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Chapter 76: Threat
Ling Bo waited in front of Kong Hou’s room for a few moments and found no movement within Kong Hou’s room. Her expression changed slightly and she knocked again at the door. “Kong Hou, are you awake? If you hear me, respond.”
She listened with concentration. There did not seem to be any signs of life inside. Ling Bo’s heart jumped. Was it possible…
“Celestial Ling Bo?” The neighbouring door opened and Kong Hou appeared. “I’m here.”
Ling Bo stopped knocking on the door and turned to look at the other room. Was that not Spirit Master Huan Zhong’s room? In this moment, many thoughts flashed through her head. However, when she saw Lin Hu appear behind Kong Hou, all of those thoughts died in their infancy.
“The box in your room also opened?” Kong Hou beckoned for Ling Bo into enter. “Have spirit stones and other items appeared in Jin Ling’s room as well?”
Ling Bo looked at the empty box in the corner, and bowed to Huan Zhong. Huan Zhong returned half a bow. Ling Bo was a woman who liked beauty. She did not just like to be beautiful herself, she also liked handsome men, but this kind of affection was completely ineffective on Huan Zhong.
They were both sword cultivators. When Ling Bo learned that the seemingly mortal Huan Zhong had great cultivation, she felt an indescribable fear of him. The cultivators who primarily cultivated the sword usually exuded their sword energy so people could see at a glance how different they were to ordinary cultivators. Sword cultivators who could return to normal and have their sword in their mind without a sword in their hand were the strongest among the sword cultivators.
She had never heard the name of Spirit Master Huan Zhong of Radiance Sect, but sometimes, a reputation was not important. The cultivators who were actually strong, even if they were unknown in the cultivation world, would cause fear and reverence in people who saw them. No one would dare to offend them.
And she could not do this.
Even though she did not like to admit it, Ling Bo understood that the respect many people in the cultivation world held towards her did not come from her, but because they feared Clear Dawn Sect.
Because she knew this too well, Ling Bo felt a kind of unclear and indescribable jealousy towards Huan Zhong.
She felt that she was a very impartial female cultivator because she did not just get jealous of female cultivators—she was also jealous of male ones, even good-looking ones.
Jealousy could make people mad, but the desire to live would make people intelligent. In front of Huan Zhong, Ling Bo completely displayed what it meant to fear the strong and bully the weak.
Nodding slightly towards Ling Bo, Huan Zhong put his gaze back on Kong Hou. “This secret realm may have formed its own intelligence. Even though there are no formations or fragrances inside the room to make people have hallucinations, it can still have us enter a dream realm.”
“In other words, as long as we are in the secret realm, the secret realm can detect our movements at any moment?” Kong Hou scratched the table.
“What are you doing?” Ling Bo was puzzled.
“Tickling it,” Kong Hou joked. “Maybe if the secret realm gets tickled, the rain outside will stop.”
Ling Bo: “…”
Why did Lingyou World rank her on the same level as this young brat? This was an insult to her.
Kong Hou scratched again. Suddenly, she heard a roar of thunder, and the drizzle outside became an outpouring of rain. The windows swayed in the wind, and the sound of them hitting the walls was like people being slapped in the face.
Looking at the banging wood windows, Kong Hou embarrassedly took her hand back. “This, maybe it is a coincidence.”
“If it is not a coincidence, with you so meddlesome, you will be struck by lightning if you go outside…”
“Path Friend Ling Bo”—Huan Zhong stared at her with black eyes—”go see if Miss Jin Ling has woken up.”
“All right.” Ling Bo nodded and walked outside without any hesitation. Once she was out the door, she dared to curl her lip. Days were really difficult when one was alone and asking for protection from other people. At this moment, she truly felt how good her fellow disciples were.
“Huan Zhong.” Kong Hou put her hands behind her back and stammered. “If my joke made the secret realm displeased, would he try to bully me?”
“The secret realm is only the secret realm; it has the rules that its master left for it. Even if it is intelligent, it is not actually a person.” Huan Zhong walked next to her and stood closer to her. “It even gave you the Sword of Heaven and Earth—it should like you, so do not worry.”
“Really?” Kong Hou looked outside suspiciously, bringing her hands together as she said quietly, “Joking, joking, please do not blame me.”
Maybe it was just her imagination, but she felt the wind and rain outside lessened. In any case, the windows had fallen to the ground already and could not bang on the walls. That lessened the pressure on her.
