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A power surge spread with the moonlight curtain as its source. Hiding behind it was Zhuo Fan’s fading smug and mocking grin at Baili Jingwei.
No amount of effort, nor speed, on the guards’ part, even from Genesis experts, helped stop Zhuo Fan from leaving.
Baili Jingwei bit his lip till it bled.
He had been toyed with by some mystery punk that came out of nowhere to the point of extreme humiliation. He lost it all tonight, both the chance of wiping out Shangguan clan’s best and the very thing he protected, the Soaring Sword.
How was he going to explain that to the Patriarch? To make matters worse for our poor imperial Prime Minister, his prized title of being Sagely Statesman had just taken a blow. Not to forget his credibility in Patriarch’s eyes was now questionable.
Over the course of one short night, his bright and promising career had taken a most dark and cruel turn…
As he was gnashing his teeth and boiling in rage, Danqing Shen sported a rather peculiar smile, giving a big nod to Zhuo Fan in his mind.
[Boy, cheers on your success and safe escape. I’m sure we’ll meet again someday, ha-ha-ha…]
A figure came out of nowhere and flashed through them. It aimed for Shangguan Qingyan’s fair and delicate neck, yanking it forward.
The lady cried at the suddenness, still absorbed in Zhuo Fan’s performance. The pressure put a strain on her breath and her face turned red as she coughed for any bit of air.
“What do you think you’re doing, Shangguan Feiyun? A peak Genesis expert has so little shame as to lay his hand on a child?”
Shangguan Feixiong noticed his daughter was in trouble and it was no one else’s doing but her uncle he hated, “If you won’t do it for your niece, at least for status. Fight me if you want to, but leave Yan’er alone!”
Shangguan Feiyun huffed, “Old coot, you know as well as I just how apart we are in strength. I’ve no interest in fighting you. I am one of the Nine Sword Kings after all. Her being kin aside, touching her, an Ethereal Stage cultivator is beneath me. Alas, the circumstances have changed. Sorry, niece.”
Shangguan Qingyan turned a cold face towards where Zhuo Fan had vanished, “Gu Yifan, listen up! Leave the Soaring Sword and I’ll let you go. Don’t and this girl gets it!”
Zhuo Fan’s signs paused, his face betraying emotion.
Baili Jingwei lit up and signaled his guards to stop before forcing Gu Yifan to leave for good.
It was imperative to get him to stay then use the girl to get the Soaring Sword back. From what he’d seen, the two looked close. On top of that, the reports showed she quite cared for Gu Yifan, to the point of coming clean with her own dad’s plan of using him.
This wasn’t a result of a mere friendship, there had to be something going on between the two.
Gu Yifan had started his plan with the sole thought of using Shangguan clan for his own goals, but whenever people were involved, anything could happen.
Maybe all those walks through town touched the guy’s heart.
Baili Jingwei and Shangguan Feiyun thought of using the girl as a barganing chip on a simple maybe.
Baili Jingwei looked hard at Shangguan Feiyun and nooded.
Sword King Feiyun didn’t just use his fist, but was cautious and bold when required. The prime minister understood how this man became a Sword King.
[There was no way Patriarch would just accept anyone with a bit of stregth.]
[I’ve gotten too caught up in everything and lost my composure. Sword King Feiyun was actually much more devious, finding the right trail among thousands to pursue victory! A true man of ambition.]
Baili Jingwei praised him, his eyes focused on Zhuo Fan and eager for a response.
Shangguan Feixiong’s side was tense, filled with bloodthirst.
[Yan’er’s life is in your hands.]
[I don’t care what you are, Gu Yifan, but Yan’er has been good to you all these days. Even a cold stone heart will sport a crack…]
Shangguan Qingyan was also desperate to know his reply, holding hope deep in her eyes. But unlike the rest, she knew it was highly unlikely Zhuo Fan would just hand over the Soaring Sword for her. All she hoped was to know Zhuo Fan’s feelings, even if it was refusal out of helplessness.
