Princess Zhang Le was very angry, and the consequence was devastating. Layers upon layers of dark clouds stacked densely above the sky of Mount White Sun. Muffled rumbling of thunders kept roaring furiously overhead while branching of fierce lightning was seen rolling and rocking amidst the clouds. A whirlwind came whistling from the plains, bringing up a strong and pungent smell of water and soared high up into the sky. All the apprentices and disciples of Heaven Breaking Sword Sect had hidden themselves within palaces and pavilions, caves and holes of secluded cultivation. No one dared to poke their head out from their hiding.
Qin Xuewen had gone into a secluded cultivation, and same went to Shangguan Yuhong. Except for Yan Li, who now wore a dark face in welcoming Princess Zhang Le, all the other Sect Elders of Heaven Breaking Sword Sect who had a conflict with Wu Qi last time were now in their own secluded cultivation. Princess Zhang Le came with enthusiasm and anticipation, bearing the intention of teaching those Sect Elders, including Qin Xuewen, a good lesson so she could help Wu Qi vent his grudge. But she was welcomed with only disappointment. Her bright and cheerful mood suddenly turned gloomy and dark, and the five colors divine rays behind her back were stirred into a messy halo of chaos. Hence, Mount White Sun was now blanketed by a dense layer of dark clouds.
Tiny gleams of five colors flickered within her eyes. Princess Zhang Le had her gaze fixed straight on Yan Li's dark face, when she snapped, "Third Imperial Brother, are Qin Xuewen, Shangguan Yuhong, and the other people really in a secluded cultivation? Tell them then, for the next thirty years, don't let me see any one of them appear in the perimeter of Ji City, or else… Hmph!"
What Princess Zhang Le said made Yan Li burst into a great anger. With a loud voice, he refuted, "Zi Xuan, this is Heaven Breaking Sword Sect. You better don't act wantonly here!"
Eight gruesome and ghastly energies suddenly towered into the sky, while cries and howls of ghost filled the air. Menacing beams of red shot out from the eyes of eight Immortal Ghosts standing beside Princess Zhang Le, as they took a step forward at the same time, unleashing an enormous divine sense and locking tightly onto Yan Li. Among them, one of the Immortal Ghost cried out with an eerie voice, "You're being disrespectful towards Princess, die now!" As her voice sounding like the ghostly howl that came from the depth of the hell rang out in the air, eight vague, twisted, gray-white sword beams bust out from all Immortal Ghosts' body. Together with a large layer of ghost flame, they thrust and struck towards Yan Li's head.
Accompanying Yan Li in welcoming Princess Zhang Le was the current Sect Leader of Heaven Breaking Sword Sect, Nie Baihong. When he saw how the Immortal Ghosts protecting Princess Zhang Le initiated their aggressive assault toward Yan Li, he simply spun and left without hesitation, towards a distance as far as he could. From afar, he watched eight gray-white sword beams flying towards Yan Li, his face filled with a smile. A look of delight could be vividly seen appearing on his face, as he felt pleasure in Yan Li's misfortune.
Lu Chengfeng and all other men were struck dumb. Yan Li was the third son of Yan Qijun, and that also meant he was the third blood brother of Princess Zhang Le. Yet, she had no hesitation in killing him?
Fortunately, among all the men, Wu Qi still maintained a sensible mind. He grabbed on Princess Zhang Le's arm immediately and cried out, "Don't do it! Sect Elder Yan Li is the Patriarch of Heaven Breaking Sword Sect. You cannot kill him. Although it is fine to have a few of his limbs cut off, but having him killed is a big no! Princess, he is your third brother. If you kill him, it will be tough for you to answer your actions to the Crown Prince or His Majesty. His Majesty had just given you these eight Immortal Ghosts. If he withdraws them back because of this, that will not be great!"
Upon hearing what Wu Qi told her, Princess Zhang Le hastily gave a call. "Come back!"
The crimson gleam in the eyes of eight Immortal Ghosts faded away, and eight sword beams quickly retracted to where they came from. Struck with great panic, Yan Li had unleashed his sword beam and engaged with the Immortal Ghosts. Although the sword beam had just clashed lightly with the assault, the golden sword beam of Yan Li had been suppressed greatly, and its glow became faint. In addition to that, some strange things came together with the sword beams of these Immortal Ghosts. A thread of gray-white aura had invaded and penetrated into Yan Li's sword beam, staining the once dazzling flying sword with a thin layer of gray-white aura. Its strength was now greatly decayed.
