Book 9 Chapter 38 Pressing Hard
"Qingshan is on the Nine Wolf Island. He used the alias 'Jing Yi' and stirred up a great commotion on Qing Hu Island, but he's still alive. Through this, I know that the Blind Swordmaster won't kill Teng Qingshan yet. Additionally, the other sects probably won't lend him a Emptiness Realm Demonic Beast. They won't aid the Blind Swordmaster in killing Teng Qingshan," Zhuge Yuanhong deduced.
He reckoned that the possibility of Teng Qingshan's death was less than ten percent.
Still, he was worried!
"If something bad happens to Qingshan too, then I will be the one at fault!" Zhuge Yuanhong trembled slightly as he thought to himself. After all, Teng Qingshan's actions were all instructed by him, the teacher.
At this moment, Zhuge Yuanhong was like a gush of wind as he treaded on the surface of the lake. Then with a leap, he landed on the shores of the Nine Wolf Island.
"Teacher," Zhuge Yuanhong's heard a voice say, bringing about an expression of joy upon his face. As Zhuge Yuanhong observed his surroundings, he saw a figure standing amidst the rain. The raindrops instantly rebounded as they drew close to the figure. When Zhuge Yuanhong could see the approaching person more clearly, he let out a long sigh of relief.
"Teacher, what happened to you?" Teng Qingshan was astonished when he saw Zhuge Yuanhong, whose entire body was wet and whose face appeared extremely pale.
His own teacher, Zhuge Yuanhong, was someone who remained calm even when mountains collapsed. What had happened which caused his teacher to have such a pitiful appearance?
"I am fine. But..." Zhuge Yuanhong's eyes were filled with sadness. "Elder Wu is most likely dead."
"What?!" Teng Qingshan shouted out in astonishment.
Thoughts ran through his mind. "Elder Wu died? Elder Wu was the Emptiness Realm Expert who protected Gui Yuan Sect, and Teacher just said that Elder Wu is dead? Moreover, Teacher came over in a miserable state. What will happen to the Gui Yuan Sect?"
"Teacher, what is going on? What exactly happened?" Teng Qingshan said, feeling slightly nervous. He was starting to panic. "What's the current situation of the Gui Yuan Sect? Who did this? Qing Hu Island?" Teng Qingshan began bombarding Zhuge Yuanhong with questions, clearly somewhat alarmed.
He couldn't help but freak out. After all, the Teng Clan dwelled in Jiangning County-City. His parents, sisters, and many relatives lived there. Although Teng Qingshan felt slightly sad about Elder Wu's death, his parents and his clan were much more important to him.
"The Gui Yuan Sect is alright for now," Zhuge Yuanhong sighed as he answered.
Teng Qingshan let out a sigh of relief. He then asked, "Teacher, what happened, exactly?"
"It was the day before yesterday." Zhuge Yuanhong said in a deep tone, "During the evening, Elder Wu and I were both in the sect. However, Elder Wu suddenly spoke to me with the use of the Sound Transmission Technique. He told me that an Emptiness Realm Expert and a four-footed Emptiness Realm Demonic Beast were chasing him, working together to kill him. He urged me to flee right then. He told me that if I didn't run right then, I might not be able to escape."
Teng Qingshan's facial expression changed.
It was very difficult for an Emptiness Realm Expert to kill another Emptiness Realm Expert. A great disparity in strength existed between an Emptiness Realm Expert who could utilize ten percent of the Power of the Heavens and the Earth and an Emptiness Realm Expert who could utilize twenty percent of the Power of the Heavens and the Earth. However, whether the experts attained the Harmonization of the Body with the Heavens and the Earth, the Emptiness Realm Culmination, or Novice Emptiness Realm, their speed would still be similar.
Therefore, it was extremely difficult for an Emptiness Realm Expert to kill another Emptiness Realm Expert without the help of a demonic beast.
"Qing Hu Island?" This was the first thing that popped into Teng Qingshan's mind.
"Yes, I can't think of any other sects that would be willing to pay such a huge price just to kill the Emptiness Realm Expert of the Gui Yuan Sect," Zhuge Yuanhong said in a deep tone.
"Qing Hu Island!" Teng Qingshan's brows knitted as his entire being permeated a murderous aura.
"Qingshan, don't do anything stupid," Zhuge Yuanhong hastily said.
"Teacher, don't worry." Teng Qingshan took a deep breath. "If I had the ability to do it, I would have razed Qing Hu Island to the ground a long time ago." The incident at Great Yan Mountain had incited in Teng Qingshan's heart a deep hatred against Qing Hu Island. He hated Qing Hu Island for being the existence which caused the death of his Great Uncle, the disability of his father, and the deaths of the Black Armored Soldiers and Lady Qing. Moreover, Qing Hu Island had pursued him throughout the entire world and endeavored to kill him!
