Zhu Bluecloud solemnly said, “Qin Yu, you must be clearly aware that this time, this battle between the righteous and demonic paths involves not just Canyondwell City, but also the morale of both sides. This will influence the entire Southern Empire battlefield. As far as I know, the high level figures of the demonic path have already dispatched powerhouses, each one an amazingly strong individual of their generation. This battle isn’t as simple as it appears on the surface!”
He hesitated for a moment. “You are strong, that is true, but that doesn’t guarantee you a win. With your skills, you can obtain 30,000 merit points by spending a bit more time and effort, so there is no need for you to take on such a great risk. If you aren’t willing to participate, I can explain this to the alliance. They won’t be able to force you.”
Qin Yu smiled, his heart warming. “For you to be so anxious, you should already have some understanding of the situation. Who is the demonic path sending over?”
Zhu Bluecloud never doubted his intelligence. He sighed and said, “If you don’t withdraw, then the one you will be facing is the number one genius of the demonic path’s younger generation, Army Breaker. He broke into the Golden Core realm at 27 years of age, and although he is only at the first level of Golden Core, he once killed Golden Core cultivators at the Foundation Establishment realm. Now, his strength has reached a terrifying degree. He can only be described as unfathomable.”
Qin Yu’s heart chilled. In the world of cultivators, realms were extremely harsh dividers. A superior cultivator would normally possess absolute power over a lower cultivator. To fight within realms was rare, and to fight beyond realms was even rarer. As long as one could achieve this, they would be considered a chosen pride of heaven. These types of individuals possessed incredible talent, physiques, methods, or perhaps had a mind-boggling destiny upon their bodies. But no matter who they were, these types of people were extremely difficult to deal with.
However, he maintained a calm appearance. Although his heart stirred, it was far from forming waves. He had also killed Golden Cores at the Foundation Establishment realm, and he had killed more than one!
Looking at his expression, Zhu Bluecloud revealed a bit of worry. He shook his head, “I know that you wouldn’t withdraw. You’re a crazy psycho who wandered through the territory of the demonic path and recklessly slaughtered your way through, so why would you fear a little demon boy.” He turned, “Come on, let’s go to the alliance. There is some classified information about Army Breaker that might be useful to you.”
Qin Yu nodded, “Alright.”
Confidence didn’t mean arrogance. Army Breaker was definitely powerful, so if he had information about him ahead of time, he would be much easier to deal with.
At the alliance station.
The one responsible for receiving Ning Qin was a seventh level Golden Core cultivator named Jiang Yuanhao. Although his actions showed he had a higher status than Zhu Bluecloud, he remained polite to Qin Yu and his bright smile didn’t dim at all. After Qin Yu asked for information concerning Army Breaker, he immediately handed over a jade slip and sat to the side. His elegant and graceful demeanor left one stunned.
Qin Yu expressed his thanks and took the jade slip. He carefully looked through the information. After a long time, he closed his eyes. Countless bits of information gathered and sifted through his mind as he began to summarize the basic form and condition of Army Breaker.
His magic power was deep, his mortal body was potent, he had demonic treasures in hand, and his divine sense was also keen...Qin Yu subconsciously frowned. He felt that this person was a bit familiar…but then, he was immediately surprised. Wasn’t this person just a copy of him!?
How many coincidences, lucky chances, and perils did he have to survive in order to forge his current cultivation? Army Breaker had this strength and had even broken into Golden Core earlier. His experiences might not be any less and he was definitely more difficult to deal with than expected.
30,000 merit points. Was this really worth the risk? But just as this thought formed in Qin Yu’s mind, he immediately pushed it down. The true meaning of cultivation was to change one’s life. If he retreated today, this would shake his mind and leave behind hidden dangers in his heart.
Qin Yu opened his eyes. With a solemn expression, he slowly said, “From this day forwards I will enter seclusion without leaving, until the day the fight happens.”
Jiang Yuanhao relaxed and his smile brightened. “Of course. Fellow daoist Nign Qin can cultivate in the alliance station. No one will disturb you.”
Qin Yu rose up. “There is also another issue. In this battle, I won’t be using the name of the Kong Family’s Exalted Ning Qin on stage.”
“That’s no problem.” Jiang Yuanhao readily agreed. “Allow me to lead fellow daoist to the seclusion area.”
Zhu Bluecloud followed behind, his eyes sweeping past them both.
Qin Yu didn’t say anything. He faintly nodded, his expression calm and confident.
