HSSB266: Sikong Qing’s persistence
“Leader, member, ally, or perhaps assisting due to the owing of a debt?” Xu Fei said, “Or perhaps it was just Yuan Tian acting as he liked.”
“Whatever the reason, we need to be on guard against Yuan Tian. Our clan must take him into consideration in our following plans.”
Hearing his words, Yan Zhaoge nodded, “The Devil Saint Yuan Tian is indeed trouble; we have to be vigilant of him.”
Xu Fei said, “Zhaoge, you must be careful in the following period.”
His gaze fell on the devilish mark on the back of Yan Zhaoge’s left hand, “As Master’s cultivation base is after all higher, if the enemy wants to reopen the Sand Region’s Great Nine Underworlds Door, they may very likely set their sights on you.”
Yan Zhaoge said straightforwardly, “Even if not for the Great Nine Underworlds Door, they might also focus on me. If I die, the pressure from the devilish mark will fall completely on eldest apprentice-uncle, in the process drawing his attention further. If they wanted to do something else then, it would be easier for them.”
Xu Fei’s expression was rather grave, “That’s right…”
He was an open and forthright person, but amidst his straightforwardness, he was also rather stable and mature, not fond of making suppositions, with some words not easily coming out of his mouth.
Yan Zhaoge, however, immediately understood what Xu Fei had left unspoken.
If there were still spies of the Decimating Abyss in Broad Creed Mountain, especially those whose cultivation base and strength were higher, if they wanted to assassinate Yan Zhaoge, it would be extremely covert, and very hard to guard against.
But they were also unable to look at everyone with suspicious gazes, or completely isolate Yan Zhaoge from everyone. Everything had to depend on the vigilance of Yan Zhaoge himself.
Yan Zhaoge patted Xu Fei’s shoulder, “Relax, senior apprentice-brother Xu. I will be careful.”
Saying thus, Yan Zhaoge smiled, “While I don’t really like it, such trouble always seems to come looking for me. It looks like I am born to be bait-the clan can just set up a circle around me, to ambush and kill spies of the Decimating Abyss.”
Xu Fei said solemnly, “While it is like this in principle, you will be bearing a great risk.”
“I know that you, Zhaoge, have many unique treasures on you, and do not fear Spirit Vessel Martial Grandmasters. But what if after getting close to you, an Essence Spirit Martial Grandmaster suddenly erupts? You might not be in time to hold him off long enough for the experts lying around in ambush to reinforce.”
Xu Fei paused for a moment, his voice turning even more grave, “….if, it were an Essence Talisman Martial Grandmaster, there wouldn’t even be time to react.”
Yan Zhaoge smiled, “Senior apprentice-brother Xu, what you say is not wrong. It is indeed like this. However, the enemies are hidden while I am not-some things, we just cannot do anything about.”
“However, I will also not treat my life so lightly. While I do not intend to be quarantined, in this upcoming period, I will lessen solitary contact with the clan’s higher echelons. Other than a few select people, I will have to apologise to the other seniors. I believe that they should be able to understand.”
Xu Fei nodded, “It is good that you understand.”
After sending Xu Fei out, Yan Zhaoge did not directly return to his room, instead strolling towards the outside.
Passing through some forests, he came before a waterfall, silently watching the movements of the water there.
After who knew how long, as Yan Zhaoge prepared to turn to leave, his heart suddenly moved slightly.
Gazing in a single direction, he saw a figure appear in the distance. It was a girl.
The girl had beautiful features, but a rather cold, aloof look about her. It was precisely Sikong Qing.
It was only when she had neared that Sikong Qing discovered Yan Zhaoge. Glancing over, she could only feel like Yan Zhaoge had merged to become one with his surrounding environment, making it hard for her to detect him.
“Senior apprentice-brother Yan,” Sikong Qing first bowed, and Yan Zhaoge nodded in return, “Junior apprentice-sister Sikong, it’s been a long time. Congratulations on your rapid progress in cultivation.”
As compared to back at Clear Concealed Lake during the Heavenly Connection Meet then, Sikong Qing had now already broken through from the inner aura to the outer aura Martial Scholar realm.
