Chapter 333: Xiao clan, Xiao Yan!
The strongest faction within the Jia Ma Empire, the Misty Cloud Sect, had been passed on without break from one generation to another, resulting in this old sect standing at the peak of the Jia Ma Empire. If it hadn't been for the sect rules, which prohibited the seizure of the power from an emperor, the Misty Cloud Sect would have probably completely controlled the entire Jia Ma Empire during the few times when there was a change in dynasty.
This was also the reason why the imperial family of each empire was extremely afraid of the huge being that was close by. When it came to this generation of the Jia Ma Empire Imperial family, they finally possessed a strength that could cause the Misty Cloud Sect to pause due to having the guardian Jia Xing Tian and the protection of a mysterious unique beast. Therefore, the battle experienced elite soldiers who the Imperial family sent to the foot of the Misty Cloud Sect could live in peace.
The Imperial family had stationed the soldiers there for many years. Its intention was something almost everyone was clearly aware of. They were guarding against the Misty Cloud Sect.
In the face of such an action by the Imperial family, the Misty Cloud Sect did not respond too intensely. Other than some of the young disciples within the sect feeling bitter and going to the camp and creating trouble initially, the upper echelons of the sect had remained quiet over this matter. This was because they knew that the imperial family could not tolerate anyone sleeping beside their couch. The Misty Cloud Sect was already so accustomed to receiving the suspicion of the Imperial family. As long as the Misty Cloud Sect did not collapse, the military force at the foot of the mountain would never dare to make any possible moves.
Not one of the dynasties of the Jia Ma Empire had really dared to attack the Misty Cloud Sect. This was because they clearly understood that it was a huge hornet's nest. A poke at it would cause the sky to overturn.
The Misty Cloud Sect was built on top of the Misty Cloud Mountain and the Misty Cloud Mountain was only tens of kilometers from the capital. The two of them were very close together, much like two huge beings relying on one another.
Although Xiao Yan had already waited for three years for this day to come, he did not use his Purple Cloud Wings to hurry over. Instead, he walked at a steady pace as he headed to the snow white mountain peak penetrating the clouds, which was located at the edge of his sight. He wore a black robe and carried a huge ruler, much like an ascetic person.
The black-robed young man walked slowly on the unobstructed main road. The huge black ruler on his back was extremely eye catching. From within the occasional horse carriage which came and went on the road, there would be surprised gazes thrown at him. Xiao Yan appeared to not have seen these gazes. His footsteps were neither soft nor heavy. Although the heaviness of the Heavy Xuan Ruler was enough to shock anyone who came into contact with it, Xiao Yan was already extremely familiar with its weight after being in contact with it for two years. As a result, he was not the slightest bit delayed despite traveling with it. Only shallow footsteps remained where his feet landed, leaving no signs of the awkward scene back then when a deep pit was left where his feet stepped.
Leaving a footprint with every step, Xiao Yan moved at a steady pace. Although his figure appeared skinny, it emitted a calmness and easy going manner which caused people to throw him a sidelong glance.
Walking with a calm heart in this manner was not a total waste of effort on Xiao Yan's part. When he had just left the city's gate, threads of his Qi were still repeatedly overflowing from within his body due to him having just broken through to the Da Dou Shi class, causing the surrounding passerby to involuntarily stay away from Xiao Yan. The pressuring Qi was not something these Dou Zhe or those who were not even Dou Zhe could withstand.
Since Xiao Yan began walking until this moment, his Qi, which was overflowing out of his body, had already began intruding into the deep regions of his body. When one looked over again, he did not appear any different from an ordinary person other than the huge ruler behind his back.
When the sun had broken through the restraint of the horizon and slowly climbed high into the sky, Xiao Yan finally stopped walking. He stood on the slope and eyed the huge foot of the mountain which was at the edge of his sight. Huge army tents began to appear on the grass plain. Through the white-colored tents, Xiao Yan could faintly see some soldiers being drilled.
"It is indeed as others have said. The Jia Ma Empire Imperial family has stationed elite troops at the foot of the Misty Cloud Mountain." Xiao Yan withdrew his gaze, shook his head, and walked down the slope. He followed the main road and slowly neared the foot of the mountain.
Although this was a military camp with extremely tight defence, it did not obstruct any passerby who wanted to ascend the mountain. Therefore, after being randomly glanced at by some sentries standing by the side of the road, Xiao Yan easily followed the main road and climbed up the foot of the mountain.
As fresh green color began to appear on both sides of Xiao Yan, the sound of troops performing drills gradually disappeared from the side of his ears. He lifted his head slightly and green rock stairs, that reached the limits of his sight, appeared in front of him. At one glance, it appeared like a flight of stairs which led to the heavens.
Standing at the bottom, Xiao Yan lifted his head and eyed these old stone stairs which had been around for an unknown number of years. His eyes were slowly shut. There appeared to be a vague and soft ringing of swords being clearly transmitted from the edge of the rock stairs as it quietly reverberated through the forest. It was like a clock chiming, intoxicating people's minds.
The silence persisted for a while before Xiao Yan slowly opened his eyes. He gently patted the Heavy Xuan Sword which lay on his back. His gentle footstep finally landed firmly on the ancient rock stairs which appeared a little moist. At this moment, he had officially arrived for the Three Years Agreement.
The moment his footstep landed, Xiao Yan was able to sense that his spirit appeared to be releasing a Qi which he had suppressed for three years.
Three years ago, a young man left his home while carrying hatred, humiliation, and anger, appearing both reckless and childish. He entered the mountain range and ventured into the desert. Under blade, blood, and flame, he was like a pupa, swiftly changing himself. Three years had milled away his tenderness and witnessed his growth. All of this effort was because of today's three year agreement!
