So-so this was how powerful the Tang Sect was! They actually had Soul Emperors who had yet to take part in the competition! Is that guy in the wheelchair a Soul Emperor too? If so, this defeat was not without reason!
I have to join the Tang Sect… However, they are so powerful… If I join the Tang Sect, my life won't be as painful. Then again, how can I answer to my mother…?
Just as Nan Qiuqiu was having this internal argument, Wang Dong'er came over to Huo Yuhao's side and asked in a low voice, "Yuhao, how are you?"
Huo Yuhao smiled and said, "Excellent! Did you see how cool I looked when I beat seven of them?"
Wang Dong'er covered her smile and said, "Yes, you're very cool. Enough is enough. You almost tricked the other team's captain into joining us. This is a resounding victory! However, why do you always seem to have some issue with a person called 'Qiu'? Is it deliberate?"
"Keke…" Huo Yuhao said with an awkward look on his face. "As for that, Dong'er, you know… I…"
Wang Dong'er smiled and said, "It's fine, we'll talk about it later." As she said that, she pushed his wheelchair with one hand as she placed her other hand on Huo Yuhao's shoulder. Their Haodong Power fused and helped Huo Yuhao replenish his soul power.
After examining his body and ascertaining that he was fine, Wang Dong'er relaxed.
"Qiuqiu, get down now!" an angry voice rang out.
Nan Qiuqiu trembled. She turned around to look, and realized that a pretty woman, who shared a sharp resemblance with her, was speaking to her. However, her face was icy cold.
Only then did Nan Qiuqiu leave the arena with a dejected look on her face as she made way for the next round.
"Mom!..." Nan Qiuqiu said in a low voice.
The middle-aged woman said angrily, "Don't call me 'mom'! The Earthdragon Sect has been utterly humiliated because of you! I put you in charge of the tournament, and yet, you did not send a single strong team member out. Instead, our opponent thrashed all seven members of our team with just one guy! You, you, you…"
The chest of the woman rose and fell rapidly in her rage.
Nan Qiuqiu lowered her head and said, "Mom, I know I'm in the wrong. However, they are indeed powerful. The one in the wheelchair is at least a Soul Emperor. The one who blocked me just now is also a Soul Emperor."
"Soul Emperor?" The middle-aged woman paused momentarily, but her face still betrayed an ugly expression. "So what if they're Soul Emperors? You sent seven people out, but none of you could defeat a single one of them. In some rounds, your teammates lost without any reason. In particular, you, as the captain, not only led your team to defeat, but continued to holler afterward. What kind of behavior is this? This time, when we get back, you shall go to the Dragon Suppressing Cliff and cultivate alone for a year! If you don't become a Soul Emperor by then, don't even think of coming out!"
Nan Qiuqiu suddenly knelt in front of her mother. "Mom, I'm sorry!"
The middle-aged woman was momentarily stunned. Her eyes betrayed a tinge of heartbreak. Nan Qiuqiu was her daughter, after all! And she was indeed exceptional enough. However, because of how exceptional she was, she had become arrogant. Among her fellow sect members of the same generation, she was the most cherished one of them all. Her seniors liked her, and not only did her peers like her, but they even let her do whatever she wanted. This time, after she made such a huge mistake, the middle-aged woman was determined to take this chance to discipline her. If not, no one knew how she would screw up in the future.
"Get up! What are you doing in front of all these people?" The middle-aged woman shouted. This was the resting zone, and there were many other sects watching this spectacle. From the start, she did not count on the Earthdragon Sect to obtain good results here. Instead, her objective was to show them the world. However, they were eliminated after only the first round! Of course, defeat was just defeat. The more important thing was for them to learn their lessons! She did not find defeat to be particularly humiliating. However, she would not tell these youths these things.
"Mom, I don't think I can go back with you. I…," Nan Qiuqiu fumbled with her words as she tried to speak with her head bowed. A cunning look flashed in her eyes.
The middle-aged woman was stunned. Then, she bellowed in rage, "You dare to defy my orders? Don't forget, I'm not only your mother, but I'm also the sectmistress of the Earthdragon Sect! You know what the rules of our sect are!"
Nan Qiuqiu shook her head vigorously, and then lifted her head once more. At this time, tears streamed uncontrollably down her face. "Mom, I'm sorry but… but it's too late. In the round just now, I made a bet with Huo Yuhao and I… I lost myself to him."
"What?" At this point, the middle-aged woman was truly stunned. "What… what are you saying? You lost yourself to a cripple? You… you are really infuriating! Are you going to spend the rest of your life with a cripple? Even if he's powerful, he's…" She could not speak anymore. Her entire face was red.
What was a tournament in comparison to her daughter's happiness?