Teng Qingshan naturally hated Qing Hu Island to the core!
Qing Hu Island also blamed Teng Qingshan for the deaths of their thirteen Innate Experts! So, Qing Hu Island naturally desired to kill Teng Qingshan as well.
This grudge between Teng Qingshan and Qing Hu Island would never be resolved!
"That's good then." Zhuge Yuanhong nodded. "Considering your talents, with enough time, you will definitely be able to eradicate Qing Hu Island."
"By the way, Teacher. On the night of the previous day, the Blind Swordmaster flew past the Nine Wolf Island." Teng Qingshan suddenly recalled as he said, "I reckon the Blind Swordmaster must have been on his way back to Qing Hu Island after successfully killing Elder Wu."
"He didn't attack you?" Zhuge Yuanhong was astonished.
"No." Teng Qingshan shook his head as he replied, "I only sensed the presence of the Blind Swordmaster. I didn't notice the Emptiness Realm Demonic Beast."
"It's just as I expected." Zhuge Yuanhong nodded and said, "Qingshan, let's go in the house and talk."
Teng Qingshan was an Emptiness Realm Expert, while Zhuge Yuanhong was the Sovereign of the Gui Yuan Sect. They had actually been chatting in the rain for quite a long while. It was apparent that Elder Wu's death was really a heavy blow to both of them.
The two sat opposite each other under a pavilion. Outside the pavilion, the rain cascaded continuously.
"I didn't think it through this time."
Zhuge Yuanhong shook his head and replied, "I wasn't cautious enough. I didn't think that the Blind Swordmaster had been able to borrow the Emptiness Realm Demonic Beast, hence causing the death of Elder Wu." Zhuge Yuanhong knew well that if the Blind Swordmaster cooperated with the Emptiness Realm Demonic Beast, the chance of Elder Wu's survival would be less than ten percent. Through the intelligence officers of the Gui Yuan Sect, he had also found out that Elder Wu never returned to the Gui Yuan Sect.
There was a 99% chance that Elder Wu had already died.
"Is it so easy to borrow an Emptiness Realm Demonic Beast?" Teng Qingshan frowned as he asked.
"No." Zhuge Yuanhong shook his head and said, "Before the rise of the Heavenly God Palace, the Shooting Sun God Mountain and the Qing Hu Island were not on good terms. Since they were neighboring sects, both of them guarded against each other. Moreover, this vigilant relationship had continued for over a thousand years. Unconsciously, I never expected that the Blind Swordmaster would be able to even borrow the Emptiness Realm Demonic Beast.
"During these recent few months, I've devoted my entire mind on the cultivation of Dao. Thus, I forgot that the Shooting Sun God Mountain and the Qing Hu Island were about to form an alliance due to the threat of the Heavenly God Palace."
Zhuge Yuanhong shook his head and sighed.
It was all because of his habitual ways of thinking.
"If I had thought about this earlier, I would have let you stay in the Gui Yuan Sect." Zhuge Yuanhong smiled bitterly and said, "Even if the Blind Swordmaster came then, there would be two Emptiness Realm Experts. I could have claimed that you are Elder Wu's friend. Even if the Blind Swordmaster cooperated with an Emptiness Realm Demonic Beast, he would have only been able to kill one while the other would have brought disaster upon Qing Hu Island. Therefore, it would definitely have been possible to save Elder Wu."
"Teacher, even a wise man makes mistakes. Don't feel too guilty. We need to move forward," Teng Qingshan advised. "Actually, I am now most worried that the Blind Swordmaster might deploy a great army and eradicate the entire Gui Yuan Sect."
"Hm?" Zhuge Yuanhong's facial expression changed slightly. "That is very possible."
"Even if I was there, I wouldn't be able to stop the Qing Hu Island if the Blind Swordmaster had come with an Emptiness Realm Demonic Beast," Teng Qingshan said as he shook his head and smiled helplessly.
"Qingshan." Zhuge Yuanhong shook his head and said, "There's no need to worry. Firstly, it is impossible for the Blind Swordmaster to borrow the Emptiness Realm Demonic Beast again just to eradicate the Gui Yuan Sect. Secondly, he might not be able to borrow it even if he wanted to."
"Oh?" Teng Qingshan was shocked.
"Qingshan, it is extremely difficult to borrow an Emptiness Realm Demonic Beast." Zhuge Yuanhong explained, "In the Land of the Nine Prefectures, the sects that possess Emptiness Realm Demonic Beasts should be the Snow Hawk hall and the Shooting Sun God Mountain... If you wish to borrow their Emptiness Realm Demonic Beast to help kill an enemy, you would need to be on good terms with these sects.
"Moreover, the Emptiness Realm Expert you wish to kill must not have a powerful background. Otherwise, the sect that lent out the Emptiness Realm Demonic Beast would also suffer.
