The dull and simple words slowly drifted across the huge square. They caused the calm atmosphere which had been present throughout the entire ground to be in slight unrest and disorder.
In the open ground, countless Misty Cloud Sect disciples carried all sorts of different emotions in their gazes as they stared at the black-robed young man near the edge of the rock stairs. They were not unfamiliar with this young man who was called Xiao Yan. The relationship between Nalan Yanran and him had already become a topic in everyday conversation of many Misty Cloud Sect disciples. Of course, each time his name was mentioned, most people would refer to it mockingly with disdain. A child of a small clan wanted to marry Nalan Yanran whose status within the Misty Cloud Sect was as noble as a princess. In these people’s eyes, it undoubtedly appeared that Xiao Yan had overestimated his ability. This was especially so after the Three Year Agreement was spread within the sect. This ridicule became even stronger. Naturally, one of the reasons for ridicule did not exclude them being jealous.
As the junior sect leader of the Misty Cloud Sect which was beyond the reach of many, countless of Misty Cloud Sect disciples viewed her as the goddess in their hearts. When they met, these people had always faced her exquisite face which had maintained an indifferent and other-worldly expression. Anyone who wanted to come into closer contact with her would return in failure. Xiao Yan, as the man who had nearly become Nalan Yanran’s husband would naturally and easily receive some abnormal jealousy.
Due to the jealousy, along with some rumors, these Misty Cloud Sect disciples would naturally have a poor impression of Xiao Yan whom they had never met before. When they spoke, most of them would degrade him as much as possible, appearing as though they would not stop until they described Xiao Yan as being totally worthless.
However, as they eyed the young man who still maintained a calm and leisurely manner despite facing the united Qi of nearly a thousand Misty Cloud Sect disciples, some of the more astute disciples felt a little awed in their hearts after they discarded the negative emotions within their hearts. This indifferent attitude did not appear to be something that the trash of the Xiao clan, whom their comrades had usually spoke of, could do.
Nalan Yanran’s bright eyes stared at the young man with a slightly skinny figure a short distance away. Her gaze paused on that delicate and handsome face. At that spot, she could still vaguely recognize the outline of the young man back then. It was just that three years had grinded off the tenderness and sharpness of youth. The young man currently in front of her no longer had the cutting edge vigor which had suddenly erupted in the hall of the Xiao clan’s home back then. Replacing it was a profound restraint.
“He really has changed.” A sentence quietly popped up within her mind. Nalan Yanran’s gaze was a little complicated. She had never thought that the useless person back then would actually really be able come to the Misty Cloud Sect without fear, much less remaining as indifferent as the wind while not revealing the slightest anxiety or paleness, even when faced with nearly a thousand disciples of the Misty Cloud Sect.
“Nalan clan, Nalan Yanran.”
Nalan Yanran slowly stood up. Her pretty figure was tall and straight much like a proud and unyielding snow lotus. Her bright eyes stared at Xiao Yan while her voice was as calm as the latter.
“That is the little fellow of the Xiao clan? Wasn’t it said that he was a useless person who could not store Dou Qi?” On the huge tree, Jia Xing Tian eyed Xiao Yan with a pair of eyes that contained some astonishment. He softly laughed, “Ke ke, but seeing this bearing of his, he does not look like a person who forcefully pretends to have strong exterior while being empty inside. Moreover, even if his calmness is acted out, being able to maintain this calm in front of the united force created by those old fellows of the Misty Cloud Sect is not something an ordinary person can do.”
Fa Ma, who was a short distance away from Jia Xing Tian nodded slightly. His old and sharp eyes slowly swept across Xiao Yan. A moment later, he paused on the latter’s face. His eyebrows were suddenly knit slightly together as he said, “For some unknown reason, he seems to have a familiar feeling about him.”
“Ke ke, you also have such a feeling?” Hearing this, Jia Xing Tian laughed softly. His eyes were filled with a deep meaning as he stared at Xiao Yan and said, “Looks like we may have seen him somewhere before.”
The frown on Fa Ma’s forehead deepened a little. His eyes flickered as he stared at Xiao Yan, but did he not continue to say anything more.
“Hei, old man Nalan, is this the young fellow from the Xiao clan who nearly became the son-in-law of the Nalan clan? He doesn’t appear to be the useless person from the rumors. This bearing and mental strength is something that I have hardly seen in the young people whom I have met.” Mu Chen turned his head and said. He smiled at Nalan Jie, whose eyes had paused on Xiao Yan’s body since the beginning. He gloated a little within his smile. A son-in-law who was abandoned because he was thought to be useless had currently appeared even more outstanding than some of those who were called geniuses. Although Nalan Jie would not feel pain until the point that he did not want to live because of this, he would more or less feel a little upset.
Nalan Jie’s expression was ugly as he ferociously cut Mu Chen with his gaze. He was too lazy to say any unnecessary things to him. With a cold laugh, he continued to focus his gaze on that delicate and handsome man. The emotions in his heart rolled.
Although Nalan Jie had already known that Xiao Yan had abandoned the reputation of being a useless person for quite some time, the calmness and mental strength which the latter currently displayed caused his heart to feel a great shock. On top of this shock, he also sighed softly in a regretful manner. With the situation having reached this point, saying anything more would not help change the situation. He could only hope that the grudges between Xiao Yan and Nalan Yanran would thaw after this Three Year Agreement was over. It was best if they could reconcile. Of course, this may well be an unrealistic dream. Even if the two of them could no longer be together in the future, allowing Xiao Yan to cease carrying hatred toward the Nalan clan in the future would cause Nalan Jie to quietly feel a little better. After all from how Nalan Jie currently saw it, this young fellow basically possessed all the requirements to be a strong person.
