In the next seven days, Luo Shangyan took Xiao Chen to the Spiritual Qi Gorge every day and the latter successfully advanced into the Lv 7 Qi Refining Realm.
He waited for a long time that day but saw no sign of Luo Shangyan. The three princes came instead. Their cultivation had reached Lv 1 Qi Refining Realm after working hard for several months and they had also found a place for themselves at the Sky-gazing Gorge. The gorge was no longer divided into north and south, only three colonies that they headed respectively. The three of them even divided their domains, which they jokingly dubbed "three-feet triangle".
Yet another three days passed and Luo Shangyan was still nowhere to be seen. Xiao Chan could not help getting worried about her. He was afraid that something had happened to her.
Today, when it was almost noon, Luo Shangyan finally showed up. Xiao Chen hastily ran over to her. Noticing her pale complexion, he asked, "You're injured? Who injured you?" His knuckles creaked as he spoke.
Shaking her head, Luo Shangyan felt for the jade plate on her chest and handed it to him. "This is the cultivation plate. Even without me bringing you in in the future, you can show this plate and no one will stop you."
Xiao Chen accepted the jade plate that was still carrying her warmth. He raised his head and said, "Are you leaving now? I'll come with you!" Even if he could no longer cultivate in Three Pure Sect, he would never let Luo Shangyan venture the outside world alone and put herself in danger.
Luo Shangyan shook her head with a smile. "That's enough. I'm not going to leave. It's just that with this jade plate, it'll be easier for you to go in and out of the Spiritual Qi Gorge. Let's go. I'll take you there."
Luo Shangyan was evidently failing short of her usual grasp of the sword. The flying sword kept shuddering. Xiao Chen's frown turned deeper and deeper, though it was not because he was worried about falling. "Senior Sister Luo, are you injured? Please tell me who injured you."
Luo Shangyan chuckled. "There's no such thing. It's just that I'm a little tired now that my breakthrough is imminent."
Xiao Chen was silent for a moment before saying, "Senior Sister Luo, out of everyone in Three Pure Sect, you're the one who treats me the best. If there's something going on, please don't hide it from me. Let alone doing something for my sake..."
Luo Shangyan laughed softly and interrupted his sentence. "Don't worry. It's nothing, really..."
Xiao Chen nodded and stopped questioning her. However, he could tell from her frown that something had certainly happened.
Moreover, the five Elders had once again reinforced the defensive formation around Lingtai Mountain in recent days. They even went as far as to cut off several large chains that connected the gorges outside. It seemed like they were foreshadowing upcoming events.
After arriving at the Spiritual Qi Gorge, Luo Shangyan hastily left without saying much. Watching her departing figure, Xiao Chen knew with a doubt that something had happened. Otherwise, she would not have been so anxious.
It was not until somewhere between three to five pm that seven or eight people suddenly came from a distance. The leader of a group was Wen Qingyu. She bellowed, "Stand up!" It was uncertain who she was addressing but from her gaze, it was apparent that she had targeted her words at Xiao Chen.
There were quite a few people nearby who were drawn here because of her bellow. Xiao Chen slowly opened his eyes and said placidly, "Senior Sister Wen, do you have advice for me?"
A male disciple behind Wen Qingyu glared at him with wide eyes. "We're asking you to stand up! Didn't you hear us?!"
Xiao Chen flashed them a faint smile before gradually rising to his feet. He looked at the male disciple. "I'm up. What do you want to do?"
"Oh? So, an Outer Gate disciple like you also dare to come up here?"
By now, Cheng Ying had also stood up. Frowning, he said, "This is a cultivation gorge. Senior Sister Wen, you better not provoke trouble here."
Wen Qingyu cast him an indifferent glance. "Where do you see me provoking trouble? I'm targeting the subject, not the person. He's just an Outer Disciple but he has been coming here for several days. He's refusing to leave now, is it?"
Xiao Chen said placidly, "What's wrong? Did my presence here disturb you? Or is this gorge your family's?"
"Impudent! Is this how you speak to your Senior Sister?" The male disciple from earlier immediately roared at him.
Xiao Wan'er said quietly, "It's Senior Sister Luo who brought him here. What does it have to do with you?"
Xiao Han had also opened his eyes. He said in a cold voice, "Senior Sister Wen, we dare not question your grudge against Senior Sister Luo. But if you lose your temper on your Junior Brothers and Sisters, don't you find that to be disgraceful?"
The male disciple from earlier blurted out, "Yo? What's wrong? It has only been several months since you joined but you're already disrespecting your Senior Sister, are you? In several more months, won't you be disrespecting the five Elders as well?"
Shangguan Yan sneered. "You speak as if we're like some people. Do you want us to commission statues of our seniors, bring them home, lit three oil lamps and worship them day and night?"
The male disciple shot her a glare. "What are you saying?" He then looked at Xiao Chen. "Did you really believe that you have Luo Shangyan as your backer? She's not around now. Tell us straight: are you leaving or not? Do you think an insignificant Outer Disciple like you have the right to come here?"
XIao Chen chuckled. When Senior Sister Luo was still around, he held back because he did not want her to make things difficult for her. However, these people were now taking a mile after he gave them an inch. "Then why don't you tell me what constitutes as having the right to come here, Senior Brother?" he said placidly.
"Sure! Then I'll tell you right now!" The male disciple suddenly attacked Xiao Chen with his palm, his momentum incomparably fierce. Chen Ying and Xiao Wan'er were stunned.
