With Yan Ziyu, Scholar Heaven Calculating, and Princess Luofu, the four heretical lords had to retreat.
"In three months by the sacred lake, the ten halls and the pagoda shall have our duel. At that time, our two strongest lords will also be there. The Wanxiang Pagoda isn't the only place that has Grand Historical Geniuses." The Third Lord's voice echoed through the Apricot Manor.
The heretical disciples were now gone, and the heroes from the other powers quietly left as well. Feng Daniu has become the king under Heaven's Mandate without rivals. Everyone thought that the contest this time would be between the heretics and the pagoda, so no one expected this result.
"Her Highness invites Commander Feng to the pavilion!" Attendant Yu was full of smiles as he stared at Feng Feiyun covered in armor with a pair of devious, squinting eyes.
Not all of his armor melted, but it was completely stained with blood. He shuddered under this old man's gaze. He seemed to be interested in men, so Feng Feiyun got a chill from his stare.
"Cough! I am a rude man and don't know anything about proper etiquette. I'm afraid of offending the princess, so I don't dare to see her." Feng Feiyun naturally knew that the princess wanted to recruit him. However, he had no interest in the competition within the imperial clan, so he didn't want to see her.
He wouldn't even care about her if it wasn't for the special identity he was assuming.
"Are you satisfied with only being a Thousand-man Commander?" The princess' beautiful voice came from the distance. It carried the royal aura of a king.
The Young Marquis and Dashi's third prince glanced at each other and softly sighed. It looked like the princess truly wanted to recruit him. They both knew that no one could compete against her.
Feng Feiyun slightly bowed his head to show his respect towards a member of royalty before suddenly taking a proud stance in the middle of the stage. He spoke in neither a servile nor overbearing manner: "So what if I'm only a Thousand-man Commander? According to the regulations of the Jin Dynasty, kill three enemies and be promoted to a Denary Commander, kill thirty for the Centurion position, kill three hundred to be a Thousand-man Commander. My position was hard-earned through my military exploits. Your Highness, you were born a noble, but have you ever killed an enemy on the battlefield? If you have never made military contributions, how are you qualified to look down on the rank of a Thousand-man Commander?"
Feng Feiyun had learned the art of war from Strategist Ge with the intention of joining the military to stand out, so he was very clear of the military system in the dynasty.
The prodigies who had yet to leave were baffled. A Thousand-man Commander dared to scold the current princess of the dynasty? This Feng Daniu was abnormally courageous!
The princess' eyes changed. She had to reevaluate the commander and gently clapped: "Good, well said, proud and principled. If you become my subordinate, I will guarantee you the position of Divine Commander within ten years, or even—"
"Your Highness' goodwill is naturally impossible to refuse, but I, Feng Daniu, am only a defeated soldier who can't leave the Grand Southern Prefecture when there are still corpses to slay. This is our Divine Martial Army's battlefield, my battlefield." Having said that, Feng Feiyun turned and headed out of the Apricot Manor.
"Commander, wait!" The princess ordered a maid by her side. This palace maid dressed in a pretty satin gown came out with an emerald tray that contained five black boxes and handed it to Feng Feiyun. "Here are your well-deserved rewards, Commander."
The five spirit roots were naturally on this tray.
Feng Feiyun came here for them, so he wouldn't act reserved when the time came. He put away the tray and said: "Thank you for the rewards, Princess."
The princess' voice came from the distance: "Three months later will be the lunar eclipse. With your talents, perhaps you can leave your name on the sacred monument."
"I'll come if I have time!" Feng Feiyun didn't turn. Instead, he crossed the apricot thicket to leave the manor.
The clamor of the manor had calmed down. The princess was sitting quietly in her pavilion to watch the snow. She slightly reached forward, allowing a red apricot petal to fall onto her palm.
"Whoosh!" This cold wind was a bit mournful as snowflakes fell everywhere.
"Princess, your servant is a bit puzzled. That Feng Daniu is so talented and has the style of a general, so why did you let him leave? What if someone else recruits him…?" The maid's lovely brows furrowed.
"If I want someone, they shall be mine." The princess's resounding response left the maid speechless.
Feng Feiyun shook off the people who were following him and arrived at a secluded location. He took off all of his armor as if they were a layer of old skin to reveal a complexion fairer than a lady's.
"This is the fourth blood transformation, returning to the origin!" Feng Feiyun stood by a small river and used its green water as a mirror. He couldn't help but laugh while looking at his dashing reflection: "So damn handsome!"
