Chapter 448 - As You Wish
Ai Hui had a headache. He could not understand why such a senseless individual was in this world.
He rubbed his temples and asked with extreme annoyance, "So Han Li wants a public competition?"
The mayor’s face turned ugly as he replied, "Yes, he said that if you don’t accept his challenge, he will disrupt your business of selling snow lava by sending threat letters to those enterprises that bought it."
"Is this fellow crazy?" Ai Hui widened his eyes and almost blurted out vulgarities. "Why does he insist on fighting with me? Doesn’t he know that it won’t make him any money? What exactly is he thinking about? If he doesn’t want to make money, then fine by me, but now he is threatening me and keeping me from making my money!"
When Gong Peiyao saw the helpless look on Ai Hui’s face, she was secretly happy. She chuckled. "I didn’t expect Han Li to be such a sword fanatic. Ai Hui, you have to understand the mentality of a sword fanatic. Sword fanatics don’t care about money."
The rest of the people looked like they were watching a show.
In fact, everyone felt that Ai Hui’s unique money-minded mentality was weird and unusual. From their perspectives, a challenge like Han Li’s was of great significance. It was tightly linked to one’s honor and reputation and represented one’s pursuit of perfection in his or her art.
Everyone was filled with disdain towards Ai Hui when he connected the challenge to money and complained about not making any, but their disdainful looks had no effect on the thick-skinned Ai Hui.
Normally, they could not do anything to Ai Hui. Now, all of them were very happy that someone had found his weak spot.
With a solemn look on his face, Ai Hui turned around and said to the mayor, "Why don’t we send someone to kill him? It is better for someone like him, who is disrupting our business, to die."
The mayor laughed bitterly and replied, "I do not think this is justifiable. He only wants to challenge you and swap pointers on swordsmanship. If we kill him, who will dare to deal business with us in the future?"
"This is not a good plan." Shi Xueman shook her head.
She was born in a family that placed great emphasis on honor and glory. Since she was young, she had never backed away from a challenge. Furthermore, those who dared to challenge other people were usually praised for their spirit.
Ai Hui did not care about Iron Lady’s opinion as he knew that she was a straightforward individual. He turned around and asked the mayor, "Is snow lava our business?"
The mayor was a businessman and quickly understood what Ai Hui meant. With a straightforward tone, he replied, "That’s right, Han Li threatens our business and you shouldn’t be the only one to bear the consequences. Feel free to tell me your requests."
"Since he wants to challenge me so badly, I will give him a chance; however, I am interested in neither honor nor reputation. I can accept his challenge provided there are enough incentives for me to do so. Mayor, you will be in charge of providing the incentives. You provide the money while I provide my strength. What do you think?"
"No problem, it’s a reasonable request." The mayor chuckled.
He felt that Ai Hui was an extremely interesting individual. He behaved more like a businessman than the mayor himself.
Gong Peiyao widened her eyes and stared at Ai Hui. After a while, she turned around and said to Shi Xueman, "Oh my god, Sister Xueman, how can you even put up with such a miser?"
"He is poor," Shi Xueman replied with ease.
Gong Peiyao became speechless.
Ai Hui spread his arms, feeling joyfully proud of himself.
When Venerable Volcano saw the cheeky look on Ai Hui’s face, he could not help but burst out in laughter. He felt that Shi Xueman’s indifference and Ai Hui’s cheekiness were a perfect match.
Only Gong Peiyao was still puzzled. Shouldn’t Ai Hui be angry that Sister Xueman called him poor? People she had encountered in the past felt humiliated when they were called poor by others. Why does Ai Hui look so happy, as if he is being praised?
Such a weird duo.
Mayor Qiao Meiqi was very efficient. When Han Li heard that Ai Hui had accepted his challenge, he was overjoyed. As for the condition of the incentives, he accepted it without any hesitation.
The issue was settled in the late afternoon of the day itself.
The battle would begin in the early afternoon of the second day, but out of fear of destroying the city, the battle site was set outside of it. The incentive that Han Li provided was a piece of peacock gold while Qiao Meiqi provided a bottle of clear water.
The two items were extraordinary and both were of a higher grade than snow lava.
Peacock gold was a newly discovered metal. It was bright, colorful, and gorgeous, resembling the feathers of a peacock. Peacock gold had a grade of "A-Excellent" and was extremely expensive.
Meanwhile, clear water was a unique product of Clearwater City and only a very small amount was being produced. Similarly, it had a grade of "A-Excellent." It was formed from the purest water elemental energy. By providing this bottle of clear water, one could see Qiao Meiqi’s sincerity.
Iron Lady’s ice-cold face seldom showed any emotions, but when she saw the bottle of clear water, a rare hint of amazement appeared on her frosty face.
Ai Hui noticed the change in her facial expression.
On the second day, with the blazing sun high in the sky, all the residents of Clearwater City turned up for the battle.
The news of Ai Hui accepting the fight had spread throughout Clearwater City. Life in Clearwater City was extremely arduous. There weren’t many recreational activities. This was the first time such a high level competition took place in Clearwater City.
Even though the two participants of this battle weren’t Masters, they had exceptionally high prestige.
Han Li was a rising swordsmanship genius and was revered by many. He had defeated several experts in a row and was considered a representative figure of swordsmanship.
Ai Hui had become famous even earlier than Han Li. His reputation as the Lightning Blade began during the Battle of Central Pine City. It had been five years since the Battle of Central Pine City.
As compared to the spotlit Han Li, Ai Hui had not been in spotlight much recently. Most people knew Ai Hui from the movie beans two years ago, but those movie beans did not show much of his capabilities. They rather focused on his impact on the Central Pine Faction.
