A Life of Pride. Who is Competing? (Part 9)
“Abels… is dead?” someone questioned in disbelief.
The injured personnel from the unorthodox sects suddenly got up from amongst the corpses, seemingly unharmed and unfazed. From a glance, about sixty percent of the forces who tussled with Evil Spirits were still alive. Anyone expecting them to fight fair and square would be delusional; feigning death was one of their fortes and most employed strategies.
Paying no heed to the unorthodox sects, Emperor Yuansheng broke into celebratory laughter: “Brother Luo, I have been looking to meet you again ever since we parted. I never expected it to be more than ten years when we would meet again. While I’ve aged considerably, you’re still vibrant.”
Luo Ming responded, “Brother, we cannot compare when you are a busy man, and I am a man with plenty of spare time on his hands.”
People were full of praise for Luo Ming’s skills and believed he’d soon return to his throne as one of the Supreme Ten Saints, when someone asked, “Patriarch Luo, although Evil Spirits are bound to bear painful consequences for as long as you are around, were you not training in isolation? Why did you happen to show up so timely, and who are they?”
Sometimes, it’s nice to have the crass men from unorthodox sects around to cut to the chase when orthodox sects’ members would beat around the bush to ask the questions they’re dying to ask. Everyone wanted to know about Luo Ming’s training in seclusion because he left a prime Luo Yan and young Luo Siming to supposedly train some advanced skill.
While Luo Ming answered with just a smile, Luo Siming expounded, “Several days ago, this one’s second uncle, Luo Yan, started an uprising on Repository Island to instate himself as our clan’s patriarch, leading to the clan falling into his hands for several days. This one sought the help of friends to depose of him. After that, this one learnt that his second uncle was the one responsible for the weapon thefts and ambushes in Canhu Town. As he fell into Taihu Lake, it is likely he has met with a misfortunate end. Father decided to come out of seclusion from Sword Spirit House after hearing of what happened. This one apologises for failing to see through the deceit sooner and for disturbing Father’s training.
“This one thought Second Uncle pinched weapons out of some mental issue, never imagining he had conspired with Beijiang’s Evil Spirits. Had Miss Shen and her friends not informed this one, this one would still be oblivious to the fact that it was Abels’ contrivance. This one decided to work with Miss Shen and her friends upon learning of Abels’ involvement, and Father decided to lend a hand for he would be the only one who could compete against Abels.
“Notwithstanding the risk associated with today’s operation, we have successfully crushed Evil Spirits. Still, this one owes you all an apology for getting you caught up in the operation and letting you get hurt.
“As Luo Sword Manor is the root of this unfortunate saga, Luo Sword Manor must clean up its mess. Please discuss your compensations for this operation with us at a later date. For now, let us celebrate this victory on Repository Island. This one has invited renowned chefs from various locations in the Central Plain and harvested seasonal fruits to thank you.”
Despite Luo Siming’s honest, sincere tone convincing of the authenticity of the stories, some didn’t accept his apology, deciding to wait for a future opportunity to take out the vexation of getting injured or losing members in the operation where they became collateral damage. Having said that, some no longer had any rancorous feelings towards Luo Clan since Luo Ming essentially avenged them when he harvested Abels’ head.
A number of Luo Sword Manor’s members arrived during Luo Siming’s speech to join him in leading the group to Repository Island, while Luo Ming and Emperor Yuansheng caught up with each other. Shen Yiren, however, wore a long face as she scrutinised the head on the ground, muttering to herself, “Abels… is dead?”
To say Abels left a deep impression on Shen Yiren was an understatement. For that reason, she couldn’t believe Luo Ming dispatched Abels so easily; however, there was nothing to invalidate the fact that Abels’ head really was there on the ground.
“Miss Shen, he is…” Luo Siming inquired, referring to Emperor Yuansheng.
“He… is my uncle. He came here in search of me due to me going missing here in Huzhou,” elucidated Shen Yiren.
“I see. It has been a long time since I have seen my father so bright. They must be long-time friends.”
“Where is Lyufei?” Shen Yiren queried after surveying the area, impelling Emperor Yuansheng and Luo Ming to glance over through their peripherals.
“Brother left in a hurry with Patriarch Yi, citing he had important business to attend to.”
Luo Ming glanced back at Emperor Yuansheng to see the latter’s urge to sigh, and the two regarded each other with helpless smiles.
Owing to Shen Yiren concentrating on examining Abels’ head, River Monster had long enough to unseal herself with her internal energy and get out from under Shen Yiren’s foot. River Monster bellowed, “Luo Ming, you conniving scum!”
“I did not realise I missed one.” Luo Ming reached for his hilt.
Noticing the subtle, uncanny upward curve at the corner of Luo Ming’s lips, Shen Yiren cut in between him and River Monster. Shen Yiren hit River Monster with her right palm with nominal output: “You’re not getting away!”
Maybe Shen Yiren’s words restored rationality to incensed River Monster. Unfounded or not, the latter decided to flee instead of challenging Luo Ming. Long Zaitian didn’t give his Qilin Guards the order to pursue or voice his hunch that Shen Yiren deliberately let River Monster escape.
Shen Yiren turned to Luo Ming and conveyed, “I apologise for letting her abscond, Patriarch Luo.”
“It’s fine.” Luo Ming fired sword qi so potent that the naked eye could see it from his elevated index finger at River Monster’s back.
Coincidentally, River Monster happened to slip over, avoiding death by a stroke of luck. She immediately rolled to her feet and kept running.
Luo Ming’s pride as one of the greatest of his generation didn’t allow him to make a second attempt on River Monster’s life. He lowered his arm and softly enunciated, “She won’t escape.”
A group of people concealing their identities in black attire went after River Monster.