Chapter 252: Commandery Princess Zhenling
Translator: Transn Editor: Transn
A tall, lean Elder wearing a grey gown walked through the blizzard. He had an aquiline nose, deep eyes and long grey hair parted down the middle that flowed down to the ground.
Strong wind power flowed around him, giving off a swishing sound that split the air.
A closer look quickly revealed that there was nothing under the Grey Gowned Elder's robe. The elder had no legs; wind power alone kept him floating three feet off the ground.
His control over wind power had reached a superb and perfect Realm.
Han Qiu crawled out of the sunken pit and breathed heavily. There were more than ten bloody wounds on her body, but luckily they were all non-fatal flesh wounds.
The Ancient White Jade Sword fell from 30 meters in the air and returned to her hand.
Han Qiu gripped her sword and stood, a murderous look in her eyes. "Master Huo," she said in a deep voice, "are you going to kill me?"
The Grey Gowned Elder was called Huo Jingcheng. He was the presbyter of Yuntai Suzerain as well as the Royal Family member of the Square Commandery. His cultivation had reached the Initial Stage of the Heaven Realm.
Back when Huo Jingcheng was in the Earth Realm, he was a twofold genius whose fighting capabilities spanned two Realms.
After his breakthrough into the Heaven Realm, a group of people had broken his legs. This incident cut off the Meridians of his lower body, which restricted his blood flow and reduced his power.
Despite this, his present fighting abilities still allowed him to surpass the limits of his Realms.
Huo Jingcheng smiled mercilessly. "For the safety of the Square Commandery, you and Zhang Ruochen must die. I'm sorry about this, Qiu'er, but I have no choice."
"Zhang Ruochen? Who is he?" Han Qiu asked, giving him a perplexed look.
Huo Jingcheng sneered. "Don't play the fool," he said. "If you don't hand over that account book right now, I'll make you wish you could die."
"I'm curious," Han Qiu said. "Why did you decide to secretly collaborate with the Black Market, even though the Yuntai Suzerain treated the Square Commandery with kindness and generosity?"
Huo Jingcheng sneered. "Treating us kindly and generously? The Yuntai Suzerain extorts more than half of its resources, money and labor force from the Western Nine Prefectures. We send a great number of Practice resources and silver coins to Yuntai Suzerain, and what has the Square Commandery got to show for it? At least, our cooperation with the Black Market benefits us a lot since we trade as equals."
Han Qiu was annoyed by his words. "How could you have cultivated to the Heaven Realm and become a superbly strong Martial Artist without the help of the Yuntai Suzerain?" she asked. "If the Yuntai Suzerain hadn't helped defend you against the savage beasts in Omen Ridge, I fear those beasts would have ruined the whole Square Commandery. Your civilization would have been destroyed and reduced to another barren wilderness."
"Cut the cr**p; who has the account book?" Huo Jingcheng asked.
"Whoever has it, you won't be able to take it from them," Han Qiu replied.
A fierce gust of wind blew as Huo Jingcheng moved as quickly as the speed of sound. His flight stirred vibrations in the surrounding Spiritual Qi of the universe.
Han Qiu saw Huo Jing Cheng, who stood more than ten meters away, blur across that distance and appear before her in a single moment. He reached out with two hands clenched into claws, seeking to seize Han Qiu by her throat.
"Reverse the Universe."
The Genuine Qi inside Han Qiu's body poured out like a flood. Her skin took on the hue of divine, translucent jade, shining with light that glared like the burning sun.
Suddenly, she leapt over Huo Jingcheng's head with a swishing sound and struck towards his head.
Hands seizing only empty air, Huo Jingcheng looked up towards the sky the moment he felt the fluctuation of Genuine Qi. He raised a clenched fist towards the sky and roared, "Mountain-crashing Tiger Fist!"
The ground cracked beneath Huo Jingcheng's feet as the strong power of his palm blasted him back down. His Genuine Qi spread in all directions.
Huo Jingcheng grinned hideously: "Is that the Holy Universe Reaching Skill? Such a pity you lack the experience to use it."
Huo Jingcheng's body shrank and sank directly into the ground, leaving a deep hole in the earth.
Han Qiu withdrew her palm and fell back to the ground, staring down at the hole. Suddenly, fluctuations of Genuine Qi appeared behind her.
Her expression changed. Before she could turn, she felt the strong power of a fist rushing towards her back.
Huo Jingcheng sprang up from the ground behind her and struck Han Qiu's back.
In that moment, Han Qiu infused the jade bead on her wrist with Genuine Qi. The inscription emerged from the jade bead and condensed into a two-meter long Light Shield behind her back.
Ripples spread along the Light Shield in circles as Huo Jingcheng struck it with a loud "Boom".
The Light Shield impeded the power of his fist. As a result, Han Qiu was flung forwards without suffering any injury.
"Body-protecting jade bead!"
Huo Jingcheng sneered: "How many of my fists can you withstand, I wonder?"
Huo Jingcheng rushed in again, wind blades gathering around his fists as he punched.
Han Qiu was very anxious; she could not compete against Huo Jingcheng with her present cultivation.
Though she had reached the "Three-and-a-half Realm", there was a three-realm gap between the Completion of the Earth Realm and the Initial Stage of the Heaven Realm.
Generally she could compete against warriors from the Initial Stage of the Heaven Realm, but she definitively didn't stand a chance against strong ones like Huo Jingcheng.
Han Qiu defended herself against Huo Jingcheng's attacks while looking towards where Zhang Ruochen was.
