A flowery scent lingered in the air. Wan Xiangcen had not yet shown herself, but her scent that could seduce butterflies was still present. She was clearly nearby.
The six disciples slowly got up from the ground while holding their severed fingers. They stood there in fear and slightly hunched over as if they were paying respects to a god.
Zhao Tian was speechless from shock. These disciples were all top geniuses at grand achievement God Base. They would be great characters regardless of the location, but all of them were incredibly afraid of a woman right now.
Could it be that this Seventh Lord was frightening to this level?
"Our Highness wishes to recruit you to be a hall protector of the Seventh Hall. What do you think, Sir Thousand-man Commander?" A man dressed in black with a red complexion appeared. He asked this question while standing on top of a cedar covered in snow.
His voice was a bit grating and gave off an effeminate feel. His black cloak was being rustled by the cold wind, exposing the white daoist robe underneath. He came in a mysterious fashion. With the flash of his shadow, he was already standing there.
Feng Feiyun felt a chill like the bleakness of an underground Piercing Mysterious Glacier. He lifted his head to stare at the youth and smiled: "What kind of position is a hall protector?"
His eyes also narrowed after seeing the white daoist robes beneath the black cloak.
"Haha!" The man laughed: "The ten halls of the Senluo Temple has one lord each, the strongest among the younger generation of each hall. There are three protectors below them with wondrous cultivations, just that they're a bit weaker."
"Years later when the lord inherits the position of hall leader, the protectors will also become guardians, a role only below the leader and vice-leader. So you tell me, is this a good position or not? Not to mention a random Thousand-man Commander, even a Warrant Officer leading 100,000 troops is inferior to a single finger of a hall protector!"
The Divine Martial Army was the most powerful force in the Jin Dynasty. It could destroy an immortal sect or a regional cultivation clan.
Within this army are many ranks: Denary Commander, Centurion Commander, Thousand-man Commander, Myriad Commander, Warrant Officer, Divine Commander, and Heavenly Marquis. [1. This is the imperial system of names, not the modern Chinese system that have direct translations such as Colonel/Lieutenant.]
A Warrant Officer could command 100,000 troops. A Divine Commander possessed one million under his camp.
A Heavenly Marquis had a paramount status. The rank had existed since the formation of the dynasty, a hereditary title with several thousand years of history. Several ancient and mighty clans were backed up by people of this status. Some had at least ten million or more troops. A few marquis actually had one hundred million troops.
In the Jin Dynasty, clans were numerous. The highest ranking was the four great clans while the clans of the eighteen marquis were the second tier.
As for the Feng, Qin, and Ji Clans from the Grand Southern Prefecture, they might look strong as rulers of the region, they were dozens of times weaker compared to the marquis' clans. There was no need to compare them with the four great clans.
These twenty-two clans made up the nobles and generals of the dynasty. Every other stately clan was under their control. For example, the Feng Clan has been going strong for a thousand years, but compared to these clans with several thousand years of history, it could only be regarded as a tiny local lord.
The martial army was mighty, but there were tens of thousands of Thousand-man Commanders under a marquis.
Thus, they could be considered as common as "cabbages". If Feng Daniu was indeed part of the army, he would definitely agree if someone wished to recruit him to be a heretical lord's protector. However, Feng Daniu wasn't a real person.
Zhao Tian disregarded his own injury and roared: "Lu Sanchuan, you shameless traitor. After being beaten into submission and willingly became their servant, you are now trying to recruit more people to be dogs like you?"
"Want to die?" The man on top of the tree branch changed his expression after hearing the word "servant". A chilling touch came about as his palms condensed a ten-meter-high iceberg. This coldness could crack even treasure metals.
The iceberg slammed down with a terrifying windbreak, causing the ground to sink down.
Feng Feiyun had heard of the name Lu Sanchuan before. This was a young expert from the pagoda who had reached grand completion more than seven years ago. Rumor has it that he had opened 330 meridians.
Shi Yelai had surpassed the earth tribulation to reach first level Heaven's Mandate, so Lu Sanchuan became the new number one God Base cultivator.
However, a prodigy like this still succumbed to the heretical schools to become a protector of the Seventh Hall. This was why he was wearing a white robe beneath the black cloak.
It was no wonder why the heretical schools could bully the pagoda's disciples, they had too many weak-willed members.
Sanchuan's cultivation was indeed terrifying. Zhao Tian, someone at the same level, couldn't stop him at all. He couldn't move his fingers and could only shout: "Sanchuan, are you still a man? How can you watch our female disciples be bullied by the evil heretics without being enraged at all?!"
