Library of Heaven is Path
1933 Xue Qin’s Father
Xue Qin's rage immediately hit the boiling point.
She was the Second Young Mistress of the City Lord Manor, a person who was respected and adored wherever she went. To be used as a bet and be asked to serve as another person's maid… This was a grave insult to her!
"She isn't my subordinate. I have no right to make this decision!" Huo Jianghe replied with a frown.
"Is it? I guess it can't be helped then. The three fellows who came before you weren't a challenge at all. All it took was one blow, and I can't begin to emphasize just how boring it was. I doubt you would be any different from them. So, let's not waste each other's time and cancel the duel, alright?" Zhang Xuan stretched his back lazily as he spoke.
Huo Jianghe glared at Zhang Xuan coldly with narrowed eyes as he said, "As a skilled sword practitioner, how can you renege on your words so easily?"
"This woman looked down on me earlier. I feel deeply indignant at her actions, and this leaves me feeling stifled inside. Unless she becomes my maid, I won't be able to take this lying! Given my current state, I don't think that I'll be able to bring out the full prowess of my swordsmanship, which renders this entire duel meaningless… Given how important this matter is, don't you think that it's only right for me to consider it carefully?"
Placing his hands behind his back, Zhang Xuan looked at Huo Jianghe with his head upright, as if he was doing the latter a favor, "It's not that I want to offend the young lady beside you, but this is for the sake of the duel too. I can't think of a greater insult to one's opponent than to face him in a weakened state! You have approached with utmost sincerity, so I reckon that you would want to face me at full strength instead of defeating me in my weakened state… Such a victory wouldn't reflect well on you either, isn't that so?"
Huo Jianghe's knuckles cracked loudly.
How in the world was the other party spouting this bunch of bullsh*t without feeling embarrassed in the slightest? If he could, he would really like to give the other party a good pummeling!
So, what you are saying is that as long as I don't accept that bet, I would be bullying you. Even if I win, it would be because I'm taking advantage of you in your weakened state?
"Senior, you mustn't fall for his cheap provocations!" Seeing that Huo Jianghe was actually starting to rethink the matter, Xue Qin's face paled as she exclaimed anxiously.
"You all seem to be making me out to be the villain here… Fine, fine! Even if you don't agree with my request, I'll still have the duel with you, alright? All you want is to defeat me, right? I doubt that you care whether the duel is fair or not anyway…" Zhang Xuan shook his head in desolation. "I guess that's all there is to the pride of the experts of the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion. They would stoop down to anything as long as they can achieve victory…"
"Enough! I'll accede to your request, is that all?" Huo Jianghe bellowed furiously.
It might seem as if Zhang Xuan was grasping at straws, but in truth, he had managed to hit Huo Jianghe's weakness dead on. Huo Jianghe was someone with a lot of pride, and he couldn't bear the idea of anyone casting doubt over his abilities.
"Senior…" Xue Qin staggered in shock.
She was the Second Young Mistress of the City Lord Manor, a person blessed by the heavens… She was a person who had been accepted into the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion, and there was a good chance that she could rise through the ranks to become a powerhouse of the continent in the future.
It was an unspeakable humiliation for her to actually be used as a wager like that!
But barely after she started speaking, she found herself met with Huo Jianghe's cold eyes as the latter uttered frostily, "Do you think that I would lose to the likes of him?"
"I…" That single glare sent alarm bells ringing in Xue Qin's mind as her face paled in fright. "O-of course not… Someone as powerful as you is bound to win him easily…"
Huo Jianghe grabbed the sword which Xue Qin was holding and drew it out. Fearing that he would die of rage the more he spoke, he stepped onto the dueling ring and said, "Let's hurry up and get it over with!"
"My thoughts exactly!" Zhang Xuan chuckled softly as he got onto the dueling ring too.
"I heard that you used a sword tossing technique the previous few times my juniors challenged you. I would like to witness the strength of that technique too!" Huo Jianghe said.
Since he wanted to salvage the reputation of the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion, he would have to defeat the other party while the other party was using his most powerful sword art.
"Sure!" Zhang Xuan nodded as he pulled a sword out from the weapon rack.