Xiao Chen laughed coldly. Perhaps this man's speed appeared impressive to bystanders but to him right now... With a thump, he sent the male disciple flying with a kick.
The crowd immediately became dumbstruck.
Xiao Chen laughed. "A slave should have the manner of a slave. The master has not even spoken yet. How improper for you to cause so much fuss on the sidelines."
Wen Qingyu's gaze turned cold. Judging from Xiao Chen's speed earlier, she estimated that he was at least in Lv 5 Qi Refining Realm. "I'm untalented. I'll have you guide me, Junior Brother," she said coolly before unsheathing the sword tied to her waist with a clanging sound.
Xiao Chen nodded. "Sounds good, but don't complain that I'm bullying you. I don't need the Unsullied Sword." He turned to look at Xiao Wan'er and said, "Cousin Sister, please lend me your sword."
Xiao Wan'er immediately sent her sword to him without a word. Xiao Chen caught the sword and performed a little trick with it as he did. Displaying a secret sword art with the sword in his left hand, he said placidly, "Please, Senior Sister."
Wen Qingyu's gaze was terrifyingly cold. Xiao Chen was disrespecting her in front of everyone. By then, quite a few people nearby had gathered here. Not only was Wen Qingyu in Lv 7 Qi Refining Realm, but her swordsmanship was also publicly acknowledged to be exquisite. Many people wanted to see how this Outer Disciple, who had caused a rather large crisis some time ago, deal with her.
With a bellow, Wen Qingyu thrust her sword. She was performing a set of swordsmanship called the "Heart-piercing Swordsmanship". A single thrust of her sword would produce seven to eight trembling blade tips. No matter how her enemy evaded her attacks, it would be impossible to escape a rain of swords that filled the whole sky.
Furthermore, her enemy now was not far from her and the power of the sword hit at once. Under the sunlight, the swords appeared like tens of thousands of golden serpents. The swords were so dazzling that the crowd gasped and sighed in admiration at her great improvement in swordsmanship.
Xiao Wan'er and the others panicked when they saw Xiao Chen standing still without moving his sword. Just as everyone was anticipating for a clash, he finally moved with the sound of whistling winds like that of pan pipes and soft animal cries. His sword moved gently and softly, leaving his sleeves floating about. Unexpectedly, he looked like a handsome fairy dancing.
Naturally, this was the impression that bystanders had. What Wen Qingyu saw was streams of bitingly cold Sword Qi that filled the whole sky, Sword Qi that was neither avoidable nor escapable!
This swordsmanship was the invention of Ling Yin, called the 33-fold Jade Pan Pipes Swordsmanship. He could only unleash the third or fourth fold at the moment but even so, there were few swordsmanships in this world who could withstand this one.
The clanging sounds of swords resounded incessantly. Cold sweat continued to dampen Wen Qingyu's back. She felt like she had been caught in a rain of swords herself. If she was even the slightest bit careless, the Sword Qi would immediately injure her.
She was forced into taking steps back in retreat again and again. The swordsmanship she was performing became increasingly chaotic until it failed to take proper shape. With a tap of Xiao Chen's sword on the acupoint in her wrist, she lost grip of the sword in her hand and the sword was sent flying. The sword ended up nailing a large tree with a stabbing sound and its handle swung continuously in the air.
"What?! Impossible! Didn't he use only one movement? Senior Sister Wen has never lost when it comes to swordsmanship alone!" Shocked voices reverberated all around.
Xiao Chen retrieved his sword and placed it behind his back. "Senior Sister Wen, you've let me win," he said placidly.
Wen Qingyu was deathly pale as she continued to mutter to herself, "Impossible, impossible..."
She had always prided herself on her peerless swordsmanship but Xiao Chen's swordsmanship earlier did not give her even the slightest chance to retaliate. If he had wanted to kill her earlier, would it not be as easy as snapping his fingers...
"Clap, clap, clap..." Right then, a burst of applause came from outside the crowd. Then, a man's voice followed. "How interesting, for an Outer Disciple to have such exquisite swordsmanship..."
The crowd immediately cried respectfully, "Senior Brother Mo!"
The man who showed up was none other than Mo Yu. Cheng Ying and the others immediately frowned. No matter how exquisite Xiao Chen's swordsmanship was, he was undoubtedly no match for Mo Yu who was in Lv 9 Qi Refining Realm.
Similarly, Xiao Chen felt a chill in his heart. The last time he saw Mo Yu, the latter was a mere cultivator in Lv 9 Qi Refining Realm. However, he could now vaguely feel that Mo Yu was showing signs of entering the Foundation Building Realm. The speed of Mo Yu's progress did not lose to his own in the slightest!
Mo Yu walked to the front of the crowd and sneered. "I gave Luo Shangyan a warning a few days ago, forbidding her from bringing people in. Looks like she's treating my words like wind past her ears..."
Everyone was so frightened that they could not speak. As long as it was Mo Yu speaking, no one in the crowd would dare interrupt him, not even the Pro-disciples of the five Elders.
Just then, Cheng Yi walked out and said quietly, "Senior Brother Mo, Senior Sister Luo has made Junior Brother Xiao a cultivation plate. So he can come here to cultivate..."
Mo Yu raised an eyebrow. "Oh? Is that true?"
"Hang on!" Xiao Chen's expression changed. He then took out the jade tablet that he kept on his chest and said solemnly, "You said that she made me a cultivation plate. What do you mean?"