| Chapter 731: The Marquis of Jinghuan's List
Translator: Sparrow Translations Editor: Sparrow Translations
The Sea Dragon King began to show its hostility when it got close. Xiao Yan had already detected it earlier on and wanted to step in when the Sea Dragon King was directing its demonic powers to interfere with Yang Qing's extraction of the vein of Shaoyang Mystical Water. However, he felt a sudden discomfort in his chest.
That feeling was something that one only felt when there was someone, or something, watching and observing one from the shadows.
This type of spying was extremely obscure and mysterious, and was undetectable for most nascent soul stage cultivators. Yet, at the same time, it was ruthless and was fearless personified as Xiao Yan could feel this thing going through both his body and mana - even his soul.
Xiao Yan's brows knitted into a frown and he immediately unleashed a pale white sea of Pure Yang Primordial Fire above his head. The Four Appearances flashed around inside the white patch of fire and mana began to work through his entire body.
The radiant flames lit up the void in the immediate vicinity. Every ghost and shadow became nothing, and a plain ray of light appeared out of nowhere in an instant. It was shot across from a source far away and was trained upon Xiao Yan's body, and resembled the light from a mirror's reflection. This was the entity that was trying to spy on Xiao Yan in secret.
Upon realizing that he had been discovered, the other party decided to stop hiding himself and a figure appeared gradually from within the thick white mist.
The arriving party was a young man with a posh golden robe, a golden crown upon his head and a yellow belt around his waist.
His features and body ratio were well-balanced and had inch-long hair upon his head. He was handsome and good-looking and two pale-golden spheres that resembled actual Suns encircled his temples.
It was Liang An, the Marquis of Jinghuan of the Great Zhou Empire. There was a giant black flag erected behind him and it was on full display, swaying in the wind. Black light spiraled around the flag, and it felt as if there was a great army protecting the royal emperor.
The concept of power coming from this 'ghost army' was the willpower to protect their lord regardless of the strength of their adversaries, and regardless of any cataclysmic disasters that were to befall them.
The emperor under their protection was equally glorious. The majesty and dignity only an emperor could possess was unwavering and eternal, and it resembled the willpower of an emperor that would rule for millennia.
There were several other people standing underneath the Marquis of Jinghuan's Metaplasia-level Immortal Royal Flag. The two people taking point were nascent soul advanced stage cultivators - one was a strongman clad in armor, and the other was a middle-aged man in a flowing white robe. They both exuded a formidable aura and possessed extraordinary abilities.
The rest of the company were also in the nascent soul stage. They stood upright behind the Marquis of Jinghuan in silence. Even though it was only a handful of people, the feeling that they gave onlookers was one of a great sprawling army's undying passion to protect their lord, similar to that of the Immortal Royal Flag. The target of their protection was, naturally, the Marquis of Jinghuan.
There was an ember-colored light circle above Liang An's head. It was like a circular mirror, and released a pale-golden light that was shining on Xiao Yan.
Liang An's reaction was undetectable, if there was any at all, after being discovered by Xiao Yan. He chuckled and the light from the mirror vanished into thin air.
However, his withdrawal of the mirror's light did not mean he intended to retreat. It was quite the opposite as his whole body began to exude an aura that resembled a nocked arrow that was about to be released from its bow. He seemed like an all-consuming evil wolf-beast that was ready to pounce on its target at any moment.
"Your master did not imprint his physical spell body on you this time. Perhaps he felt that with your current nascent soul intermediate stage level of mastery, you won't need his protection anymore?" The Marquis of Jinghuan shook his head and laughed, "That's too careless. Maybe it's because the path of the Celestial Sect of Wonders has been so smooth to the point that he has forgotten that nascent soul intermediate stage mastery is really nothing much to be proud of."
He turned to look at Xiao Yan. "Of course, I do admit that you and your juniors have a superior battle prowess at the nascent soul intermediate stage compared to others of the same level of mastery. However, you guys are still far from being able to push over the world."
"After all, the reason why nobody really dares to touch your company is because you have the leader of the Celestial Sect of Wonders watching over you. If not for this fact, then you guys will have met your respective demises many times over."
