It was a dark night. The storm rumbled, and the lightning zigzagged across the sky, tearing the night sky apart while intimidating the land.
While the thunderstorm raged, a heavy rainpour fell. It was as if the river of heavens had poured downwards as raindrops formed into strings and dropped down from the void.
Amidst the thunderstorm, Xie Jingxuan was like a white spirit. The tips of her feet lightly pressed against the wet ground before her figure flew as lithely as willow leaves. After streaking tens of meters across the sky, only then would she drop back to the ground before flying up once more.
The weather was terrible, and it was deep into the night. People were scarce in all the major districts of Armament City, and there were nearly no pedestrians to be seen on the streets.
Even the Armament Sect outer sect martial practitioners that were in charge of patrols had grown lazy and relaxed under this terrible rain. They had all hid themselves in their respective strongholds away from the rain.
It was also why Xie Jingxuan streaking across the streets like a ghost had not attracted any attention.
From time to time, she would lift her head to look at the thunder and lightning shooting across the sky. While checking the direction she was heading in, she was also quietly closing on where Qin Lie was.
“The way the thunder was falling is somewhat similar to the time he fought against the Soul Devouring Beast inside the stone forest valley. But he has disappeared for almost a year, so logically he should not appear in Armament City…”
Doubt leaked out of Xie Jingxuan’s clear cold eyes. She also thought that her suspicion was a little baseless.
Dark Asura Hall had wanted to escort a batch of valuable spirit materials to Armament City and pass them on to Armament Sect. Because the amount was slightly larger than norm, in order to prevent any accidents along the way, plus the fact that she had business in Armament City anyway, she had accepted the mission on her own and took over the escort of these spirit materials.
It had been almost a year from when Qin Lie and Li Mu left Icestone City. During this one year period, Xie Jingxuan had used Dark Asura Hall’s information network to search for Qin Lie and Li Mu’s tracks, but unfortunately, there hadn’t been any results.
Dark Asura Hall’s Yuan Tianya had also arranged for people to look into Li Mu’s background and find any information on him that they could non-stop, but again there was no progress whatsoever.
It was as if Qin Lie and Li Mu had both vanished into thin air. Not a trace of them could be found.
She had just arrived at Armament City yesterday and was ready to rest for a moment before personally entering Armament Sect’s inner sect in two days. While she was instructing her subordinate generals about other matters, she suddenly saw that the thunder and lightning in a particular area in this city was acting strangely. Therefore, the gears in her head started turning, and she came alone to search.
“Can it be him?” Xie Jingxuan frowned.
Inside the courtyard, bolts of lightning shot down from the sky as blinding as whips of lightning. They harshly whipped Qin Lie’s body.
Qin Lie’s entire body was glowing with electricity like a sparkling gem or diamond. He was as radiant as the sun and moon under the dark night.
Sitting straight on top of the stone floor with a serious expression, he focused every bit of his mind and consciousness to channel Heavenly Thunder Eradication. He had absorbed all of the thunder and lightning energy beating down on him into his body and then into his spirit sea.
Inside his spirit sea, there was a lustrous and brilliant ball of lightning that grew tougher and tougher as if kneaded and crushed by the hands of heaven.
The Thunder Lightning Natal Palace!
Watching the changes inside his spirit sea with his mind, Qin Lie siphoned the thunder and lightning energy from his limbs and bones and entangled them onto the lightning ball like silk again and again.
The violent sounds of thunder abruptly roared out from within the lightning ball. Qin Lie’s expression shook suddenly as he instantly opened his eyes.
“Success!” Qin Lie’s eyes were blindingly bright. There were many mini-streaks of lightning shooting from inside his eyes.
He was completely drenched from the heavy downpour, but his eyes were filled with pleasant surprise. And with that, he stared excitedly at the night sky while feeling the formation of his Natal Palace.
He was staring at the bolts of lightning streaking through the night sky!
Channeling Heavenly Thunder Eradication, his body was like a magnet as he attracted even more lightning to shoot down on him. He used his own mortal body to contain the thunder and lightning energy.
After an uncertain amount of time had passed, the thunder and lightning slowly faded into the nine heavens. However, the rain had grown even stronger and more terrifying than before. It was falling as if it would flood the entire world.
Just as he stopped and was ready to change clothes because of the rain, his now acute senses suddenly detected a powerful life force heading his way.
His expression changed slightly, and he immediately conjured his spirit art to gather energy with Frost Arts.
In just an instant, his aura had undergone a complete turnaround. It was as if his entire being had changed in its entirety.
When he was channeling Heavenly Thunder Eradication, his aura was staunch and violent just like thunder and lightning. It was as if it could explode at any moment and destroy all his enemies with peerless madness.
But now, when he channeled Frost Arts, it was as if he had changed into many thick layers of ice.
Cold, dark, cruel. His aura, containing these qualities, was unleashed from his body and swiftly froze the raindrops inside the yard.
Even the raindrops falling from the sky had been frozen into tiny ice crystals just when they were about to land on top of his head. When it struck his body, there came many crispy “pak pak” sounds.
—A thin layer of ice was also formed on the surface of his body.
He, whose disposition had changed abruptly, stood in the yard with not a single trace of emotion in his cold eyes while staring at a roof in front of him
His pupils abruptly shrunk!
“Xie Jingxuan!” he cried out in his heart.
Amidst the heavy rain on the roof in front of him, Xie Jingxuan stood proudly while garbed in white clothing with a bright, silver halo surrounding her body. Her clear and cold eyes gazed over just like that and fell onto Qin Lie’s body.
It had been almost a year. The two people had met once more at Armament City under this rainy night.
