Library of Heaven is Path
1956 We'll Fight You!
1956 We'll Fight You!
There were many different lineages in the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion, and each of them was under the jurisdiction of a certain elder.
The gray-robed young man was an inner disciple under Elder Han of White Cloud Peak, and his name was Zhu Yanzhi.
Knowing the dangers of working as an illegal broker, Zhu Yanzhi had taken a lot of precautions, altering his appearance, changing his voice, and even suppressing his habits. Under normal circumstances, no one should have been able to tell who he was. Yet, the young man before him was actually able to call out his name so clearly. How could he possibly not be shocked?
"I don't just know who you are, I also know that you have 973 Sword Pavilion Coins with you. Even if you lose six hundred of them, you still have plenty left. It isn't nice of you to lie to me like that. Don't you know that sincerity is of utmost importance in a trade?" Zhang Xuan said calmly.
Zhu Yanzhi felt like his body had been plunged into ice water. He instinctively took a step back.
There were only a few people who were working as illegal brokers in the Ethereal Hall, so if one investigated the issue, it was not entirely impossible to root him out. However, his personal wealth was a secret that only he knew about. Not even his closest friends were aware of it! How could this fellow possibly know about this?
"Who in the hell are you? Why are you investigating me?" Zhu Yanzhi asked warily with clenched fists.
If the other party did not know who he was, he could have just left the Ethereal Hall and ended things there. The other party would not have been able to find him anyway, but with his identity revealed, escaping was no longer of any use to him.
"I am 'I Am Low Profile'! As for the matter of me investigating you... I must say that you are thinking too much into it. As long as you pay me my dues, I couldn't care less who you really are!" Zhang Xuan replied.
"I Am Low Profile?" Hearing such a name, Zhu Yanzhi felt a little light-headed.
While cultivators were free to use any nickname in the Ethereal Hall, more often than not, they would choose a profound phrase with some deep significance or an anagram or their name. Yet, this fellow's nickname was really...
Low profile your head!
You arrived not too long ago, but within ten minutes, you have already won seven hundred Sword Pavilion Coins from me. Do you have some misunderstanding about what the term 'low profile' means?
Can you not insult these two words?
Zhu Yanzhi hesitated for a moment. He was reluctant to do this, but he knew he had no choice. Thus, he lifted his head, looked at the other party, and said, "Fine, I'm willing to accept my defeat. However, as long as I pay you what I owe you, can I trust you not to reveal my secrets to others?"
He knew that even if he killed the other party right there, it would not make a difference at all. The other party would lose an Ethereal Token, but his lips would still be free to blabber about his affairs.
He was in an extremely disadvantageous position, but all he could do was attempt to make peace for the time being and pray that the other party would have mercy on him.
"Of course!" Zhang Xuan nodded.
He could not care less whether the other party was an illegal broker or not. It was not as if he was the sect leader or an elder. All he wanted was to maintain a low profile and rake in some money.
"I'll trust you then..." Zhu Yanzhi said in uncertainty as he tapped his Ethereal Card lightly.
The next instant, Zhang Xuan saw an additional six hundred Sword Pavilion Coins appearing on his card. Nodding in satisfaction, he said, "If you still wish to bet against me, feel free to look for me anytime you want. Of course, you are free to bring any friends who are interested in it too. I'd be more than happy to go along with them too!"
"I-It's fine. Gambling is not good. I have decided to turn over a new leaf..." With a livid expression, Zhu Yanzhi turned around and fled in a fluster.
He did not dare remain there even a second longer. He feared that when his rage flared up, he would foolishly accept the other party's offer and continue gambling. He could not afford to lose what little money he had left!
While Zhu Yanzhi was walking away, the gray-robed young lady from earlier noticed him and quickly jogged over. With an envious smile on her face, she asked, "How was it? How much did you win from that fool?"
"Fool?" That word reminded Zhu Yanzhi of what he had said before, and he nearly burst into tears. "I am the one who lost money!"
It was just ten minutes ago that he had thought that he had found a sucker whom he could exploit, but if anything, it felt like he was the one who was the sucker now.
You lost?" The gray-robed young lady was stunned.
