"Who are you?!" Tianshi cried out coldly, recalling all of the training she had with Xuefeng as she held the handle of her sword tightly. She knew that at this moment, she could only count on herself and Yi.
The man walked forward to stand under the light of the small lamp and said while smiling gently, "Don't worry. We are not here to hurt you girls. As long as you go with us on your own free will and don't cause any problems, nothing will happen to you." He was quite handsome for a middle-aged man, but one could see some signs of ageing.
His hair was originally short and black, but recently some grey spots started appearing on the edges. It made him look older, but at the same time added some mature presence to his face as well. Under his leather coat, one could see abundant muscles as well, which added to his appeal.
Just as the girls saw the man, they instantly recognized him and Yi exclaimed excitedly, "I know you! You are Master Kai! The only Sword Sage in the capital who is on the verge of becoming a Spirit Monarch!" There was a bit of excitement in Yi's voice but it soon disappeared when she recalled at what situation they were in.
Master Kai smiled hearing Yi's enthusiasm and checked out her skills before praising her, "Oh, I see that I met a fan. Your stance is very good and with the way you hold your sword I can tell that you put lots of time in training your swords skills. Good kid."
"Thank you, Master Kai!" Yi called out with a smile, feeling happy to be praised by the man she admired this whole time. Xuefeng was different as she held admiration and blooming affection towards him, but Yi only held admiration towards Master Kai as he acted as her role model.
"Yi!" Tianshi exclaimed as she poked Yi on the side with an elbow, waking her up from her daze. Everyone knows that Master Kai worked for the Tang Family, so just from that, they could figure out what was the purpose of Master Kai's appearance.
"What do you want to do with us?" Tianshi asked right after as she glared at the middle-aged man. She was not at all convinced by Master Kai's gentleman-like attitude, as she knew there was nothing good happening from their meeting.
She recalled the stances Xuefeng taught her and aimed the tip of her sword at Master Kai's face while keeping her body balanced. Her right leg was moved forward as she kept the right angle that allowed her the best mobility. Such sight made Master Kai surprised as he pondered for a moment and asked, thinking that he understood, "I see that there must be a new sword teacher in the Xiao Family. Can you maybe tell me what his name is?"
"Will you let us go if we tell you?" Tianshi asked with a smirk.
"No. I will just find out myself then." Master Kai quickly shook his head. He was only curious, and this wouldn't affect his mission, so he continued by asking calmly, "Can you girls put down your weapons and follow me, or do you want us to take you away by force? You know you can't resist me and I do not like to hurt girls, so please don't force me."
Tianshi caught one detail and asked, "Us?" She instantly scanned her surroundings but couldn't find anyone around them. It only meant that whoever was hiding in the shadows was either stronger than her, or too far for her to detect anything.
"Oh, you think I would be alone on such an important mission? Who knows how many people protect you in secret. Fortunately, we were lucky enough to catch you without any guards." Master Kai explained before he whistled.
Swish, swish, swish.
Right at that time, multiple shadows started landing all around them from the sky, surrounding them quickly. The ladies knew that Master Kai was enough to beat them up, but they still planned to run. Now that more cultivators arrived, it would be even harder for them to escape.
'Fifteen Saint expert and one Sage...' Tianshi counted each enemy they would have to face to escape before she looked at Yi, who was getting anxious seeing them being surrounded and thought, 'Should I take her with me...?'
"As you can see, you have no other choice but to surrender. What do you girls choose? Will you behave?" Master Kai asked as he showed his small army.
"How about this. If you can defeat Yi in a sword fight, we will surrender and go with you guys." Tianshi suddenly dropped her sword and proposed.
"Oh, you want to stall for time? Fine by me. I will be done in under a minute." Hearing Tianshi's proposition, Master Kai instantly recognized what she had been planning, but that did not worry him too much.
"But you can only use your sword skills. Without using your stage to your advantage. If we win, you will let us go." Tianshi added another condition seeing him agree on this fast.
"Deal." Master Kai agreed again with confidence without thinking too much and pulled out his shiny one-handed sword before asking Yi, "Miss, would you mind joining me?"
Before Yi could reject, Tianshi encouraged her by patting her on the shoulder and by saying, "Just go. Follow the training you learned last week and show him who is better."
"Okay." Yi did not know what Tianshi was planning, but looking into her eyes, she noticed that she was not scared. She definitely had a plan to get them out.
Unfortunately, Tianshi's proposal was not part of her plan. It was just a side idea which she thought of, that could help them stall for time and maybe someone would notice they were missing before sending a team to save them. Her own plan was too dangerous to perform, so if there was any other plan than that, she would choose it.
As the fight began, Master Kai did not waste any time and shot straight towards her, focusing on attacking. She had greatly improved from the first time she fought with Xuefeng, thanks to their daily sessions which made her instinctively block the strike and reply with her own.
Knowing Master Kai's fame, she was quite hesitant to fight, but as she fought through the first few exchanges with him, Yi got much more confident with herself. She actually didn't lose versus a legendary Sword Sage at the beginning of the battle and even better, she managed to fight back a few times!
After about one minute into the sparring, Master Kai finally got serious, seeing that he already broke the one minute mark he set for himself. It wasn't that he didn't try at the start, it was more like he didn't expect her to be this good! In the middle of the fight, he wondered who was the one who could actually train someone to such level.
