Qian Shuhua stared at Lin Shan who stood 10 meters away from her, watching how the flame continued to rise from the wooden sword in his hand. She felt like she was facing an insurmountable mountain.
The scarlet flame seemed to be igniting all the air around them while wisps of smoke climbed into her vision. The figure of Lin Shan became blurry to her.
Qian Shuhua tightened her hold on the spear as Ye Que's voice resounded inside her ears. "When a spear user stays still, she's like a mountain. When she moves, she's like a bolt of lightning. When there's a spear in her hand, the world is hers!"
She placed the spear in front of her body and perfused it with True Energy, causing it to emit a faint black radiance. Though the radiance was dim, it was dense. Even though she knew she was facing a Physic Realm expert that she had no chance of prevailing over, she didn't feel the slightest inclination to retreat.
It was because of the Truth that she was cultivating.
She would advance bravely!
The crowd standing on the sidelines of the martial arts drilling ground held their breath.
Qian Shuhua's spear became increasingly dense while the flame licking Lin Shan's sword became brighter. The expression of many students changed. Even those who didn't know how to cultivate could tell that Lin Shan was using all of his prowess without holding back. What was he trying to do? Kill her?
No one got a clear look at Lin Shan's expression amid the flames and thus, he smirked. Perhaps everyone thought he was avenging the young lady of his family but only he knew the truth.
The Extinctive Sword Manor House had fallen under the control of Mount Shu. They were about to be aligned with the General's Manor via marriage. The Second Prince had made it clear last night that he would support Mount Shu in Luoyang. Everyone knew that the Second Prince had never gotten along with the Crown Prince. The Crown Prince's wife was the daughter of the patriarch of the Qian family and Qian Shuhua's paternal aunt.
The Second Prince had once implied that the Crown Prince should be given a little warning, though it must be reasonable.
The incident today happened to be an opportunity to do just that.
"Who told you to be born as part of the Qian family? Who told you to be the Crown Princess' niece?"
Suddenly, a fire dragon emerged from the wooden sword in Lin Shan's hand and dominated half of the martial arts drilling ground with its fangs and claws. From afar, the clothing of Qian Shuhua who stood in the middle of the fire dragon appeared to be dyed a burnt yellow. Her hair was flying around her and her entire being seemed to have sunken into a furnace.
Qian Shuhua neither screeched nor retreated, only frowning deeply. The fire around her seemed to flare up in her eyes.
It was a kind of battle fever.
"Scarlet Flame Sword Skill! Burn it all to ashes!"
With a roar from him, the fire dragon tried to take a chomp out of Qian Shuhua.
With a turn of her wrist, Qian Shuhua thrust her spear. The spear turned into a mass of sharp black radiance and charged into the sea of flames.
Time seemed to be frozen at this moment. Everyone stared wide-eyed.
Right then, Ye Que had just walked into the White Horses Academy. Since he couldn't see anyone, he followed the noise coming from the martial arts drilling ground. The moment Qian Shuhua and Lin Shan's battle ended was the moment when he coincidentally looked over to where they were.
For a moment, Ye Que couldn't help feeling dumbfounded. His body also became a little stiff.
The human wall made by the students of the academy had taken a fall after experiencing Lin Shan's Qi waves earlier, allowing someone from the outside to get a good view of the center of the martial arts drilling ground.
Ye Que saw Lin Shan's Scarlet Flame Sword Skill rapidly fade. The fire dragon subsequently vanished as well.
Qian Shuhua's figure slowly became evident. In the span of a breath, her clothing had essentially been scorched black. The white of her skirt had long disappeared, revealing a pair of malt-colored legs. One side of her thigh and calf was dripping with blood. The collar covering her neck and shoulder had been burned so badly that there was nearly no scrap of clothing left; right then, it was still emitting faint wisps of smoke.
Patches of scorched blackness covered her face, hair, hands, arms, and shoulders. Only her eyes remained as determined and unfathomable as before. The end of her spear had met the ground but its body was still in her hand. Her back was perfectly straight.
