Book 8 Chapter 39 Request to a Duel
Teng Qingshan walked to the bedside and removed the cloth wrapped around the stone inscription.
The cloth fell to the side and revealed the stone inscription, which seemed to be carved from azure jadeite. Both the carvings of the axe art on the left and the word ‘Dao’ on the right of the stone inscription made Teng Qingshan feel as if there was an enormous axe slashing down before his eyes. There was a distinct aura of intimidation and pressure emanating from it.
“It is indeed the 11th form!” Teng Qingshan appeared calm, but the exhilaration he felt surged within him.
According to his understanding of the 《Thirty-six Splitting Mountain Forms》, Teng Qingshan determined that the 36 forms had been divided into three sections: the first 12 forms, the intermediate 12 forms, and the final 12 forms. The forms would become increasingly profound as their number increased. Among the six stone inscriptions Teng Qingshan had obtained from the Mu Clan in the Dreamy Cloud Ancient City was the 12th form.
“I have the 11th form here. With the 12th form, I will have the final two forms of the first section of the 《Thirty-six Splitting Mountain Forms》. The Earth Elemental Dao and Metal Elemental Dao contained within the two forms should be the much more profound portion.”
“Once I have completed my analysis and acquired a comprehensive understanding, I will be able to devise the ninth move of the 《Earth Element Fist》and step into the Emptiness Realm!”
Teng Qingshan stared at the 11th form. He had obtained an exceedingly precious item!
The value of a stone inscription was not determined by the profoundness it contained. The best of the stone inscriptions was the one that provided the most utility to the cultivator examining it. For Teng Qingshan, this was the 11th stone inscription that he had just obtained.
“Fu Dao,” Teng Qingshan turned and looked over. “What’s the situation now?”
“The news had only been leaked for two days. Only the clans situated in the vicinity of the Ox-Head Mountains could dispatch troops there at the fastest speed,” Fu Dao answered with a faint smile. “Troops from many different clans are currently travelling here in haste. I conjecture that all of the troops sent by different parties will only be able to assemble completely on the day after tomorrow.”
“Moreover, all the clans are currently in a stalemate. The Fiery Gilt Steel Deposit is inordinately enticing. However, none of the clans based in Northern Eastern Region were able to take sole possession of it. Whenever a clan endeavored to seize the Fiery Gilt Steel Ore Deposit, they would be attacked by a combined force of all the other clans.”
“Therefore, I reckon that the best strategy for the Fu Clan is to just observe the changes silently. We will take advantage of a time of trouble and profit through it.” Fu Dao grinned and continued speaking,”Maybe the Fu Clan will make great gains with little effort because of the crisis.”
Fu Dao was extremely confident.
Since he himself was a Golden Dan Innate Expert, he knew clearly of Teng Qingshan’s ability and skills…. Although Teng Qingshan was also a Golden Dan Innate Expert, in Fu Dao’s opinion, Teng Qingshan alone was equivalent to seven-to-eight Golden Dan Innate Experts! Therefore, Teng Qingshan was an exceedingly significant trump card for the Fu Clan.
“Fu Dao, since the current situation is fine….starting from tonight, I will cultivate in seclusion. Please do not disturb me unless it’s something major,” Teng Qingshan said.
“Okay,” Fu Dao responded. Simultaneously, he sighed in admiration. As expected of the super powerful expert, even when he’s in the military campground, he doesn’t stop cultivating assiduously.
In the big tent situated amidst the military campground:
Six people were sitting in two rows inside the tent. With Yan Baishou leading, the high-ranked members of the Yan Clan sat on the left side, while the three people that sat on the right were high-ranked members of Xiahou Clan. On the right was Xiahou An, who led the other two high-ranked members of the Xiahou Clan. At this very moment, the higher-positioned members of the two clans were engaging in a fervent discussion.
“Elder Brother Yan, it’s just Teng Qingshan joining the Fu Clan. It’s no big deal. You don’t need to worry. I said before that he doesn’t deserve an offer of three stone inscriptions.” A big bearded man, sitting on the second place of the row at the right side, scoffed and mocked, “No one knows where he comes from. Since he appeared, there have been only two rumors about him. The first rumor is that he had a duel against Fu Dao. The second rumor is about him barging into the Dong Residence and taking Dong Zhezi captive. There are only these two achievements.”
“Taking Dong Zhezi captive could only prove Teng Qingshan’s ability. However, he only kicked a True Dan Innate Expert into the air. Most Golden Dan Innate Experts are capable of achieving that. That achievement only indicates that he is a Golden Dan Innate Expert.”
“Wasn’t Teng Qingshan feared by everyone else because Fu Dao addressed him as ‘Mister?’ Everyone assumed that Teng Qingshan was the best amongst the Golden Dan Innate Experts.”
“However, who witnessed the duel between him and Fu Dao? No one did!” The big bearded man sneered twice and said, “No one saw it. Thus, who knowshow strong Teng Qingshan could be? It could be possible that…Fu Dao addressed Teng Qingshan as Mister because he owed Teng Qingshan a favor. Besides Fu Dao, who else amongst the Golden Dan Innate Experts did he defeat?”