An outstanding mental strength, excellent training talent and the perseverance to continue struggling for three years just for a promise. With these few things, Xiao Yan’s future path toward becoming a strong person will be much smoother and unobstructed. Nalan Jie did not think that being the target of the grudge belonging to a young man with limitless potential was something that one could be happy about.
“Looks like I should send someone to get in contact with the Xiao clan.” Nalan Jie softly sighed in his heart as he shook his head. He threw his attention to the open ground. The current him could only wait for the Three Year Agreement which was about to begin.
After Nalan Yanran stood up, the ten plus white robed men above the square had finally begun to slowly open their eyes. Their gazes were thrown on the black-robed young man on the rock stairs. As they exchanged glances with one another, they felt an astonishment. The uncertainty in their hearts was exactly the same as what was within Nalan Jie and the others. No matter which direction one looked at the currently Xiao Yan, one could not see the Xiao clan’s trash who suffered all sorts of ridicule back then.
“You are Xiao Yan from the Xiao clan?” A white robed old man who was at the center raised his eyes and scanned Xiao Yan. After a while, he slowly opened his mouth and spoke those words.
Xiao Yan’s gaze swept across the white robed old man at the middle. He realized that this person should have quite a high position within the Misty Cloud Sect. Ever since the latter opened his mouth, the surrounding old men wearing a similar robe remained silent.
“I am the First Elder of the Misty Cloud Sect, Yun Leng.” Before Xiao Yan could respond, the old man simply continued as he pleased and said, “The sect leader has yet to return today. Therefore, the Three Year Agreement this time around will be presided over by the old me. The purpose of the competition this time around is to learn from each other. Stop when you…”
“Life and death are dictated by the heavens.” A soft voice suddenly sounded, interrupting Yun Leng’s words.
The gazes on the open ground turned towards the voice. Finally they paused on the body of the quiet black-robed young man. All of their expressions were different. Many people did not expect that Xiao Yan would actually say such words. One should know that his opponent was the Misty Cloud Sect’s successor whom the sect had focused on grooming.
“Ke ke, a bold young man.” Above the tall trees, some old fellows with strange characters could not resist laughing. Some of them even raised their thumbs at Xiao Yan.
Nalan Yanran’s eyes were lifted slightly. She watched the black-robed young man in front of her. Within those dark black eyes appeared to be a pulsing and fluctuating light, which was difficult to hide. Was that resentment?
A long while later, she nodded her head. Her voice was cool. “As you wish.”
Hearing Nalan Yanran’s response, Yun Leng knit his eyebrows slightly together. The sudden interruption from Xiao Yan had caused this First Elder who held quite a high position in the Misty Cloud Sect to be displeased. He was also aware that Xiao Yan had already been removed of his reputation of being trash a long time ago. However, Nalan Yanran’s talent was also not lower than his. Additionally, there was the Misty Cloud Sect grooming her. The growth of her strength could be called extremely rapid. If they were to fight, Yun Leng was not optimistic of Xiao Yan’s chances.
“Young man, you should always leave some leeway in everything you do. But since you have made such a request, do as you like. Life and death will be determined by the heavens.” Yun Leng waved his hands and said faintly.
An arc was lifted at the corner of Xiao Yan’s mouth. In his heart, he could not resist laughing coldly. Leave some leeway? Back then, Nalan Yanran had been ruthless. Did anyone ask her to leave some room for others?
Xiao Yan’s hand slowly held the hilt of the ruler. He abruptly drew it out and the Heavy Xuan Ruler carried the sound of wind being compressed. It slanted toward the ground and a breeze was created from its body, stirring all the dust on the ground. A faint green-colored Dou Qi shrouded the surface of his body as Xiao Yan stared at Nalan Yanran. “I have come according to the Three Year Agreement. Today, let’s settle all of our past grudges. Please repay all the humiliation that you have given the Xiao clan back then.”
Nalan Yanran extended her hand and an emerald-colored storage ring glow on her finger flashed. A long pale green-colored sword appeared. The sword edge was slightly tilted, reflecting a dense coldness under the pouring sunlight.
Nalan Yanran’s pretty eyes exchanged glances with that pair of dark black pupils. She sighed a little regretfully as she faintly said, “I will be in charge of my own marriage. Even though three years have passed, I do not think that I did anything wrong back then. I have the right to choose my fate. Perhaps some of my actions were inappropriate when I was choosing, however, I think that I would still make this choice even if I could go back in time.”
“Your actions were inappropriate?” Xiao Yan laughed softly. Just a simple inappropriate action and she wanted to shrink away from her own rude and unreasonable behavior? Was this not far too simple?
Xiao Yan’s expression gradually returned to its indifferentness. The palm holding the ruler’s hilt was becoming increasingly tight. A moment later, his foot abruptly took a step forward. On the spot where it landed, the hard green rock surface actually had a few crack lines spreading out. A ferocious and surging green-colored Dou Qi which contained some green-colored flame seedlings violently surged on Xiao Yan’s surface.