Xue Gang and Xue Lin cried out and attacked. The notion of fighting someone way out of their league was lost on them in their frantic worry for their sister.
You Yushan spared them no glance, only a wave. A gale dealt with the pesky brothers, sent them flying and they were left to fall powerless on the ground.
But their eyes still brimmed with concern for Xue Ningxiang.
Xue Ningxiang shouted, “Big brother, second brother!”
“Ha-ha-ha, easy now. They’re fine. I have no interest in swatting down flies.” You Yushan’s malicious grin widened as he had the fragile girl in his grip.
Suddenly, a sword flashed by. Xie Tianyang had picked himself up at some point and was aiming for the man’s throat, “Flowing Space’s Nine Forms, Empty Net!”
The space froze and even You Yushan looked slowed as the only moving object was the swift sword attack at his throat.
Unfazed in the slightest, the man merely pinched the glinting cold blade. The sword stopped dead in its tracks.
The next thing he knew, Xie Tianyang found You Yushan’s sneer entering his ears, “Humph, I would’ve been a bit worried if the Flowing Space’s Nine Forms came from your brother, but you… ha-ha-ha, never mind!”
You Yushan shifted and both sword and man were seen shooting through the air.
Slamming into the earth and spitting blood, he found no energy left in him to get up. All he could do was painfully witness You Yushan’s vile hand squeeze Ning’er’s neck.
Chu Qingcheng, Xie Tianshang and Long Xingyun rushed over. You Yushan merely displayed a frown and placed Xue Ningxiang towards them as he shouted, “Don’t come any closer, or the lady gets it!”
The three halted on the spot. They slowly put down their feet and turned grave.
The lady was from a trifling second rate clan, no different from a vassal, but her status was a bit special. She had strong ties with Sword Marquise Abode’s Xie Tianyang and Soaring Demonic Dragon Zhuo Fan.
Whether it was for the ones behind her or for herself, they had to avoid playing a part in her death at any cost. You Yushan’s threat wouldn’t have worked on them otherwise.
With both sides fully knowledgeable of the delicate balance, You Yushan regarded them with hatred and a twisted grin, “Who’d have seen this coming? High and mighty disciples from three houses are now shaking in their boots in fear of seeing a second rate clan’s miss’ head falling off. What a sight, ha-ha-ha…”
You Yushan turned to the said miss with a raised eyebrow, “See that, my lady? They care for you so much. And the one who made it all possible is that man. Ironic how it includes your current predicament as well. If only he didn’t exist, who among us would waste time to mind a small and insignificant lady?”
Xue Ningxiang gnashed her teeth, knowing fully well who he was talking about.
The three close by knew it too. The focus behind all this planning and ambushing had been Zhuo Fan all along.
This proves how dear Xue Ningxiang was to Zhuo Fan, making it obvious why the enemy would throw away all their honor and go after a frail girl. It all came down to dealing with Zhuo Fan.
All the more reason why the trio couldn’t be hasty, lest they find themselves short of Xue Ningxiang and with an enraged Zhuo Fan breathing down their necks.
The three gave each other a hidden nod, being overt as they looked for a chance. You Yushan was one of Six Dragons and One Phoenix after all, so how could he leave an opening for the three to exploit?
The scene turned into a standstill, with neither side moving on the other.
The audience beyond the water exit were shocked by the sudden development. A mere second rate clan’s miss was Zhuo Fan and the other’s weakness? Go figure.
Luo Yunchang clenched her fists, worried sick.
She had long been made aware of Ning’er’s importance to Zhuo Fan. Neither she nor Chu Qingcheng could reach the same place as that girl in Zhuo Fan’s heart.
She refrained from waking Zhuo Fan to this realization out of worry and fear. Fear that Zhuo Fan would further distance himself from her.
It had reached such a point where before the final battle, Zhuo Fan’s heart was a mess. He kept flipping out yet never could find the root of the problem, blaming it all on his restless mind.
Only Luo Yunchang knew this was jealousy over Ning’er and Xie Tianyang seeing each other every day.
With Zhuo Fan’s one track mind for cultivation alone, his knowledge about love and anything skirting around the subject was a huge void. Without knowing what caused such deep unrest within him, he chose to force himself to be stone-cold.
His mind had found peace, but all he did was stop the flood by building a dam around it.