Army Breaker, so what? Who was stronger, who was weaker, they would find out after fighting!
The alliance training area was heavily guarded and there was also a giant array formation laid down that gathered spiritual energy. One only had to pay a minor fee in order to obtain a cultivation chamber that ensured absolute safety. It was a widely praised system.
With Jiang Yuanhao leading the way and Zhu Bluecloud accompanying him, Qin Yu naturally received a respectable reception. The man in charge of the training area personally opened the most advanced cultivation chamber for them.
Coincidentally, the Zhang Family’s group was also at the training area and they seemed to be waiting for someone to leave seclusion. The arrival of Jiang Yuanhao caused a great stir that drew everyone’s attention. But, Zhang Zhang’s gaze actually fell on Qin Yu. She didn’t know who this ordinary youth was, that he would be personally led here by great figures of the alliance.
At this time, Zhang Chengzu walked out from the training area with a smile plastered on his face. After several days he had advanced to the third level of Golden Core, so he was naturally in a cheerful and satisfied mood. As his eyes fell on Zhang Zhang and the others and just as he was about to wave to them, he suddenly stopped. He turned and saw Jiang Yuanhao and the others, and after a brief moment of hesitation he moved over to greet them. He cupped his hands across his chest, “Fellow daoist Jiang, fellow daoist Zhu, fellow daoist Sun, it’s good to see you here.”
His smile was bright and friendly, as if he were trying to become closer friends. But besides Zhu Bluecloud who turned and greeted him, the other two simply nodded and continued speaking to each other.
Zhang Chengzu’s smile wavered as he felt the cold attitude emanating from the two. Not knowing whether he should remain or stay, he was left in an awkward situation.
Zhang Zhang watched her father receive a cold shoulder from afar. Her cheeks flushed red and her eyes burned, but she bit her lips and refused to cry.
Qin Yu noticed this. After a moment of hesitation, he cupped his hands across his chest and said, “Greetings, fellow daoist Zhang.”
Jiang Yuanhao was faintly startled. He looked at Qin Yu, his calm gaze fathomless. After a moment, he smiled and said, “Fellow daoist Zhang, I believe we met several days ago.”
Zhang Chengzu was surprised. He quickly said, “Yes, yes, when I first came to Canyondwell City, I saw fellow daoist Jiang one time before.” His eyes fell on Qin Yu, confused but also gratified.
The cultivator surnamed Sun who was responsible for managing the training area also smiled and exchanged a few words. This left Zhang Chengzu flustered with excitement, and he even thought they would become closer in the future.
Although he wanted to stay and chat a little longer, Zhang Chengzu tactfully bid his farewells and left. The Zhang Family cultivators all watched with elation. As they saw their Patriarch approach, they all bowed, awe and reverence in their eyes.
That was Jiang Yuanhao and Sun Siyuan! They were absolutely high level figures in the alliance, people all of great renown. To laugh and chat with their Patriarch, just what sort of treatment was that? That was an incredible honor!
Zhang Zhang’s face was full of smiles. “Congratulations Father!”
Zhang Chengzu smiled. He subconsciously turned around and saw people leave after the cultivation chamber was prepared. Zhu Bluecloud also personally led Qin Yu inside. After seeing this, his heart skipped a beat but he didn’t say anything. He quickly led everyone away from the training area.
After returning to their residence, all that remained were father and daughter. Zhang Zhang couldn’t but ask, “Father, Senior Jiang and Senior Sun were so friendly to you. Once this news spreads out, it will be to your advantage, so why do you look so unhappy?”
Zhang Chengzu ruefully smiled. “My daughter, do you really think that Jiang Yuanhao or Sun Siyuan see your father in their eyes? The reason they spoke to me today was all to give face to someone else.” He reiterated how Qin Yu had spoken up for him.
Zhang Zhang gasped. “He only has a Foundation Establish cultivation, not much stronger than I am, so how can he have so much face…”
Zhang Chengzu’s eyes brightened. “That’s right! Foundation Establishment cultivation, Foundation Establishment cultivation, I should have thought about this sooner. It must be him, it definitely must be him!”
“Who is Father speaking of?”
“The Kong Family’s Exalted, Ning Qin!”
Zhang Zhang sucked in a deep breath. “It was him!” Although she had come to Canyondwell City not too long ago, she had heard this name repeated many times, as well as all the praise that followed it.
“I should have realized this sooner. Besides him, no one else has such face that characters like Jiang Yuanhao and Sun Siyuan would change their attitudes for him.” Zhang Chengzu uttered in a low whisper.
