The market was disturbed by their commotion.
When the young man holding the heavy sword on his shoulder strolled ahead, people felt his inhospitable aura and stood aside to avoid getting in his way. The merchants and shopkeepers found it hard to take care of their own stores when the citizens were running around so frantically.
“Who is this young man?” a beautiful lady asked her husband, and pulled their child near to protect him.
“I don’t know. But I think we’d better leave and not provoke him.” He glanced back to find the corpse of the gang leader from the Sheya Fastness. It was hard to call it a corpse—a meat paste was a better description.
The gangs were demons not only in the small town, but the whole Fengshui State. They roamed about robbing and killing; even the government feared them. But they’d left immediately upon recognizing the young man, and without even taking back the body of their deputy leader.
It was like a pack of wolves retreating from a ferocious lion.
“Di Hongtian?” The man who was hurt by Yu Long was asked by his companion, “Brother, is this that Di Hongtian?”
“You’re right! It should be him.” The man’s inner organs had been impacted by the blow from Yu Long, thus a trail of blood flew out from his mouth.
“The rumor said he is a young man, but never mentioned he’s this young. I don’t think he is over sixteen.”
They took a look at Yu Long, who was hiding in the half-collapsed tea stand, frightened and bemused. Finally, they laughed aloud.
The Yu Family should be taught a lesson too—especially this guy.
“Brother, I heard that he had challenged seventeen clans and the six families, without missing any of them. His power must have been equal to the best martial artists on the top level worldwide.”
“I think so,” the man said and nodded. “Some say the weight of the sword he wields is about 500 kilograms. Nobody could pick up a sword like that without sixty years of cultivation.”
“How is that even possible? He is only about fifteen or sixteen. Besides, how could a sword that heavy even exist?”
“We will never fully know the world. Powerful warriors are hiding everywhere.” The man took a look at Yu Long, who had been overlooked by him at first, and then continued, “The young man has mentioned that if anyone could defeat him, the sword would be his. But it’s not that easy.”
Yu Long sneered when he heard this, since he had foolishly asked the young man to sell the sword to him. But he had lost his arrogant attitude now. He overlooked the man and found the young man was stepping toward White Horse Mountain, which shocked him.
“Since this guy was first known to the world, he’s come to challenge a clan each time he’s appeared. Now his goal is White Horse Mountain; does he want to pick a fight with the White Horse Temple?”
This Temple was one of the national clans, a giant in both the world of martial arts and the political circle. Did he dare to challenge such an entity?
He hesitated for a little while and decided to follow Di Hongtian to take a look. It had been a long time since the night clans had had someone challenge them. He guessed that a big event which could shock the world of martial arts would happen today.
“This Prince Yu Long is bold enough. He is heading for his doom,” said one of the companions of the big man.
The big man was thinking about his strange demeanor, and soon he came to the same conclusion, saying, “Di Hongtian is going to challenge the White Horse Temple. Let’s go to have a look, too.”
The big man was badly wounded, but he still did not want to miss this great event.
“Ah . . . but surely he could create a miracle.” The others agreed with him and hurried to follow. “Go, go. . .”
A long stairway wound from the foot of the mountain to the top. Each step was made of a big white stone, with a total number of 1,300 steps. The disciples cleaned the steps every day, so the stairway was named the Heart Testifying Stones.
The young man was walking toward the top step by step.
The visitors offering incense sticks and candles as they descended the stairs were restless when they noticed his sword.
“How could he bring a weapon to the temple?”
“He does not respect Buddha.”
People were pointing at him and complaining.
But the young man ignored their comments and kept on moving forward.
Soon the visitors discovered another oddity: behind the young man, no one dared to walk on the stairs. It wasn’t until quite a long way down the steps that followers could be seen dotting the stairs, but even they were proceeding with caution.
Some of the sensitive visitors felt the cold air around the young man and they stepped aside automatically when he passed by.
“This boy is not simple!” some people concluded as they whispered among themselves.
“What does he want from the temple?”
Knowing nothing about his identity, they got bored and left. Only some of them kept their curiosity and stopped on the stairs to watch him ascend.
The man took about half an hour to finish the 1,300 steps, and stand in the front of the temple.
“Alms giver, this is a temple; you are not allowed to bring in any weapons,” two monks came out to notify him.
The young one turned his wrist to point the sword at the ground. Immediately, when the tip of its blade touched the ground, the white stones were broken and the apertures spread out like a spider web.
“My name is Di Hongtian,” he said, his inner strength filling his wide robe and causing his hair to wave like it was caught in the wind; despite this, his voice was still peaceful as he spoke. “I have come to challenge you.”