AGM 267 - Zhan Chen's True Face
After they left the area, Bailu Yi stared intently at Qin Wentian.
The coldness he had radiated had already dissipated, and as he noticed Bailu Yi staring at him, he cheekily commented, "You like looking at me that much?"
"Cocky." Bailu Yi glared at him, shifting her eyes away. However, she couldn't help herself. A moment later, her gaze shifted back as she asked in a light voice, "Is Mo Qingcheng really your girlfriend?"
She had clearly heard the conversation between Qin Wentian and Bai Fei earlier. Bai Fei was from the Pill Emperor Hall and Qin Wentian personally stated that he would make a trip over there in the future to take Mo Qingcheng away. If that was the case, it meant that everything Qin Wentian had said before, was real.
Back then when Qin Wentian mentioned Mo Qingcheng to her, she had thought that he was joking.
"Mhm." Qin Wentian shrugged.
Bailu Yi's beautiful eyes lighted up, "Can you tell me more, I'm really curious about the story between you two."
"Even beautiful women love gossip?" Qin Wentian laughed. "Mo Qingcheng and I came from a small country named Chu. That place, was under the administration of the Nine Mystical Palace. My clan had some conflict with the Royal Clan and by a twist of fate, Qingcheng saved me when she discovered me unconscious in a forest. However in the beginning, I didn't know that she was the one who had saved me, she only told me about this after we were acquainted for a period of time."
Qin Wentian began telling the events of his past while Bailu Yi listened closely, entranced by their story.
"You crippled Hua Xiaoyun's arms?" At the end, Bailu Yi exclaimed in shock.
"Yes. Luckily, the Pill Emperor's daughter, Luo He, was also present at the time. If not for that, there was no way the Hua Clan would have spared me that easily." Qin Wentian nodded.
"If that's the case, does that mean your purpose for coming to the Moon Continent was to look for Mo Qingcheng?" Bailu Yi felt extremely touched. Truly, distance doesn't matter when it came to true love.
However, she was also very clear on the difficulty of 'taking' Mo Qingcheng away from the Pill Emperor Hall.
"It wasn't just for that, my main purpose for coming here was primarily to kill Hua Xiaoyun, and also of course, for your White Deer Institute," Qin Wentian continued.
"White Deer Institute?" Bailu Yi didn't understand.
"If I tell you this, you cannot hold it against me for keeping it a secret from you earlier," Qin Wentian replied.
Naturally, Bailu Yi's curiosity was greatly piqued after she saw how mysterious Qin Wentian was acting. "Sure."
"Do you know of the 'hidden' Azure Faction?" Qin Wentian looked intently into Bailu Yi's eyes, studying her expression. Bailu Yi's heart pounded madly when she heard those words, causing her to almost stumble as great waves rocked her heart. This was the greatest secret of the White Deer Institute, which only core members were privy to, how could Qin Wentian have known it?
When he saw the change in Bailu Yi's expression, Qin Wentian understood clearly that Bailu Yi too, knew of this secret.
"You..." Bailu Yi trembled as she stared at Qin Wentian.
"I'm the successor of the Azure Emperor," Qin Wentian replied, Bailu Yi was still in a daze from the impact of his words, feeling as though her brain had short-circuited.
Qin Wentian was the successor of the Azure Emperor?
Inserting his hands inside his robes, Qin Wentian withdrew a command token. The word 'Azure' was clearly inscribed on top of the token.
"Token of the Azure Emperor," Bailu Yi's voice quavered, and only when Qin Wentian put away the token did she recover somewhat. She drew in a deep breath, "Are you here to take over our branch at the White Deer Institute?"
"Do you think it's possible?" Qin Wentian seriously inquired.
Bailu Yi contemplated for a moment before she replied in a low voice, "It's hard to say. After all, the White Deer Institute has stood alone for so many years. It would be truly difficult to make everyone in the Institute submit to you just because of a token from the past."
"I've no intentions of making the Institute become my servants. Even though the Institute is merely one of the branches from the 'hidden' Azure Faction, why turtle like this in the Grand Xia Empire? Why not rock the entire world instead of hiding in the Moon Continent?" Qin Wentian's words were brimming with confidence, causing waves of commotion to assail Bailu Yi's heart.
"This means taking a risk, and if anything went wrong, there's a high possibility that the White Deer Institute would never recover," Bailu Yi replied. "Qin Wentian, promise me this. Do not reveal any information regarding the 'hidden' branches of the Azure Faction before you have sufficient power to do so. Too many transcendent powers participated in the fall of the Azure Emperor back then, so if they caught wind that there are still living descendants of the Azure Emperor hiding in Grand Xia, they would definitely act to remove its roots."
"Don't worry, I would never act without sufficient power. I too, won't reveal my connection to the White Deer Institute before that happens. At most, I will use you as an excuse and let the others misunderstand the relationship between us," Qin Wentian teased, causing Bailu Yi to roll her eyes at him.
"Okay, you have to work hard to gain the Institute's approval then, okay?"
"Does that mean that you'll support me?" Qin Wentian laughed. Bailu Yi glared at him, "Wasn't the purpose of you telling me because you wanted me to support you?"