Xiao Yan shot back a cold look. "Mount Kunlun was obediently quiet for a few days, but now you're back barking around. Your memory is really quite poor - since that's the case, I shall completely demolish you today."
The Marquis of Jinghuan scoffed at Xiao Yan's remark. "You seem to have your facts wrong. When the Celestial Sect of Wonders visited Mount Kunlun to observe the ceremony, I was playing the role of host and you were my guests. I wanted to give face to the Celestial Sect of Wonders - so, the person that escaped a certain disastrous fate was you."
He turned around and gripped the stand of the Immortal Royal Flag behind him and said calmly, "Xiao Yan, you are the most senior disciple of the leader of the Celestial Sect of Wonders. People treat you with more respect than you deserve all because of him."
"Before the battle of Xiling City, you burned down the entire residence of the Yu Family inside Xiling City and devastated the Yu Family ancestral ground immediately after. That's quite spectacular, but in my opinion, the four great families of the Great Qin Empire are all groups of useless people - with the exception of Yu Xintao - and have no substance to back up their grandeur."
"What a pity that you've lost sight of what's real after a few compliments from the outside world. From my perspective, besides your connection to the leader of the Celestial Sect of Wonders, you're nothing at all." The Marquis of Jinghuan shook the Immortal Royal Flag lightly and black light expanded outwards, eclipsing the Sun. "You managed to escape inside the Void Battleground by virtue of your master, and I gave you another chance on Mount Kunlun for the same reason and let you liv until now."
The Marquis of Jinghuan chuckled. "It's a pity that you can't escape your fate any longer. From my knowledge, Lin Feng only sent a nascent soul stage avatar to the East Sea, and is now tied up there and has yet to enter the Ying Sea."
"He has also been careless enough not to imprint any physical spell bodies on you or your mates. You tell me, what reason do I have to let you escape with your life this time?"
The smile on Xiao Yan's face was equally hearty and warm. However, in the eyes of onlookers, it was especially cold. "Liang An, I'm not sure if anyone has told you this before, but when you're so full of yourself you also tend to speak a lot of nonsense?"
"But I don't mind letting to drone on today," Xiao Yan's smile became ever colder. "It doesn't matter anymore. After today, you won't have a chance to speak anymore."
The Marquis of Jinghuan laughed at Xiao Yan's remarks, as if he was digesting what he just said. "Oh? If I were you, I'd worry about my partners first."
The Sea Dragon King at the Undying Demonic Soul stage in the deep sea was not in a hurry to leave after thieving the vein of Shaoyang Mystical Water from Yang Qing. He changed into his human form and floated onto the surface of the Sea and was quietly watching Xiao Yan and the Marquis of Jinghuan.
His human form was a middle-aged man in a long sky-blue robe. His eyes darted back and forth between Xiao Yan and the Marquis of Jinghuan with mild amusement - it was clear that he was going to sit this one out and watch the showdown from the sidelines.
However, it was quite clear that the pressure that came from this middle-aged man was slightly different. He had just conflicted with someone from Xiao Yan's company, and the enemy of my enemy is my friend, therefore if it came down to taking sides the Sea Dragon King was bound to lean towards Liang An's camp.
The young girl in a green shirt that had been standing quietly behind Xiao Yan this whole time began to giggle. "Xiao Yan, honey, you can let go and take this fight. I will anchor things down."
As she spoke, a faint ray of light lit up on her forehead and a single jade earring shimmered into existence from within. Frightening thunder strikes flashed and crackled on top of the jade earring and shook the entire world all around. The pale-white thunder strikes were so powerful that even the black light from the Immortal Royal Flag was unable to suppress them.
Xiao Zhener raised her hand gracefully in the void and a long blade appeared in her hands. It exuded a primal aura of supreme kingly dominance.
The Sea Dragon King's expression changed a little. He did not expect a nascent soul stage cultivator like Xiao Zhener to possess two different kinds of magic treasures.
Besides the Ancient Royal Sword that was gifted to her by Lin Feng, she also possessed the Ancient Jade Earring that had been bestowed upon her by her family as a talisman of protection.
