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Chapter 30: The Bells of Celestial Seal Sect
Messages always took time to be delivered. In Changling, no one dared to stop the black messenger pigeons or black eagles flying out of the palace. But the writing of the secret notes, the transport, and the handling would all take more time.
For example, the empress had anticipated the change in the Great Floating Water Prison but was defeated at the hands of the Nine Death Silkworm because of the time difference. One of the reasons for her madness was because she tasted the betrayal from those closest to her.
It would take many days for events occurring in Changling to reach other dynasties.
When the powerful forces came from the turrets and harvested the lives of many Changling cultivators, and then sent groups of cultivators to the Wuzhi border, the imperial capital of the distant Yan Dynasty finally learned what had happened many days ago in Changling.
In a lecture hall of Celestial Seal Sect, Zhang Yi was sitting cross-legged on the last straw mat. He was used to the worst position. In any case, he could not understand most of the seal path truths that the Celestial Seal Sect teachers taught. If he could not keep up in one part, he could not keep up anywhere.
He was used to the contemptuous gazes of his fellow students. These gazes were not just because of his terrible progress but because he came from Qin.
After the Qin Dynasty started to destroy the Han, Zhao and Wei, the other dynasties in the world started to harbour great hostility towards Qin. Especially after the Deer Mountain Conference where the Qin Dynasty became the acknowledged enemy of all three dynasties.
For the young people of the Yan Dynasty, even if this person could not stay in Qin and had to come to Yan, he was still from the Qin and could become their enemy in the future.
Today, Zhang Yi felt that the gazes of his classmates towards him were different than usual. Even the teacher for this class was looking at him differently. He could not keep up, and turned anxious at his lack of understanding. He was even more confused about this class.
As a result, when this teacher asked him a question that was simple for his classmates at the end of class, Zhang Yi still could not answer.
Many people could not understand why Zhang Yi had been admitted to the sect. And this teacher was one such.
He looked at the ashamed Zhang Yi and shook his head. He asked another question and said, “You cannot even answer such a simple question. Then do you know what your junior sect brother Ding Ning did in Changling?”
Zhang Yi stilled. Then he stopped hanging his head in shame and looked up instinctively at the teacher, saying urgently, “My junior sect brother Ding Ning?”
“His cultivation is realm five already. He is the fastest cultivator in history to reach realm five.”
This Celestial Seal Sect teacher looked at Zhang Yi and said after a moment, “After he reached realm five, he challenged Palace Attendant Rong, one of the empress’ closest attendants, who is near the peak of realm six …. You must have met that palace attendant at the Min Mountain Sword Trials … and he succeeded. In a fair duel, he killed that palace attendant.”
The other students in this classroom clearly knew of this matter already. They looked at Zhang Yi, their gazes filled with more emotions. Upon hearing such words, Zhang Yi shook all over, even his lips started to tremble.
“Teacher … this …” He was so overjoyed he could not even speak properly.
“The heavenly mandate is in Changling, the top cultivation geniuses recognized in the world all come from Changling. But as another talent from White Goat Cave, the difference is so great. One is so hard to rival, the other is …” Unable to contain his anger, the teacher swung his sleeve and left the classroom.
The teacher managed to suppress his last nasty words, yet was there a difference if he did not speak?
No one comforted Zhang Yi. Most people looked at Zhang Yi with more dislike.
Zhang Yi seemed to feel no shame now, only joy and relief. It was someone else’s excellence, so what if that was his junior sect brother?
Perhaps this person was too cowardly and would never become a talent.
A beautiful young woman stood up, looked in disgust at Zhang Yi and prepared to leave the classroom.
This young woman was not the most exceptional among all students in the classroom, not the strongest in cultivation, and not the one with the best comprehension; but her status was the noblest. She was Murong Xiaoyi, and her youngest aunt was the present Yan empress.
Among the kith and kin in the empress’ clan, she was most loved by the empress. In a certain way, she was no different from the Yan Dynasty princesses. Also, the empress of Yan only had three imperial sons and no daughter of her own. Because of her status, she was usually the one to leave immediately after the teacher, while the others followed.
Her likes and dislikes would frequently affect the same emotions in other students of this group. When she started to walk and looked away from Zhang Yi, many other students also stood up and did not look at him.
But then a clear bell rang out through the mountain.
Murong Xiaoyi stilled. In her memories, she had almost never heard of such bell sounds.
Those students who had left the classroom with her were also surprised. Soon, they got an answer from the teacher. Someone had charged into the mountain.
Someone charging into a sect meant a public challenge. Yet this was Celestial Seal Sect, the strongest sect of the Yan Dynasty. Who had the daring … who had the ability to challenge Celestial Seal Sect publicly.
Without needing to ask more questions, people naturally started gathering in the direction the challenge was coming from.
People from the Celestial Seal Sect streamed towards its entrance at the base of the mountain.
Zhang Yi was at the end of this group just like how he was in class. He was overjoyed and shocked that his “little sect brother” dared to do such a thing. He was ecstatic that his “little sect brother” managed to accomplish such a thing. He felt proud of “Little Sect Brother” but not many felt his melancholy.
This was the Yan. No one had seen with their eyes how Xue Wangxu had died before the Min Mountain Sword Trials so they could not understand his emotions.
As he unconsciously followed to see the spectacle, he was still unable to pull himself out of his joy and sorrow. He was still thinking about how when he returned to Changling he would go and burn incense at Xue Wangxu’s grave. As well as … when he could see his little sect brother again.
A tide of gasps sounded at the gates and spread backwards.
Zhang Yi suddenly woke up. Not far ahead of him, even Murong Xiaoyi had exclaimed in disbelief.
No one had thought that the public challenger that many of Celestial Seal Sect’s teachers put such attention on was a youth about their age.
This youth was not tall, and had ordinary features. His face was a little sallow like his usual days were hard.
He wore ordinary blue cloth robes and black cloth shoes. He looked slightly restrained but was standing with determination at the gates of Celestial Seal Sect.
“Who is he?”
Murong Xiaoyi had extraordinary status, and naturally could not only befriend those who joined the sect at the same time.
When she asked, a young Celestial Seal Sect cultivator who appeared to be a teacher already was standing next to her and answered softly, “A cultivator from the Yellow Heaven Daoist Sect.”
“Yellow Heaven Daoist Sect?”
Murong Xiaoyi and her good friends around her stilled when they heard the response. In their memory, this Yellow Heaven Daoist Sect was an unknown little sect.
“Senior Sect Brother Feng Yu has already been seriously injured by one blow from him.”
This young Celestial Seal Sect cultivator struggled to swallow and then said, “Yellow Heaven Daoist Sect and our Celestial Seal Sect have some grievances.”