Qin Wentian lowered his head with a smile, not replying but continued walking ahead. He muttered in a low voice, "If you didn't support me, I would have chosen to give up on this branch. The White Deer Institute would have remained as the White Deer Institute for all eternity."
Bailu Yi's heart trembled when she heard Qin Wentian's words. If she didn't support him, Qin Wentian would have chosen to give up? Qin Wentian had unhesitatingly told her such a huge secret not only because he wanted her support, he also wanted to know how she felt about it. This was trust, Qin Wentian was already treating her as one of his closest confidants.
"I shall lead the Azure Faction to the pinnacle of Grand Xia once again."
A radiant smile beamed on Bailu Yi's face when she heard his words. In a similar fashion, she also believed that Qin Wentian would be able to do it.
Qin Wentian and Bailu Yi continued walking towards the place where Qin Wentian slayed the middle-aged man. A distance away from there, he held out his hand, gesturing for Bailu Yi to stop, as he crouched down quietly behind a hillside.
Qin Wentian's perception could clearly feel that there was someone already there. These people were none other than Zhan Chen from the Pill Emperor Hall as well as his companion.
As someone ranked #11 on the Heavenly Fate Ranking, his speed in breaking through the obstacles could be considered fast indeed. Beside him was his companion, Qing Yue. Zhan Chen retrieved a medicinal pill from his robes and passed it over to her. "Qing Yue, eat this to replenish your energy. We will take a break here for a while before attempting to break through this later."
Qing Yue gazed at Zhan Chen, her beautiful features as calm as water. With no hesitation, she took the pill offered by Zhan Chen and consumed it directly.
"Someone has been here before. Since he could arrive at this point before us, there is no need to doubt his strength. Luckily, he is already dead. Not only that, Old Third of the three brothers was unable to neutralise this formation and has also perished within." Zhan Chen pointed to the two interspatial rings that were lying on the ground, as he continued in a calm voice, "The trap ahead should be the most dangerous trap within this formation, so as long as we break through it there's a high chance that we'll reach the exit and obtain that Ascendant's inheritance."
An instant after he spoke, that refined, scholarly look on Zhan Chen's face was warped by wild ambition.
He was the strongest of all cultivators that had participated in the trial this time round. If that was the case, the position of that Ascendant's successor would definitely be him.
"Mhm." Qing Yue was clad in a light-blue dress, and the look in her eyes when she stared at Zhan Chen, was filled with love and tenderness, even in that moment...
"Zhan Chen, I believe in you." Qing Yue smiled. In an instant, the beauty of her smile eclipsed even the moon, causing Zhan Chen's heart to involuntarily shudder as a hint of regret flashed in his eyes.
"After my death, you will definitely be the leader of the Pill Emperor Hall." Qing Yue's smile didn't falter, yet her words caused Zhan Chen's countenance to undergo a drastic change as he stared at Qing Yue in stunned silence.
"I know that the pill you gave me was poison. It will turn me into a mindless zombie, following your every order." Tears rolled down her cheeks as she continued, "Zhan Chen, we've known each other for eight years, how can I be unclear of your personality? On the surface you appear so clean, so gentle and elegant. Yet you couldn't mask the ambition in your heart from me."
"I was the one that gave you the introduction you needed to enter the Pill Emperor Hall. Your talent was obvious to all, and in a mere eight years, you became the blazing sun of our sect, your radiance the brightest out of all the elites in our Pill Emperor Hall. But I know everything you've done, every action you've taken was all for the sake of furthering your own ambition."
Qing Yue's tears continued to fall, yet the smile on her face never wavered. "Back then when Martial Aunt had said that Qingcheng would definitely be one of the most important pillars of our Pill Emperor Hall in the future, I knew your heart would definitely be moved. I know I am no use to you now, so let Mo Qingcheng take my place instead. This is the only thing remaining that's still within my power to do for you. Without me in the way, Martial Aunt would be more than willing to betroth Qingcheng to you. The two of you will be the future of our sect, while I'll just be in the way. Zhan Chen, this is the last time I can help you..."
After speaking, Qing Yue turned and dashed towards the trap which Old Third died to, choosing death over being a mindless puppet.
She was heartbroken, her heart had died when she saw Zhan Chen taking out that pill. She knew him too well, how could he hide his intentions from her?
With a lifeless heart, what use was there for her to continue living on?
Qing Yue's Astral Souls erupted into being as her aura heightened to its limits, rushing head first into the trap. Her beauty was further accentuated underneath the starlight cast by her Astral Souls, and even Zhan Chen couldn't help but feel his heart clenching at what he had lost. An expression of agony flickered on his face, but swiftly, very swiftly, it was replaced by a look of utter determination. Nobody could shake his heart, his will was resolute, this was the path he had chosen, this was his Dao Heart.
From the start of his cultivation to now, his journey was filled with too much bitterness and fatigue. In spite of this, he would continue trudging on, all the way until he rose to the pinnacle of Grand Xia. His resolve was unshakable!
Closing his eyes, Zhan Chen stood still. He could feel Qing Yue's impending death, yet his heart had never felt this serene before.
But at the very moment of her death, Zhan Chen's eyes abruptly snapped open, a terrifying light flashed through them. He suddenly turned around, his silhouette flickering as he dashed towards the direction behind him. He had sensed someone watching him!