Clouds drifted about dreamily in the sky, and Celestial Mist permeated the air. At times, the wind would sweep down the mountain, causing the leaves and branches of the trees in the mountain forest to rattle and rustle. Sunlight pierced through the sea of clouds, illuminating the mountain range below in a golden light, making the earth seem like it was blanketed by a golden carpet.
Not very far away, rooted on a cliff was a Pine Tree, old but supple, cloaked in a vibrant green. Under the tree a white dress fluttered in the wind, and long black hair shined with a glossy sheen. It was Su Yanli, beautiful and flawless.
Sakura-red lips, creamy, milky skin, and watery eyes, she was an exquisite piece of art that only belonged in Heaven.
“Sister Su.” Wu Yu could not believe that Su Yanli was waiting for him outside the jail. Happiness gushed throughout him.
“Congratulations! Welcome back!” Su Yanli gave him a rare smile. Wu Yu, who’d been trapped in darkness for a year, was so moved by Su Yanli’s smile that he was stunned for a second.
“Wu Yu, wake up.” Su Yanli said lightly, unashamed by Wu Yu’s staring, causing him to blush in embarrassment. Although she might become his Apprentice Sister* in the future, he wanted to refrain from offending her.
“Repentance Mountain’s quite far away from your Heaven Gazing Mountain, so I purposely sent a Celestial Crane over today for your convenience. Let’s go.”
By Su Yanli’s side were two tall and mighty Celestial Cranes.
After climbing onto his Celestial Crane, they took off into the clouds. Wu Yu really wanted to know what had happened over the past year, but before he could ask, Su Yanli said: “Situ Bright successfully condensed his Qi more than half a year ago, and has been selected by the Sect Protector to become her disciple. He has waited for this day for a very long time.”
It seemed like she came collect him today not only because she was worried that Heaven Gazing Mountain was too far away, but also because she was worried about his safety.
“Wu Yu, I cannot protect you all the time.” Su Yanli looked at him from atop her Celestial Crane, eyes shining and glinting.
“I understand, I can protect myself.” Wu Yu gave a faint smile in return. The news about Situ Bright didn’t really shock or surprise him, as it was within his expectations. His calmness, and the changes that took place within his mind and body appeased Su Yanli’s worries.
“It seems like I’ve underestimated you. After all, you have worked hard for a year.” Su Yanli nodded her head in agreement.
However, what Wu Yu wanted to do was not only protect himself, but also….
The highest point of Heaven Gazing Mountain, the Heaven Gazing Podium. A place like the Heaven’s Cry Podium, disciples of Heaven Gazing Mountain would gather there during their free time to drink wine, duel with each other and generally explore the path of cultivation.
Outer Disciples were still mortals, so they could not live without basic necessities, therefore “Rain Hearing Tower” was one of the most popular places within the mountain.
Delicious and exotic foods from all around the continent were donated to the tower by mortals for Celestials to eat for free.
Sitting on a seat by the windowside in Rain Hearing Tower was a girl in an azure robe. Still young, but well on her way into puberty, she was Qing Mang all right.
The other customers within the restaurant were mostly other disciples from Heaven Gazing Mountain, and the majority of those disciples were new disciples who’d been initiated into the Sect at the same time as Wu Yu. Zhao Danlong and Ju Huo were among them, but they were not seated anywhere near Qing Mang. Occasionally, they would look at her with eyes of respect, then look away.
Qing Mang was currently looking out of her window impatiently, little mouth raised into a pout, and sat right opposite her was a drab, middle-aged man with a long, unkempt beard. His eyes were muddy and turbid, but at times it would glint with a sinister light, sizing up Qing Mang’s body whilst she wasn’t looking. Wine goblet in his right hand, the middle-aged man drank out of it whilst giving Qing Mang words of compliment.
“Qing Mang, you sure are remarkable. You’ve only been initiated into the Sect for one year, but you’ve already reached the 8th Heavenly Stage of the Body Forging Phase. Look at Zhao Danlong and Ju Huo… you’ve already left them behind in the dust!” The middle-aged man laughed. One could tell that he wanted Qing Mang’s favour from his facial expression.