Both magic treasures were only in the Gestation stage, and their maximum powers could not be unleashed in Zhener's hands. But with two magic treasures in hand, Xiao Zhener became a force to be reckoned with.
It was her solemn look, however, that was a lot more intimidating. Even when faced with the Sea Dragon King, who was already at the Undying Demonic Soul stage, her willpower was unwavering. Her strength in determination fueled her self-confidence.
The Sea Dragon King was just slightly shocked but recovered immediately after. He watched Xiao Zhener with mild interest and muttered under his breath, "Little girl, you can't possibly think that you can match me just because you have two magic treasures in your possession?"
Xiao Zhener was as calm as ever. "Even though you may be in the Undying Demonic Soul stage, who will be victorious in the end depends entirely on the course of battle. I don't have to beat you - all I need to do is to hold you back long enough. Xiao Yan probably won't need that much time on his side to defeat his adversary."
Xiao Yan's expression was equally calm. "Zhener, you're jinxing me."
Zhener's smile was enchanting. It was like the blooming of a lotus flower in the silent night, with a beauty that rendered all other things colorless.
She was already on edge after the Marquis of Jinghuan's continuous jibing and insults at Xiao Yan. In truth, with her temper, she wanted to face off the Marquis of Jinghuan herself. The only two things holding her back were the facts that she understood Xiao Yan's personality deeply, and she was aware of his current level of mastery.
Xiao Yan understood what Zhener was thinking as well. He was full of gratitude and love, and was bursting with pride as he turned to shoot a cold look at the Marquis of Jinghuan. "I won't need too much time indeed."
The Marquis of Jinghuan looked Zhener up and down with invasive eyes before he swiped the void with one hand and unleased a vast patch of blood-red light.
There was a list of names on the patch of red light. The Marquis of Jinghuan smiled casually and said, "Every beauty that has yet to land in my hands will be entered into this List of Lost Love."
"I will temporarily ignore the ladies in the Golden List of the immortal soul stage cultivators. I will make my own plans after I enter the immortal soul stage myself." The Marquis of Jinghuan's voice was unnaturally calm. However, the feeling that he gave others was one of true fearlessness and one without a care for the world.
"You were originally number three in the red list. You were behind Hu Yanyan of the Mount Qingqiu and the black phoenix Mo Yu of the Phoenix race. However, I will push your name up to number one right now."
The Marquis of Jinghuan chuckled as he continued, "Don't misunderstand me. Your closeness with Xiao Yan is just one of the many reasons. The greatest reason is still because your gracefulness and elegance is becoming much more charming than before."
"Oh, yes. Yue Hongyan of the Celestial Sect of Wonders has yet to form the nascent soul, but she's ranked number four in my list now. She's ranked one spot higher than Shi Xingyun of the Great Qin Empire - I'm still thinking about her, even now. It's a pity that she's not participating in your venture into the East Sea?"
He glanced at the group of nascent soul stage cultivators following behind him out of the corner of his eye and said, "I will hand over the Immortal Royal Flag to you. Your task is to capture the little beauty and retrieve the two magic treasures on her hands."
At the same time, the terrifying God-Slayer Puppet appeared beside the Marquis of Jinghuan. It exuded vast auras of blood-energy that burned like the scorching sun.
After handing over the Immortal Royal Flag to the white-cloaked middle-aged man behind him, he placed his palms together before extending his arms out towards the side. Icy light that sent chills down everyone's spines could be seen at the center of his palms. Every spot that the light touched, including the void all around, turned into ice. Even the thick white mist on the Ying Sea began to dissipate.
It was another magic treasure!
After losing the Ancient Royal Sword, he managed to find himself another magic item out of nowhere.
The Marquis of Jinghuan looked at Xiao Yan and company and laughed heartily. "I am a soldier at heart. When I cross blades with my enemy, only the outcome matters. In battle, my subordinates will definitely not sit by and watch."
As he spoke, he pointed towards Xiao Yan and Xiao Zhener before turning to the Sea Dragon King. "I only want the two of them. You can do whatever you want to the rest."