A sudden figure landed before them, speaking in a harsh tone, “Where do you think you’re going?”
“Uh, looking for the toilet…” Wu Qingqiu stiffened as he made an excuse on the spot. Then he noticed who it was and rolled his eyes, “Ouyang Changqing, you almost gave me a heartattack! We thought the enemy caught up to us!”
Ouyang Changqing roared, “It would’ve been far better if they did. Aren’t you here to help northern lands? Now that we’re under attack, suffering heavy losses, what do you do? You’re running away! Humph, turns out western lands’ people are nothing but spineless cowards.”
“Who says we’re running?”
Wu Qingqiu pointed at Chu Qingcheng, “We were entrusted with the Grand Marshal order to escort Qingcheng back to western lands. Also, none of us can do anything against the Invincible Sword!”
Ouyang Changqing gave Chu Qingcheng’s dull gaze a long look, “I can relate with sending your beloved somewhere safe. Take her, there’s a teleportation array up ahead. But could you tell me something first? Where is the Grand Marshal, Sir Zhuo?”
“As a Grand Marshal, he must be in the Main Hall, overseeing the alliance!”
“The hell he is! I’m just coming from there and there’s no sign of him!” Ouyang Changqing mocked, “That guy is a coward as well, running the moment the Invincible Sword came killing. Sister Xue and I have been searching all over, but have found no trace of him!”
The others were shocked, “No way! We just met him before dawn in the Main Hall, how can he be gone?”
“Who knows, maybe he used the teleportation array first.” Ouyang Changqing mocked, “So this is the wimpy style of the best disciple in western lands. Ye Lin is way better by comparison.”
“Now listen here, elder brother isn’t like that. Say one more word and I’ll beat you to a pulp!”
“Heh, reality has spoken yet you still cover for him? Besides, since the best disciple in western lands is gone, won’t you inherit the title? What’s not to like?”
“When I earn something, I do it with my own two hands. I will give my all regardless of victory or defeat. I shall be the best in my own way and even if only second, I will never use such petty tricks to take the crown. Listening to you talk, oh young master Ouyang, your best disciple in northern lands title doesn’t seem to carry much weight.”
“What’s that supposed to mean? I have earned it in the most righteous…”
Ouyang Changqing and Ye Lin kept fighting and devolved into grabbing each other. Wu Qingqiu had to rush in to break them up.
But what good would that do against the best seeds of their respective lands?
The more the two talked back, the more heated became, on the brink of fighting it out for real.
Murong Xue suddenly flashed over, looking stumped, “What are you all doing? You’re squabbling when there’s destruction and war going around you?”
“Uh, sister Xue.”
Ouyang Changqing eased up at once, afraid of giving the girl of his dreams the wrong impression, “Sister Xue, you must believe me. I am a civilized man who always avoids brawls. They’re just too crude and savage to understand reason…”
Murong Xue’s face twitched and rolled her eyes.
Like she didn’t know this pompous fool for who he was.
[Civil, you? More like a grandmaster in picking fights, who’s only lived for so long thanks to his daddy.]
She promptly ignored him, choosing to talk to Wu Qingqiu, “Where’s Zhuo Fan? Do you know where he went?”
They all shrugged, unable to provide any help.
“Damn that demon, running away at the worst possible moment!” Murong Xue gnashed her teeth and frowned.
Ouyang Changqing played it cool, “Sister Xue, he’s just a rotten coward. I bet he ran off the minute he saw the enemy starting killing their way in. He’s unreliable and I refuse to believe we can’t fight without his rotten help! Haven’t you always said he’s filled with foul schemes and better stay away for everyone’s good? He-he-he…”
Ye Lin flared, but Wu Qingqiu held him back from starting anything.
“It does ring true. He ran off after causing a scene just like with the central area’s Serene Shores Trading, letting others take the fall.” Murong Xue pondered, then nodded, “He’s better off gone. I refuse to believe that my brother and everyone can’t stand up to the Invincible Sword’s group without his vile methods!”
“Miss Murong, you’re just unbearably naive. Your brother and everyone can attack together all they want, but they’ll never get to touch a hair on the Patriarch’s body!”
A condescending tone reached them, followed by ten youths standing proud and confident before them.
The leader was a man of sharp features and elegance, wearing a most disparaging smile he could muster, complementing the disdainful gaze.
The hearts of everyone shook and even stung from the immense pressure.
It was the unanimous conclusion they arrived at, no longer looking casual in the face of such danger. Ouyang Changqing as well grew grave, asking Murong Xue, “Sister Xue, you know him? Who is he?”
“Central area’s strongest junior, Sword Star Empire’s Crown Prince, Baili Jingtian!”
Murong Xue’s eyes shook, finding it hard to speak, “He might as well be the best junior in the lands. Behind him are nine princes, each stronger than the last.”
Baili Jingtian chuckled, with the other princes joining in.
Wu Qingqiu’s face fell, his fists clenched and his heart heavy.
[We’re just about to get Qingcheng to safety so how did such a deadly enemy appear?]
The usually playful and cynical Ouyang Changqing suddenly got excited, his fists trembling with eagerness.
[The best youth in the lands!]
Ouyang Changqing’s eyes burned hot.
Murong Xue, oblivious to his quirk, totally focused on Baili Jingtian, said, “Crown Prince, what a strange coincidence to find you all the way out here…”
“Best in the lands!”
Ouyang Changqing roared over her and shot straight for Baili Jingtian, shouting at the top of his lungs, “Once I beat you, I shall be the best of the best, ha-ha-ha…”
“Ouyang Changqing, don’t be hasty! You’re not his…”
“Sister Xue, watch closely. I will prove to you how worthy I am of you!”
Murong Xue started, not expecting him to be so impulsive. Ouyang Changqing was deaf to reason, finding his life-long dream right before his eyes and had all the intention to grasp it. He charged right for Baili Jingtian and unleashed a cold sword wave at the chest.
[Heaven Sealing Sword Art, Blood Seal!]
Baili Jingtian hardly cared, smiling, “The best in northern lands’ son? You’re as bold as your father I see, worthy of senior Ouyang’s teachings. A shame you’re not the only inheritor of a great expert and not fit to touch me!”
The loud bang rattled the air, fluttering the clothes of the princes.
Baili Jingtian was still standing in the same spot, just like usual.
Ouyang Changqing gasped, staring hard at the finger in front of him facing him that was flashing with purple lightning, another prince that stood by Crown Prince’s side.
[This is impossible! The best disciple in the central area didn’t have to step in but another prince took my all-out attack like nothing?]
Ouyang Changqing was in complete denial of what happened.
Only then Murong Xue’s words sank in. The central area had ten princes, with each as strong as the best disciple of any other land.
[Are you serious?]
Ouyang Changqing’s eyes shook hard as he gnashed his teeth in indignation.
Murong Xue and Wu Qingqiu’s hearts sank.
[The strongest clan in the lands is just too terrifying. Even the young have the power to shake the lands.]
[It seems like Baili now got the best youth in the lands title as well. But where does Zhuo Fan fit in all this, I wonder?]
They were all hoping yet watching gravely as Ouyang Changqing, whose power they knew, was stopped before even reaching Baili Jingtian.
Just then, another figure appeared wrapped in golden flames smashed for Baili Jingtian’s head…