“The Female Martial Saint? The Steel Sword Martial Saint of the Northern Frosty Region? The Blood Axe Martial Saint of Nanshan Region? Or perhaps the most powerful Rising Sun Martial Saint in the West Tang Region?”
“Hmph, he didn’t defeat any of them! Why should we view him as someone of great importance?” The big bearded member of Xiahou Clan said casually.
Only a few people knew of the duel between Teng Qingshan and the Rising Sun Martial Saint Mu Wang.
“Third Brother.” A one-eyed and indifferent-looking man sitting in the first place of the row on the right said in a serious tone, “You must not underestimate Teng Qingshan. No matter what, based on our investigation, there’s an eighty-to-ninety percent chance that Teng Qingshan is the ‘Most Powerful Martial Saint’ in the Hall of Assassins. Since he is addressed as the Most Powerful Martial Saint, how could we look down on him?”
“Big Brother, I do not agree with your words.” The big bearded man glared and replied, “Firstly, his identity as the Most Powerful Martial Saint is only our speculation, since the Hall of Assassins did not publicize his identity. Secondly, the degree of the power can only be determined through battle, not boastful words!”
“Strength must be proved by one’s fists and deeds” the big bearded man sneered and said. “Lies spread by everyone don’t count.”
“It is true that we do not know the degree of Teng Qingshan’s power. We don’t have to boost the enemy’s morale at the expense of our own,” a silver-haired elder sitting on the third place of the left row said with a smile. “Also, the Steel Sword Martial Saint is on our side. The Steel Sword Martial Saint is the number one Martial Saint in the Northern Frosty Region. With the Steel Sword Martial Saint, why should we fear Teng Qingshan?”
“Agreed. It’s not hard for the Steel Sword Martial Saint to defeat Fu Dao. Even if the Steel Sword Martial Saint was weaker than Teng Qingshan, the difference should be minuscule.”
“Teng Qingshan has never defeat the Female Martial Saint, the Steel Sword Martial Saint, or the other two. My conjecture is that Teng Qingshan might be only slightly stronger than the Steel Sword Martial Saint and the others, therefore, he is called the Most Powerful Martial Saint.”
The six members of the Yan Clan and Xiahou Clan all conferred.
Now, each of the four great martial saints; the Female Martial Saint of Eastern Flower Region, the Rising Sun Martial Saint of West Tang Region, the Blood Axe Martial Saint of Nanshan Region, and the Steel Sword Martial Saint of Northern Frosty Region;were considered the number one martial saint in their own region. However…. The Rising Sun Martial Saint was the most powerful among the four, therefore he was called the World’s Number One Martial Saint.
“When will the Steel Sword Martial Saint arrive?” Yan Baishou asked.
“According to reason, he might arrive during these two days. It’s also possible that he might arrive early or late. Such a powerful expert will not obediently listen to our commands,” the Patriarch of Xiahou Clan said calmly. Suddenly, he turned and looked outside the tent door with his lone eye.
The six people in the tent became quiet.
“Reporting to Patriarch: the Steel Sword Martial Saint has arrived,” a voice outside rang.
“Haha, arriving just when we mentioned him,” Yan Baishou laughed and said. “Let’s welcome the Steel Sword Martial Saint together.”
Soon, Yan Baishou and the other five escorted a cold-looking middle-aged man with silvery streaks at his temples into the tent. The cold-looking middle-aged man wore a thick silver-colored cloak and carried an entirely black, enormous steel sword on his back. His eyes were as sharp as a sword.
This was the most dazzling figure of the Tianfeng Clan.
This was the young clan member that the Tianfeng Martial Immortal valued the most. The two massive clans, the Mu Clan of the Rising Sun Trading Company and the Tianfeng Clan, both valued the ingenious and talented experts of their families. In the Mu Clan, the Great Elder Mu Wang was the most valued of the Dreamy Cloud Martial Immortal. The Dreamy Cloud Martial Immortal hoped that Mu Wang could achieve a breakthrough and attain Emptiness Realm, thus becoming a Martial Immortal. If Mu Wang were able to become a Martial Immortal, then…the Rising Sun Trading Company would experience another glorious three-to-four-hundred years. The Rising Sun Trading Company wouldn’t have to handle certain affairs in secret.
The same went for the Tianfeng Clan. The Tianfeng Clan had hope in the Steel Sword Martial Saint. They wished him to attain Emptiness Realm as well. The Steel Sword Martial Saint was indeed very strong. Aside from losing against the Rising Sun Martial Saint over a dozen years ago, he had never lost against anyone else. Moreover, his years of assiduous cultivation, complemented by his great talent…allowed him to make great progress and achieve great improvements.
The Steel Sword Martial Saint had always desired to compete against the Rising Sun Martial Saint again! He wanted to know who was the stronger one! Unfortunately, the Rising Sun Martial Saint rarely left the Dreamy Cloud Ancient City, thus a chance for a duel was almost impossible.