Zhu Yanzhi nodded in a daze for a moment before indignantly sharing his story with the gray-robed young lady. By the end of the story, the gray-robed young lady's eyes were already on the verge of falling to the ground.
You mentioned that this fellow didn't just predict the outcomes of the battle with complete precision, he even knew about your background?"
"It seems like he does have some cards up his sleeves. He must be here to sabotage our operations! Humph! Does he think that he can take off with the money just like that? He's underestimating us! Yanzhi, do you want to earn back your money?" the gray-robed young lady asked with a glint in her eyes.
"Of course! But... how can I get back my money from him?" Zhu Yanzhi sighed helplessly.
"Simple! We'll continue betting against him!" the gray-robed young lady replied with a smile.
"Bet?" Zhu Yanzhi was rendered speechless. "That fellow was able to predict even a draw. How can we possibly win against someone like that?"
"Have you gone dumb? The reason he knew about the situation in the dueling ring must be because he has some inside info... There's even a chance that they are collaborating with one another to cheat you!" the gray-robed young lady replied.
"This..." Zhu Yanzhi fell into deep thought.
Indeed. A person who could win again and again in a gamble could only be a cheater.
He had been so engrossed with his lost money that he had neglected this fact earlier. However, now that the other party had pointed it out directly, it was indeed suspicious how the other party was able to predict even a draw. He instantaneously realized that he had just been cheated!
Somehow, that fellow must have convinced those on the stage to go along with his ploys.
Otherwise, how could such coincidences happen again and again?
"What do you think we should do then?"
This realization erased the fear in Zhu Yanzhi's heart, replacing it with rage.
He never would have dreamed that someone would attempt to cheat him like that. It seemed like he had been too nice for too long.
"He might be able to control the outcome on the dueling ring, but he's unable to control you and me. We can challenge him to a battle and set the conditions of the duel to him spitting out all the money and sealing his mouth regarding everything else; that should do the job! You might have lost a lot, but as long as you can win this one round, you'll be able to get everything back," the gray-robed young lady replied.
"This... Will he accept such a duel? Besides, I don't know how powerful he truly is. Will we definitely be able to defeat him?" Zhu Yanzhi was a little hesitant.
Of course, it would be for the best if he won, but if he lost again... he would really have nothing left!
"Rest assured, this is a gamble he'll definitely take! I don't know his identity, but since he dared collude with those that came earlier, I have my own ways of rooting him out! We can use his true identity to threaten him into agreeing to the duel. As for whether we'll be able to defeat him or not... that's even less of a worry! It'd be best if we can win the duel, but taking a step back, even if we lose the battle, things will still play out well for us!
"Our swordsmanship might not be the best among the inner disciples, but it's still not too bad. As long as we go all out from the start, we should be able to force him to use his ultimate technique even if we are unable to defeat him. As long as he reveals his trump card, won't it be easy for us to figure out who he is? Then, we will have plenty of ways to make him cough up your money!"
"This..." Zhu Yanzhi's eyes lit up in excitement.
As long as they could get the other party to duel with them, with their fighting prowess, there was no inner disciple who would be able to defeat them while holding back their true strength.
Once the other party revealed his ace, it would be easy for them to figure out who he was.
It was true that they had gambled, but the other party had participated in it as well. Furthermore, he had even tried to rig the duels, which was a far greater crime. In the worst-case scenario, the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion might even strip him of his cultivation in order to send out a stern warning to the others!
After all, such actions violated the very sanctity of the sect!
Even if he coerced the other party to spit out his every last Sword Pavilion Coin, the other party would not dare utter a word of complaint!
"It's settled then!"
Zhu Yanzhi ran through the matter in his mind once more and confirmed that there was no issue with it. Thus, together with the gray-robed young lady, he excitedly walked up to Zhang Xuan once more and said, "Friend, I would like to propose another bet with you."
"Another bet?" Zhang Xuan's eyes lit up.
He was a little surprised to see this fellow coming over to propose a bet after the major losses that he had suffered.
As expected of an inner disciple from the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion, they sure rebounded quickly!
"Simple! We will each have a battle with you. As long as you are able to defeat the two of us, we'll admit defeat. On the other hand, if we win, I hope that you can return everything that I've lost and promise to seal your lips regarding my identity. Of course, since this bet is disadvantageous to you, we'll allow you stake as much money as you like into this!" Zhu Yanzhi said.
