Chapter 232: Gods Manifested
Translator: Transn Editor: Transn
Zhang Ruochen had revealed his true strength at the Coliseum of the Martial Market. Zhang Tiangui must have figured out that he was the so-called Chen Ruo.
"That meant that the fact that he had reached the Realm of Heart Integrated into Sword was also known, right?"
Lin Ningshan was the only person who had witnessed Chen Ruo performing the Realm of Heart Integrated into Sword. Even though she told Zhang Tiangui and Lin Chenyu about it afterwards, neither of them believed her.
After all, according to legend, only Half-Saints could reach that realm.
They both thought that because her cultivation was so low, she had overestimated Chen Ruo's performance.
She was like an ant, who saw an elephant as a mountain.
Lin Chenyu sneered at Zhang Ruochen's nonchalance and said, "Zhang Ruochen, the lady in front of you is senior sister apprentice Han Qiu, daughter of the Master of the Yuntai Suzerain. Her sword technique had already advanced to an incredible realm. You should be flattered that she even invited you to a sword contest! Don't you dare refuse! I know you boast about your remarkable sword technique, yet there is no limit to skill in the martial arts. I bet you won't even be able to withstand ten of her movements."
Han Qiu frowned slightly and said with a cold tone, "I'm challenging Zhang Ruochen to a sword fight. You're merely a servant, how dare you speak to me like that?"
"Please forgive me, senior sister apprentice!" Lin Chenyu begged.
Deathly pale, he immediately went down on his knees and touched his chest to the ground.
For Han Qiu, Lin Chenyu was just a servant of Zhang Tiangui. Zhang Ruochen on the other hand was the young genius who was able to surpass Qing Chibai in sword technique. There truely was a world of difference between them.
Han Qiu was willing to make peace with Zhang Ruochen through the sword fight, but she would never treat Lin Chenyu as an equal.
For the most part, Han Qiu was unaware of the conflict between Zhang Ruochen and Zhang Tiangui. She treated him as Zhang Tiangui's talented younger brother.
Han Qiu stared at Lin Chenyu and said with contempt in her voice, "I am not your senior sister apprentice! Such irresponsible remarks must be punished. Cut out your tongue, or I'll do it myself."
Lin Chenyu turned to Zhang Tiangui for help with panic in his eyes.
He had suffered castration before, and lost an arm. It would be far too horrible to lose his tongue as well.
"Junior sister apprentice Han, Lin Chenyu is the older male cousin of Zhang Ruochen," Zhang Tiangui said.
"Ah, I see!"
Han Qiu was quite surprised. She only knew that Lin Chenyu was Zhang Tiangui's servant, and unaware of his other identities. She never paid much attention to him.
Zhang Tiangui had made Zhang Ruochen's cousin his servant. Perhaps their bond was only superficial.
Han Qiu ignored Lin Chenyu. She looked at Zhang Ruochen and decided to explain, "Ninth Prince, please don't mistake my intentions. I sincerely hope to trade experience with you, that is why I challenged you to a sword fight."
"All right, it's just a sword fight. No big deal," Zhang Ruochen said.
Han Qiu was delighted that she finally had the opportunity to compete with another master of sword technique.
She wondered what realm he had reached.
With snowflakes whirling in the air, the whole world had turned into an endless expanse of white.
The royal guards, eunuchs and maidservants on duty all stopped and gazed at Zhang Ruochen and Han Qiu, who were standing facing eachother in the snow.
They were all very excited. Being able to witness a sword fight between two masters of the Martial Arts was quite rare.
"I've heard that the Ninth Prince excels at sword technique. I wonder which realm has he cultivated to?" someone said.
"His Highness must have risen above most warriors. His strength is surely beyond our imagination!" said another.
"Yet his rival is the beloved daughter of the Master of the Yuntai Suzerain! Is His Highness sure of victory?" a third asked.
"The Yuntai Suzerain is the shrine of Martial Arts. Even our Majesty used to be its disciple. Lady Han's sword technique must be brilliant. I think the Ninth Prince has little chance of winning!" said a fourth.
With his left hand behind his back, Zhang Ruochen reached out with his right hand with incredible speed. His two fingers perfectly grasped a snowflake floating in the air.
The snowflake was delicate and crystal clear, giving off a thin mist of Icing Air.
The snowflake between Zhang Ruochen's fingers did not thaw.
He continuously reached out with his arm, creating dozens of shadows.
When he was finished he had strung together 108 snowflakes and coagulated them into a glittering and translucent sword, which he now held in his hand.
Everyone watching gasped in amazement.
The movement of Coagulating Snow into Sword was a great secret.
Only warriors who had reached the Peak of Sword Following the Mind could make flowers or grass into swords. Even snowflakes could congeal and create a sword, just as Zhang Ruochen had done.
"Awesome!" Han Qiu exclaimed.
Witnessing Zhang Ruochen's technique, Han Qiu instantly stretched out two delicate fingers. While continuously waving her arms, she too had soon coagulated a sword out of snowflakes.
But her sword was only comprised of 72 snowflakes.
That was the best she could achieve!
Zhang Ruochen waved his snow sword and released his Genuine Qi. His Sword Breath flurried the snow on the ground, which flew up into the air creating a Sword Breath swirl.
Han Qiu watched Zhang Ruochen standing in the flying snow. She shook her head and said, "Let's call this off. I can't match you in sword technique."
Her snow sword cracked, 72 snowflakes separated from eachother and fell to the ground.
Zhang Ruochen withdrew his Genuine Qi and threw down his snow sword, scattering the snowflakes.