A short moment later, she fell to the ground like a plank.
Standing at a distance and watching this scene unfold, Ye Que was reminded sharply of the first time Qian Shuhua learned how to use the spear. He had her hold the spear for six hours and watched as she fainted when the moon and the stars lit up the sky.
It was the same scene as the current one.
Stubborn, obstinate, one-track minded!
Back then, Ye Que thought that this woman was awfully inflexible and foolish. He truly found her silly. Though she didn't have much aptitude, she tried her very best to cultivate. Truth to be told, he neither had expectations of her nor admired her actions and behavior.
However, for some reason, he couldn't help frowning after witnessing this scene. Moreover, he even felt a shred of anger and this anger gradually rose to fury. Though the fury was small, he knew he was truly angered.
How long had it been since he felt something like this?
As far as he remembered, this was the first time ever since returning to his youth.
Long lost fury!
Ye Que looked at the collapsed Qian Shuhua and slowly walked over without saying a word. He leveled a look at the nearby Lin Shan, where he spotted a small hole in the latter's left shoulder. Qian Shuhua must have left that injury on him.
Ye Que arrived at the center of the martial arts drilling ground with a frown. Inexplicably, none of the students tried to stop him and even scurried aside to make a path for him. His expression seemed to be terrifying them. Reason told them that they better not stop him at this moment or the consequences would be grave.
He stopped in front of Qian Shuhua and sighed when he looked at the incomparably obstinate young woman. A burst of unstoppable and inexplicable emotion abruptly rose inside him. He had never experienced such emotion before and it made him feel both a little stifled and impetuous.
Instinctively, he examined Qian Shuhua's pulses to make sure there wasn't any danger to her life for the time being. After some thinking and a short pause, he lowered his raised hand and imbued Divine Energy into Qian Shuhua. Only then could he rest assured.
Ye Que swept the crowd with his eyes before looking at Lin Shan once again. He then bypassed him to look at the nearby Lin Mei'er. Finally, he addressed the students that surrounded the place. "Who can tell me what exactly happened here?"
"I want to listen to the cause and effect of all this."
His two simple sentences carried no trace of anger but the students could feel a burst of pressure. The pressure seemed to be examining them at all times. It was as if the words that left their mouths in the following second must be the truth and that any liar would suffer.
"This old man is a bully."
"When the daughter lost in a duel, the father showed up."
"He's relying on the fact that he's the Master of the Extinctive Sword Manor House who has the backing of Mount Shu and that his family is about to have an alliance marriage with the General's Manor. He's completely unreasonable!"
The group of indignant students clarified the incident in no time at all.
Ye Que nodded after listening to everyone's explanation. He bent his waist to pick up the collapsed Qian Shuhua and turned around to leave. After taking two steps, he suddenly stopped and turned his head to look at Lin Shan.
"What's your name?"
Lin Shan continued to wear an arrogant expression but didn't refuse to answer as if unafraid in the slightest that he would suffer retribution. Neither was he worried to let that it was he who injured Qian Shuhua. In fact, he was even subtly but deliberately making it so that others would spread this news.
"Very well. I've seen many cases of a Physic Realm expert bullying a Pre-celestial Realm expert but someone who bullies a young lady with such a poor excuse like you is a rare sight. Moreover, you were able to land such a heavy blow. Consider me impressed!"
Ye Que continued indifferently, "Lin Mei'er is your daughter. Since you've made your move for her, then be prepared for the consequences."
"I'll also make my move."
"I hope you'll be able to withstand it."
Lin Shan snorted but didn't reply. It was evident from his expression that he didn't take Ye Que's words to heart. However, Lin Mei'er behind him glanced at Ye Que. "What does this have to do with you? Mind your own business!"
Ignoring her, Ye Que turned his head and walked out of the place. He muttered to himself, "That's because I'm her guiding master!"