This sharp-tongued Xue Qilin!
“But, Senior Xue, you don’t look like a guest! Is there a visitor who destroys the roof of the host?”
“A guest from afar… even if uninvited, is still a guest!”
This shameless Xue Qilin! The corner’s of Hua Tianji’s mouth twitched.
“To jump strait into the tiger’s den, how audacious, Senior Xue.” As he spoke, he looked outside the door where the alarmed Elders of the Heavenly Sword Gate have gathered from the corner of his eye.
“I just came to fight the tiger. However, if other critters butt in, then I’ll just kill them.” Xue Qilin looked pleased with herself, “I remember you people from the Heavenly Sword Gate calling me a monster… When the tiger sees this monster eyeing it, does it still have the luxury to get distracted?”
“… Senior Xue, are you not afraid of being criticized by Demimonde for being too cruel?”
“Who cares!” Xue Qilin spread her arms and uttered helplessly, “Anyway, whether I’m cruel or not depends on whether you want the entire Heavenly Sword Gate buried alongside you or not.”
She’s threatening me! If I let the Elders help me, then she’ll kill them at the first opportunity.
Now that the tables were turned, the Heavenly Sword Gate will be getting further and further behind the Merak Palace, and might even be ruined at a stroke.
She’s right, I wouldn’t dare. Hua Tianji gnashed his teeth hatefully.
As if she has recalled something, Xue Qilin patted her forehead, “Almost forgot! Little Ji, I sent you a gift, yet you didn’t appreciate my kindness, and simply kicked the gift away.”
Listening to Xue Qilin’s complaint, it took Hua Tianji a bit of time to understand what the gift she talked about was. It was the chest, the coffin below her feet.
Being insulted to this point, Hua Tianji couldn’t bear it any longer.
He infused true qi into the greatsword at his waist, and the sword responded with an excited cry and flew into his hand.
Preemptive strike! Hua Tianji drew his greatsword, the scabbard shot out, and quickly stabbed at Xue Qilin.
The smile that met him gave the illusion that it extended from ear to ear.
Xue Qilin revealed a weird, discomforting smile, and then pointed with her right index finger and drew a circle in the air.
With just such a simple movement, the scabbard infused with true qi shooting at her like an arrow stopped in midair as if it was entangled by an invisible rope.
How queer! But…
There was already a pair of golden eyes right under his nose, in which Hua Tianji could clearly see his dignified face reflected.
The shadows suddenly came from below and swallowed Xue Qilin’s figure.
A penetrating sound reverberated in the air.
As Hua Tianji has expected, his sword strike didn’t succeed. If it was so simple to kill the other party, then Hua Tianji wouldn’t need to work so hard to to capture her previously.
But his sword still hit something.
It was the coffin.
Although everything happened in the blink of an eye, but Hua Tianji still saw Xue Qilin kick the coffin with great force and the coffin shot to block him like a bullet.
You want to stop me with this? Hua Tianji infused true qi into his sword, and then the coffin disintegrated into countless woodchips.
At this time, along with flashes of lightning, Xue Qilin’s domain appeared out of thin air.
“A bitch is best suited to be made into a shish kebab!”
There was a rapid change in his field of view, and Hua Tianji vaguely saw Xue Qilin smile grimly.
Was there something inside? This thought has just bubbled up in Hua Tianji’s mind, when numerous short spears shot out from the woodchips and filled his field of view.
Despicable! Hua Tianji gritted his teeth.
Caught off guard, he couldn’t take back the greatsword in time, so he infused his true qi into his left hand, and then slapped out and used the recoil to shot back.
However, the attack was faster than his retreat.
Hua Tianji used his hand as a sword and thrust it at the short spears covered in a cold gloss or slapped at them, flicking them away.
However, some still slipped through the cracks.
A short spear brushed past his hand and pierced into his arm. In the nick of time, he instinctively bent backwards, and a short spear carrying a strong wind swept past his nose.
When he straightened his back, he saw a ribbon split in two fall in front of his eyes. It was the hairband that he used to tie his hair.
“Gate Master!” “Teacher!”
Exclamations came from the crowd outside the door. Hua Tianji took a deep breath and raised his hand to stop everyone who was ready to move.
“I’m fine.” Even though he said so, his eyes still didn’t leave Xue Qilin for a second.
So fast! Several times faster than the large crossbow bolts.
Looking at the nine short spears that have returned to Xue Qilin’s side at some point in time, Hua Tianji was shocked.
These short spears dark gray in color should be entirely formed from darksteel. But the most striking thing was the electric arcs that danced on their surface from time to time.
In response to the flickers of lightning inside Xue Qilin’s domain, the short spears changed their positions.
