returnCH 148.2(1 / 1)  Estrangedhome

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By that time, the outcome of the other three matches had already been determined, and only Fu Dongyuan and Jiufang Changming were still competing.

The reason for that was that Jiufang Changming was deliberately throwing this match. However, he did not actually expect Fu Dongyuan to show such an outstanding performance at this age. At present, he was like an unsheathed sword that blinded the world with its sharpness, but later on, he would become an old fox that played at being a quail at the first sight of danger. These two Fu Dongyuans he knew seemed to be completely different people.

In the eyes of the spectators, although Jiufang Changming had been holding on well up to this point, he had almost spent all his powers and was now steadily retreating. He was barely able to support his defenses and any chances of victory were slipping between his fingers. As Fu Dongyuan was moving forward threateningly, Jiufang Changming’s sword had dimmed a little due to being an inch away from the source of a power that evenly matched it and was about to utterly defeat it.

But no matter how effective Fu Dongyuan’s offensive was, the thread by which Changming seemed to be hanging on never snapped.

Fu Dongyuan was a bit annoyed.

For him, having not won up until this moment was already a loss. At the same time, had he won, that victory would not have been considered a big success. Fu Dongyuan did not expect to stumble upon such a difficult opponent in his very first match. This man hid his true strength behind his inconspicuous facade, and even his moves were nothing special, yet he turned out to be this tenacious.

While thinking this, Fu Dongyuan was looking for a way to breach his opponent’s defense.

Jiufang Changming was holding his hands in a seal to support an Eight Trigram formation.?The Xun direction?of the formation was flickering weakly, as if it was about to go out. However, since he was spending all his efforts on protecting himself against Fu Dongyuan in front of him, this weak point behind his back did not matter much. However, if Fu Dongyuan could split himself in two and attack him from behind at the same time…

The Xun direction: the southeast one

Time and tide waited for no man. Fu Dongyuan made his decision in an instant, jumping up and splitting into three copies of himself mid-air.

One qi begets three manifestations of the Dao!

He mustered his strength to continue pressuring his opponent from the front while swiftly and simultaneously targeted him from two other sides.

And Jiufang Changming was not fast enough. He could not continue maintaining his barrier and turn around to deflect the new attacks, but neither could he push Fu Dongyuan aside, so he was left with one option—to retreat and let his formation shatter. Obviously, this game was as good as lost at this point.


Without hesitation, Fu Dongyuan merged his incarnations back. At the same moment, a sword flashed above!

The earth and the sky seemed to blend into one entity, and a bright light flashed suddenly, as brightly as if the sun had merged with the moon.

But just as everyone felt that Fu Dongyuan would now claim his victory, his expression changed drastically.

He felt as if all his spiritual power as well as his sword qi was up against an impregnable wall, and his overwhelming attack had been rolled back like a receding tide, its spray as tall as a building. He had no time to avoid this giant “tide”, and it was about to “swallow” him whole.

After the light went out, to their shock, everyone realized that Fu Dongyuan had taken a step back, coughing out a mouthful of blood.

“I’ve lost,” Fu Dongyuan said.

At this moment, he had to relinquish the dignity of being fortune’s favored child and admit to his defeat.

He had not been caught in a trap, and neither had he fallen victim to a plot—he simply had not managed to see through his opponent’s false impression of weakness.

“Daoxiong Fu’s cultivation is very intricate, and your spiritual power is solid. I’m nowhere near your level, it was all thanks to my luck,” Jiufang Changming also pretended to be out of breath. He seemed pale, and sweat was dripping down his face, but neither did he retreat nor was he coughing out blood.

Everyone could see that Fu Dongyuan had indeed lost.

The barrier surrounding the two of them was removed, and disciples of the Celestial Abode Shenxiao quickly stepped inside to support Fu Dongyuan.

“Shixiong, are you alright!”

Fu Dongyuan waved his hand dismissively. His eyes never strayed from Jiufang Changming.

“You’re truly formidable, and there’s no doubt that your future will be bright. Sun Wuxia, right?”

“Yes, I’m Sun Wuxia of the Daoist Temple of the Imperial Palace,” Jiufang Changming’s answer sounded natural and smooth like flowing water.

Fu Dongyuan nodded: “I will remember that. In the future, when I visit you in person, please accept my challenge.”

At this time, Fu Dongyuan’s heart was entirely set on cultivation. He was nowhere as crafty and lethargic as he was to become in the future.

Could it be that something had happened in these one hundred years to cause him to change so much?