Zhang Zhang cautiously said, “Father, Lord Ning Qin is strong, but he might not necessarily be able to affect the likes of Senior Jiang and Senior Sun, right?”
Zhang Chengzu forced a smile. “Of course he can. Zhang Zhang, do you remember several days ago when the merit service bell rang 15 times in a row?”
Zhang Zhang’s eyes widened.
“That was him. The alliance issued a gag command for all information concerning this, but your father just happened to unintentionally learn of it.” Zhang Chengzu shook his head. As he thought back to how they had bumped into each other just outside the Merit Department and how he had missed a perfect chance to draw closer to him, he began to feel regret.
But, why would Ning Qin help him?
Zhang Chengzu’s gaze fell onto his beloved daughter. He suddenly asked, “Zhang Zhang, do you really not know Ning Qin?”
Zhang Zhang shook her head, “I don’t.”
Could it be that Ning Qin was interested in Zhang Zhang? Zhang Chengzu felt his heart quicken. This was a reasonable explanation, and if it were true…after a moment of thought, he didn’t say anything further. He thought to himself that if this were true, Ning Qin would definitely follow this up with something else, and he could continue with this line of thought then.
Six days later, the Righteous and Demonic Convocation arrived at Hidden Wind Valley. Perhaps coming from some unknown inspiration, or perhaps it was because of some whispers from Zhu Bluecloud, but Jiang Yuanhao sent an invitation to Zhang Chengzu. In his shaking excitement, Zhang Chengzu brought Zhang Zhang as well as several of his most outstanding disciples to attend.
Surprised at Jiang Yuanhao’s invitation, Sun Siyuan’s welcoming smile and the whispers of the alliance army cultivators couldn’t be considered too cold or apathetic. Rather, for Zhang Chengzu, he was burning with elation, as if he had finally stepped into the inner circle after endless trials and tribulations. He busied himself with socializing with as many people as he could.
Compared to the performance of the elders, the juniors were much more simple and rude; they simply didn’t place the Zhang Family in their eyes. Zhang Zhang was able to feel the burning heat from the enthusiastic gazes of some juniors, and in her shame and anger she decided to draw a line between them, leading her group to enjoy the scenery around the camp area instead.
The terrain of Hidden Wind Valley was filled with twists and turns, and within, there were even more cracks and pathways that interwove with each other like an endless spider web. Even if wind blew in it would find it difficult to come back out, thus the name of Hidden Wind Valley. The red and exposed rock walls had been eroded and bleached throughout the years, lending a desolate and wild atmosphere to the land.
Zhang Zhang was immersed in her thoughts, a bit depressed. Zhang Huo and the others were all jubilant, deliberately trying to cheer her into a better mood as they accompanied her through the alley.
“Zhang Zhang, look at these dozen or so cracks that spread through the walls. When you look from afar, doesn’t it look like a big bear looking for food?” Zhang Huo smiled, waving his hand about. But in the next moment, he froze.
From the cracks in the wall across from them, several cultivators suddenly shot out. As they appeared, one could feel the cold yin chill aura emanating from their bodies.
Demonic path cultivators!
Zhang Zhang quietly whispered, “Big Brother Zhang Huo, let’s leave.”
Zhang Huo regained his composure and quickly nodded.
But at this time, the demonic cultivators noticed their presence. One of them flashed forwards, suddenly blocked their way.
Zhang Huo’s heart shrank. “Senior, what is the meaning of this?”
The Golden Core demonic cultivator’s gaze was cold and dark. “I should be the one asking you what you are trying to plot by breaking into the area controlled by my demonic path?”
Zhang Zhang quickly turned. The maid next to her sputtered out in panic, “Miss, we haven’t crossed the boundary!”
“Servant girl, are you trying to say that I am spouting nonsense?” An icy killing intent rushed forwards, leaving Shao Shao deathly pale.
Zhang Huo clenched his teeth, “Senior, isn’t doing this a disgrace for someone of your status?”
The Golden Core demonic cultivator sneered. “Shut up. You don’t have the qualifications to speak in front of me. Hurry and give an explanation, otherwise none of you will be leaving here today!”
Zhang Zhang prevented Zhang Huo from speaking further. She respectfully bowed, “Junior greets senior. Today, we juniors were simply enjoying the scenery, and accidentally wandered into the area controlled by the demonic path. I ask that senior show leniency and forgive us this one time.”