"Thirdly, you have to be more powerful than the person you wish to kill because the Emptiness Realm Demonic Demonic Beast will only help and not actually kill the person for you.
"Fourthly, there's a huge price to pay! Take the Shooting Sun God Mountain as an example. The Shooting Sun God Mountain undertakes a risk when they lend out their Emptiness Realm Demonic Beast. If the Emptiness Realm Expert wasn't killed, the Emptiness Realm Expert would antagonize the Shooting Sun God Mountain as well. Therefore, a huge price must be paid for the Emptiness Realm Demonic Beast."
When Teng Qingshan heard this, he immediately understood.
With the four conditions, it was extremely difficult for an Emptiness Realm Expert to kill another Emptiness Realm Expert.
"Qingshan, your identity is now Jing Yi." Zhuge Yuanhong smiled and said, "No one in the Land of the Nine Prefectures has ever heard of an Emptiness Realm Expert who goes by that name. Because of how mysterious you are, the Shooting Sun God Mountain will not agree to lend the Emptiness Realm Demonic Beast to the Blind Swordmaster because they do not want to provoke a mysterious enemy."
Teng Qingshan nodded.
"As long as the Emptiness Realm Demonic Beast isn't helping, you should be fine dealing with just the Blind Swordmaster. Am I right?" Zhuge Yuanhong asked while staring at Teng Qingshan.
"Yes." Teng Qingshan nodded.
"However, Qingshan... Although it is almost impossible for the Blind Swordmaster to kill you with the Emptiness Realm Demonic Beast, you should still be careful. It would be best if we leave this Nine Wolf Island," Zhuge Yuanhong advised sternly, "Since the Blind Swordmaster knows that you are here."
Teng Qingshan didn't hesitate at all. On that very same day, amidst the pouring rain, he asked his Third Disciple Xue Xin to meet up with his Martial Brothers. Then he left the Nine Wolf Island with Zhuge Yuanhong, the Six Legged Bladelike Chi, and the Whole Gale Eagle.
In Yi City of Jiangning County:
Teng Qingshan and Zhuge Yuanhong were in a very serene mansion.
"Qingshan, from today onwards, you will stay in Yi City temporarily. Yi City is near Jiangning County, so it will be easy for us to care for each other if anything happens. As for that Blind Swordmaster, he probably still thinks you are on the Nine Wolf Island." Zhuge Yuanhong stared at Teng Qingshan for a moment. Then suddenly, his expression appeared complicated, and he uttered, "Qingshan, the Martial Ancestor is dead, but you have to live!"
Teng Qingshan froze slightly as his teacher stared at him.
"You must live," Zhuge Yuanhong said with penetrating eyes. "Even if the Gui Yuan Sect is eradicated temporarily, you must live. The Gui Yuan Sect will only prosper again if you are alive."
Hearing this, Teng Qingshan could feel the great responsibility he shouldered.
"Yes, Teacher." Teng Qingshan nodded.
On Qing Hu Island in Yangzhou:
It was the morning of the 28th of March. On the Sword Edge Mountain, Gu Yong, who was dressed in grey gunny robes, and Tie Fan, who had on a luxurious fur coat, stood respectfully beside a black-cloaked blind man.
"Martial Ancestor, we have issued the order to deploy the armies near the borders of Jiangning County. They should receive the message this afternoon and advance towards Jiangning County from three directions," Tie Fan said respectfully.
"Good," the Blind Swordmaster said calmly, "I am not afraid of this weak Gui Yuan Sect. However, Zhuge Yuanhong escaped when I was killing Elder Wu. I am just afraid that Zhuge Yuanhong may stir up a great commotion in Qing Hu Island when our army attacks Gui Yuan Sect. Zhuge Yuanhong is only one step away from the Emptiness Realm... He may achieve a breakthrough at any time. Thus, we must not be careless."
"Tie Fan," the Blind Swordmaster ordered, "Issue this order: all the Innate Experts, Elite disciples, and younger generations of Qing Hu Island are to leave Qing Hu Island temporarily. Tell them to go sightseeing in the county-cities nearby and come back after ten days. These people are the future of Qing Hu Island. We must not let anything happen to them."
"Yes, Martial Ancestor," Tie Fan said respectfully.
"Leave some elderly men on the island. The older generations will be the guards." The Blind Swordmaster instructed, "Tie Fan, you should go sightseeing too. As for you, Gu Yong, accompany me to Jiangning County-City. We will lead the three armies together and trample the Gui Yuan Sect to the ground."
"Yes, Martial Ancestor."
"Yes, Martial Ancestor."
Tie Fan, who was the Island Lord of Qing Hu Island, and Gu Yong, the disciple of Qing Hu Island who held the highest possibility to reach the Emptiness Realm, both responded with respect at the same time.