She realized that Zhang Ruochen had vanished from the spot where he fell.
"Could it be... that he has escaped?" Han Qiu felt completely helpless and annoyed. Thought they were unfamiliar with each other, she had helped him once with the Black Market.
Did this guy abandon her to escape on his own? How unexpectedly selfish!
What am I supposed to do now?
"My body-protecting jade bead can only shield me against three attacks; just two shields remain. Considering the power of Huo Jingcheng, I cannot fight back against him or seize the opportunity to escape even with my Supreme Universe and Dark Domain techniques."
After exchanging seven blows with Huo Jingcheng, Han Qiu was forced to use her body-protecting jade bead again.
Knowing that Zhang Ruochen has escaped, Han Qiu immediately used a movement technique to dart off into the distance at top speed.
Huo Jingcheng, who could move as fast as sound, caught up with her and sneered: "Qiu'er, I might consider letting you go if you give me the account book and the secrets of the Supreme Universe."
"You must be dreaming."
Han Qiu thought for a moment before speaking. "You're completely focused on chasing me," she said. "Aren't you worried that the account book might be with another person?"
"Heh!" Huo Jingcheng laughed, "Do you think that I was the only one sent to kill you two? It is impossible for Zhang Ruochen to escape."
Han Qiu was surprised. "He keeps mentioning the name Zhang Ruochen," she thought to herself. "Could it be that the mysterious teenager is not called Chen Ruo but is actually Zhang Ruochen, the Ninth Prince of Yunwu Commandery? Or could they be one and the same?"
Before Han Qiu could think more on this, Huo Jingcheng launched another attack.
Han Qiu had no choice but to activate her Dark Domain technique to defend herself against Huo Jingcheng's attacks.
The physical quality of the dark nature had always been a secret all her own. Now, though, self-preservation was much more important than keeping the secret.
Elsewhere, Zhang Ruochen was knocked into the air by the wind blade unleashed by Huo Jingcheng; in the wake of this attack, his Ice-fire Kylin Armour had grown ragged and his sixth-level Genuine Martial Arms armor had been destroyed.
The wind blade had left small wounds on Zhang Ruochen's body.
As he readied himself to get back up in order to cooperate with Han Qiu and defeat Huo Jingcheng, Metal Claws suddenly burst from the ground and seized his arms.
"What the hell?"
Suddenly, a strong power retracted the Metal Claws, hauling Zhang Ruochen more than ten meters beneath the earth.
Zhang Ruochen was lost in the dark. His face was covered with soil and stones. His eyes saw nothing. He felt like the Metal Claws were hauling him into an abyss...
"The Abyss Ancient Sword!"
The Abyss Ancient Sword immediately flew out to cut the Metal Claws.
As soon as the the Abyss Ancient Sword moved, the Metal Claws holding Zhang Ruochen's arms disappeared.
When Zhang Ruochen got free, he kicked at the ground and attempted to rush back up to the surface.
In that moment, a strong surge of power rushed from the surface towards Zhang Ruochen, seemingly intended to shatter his head. Zhang Ruochen defended himself by counterattacking with a blast of palm power.
Due to the impact of the power, Zhang Ruochen was blasted down and buried deeper.
From underground, Zhang Ruochen heard the voice of a woman above him: "If you don't hand over that account book, you will be buried underground forever, little boy."
Another Martial Arts master!
Zhang Ruochen's present martial cultivation would keep him from being asphyxiated even if he stayed underground for a whole day.
"I'm afraid you're not strong enough to bury me alive."
From more than ten meters underground, Zhang Ruochen released his Space Domain to expand the space around him.
The space around him gradually expanded. After a while, his Space Domain broke through the ground with a loud noise.
Still cocooned within the Space Domain, Zhang Ruochen flew into the sky and then landed back on the ground.
An ugly woman in her fifties stood far away from him, a woman with a stocky body, dark skin and legs stouter than a bucket. She brandished two metal chains linked to the ends of Metal Claws.
These were the Metal Claws that had previously dragged Zhang Ruochen more than ten meters below the surface.
The ugly woman was completely to perceive the Space Domain and was thus surprised. "What martial technique did you use?" she asked.
"A martial technique you will never learn."
Zhang Ruochen continued: "Are you a warrior from the Square Commandery?"
"I am the Commandery Princess Zhenling from Square Commandery," the ugly woman who was as stocky as the buffalo proudly proclaimed.
"It's incredible to know that a commandery princess can look as ugly as you," Zhang Ruochen sardonically said.
Provoked by Zhang Ruochen's words, Commandery Princess Zhenling instantly became annoyed. She suddenly waved her stout arms and sent the Metal Claws hurtling towards Zhang Ruochen.
Frankly, the martial cultivation of the Commandery Princess Zhenling was far beyond the Initial Stage of the Heaven Realm in terms of power.
The two Metal Claws attacked Zhang Ruochen without pause. In a unique display of martial arts, 36 claws manifested and tried to wrap themselves all the way around him.
But the sword techniques performed by Zhang Ruochen had reached quite a high level; they firmly protected him from the attacks of the two Metal Claws.
Commandery Princess Zhenling seemed to recognized Zhang Ruochen's mature sword technique. Even she couldn't defeat him in a contest of nimble martial techniques.
Therefore, she changed her strategy to launching brutal attacks, hoping to wear down Zhang Ruochen with raw power.
Then Commandery Princess Zhenling withdrew her metal claws and pounded them against her chest, creating the sound of clashing metal. "King Kong Savage Beasts' Body," she shouted.
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