Chapter 475 - Decision
Like the blossoming of a flower, countless sword gleams were sprinkled over his head, releasing countless shadows that swirled around his body. Hiss, hiss. As the sword gleams brushed past his scalp, a piercing chilliness invaded his mind.
The ice-cold aura kept pounding against Gu Xuan’s mind like endless tidal waves.
Gu Xuan’s face turned slightly white.
The sword gleams weren’t an illusion.
The sword gleams that were sprinkled over his head contained a terrifying power. If he got slightly closer to them, his skull would be leveled.
Gu Xuan’s mouth and tongue were dry and his body was tense. The sword in his hand was like a fire iron, practically useless. Yes, he did not have the courage to use his sword to ward off the sword gleams above his head. He was certain that the slightest contact with the sword gleams would detonate the terrifying power within them.
He was like livestock that was being thrown in a meat grinder and ground to smithereens instantly.
The time passed very slow. Every time the chilliness of the sword gleams brushed past his scalp, his mind would trembled in fear.
He did not know how to survive this.
When the door at the other end of the sword pagoda opened and sunlight poured in, the sword gleams over his head disappeared.
Panting heavily, Gu Xuan realized his body was drenched in sweat and there was a puddle of sweat beneath his feet. His mind was blank and his body was limp and in pain, almost causing him to collapse to the ground.
After an unknown amount of time had passed, he finally returned to his senses.
Sunlight poured in from the door, illuminating the inside of the sword pagoda, which was empty. Gu Xuan subconsciously raised his head and saw numerous sword tips sticking out of the ceiling above him. They were densely-packed and were placed in a flower-shaped formation.
It wasn’t an illusion just now after all.
Gu Xuan, who was still haunted by the previous encounter, understood that he had passed the first trial. However, this wasn’t the reason why he was feeling happy. He suddenly realized that here was where he could find the answer that he had been painstakingly seeking .
He somewhat understood what the first trial was about. He was unsatisfied with his performance.
Gu Xuan felt that these trials could allow him to understand more about himself.
This was what made him happy.
He raised his head and stepped out of the door.
When he stepped out of the door, the elementalists that were lining up to enter the sword pagoda cheered for him. They were encouraged by Gu Xuan’s success.
Shi Xueman looked at Ai Hui without saying anything.
Ai Hui knew he would be beaten up if he did not reveal the secret behind the first sword pagoda. He cleared his throat and said, "The first sword pagoda tests one’s willpower and endurance. Only those who have strong willpower and endurance can pass the trial."
The rest were listening to him attentively.
Ai Hui continued, "The sword gleams will brush past their scalps and might even shave off their hair, giving them a feeling of extreme danger. Once they make a wrong move, they will be knocked out by the sword gleams and spat out by the sword pagoda."
"Are they really being spat out? Disgusting!" Sang Zhijun’s face squirmed.
Ai Hui gave a soft cough once again and replied, "I’m just giving an analogy. I put this as the first trial because my combat division in the future must have strong endurance and willpower. Those who are mentally weak will not be able to drive the Sword of Lightning."
Shi Xueman sharply caught the meaning behind Ai Hui’s words and asked, "Drive the Sword of Lightning?"
Ai Hui smiled but did not reply to her.
"What does the second sword pagoda test?" Jiang Wei asked.
"The ability to focus," Ai Hui did not keep them in suspense this time around and explained with a serious tone, "They have to stay extremely focused and make one hundred sword thrusts. In the process, they will face many disturbances. Therefore, I have used a lot of illusions in this trial. If they are not focused enough, they will not be able to pass the trial."
Sang Zhijun could not help but ask, "Ai Hui, are you really serious about choosing members for your division? Don’t you feel that your trials are too difficult?"
"Are they very difficult?" Ai Hui asked back and continued, "This man will definitely pass all the trials."
"He is an outstanding swordsman and he will be very focused," Ai Hui explained.
"Eh? Outstanding swordsman? How do you know that?" Jiang Wei was slightly surprised.
"That’s because I’m a swordsman as well," Ai Hui replied with confidence.
"Ai Hui, are you really a swordsman? Did you make a mistake?"
"Precisely, focus on becoming an outstanding lightning elementalist and don’t mess around!"
In the blink of an eye, everyone broke into a lively discussion.
Suddenly, Shi Xueman said, "I will give them a try later."
"No!" Ai Hui was scared out of his skin.
Shi Xueman raised her eyebrows and her gaze became slightly gentle as she asked, "Are you afraid that I might get injured?"
"I’m afraid that the sword pagodas might be destroyed," Ai Hui replied firmly.
Shi Xueman touched the Cirrus on her back and said plainly, "Ever since we have become Masters, we haven’t had a fight yet. Come on, let’s have a good fight today."
Ai Hui put on a serious look and chided her, "You’re already a division leader and you still talk about fighting all day long. Sigh, are you really serious about a fight…"
Skyheart City, the encampment for Dread.
The three division leaders had gathered together and their faces were grave.
Sitting on a meditation mat, Ximen Caijue looked at Wan Shenwei and asked with a child-like tone, "How’s Senior An Muda’s health?"
Wan Shenwei shooked his head and replied, "Senior An Muda did not meet me. The defense system for Pearblossom Pavilion has already been activated. I can still sense the aura of Senior An Muda, but no matter how hard I tried to call him out, he still did not give me a reply."
A silence swept across the room.
An Muda’s health was an extremely important factor that could affect the entire world.
This was the might of a Grandmaster. A Grandmaster could single-handedly control the direction that the entire world was moving in!
Those who were strong were waiting for the fall of the Grandmaster, while those who were weak were struggling with all their might to prepare for the harsh winter coming after the Grandmaster had fallen.
Farsighted individuals understood that the fall of Grandmaster An Muda would become the fuse for the immense changes that the world would undergo.