When Princess Zhang Le finally called back her Immortal Ghosts, Yan Li's flying sword had nearly turned into a piece of scrap metal and fell onto the ground. Without hesitation, he summoned the sword beam back to him. His face turned deadly pale with anger as he glared at Princess Zhang Le and said furiously, "Fine, fine, Zi Xuan, you... you!" His lips trembled, and he looked like he was trying to say a few threatening words. Yet, he was supported by little courage. Fuming with rage, he stomped his feet, spun and transformed into a fierce wind, shooting towards the depth of Mount White Sun.
From within the strong wind transformed from Yan Li came a stream of blood. For the cultivators of Heaven Breaking Sword Sect, all their cultivation was based on their flying sword. When their nascent flying sword was damaged, it was equal to the damage to their Nascent Divinity. Yan Li barely threw out a mouthful of blood as his cultivation was profound and strong.
Seeing that Yan Li suffered a great defeat and was driven away by Princess Zhang Le, only then did Nie Baihong come smilingly with a few loyal Sect Elders and disciples, and offered their greetings with utmost respect to the princess.
Princess Zhang Le had a bad mood, as she was unable to teach a lesson on Qin Xuewen and Shangguan Yuhong in order to help Wu Qi vented his grudge. She twitched her tiny lips and gazed at Nie Baihong, then said coldly, "Well, Baihong my nephew, there's no need for such politeness. Wu Qi is my good friend. Though he has acknowledged you as Master, you better don't put on the face of a Master before him. No matter what he does in Heaven Breaking Sword Sect, Baihong my nephew, you have to show more tolerance for him."
The calling of 'Baihong my nephew' had choked and made Nie Baihong's face turn pale green, nearly making him throw out a mouthful of his heart blood. But no matter what, he was the nominal son of Yan Li, and in terms of their seniority in the clan, indeed Princess Zhang Le was his aunt. There was nothing wrong for her to address him as nephew.
With a pale-green face, Nie Baihong gave Wu Qi a look. Wu Qi too was having an unsightly expression, the color of his was switching between the hue of red and green. Both men exchanged a glance, and together breathed out a heavy sigh. Nie Baihong forced a smile on his face and said, "I will put Princess's words in my mind. Although Wu Qi had acknowledged me as his Master, I'll never bind him with the Sect Rules or seniority of the clan. Such are all customs of the mortal world. As today Duke Yan le is here to become the disciple of Heaven Breaking Sword Sect, and he is going to learn the 'Arts of Heaven Patching Formation', which were secretly inherited within our sect, here I invite him to pay a visit at the back of the mountain. He will need to pay tribute to our founding ancestor."
So, they had all the guards stay back near the entrance of Heaven Breaking Sword Sect, ordering the apprentices of the sect to look after them with good hospitality, while Lu Chengfeng was accompanied by Wu Qi and a group of over a dozen of people. They went towards the Immortal's Cave of Sword Stems From The Mind, located at the back of the mountain. During his last visit, Wu Qi was brought to the main peak of Mount White Sun by Nie Yaonu, as they rode on a cloud that was summoned by her with a special magic. But this time, as Princess Zhang Le was with them, who dared to play a magic trick in front of her? As a result, the group could only travel along the winding path up the mountain, admiring the magnificent scenery along their way while heading towards the main peak.
Although they couldn't use any magic on their journey, even the weakest men among them, like Zhang Hu and Hu Wei, possessed the overall strength of peak Houtian realm. Thus, the speed of their pace was high. In just an hour, the company had arrived beneath the cliff wall at the back of the mountain. When they arrived here, all the following guards were left behind at the root of the cliff. In high spirits, Princess Zhang Le summoned a large cloud of water together with strong wind. Amidst the roaring of thunder and streaking of lightning, she brought Wu Qi, Lu Chengfeng, and Nie Baihong up onto the cliff.
To be honest, Wu Qi was really curious about the abilities Princess Zhang Le had inherited from her mother. Every time when the five colors divine rays behind her moved and swayed, the surrounding natural energies of five elements would be stirred into a messy state. Every time her mood changed, the natural phenomena around them would follow that change. While all other Human Immortals of Gold Core realm summoned a cloud of regular shape and ordinary behavior, the cloud she summoned was roaring with thunder and striking with lightning, and came with a heavy downpour. It was simply awe-inspiring.
Although she only had the cultivation of Gold Core realm, yet she already possessed such incredible abilities. If Princess Zhang Le had her cultivation improved again, could that mean whenever her mood changed, she would be able to affect the natural phenomena that spanned across the area of over tens of thousands of miles? Such formidable and mighty ability was simply terrifying. Perhaps, only those deities in the legends would have such magical ability.