To put himself in a safer position, he eventually decided to include the two of them in the bet. He needed greater assurance in order to make this bet.
There were quite a few inner disciples who were able to defeat them in a one-to-one, but there was definitely no one who would be able to defeat the two of them consecutively!
In other words, as long as the other party agreed to the bet, there was no way they could lose!
"You want to have a battle with me? As long as I can beat the two of you, you will accept any stakes that I put on the table?" Zhang Xuan's eyes lit up in excitement.
He nearly burst out laughing on the spot!
This really reminded him of the saying 'delivering a pillow while one is on the verge of napping'. He had just been thinking about how he could earn more money when they delivered such a godsent opportunity into his hands.
It seemed like there were still a lot of Samaritans in the world!
"That's right! If you don't agree to it, regarding that bet we had earlier, I know that..." Fearing that Zhang Xuan would turn him down, Zhu Yanzhi was just about to add in a threat when he saw the young man nodding vehemently in response.
"I'll agree to your bet! I'll stake all 720 Sword Pavilion Coins on the duel. If you lose, you just have to pay me the same amount of money!"
Zhu Yanzhi and the gray-robed young lady did not think that the other party would agree to their terms so readily. It felt like all the words that they had prepared to force the other party to oblige to their terms had been wasted.
For a moment, they doubted their decision. The other party was simply a little too enthusiastic, such that they could not help doubting their decision. However, they reassured themselves with the fact that there was no one among the inner disciples who could defeat them consecutively.
Thus, Zhu Yanzhi heaved a sigh of relief and said, "Come, let's register for the dueling ring!"
Of course, as they were in the Ethereal Hall, they registered with their nicknames.
Zhu Yanzhi's nickname was Zaozao.
The gray-robed young lady's nickname was Onset of Twilight.
Of course, neither of those were their real names.
As most duels usually concluded quickly, it did not take long before it was their turn.
"Next round, Zaozao vs. I Am Low Profile!" the announcer declared.
Zaozao might be a weird name, but it's at least within acceptable bounds... What the heck is I Am Low Profile?" 'I swear that I have never heard a worse name than that in my life!"
Hah, low profile. You know, I really want to see how low that person can get..."
There was some chatter among the crowd when the names of the two fighters were announced.
It was the norm to choose a grand-sounding name that were profound and awe-inspiring, so a name like I Am Low Profile was truly unorthodox. Some were even wondering if he was an eccentric madman!
In the dueling ring, Zhu Yanzhi glared at Zhang Xuan coldly as he flicked his sword forth. Wielding his sword as a rapier, he launched eight swift consecutive stabs, sealing off Zhang Xuan's movements.
This was his ultimate technique, Sword of Forlorn Sentiments!
If one cultivated this sword art to the very peak, one would be able to deal nine pierces simultaneously, and there was a total of eighty-one transformations to the move. As long as he could reach that level, there would be no one in the inner disciples who was a match for him!
While he was still slightly lacking at the moment, his eight pierces and sixty-four transformations were still more than enough for him to defeat most inner disciples!
This was especially so in the Ethereal Hall. With everyone at Ancient Sage 1-dan, there was hardly anyone who could oppose him!
Zhu Yanzhi had no idea how powerful the other party was, and a huge bet was at stake. Thus, he did not dare lower his guard. As such, he chose to use his most powerful move right from the start.
In face of Zhu Yanzhi's rapid pierces, Zhang Xuan nodded slightly in approval.
It was no wonder the other party dared make such a huge bet with him. It turned out that he did have some skill!
But that being said, using a technique of such caliber to deal with him... he could only say that this was far from sufficient to pose a threat to him.
Instead of dodging, Zhang Xuan chose to take a step forward.
Despite the furious onslaught of pierces hurtling in his direction, there was not a single one of them that landed on Zhang Xuan. It almost looked as if Zhu Yanzhi had intentionally controlled his sword not to hit Zhang Xuan.
H-he... He found the opening where the ninth sword lies? How can this be? Just who is that fellow?
Zhu Yanzhi could hardly believe his eyes.