A lot of people knew who Ai Hui was, but they did not know how powerful his swordsmanship was.
The sky above Clearwater City was densely packed with people. Those who wanted to get a better view of the battle flew even higher into the sky, but none of them were higher than the heavily guarded clouds. As the mayor of Clearwater City, Qiao Meiqi had the special right to spectate from the clouds. Along with Shi Xueman, Gong Peiyao and the rest all sat on the solid layer of clouds.
Venerable Volcano and Yang Xiaodong were also there.
Even though both of them were Masters, Venerable Volcano had a higher prestige and was more powerful than Yang Xiaodong.
"The epic battle is about to begin. Junior is very curious. Senior, who do you think will win this battle?" Yang Xiaodong asked casually.
"Who do you think will win, Master Yang?" Venerable Volcano asked Yang Xiaodong back.
"Both of them are very powerful and they are similarly specialized in swordsmanship. It’s really hard to determine who will win, but if we are talking about the probability of winning the battle, I will vote for Han Li. After all, Han Li comes from Karakorum Sword League, the holy land of swordsmanship," Yang Xiaodong muttered.
There were a few people nodding in agreement.
A person’s background played a very important factor in others’ evaluation of him or her. Karakorum Sword League had already produced a master swordsman. In many people’s eyes, Karakorum Sword League was the holy land of swordsmanship where all the elite swordsmen gathered. By distinguishing himself from the rest of the swordsmen in Karakorum Sword League, Han Li had displayed his strength. On the contrary, Ai Hui’s swordsmanship was unorthodox.
Deep down, Venerable Volcano agreed with Yang Xiaodong’s evaluation, but due to his close relationship with Ai Hui, he did not say that he would be defeated. He merely said, "Since both of them are swordsmen, let their swords do the talking."
At this moment, Gong Peiyao asked Shi Xueman curiously, "Sister Xueman, who do you think will win?"
"Ai Hui," Shi Xueman replied bluntly.
Gong Peiyao was shocked at Shi Xueman’s absolute certainty. "Sister Xueman has so much confidence in him?"
Surprised, Qiao Meiqi, Yang Xiaodong, and the rest of the company looked at Shi Xueman. They had not expected Shi Xueman to give such a confident reply.
A look of reminiscence appeared on Shi Xueman’s cold and beautiful face, and she appeared as though she was lost in thought. After a while, she suddenly said, "When it comes to combat, he has never lost."
Everyone was stunned by these words.
Some people scoffed at her, thinking that these were just boastful words, but others appeared to be in deep thought, looking as if they were thinking about something.
No one dared to retort to Shi Xueman. Shi Xueman had the honorable status of nobility and was a great beauty. With the addition of her strength, no one dared to embarrass her.
"Let’s see our Brother Ai display his might." Qiao Meiqi smiled.
Everyone’s gaze was directed at the two figures facing each other in the sky outside the city.
For the past two years, swordsmanship had been on the rise, and although many people began to learn swordsmanship, a high-level swordsmanship competition like this was rarely seen. A lot of people opened their mirage bean pods and prepared to record this legitimate battle between two swordsmen.
When the both of them were together, the onlookers realized that they had a few similarities.
For example, their physical builds. Neither of them were overly tall and muscular, nor overly skinny and weak. Their body builds were well-proportioned. They were also both very quiet. They looked confident as their robes fluttered in the wind.
If one took a closer look, however, he or she would realize that there was a difference in their temperaments.
Han Li appeared to be quiet, but his eyes contained a blazing zeal and sincerity. He did not try to conceal his battle fervor.
Ai Hui also appeared quiet, but his eyes contained an ice-cold indifference, not showing any emotions at all.
At this moment, Han Li was extremely excited as he surged with battle fervor. With a loud and clear voice, he asked, "May I ask where Brother Ai learned his [Yin Yang Sword Formation]?"
"I learned it on my own," Ai Hui replied plainly.
Ai Hui could not reveal his identity as Chu Zhaoyang.
Upon hearing Ai Hui’s words, the flames in Han Li’s eyes burned more intensely. "Brother Ai is indeed a rare genius. Karakorum Sword League also has a [Yin Yang Sword Formation], but it is not as good as yours."
Ai Hui was slightly surprised as he found this fellow much more pleasing to his eyes.
Not a lot of people could openly admit that their families’ skills and knowledge were not as good as those of others.
Han Li bowed respectfully to Ai Hui and said, "I am excited to be in this position to fight with you. Pardon me if I have offended Brother Ai in any way. Having witnessed your supreme swordsmanship, I will have regrets for the rest of my life if I don’t get to spar with you. I hope that Brother Ai will not hold back. To pursue the path of swordsmanship, I am prepared to die!"
Han Li’s eyes seemed to contain a boundless sea of surging fire, giving off an aura that made one palpitate in fear.
Excitement gushed upon Ai Hui.
This was the first time Ai Hui encountered a zealous and sincere swordsman like Han Li. He unknowingly felt touched. Perhaps those legendary swordsmen from the Cultivation Era had been zealous and sincere like him.
The cold and detached look on his face disappeared like the melting of an iceberg and was replaced by a grave and solemn look.
Ai Hui raised the Wintry Jade Blade in his hand and pointed it at Han Li. Suddenly, a sharp glint flashed across his eyes, resembling a sword being unsheathed. Elemental energy gushed out of his body and his robe fluttered even though there was no wind. Three words came out of his mouth with pauses in between.
"As. You. Wish!"