Chapter 33: Repercussions
Translator: JL Editor: Pranav
Shi Xueman allowed herself to stop and catch her breath; however, she did this only after she managed to destroy twenty-seven wooden stakes and shatter thirty-seven iron targets consecutively.
Wiping off the beads of perspiration that trickled down her forehead, Shi Xueman realized that after venting her anger, her pent up frustrations were finally relieved. She had initially been so confident about fighting a blind battle, but reality had given her a cruel slap in the face.
Shi Xueman felt that ever since she had encountered that scoundrel, her luck had started going downhill. Everything had become increasingly unfavorable for her.
When she noticed Uncle Yong Zheng shuffling hurriedly in her direction, she halted her training, and a trace of hope inadvertently rose within her. "Have you found any news of that scoundrel?"
"Miss, we just received news that Young Master Zu Yan was beaten unconscious at a training hall.
Shi Xueman paused for a moment, before responding, "Ah, Zu Yan? He was knocked unconscious? What's the situation now?"
She had known Zu Yan when she was a young girl. Both of their families were on good terms, and they were close family friends. Zu Yan was younger than her by 2 years, and she had always seen him as a little brat. When they were both children, he had always followed her around like a shadow; however, when he grew older, his talent had also emerged. Nobody had expected that Zu Yan would be the first in his family's younger generation to successfully comprehend [Flaming Heavenly Fire Transformation].
Since then, Shi Xueman had hardly seen him, and she had reckoned that he was locked up at home training. As the sole seedling of the new generation, the Zu family placed him with the utmost importance. In this aspect, though, Shi Xueman was no exception, but in spite of that, she was more diligent and had higher expectations for herself. She did not need to live under the constant supervision of others, and as such, her family did not impose many restrictions on her.
Yong Zheng replied, "The Zu family's servants took him home."
"That is good to hear," Shi Xueman softly sighed with relief. Shortly after, her expression became grave, as she asked, "What is the background of the opposite party?"
"We are not sure yet. There have been many skilled practitioners from the outer-states recently participating in blind battles at Central Pine City." Yong Zheng paused before continuing, "Currently, we only know that the other party is an earth elementalist. He also has a brilliant sand puppet that aided him in defeating Young Master Zu Yan in the blind battle."
"Blind battle?" Shi Xueman asked, surprised. Her first thought was of that scoundrel from the previous battle. However, upon thinking some more, she realized that if the opposite party had a sand puppet, then it could not be the scoundrel. Shi Xueman clearly remembered every detail about that scoundrel, and while she was unable to determine his identity, she was entirely certain that he was not an earth elementalist.
Furthermore, it was highly unlikely that that scoundrel could defeat Zu Yan in a blind battle.
The Shi family and Zu family were family friends, and thus, Shi Xueman knew much more about the Zu Family's legacy skills than the ordinary person. She had long heard that Zu Yan had managed to activate two palaces according to [Flaming Heavenly Spider Transformation], and as long as two palaces of the [Flaming Heavenly Spider Transformation] were activated, he would be able to learn [Hellfire Spider Web]. [Hellfire Spider Web] was similar to a spider web, in the sense that it would spread around an area to detect any movements within its surroundings. It could be said to be a weapon that was designed for blind battles.
In fact, it seemed as if blind battles were tailored specifically for Zu Yan.
Shi Xueman knew that in a standard duel, she had an eighty percent chance of defeating Zu Yan. However, in a blind battle, Shi Xueman clearly understood that she would not even stand a chance in defeating him.
Yet Zu Yan was actually beaten in a blind battle!
Furthermore, he was knocked unconscious!
One could imagine the astonishment that Shi Xueman was feeling. She tried to recall the identities of skilled earth elementalists of the Induction Ground that could defeat Zu Yan. While there were many earth elementalist members who were definitely stronger than Zu Yan, it was difficult for her to pinpoint who exactly could defeat Zu Yan in a blind battle.
After gradually recovering from her shock, she sighed again. "Perhaps it's a good thing, lest he becomes arrogant."
Yong Zheng glanced at Shi Xueman and laughed bitterly to himself. He, too, was shocked when he first heard the news. Central Pine City could be described as 'turbulent' in recent times, but as a resident of Central Pine City for many years, he was used to the previous peace and quiet. In the Induction Ground, Central Pine City was a small city that never had many experts.