Everyone was filled with fear and hopelessness towards the future. All of them wanted to know what Grandmaster An Muda had prepared for the future.
At this point of time, the sagacity and farsightedness of a Grandmaster would be a beacon of light for everyone.
In the past, Wan Shenwei had a rather good relationship with An Muda. As such, he was sent to Pearblossom Pavilion in the hope of gaining some guidance from An Muda. However, he hadn’t expected for An Muda to not want to meet him.
Ximen Caijue could not help but say, "Senior An Muda is too much. How can he still act so indifferent at this critical moment?"
Wan Shenwei was depressed.
Nian Tingfeng remained calm as usual and said, "I have already said that we can only save ourselves. Both of you might think that I have become Ye Lin’s lackey, but tell me who is more capable than her now?"
"Capable! She killed her own people as if they were chickens. Of course she is capable!" Ximen Caijue sneered with sarcasm.
"You are just feeling sorry for the loss of a few Masters, right? Very soon, both of you will realize why Ye Lin was capable of doing this." Nian Tingfeng retorted.
Upon hearing these words, Wan Shenwei raised his head and asked, "Is Master’s Glory going to end soon?"
"The first batch of Masters will be ready soon," Nian Tingfeng cast a glance at both of them and muttered, "While we are still of some worth, we have to display our capabilities. In the future, we may not even have the opportunity to do so."
Wan Shenwei looked at Nian Tingfeng and said, "Tell us more about it."
Nian Tingfeng shook his head and replied, "I can’t say much about it. All I can tell you is that Master’s Glory is more powerful than what we expected. No one can stop Ye Lin. Not me, and not the both of you."
Ximen Caijue’s apple-shaped face turned ice-cold. With an indifferent tone, she said, "Ximen family will never join hands with the Ye family."
"She can’t replace Elders Guild," Wan Shenwei shook his head.
Nian Tingfeng calmly stood up and sneered, "That’s true, but both of you still have to listen to her commands, right? I am a weapon that she uses to kill people. Both of you are weapons that she uses to scare people. Each of us has our own functions, ha!"
After finishing his sentence, Nian Tingfeng walked off.
After walking out of Dread’s encampment, the sneer on Nian Tingfeng’s face disappeared. His facial expression looked unusually calm.
He did not bother to conceal his tracks. Under the protection of his guards, he headed straight for the mayor’s residence.
Along the way, the guards and maidservants of the mayor’s residence bowed to him. With a lively smile on his face, he returned their greetings every now and then. When these maidservants saw the smart and handsome Lord Nian Tingfeng, an infatuated look appeared on their faces involuntarily. After he walked past them, they gathered at one corner and talked about Nian Tingfeng with excitement.
"He’s so handsome!"
"That’s so true!"
"Sir is so amiable, he’s not arrogant at all!"
Nian Tingfeng stood outside the room and waited for Madam Ye to summon him. Even though Madam Ye had told him more than once that he could enter the room without being summoned, he still cared about following the rules of etiquette and not stepping over the line.
Upon knowing Nian Tingfeng was waiting outside, Madam Ye quickly summoned him.
When Madam Ye saw him, she grumbled, "I have told you not to treat me as an outsider, you really have too much etiquette. My son and I have to depend on you in the future."
"Madam, you have flattered me too much. Subordinate does not deserve your praise," Nian Tingfeng replied respectfully.
He reported everything about his meeting with Ximen Caijue and Wan Shenwei without missing a single word.
From the start to the finish of the report, Madam Ye merely smiled. After Nian Tingfeng had finished speaking, Madam Ye said unhurriedly, "There’s no need to panic. Time will tell the answer to the decision a man has made. A man has countless decisions to make in his life. Some decisions, if made correctly, will lead to glory. Some decisions, if made wrongly, will lead to eternal doom. Don’t you agree?"
"What Madam has said are truly words of wisdom." Nian Tingfeng was all smiles.
"Tell me about other things. Last time around, I told you to give me a scouting report on Lightning Blade. How is it coming along?"
"I was just about to report this to Madam," Nian Tingfeng replied respectfully.
He reported everything that happened in Central Pine Valley during this recent period of time. If Ai Hui was to hear Nian Tingfeng’s report, he would be shocked. Everything they did had been observed by Nian Tingfeng.
"You haven’t infiltrated Central Pine Valley yet?" Madam Ye muttered.
Nian Tianfeng shook his head and replied, "We haven’t. Only members of Central Pine Faction can enter Central Pine Valley. The rest of the people merely gather at Lemon Camping Ground. I’m afraid of alerting them inadvertently and hence I don’t dare to act brashly. After all, they have a few Masters on their side. Do we need to resort to tougher tactics?"
Madam Ye thought for a while before shaking her head and replied, "For the time being, we don’t need to do so. There’s no need for us to fuss over a small valley. Furthermore, they have rejected Newlight City’s offer. We won’t resort to anything drastic so as to avoid pushing them to Newlight City."
"Yes," Nian Tingfeng replied.
"However, I want you to keep a close eye on Spear of Heavy Cloud. Shi Xueman is the daughter of Shi Beihai. She has Jiang Wei and Sang Zhijun to assist her. We can’t let them become too powerful. Back in the day, I still wanted to bring these people into Master’s Glory. It is such a pity. Most of them have good potential."
Her tone contained a tinge of regret.
"Yes! How about Ai Hui?" Nian Tingfeng asked.
"Let him form his combat division slowly. What is it called again?" Madam Ye laughed.
"Sword of Lightning."
"The name is rather nice. It’s a pity that the war will have ended by the time he forms his division." Madam Ye ridiculed.
Upon hearing these words, Nian Tingfeng laughed as well, "Subordinate will definitely not disturb him."