“Do not fear.” Huan Zhong held Kong Hou’s wrist and looked expressionlessly outside. “I will keep you company.”
“En?” Kong Hou did not react in time. She turned her head to see Huan Zhong suddenly fly into the sky with his sword. Dragon Roar rose and cut down the lightning that had struck down. The black clouds in the sky roiled like water dripping into a pot of oil. The clouds flickered between black and gray. In the end, the thunder and rain stopped, the clouds dissipated, and the sun came out, the sky completely clear.
“Heavens!” Jin Ling who walked out the door looked up at the man who could change the color of the sky with a sword strike. She murmured, “If he were not a man who cannot live well, I would want to marry him.”
Ling Bo, who was walking up ahead, recovered from her shock and glanced at her. A beat later, Ling Bo said sarcastically, “You think too much.”
“That is true.” Jin Ling nodded her head. “I cannot consider a man like this.”
“Ha.” Ling Bo sneered. As though if you were willing to marry, the other would marry you. What illness did these people have—none of them were normal. She turned her head to look at Huan Zhong in the sky with complicated emotions.
His strike had such power. Only someone with at least Projection Stage cultivation could accomplish this. How many unknown experts did Radiance Sect have?
Landing from the sky, Huan Zhong put his sword back into its sheath. He walked into the room and said to Kong Hou, “The rain stopped. Let’s go.”
“Ah…” Kong Hou nodded dazedly but her feet did not move as she stared at the white-robed Huan Zhong.
“Come.” Huan Zhong stretched out a hand. “I will hold you, do not be afraid.”
“All right.” Kong Hou gave her hand to Huan Zhong and let him pull her. She finally recovered when they walked out of the manor. “Huan Zhong, when you swung your sword, I thought you would slice through the sky.”
Huan Zhong coughed and said seriously, “Brute force cannot resolve problems.”
Behind them, Jin Ling and Ling Bo did not speak and silently walked. Even if Huan Zhong said the sky was red, they would nod without hesitation.
In front of people with absolute strength, principles were not essential.
They once again came to the intersection they had to pass. This time, there were no boundaries blocking the way. Kong Hou, Huan Zhong and the others easily passed through. Behind the boundary was a range of hills of various heights. The faraway mountains were shrouded in ethereal mist that made people forget the real world.
“Other people have passed through here.” Lin Hu found blood traces on the grass.
Seeing the blood, everyone’s expressions turned for the worse. Someone had bled. This meant something bad had happened to someone. They just did not know if the wounds were serious or fatal.
“The blood is relatively bright. They should not be far away.” Ling Bo looked at the blood on the grass and worried for her shimei and shidi. She turned and bowed to Huan Zhong. “Path Friends, I am going ahead to look. Farewell.”
“Hey, wait.” Kong Hou grabbed her sleeve.
“Celestial Kong Hou, is there a matter?” She was wearing this dress for the first time today—don’t pull so hard.
“I do not know what else there is in the secret realm. Do not travel alone, we will accompany you.” Kong Hou turned to look at Huan Zhong. Huan Zhong nodded at her. Kong Hou became even more confident. “Let’s go.”
Ling Bo became silent. A beat later, she turned and walked forward.
It was said softly but sincerely.
Kong Hou gripped the Water Frost Sword and said with a smile, “You are welcome. After all, I now have someone to support me.”
Ling Bo turned back and looked at Kong Hou’s wide smile, and at her “support” who held her hand. The gratefulness she felt halved. “Oh.”
She disliked people who liked to show off, herself being an exception.
In the valley, two nomad cultivators and an apprentice of Clear Dawn Sect were holding each other up as they sprinted forward, about to be overtaken by the succubi behind them. The disciple of Clear Dawn Sect covered their chest and said to the two nomad cultivators, “Go first. I am wearing a magic robe forged by elders of the sect and can endure for a while longer.”
“No.” The male cultivator who looked to be in his thirties looked at the young features of the Clear Dawn Sect disciple. “Go first, I will delay them.”
“What will you delay them with? You do not have any talismans or seals,” the Clear Dawn Sect disciple said. “Do not waste my time—go. Find other people and tell them something is wrong with this secret realm. Do not linger in here; find the exit and leave.”
“Then I will help you.” If the middle-aged male cultivator was insulted by a sect disciple on another day, he would be furious. But it was different this time. He was not angry but seemed moved. He grabbed the young nomad cultivator next to him and pushed the other further away. “Go fast and send messages.”
