Chapter 1153 – The Descended Tiger and the Soaring Divine Hawk
“What? This is impossible! Did the two of you check properly or not!”
“If you don’t believe us, check it yourself. What’re you saying that for?”
Seeing how they did not fall into some vicious trap, the others gathered over as well. They held back their disgust as they flipped through and checked the remains, but they could not find anything false about it at all.
Only the White Ape King’s corpse was left alone. That vicious expression at death even made them shiver. They tried their best to maintain their distance from it.
All of their expressions gradually changed as they subconsciously gripped the hilt of their swords.
The formation around the mountain manor vanished with a flash. Its owner had already been replaced.
Hou Hongtao let out a painful smile. His smile truly seemed even uglier than when he was crying. If the White Ape King was still alive, he would have never handed the formation to anyone. This was the best evidence there was.
However, he still wondered whether he was currently in a nightmare or not.
“Marquis, what should we do now?”
Everyone was frightened. There were plenty of swordsmen among them who roamed the land unhindered. Normally, they would not even bat an eye when they killed people, but everything that happened tonight was far too surreal, such that they even became overwhelmed by what they were supposed to do.
“The White Ape King is dead. The Mountain Manor of the Divine Ape is destroyed. We better leave quickly!”
“But the snowstorm is so heavy. Where are we supposed to go? Once we become lost, we’ll be done for.”
“It’s strange now that you mention it. The snow has arrived just a little too early this year, and it’s so intense right from the get-go. It basically seems like the heavens are unleashing its wrath. Don’t tell me the two from before-”
Suddenly, he stopped talking. The whistling winds and snow seemed to be hiding a massive beast, lurking above the Mountain Manor of the Divine Ape and ready to lunge down at any moment.
Or perhaps this feeling was not a false impression.
“Stop with the nonsense. How can man oppose the might of the heavens? Let’s go back!” Hou Hongtao gritted his teeth.
“If they wanted to kill us, they would have done so a long time ago. I’d like to see just what their origins are!”
“Our origins have nothing to do with you. All you have to do is serve us like how you served the White Ape King.”
The magnificent hall was warm like spring. A charcoal fire burned away in a compartment in the wall. All of the decor was basically as extravagant as it could be.
The only thing that seemed a little simple was a throne forged from thousands of swords, but it was more renowned than any of the ornaments here. Every single sword had a story, a master that had lost to the White Ape King’s sword.
Li Qingshan sat there lazily, gazing at the beautiful patterns on the ceiling in a daze. From clashing with the Featherfolk King till now, he had faced danger again and again. Now that he had the opportunity to catch his breath, he was more than willing to relax a little.
Gu Yanying stood beside him, fiddling around with a metal fan. She had found this in the White Ape King’s secret room. It was forged with mechanisms, allowing it to shoot out sharp hidden weapons. It was something good for protecting herself with.
She had already reached an agreement with Li Qingshan. They would not expose their origins for now, just in case it led to the spread of some rumors like “with the arrival of the daemon star, the world falls into chaos”, which would turn them into enemies of the public.
“I am Hou Hongtao. My fellows of the martial arts community have gifted me with an esteemed nickname, the Marquis of the Fierce Fire Sword. May I ask for your esteemed names?”
Hou Hongtao stated his identity and hoped the Marquis of the Fierce Fire Sword could draw their attention, but to his disappointment, they did not respond at all.
“I am Li Qingshan. The people of the jianghu call me the Descended Tiger.”
As soon as he heard that Hou Hongtao had a nickname, Li Qingshan could not go without a nickname either, so he could not help but think of the one he was originally given. It was a perfect match for his current situation. He had not just descended from a mountain. He had descended from a world too.
In a different time and place, perhaps Hou Hongtao would have burst out laughing. Even small time thieves and bandits would scorn to use a nickname as tasteless as the Descended Tiger. On top of that, he was basically flattering himself by saying the people of the jianghu called him that. Who would ever remember a figure like him?
However, he was simply unable to laugh now. No one could laugh. The White Ape King’s corpse was still in the courtyard.