Is it related to that weird domain? Hua Tianji’s mind was revolving lightning fast.
“Little Ji, what’s with that frightened expression? I had these short spears specially made for you.” Xue Qilin smiled sweetly, but the smile crept Hua Tianji out, “What do you think? Not bad, right?”
At the same time, he was glad that he didn’t let other people help him. Otherwise, these short spears alone would have reaped many lives.
I have to find a way to get close to her!
However, the other party didn’t let him time to think. With Xue Qilin as the center, the short spears quickly drew a circle.
She raised her hand and made a strange hand gesture – she pointed her index finger at him, pointed her thumb up, and then…
A short spear shot away from its original orbit and set off a ripple.
“Tsk!” Hua Tianji brandished his greatsword and unleashed a rays of sword qi.
When the two collided, although the short spear ran through the ray of sword qi without any effort, yet it still deviated from its trajectory.
At this time, Hua Tianji has jumped into the air, and majestic true qi gathered in his sword.
“Heavenly Crescent Moon!”
There was a flash of a sword ray, and, within a frightening radius, all the pillars in the study were cut in two.
After a short delay, odd sounds were heard from all around.
The roof of the study, no, the roof of the entire courtyard slid obliquely.
Hua Tianji used the body of the sword to slap away a shot spear, and then shot out trough the hole in the ceiling that Xue Qilin has created.
His field of view widened abruptly. Along with a hissing sound, Hua Tianji landed in the yard.
Suddenly, there was a loud explosion behind him. Hua Tianji turned around and saw an attack flying towards him along with countless woodchips.
She actually crushed the ceiling! Hua Tianji was incredulous. He channeled his true qi outside his body and formed a true qi shield on his body.
Plop plop – countless woodchips hit the true qi shield around him and made a series of sounds.
Hua Tianji’s keen eyes captured nine short spears mixed in with the woodchips, and he quickly span his body.
Spinning as fast as a wheel of a speeding carriage, he turned into a whirlwind, and clear sounds rose immediately. The nine short spears were ricocheted one after another.
Next, as if the stars in the sky dropped down, a torrent of arrows of fire poured down.
“Heavenly Crescent Moon!”
Hua Tianji suddenly stopped spinning. When he was about to stop, he slashed down with his greatsword and unleashed a crescent moon.
The ray of sword qi passed through the cluster of fire arrows, blasting them into a rain of fire.
As if the tide has ebbed, Hua Tianji was finally able to take a breather.
His gaze crossed various obstacles and finally locked on the small and exquisite figure floating in the air.
God knows when it appeared, but a red flame dragon swaying its tail was circling around Xue Qilin and spiting out a scorching breath.
Arms crossed, Xue Qilin’s cold gaze bore into Hua Tianji. The strange about her was that every time she exhaled, she spat out a flame tongue from her mouth.
But in the next moment, Hua Tianji discovered the cause.
True qi patterns? Hua Tianji was shocked.
White tattoo-like radiances covered Xue Qilin, and white halo-like light oozed out of her hair.
When true qi condensed to a certain degree, it will emit light. After the density of true qi circulating in the qi passageways exceeded a limit, the body won’t be able to mask the true qi light, and the light will ooze out.
However, in order to be able to achieve this effect, the amount of true qi in your body has to be close to that of the Grandmaster Realm.
In other words, from the amount of true qi Xue Qilin possessed, it could be concluded that she was already very close to the Grandmaster Realm.
“Seventh Explosion Thunder Fire Dragon!”
… Xue Qilin’s shout pulled Hua Tianji away from his thoughts.
As if a waterfall suddenly pouring down from the sky, followed by strands of smoke, the fire dragon rolling in the air attacked. There was a faint scent of charcoal in its wake.
After uttering a noiseless roar, the flame dragon opened his mouth and chomped down on the crescent moon. The ray of sword qi slashed through the jaws of the flame dragon and went inside.
The two forces fought each and eventually died together.
Next, there was an explosion, and a ringing sounded in Hua Tianji’s ears.
Then, something pierced through the fluttering dust.
“What?!” Hua Tianji exclaimed. There was a petite figure right in front of his eyes.
She came close to me on her own! She must be up to something!
In order to probe the other party, Hua Tianji raised his sword and slashed down.
Clang – there was a lingering, sharp sound.
In her sleeve! Hua Tianji opened his eyes wide. The short spear that blocked his sword has flown out from Xue Qilin’s sleeve.
At this time, he was wide open, and her sinister face was right in front of him.
“Do you think that I’ll be fooled by this flaw that you presented me with?”
If the sword strike just now has been performed at full strength, there was no way that Hua Tianji would be able to pull the sword back so quickly and slash out again.