However, the sudden boom in popularity of blind battles had brought about a drastic change in the environment of Central Pine City.
The news of Zu Yan's defeat and the mysterious earth elementalist was sure to spread like wildfire; unfortunately, it would only attract the attention of more skilled experts. If news that the famous Shi Xueman was hiding in his very own training ground was disclosed, then Central Pine City would get even more crowded.
He sighed. He should not keep worrying blindly about such things.
He could only laugh bitterly when he recalled that the blind battle was initially his idea.
"Ask around for more information on this earth elementalist," Shi Xueman instructed.
Yong Zheng nodded affirmatively and replied, "Yes."
As predicted, the news of Zu Yan being defeated by a mysterious earth elementalist quickly spread around the entire Central Pine City at an alarming rate. Zu Yan was simply too famous. Although Zu Yan had managed to activate two palaces, it was not considered to be an achievement in the Induction Ground. However, the fact that he practiced the absolute art [Flaming Heavenly Spider Transformation] was sufficient enough for him to rise to fame.
Throughout the Zu Family's long history, the disciples of each generation who had managed to comprehend the [Flaming Heavenly Spider Transformation] were all over the age of 30. Zu Yan, who was able to comprehend an absolute art at such a young age, had already revealed his astonishing talent. This had greatly enforced the belief that he would have an exceptionally bright future. Due to his age, however, his power was now limited.
Moreover, absolute arts were absolute arts, after all. So what if Zu Yan had activated only two palaces? Zu Yan's capability was definitely not any less than those who had managed to activate four palaces.
Zu Yan had entered the Induction Ground while bearing the burden of being the top of the Zu's family younger generation. While he was not a common household topic, Zu Yan's fame definitely surpassed every student of Central Pine City.
Even the reputation of the top genius of Central Pine City, Duanmu Huanghun, was incomparable to that of Zu Yan.
One could only imagine the sensation that Zu Yan's defeat had brought to Central Pine City; the whole city was discussing the identity of the mysterious earth elementalist. The effect of this incident was not just limited to Central Pine City-after hearing about it, many outstanding experts of other cities had also become exceptionally interested; they sought to take part in the famed blind battles of Central Pine City.
However, no one knew about the miserable state of Ai Hui and Lou Lan-the chief protagonists of this incident.
Swoosh! Lou Lan slid down from the fence.
"Ai Hui, how do you feel?"
Remaining in the form of a puddle of quicksand, Lou Lan smoothly glided to the side of a mummified figure. The figure, which was Ai Hui, looked far worse compared to Lou Lan; it was wrapped in countless of loops of white bandages and the right arm was pitifully hanging in front of its chest.
In the main training hall, Ai Hui was miserably resting on the rattan chair, chewing on a blade of grass. He mumbled, "Lou Lan, are you all right?"
"Master Shao said that I will only be able to stand after three days. Before that, I'm unable to heal you, Ai Hui," Lou Lan reported with regret, before continuing, "Do you want me to find Doctor Mu Xiu to heal you first?"
"Nope. I'm not in a hurry anyway. I will wait for you to recover and then heal me. I'm a poor man, you see!"
"Ok." Lou Lan did not protest and, like a snake, started to wind around a pillar that was next to Ai Hui. He stopped his ascent when he reached Ai Hui's eye level.
Ai Hui suddenly spoke. "Thank you for yesterday, Lou Lan."
"Why are you thanking me, Ai Hui? Wasn't it supposed to be like this?" Lou Lan asked in confusion.
"I'm referring to not forgetting to take our reward when we left!" Ai Hui gazed up at the heavens while euphorically exclaiming, "So much cash! We are rich! We are rich!"
The cash reward was extremely generous-it amounted to five hundred thousand yuan, which was a tremendous amount in Ai Hui's eyes.
"We won," Lou Lan burst out with joy. He was particularly happy that he had managed to win his first actual battle. Nothing could make him more satisfied than the fact that he had played a major role in the fight.
Suddenly, Ai Hui, his voice laced with concern, asked, "Oh yes, what did Master Shao say about your special abilities?"