Yan Zhaoge could hear the flow of her blood, dense as mercury, yet still naturally flowing smoothly.
“Are you currently at the peak of the early outer aura stage, or have you already stepped into the mid outer aura stage, now able to condense qi into weaponry?” Yan Zhaoge asked somewhat interestedly.
Sikong Qing answered, “Mid outer aura stage, already able to condense qi into weaponry.”
As she said this, she extended her hand, her aura-qi condensing into a sword which hovered by her side. It was precisely the trademark ability of mid outer aura Martial Scholars.
Yan Zhaoge sighed, “It hasn’t even been a year since we returned from Clear Concealed Lake, and you have already progressed rapidly to this point. Heaven truly doesn’t restrict geniuses.”
Sikong Qing shook her head, “As compared to senior apprentice-brother Yan’s speed from the late inner aura stage to the early outer aura stage, and then the mid outer aura stage previously, it is much slower.”
The corners of Yan Zhaoge’s lips curled slightly upwards, but he did not speak.
Sikong Qing’s situation was very special, very abnormal.
Before having become a Martial Scholar, while she was also extremely outstanding, it also wasn’t especially exaggerated, basically being around the average level of direct disciples of Sacred Grounds.
After becoming a Martial Scholar that year, her rapid improvements had caused even Yan Zhaoge to take notice.
Amongst those of the same generation, her rate of improvement surpassed the original owner of Yan Zhaoge’s body, surpassed Lu Wen, surpassed Xu Fei.
There was only Feng Yunsheng who was even slightly faster than her. However, Feng Yunsheng’s situation was originally special, with the Extreme Yin Scripture and the yin-yang coexisting technique as well as the stimulation of the Cold Marrow Needles in recent days, all working together in unison.
Ying Longtu’s rate of improvement was even more exaggerated, but that was because he had the Big Dipper Body, and was therefore able to pass through the Body Refinement realm rather more easily.
Having reached the Martial Scholar realm, while his improvement speed was still very great, it might also not be comparable to Sikong Qing’s.
Curiosity was something possessed by everyone, and Yan Zhaoge was not an exception. However, he was only curious, and did not have any intentions of probing. After all, Sikong Qing was not an enemy.
Looking at Yan Zhaoge, Sikong Qing’s gaze was a little strange.
Yan Zhaoge touched his own face, “What, have flowers bloomed on my face?”
Sikong Qing shook her head, “No, it is just that looking at senior apprentice-brother Yan, I thought about some things.”
Yan Zhaoge found himself interested, “Oh? What things?”
“I personally experienced Clear Concealed Lake previously, and while I was not at Yunwu County in the Sand Region this time, I have also heard about it.” Sikong Qing said, “Senior apprentice-brother Yan accomplished what most Martial Grandmaster experts could not.”
“While from olden times up till now, I can’t say for sure whether you are the strongest Martial Scholar, you might just be the most capable Martial Scholar.”
Yan Zhaoge smiled slightly, “Therefore?”
Sikong Qing said, “Therefore, I think that I need to change a little.”
“You doubt yourself?” Yan Zhaoge appraised her, “Doubt yourself for having had nothing else on your mind all along, not dabbling in formations, artifact forging as well as other auxiliary studies, instead being fully devoted to the martial dao, unsure on whether this path is truly the correct one?”
Sikong Qing said calmly, “No, I have never wavered.”
“I firmly believe that my path is not wrong. Although Clear Concealed Lake and the winds and rain about to descend on our clan now have made me feel insignificant and powerless, I have never ever doubted my choice.”
“My insignificance and powerlessness just stem from me being too weak.”
Looking at Sikong Qing, Yan Zhaoge saw a seldom seen shine in her eyes as she continued, “What I feel is that the environment I have been in has always been too safe.”
“Educated under the protection of the clan, while it is also a productive form of cultivation, while I can say that I have been cultivating diligently, it has still been too safe.”
Sikong Qing looked straight at Yan Zhaoge, “I want to go out for a bit; going a little further than is safe, going to experience more things, tempering myself, with life and death up to the heavens.”