The strike was right in the bull’s eye. Along with a silver ripple, the greatsword suddenly sliced Xue Qilin.
However, the feeling in his hand weird, as if he had cut through tofu. There was no resistance.
As if responding to Hua Tianji’s doubt, Xue Qilin turned into drops of water with a plop sound.
“If one flaw won’t do, then two should do the trick.” Xue Qilin’s scornful voice came from behind.
There was an impact.
A violent force penetrated into his body. His bones creaked and his entire body issued sorrowful calls, but all of this was soon overshadowed by the whistling sounds coming from behind.
Hua Tianji who was rapidly approaching the ground knew that the sounds were made by the short spears without thinking. Ignoring his body’s protests, he flipped his body in the air, and front and back, up and down were reversed in a split second.
The greatsword vibrated rapidly and turned into afterimages, and dazzling sword rays flickered nonstop. Ding, ding, ding, ding, … – nine sounds rang in the air. The short spears stopped for a moment, and then shot into to different direction.
Next came Xue Qilin’s second attack.
Like a curtain of fire, flame arrows spread to cover Hua Tianji’s entire field of view.
Suffering successive attacks from Xue Qilin, Hua Tianji had no time to restore his breathing, and was forced to meet the attack head-on.
In an instant, true qi focused on his left hand, and he slapped out, very accurately hitting a flame arrow with each slap. Subsequently, the flame arrows burst, and a burning heat swept over, raising waves of dust.
“Eat my lolly kick!” A childish voice with a slightly higher pitch passed through the obstacles and penetrated into his ears.
As if time has slowed down, Hua Tianji clearly saw the golden patters on the small and exquisite embroidered blue shoe and white patterns flicker on the long, well-proportioned porcelain legs.
… countless faintly discernible electric arcs coiled around her body. With large sleeves trailing behind her, Xue Qilin’s right leg carrying the power of thunder dispelled everything.
For a moment, the sound of electric arcs crackling and the whistle of something piercing through the air filled his mind.
There’s no time! Hua Tianji gritted his teeth, infused true qi into his arms, and crossed his arms before him.
“Hua Tianji, drop dead!”
When the fragile-looking slender leg slammed into his arms, his arms couldn’t withstand the formidable force, and were pressed against his chest. He felt like he was hit by a meteor cutting through the night sky. The enormous force that was enough to make the earth quake pierced through the true qi, the skin, and the bones, and reached the depths of his body.
The sound of bones breaking and the wailing of muscles tearing assaulted his mind.
Then, the intense sense of being tossed stimulated his nerves.
In his eyes, the petite figure shrank rapidly, and, as if mocking him, the invisible air stung his skin.
Lastly, there was an impact.
A pressure squeezed his body as if it wanted him to vomit everything inside him, and his consciousness shook.
His vision blurred like it was doused in black ink.
Then… as if his consciousness was called back, a few rays of light tore trough the of night.
Are those short spears? Not good… Hua Tianji wanted to prop himself up, but the damage his body sustained was really great. He lifted his greatsword by expending tremendous effort.
Am I going to die? Die without clearing the fog?
Until now, Hua Tianji still hasn’t figured out who was behind this twisted game…
He was unwilling. It took him half a lifetime of effort to get into the Heaven Realm. Now that he was on his way to gain great achievements, how could he have this kind of ending?
Looking at the short spears right before his eyes, Hua Tianji suddenly smiled a self-deprecating smile.
No matter what, he could only blame himself for being too greedy and too conceited.
Although he wanted to give up, but someone didn’t want it.
A figure suddenly stopped in front of him. The figure had only one arm.
Hurry and dodge! You can’t handle handle this…
“Protect the Gate Master!”
As if his voice was a stone that fell into water and set off ripples, a second figure appeared in front of Hua Tianji.
Then, a third, a fourth, a fifth…
Nine Earth Realm Elders of the Heavenly Sword Sect gathered in front of his eyes. They drew their swords and chopped out at the same time.
Hua Tianji closed his eyes, and then opened them again. In just a blink of an eye, nine short spears appeared next to Hua Tianji.
“Gate Master, let’s fight together one more time!” Liang Bozhong extended his hand, and a wizened thin palm appeared before Hua Tianji. The other Elders turned around simultaneously and looked at Hua Tianji resolutely.
The pain has unwittingly disappeared, and the sorrowful calls have gone with the wind.
“Alright!” Hua Tianji propped himself up and grasped the other party’s hand. He looked over Liang Bozhong’s shoulder.
Xue Qilin looked at him with a complex look in her eyes.
Xue Qilin, do you see this? I am not fighting alone! Because I am not fighting alone, I won’t lose. You are indeed amazing, but what about your companions?
A heat rushed into his heart, and Hua Tianji laughed loudly.