The middle aged woman was slowly walking towards Chen Xiang. With every single step she took towards him, the pressure that descended upon Chen Xiang increased greatly. Although he had been somewhat bewildered by her beauty, that feeling was now firmly swept away. A cold sweat emerged on his skin and his limbs turned weak as his body became stiff. It was as if he had lost all his strength and was rendered unable to move. As the woman’s eyes that resembled a phoenix landed on him, Chen Xiang felt as if he was stripped and bare in front of her. It was as if she could see right through him; his heart, his desires… his capabilities.
It quickly dawned on Chen Xiang that this was a very formidable and capable woman. He felt that he needed to act fast, so he calmed his mind and operated the [Tai Chi Divine Exercise] and quickly covered his aura, concealing it within his Yin and Yang Divine Veins. He wanted to adhere to Su Meiyao and Bai Youyou’s orders and make sure that no one found out anything about what he had or could do. Although this took quite a while to describe, it all happened in an instant.
As the two finally entered the room Chen Xiang was in, the phoenix eyed woman’s eyebrows became furrowed, as a trace of surprise flashed through her eyes. Upon entering, she noticed that Chen Xiang was calm and looked at her as he would any other woman. The phoenix eyed woman had always been aware of her own beauty and grace. She knew that the power she exuded accentuated her beauty and vice versa. She was even confident and prideful about it. Any vigorous and healthy teenager would have been instantly ensnared and enamoured with her charm and allure, or at least been affected by her presence. Yet after seeing Chen Xiang, a bud of uncertainty about her own beauty became planted deeply within her heart.
“Xianxian, your fiancé here is really capable. Much better than that sh**head genius from the Yao Family!” The middle aged woman’s voice was soft. It was a majestic and commanding tone. It could be seen that the woman was accustomed to giving out orders, and clearly expected those orders to be followed.
Chen Xiang did not waste any time, he instantly cupped his hands in salute and said, “Junior Chen Xiang greets senior… May I inquire if this senior is Xue Xianxian’s master?”
The woman smiled in reply. He became unable to say a single word in response to that charming smile, something which could seize the soul of any man. Chen Xiang quickly realized he had become flustered, but after seeing and meeting so many different kinds of people he was barely able to keep his mind calm. Chen Xiang was also startled at his power of self-control.
“Yes, you can rest assured and leave your little wife to me!” The middle aged woman’s voice was gentle. Unlike before, the commanding tone had disappeared and was replaced with tenderness. Xue Xianxian sighed with relief. She had been worried over how her master and fiancé would feel about each other. However, knowing that she and Chen Xiang were soon to part, an overwhelming and bitter sadness permeated throughout her heart. Nibbling her lips in distraught, Xue Xianxian took out a package of herbs and handed them to Chen Xiang.
“I must leave with master, but you must quickly come and look for me!” mumbled Xue Xianxian while bowing.
Chen Xiang had not expected that there time together would be so short. His heart was also filled with dismay. He cupped his future wife’s face and said., “Be happy, we will definitely be together. I will find you again.”
Xue Xianxian’s master harrumphed, “Brat, you better have strength above the 9th level of the Mortal Martial Realm before you go off and look for those martial sects. You say you want to look for Xianxian? Then you should first start looking into me. After all, obtaining information about me shouldn’t be too difficult. Once that’s done and you manage to find me, you’ll be able to see her again.”
Afterwards the woman turned to Xue Xianxian. “Little girl, let’s go. That brat is more formidable than you can imagine, don’t worry about him, it’s a waste of energy. “
Before the woman departed,Chen Xiang and Xue Xianxian embraced each other. The phoenix eyed woman then took Xue Xianxian away. Chen Xiang watched them soar through the sky as they flew towards the horizon, disappearing in a seconds notice.
When Chen Xiang was sure that the middle aged woman was gone, he snorted, “Humph! Pretending to be profound and mysterious. Not giving me any information to go off of and then having the gall to tell me to go look into her!? DAMN IT! At least tell me your name!”
“That woman is very strong. She’s known as the Empress of the Divine Weapon Heavenly Empire. It is well known that the Divine Weapon of the Vermillion Bird, one of the Four Beast’s Divine Weapons is in her hands. Having her recieve your little wife as an apprentice is a fortunate opportunity.” said Su Meiyao.
