Dust flew in the air, Ou Yang Qiu’s shattered armor fell to the ground in a useless heap, his eyes were vacant as his breathing finally stopped.
Everyone who came to watch stood there stunned. Silence reigned in the main hall.
Not even Lei Hong could have anticipated these chain of events.
Gold star instructor Ou Yang Qiu was killed by Lin Mu Yu with a single blow!
"How...How is this possible? Ge Yang rubbed his eyes in disbelief. "Ou Yang Qiu is the number one sword master in the Temple, how can he be killed with just one blow from Lin Zhi...."
Zeng Fang stood agape, his body would not stop shaking, unable to believe the reality in front of him, But Ou Yang Qiu lay dead, his defeat unmistakable.
The outcome had been decided the moment Ou Yang Qiu underestimated Lin Mu Yu, he never thought that Lin Mu Yu had also mastered sword skills. Though, had he the prior knowledge, Lin Mu Yu’s thunder sword technique was still absurdly fast and impossible to dodge.
Zhang Wei kept a steady pace as he walked towards Ou Yang Qiu. He had a hand on his waist to pulled out the dagger he kept there as he knelt on one knee in front of the corpse. Grabbing it by the hair, he began sever the head from the rest of the body.
"Zhang Wei, what are you doing!?" Zeng Fang shouted indignantly.
Zhang Wei did not stop what he was doing, and was soon able to separate the head of Ou Yang Qiu. He held it aloft, smiling. "He is a sinner who was killed in a duel. I want to take his head to pay homage to the souls of the parents of Xiao Dou Ya. What? Does the young marquis intend to stop me?"
Zeng Fang face filled with anger. " Well, Zhang Wei, it seems you have some courage after all.
Zhang Wei was not intimidated in the least and smiled. "I just did what must be done. Master Lin Zhi, you won spectacularly!"
Lin Zhi stayed silent, he hadn't killed someone in a long time, but there was no helping it. If he did not kill Ou Yang Qiu today, his heart would not be at peace.
Lei Hong smiled dimly at the corner, speaking clearly, "There is no need for quarrel now, the outcome of the duel is clear, Lin Zhi has won. Ou Yang Qiu was a gold star instructor of the Temple yet he committed a crime, so his punishment was due. I will strip him of his rank and salary that is owed him. His name will no longer be associated with the Temple. Let him be a warning to those who wish to harm the innocent, and to remind us all not to be merciless and ruthless."
The crowd of instructors and trainers cupped their fists in the other hand and replied in unison, “Yes, grandmaster!"
Lei Hong gave a satisfied smile. "Guards, bury the corpse of Ou Yang Qiu as you would a normal civilian. Everyone is dismissed. After lunch, training will continue as usual. Lin Zhi, stay behind."
The group soon dispersed, leaving only Lin Mu Yu in the main hall, he asked, "Grandpa Lei Hong, what is it?"
Lei Hong sighed. You boy, are talented but reckless in handling things. Your actions today have already offended the God Marquisate. You will have to watch your back from now on for they have many allies in Lanyan city. I'm afraid that if you leave this be you will suffer at their hands, so how about...."
Lei Hong thought for a while."From now on, you will only train in the secret room. Aside from participating in daily sparring, you are not to set foot outside the Temple. I will tighten security in the Temple grounds and no one is to enter the Temple without my approval."
Lin Mu Yu knew that Lei Hong is just protecting himself, he himself does not know the reach of the God Marquis. He cup his fist in the other hand to respond. "Yes, I'll do everything in accordance to your wished Grandpa Lei Hong!"
Lei Hong was slightly relieved. Even though this boy was unpredictable, as long as he can listen to reason, there shouldn’t be any problems.
Nightfall in the brightly lit walls of the marquis’ estate.
A tea cup flew from the table, spilling tea everywhere and filled the room with its sweet fragrance.
Zeng Yi Fan, the imperial God Marquis, was known for his Army of God. But the Zeng Yi Fan now did not possess the charisma he had in his young days, his thin face was marked with wrinkles as the years passed, only the radiant gleam in his eyes remained unchanged. He held his fist out and spoke lowly. "This is ridiculous, killing someone in the Temple is tolerable, but he even went and killed people in Sunset village. Ou Yang Qiu has no one but himself to blame!"
Zeng Fang has not seen his father this angry before, so he kept his head to the ground, body trembling as he spoke, "Father... Ou Yang Qiu is still a vassal of our God Marquisate. No matter what, we can’t just let him die like that!"
"What else can be done?"
Zeng Yi Fan eyed Zeng Fang through a dim chillness. "Son, you have disappointed me much. The reason why I sent you to the Temple was for you to learn unique martial arts as well as extraordinary loyalty and courageousness, but all you have to show for it is your uselessness. Don't say anything anymore, or else I will have you live in the Temple of Ascetism for three years!"
Zeng Fang’s face grew ashen, too scared to even utter a word.
It was at this moment that a beautiful girl leisurely stepped forward carrying a tea tray in her arms, she wore a snow white dress that drew out more of her beauty. As she put down the tray to massage Zeng Yi Fan, she smiled and said, "Dad, don't be mad at little brother. He is only in the prime of his youth, if you really put him in the Tower of Ascetism, I'm afraid he will become ignorant and waste away after three years."