"Elder! Elder! World's Edge appeared again!"
In Starlight City's City Lord Manor, Yun Feiyang barged into a room in a hurry.
Seated within the room was Elder Lu Yun. Upon hearing the news, his eyes lit up in excitement as he took an Ethereal Token and immersed his consciousness into it.
Yun Feiyang, Huang Tao, and the others quickly followed suit too.
As soon as they entered the Ethereal Hall, they could already hear an amazing bustle coming from where the dueling ring was located. Crowds and crowds of people were rushing over as well.
"Let's hurry over! The match between World's Edge and A River's Glance is about to start!"
"A River's Glance? Who is that?"
"I don't know either, but I heard that he's an amazing swordmaster. I have a feeling that it'll be an exciting match!"
"To dare to challenge World's Edge despite knowing his remarkable results earlier the day, it would only mean to say that A River's Glance is no newbie either. I wonder if he would be able to dethrone World's Edge…"
"A River's Glance? Isn't that our First Senior?" Yun Feiyang's eyes lit up in excitement.
"Jianghe is here too? He must have heard of your losses and came here personally to salvage the sect's reputation!" Elder Lu Yun nodded in approval as he swiftly deduced what was going on.
Those words made the four of them redden in shame, "We apologize for our lack of practice!"
It was embarrassing that they would need their First Senior to stand up for them after their loss.
"Jianghe has always been a stable fighter, and he has a lot of fighting experience too. I believe that he should be able to undo the negative influence this matter has on our sect…" Elder Lu Yun stroked his beard and remarked.
Even within the Ethereal Hall, the character he assumed was also an elder too.
"Indeed. With our First Senior making a move, I believe that not even World's Edge would stand much of a chance at all!"
"Let's head over to take a look!" Elder Lu Yun gestured them forward.
They squeezed through the crowd and head to the forefront of the commotion, but all of a sudden, deafening cheerings filled the air and tremored the clouds above.
"The match must have ended…" Elder Lu Yun remarked.
They hurried forward, fully expecting to see Huo Jianghe standing triumphantly on the dueling ring. Contrary to what they thought, they saw A River's Glance lying on the ground with a sword impaled in his head instead.
It didn't take long for the corpse to dissipate into light fragments.
Yun Feiyang and the others were stunned. Elder Lu Yun was stupefied too.
Didn't the battle start not too long ago?
Why did it seem like it had ended in the blink of an eye?
Could it be that not even their First Senior was a match for World's Edge and ended up being killed in a split second too?
Meanwhile, Xue Qin's body was trembling nonstop. The situation before her was really driving her mad!
Being used as a wager was already displeasing enough for her, but who could have thought that the senior whom she respected so much would actually be subdued by the single toss of a sword… Everything ended so quickly that it almost felt like Huo Jianghe was conspiring with World's Edge to do her in!
If that was the case… did this mean that she was now World's Edge's maid?
As if having read into her mind, the young man on the dueling ring suddenly called out, "My maid over there, what are you doing over there? Come over and massage my back!"
"You…" Xue Qin felt as if her face was burning up.
She had never felt so insulted in her life.
You want me to serve as your maid? Dream on!
Xue Qin stomped right onto the dueling ring and raised her hand, intending to slap Zhang Xuan in his face. But before her strike could land, the other party's hand had already grasped her wrist.
Sharp pain assaulted Xue Qin's face. Instead of the one slapping, she had become the one who had been slapped instead.
It was just a single slap, but it was a strike without anything held back at all. Her beautiful face immediately began swelling to the point that her left cheek looked like a huge, red bun.
Even though Xue Qin knew that this wasn't the real world, the pain and the humiliation she felt were more real than anything she had ever experienced. If there was a pit in the ground right now, she would dive right in without any hesitation.
She thought that she would be able to rise to the top with the support of Huo Jianghe and achieve her dreams. But just like a fleeting bubble, it felt as if everything had vanished with a pop…
She had never felt so pathetic in her life before.
"You sure are daring to dare lay your hands on your master!" Zhang Xuan harrumphed coldly.