“That bastard!” Zhao Danlong and his companions were angered by his words, but did not have the courage to step up and confront him. He was an old disciple of Heaven Gazing Mountain who had great influence within the mountain. Over the past year, Zhao Danlong and the other new initiates had been bullied a great deal. This middle-aged man, who’d been initiated into the Sect for more than 40 years, was one of the main bullies who made their lives a living hell. A 9th Heavenly Stage “Xianbian” expert, he was so strong that there was nothing the new disciples could do but endure and withstand the bullying.
The middle-aged man had an incredibly notorious reputation within the Sect. A paedophile, he liked young girls, so Qing Mang was harassed by him lots over the past year. However, she did not have the courage to speak out for herself, to fight back, so there was nothing she could do but endure the harassment. Even though Qing Mang had a real Celestial backing her, she was a stubborn girl, so she did not want to give trouble to the Celestial. If she did not have anybody strong backing her, she would’ve have already been raped by him.
“Yu Huaishan, I don’t want to talk to you.” Qing Mang originally came to Rain Hearing Tower to relax, but was unlucky enough to meet the middle-aged man.
“Don’t be like that. Come on, talk with brother!” Yu Huaishan replied slovenly. He had already reached the 9th Heavenly Stage, so there was nothing Qing Mang could do but put up with him.
Stared at with predatory eyes, Qing Mang got up to leave, but upon noticing she was surrounded by Yu Huaishan’s lackeys, she sat back down on her chair. Anger bubbled throughout her, and she glared at Yu Huaishan with fiery eyes.
“My little Qing Mang, that’s right. Keep brother company for a while… why leave so soon?” Yu Huaishan smiled so wretchedly that the other disciples within the restaurant wanted to slap him in the face.
Noticing the awkward atmosphere within Rain Hearing Tower, he laughed once again, then looked out the windowsill: “Why are you sitting beside the window today? Ooohh, I know now! Today’s the day that that Wu Yu, who killed two of the Situ brothers last year on Heaven’s Cry Mountain, will be released from jail, right?”
“Qing Mang, you’re waiting for him, right? He’s the one who stole the number 1 spot from you after all.” Yu Huaishan looked at the young girl before him with sinister eyes.
Qing Mang did not bother replying. Upon noticing that she wasn’t speaking, Yu Huaishan laughed: “It is undeniable, though, that this Wu Yu is extremely lucky. But unfortunately for him, Situ Bright that monster has condensed his Qi already, and has become a disciple of the Sect Protector. Whether its talent, status, or power, Wu Yu cannot match him. If Wu Yu was smart, he’d lock himself inside his prison cell, and if he dares to come out, I’d say he won’t live for more than 3 days.”
“Brother Yu, I think you’re overestimating him. I say he’d only live for a day, no, half a day. Reportedly, Situ Bright has been waiting for this day for the past year.”
The crowd burst into laughter. After all, Wu Yu was a joke, and Situ Bright was a cultivating genius. Everybody was looking forward to how long Wu Yu would be able to survive for after being released from jail.
Qing Mang’s body shook in anger. Even though she hadn’t known Wu Yu for long, she knew deeply what type of person he was.
“Situ Bright does not have the strength nor power to kill him. Wu Yu’s stronger than me!” Qing Mang slammed the table with her hand then stood up, breathing heavily in fury.
“I lost to him one year ago, and I’m here waiting for him today because I want a rematch, to see if he has improved like me over the past year. So scram, stop bothering me.”
After saying that, she grasped hold of her sword and jumped off from Rain Hearing Tower’s third floor window.
“Qing Mang’s so cute when she’s angry.” Yu Huaishan and his cronies stuck their heads out the window, laughing loudly.
