Li Yuewen's angry voice echoed hysterically in the cavern. Claire was shaken dizzy, but she didn't dare to refute.
"Alright, Yuewen. That the treasured sword has chosen Claire as its master is a fact. We can't change anything." Li Mingyu said quietly.
Li Yuewen let go of Claire's collar furiously, but still glared at Claire.
Claire glanced at the sword in her hand and her lips twitched. She really wanted to say, I also didn't want the sword to accept me as its master, but against Li Yuewen's killing gaze, Claire sensibly repressed her urge.
"What's going on? Was it that only people from the Li clan could be accepted by the sword? Why would I be able to pull it out?" Claire looked suspiciously at the sword in her hand, perplexed.
"Of course you could..." Li Yuewen said angrily, about to say something, but Li Mingyu warned her in a low voice, "Yuewen!"
Li Mingyu's expression was extremely complex. He said quietly, "It's already a fact that Claire has been chose to become the master of the Azure Ripple sword. Since it has actually done so, there must be a reason. It's just that we are unable to know exactly why."
Claire watched the two who had complex expressions. She kept on feeling like the two were hiding something, but wasn't able to tell exactly what it was.
"This is an artifact? I don't feel anything unusual abbout it." Claire said doubtfully. She raised the Azure Ripple sword and lightly swung it around.
"The Azure Ripple sword is a weapon that can grow. As you continuously develop, he will also develop with you and display his might. This is why he is called an artifact. Seeing the Azure Ripple now, it seems that it really is only a normal sword." Li Yuewen said moodily.
Sure enough, the Azure Ripple sword that was originally glowing silver slowly darkened and turned into a very ordinary longsword.
Claire brandished the Azure Ripple sword dejectedly, wanting to say, it's only a weapon, but it actually looks down on people so much. In any case, it was the first time she had heard of a weapon that could grow.
"But now what do we do? Originally, you two wanted to find this sword to revive the Li clan. Now you will return empty handed..." Claire worried asked the Li siblings. Although Claire wasn't satisfied, she immediately remembered this.
"We can only improve one step at a time then. We have already tried our best. If the heavens want to end our Li clan..." Li Minyu's voice was a little bleak.
Li Yuewen became frantic, immediately saying, "Elder brother! That won't happen! I won't let the Li clan end!"
Seeing the circumstance, Claire started feeling conflicted. It it wasn't for the sword crazily choosing her as its master, the situation wouldn't have developed into this!
"Can, can I do anything for you?" In the end, Claire asked this quietly.
"No need. It is heaven's will that the sword has accepted you..." Li Mingyu said quietly, but before he finished speaking, Li Yuewen interrupted him.
"Of course, you need to work for us, you need to pay responsibility!" Li Yuewen said loudly, angry.
"Yes, yes, my responsibility, my wrongdoing." Claire nodded over and over. "Then what can I do for you?"
"Three months later, at the four major clans' competition, you need to battle on behalf of the Li clan! Using the Azure Ripple sword!" Li Yuewen said righteously and forcefully.
"Ah?" Claire's mouth opened wide. She stared at Li Yuewen. "Outsiders can represent the Li clan in fights?"
"Who said you were an outsider?!" As she spoke faster and faster, Li Yuewen almost said something, but meeting Li Mingyu's meaningful gaze, she immediately changed it and said angrily, "Our Li clan's Azure Ripple sword has already accepted you as its master! You can be considered half a member of the Li clan! What's wrong with representing us?"
"So that's it?" Claire blinked, staring at the ordinary looking Azure Ripple sword, even feeling a little innocent and wronged.
"How could it not! You stinkin brat, acting like you're innocent even though you benefited! Now the artifact has even acknowledged you as its owner, isn't it proper for you to work for the Li clan?" Li Yuewen looked incredibly resentful and anxious.
"Oh, that seems to make some sense." Claire stroked her chin, then sighed. "Alright, then three months later, I will represent you in battle."
"Good." Li Yuewen nodded, satisfied.
Li Mingyu was frozen and still hadn't come back to his senses. The two made their decision just like that?!
"But right now, you are way too weak. You can't even bring out half of the Azure Ripple sword's power right now. I'll train you for the next three months." Li Yuewen's eyes lit up, incomparably "wicked".
Claire's mouth trembled. She suddenly felt like her prospects had become gloomy. Claire glanced at the sword in her hand a little resentfully, cursing at how unlucky she was just then. She could have rested on anything because of her feet falling asleep, but she just had to rest on the damn sword. Now she was actually in hot water! It really wasn't her fault, how depressing!
Everybody casted sympathetic gazes at Claire. Camille shrugged slightly, showing that although he felt sympathy, he couldn't do anything. On the other hand, the meaning in Jean's eyes were clear: no matter where Miss goes, I shall follow!