He didn't harbor the slightest goodwill for the vicious woman standing before her. If not for the fact that he was intending on leaving her to his disciple to deal with, he would have already gotten rid of her by now!
"I'll kill you!" Xue Qin roared with reddened eyes as she charged forward, intending to pit her life against the young man before her.
But at this moment, a cold bellow echoed across the crowd, "Enough. Haven't you embarrassed yourself enough?"
Xue Qin's body froze on the spot. Turning around, she saw a middle-aged man walking in her direction.
"Father…" Xue Qin muttered softly in a daze.
Out of sheer relief upon seeing her pillar of support, the young lady fell to the ground and began crying her eyes out. All of her indignance came gushing out at this moment.
"She called him father? Could this person be… the lord of Xuanjiang City, City Lord Xue Gan?"
"City Lord Xue Gan is an Ancient Sage 4-dan Dimension Shatterer realm expert! I have never thought that he would come here personally…"
"What would truly unthinkable is him remaining idle after hearing that his daughter has become the maid of another man!"
"If City Lord Xue Gan is making a move personally, World's Edge would really be a goner then…"
"Indeed. Not only did he insult Xue Qin, he even slapped her. Just on that itself, no one would be able to save him anymore…"
Paying no heed to the discussions of the crowd, Xue Gan looked at Zhang Xuan and said, "This friend over here, why don't we call it quits here? It's normal for younglings like you to be hot-blooded, but it would be good to keep it under control. We never know what would happen in the future, so it's better to make friends than enemies, don't you think so?"
"You're right. How great the world would be if everything could be resolved peacefully?" Zhang Xuan nodded in agreement. "What a pity that we don't live in an idealistic world. Besides, I have no interest in associating myself with dogs!"
Xue Gan's eyes immediately turned livid as killing intent gushed forth from him.
The crowd had already revealed his true identity. As the city lord of Xuanjiang City, he was already lowering himself by making peace first, but the other party dared to snub his goodwill!
This was intolerable!
In truth, Zhang Xuan was also nowhere as calm as he seemed on the surface. Were it not for him, the kind Dan Xiaotian could very well be dead by now… and it was all because the latter had a marriage agreement with Xue Qin.
For the sake of preserving their reputation, there was nothing those two wouldn't stoop down to. He didn't have the patience in him to speak politely to vicious hypocrites like them.
"You seem to be very confident in your ability. Why don't we have a duel then?"
Seeing that more and more people were gathering around, Xue Gan knew that he couldn't back down just like that anymore. He had to protect his dignity as the city lord.
"The wager will be 400,000 Ethereal Coins. Well, it's up to you to decide whether you wish to accept it or not. If you even can't fork out this bit of money, I'll be going back to sleep. It has been a rough day on me, you know. The maid which has just come under me wouldn't heed my orders at all… To be honest, I don't know how you are able to manage a city of millions when you can't even manage your own daughter well!" Zhang Xuan sighed in disappointment.
Since your City Lord Manor has plenty of money to groom so many soldiers, why don't you bleed some of it out for me?
Xue Gan had never wanted to kill a person so much before.
For many years, he had been held in high regard. Even his enemies dared not to talk back to him in his presence… This was the first time he had been put down publicly like this.
There was no way he was going to let the other party get away just after all those insults hurled at him.
"Young man, do you think that the anonymity provided by the Ethereal Hall is absolute? There are many cases in the world where a person has been hunted down and killed in real life after offending someone in the Ethereal Hall!" Xue Gan's voice was dripping with threat.
"You seem to be very fond of beating around the bush. If you don't have the money to wager, I'll have to ask you to scram. My time is very precious!" Zhang Xuan waved Xue Gan away dismissively.
"You…" Xue Gan gritted his teeth in fury. "Very well, I'll take you up on your wager!"
To be honest, 400,000 Ethereal Coins was a huge sum to the City Lord Manor… but if he didn't take up this wager and allowed the other party to leave just like that, the prestige he had built up with difficulty over the past few decades would be eroded just like that!
He had no doubt that the other party would surely give everything he had to sully the reputation of the City Lord Manor if he were to back down here!
Just how in the world did the City Lord Manor get involved with this troublesome lad?