At that moment, two loud Celestial Crane cries came from the sky. Wu Yu and Su Yanli had finally returned! Su Yanli did not want to get off her Celestial Crane, so she gave Wu Yu a book embroidered with gold in midair. “This is a Best Grade Martial Technique that Master wants you to learn, so when you have spare time, cultivate it. It is similar to the sword technique you used before, but this technique is stronger and much more profound.”
Wu Yu went crazy from happiness. <> was no longer profound nor powerful enough to cater to his strength and needs, so he needed a new Martial Technique. Thankfully Feng Xue Ya had realised this problem, and bestowed upon him a more powerful Martial Art.
Even though a High Grade Martial Technique was nothing to Feng Xue Ya, it was very important to Wu Yu, because a Best Grade Martial Technique was as precious as his Daemon Slaying Sword!
“<>.” The five words on the cover of the book were incredibly overbearing, 5 coiled dragons ready to strike. Indeed, it was similar to <>.
“I have to go on a retreat* to cultivate, so keep safe. I’m looking forward to the day when you’ll become my Apprentice Brother.” After giving Wu Yu the book, Su Yanli left on her Celestial Crane. Before long, her elegant, graceful body disappeared into the clouds.
She was a quiet person, much like water, but at times she could be extremely domineering and overbearing. Because of that, Su Yanli had numerous admirers and “worshippers”.
Yu Huaishan was one of them.
Of course, he was a pervert, so there was no beautiful girl in the Sect that he didn’t covet and yearn for. But when it came to Su Yanli, he did not dare to look at her for more than a second, because he’d die without knowing how he died.
Wu Yu could be considered a legend in his own right. He’d been a disciple of the Sword to Heaven Sect for more than one year, but today was the first day he could actually parade around the Sect freely and live in the Sect. Like a newbie, Wu Yu landed on Heaven Gazing Podium, and just as he put away the golden book, an azure-robed girl sprinted towards him.
“Wu Yu!” Wu Yu had not seen her for only a year, but she’d grown into a young lady already. She stood before him, angry yet happy expressions playing on her face. “Back when we’d just been initiated into the Sect, you promised me that you would become my friend. But then you got yourself imprisoned for one year, standing me up! I wanted a rematch, but I couldn’t find you!”
“Qing Mang, nobody knows the future. I didn’t want that to happen either.” Wu Yu gave a wry smile. Girls sure were weird.
“This won’t do, you can’t run away from me again! I want a rematch right now!” Qing Mang suddenly drew her sword and stared at him with widened eyes.
“We’ve just reunited, so I don’t think it’s good to point your blade at me…”
At that moment, many people jumped down from Rain Hearing Tower. The news that Qing Mang was challenging Wu Yu to a rematch spread like a wildfire, attracting many disciples to come forth and spectate, including Yu Huaishan.
“Many people are underestimating you, but you’re somebody who has beaten me before, so how can you be underestimated?! Take this!” Qing Mang shouted, attacking even before she’d finished her sentence.
“So that’s why.” Wu Yu understood now why she was so eager to fight him. It was not because she wanted to defeat and surpass him, but because she couldn’t stand him being underestimated. Dueling him would showcase his abilities, silencing those who’d been talking trash about him.
To Qing Mang, friends were an incredibly important part of her life.
Wu Yu retreated a few steps to avoid her incoming attack.
“It’s been a year since their first battle. Qing Mang is having a rematch with Wu Yu today, come quickly if you want to spectate!”
“Wu Yu? Which one? Oh, is it the one who killed Situ Bright’s brothers?”
“He’s been released from jail?”
Many Outer Disciples who’d gone on a retreat to cultivate came out to see Wu Yu in action. Many of them knew of his name but had never seen him in real life before.
Apprentice Sister* – You know how disciples within the same Sect call each other Brother or Sister, right? Well, I’ve added Apprentice because Wu Yu will study under the same Master as Su Yanli if he’s successful in beating Situ Bright. This effectively changes their relationship, and I have to show the difference. Therefore, I added Apprentice in front of sister.
Retreat* – When cultivators lock themselves up to cultivate