Jiufang Changming’s expression did not waver as he replied to the offer with a smile: “In that case, this Sun will be waiting for Daoxiong in the Daoist Temple of the Imperial Palace respectfully.”

Li Muxing and Lin Wenyu came over as well.

“Daoyou Sun, are you alright?” Li Muxing was a little excited, as she did not expect to witness the rise of a new master with her own eyes.

Winning against Fu Dongyuan and taking on the offer from the first disciple of the Celestial Abode Shenxiao were two completely different matters. The latter meant that Jiufang Changming had already attracted everyone’s attention, and as long as he did not screw up the other nine matches, his name would be remembered as one of the best cultivators of his generation. Maybe, even the Daoist Temple of the Imperial Palace would be taken more seriously because of his success.

It was common for a genius to push his entire sect forward. After all,?if a person attained the Dao, even his chicken and dogs would soar. The Jianghu was no different in this regard.

If a person attained the Dao, even his chicken and dogs would soar:?a person’s success guarantees their relatives’ success

Jiufang Changming coughed a couple of times and shook his head, answering in a weak voice: “It’s fine. Let me sit for a moment.”

Fu Dongyuan had coughed up blood, so Jiufang Changming could not act as if everything was alright.

“This Fu guy is turning back to look at you at every step, I’m sure that no one has managed to make him suffer such a defeat before!” Lin Wenyu was both excited and a bit sour. “Daoyou Sun, your name will definitely shake up the world.”

Jiufang Changming laughed: “It was one small battle, and I just got lucky, how can my name possibly shake up the world? Daoyou Lin, you’re giving me too much credit.”

He thought to himself that the most shocking development of the day was yet to come, while this event was just the beginning.

After such a stunning performance, all the remaining matches seemed dull. These fighters had no doubt tried their best, but the spectators felt that something was missing.

Fu Dongyuan’s next opponent was not as strong, and the match went smoothly for him as he almost finished it with one move. He seemed lost in his thoughts, and as soon as he was done with his part, he waited for Jiufang Changming to take the stage. But Jiufang Changming seemed weak against weak opponents and strong against the strong, so nothing attracted as much awe as his battle against Fu Dongyuan. Fu Dongyuan even wondered for a moment if Jiufang Changming had been possessed by a demon after his first match since he made many mistakes, was wounded by attacks that could not possibly cause harm, and was overall a spectacle too horrible to endure. There was nothing that was reminiscent of Jiufang Changming’s grandeur during their battle.


He turned his head and composed his expression.

“Shizun, why did you come here?”

“I just went out for a walk. Did you take your defeat to him to heart? You won’t stop staring at him.”

Fu Dingyuan said: “Sun Wuxia is formidable.”

Ouyang: “It’s true. But what you actually care about is the embarrassment he’s caused you.”

Fu Dongyuan fell silent for a moment: “If I have one more chance, I will not necessarily lose.”

Ouyang patted him on his shoulder, thinking that it was not so bad for his arrogant disciple to taste defeat for a change.

“What did I say, daoyou Ren?” Luomei said with a smile.

Ren Yousu groaned: “The Immortal’s sight is unsurpassed!”

“Dongyuan’s opening was quite flashy, and his first ten moves were the most powerful ones. Our young friend Sun withstood them all, which shows that his cultivation base is quite solid, unlike that of some other people who resemble air castles that will collapse at the first blow. He can patiently wait for the right moment to turn the tide of the battle, so there is no surprise he won.”

Luomei was speaking unhurriedly, but his line of sight never left Jiufang Changming.

He was a bit suspicious, so he was analyzing Changming’s every move.

But Jiufang Changming’s performance was just mediocre after that, and even though he won all ten matches, he was wounded all over and did not resemble either of the two men Luomei had encountered in Hongluo.

But it’s fine anyway—

Luomei narrowed his eyes. Even if they had decided to hide in some drain, he would still have a way to lure them out and avoid further troubles.

Before anyone knew it, the sun that had seemingly just risen had set behind the mountains in the west. Everyone had finished their ten matches, and the disciples of the Celestial Abode Shenxiao had calculated the scores. First place could not be given to someone who had not won all ten rounds, and the points were assigned accordingly.

So, being the only one to have won all ten matches, Jiufang Changming managed to distinguish himself.

Even the most promising young talents of this assembly, Fu Dongyuan and Ren Haishan, were ranked second because of this.

Everyone knew that even though Jiufang Changming did not fight excellently in the next nine rounds, always making many mistakes and narrowly winning in the end, all his other opponents except for Fu Dongyuan were not formidable masters, so it was no wonder that he managed to win.