"We'll train in Mountain of Lost Souls for the next two months and then return to the Li clan and train for the third month." Li Yuewen said viciously.
Claire was at a loss for words.
"Then let's go now. How do we go out?" Claire asked, puzzled looking at the giant curved slide.
"There's stairs over there." Camille smiled and pointed at a long staircase at the side.
Everybody turned to look. Sure enough, they saw that there was a well kept staircase next to the slide. They all felt frustrated and then suddenly thought that whoever had designed the cave and set up the barrier was truly mischievous. Even though there was a staircase, they just had to experience sliding down painfully as their bottoms were scraped.
But just at this moment, there was an alarmingly loud sound from the cavern's entrance and then the cavern started to shake violently. Stones continuously dropped and the entire cavern was on the verge of collapse.
"It's going to collapse! Ahhhhh!" Summer screamed fearfully.
With a wave of her hand, Claire constructed a barrier that surrounded everybody.
"It's the Hua clan!" Li Yuewen's expression was ice cold as she spoke decisively.
Everybody froze. Claire was also perplexed. "It can't be, nothing can hidden over the seas, if there was a boat, we could have definitely discovered it. Our captain and sailors were all chosen by the city lord personally and are all loyal soldiers of the empire."
Stones thumped as they smashed on the the barrier. Although the shaking of the cave looked very dangerous, it didn't collapse in the end. Instead, the light from the cave's entrance was gradually disappearing. The entrance was being buried.
"There's only one explanation: someone infiltrated as one of the sailors." Li Yuewen's expression became colder and colder.
"Impossible." Camille said softly, "I saw every person the city lord chose, they were all citizens of the empire, purely from Amparkland. Their backgrounds were all clean."
"It's not a person being replaced, but someone's soul!" Li Yuewen clenched her teeth.
At this moment, the cavern had finally quieted down. There were stones all over the place and the entrance was completely sealed.
"What do you mean?" Claire sensed something was wrong.
"The Hua clan has a high level evil magic. It can transfer a person's soul to another person's body, engulf their soul, and then control their body." Li Mingyu's expression was also becoming unsightly. He said in a low voice, "Who would have thought they would spend so much to stop us. They actually sent someone who could use such high level magic."
A clash between spiritual powers? Claire had figured out what kind of power it was.
"What if the person they're trying to take over has strong spiritual power?" Claire immediately asked as she undid the barrier.
"Then there would be a backlash. If it was a heavy blow, then they would be dead and if light, then they would become a vegetable. That's why they don't dare to use the evil magic so easily. This time they chose to use it against one of the sailors and didn't dare to choose any of you guys." Li Yuewen sneered. "I reckon they wanted to blow of the cavern and bury us alight, but the cavern can't collapse so easily. That's why they will definitely be waiting for us at the entrance to ambush us."
"Then let's get rid of them!" Ben said sinisterly.
"That magic seems really interesting." Walter smiled toothily, becoming interested. As a Dark magician, naturally he would want to experience the evil magic, or, better yet, learn it.
"I actually want to know where their true body is." A strange smile appeared on Claire's lips. She said softly, "If their body is destroyed, then what will happen to their soul that's in another body?"
After hearing Claire's words, everybody's heart suddenly shuddered.
"Let's go out first then talk." Claire carried the ordinary looking Azure Ripple sword, leading the way.
They group went up the staircase. Ben waved his hand casually, casting magic to clear the path.
But at this moment, Li Yuewen suddenly stopped and called out, "Wait!"
"What is it?" Claire frowned slightly. She concentrated and sensed the surroundings, but didn't find anything out of the ordinary.
"Claire, you rely on the brute force of this dragon too much. It won't benefit your growth at all! So from now on, he can't do anything, unless you're on your dying breath!" Li Yuewen said seriously.
"Ah?" Claire's mouth was wide open. Seeing the staircase covered in stones, she had a headache. Did she want her to start doing everything by herself now?
"Good luck, Commander. I will fan you from behind." Camille had on a remorseful expression as he was standing right behind Claire, preparing to wave a small fan he had gotten from who knows where for Claire.
Ben immediately moved out of the way and withdrew.
Summer started smiling soundlessly. Qiao Chuxin blinked, she seemed to be a little confused.
Walter yawned and leaned on the wall, starting to wait. Just as Jean was about to say something, Li Yuewen said coldly, "If you want Claire to die onstage at the competition three months later, you can interfere." Jean silently withdrew.
Edited explanation on spiritual powers: If any of you guys have read wu dong qian kong, it's basically the same thing as mental power. Last time I checked the poll, spiritual/soul won, so.