Most Sword Arts were already forgotten in the history and it's quite rare to see someone with this level of knowledge. If she could be this good at her age, then how good was their master?
In the end, It was still Master Kai who won thanks to his countless years of experience, but it took him almost three minutes to beat a young lady, which was extremely shameful to him. He was definitely not satisfied with this win.
"He taught you well." Master Kai praised impressed, before he asked curiously, "Who is your Master?"
"Haha," Tianshi laughed as she approached Yi and pulled her back to their original spot by the hand, before saying with a smirk, "Well, you will soon be able to see him. Don't worry."
"What do you mean?" Master Kai asked confused, looking around on instinct. It was completely dark at the moment, but he could still see as if it was bright. He didn't see anyone in the distance.
"Haha, you think we would just come alone to the quiet lake in the middle of the night just to look at the views? The war is about to break down and you think my father would allow me to go out without hundreds of guards? It was obviously just to lure you guys here and kill you..." Tianshi laughed evilly, as she explained. Every Saint cultivator who heard her suddenly had shivers.
It was all because she was all right! Why would Xiao Feng allow two lone girls to go out every night just to return after wandering near the lake? It was all to lure them into a trap! Even Master Kai felt unease as he put Tianshi's words together. It all made sense!
"Watch out! Spread out and check your surroundings!" Master Kai quickly gave out orders to his saint experts who got ready for a fight. They didn't know what awaited them, so they had to get ready for the worse.
"Haha, it's too late already." Tianshi laughed before she called out as she looked behind Master Kai, "Father, Master Mo, kill him!" Her tone sounded as if there was actually someone behind him which made him swiftly turn around. Knowing there was a possibility of there being a master swordsman in Xiao Family ranks, he could not allow his opponent to sneak attack him.
Just as he turned, with the sword in his hands, he heard a sound of wings fluttering and he knew he was tricked, seeing no one behind him. In the sky, Tianshi was speeding upwards with Yi in her arms, trying to gain as much lead as possible thanks to her sabotage.
She knew that it would be easier for her to escape without taking Yi, but she couldn't leave her alone. Since they got back from the Eastern Region, Yi stopped being annoying, and actually sided more with Tianshi instead. They even sneaked out of the palace with the risk of getting scolded by Xiao Feng or even getting fired in Yi's case. Also, it was not in her nature to leave her own behind. Even if Yi was still a pain in the ass, she would still take Yi with her.
"Fuck, we were tricked. Chase after them!" Master Kai cursed after realising he was fooled and launched into the sky while calling out the order.
"Milady, you could leave me there. They will catch up to us pretty soon." Yi complained as she held onto Tianshi's arms, and looked down at their pursuers. They were quickly catching up, because of the additional weight which was her.
"We just need to reach the gates and we will be safe. I already activated the Crystal Signal and my father should soon rescue us." Tianshi said as she pushed harder and harder, flying towards the capital.
"It will be too late, we can't allow them to catch us, or our family will be in huge problem. Milady, use the Teleportation Artefact and escape!" Yi cried out, feeling touched that Tianshi saved her, but she had to make the right decision to save her milady.
After her last word, she suddenly let go of Tianshi and started falling. She was not a Saint cultivator, so she couldn't fly and didn't have any flying spells like Tianshi did.
"Yi!!" Tianshi cried out slowing her escape for a moment.
"Milady! Escape!" Seeing this Yi shouted in the last moments but her voice slowly quietened as she continued to fall down towards the lake.
"Catch her!" Master Kai pointed towards Tianshi, completely disregarding Yi falling down. His main goal was the daughter of Xiao Family and not a servant. She would only be a nice bonus.
"Damn you, Yi!" Tianshi cursed almost crying, seeing Yi's sacrifice, she pulled out the only Teleportation Artefact she had. It was a single use artefact, which only allowed one person to transport a few Li away.
It was because of this, that she decided not to use it from the start. She couldn't just selfishly leave Yi earlier. Now that they separated, Tianshi had no other choice but to use it. Yi knew that all the experts would chase after Tianshi if they separated, which would allow both of them to escape. After all, Yi would not die from falling into the water from such height.
Unfortunately, just as Tianshi started channelling her Spirit Qi through the Teleportation Artefact, she heard Master Kai cry out, "Don't think you are escaping from me!"
A ball of blazing fire exploded right in front of her, sending her artefact flying away and blowing her at the same time. Master Kai had mastered Ether Qi and Fire Qi which made it possible for him to send bombs of fire in short distances.
He was supposed to not hurt her at all, and bring her back safe, but with the situation developing in this way, he did not have any other choices. Seeing Tianshi dropping towards the lake, he rushed towards her, to prevent any further damage she would get after a crash into the water.
Both of her wings were destroyed as she blocked most of the impact with them, and due to the lack of Air Qi, she couldn't make another pair. Master Kai rushed towards her, but Tianshi dropped too fast for him. She would inevitably fall to the ground, which left him with only being able to pray that she would be alright afterwards.
"What?" Master Kai exclaimed. Right before Tianshi was about to hit the still water of the lake, a wave suddenly formed, exploding forward before taking Tianshi with it. In the next second, the lake returned to being as still as ever.
"Find her!" Master Kai ordered to his subordinates having a bad feeling about this situation.