“Daoyou Sun, my congratulations on taking the title of the strongest at this Qianlin Assembly!”

Li Muxing laughed. She lost four of her battles and won the other six, which meant that she was ranked somewhere in the middle. This was her first time leaving her sect, so her main goal was to gain some experience, not to become rich or famous, so she was quite content with this outcome.

“Congratulations, Daoyou Sun.”

Xia Zheng forced a smile. He only won two of his rounds, and even though he did his best to convince himself that the reason for his miserable performance was his sadness about the incident with his shidi, he still felt dispirited.

“What do you get for becoming the best at a Qianlin Assembly?” Lin Wenyu was mainly concerned about this.

Li Muxing said: “Traditionally, the hosting sect would give a generous gift to the winner—a priceless treasure or weapon as well as a chance to challenge a grandmaster in order to gain insight through training. Daoyou Sun, whom do you want to ask for advice?”

Jiufang Changming countered with a question: “Whom do you think I should choose?”

Li Muxing said thoughtfully: “You are a Daoist cultivator, so it will be better for you to choose a grandmaster from a Daoist sect. The Wanjian Immortal Clan and the Celestial Abode Shenxiao are?Mount Tai and the North Star?of our era, and it is difficult to say who’s better. However, since you’ve just defeated the first disciple of the Celestial Abode Shenxiao, Fu Dongyuan, master Ouyang probably holds a grudge against you now, so he might want to embarrass you in front of everyone. It’s a bit better to ask Immortal Luomei. I’ve heard that he’s good-natured and tolerant, and rarely loses his patience. I’m sure he’ll be glad to help.”

Mount Tai and the North Star: leading figures

The most important thing was that even if Jiufang Changming was to lose pathetically, for a fledgling like him it would be a great honor to fight Luomei, and simply making an appearance on the same stage would make him famous.

Jiufang Changming smiled knowingly: “You’re absolutely right, daoyou Li. I think so too.”

Although his appearance was different now, his smile still left an impact. For Li Muxing, it looked like a briefly blooming flower. Her heart skipped a beat, and she quickly looked away, silently reciting “Great Deities, save and protect”.

Soon some disciples from the Zhengrong Mountain Villa came to invite him over, and the master of the villa had ordered his subordinates to bring Jiufang Changming a long sword.

He unsheathed the sword under everybody’s gaze. It flashed with a deep blue color like the moonlit night sky or well waters that had caught the moon or scattered stars.

It was truly a rare weapon. Seeing it, everyone thought once again that the Zhengrong Mountain Villa did not lack money, and many people envied Jiufang Changming for his sheer luck. After all, even though he won in the first difficult match, the other rounds had been favorable to him as he encountered no obstacles.

“How did he manage to win for no reason at this assembly?”

“If I was in his place, I’d have won too.”

“Why is this guy so lucky?”

Everyone was criticizing him, just as the Daoist Temple of the Imperial Palace was never on everyone’s lips. Completely alone, Jiufang Changming went up to the high stage with the grandmasters. His fluttering sleeves made him look even more lonely.

“On this Qianlin Assembly…”

“Hold on a moment!”

Right after Master Liu had started to talk, Immortal Luomei? interrupted him.

His melodious voice filled the entire place quickly.

“Allow me to trouble all the guests of the distinguished gathering with a personal matter. It is about yesterday’s incident when several disciples who arrived at the assembly were injured, and it is also connected to the reputation of my Wanjian Immortal Clan. Please, Master Liu, give me half a shichen to settle everything cleanly before quickly proceeding to celebrate young Sun’s victory.”

Master Liu quickly stepped aside: “Immortal, the stage is yours.”

In his mind, Juifang Changming frowned, almost guessing what Luomei wanted to do.

Luomei slightly bent over and waved his hand.

“Bring him over.”

Everyone turned in the direction he had waved his hand, whispering among themselves.

They heard a metal chain clanging against the ground as a prisoner was brought there. The faces of the disciples of the Wanjian Immortal Clan fell, as if they were on alert.

As the person entered everyone’s line of sight, they saw that not only his ankles, but even his shoulders were firmly pierced with chains. He could not have been able to run away even if he had suddenly grown himself a pair of wings, and even a deity would not have managed to set him free.

“Jiang Li?!”

“Jiang Li, the clan master of the Wanjian Immortal Clan?!”

“Clan master? Immortal Luomei is the clan master, and Jiang Li is but a treacherous disciple!”

It was impossible to say who shouted first, but soon, the assembly was full of whispers that did not quiet down.