The anger in Zeng Yi Fan’s face slowly diminished. "Xiang Xiang, you spoil your little brother too much. Look at him, does he look like a young lord of the God Marquisate? He only cares to make friends with useless bums!"
This young lady would be the daughter of Zeng Yi Fan, Zheng Xiang, the sister of Zeng Fang.
Zeng Xiang smiled placatingly. "Dad, don't think about this too much. Ou Yang Qiu was the first to killed someone, this is unmistakable, and now he died from his duel. This is not the fault of anyone."
Zeng Yi Fan nodded. Yes, I know, Xiang Xiang you go and rest, father has some thinking to do."
"Okay, very well."
Zheng Xiang took her leave.
As soon as Zeng Xiang was far enough away, Zeng Yi Fan’s eye flashed."That boy, Lin Mu Yu killed Ou Yang Qiu, a move that tantamount to declaring war against the God Marquisate. Even if he is under Lei Hong’s protection, Hmph.... aren’t they looking down on us? Since that old fool Lei Hong does not fear the God Marquisate, then he won’t mind our warm reception."
After collecting his thoughts, Zeng Yi Fan took a deep breath and was pleased with himself. "I'm afraid old Cang will have to make a personal appearance this time."
"As the Marquis commands, this old man will do everything in my power."
An air of comprehension finally hit Zeng Fang as he raised his head, surprised and eager. "Grandpa Cang is in the imperial capital?"
"Why not go and welcome him in?" Zeng Yi Fan smiled.
Zeng Fang quickly turned to go open the door, he saw an old man under the moonlight, a metal staff in his hand, a grin on his face. "Young’un, look how you’ve grown!"
"Grandpa Cang, what brings you to Lanyan city?"
"I came see how you and Xiang Xiang were doing."
The old man moved into the hall. He had an air of sagely power around him increasing in intensity with every step.
Zeng Yi Fan was ecstatic. "Congratulations, Elder Cang, for finally entering the Saint Realm!"
The old man lifted his head and smiled, “Cang Bai He has come to pay his respects to the marquis."
"No need to be polite, sit."
Cang Bai He, one of the strongest warriors in the empire, previously served as a general under the marquis, following Zeng Yi Fan to war. But at the time Lord Guang Ming was bestowing rewards to the officials, he disappeared. Now that he has returned to Lanyan city, it will surely bring about a reign of terror.
"Elder Cang, did you hear about how the Temple has openly provoked the God Marquisate?" Zeng Yi Fan personally prepared the tea as he asked nonchalantly.
Cang Bai He nodded. "I have heard rumors, but the Temple is not to be underestimated. Even though many strong warriors have retired in the bygone years, Lei Hong, that old dog is still there. The God Marquisate has many outstanding talents, but dealing with Lei Hong directly is not advisable. After all, aside from Lei Hong, they have Ge Yang and those old farts still. I believe the marquis does not intend to attack Lei Hong head on?"
Zeng Yi Fan could not stop the laughter that erupted. "You know me well, Elder Cang!"
With a devious glint in his eyes, he said, "Lei Hong commanded Lin Mu Yu to do his dirty work and kill Ou Yang Qiu. A deliberate show of strength if there ever was one, so we must pay him back in kind. Lin Mu Yu and Zhang Wei are Lei Hong’s trusted aides. Within three days, I want those two crippled!"
Cang Bai He smiled as his eyes flashed with killing intent.
Two days had passed in the blink of an eye. Lin Mu Yu trained within the Temple, already becoming increasingly proficient in his Four-Way Sword Skill while training with the Dragonforged Bone Tome at the same time. The more he trained with the Tome the more he could feel its mysteries. Once he finished the required 72 cycles, he would feel an increase of his power within, this relic indeed had endless mysteries.
Lin Mu Yu continued to train, oblivious to the dangers around him.
Deep into the night, along Tong Tian street, a tavern stood shrouded in complete darkness.
"Baby, baby, my heart is trembling. Swing left, swing right, let this fellow see..."
Messy vulgar songs came from the mouth of a drunken Zhang Wei. He held onto the railing with one hand, a tankard in from the tavern in the other. Dead drunk yet again, this was actually a daily occurrence in the life of Zhang Wei. He loved wine as much as he loved life, this being his one greatest weakness.
In the hour of the pig (9pm-11pm), the streets were devoid of life.
Suddenly, an aura of bloodlust came to him from above.
The approaching threat caused Zhang Wei to immediately sober up. His martial spirit materialized, causing raging flames to erupt around his body. He brandished his fist, waving it in the air, the image of a fist made of flames to lingered in the empty space. "Come out and show yourself to this daddy!"
Zhang Wei’s secret technique—Fierce Soul Fist!
Laughter came from above. "Zhang Wei's Fierce Soul Fist has indeed some likeness to Xiang Wen Tian’s Fierce Fire Fist, but it lacks refinement. Now, you will kneel before me."
A strong, invisible force bore itself downwards, the building’s bricks crumbled piece by piece. Zhang Wei’s fist made contact and the sound of the bones cracking could be heard. His knees gave and he knelt under the pressure. In the presence of absolute strength, he did not even get the chance to fight back.
He lifted his head to look, an old man appeared before him, someone he did not know.
"Who are you"?
"The one who will lay waste to you!"
The figure suddenly appeared behind Zhang Wei, unsheathing a sword.
In the deep of the night, a miserable howl echoed throughout Tong Tian street.
Translated by: Shogun
Edited by: seriouspotato