Zhao Tian heart-wrenchingly roared while vomiting blood. The blood was being condensed into solid pieces from the cold temperature.
"I'm sure he joined in as a rapist as well." Feiyun stood before Zhao Tian. The black shimmer on his armor soared to the sky. He channeled all of his energy to unleash a sword wave and broke the iceberg into pieces.
"Boom!" Sanchuan's cultivation showed its worth. Feiyun's saber shattered and fell to the ground. It cracked from being frozen by the chilling iceberg.
"That's all you can do, haha!" Sanchuan assumed that he was stronger after breaking Feiyun's weapon.
Feiyun didn't respond. Sanchuan was indeed powerful, but he wasn't unbeatable. This saber was a random blade from the martial army, it wasn't a divine weapon at all. It was understandable that it couldn't withstand Sanchuan's Hell-Ice Technique.
It would be a different story with his own stone saber.
Zhao Tian gratefully bowed his head towards Feng Feiyun: "Thank you, Sir Thousand-man Commander, for lending a hand. These heretics are ruthless with monstrous backings. If you offend them, it will bring about endless trouble, so you should just join our pagoda…"
Zhao Tian noticed that this Thousand-man Commander's cultivation was incredible on top of being extraordinarily courageous, so he wanted to draw him into the pagoda in order to contend with the heretical schools.
"Haha! The pagoda are mere fish on the chopping board. We can ravage and trample on them whenever we want." Sanchuan's laughter became even more grating. Although he was quite handsome and tall, he sounded just like a eunuch from the palace.
With the broken saber still in his hand, Feiyun snorted: "I hate dogs who bully the weak and quiver before the strong like you!"
Sanchuan's eyes turned cold. His whole body was covered with icy crystals while nine huge icebergs emerged behind him. In just a split second, the air turned bleak. Even the six heretical disciples had to run back in order to withstand this chilling atmosphere.
This was his qi image, "Nine Glaciers Heaven."
Feng Feiyun heroically stood there and used his body to resist the cold. A plume of fire came out of his armor and glazed the bluestone on the ground.
"When I left here, willow shed tears. I come back now, snow bends the bough…" Suddenly, a song came from the Apricot Mansion. The tune was clear as if a musical goddess had descended from the heavens.
The melody drifted with the wind across all of Radiance that was engulfed in winter. The falling flakes became even prettier, just like scattering flowers. It wasn't because the snow itself was beautiful, the song made them so.
The voice was also melodious. One would be hard-pressed to find another beautiful voice of this level.
Feng Feiyun and Lu Sanchuan were ready to fight, but after hearing the song from the mansion, they were both distracted and lost the will to fight. Feng Feiyun was moved. He grabbed the apricot blossoms in the air and smelled them. There was a faint scene of that person.
There were only two people in the world who could play a tune to this level that Feng Feiyun knew of, Nangong Hongyan with her zither and Dongfang Jingyue with her jade pipa.
A sadness that made people shed tears uncontrollably, a softness that made people sleep with sweet dreams.
This was played with the zither…
As long as our fates are still connected, we may meet again…
It must be her! She was inside the mansion right now. Who was she singing and playing the tune for?
"Let us go." A sweet fragrance came from above. One could vaguely see a peerless figure flying into the Apricot Mansion. Even Zhao Tian was stunned to see this figure, but Feng Feiyun had no interest in her at this moment. His mind was completely occupied by another woman.
In front of that woman, every other woman in the world was unimportant and not worth mentioning.
The six disciples and Lu Sanchuan all followed her into the mansion.
"Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang!" Feng Feiyun slashed down four times in order to release the chained female disciples. The chains fell to the ground, but the four women remained there motionlessly as if petrified.
After a long while, shameful expressions appeared on their faces. They felt that their bodies had been dirtied. This stain has completely shattered their past honor and pride. They all slammed their palms into their forehead, no longer wanting to live while carrying this shame.
Luckily, Feng Feiyun had detected their abnormal eyes earlier and quickly took action. He used his spirit arts to seal their hands.
Feng Feiyun said: "The most precious thing to any living being is their life. There is only one chance; after dying, everything will disappear."
"Sir, thank you for delivering us from the abyss of misery, but we beg you, don't interfere. Only death will end this degradation done by the heretics." Yaren was full of tears after saying this. Her eyes were begging him; they no longer wanted to live after this experience.
Just what kind of experience could make cultivators with powerful wills no longer want to live?