Chapter 46 End of the Lantern Festival
The arrow shot right past Long Chen's waist. If he had been late by even one step, he would definitely have been skewered.
Long Chen rolled several times before looking up at the arrow. Having missed Long Chen, it had ended up piercing Huang Chang's thigh.
Huang Chang's mouth was open wide, his eyes having lost any spirit, looking just like a dead fish as he silently stared into the sky.
A strong fishy smell came from his thigh, and despite holding his breath at the very first moment, Long Chen still became light-headed and noxious.
"What a powerful poison…"
Long Chen was horrified. That arrow was obviously coated with an incredibly powerful toxin. Although he was unable to determine what it was exactly just from breathing it…
But from its strong toxicity, it was definitely a poison extracted from a Magical Beast that was at least at the third rank. Anyone in the Blood Condensation realm would die immediately from it.
Yun Qi cried out angrily and he extended his hand, sending out a three meter flame spear towards Wei Cang.
Wei Cang couldn't help being shocked that Long Chen had dodged his attack. Seeing Yun Qi attack him, he hastily put away the crossbow in his hand. That poisonous arrow had come from him just now.
Wei Cang also extended his hand and summoned a blazing fire sword. Yun Qi's spear continuously collided with it, emitting explosive sounds as flames shot everywhere and heat waves surged.
Long Chen was the closest other person at only thirty something meters away. He was completely exhausted and weak now, so he was sent flying from their waves of Qi.
Just when Long Chen thought he would be smashed to pulp by the aftershocks of their battle, a gentle fragrance suddenly entered his nose and a soft body caught onto him.
Long Chen turned his head to see Chu Yao deeply concerned with him. He laid himself into her embrace.
"Long Chen… I'm sorry, I've hurt you."
As if a pearl necklace had been cut open, her tears began to flow down one by one. She knew that the reason Long Chen had entered such a state was mostly all because of her.
If she hadn't performed her brazen display today, perhaps Long Chen wouldn't have ended up like this. He had almost lost his life multiple times just now. Her heart was filled with pain when she thought of that.
"What are you saying? That scoundrel Xia Changfeng already hated me, so it has nothing to do with you," consoled Long Chen.
He wanted to stand up, but he did not have even the slightest bit of energy within him. Leaning against Chu Yao's chest, Long Chen's heart started to wildly jump.
"Thank you Long Chen." Chu Yao knew Long Chen was trying to comfort her. Her heart was once more moved and she felt ashamed.
With another explosion, the warmth that was building within Long Chen's heart was interrupted and he quickly looked over.
At this time, grandmaster Yun Qi had a long spear in his hand that had been condensed from Pill Fame that was around three meters long. His entire body was covered in red flames. Scorching Qi waves came from him, his might overflowing the heavens.
That was an ability that could only be used after reaching Pill Master - Pill Flame taking shape. Pill Masters didn't like battle, but that didn't mean they were weak.
Pill Masters focused all their cultivation on the Pill Flame. Not only could it be used to refine pills, but it could be also used for battle and easily overpower people at the same realm.
Wei Cang was extremely grave. Long Chen could tell that although Wei Cang was also a Pill Master and his Pill Flame was strong, in terms of purity it was definitely not just one level weaker than grandmaster Yun Qi's Pill Flame.
Long Chen wanted to say a couple ridiculing insults to Wei Cang, but he was too weak after battle. That last attack had used up basically all his energy and he didn't even have the strength to shout.
Yun Qi and Wei Cang's blazing weapons let out explosive bursts when they collided. Even the ground was shaking along with them, and the surging Qi waves caused everyone to retreat.
Both of them were the heads of their respective alchemy guilds and had exalted statuses. Let alone the youth, even the noblemen had never seen such a battle. They were carefully focused on examining their every move.
"Wei Cang, you've lived so long but you've yet to make much progress. I think you should get lost now - Flame Dragon Stab!"
Yun Qi shouted and the spear in his hand stabbed forward. It tore through space and destroyed the land. A dragon shaped flame pierced forward.
Wei Cang also shouted and the flame sword in his hand transformed into a huge shield that firmly blocked it.
Dust and flame surged. The heavens shook and it was as if the very air was set on fire, making it so people were unable to even scream.
"Yun Qi, just wait for me!"
Suddenly a figure flew out of the flames. He appeared very miserably as he rushed out. That person was Wei Cang, and after saying that, he disappeared into the night.
As if he had long since anticipated this result, grandmaster Yun Qi simply coldly looked on as Wei Cang rushed away. He slowly turned and went back to his seat.
For a moment the entire plaza was silent. People looked from Long Chen who was being embraced by Chu Yao and then to the ashen faced Xia Changfeng. Nobody knew what to say.
The Empress Dowager's expression was also ugly. Today's affairs had completely exceeded what she had anticipated. She who held all the power in the Phoenix Cry Empire was actually reduced to a minor role.
"Long Chen wins! This year's lantern festival is now over!"
The Empress Dowager had no choice but to announce the results. As soon as her words rang out, the entire plaza became impassioned. The maidens were like a tide as they charged towards Long Chen.
Long Chen's heart jumped in fear. Before he even understood what was happening, a maiden placed a flower loop around Long Chen's head.
Just as he was about to say something, ten other maidens surged forward. No matter whether Long Chen wanted it or not, they all placed their personally made flower loops over his head.
Chu Yao laughed to the side as she watched. She didn't say anything, instead filled with mirth. But there was also a kind of pride on her face.