When Nan Qiuqiu heard that, she realized that her mother had misunderstood her. She quickly explained herself, "No, no, mom, it's not like that. I lost myself, yes, but I lost myself to the Tang Sect. We bet that if I won, he'd join the Earthdragon Sect, but if I lost, I'd join the Tang Sect." As she said that, her voice became softer and softer as she lowered her head once more.
When the woman recovered from her shock, she asked about the details of the bet once more. Nan Qiuqiu did not dare to hide anything from her as she recounted the entire process once more.
"Mom, I know I made a mistake, and I fell for his trick. However, if I'm willing to bet, I should honor it. Furthermore, he's right. If I don't honor my bet, it'll be difficult for me to make any sort of breakthrough once my cultivation reaches a bottleneck."
At this point, Nan Qiuqiu's tears flowed freely.
The leader of the Earthdragon Sect was stunned. Not only did she lose the competition, but she had also lost her own daughter, too? As the sect leader, she could certainly forcibly bar her daughter from joining the Tang Sect. However, if she did it would prove problematic for Nan Qiuqiu's future!
She inhaled deeply and calmed herself down. She glared at Nan Qiuqiu, but at the same time, she pulled her up.
"Come with me." As she said that, she pulled Nan Qiuqiu toward the resting zone where the Tang Sect sat.
Over on the Tang Sect's side, Huo Yuhao had already told everyone his story about how he had made a bet with Nan Qiuqiu.
Everyone had an odd expression on their face. In the end, only He Caitou said something honest, "That girl is too silly!"
Xiao Xiao looked at him coldly and said, "She's just innocent, alright? Yuhao is too devious. He tricked her completely, so pitiful! However, it's not a bad thing for our sect to have more girls too. Hehe!"
As they spoke, the woman pulled Nan Qiuqiu over to them.
"Who's in charge of the Tang Sect?" The woman asked plainly.
Everyone from the Tang Sect looked at Huo Yuhao. The woman was stunned. Her eyes turned cold. Can this young man in the wheelchair be their leader, as well?
"Hello senior, what do you seek from us?" The woman resembled Nan Qiuqiu, so Huo Yuhao could guess their relationship. He felt awkward too. He had tricked her daughter over from right under her nose! This was a dishonorable move!
"You're called Huo Yuhao, right? I heard about your bet with Qiuqiu. I'm the leader of the Earthdragon Sect, Nan Shuishui, and her mother. State your price, and I'll buy her back," the woman said plainly.
Nan Qiuqiu coughed, "Mom, I'm not a commodity…"
Nan Shuishui glared at her, and she shut up.
Huo Yuhao said with an awkward smile, "Senior, the Tang Sect does not lack money. Just now, in the competition, you know that words are weapons too. While we did make a bet, there's no need to treat it so seriously. It's alright if you take her back." In front of her mother, he could not just tell her to live up to what she had promised in the bet and leave her life behind.
Nan Shuishui said, "While the Earthdragon Sect is not an influential sect on the continent, it's still one of the top-ranked sects in the Dou Ling Empire. How can our words count for nothing? Since she made a bet with you, there's nothing I can say. If you want her to join the Tang Sect, I'm fine with it, on two conditions."
Huo Yuhao was stunned. What kind of mother would give her own daughter to the Tang Sect? While he did want to recruit Nan Qiuqiu, he was not confident that it would actually happen. After all, he had made the bet casually. He did not expect the opportunity to truly arise!
"What are they?" Huo Yuhao replied calmly.
Nan Shuishui said, "First, while my daughter did lose her bet to you, she's still a disciple of the Earthdragon Sect. There'll be a price to pay if she wants to leave my sect! For you, I'll give you a discount! She can join your Tang Sect for a certain period of time. Afterward, if she wishes to stay, she can stay. If not, she is free to return. You can't stop her."
"Second, Qiuqiu is a girl. You can't force her to do things that she doesn't want to do. Promise me these two things, and I'll agree to let her leave the Earthdragon Sect. If not, I'd rather she break her promise and remain in the Earthdragon Sect."
Huo Yuhao looked at his friends. This mother was easy to negotiate with. These two conditions were like nothing.
"What's a suitable time frame?" Huo Yuhao asked.
Nan Shuishui thought for a while, and then said, "Three years. If the Tang Sect can allow her to become a Soul Emperor in three years, you can extend the timeframe for another 2 years. However, after 5 years, it'll be time for her to get married. By that time, we would have lived up to our promise. How about it?"
"I agree!" Huo Yuhao replied without hesitation. In these few years, there would be many changes to the continent. The Tang Sect needed talents to grow. With her current cultivation, it would not be difficult to get Nan Qiuqiu to rise to a Soul Emperor in three years. All she had to do was get six rings and rise a few more ranks!