Amidst the roaring of thunder and striking of lighting, the strong wind carried the dark cloud dozens of acres wide, and brought the group up onto the cliff, on the flat platform before the entrance of the Sword Stems From The Mind cave. When the dark cloud was hovering a couple dozen feet above the platform, a few rumblings of thunder came ringing out. A couple dozens of lightning bolts streaked out from it and smote on a few aged pine trees, which had been growing peacefully for some unknown ages. Noises of crackling echoed out, as these poor, old trees were struck by the fierce lightning bolts and burned into ashes.
Nie Yaonu was seen sitting quietly under the eave of an old pine tree. Her eyes sprung open in awe. With a blank expression, she stared at Princess Zhang Le, who was standing on the dark cloud.
Princess Zhang Le's pretty face blushed suddenly. Awkwardly, she retracted her magical power. In an instant, the wind faded and the cloud vanished, but before they were completely gone, another couple dozens of lightning bolts quickly streaked out from the dark cloud and smote forcefully down, hitting onto the platform and cracking numerous open holes ten feet wide and few feet deep.
Nie Yaonu's lips trembled and shivered. At last, a smile was forced out on her face as she said, "Princess, are you here to dismantle the very foundation of Heaven Breaking Sword Sect?"
Although Princess Zhang Le had a hostile relationship with Yan Li, the relationship between her and Nie Yaonu seemed much better. She brought her tongue out from her tiny lips, then a vivacious behavior unique for a teenage girl came out of her as she bounced her way towards Nie Yaonu, bringing her hands over Nie Yaonu's shoulder and giving her a good massage. Then, she pressed and stroked Nie Yaonu's back, trying to calm her down. "Aye, sister Yaonu, don't be mad. Those are just a few old pine trees. You can just go and bring as many as you want from Zhang Le Garden. Zi Xuan has just formed my Gold Core, and just wanted to try out the ability to ride on a cloud. Who knows why things would turn out like this."
Staring at the platform which had nearly turned into a ruined land, Nie Yaonu's face twitched a little bit. Then she sighed helplessly while saying, "Princess, you must under no circumstances ride your cloud in Ji City. If you do so, how many young lords and imperial descendants of Great Yan Dynasty would be killed by your mighty thunderbolts?"
It would have actually been better if Nie Yaonu didn't say that. Upon hearing the impressive comment from Nie Yaonu, Princess Zhang Le was struck with a realization. "Sister Yaonu, you're absolutely right! In the future, if anyone offends me in Ji City, I'll ride my cloud and hover above his ancestor's mansion. It can save me the trouble of deploying an army into the city, and also save me the money that is used to pay those soldiers!"
Wu Qi could only shake his head as he heard what Princess Zhang Le said.
Lu Chengfeng, on the other hand, simply gave Wu Qi a pitiful gaze, came beside him and whispered near his ears, "If you can marry Princess Zhang Le, then no man in Ji City would dare to offend you. Give it a thought, I have high hopes for you."
Wu Qi wished he could strangle Lu Chengfeng to death right now. Meanwhile, not far from them, Nie Yaonu was beckoning at them while saying, "Are you Chengfeng, the Duke Yan Le? You came at the right time today. The Arts of Heaven Patching Formation has been left vacant for many years, and it is time to find an inheritor for it. But, since Duke Yan Le is my disciple, then..."
It seemed Nie Yaonu was about to speak further, but she said nothing at the end. Lu Chengfeng had learned the story of Nie Yaonu from Wu Qi, and he understood what Nie Yaonu wanted. Hastily, he strode forward, bowed deeply towards Nie Yaonu and said, "Chengfeng is not a man who will deceive my Master and betray my ancestors. Chengfeng will obey every order given by my Master faithfully. With that, Chengfeng will now swear to the Heavens… If there is anything that Chengfeng can contribute to my Master, even at the expense of Chengfeng's own life, Chengfeng will never run counter to the order of Master."
The pledge Lu Chengfeng vowed had satisfied Nie Yaonu. She kept nodding her head and praised him for the pledge. She rose to her feet without hesitation and brought the group towards the Sword Stems From The Mind cave while avoiding the holes on the ground, which were created by Princess Zhang Le's thunderbolts. At a distance one hundred feet away from the cave's entrance, Nie Yaonu had started to form finger gestures and unleashing bright beams. Wu Qi narrowed his eyes as he closely watched every movement of Nie Yaonu, remembering all the finger gestures that were used to unlock the defense mechanism of the cave.
All the finger gestures that Nie Yaonu used to unlock the defense mechanism of the cave could be found in Scroll of Stealing. After watching her movements, Wu Qi had now gotten himself a clear understanding of them, and nothing would puzzle him anymore.
Defense mechanisms were unlocked one after another as they proceeded further. Eventually, the group arrived at the heart of Heaven Breaking Sword Sect, the Immortal's Cave of Sword Stems From The Mind.