Long Chen ended up covered in flower loops to the point there was no more space for any more. Just as he was prepared to tell this group of enthusiastic girls about this, the sky suddenly darkened as it was filled with flower loops.
Some of the maidens had seen there were too many and that they were unable to squeeze in. They had anxiously just directly thrown their flower loops in front of Long Chen.
With one person taking the lead, the others all understood the same thing, and in an instant, there were hundreds of flower loops flying over. By the time the girls scattered, Long Chen had already disappeared, buried beneath a pile of flower loops.
Martial arts were extremely popular in the Phoenix Cry Empire. And your skill in martial arts had a direct correlation with women's affections. Even though Long Chen had already displayed love for Chu Yao, that didn't have any effect on their admiration on him.
He was a handsome and powerful man, who for love and his brother dared to fight a bloody battle with a Blood Condensation expert. He even seemed to look down on death. Just what kind of courage was that? Long Chen's display had moved the majority of the women's undecided hearts.
By the time Long Chen managed to dig his way out of the flower loops, the crowd around him had dispersed and Chu Yao had also disappeared. Only Fatty Yu and the others were left, and they helped pull him up.
"Brother Long, you really are my idol," Fatty Yu said excitedly.
The others were also pretty much the same. Long Chen's display had awed everyone. Long Chen was practically a reincarnation of a battle god, causing his friends to be extremely proud of him.
Long Chen smiled and looked around. He noticed the Empress Dowager, the noblemen, the chancellors, the princes, and grandmaster Yun Qi had already left. Even Chu Yao was out of sight.
"Brother Long, while you were buried just now, the third princess was called over by the Empress Dowager. From the face she made, I'd guess that the third princess won't be having such a good time in the future." Shou Hou was somewhat nervous.
During normal times they wouldn't dare rashly discuss the royal family, but now with Long Chen's display, it had greatly raised their aspirations and they no longer worried so much.
The Grand Xia's prince Xia Changfeng had come to the Phoenix Cry Empire mostly for the purpose of proposing to the third princess. Although a public declaration hadn't gone out, it was said the Empress Dowager had already agreed to it.
For the third princess to publicly declare her affection for Long Chen during the lantern festival was equivalent to slapping the faces of the Empress Dowager and Xia Changfeng. It would have been strange if the Empress Dowager had been pleased.
This time they had fortunately had grandmaster Yun Qi's support. But as someone from the alchemist guild, he had to maintain a neutral position. He definitely couldn't interfere in the nation's affairs, especially not something like the royal family's marriages.
That was why Shou Hou and them were nervous. Hearing this, most of the joy Long Chen was feeling from his victory faded.
But he still didn't regret it. Even if he died, he couldn't let someone like Chu Yao down.
Most of the people in the plaza had left by now and only a few soldiers remained to clear out the decorations and trash. Huang Chang's body had long since been hauled away.
"Let's go. We'll talk about it more then. Shi Feng, how are your injuries?" Long Chen managed to stand up with Shou Hou's support.
"I'm fine. Long Chen, I…" Shi Feng was ashamed of himself. If it weren't for him, Long Chen wouldn't have had to fight today and almost lose his life.
"Brothers don't need to say unnecessary words to each other. Since we're brothers, just heal your injuries and raise your cultivation base so you can take your revenge later." Long Chen waved his hand.
"Revenge? Didn't Huang Chang die?" Fatty Yu was a bit puzzled.
Long Chen smiled and didn't say anything more. The others were all startled; could it be that he was thinking of…"
"Okay, just help me and Shi Feng back to our homes. We have to recuperate a bit. Honestly I feel like even my bones are about to fall apart from exhaustion," laughed Long Chen.
The others quickly went to support Long Chen. In truth, his injuries weren't very severe. The problem was that he was simply too exhausted and didn't have the slightest energy.
They slowly walked away from the plaza. In the shadows, a figure slowly appeared, watching Long Chen and them leave.
He muttered, "I really didn't think Long Chen had grown to such an extent. Could it be that he had been hiding this since the start?"
That person was the fourth prince. Long Chen's display today had also exceeded his expectations.
"If that's true, this kid truly does plan deeply." The fourth prince sighed.
"Master, should we eliminate him in the dark?"
Behind the fourth prince was a figure that stayed in the dark. If he hadn't spoken, others wouldn't even have noticed him.
"Let's not be hasty for now. Although he startled me today, his weak points were also displayed. No matter how powerful someone is, as long as they have weak points, there is nothing to be afraid of. Although there were a couple of unforeseen accidents, this isn't necessarily a bad thing. If we can take advantage, we can definitely get an unimaginable profit." A faint smile appeared on the fourth prince's lips.
Long Chen didn't return home that day. Instead he told Shou Hou to send word that he was staying at the alchemist guild to study with grandmaster Yun Qi.
A lot had happened today and he didn't want to confront his mother about it for now. Plus, his mother would be worried over his many wounds.
In the evening, Long Chen went to Shi Feng's house. Shi Feng only had a couple broken bones; as for his internal injuries, they were no longer much of a problem after he had consumed Long Chen's medicinal pill.
He just had to rest a couple days to fix those broken bones. Although Shi Feng had suffered a crushing defeat this time, it would definitely be helpful in letting him mature. Experts required to be tempered.
Shi Feng's father set up a quiet room for Long Chen. By the time they had arrived, Long Chen had recovered a bit of his energy.
The others all said their goodbyes. Long Chen slowly took out a jade bottle from his storage ring that had a burning fluctuation inside.
"Hehe, I can't wait till tomorrow for this!"