Divine Weapon Heavenly Empire? Chen Xiang had never heard of them. Just as he was about to ask more about this matter, Bai Youyou interrupted the thought. “That woman is very formidable and has a power similar to our own. She is, after all, one of the deans of the eight major Righteous Sects in the Chenwu Mainland. It’s to be expected. However, I did not expect that she would actually come here to accept an apprentice.”
Chen Xiang recalled that Su Meiyao and Bai Youyou had previously mentioned the Chenwu mainland. It was one of the many large land masses of the Mortal Martial World. Inside it were eight Righteous Sects, each with it’s own dean as the rulers of the region they occupied.
Those sects were at the pinnacle of strength and were the pillars of the mortal martial realm.
“The Divine Weapon Heavenly Empire was originally just a singular sect but later developed into the nation it is now by relying upon their skills at refining formidable weapons! That woman just now is their empress.” said Su Meiyao.
Chen Xiang was happy knowing that Xue Xianxian’s teacher was such a formidable figure. He felt more at ease. Although Chen Xiang felt somewhat lost with Xue Xianxian gone, he had convinced himself that this was the best for her. Taking the six set of herbs that Xue Xianxian had given him, he continued to refine more Baptizing Marrow Dans.
Three days passed.
At this point in time, Chen Xiang had successfully refine the Baptizing Marrow Dan four times and only failed once. He was satisfied with the overall results, and today was the start of the Chen Family Patriarch banquet. Many families had been invited and each sent someone to represent them. Every participant was looking forward to the competition between Chen Xiang and Yao Tianhua.
The Chen Family banquet brought together many different families. These people had not come just for the food, but for the competition! The competitive spirit amongst the junior members was at a boiling point from the excitement!
The banquet was held in a wide field at night. Several guests were bustling about, some sipped wine while other ordered off the menu. The entire dining experience was rich and vibrant.
Some of the Patriarchs from various other families came, but more had not due to the relationship between them and the Chen Family being terribly poor. They sent representatives in their stead instead. Only the Patriarchs who were still in a good relationship with the Chen Family attended.
Insides the wide field of the Chen Family villa, numerous members from the junior generations of various martial art families of the Southern Martial Empire had been gathered. Although these bouts between them were going to be grand and intense, the majority of the crowd’s attention was gathered on a specific match, the one between Chen Xiang and Yao Tianhua.
The news of Chen Xiang refining the Quenching Body Dan had spread out. Furthermore, tonight was the date of the alchemy competition with Yao Tianhua. After learning about the skills of the two participants, there was a huge betting pool which caused the attention put on this competition to soar even higher.
When the banquet had been held for about half of the night, one of the guests could not sit still and shouted, “Patriarch Chen! At what time will the alchemy competition between your son and the Yao Family start? We have all been patiently waiting for a long time. At the end of the day, the competition between those two is much more interesting than anything else tonight!”
“Originally I had planned to first start off with the martial art contests to add some enthusiasm as well as bring up everyone’s mood. However, seeing that everyone has waited for so long, let’s begin right now! Let the two young men begin their contest!” Chen Tianhu’s voice boomed over the entire field as everything suddenly became quiet.
In the middle of the courtyard, a large elevated stage was being built by a few old men. As the stage almost reached the end of its construction, Chen Xiang arrived.
He wore black tights, a simple garb made for versatile movement. However, when compared to Chen Xiang, Yao Tianhua was simply eye catching. His luxurious gown shone with a golden aura with a sword sheathed at his waist, the hilt gleaming with studded gems. Yao Tianhua seemed like the son of the heavens. His posture, dress and demeanour all permeated arrogance. Even the expression on his face was overbearing and made many uncomfortable, or even unhappy.
“Yao Tianhua, do you like our current stakes? Why not raise them for such a grand competition!” Chen Xiang said cooly.
“No matter what your bet is, my Yao Family can afford to match it.” Yao Tianhua said, his voice flat and cold.
“Hahaha, I’m just betting on my own behalf, not on the whole Chen Family’s! I had not expected you, as a young and dignified alchemist, would need to rely on his entire family just to match my bet.” Chen Xiang said with a smile.
Yao Tianhua’s facial expression contorted. He knew that without his family’s support, he would be unable to match the bet of a Thousand Year Blood Spirit Grass.
“Chen Family young master, please don’t speak such nonsense. Tianhua is representing the whole Yao Family in this competition, so it’s no big deal getting their support. You are yourself, and he is himself.” An old man immediately said, with an impatient tone. He was the Yao Family Elder who had come along with Yao Tianhua.
TLN: Divine Weapons Heavenly Empire or Shen Bing Tian Empire (神兵天国)