All those who possessed the courage and qualifications to enter the hall and learn a little more about what was going on were innate masters. These figures that had roamed the world were all stern. Everything that was about to occur here would probably stir up the overall situation in the north or even the entire world. It might even be recorded in history.
“The Soaring Divine Hawk, Gu Yanying.” Gu Yanying smiled. She was slightly exhausted, but her expression was relaxed just like Li Qingshan’s.
“Oi, since when did you have a nickname? Why aren’t you called the Soaring Hawk? If you’re going to copy me, then do a better job at copying me!” Li Qingshan glanced in displeasure at Gu Yanying, a shameless pirate.
“That’s called excelling and surpassing the original. Your nickname isn’t impressive enough.” Gu Yanying looked up at the sky.
“So it’s impressive when you just add a ‘Divine’? I think you’re getting a little ahead of yourself!”
Li Qingshan slammed the armrest in exasperation at her failures.
“This place can be called the Mountain manor of the Divine Ape, so why can’t I be called the Soaring Divine Hawk?”
“Then I’ll be the Descended Demonic Tiger. Sigh, forget about it. It’s far too tasteless if you add the ‘Demonic’. It doesn’t read particularly smoothly either. I’ll just be the Descended Tiger!” Li Qingshan ended up giving up on his idea of changing his nickname. He announced proudly, “The Descended Tiger, Li Qingshan. All of you remember it.”
Hou Hongtao was left in a trance by their conversation. He even forgot how to say everything he had thought of beforehand.
The masters behind him were dumbfounded too. Was this the time to discuss nicknames? These were the people about to influence the entire world?
“The Monkey of the Fierce Fire Sword, is it? You don’t look like a monkey, but let’s just say you are one. If that old ape had been as clever as you, he wouldn’t have died.” He glanced at Gu Yanying. “Sigh, some people have a ‘divine’ in their nickname, and they actually think they’re gods.”
“No, it’s not monkey. It’s marquis!”
TL: Marquis and monkey are pronounced the same in Chinese.
Hou Hongtao could not help but correct him, but it only made the atmosphere seem even stranger. There had been people in the past who mocked him for spending all his time with the White Ape King, saying he was better off just changing his nickname to the Monkey of the Fierce Fire Sword. Their end result was obviously a horrible death, but he was simply unable to muster his anger right now. Clearly, he had no intentions of insulting him either, as even the Monkey of the Fierce Flame Sword was countless times better than the Descended Tiger.
“Really?” Li Qingshan came to a realisation. “Like I was thinking, if you were a monkey, it wouldn’t be your face that’s red.”
Hou Hongtao’s face became even redder.
“Alright, alright. It’s just a joke to lighten up the mood.”
“Even I’m about to turn red.” Gu Yanying held her forehead and suddenly felt a little embarrassed.
“Hmph, at least you still have a sense of shame.” Li Qingshan glanced at her.
“Let’s just hear what this fellow Hou has to say!”
Hou Hongtao sucked in a deep breath. “Sir, you’re mistaken with regards to one thing. We are not the White Ape King’s subordinates. We’re just here to learn the sword…”
As it turned out, while the White Ape King was a daemon, he was quite fixated on his reputation and refused to be a hermit. As long as people offered up a gift, either precious treasures or fine women and alcohol, he would be willing to give some guidance on their swordsmanship. He welcomed both good and evil, and he did not accept any disciples either. Anyone from any sect throughout the world could come and seek his advice, without any worry of prejudice.
Swordsmen exchanged their ideas and opinions here and clashed with their swords, so the Mountain Manor of the Divine Ape had basically become a holy land for all swordsmen throughout the world. Many swordsmen would spend as much as several years preparing a gift so that they could pay a visit and study the sword.
This was originally a fantastic offer that everyone in the world knew about. When Hou Hongtao finished explaining all of that in a single breath, he also became filled with mixed emotions.
Li Qingshan seemed to be entranced by that. Only a while later did he speak.
“Do you know why I’m called the Descended Tiger?”