The Clear Dawn Sect disciple saw him determined to stay and threw two talismans to him. “Delay for a while. If we have good luck, we may encounter someone to save us.”
The middle-aged male cultivator grimaced. Who would come save them? Once this secret realm started, everyone had been scattered. If the secret realm really let them easily encounter helpers, there would have been no need to separate them at the start.
The succubi were strange beings. Their bodies were gaseous and they consumed emotions. For them, the humans with their complicated emotions were the most delicious meals. In order to make humans give off more emotions, they could even enchant the minds of humans, enter their minds, and become the person or thing the human wanted to see the most in order to consume the minds of those humans.
The succubi were similar in practice with the illusory yao, but they were stronger than the illusory yao and even weirder.
The disciple of Clear Dawn Sect panted as he used his sword to drive away waves of succubi. His spirit energy was already almost used up. He stood back to back with the middle-aged nomad cultivator, both of them in sorry states.
“I had not expected that I, a famed rake of the nomad alliance, would end in an unfortunate state with a male cultivator. I am unlucky in my old age.” The middle-aged male cultivator took out a bottle of wine for a drink. He looked at the dimming talismans. When the energy of these two talismans was used up, they would become meals for the succubi.
The middle-aged cultivator had a rough beard and did not look very handsome. The Clear Dawn Sect disciple found it hard to believe he was a rake. With this face, even if he wanted to be a rake, women may not give him a chance.
As an apprentice of a large sect, he did not say anything about being stuck together with a dirty and smelly nomad cultivator, and this nomad cultivator unexpectedly still having the nerve to complain.
The light of one talisman extinguished. It dropped to the ground. The barrier around them gradually moved.
The Clear Dawn Sect disciple looked at the talisman on the ground and his face paled. He hated that flying message seals did not work here, and he would die without anyone ever knowing.
Snap. The second talisman landed on the ground. The barrier completely disappeared.
The succubi in the surroundings gathered together and acted to charge at them. But for some reason, they did not actually charge in. There seemed to be something invisible stopping everything from occurring.
“Shidi.” Ling Bo saw her young shidi who had not yet joined the sect for a decade and charged out without thinking.
“Huan Zhong…” Kong Hou blinked at Huan Zhong.
“Go.” Huan Zhong released her hand. “I will watch from the side, do not be afraid.”
“Yes.” Kong Hou held the Water Frost Sword as she flew over.
“Master.” Lin Hu said quietly, “Worrying like this, and also wanting your child to stand on their own is like being a father.”
Huan Zhong ignored him, his eyes locked onto Kong Hou.
Hearing the words “father,” Jin Ling lowered her head. Spirit Master Huan Zhong and Celestial Kong Hou were not in love but had a parental relationship?
They were really people from the ten sects to be so profound in their words.
Kong Hou did not primarily cultivate the sword, but her present swordsmanship was much better than previously. Even Lin Hu, a sword cultivator, could pick out a few good moves from her swordsmanship.
“You are wrong.” Huan Zhong looked at Kong Hou with a gentle gaze. “I will do better than a father.”
“Can you two men not stand there and comfort each other while us women are fighting?” After making sure her shidi was safe, Ling Bo’s worries eased completely. “Do not obstruct the way.”
Kong Hou silently threw the two male cultivators who had no spirit energy left to Lin Hu’s feet.
With the succubi in front of them, she should not speak when fighting.
The disciple of Clear Dawn Sect and the middle-aged male cultivator were dizzy from being thrown. After a long moment, they climbed off the ground and saw Lin Hu’s expressionless face when they looked up.
Lin Hu: “…”
The middle-aged male cultivator: “…”
The disciple of Clear Dawn Sect: “…”
The mood became awkward. While they had managed to preserve their measly lives, they had no dignity left.
“How come there are so many succubi in this secret realm?” Kong Hou killed wave after wave of succubi. She was irritated and tired of cutting. She took down her Phoenix Head hairpin. Phoenix Head transformed in her hand and shone with light.
“If you have this, why did you not take it out earlier?” Ling Bo stood guard next to Kong Hou and drove back all succubi wanting to get close. She wanted to see how powerful Kong Hou, who called herself a sound cultivator, was.
Translator Ramblings: Now everyone in the story is confused as the readers are if they are lovers or in a parental relationship.