Han Qiu gazed at his back sheepishly and said in a clear voice, "Your sword technique is brilliant, Your Highness. I hope we can challenge eachother again when we return to Devil Martial City."
"You have an excellent sword technique as well. You place among the top talents in the younger generation. Now, I must leave,"Zhang Ruochen said.
Han Qiu was indeed an accomplished swordswoman. She had reached the Peak Realm of Sword Following the Mind at a very young age, comparable to the Half-Saint's disciple Qing Chibai.
As Zhang Ruochen left, a look of appreciation crossed Han Qiu's face. "With such remarkable talent, he will be unparalleled in our generation within five years, at the most," she said.
Zhang Tiangui watched her expression with murder in his eyes.
"I really hate Zhang Ruochen! I used to consider him to be a nobody. Who would have thought that he could reach such a high realm! Luckily, his cultivation is still underdeveloped. It shouldn't be difficult to put an end to him with some sneaky tricks." Zhang Tiangui had made up his mind.
The Ceremony of Worship was held on the Winter Solstice.
There is one thing that is very important for a commandery.
And that is the Ceremony of Worship.
Apart from commanderies, all suzerains, families, cities and towns regarded the importance of the worship ceremony very highly.
It was the only time when people could communicate with the gods.
It was also only through this ceremony that human beings could open their Sacred Mark, begin their Practice, and finally become warriors.
Those who failed to open their Sacred Mark were unable to absorb Spiritual Qi.
For a commandery, the national ceremony of sacrifice was especially important. It could dictate a commanderies rise and fall. Depending on the grandure of the ceremony, the gods would grant their people more, and higher class, Sacred Marks.
An increased amount of warriors made a commandery stronger.
The national sacrifice ceremony in the Yunwu Commandery was only medium-sized. In the eyes of its warriors, it was quite a magnificent spectacle.
Nearly everyone living in Yunwu City gathered in the Imperial Ancestral Temple, where oceans of people spread as far as the eye could see.
The sacrifice was tremendously sacred. Even the evil warriors were afraid to sabotage the ceremony and offend the gods, for fear of divine retribution.
The Ceremony of Worship this year was hosted by the Seventh Prince Zhang Tiangui. He represented his father, which told people that the Yunwu Commandery Prince was most likely going to make him the crown prince.
It was an unprecedentedly grand occasion, on which over a hundred thousand calves and lambs, as well as thousands of giant savage beasts, were offered to the gods.
The Minister said a prayer after the bells had rung out.
Afterwards Zhang Tiangui led the civil officials and military officers to the altar and held his head high, as if he had already become the next Yunwu Commandery Prince.
Zhang Tiangui stood on the elevated altar and searched for Zhang Ruochen in the crowd, but he was nowhere to be found. Feeling arrogent, he thought he had stolen the scene. And that was why Zhang Ruochen refused to attend the ceremony.
Zhang Tiangui used his Genuine Qi to make his voice loud and clear, "This Ceremony of Worship will now begin."
Shell trumpets and bugles on the altar created a powerful sound, various other instruments joined in the chorus.
Armored soldiers began to sacrifice the animals, pouring their blood into the altar and presenting it to the gods.
The altar was fueled by the blood, ancient inscriptions arose into the air.
A huge column of blood rushed upwards toward the sky from the altar and broke through the clouds, as if it was heading towards the vast void of space.
Meanwhile, Zhang Ruochen was sitting cross-legged at the center of an imperial palace.
His Martial Soul materialized, it was gloriously radiant.
"Transform!" he called out.
His Martial Soul suddenly transformed into a God's Shadow with blood-red armor. The Martial Soul then flew out of the palace and hovered above the Imperial Ancestral Temple.
Before Zhang Ruochen had practiced the Body of the False God, ordinary people could not see his Martial Soul. Things were different now. Even those who knew nothing about martial arts could see his illusory image.
But it required him to reveal the Body of the False God of his own volition. If he did not, his Martial Soul would remain unidentifiable.
The God's Shadow kept growing and expanded to become one hundred and twenty feet in height, with eyes like two scorching suns. It bent its head down and looked at the crowd beneath, creating a terrifying atmosphere.
It looked like the shadow of a real god revealing itself to the human world.
Someone saw the God's Shadow above and shouted with excitement, "God Manifestation! God Manifestation!"
Everyone looked up at the giant shadow in the heavens.
Nearly everyone in Yunwu City went down on their knees and groveled before the God's Shadow in the sky with excitement and piety.
There had been a few God Manifestations in Kunlun's Field, but they were few and far between. They usually only happened during first-class sacrifice ceremonies.
Where there was a God Manifestation, there was also a God's blessing. This miracle assured people living in the region that the gods were watching over them.
Not only poor people, but also strong warriors and officials were thrilled and excited. A God Manifestation had occurred in the Yunwu Commandery. What a true honor!
"A God reveals himself when I'm hosting the Ceremony of Worship? Could this be an omen of my future success?" Zhang Tiangui thought to himself.
Immensely excited, he instantly knelt down on the ground like the others before the Body of the False God. He shouted, "God bless the Yunwu Commandery! I am mortal Zhang Tiangui worshiping before our Master!"
Following the Seventh Prince, the Minister, the Marshal, the generals and other officials all went down on their knees and worshiped the God Manifestation. They hoped that the God would see their piety and grant them a blessing.
A God's blessing could have a great impact on the rest of your life, no matter how small it was.
Even the Queen, high above the masses, stood up from her gold-phoenix seat and walked down. She pulled up her dress, knelt down on the ground, and showed her reverence to the God's Shadow.
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