Qin Lie’s mind swiftly calmed down. He kept quiet and did not speak either, simply maintaining his frost concept as he coldly met her eyes.
“No, the aura on his body is completely different. The face is different as well…”
Xie Jingxuan stared for a while and realized that the young man below was different from the Qin Lie she knew. That icy cold chilliness that ran bone deep was almost completely different from the old Qin Lie’s aura.
The two people stayed quiet and stared at each other for a moment. Xie Jingxuan suddenly nodded before leaving in a bolt of white light.
Qin Lie dared not to relax and continued to quietly maintain his Frost Arts. After a very long time, waiting until he could finally confirm that Xie Jingxuan had definitely gone far, far away, only then did he return back to the house and change his clothes.
“She didn’t recognize me?” Qin Lie wasn’t sure.
“His aura is different, his looks are different as well. It’s obvious they’re not the same person.” While streaking across the streets in the rainy night, a single doubt appeared in her eyes. “But why does he feel like the same person then? How strange…”
An hour later, she returned to her current lodgings.
Liang Zhong and tens of other Dark Asura Hall generals had all returned to hide from the rain at this time. After seeing her return, the group of people appeared to be very confused. They didn’t know where Xie Jingxuan had gone to during such a huge rainstorm.
“That’s it for today. Go take your rest. If the rain stops tomorrow, then we’ll send the batch of spirit materials to Armament Sect.” Xie Jingxuan’s mind wasn’t calm, so she did not plan to speak any further. The conversation had ended the moment she walked over.
Her Dark Asura Hall general subordinates bowed and withdrew.
Liang Zhong was the only one left inside the house as he asked, “Miss, why did you suddenly leave? Have you noticed something amiss from that area where the lightning was irregularly concentrated?”
“It’s not him.” Xie Jingxuan knew what Liang Zhong was asking about. “It was a young man about his age. His cultivation is a kind of absolute frost energy and not a thunder spirit art. Maybe the concentrated lightning was just naturally twisted. There shouldn’t be any connection with that man.”
Liang Zhong also thought that it was impossible and nodded. He said, “Qin Lie has disappeared for almost a year. We and Yuan Tianya have been searching for his tracks and have found nothing so far. It is not very likely that he will appear in Armament City.”
The spatial ring on Xie Jingxuan’s hand lit up, and an Amplified Spirit Gathering Board flashed into her jade-like palm. Clipping the Amplified Spirit Gathering Board between two fingers, she said, “We’ll go to Flame Volcano tomorrow and ask an inner sect master artificer about this. Let’s see if they recognize the spirit diagram in it.”
“After Great Master Lu had seen this, he said that the two spirit diagrams inside are only the basic Spirit Gathering spirit diagram and Amplification spirit diagram. However, it was far more complex than his own recognition of the two kinds of spirit diagrams. He was extremely shocked, but he could not learn anything from it, so there was no way to confirm the creator’s identity or background.”
When Liang Zhong recalled the expression of Dark Asura Hall’s Great Master Lu, he was also quietly surprised. “The artificers of Armament Sect are far greater than Great Master Lu. Their insight and knowledge must also be significantly superior. Maybe they can identify the creator’s identity from the two spirit diagrams.”
“I hope so,” Xie Jingxuan said indifferently.
“There is also that Liang Shaoyang.” Liang Zhong’s expression darkened. “Finally, after a long period of time, our investigations revealed that he is the true mastermind behind that matter five years ago! Five years ago, he was only fifteen years old, and yet he was already this ruthless and cost us such terrible losses!”
“I have personally come to Armament Sect to escort the spirit materials and have the inner sect master artificers to identify this Spirit Gathering Board, but my most important objective is still to kill this Liang Shaoyang!” Xie Jingxuan exclaimed coldly.
“The three great Shadow Guards of Shadow Tower—Grey Shadow, Black Shadow, and Blood Shadow. With exception of Blood Shadow, who never leaves the Shadow Tower tower lord’s side, Grey Shadow and Black Shadow should already be in Armament City. They were both protecting Liang Shaoyang from the shows and obeying his orders.” Liang Zhong frowned. “It is already very troublesome to deal with Grey Shadow and Black Shadow, and we must consider Armament Sect’s reactions as well if we are to kill Liang Shaoyang. He is not an outer sect disciple right now, but Armament sect’s next genius. He has the high regard of the sect master and three great reverends and is seen as the sect master’s successor just like Tang Siqi…”
Liang Zhong sighed, “If we allow Armament Sect to know that we have killed Liang Shaoyang, that not only you and I would have to endure Blood Spear’s endless chase, Dark Asura Hall may also face Armament Sect’s bloody revenge. Miss, please carefully reconsider this.”
“Naturally, we will not let Armament Sect realize that we are the ones who did it.” Xie Jingxuan’s expression had also changed slightly when she heard Liang Zhong bringing up Blood Spear. She was obviously very fearful of Armament Sect’s Blood Spear as well.
“If we cannot guarantee the plan to be foolproof, then it will be best if we don’t act recklessly. Otherwise, it will be incredibly troublesome if the news slips out,” Liang Zhong advised again, seemingly not too agreeable to the matter.
“I know!” Xie Jingxuan said coldly.
Liang Zhong sighed on the inside. Seeing that her mind was firm, he did not say anything further, just nodding and retreating with a bow.
The next day, the rain had stopped; the skies were bright and clear.
Qin Lie returned to Armament Sect first thing in the morning. When he arrived at the sect’s entrance, his expression shuddered slightly. The first thing he saw was Liang Zhong instructing Dark Asura Hall’s generals and moving many huge boxes into the outer sect.
Tong Jihua was smiling at the entrance and talking sporadically with Liang Zhong. It appeared that they were very familiar with each other.