An unknown emotion filled his chest as Xiao Yan's footsteps maintained a uniform speed. His gaze stared directly at the end of the rock stairs as he passed by one step at a time. Appearing to have passed through the obstruction of space, his gaze was shot onto the young lady's body which was seated cross-legged at the peak of the mountain.
"Nalan Yanran." Xiao Yan's mouth moved slightly. His voice was calm as it carried some other emotions when the name quietly left Xiao Yan's mouth.
Fog shrouded the end of the long rock stairs. Behind it, was a huge open ground. The entire place was completely built using huge rocks of uniform color, appearing ancient and grand. A huge towering stone monument stood in the middle of the open ground. On the stone monument, there was a record of the names of past sect leaders and those who had been of great service to the sect.
As one watched the surroundings of the open ground, one could see nearly a thousand people seated above this open ground. These people were seated in a semicircle. Without exception, all of them wore moon white-colored robes. A cloud with a long sword striking through on their sleeves fluttered with the wind, much like something alive, faintly emitting a little weak meaning of the sword.
At the highest spot of the open ground, there were some towering rock chairs by the stairs which deviated from the rest. As the stairs gradually went up, those seated were generally older. The highest stone platform was currently empty without a single person on it. Below it, there were over ten white-robed old men who were seated cross-legged as they closed their eyes and rested. On the surface, one could not see even the slightest uniqueness from these old people, but the robes on their bodies, which were like steel that did not even make the slightest movement regardless of how the wind blew, was sufficient to let people know that these old people were not simple individuals.
Under these white-robed old men, there was an independant stone seat. A lady wearing moon robes had her eyes closed. As the wind blew past, her clothes pressed onto her pretty figure, revealing the perfect curves and figure underneath. As one's focus shifted to the calm and indifferent pretty face, she was surprisingly Nalan Yanran!
Although there was only around a thousand people present above the open ground, the place was entirely quiet. Other than the whistling of the wind, there was not the slightest bit of strange noise emitted.
Occasionally, a quiet strong wind would blow past the open ground. Immediately, everyone's eyes saw white robes drifting, much like the clouds in the sky descending. Such a sight was really shocking when one glanced over it.
Occasionally, a sound of rushing wind would suddenly appear in midair. Immediately, a human figure would appear on the towering tip of a tree. As one cast a glance, one would realize that there were actually quite a number of human figures standing on the top of some of the huge trees around the open ground. Not only was Hai Bodong present, but also Fa Ma and Jia Xing Tian. Even Nalan Jie along with the heads of a few clans and their youngest generations like Mu Zhan who had some conflict with Xiao Yan in the past, were also present. It appeared that there were indeed quite a number of people who were invited by the Misty Cloud Sect this time around.
The human figures who had come over did not recklessly make any noise and break the quiet atmosphere of the open ground. Although some of the strong Misty Cloud Sect disciples sensed these guests who had arrived, they did not have even the slightest reaction. They merely quietly sat cross-legged on the ground. It appeared that they have already received some orders.
Standing on the top of a tree, Hai Bodong's gaze slowly swept across the quiet square. His face was slightly grave. Looking through the eyes of a strong person like him, one could naturally find some of the details which other people had difficulty discovering. From his senses, the breathing of the nearly one thousand Misty Cloud Sect disciples were actually completely following the same rhythm. The breathing of each of them led the other. If one moved anywhere, one would receive a swift and violent continuous attack much like a storm. In this entire place, these thousand people appeared to be of one body. When they struck, the thousand of them would attack together. Even a Dou Huang would have to temporarily avoid their cutting edge.
"They truly are worthy of being the Misty Cloud Sect." Hai Bodong sighed gently in his heart. He could not help but praise with a sigh. Just how difficult was it to train all these disciples to coordinate with such deep understanding?
Hai Bodong turned his head over and exchanged glances with Fa Ma and Jia Lao. He was able to see a grave look from within the other party's eyes. Clearly, the unified large array of the Misty Cloud Sect also caused them to feel fear within their hearts.
The spacious square was totally quiet. Time slowly and quietly drew by.
The huge sun on the sky slowly climbed until its peak. The warm sunlight was poured down, spreading across the entire peak.
At one instance, a soft footstep suddenly and quietly sounded from below the green-colored rock stairs outside the square. The soft sound was slowly transmitted over, causing a slight change in the completely integrated breaths.
In the open ground, all of disciples of the Misty Cloud Sect opened their eyes. Their gazes were fixed on the green rock stairs. Footsteps which were neither light nor heavy were being emitted from that spot.
On the stone platform, Nalan Yanran had also gradually opened her bright pupils. Her gaze paused at the spot. For some unknown reason, her already indifferent heart suddenly began to jump a couple of times in a disorderly manner.
The sound of the footsteps grew increasingly close and clear. It reached the point where it caused the few white-robed old men on the stone platform to open their eyes and throw their gazes at the same spot.
From the distant sky, sunlight suddenly poured down. It passed through the cover of the misty cloud layer and coincidentally shone on the rock stairs. At that spot, a tall and skinny figure finally began to slowly appear in front of countless of gazes.
Under the watch of nearly a thousand pairs of eyes on the open ground, the black-robed young man carrying a huge black ruler on his back lifted his feet and climbed the final step of the stairs.
The gaze of the young man was void of joy or sorrow as it swept across the huge square. Finally, it stopped on a beautiful lady on the stone platform who was similarly throwing him a pair of bright pupils.
Xiao Yan gently lifted his foot and then placed it down. He repeated the same action for three steps. Only the soft and deep sound of his footsteps drifted across the silent square.
Once the three steps fell, the young man lifted his head. He watched the lady and opened his mouth faintly.
"Xiao clan, Xiao Yan!"