"Splash!" He leaped into the river and washed away the blood. After an hour, he climbed ashore to put on a white scholarly robe and tied up his hair into a bun once more. He became elegant like a scholar preparing for the national exams.
"Little tadpoles looking for their mother swimming around a mother turtle, I am a little frog, frog with my little tail, tail…" On top of a big willow tree by the riverside came the happy singing of a little girl.
Feng Feiyun heard it and looked over to see a girl sitting on a branch: "Little Qingqing, what are you doing up there?"
Little Demoness was still singing when she heard his voice. She seemed to have just noticed the person below and stopped to glance at Feng Feiyun with her bright eyes full of astonishment: "Bro, why are you here?!"
She jumped down while still holding her little kitty to stand next to him.
Feng Feiyun had black lines running over his forehead: "I should be the one asking you, weren't you staying at Mount Banda?"
"Mount Banda has nothing to eat and Whitey is hungry, so I'm taking it to find food." She gently stroked the kitty's head.
"Then why did you climb up the tree?" He naturally didn't believe her.
Little Demoness' eyes dashed around as she whispered: "I just saw a big turtle playing in the river earlier…"
"Who are you calling a turtle?!" He unhappily glared at her before walking forward with both hands posed behind his back. [1. Turtle means a cuckold or coward.]
"I'm talking about a turtle!" Her innocent voice was incredibly cute: "Bro, why are you unhappy for no reason? Do you want me to massage your back or legs?"
Feng Feiyun immediately stopped and retorted: "You can go massage that turtle then!"
"Bro, are you really angry?" She hurriedly ran over to him while blinking her eyes as if tears were about to fall out: "Bro, can you laugh a little? I was just kidding. I'll stop comparing you to a turtle from now on."
Feng Feiyun knew that this little girl was very dangerous and could kill him at any moment. However, she seemed to act like a little sister at times, and he considered her to be one too. This kind of feeling couldn't be analyzed with reason.
Feng Feiyun put on a stiff smile! Little Demoness laughed after seeing his expression and bounced forward: "I actually met someone earlier."
Feiyun asked: "Who?"
"Brother Bi!" She showed a mysterious smile.
Feng Feiyun was a bit surprised: "Bi Ningshuai? That thief is also here at Radiance? Many cultivators are about to be unlucky."
She commented: "He's the unlucky one right now though."
Feng Feiyun disagreed: "Not too many people can make him unlucky."
"Everyone has a nemesis. Even the most ruthless and powerful hero will have a woman behind him that can make him cry. His lover? Or maybe his mother or daughter..." Her eyes carried a glimmer of wisdom unbefitting a little girl.
He nodded this time: "That's true. If someone can't even cry, they can't be considered a person. You are right, everyone has their own match."
Little Demoness exclaimed: "Plus, Brother Bi is far from being a hero!"
"He's even more wretched than a coward, let alone a hero." Feng Feiyun sneered. [2. This is a wordplay that doesn't make sense in English, so I modified it accordingly. Hero here is made up of the characters "brave" and "hero/man"; coward is made up of the characters "dog" and "bear". The words "hero" and "bear" here are both xiong in pinyin and sound the same.]
She elaborated: "That's why it's normal for him to be sad right now, he has met his nemesis."
"His nemesis is his mom?" He laughed.
She brightly smiled: "Not his mom, but it's pretty much the same."
Feng Feiyun squinted his eyes at her and asked: "He has two mothers?"
"Haha, a married man will have two mothers." Little Demoness knew a lot for being so young.
He was surprised and clicked his tongue before asking in disbelief: "Someone like Bi Ningshuai can actually marry?"
"Yes! Brother Bi isn't so easily tied down by a woman, which is why his fiancee is hunting him at the moment." She rested her chin on her hands and revealed a sad expression.
"A fiancee! He actually has a fiancee?!" Feng Feiyun was finally shocked.
She revealed: "He does! But on the day of the wedding, he found out that his fiancee was a female butcher who kills without batting an eye, so he ran away."
He commented: "Running away on the day of the wedding? Does he wish to die or something?"
She replied: "Exactly! Which is why he's dead for sure this time."
How could Feng Feiyun miss out on this fun? Moreover, he was curious as to what kind of woman could force Bi Ningshuai to run away and hide at the pagoda for several years.
She curiously asked again: "Bro, that turtle earlier in the river wasn't you?"
He lamented: "Ugh… why are you bringing up a turtle again?"