Feizhen Must Perish
Luo Ming provided a time and location for arriving on the island to compete, only to reserve the details for the day of the battle royale. As for the rules, every sect was permitted to bring in only three people, citing there was no reason for unnecessary sacrifices as the reason for the cap. It also circumvented ganging up on other sects. Using overwhelming numbers isn’t exactly an act of valour. Although that sounded reasonable, it was complete hogwash. If the man was so concerned about sacrifices, why the hell did he invite so many people? All he needed was some bones, entrails and flesh to dance in the sky.
Nobody noticed Luo Ming depart because they were so busy planning their strategy in the hall. Anyone see the paradox? If you’re going to draw up your game plan in the hall, the others would eavesdrop! That was why everyone stuck around!
The competition is tomorrow, you fools!
Emperor Yuansheng and Boss left since they had too many secrets that they couldn’t afford to leak. As for me, I loitered because I was busy trying to trace Wugudengfeng’s tracks.
I spun around to see Xiao Huangquan with his signature grin.
“Come see this one at three fifteen in the afternoon for a drink.”
“… Don’t you think that’s a little too early to be tipsy?”
“Not at all. If this one drinks late, he might not make it in time for tomorrow’s competition.”
How much are you planning to drink?!
“We’ll see. We’ll see.”
As I tried to walk off, Xiao Huangquan stepped forward: “When Night Fortress’ Master Ming drank with this old one back then for days, he never griped. Why are you trying to refuse, Brother Ming?”
I knew what my scoundrel buddy was going to say next, especially this crafty bugger.
“I dare you.” Voice stifled, I threatened, “You try to expose me, and I’ll put a gaping aperture in your throat. I’d like to see you drink again after that.”
“Hmph, I see you’re better at throwing your weight around now. I have business to discuss with you. If you’re a true friend, be sure to come.” With that, Xiao Huangquan walked off.
So I have to meet with Boss, report to His Majesty and now meet up with Xiao Huangquan at three in the afternoon? Is Luo Sword Manor some holy location? God damn.
I met up with Emperor Yuansheng at the largest courtyard, which Luo Ming arranged for since Emperor Yuansheng is, well, the ruler of the Central Plain. Emperor Yuansheng had everyone leave so that he could converse with me in private.
After recounting my “tragic misfortune”, I went on to say, “And so, I spent all day yesterday fleeing. I came to rendezvous with everyone once I verified it was safe. Luckily for me, whoever the suave, strong, handsome man who tore down Luo Sword Manor’s formations made it a breeze for me to row through.”
“That explains. I did notice that there were a few corpses short among Evil Spirits missing. They must’ve been the ones chasing you and escaped execution.”
He sounds as though he’s relieved some of Evil Spirits survived. If I’m not wrong, he must know what I also found out.
“I know what you’re thinking. I know Luo Ming is still hiding something. I made a bet with him. If one of you wins Refining Divine Convention, he will fulfil a request of mine. Conversely, I will have to present him with a head irrespective of who it is should I lose. I summoned you here to ask you to participate as a disciple of Mount Daluo.”
My pores started to release energy in response to a threat, impelling me to suppress the instinctive urge. Emperor Yuansheng thought the burst of qi in the room was just his imagination. I couldn’t stop the instinctive reaction before it surfaced for I sensed an adept outside, one skilled enough to alarm me, and their target was me.
The stances of the three great sects were imperative to Luo Ming, which was why he inspected Ming Feizhen from outside the room. For an adept of Luo Ming’s level, there weren’t many others out there who he would deem worthy of his attention. Friends and enemies were pretty much mere words to him, so his attention was a testament to one’s worth.
While seemingly indifferent to the three great sects’ responses back in the hall, Luo Ming, in truth, was delighted for he did not send letters seeking their agreement but their silence.
Shaolin, considered the leader of the three great sects, never changed their ways since ancient times, advocating for stability and peace to take precedence. As an example of the extreme degree they promoted those ideals, not even Mount Daluo was last to join the campaign against Demon Sect. The last one to send a letter in, supporting the extermination operation, was Shaolin. Further proof was the fact that they didn’t even send a representative to Refining Divine Convention, sending only the fake prayer beads.
Wudang, in contrast, remained active in the pugilistic world, though that shouldn’t be misconstrued as them being ambitious since they had always perceived themselves to be enforcers of justice. For that reason, Daoist Shenfa went all the way to the Western Region to dissuade the seven nations there from continuing with their dispute. Hence, they could only trust Elder Shou, whom Luo Ming didn’t fear, to represent them.
Enigmatic Mount Daluo’s appearance at Refining Divine Convention came as a surprise to Luo Ming. As long as Ming Huayu and Master Ming didn’t come, nevertheless, then that was the best outcome Luo Ming could ask for.
Ming Feizhen’s presence and mannerisms rendered Luo Ming uneasy ever since the latter met the former. Luo Ming had scrapped the suspicion that Ming Feizhen was Master Ming because he ran into two Ming Feizhen’s already. Howbeit, Luo Ming didn’t feel Ming Feizhen was harmless when nobody could do anything about the latter notwithstanding his lousy fighting abilities. Worse, Luo Ming couldn’t find anything suspicious about Ming Feizhen.
Sick of being worried, Luo Ming decided it was time to throw the rock out of his shoe. He didn’t need evidence to kill someone; his sword was the judge. As they say, “Better safe than sorry.”