“Everyone, sit.” The Steel Sword Martial Saint sat in the principal seat in the center.
The Yan Clan and the Xiahou Clan still sat in two left and right rows per the earlier arrangement.
“Presently, the Fiery Gilt Steel Ore Deposit had revealed itself in this continent. The significance of this Fiery Gilt Steel Ore Deposit is obvious. For many years, the Fiery Gilt Steel Ores were in the possession of the Tianfeng Clan. This time, the Tianfeng Clan must obtain the Fiery Gilt Steel Ores again. Tianfeng Clan will fully support you two clans in the struggle to take possession of the Fiery Gilt Steel Ore Deposit. As for the distribution of the Fiery Gilt Steel Ores between the three clans….Since you two clans will exert great effort and since the Fiery Gilt Steel Ore Deposit is extremely massive, the Tianfeng Clan will take sixty percent, while you two clans will each take twenty percent. Twenty percent of the Fiery Gilt Steel Ore Deposit is enough to make you two clans more powerful. Does anyone of the two clans have any objection against this distribution?” The Steel Sword Martial Saint scanned the six people with eyes as sharp as a sword.
The fact that the Tianfeng clan could force the other two clans to strive for the Fiery Gilt Steel Ore Deposit and still manage to take possession of sixty percent showed how powerful they were.
“Of course we have no objections.” Yan Baishou frowned as he replied, “By combining the forces of Yan Clan and Xiahou Clan, we will be able to fight for the Fiery Gilt Steel Ore Deposit. However, we are worried about…Golden Dan Innate Experts, especially ‘Teng Qingshan,’ whom the Fu Clan had invited. Teng Qingshan is too mysterious. No one knows his background. Also, based on our calculations, Teng Qingshan is most likely the Martial Saint nicknamed ‘the Most Powerful Martial Saint’ in the Hall of Assassins.”
The Steel Sword Martial Saint instructed, “Yan Baishou, command someone to send an invitation to the Fu Clan. Tell the Fu Clan that I, Helian Haoyan, desire to duel with Teng Qingshan. The duel will be at dawn tomorrow and the location will be the Fiery Gilt Steel Canyon in the Ox-Head Mountains.”
An invitation to a duel?
Everyone was astonished.
“Mister Helian, this….” The Patriarch of Xiahou Clan hastily said.
“There are two reasons to why I do this. Firstly, I hope to compete with a powerful expert like him. Secondly, I want to know how powerful he is. We can only plan our strategy if we know his strength. If he’s ordinary, then all the rumors are fake. We will know that all the rumors are but lavish praises that emerged because of his mysteriousness. At that time, we will regard him as someone of no importance in the fight for the Fiery Gilt Steel Ore Deposit,” the Steel Sword Martial Saint said indifferently.
Before the entrance of Fu Clan’s military campground.
Clop! Clop! Clop!
The sounds of hooves trampling boomed. Almost a hundred Hunchbacked Beasts galloped to Fu Clan’s military campground. The person leading was even riding a One-Horned War Hou.
“Roar~~” As he pulled the reins, all the War Hous and Hunchbacked Beasts halted.
Clang! Clang! Clang!
The guards at the Fu Clan’s military campground held their long spears forward. The spearmen stood in great numbers. As the long spears were pointed towards the riders, the tip of the spears reflected icy rays of light.
“Who are you?” The leader of the guards shouted.
The rider mounting the War Hou yelled back, “The Steel Sword Martial Saint commanded us to send an invitation to a duel. He requested Mister Teng to duel with him tomorrow morning at the Fiery Gilt Steel Canyon in the Ox-Head Mountains.” The voice rumbled in the military campground and thousands of people knew immediately.
“We will leave now.” The rider threw the invitation towards the guard and led the other riders, hurtling away.
The entire camp was engaged in a fervent discussion and Fu Dao went to the tent where Teng Qingshan dwelled.
“Mister! Mister!” Fu Dao shouted as he lifted the the flap of the tent.
Presently, Teng Qingshan was practicing his fist art.
“What is it?” Teng Qingshan asked indifferently, “I said if it’s not something major, do not disturb me.”
“Mister, do you know about the Steel Sword Martial Saint inviting you to a duel?” Fu Dao hastily asked. In Fu Dao’s opinion, this was something extremely major.
Teng Qingshan drew his brows together.
Even before he had achieved a breakthrough and attained the final stage of Supreme Force, he could already defeat the Rising Sun Martial Saint by using a great strength of one million two hundred thousand Jin and the Five Element Spear Art. When he reached the final stage of Supreme Force, he could even defeat the Six Legged Bladelike Chi!
The Steel Sword Martial Saint?
“I hear you. I will find some time tomorrow morning. I will head into the Ox-Head Mountains and beat the Steel Sword Martial Saint into the ground,” Teng Qingshan said calmly. “Alright, please leave.”
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