She was content with Zhuo Fan showing just an inkling of want in saving her…
Alas, before all those tense and eager looks, Zhuo Fan smirked, “Sword King Feiyun, are you touched in the head or something? You expect to blackmail me with Shangguan Feixiong’s daughter? Are you sure about that?”
Everyone sighed, realizing she was not enough to force the guy’s hand.
Shangguan Feixiong shook in rage.
[A cold stone bastard like him should just die!]
Shangguan Qingyan looked forlorn at the blatant rejection.
[This is the real Mister Gu, cruel and callous…]
“Gu Yifan, people aren’t plants, they are governed by feelings…” Shangguan Feiyun’s eyes flashed as he probed, but Zhuo Fan laughed in his face, “Good one, but has the Sword King ever heard that love takes time? I’ve barely known the girl for a month and I didn’t even like her from the start, only thinking of using Shangguan clansmen for myself. How can such a shady goal lead to love? Even if some did bud, it’ll only be faint and flat.”
Zhuo Fan gave a nasty grin to Shangguan Qingyan, “Girlie, I told you staying won’t do you any good. Didn’t I urge you to leave?”
Shangguan Qingyan nodded.
“There you have it, I’ve already showed compassion but you chose death. My hands are clean.” Zhuo Fan turned to Shangguan Feiyun, laughing, “Young people have no sense of propriety, stubbornly willing to pay any price. That’s why they should see more, though some get to see many times while others just once, just like miss Shangguan here. Though experiencing ending your own niece ought be a one time thing too. Make sure to relish it, Sword King Feiyun, ha-ha-ha…”
Zhuo Fan was totally uncaring, his laughter filled with derision as he resumed making signs and his body faded some more.
Shangguan Feiyun grimaced at Zhuo Fan’s brutal response, her life in his hands held no importance to him. He had no remorse at all about just running away.
And then he patronized him with killing his own kin. This was not just about staining his name, his mind would not get over it. Thus his grip on the fair neck eased.
Zhuo Fan eased a breath.
[Reverse psychology saved her…]
Baili Jingwei saw through it all and shouted, “Kill her, Sword King Feiyun!”
“He’s only taunting you. He wouldn’t have said all that if he didn’t care at all. He is taunting you into letting go.”
Baili Jingwei felt good finally getting a grasp of Zhuo Fan’s intent and shouted at the light curtain, “Gu Yifan, leave and life leaves her! Just try it!”
Shangguan Feiyun’s grip on Shangguan Qingyan’s neck tightened, laughing, “I get it now. Gu Yifan, so you do want to save her. Then leave the sword and we won’t make it hard on you. You’ll both leave safely.”
Shangguan Qingyan was choking again, but Baili Jingwei’s explanation made her heart skip a beat as it validated her hopes.
It meant Zhuo Fan did care and wanted to save her. Just that he didn’t show it.
[Ha-ha-ha, Mister Gu is so callous that he is ruthless even when saving another. But this extreme coldness hides emotions. Mister Gu, just who are you…]
As her face paled from the lack of air and tears fell down, she was actually smiling, a smile free of regret.
[A shame I won’t ever get the chance to find out…]
Sensing her life ebbing, Shangguan Feixiong was panicking. He couldn’t even act out for fear of leading to her death.
They were at an impasse.
Zhuo Fan’s eyes grew colder, his hands ready to make the last sign and leave. He didn’t want to be like Shangguan Feixiong and let emotions rule his actions. But he could see the problem.
Baili Jingwei’s side had Shangguan Qingyan as hostage because he had the Soaring Sword. Once he was gone, Shangguan Qingyan would lose her value.
While handing the sword would only remove any restrain they had. They would go after his life and he would die along with the Shangguan clan.
Baili Jingwei was using Shangguan Qingyan to get the sword and control the Shangguan experts.
Zhuo Fan smirked and was about to leave.
It was then a childish voice sounded, “Auntie…”