And once that dam cracked, the surging tide would consume him.
Luo Yunchang could practically see Zhuo Fan’s pained face. She turned to the trapped Xue Ningxiang, praying for her safety.
[Ning’er, you must survive. Or Zhuo Fan will go mad.]
Among all viewers, the only ones who truly cared for Xue Ningxiang were her father and grandfather. Seeing their daughter and grandchild in the hands of You Yushan robbed them of their breath. Their hearts were about to break.
[Why has the kind and cheerful Ning’er met with such disaster?]
Zhuge Changfeng took everything in with a glint in his eye, “Sir Leng, is this the fatal weakness you’ve been mentioning?”
“Ha-ha-ha, Prime Minister, I have conducted a thorough observation and that girl is Zhuo Fan’s biggest worry. He might not even realize it himself!” Leng Wuchang smiled.
Zhuge Changfeng raised an eyebrow, “How did Sir Leng find out then, if even he doesn’t know?”
“Ha-ha-ha, simple. A man will always reveal what he yearns for without even realizing it. When Zhuo Fan first came to Dragon Cloud City, he and our eldest young master clashed. That time he saved two women, one was the Luo clan’s young miss, while the other was the Xue girl.”
“That was all it took?” Zhuge Changfeng smiled.
Leng Wuchang shook his head, “It wouldn’t have been that simple, but his eyes naturally drifted to the Xue girl. It begged the question, if he would ignore even the safety of his clan’s young miss, and since he’s only interested in the other girl, what place does she hold in his heart?”
“Also, on the fighting stage, when Zhuo Fan was taken by his awe-inspiring first victory, who was it that he went to first? Ha-ha-ha, when a man shows his heroic side, he wants to share it. Not with his drinking buddies, but with the woman he loves. These are all subconscious actions, but also the ones that betrayed his heart the most.”
Zhuge Changfeng nodded in understanding, “Sir Leng is truly perceptive. From just two encounters you have grasped the kid’s weakness. I have to say that I’m impressed.”
“You’re far too kind, I don’t deserve it. The Prime Minister’s wisdom is matchless. I dare not compare. I have never been able to see through the Prime Minister’s thoughts, not one bit.” Leng Wuchang gave a half bow, in respect. But the way he was looking at Zhuge Changfeng in the eye, it was more akin to a challenge.
With a glint in Zhuge Changfeng’s eyes, the old man laughed, “Sir Leng is interested in me as well? Am I to assume I am your next target?”
“How can that be? I’d never dare do that to you, Prime Minister.” Leng Wuchang shook his head.
Zhuge Changfeng gave a cold smile in return, not minding it, “I don’t mind playing a round or two once Sir Leng has dealt with that monkey.”
Shuddering, Leng Wuchang’s eyes shined with battle spirit.
Of Tianyu’s three great minds, he had always been second to Zhuge Changfeng. He now had the chance to face the man and although he was somewhat uncertain, the excitement prevailed.
Every man with power would do anything to fight for the title of number one in the world, Unwonted Contriver included…
On the other side, You Yushan saw the trio unmoving and turned to the frightened Xue Ningxiang, “Girl, that ol’ poisoner wanted to dissolve you into a bloody smear on the ground for that kid. But I found such a revenge lackluster and figured out a much better way.”
“You wish! Big brother Zhuo will definitely save me!” Xue Ningxiang struggled as she cursed, her hand tracing the Thunder Ring.
Each time the Thunder Ring flickered, Zhuo Fan was bound to swoop in and carry her from the jaws of danger.
[Big brother Zhuo!]
Her heart cried those three little words, absolutely convinced of her delusional fairy tale.
Xie Tianyang gnashed his teeth, crawling forth to save his love. He didn’t go far, once again taken by weakness. Only his bloodshot eyes never left You Yushan, wishing nothing more than to devour him.
Shaking his head, You Yushan ignored his surroundings and enjoyed making the lass squirm, “Girl, your man won’t come. While we ambushed you he was going to Huangpu Qingtian to fight over the fourth Brimming Sacred Pill. Ha-ha-ha, now that I recall, weren’t you supposed to be a cauldron for us? Although late by a few years, it’s never too late to receive your fate!”
You Yushan touched her head as it released eerie sounds and gray energy.
Everyone cried, “Ghost Hand? H-he wants to take Ning’er’s essence!”