Chapter 1190 – A Gathering of Leaders
Under the blazing lights, a fancy character, “martial”, was engraved in the centre of a large, round table. The twelve zodiac animals and the twelve time periods of a day were depicted around the centre. There were twelve designs around the edge, depicting a whirlwind, a snowflake, a buddha statue, a pegasus, and so on. They were the symbols of the seven great sects and the four aristocratic clans.
There was one seat that they specially left blank, which corresponded to the “dragon” among the twelve zodiac animals and “chen” among the twelve time periods. This was to commemorate the first leader of the martial arts alliance, Long Potian. He had single-handedly founded the martial arts alliance and established the order of the martial arts community over the past few centuries. Then he shattered through space, becoming a legend of times.
He was not from any clan or sect. He stood alone, aloof from all of them.
Currently, the various masters and leaders of the sects and clans occupied the seats, but there were two more empty spots, corresponding to the pegasus and the snowflake, representing the Ma family and the Snow Mountain sect. Everyone knew that the two spots would remain empty forever.
Even more people sat behind them. They were the various “heroes” that had been gathered here. Right now, they all stared at Zhang Yuntian silently.
The martial arts alliance had stood for several centuries. Whenever demonic or unorthodox practitioners wreaked havoc in the martial arts community, they would hold a martial arts gathering and launch an expedition. However, something like this had never happened before, where the alliance leader actually threw aside his responsibilities and resigned.
The Suffering Subduing abbot of the Salvation temple uttered the buddha’s name and spoke up to persuade him. “Amitābha. Fellow Zhang, you cannot say something like that. You just had no other choice but to resign to the situation outside Pegasus city. How can the position of alliance leader be taken away by someone else with just a few words? I only pity my junior brother Tiger Subduing who loathed evil and fought against the wicked all his life, only to die to that demon’s hands!”
The leader of the Abstruse temple added, “It’s just as the master said. A few days ago, I received the news that my senior brother also died at his hands. It has already been verified now. His corpse has already been brought back from the north, but it’s in such horrific shape that anyone would weep at the sight of it. This demon Li Qingshan is truly an atrocity, well beyond anything the heavens can tolerate!”
Zhang Yuntian sighed. “My condolences. I also happen to be a survivor. All I want to do is preserve my life in these chaotic times. I really do not want to become involved in any disputes of the martial arts community.”
However, he was sneering inside. The two sects had each lost an important member to Li Qingshan, so their grievances with him were so deep that it was well beyond any chance of forgiveness. The Snow Mountain sect could still submit to the general trend of events and surrender to the World’s society, but they could not. As such, they were naturally hell-bent on resistance.
The leader of the Lu family from the eastern region slammed the table and stood up. “The demon is still wandering free in the northern region. Now is not a time for grief. Alliance leader Zhang is already on the verge of shattering through space, but have you ever considered what will happen to your Divine Windsect if the demon ventures south? Are you really going to just watch as the demon destroys your sect? The world may be big, but we no longer have anywhere to go. The Ma family and the Snow Mountain sect are lessons we need to draw from. If we still don’t unite together, we might as well join the World’s society right now and submit to Li Qingshan. Why are we even holding a martial arts gathering?”
He immediately received the agreement from the two other clans. The fate of the Ma family in the north was far too miserable.
Zhang Yuntian remained silent. He thought to himself, You aristocratic clans are rampant normally, acting as you please. Have you finally learnt fear now?
Everyone spoke up to convince Zhang Yuntian to stay. The position of alliance leader that the various clans and sects had competed for arduously during other times had now become a position that no one wanted. No matter how they thought about this, they could only have Zhang Yuntian continue as the alliance leader. After all, at least Li Qingshan would not be cutting them down first. They wanted to find someone to shoulder all of the responsibilities and blame first. In the end, even if they failed, it would be the alliance leader and the entire martial arts alliance’s failure.
Zhang Yuntian contemplated their suggestions for a good while before finally saying, “I can continue as the alliance leader, but I want the Jade Seal of the Divine Dragon, the authority of the great alliance leader.”
“The great alliance leader!”
Everyone was alarmed. Since the founding of the martial arts alliance, there had only been a single great alliance leader—the first alliance leader, Long Potian. Not only did he possess the authority to execute anyone at whim, but he could even dismiss any of the clan leaders and sect masters whenever he wanted. He was essentially the lord of the world, a man of paramount status.
“Alliance leader Zhang, that might be inappropriate!” Someone objected immediately. Who would want to hand their lives and fates over to the hands of others?
“Alliance leader is only a single word away from great alliance leader. We’ll obey your orders all the same, so why must you go to such difficulties?”
“It’s really stuffy in here, so I’m going outside to catch some air. You’re welcome to discuss among yourselves. As long as someone, anyone, objects, I’ll leave Xuanwu city immediately and return to the Divine Wind sect for secluded cultivation. When the World’s society ventures south, I’ll simply lead our disciples and surrender.”
Zhang Yuntian left in a huff. There’s not a lot of authority, yet you want me to bear such a great responsibility? Keep dreaming!
A young woman stood up and chased after him. Gusts of wind arose beneath her feet, such that she did not touch the ground, demonstrating her unmatched movement techniques. Her appearance was pure and exceptional too. Normally, there would definitely be a lot of people praising her abilities, but right now, no one was in the mood for that. They all lowered their heads and contemplated Zhang Yuntian’s words.
On the terrace, Zhang Yuntian thought back to the night when the daemon star arrived. The young woman’s voice rang out from behind him, “Master, is the great demon really so powerful that even so many masters are powerless against him?”
Zhang Yuntian saw the young woman and smiled. “Xuanfeng, you haven’t seen him for yourself. He’s not just powerful. He cut down Ma Xingkong from the other side of the river before cutting down the Tiger Subduing monk right in front of us. I didn’t even make out his attack properly.”
“How is that possible?” Zhang Xuanfeng clicked her tongue in amazement.
“If I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes, I would have never believed it either. Even if Long Potian was still around, he definitely would not be his opponent. However, I’m certain he’s not invincible. If we switch in and out of battle, perhaps we still have a chance at victory, but the person who leads the battle will definitely die!”
“Then you can’t lead the battle, master!” Zhang Xuanfeng said with complete concern.
“Why would your master do something as foolish as that?”
Zhang Yuntian sneered slightly. The great alliance leader could send others to their deaths instead.
And, he had discovered a great secret within the Jade Seal of the Divine Dragon that Long Potian had left behind, so it was not like they did not have a chance to defeat Li Qingshan. If things did not work out, he could shatter through space and ascend. By then, even if the world was in chaos, what did that have to do with him?
Zhang Xuanfeng suddenly felt a chill inside.
Zhang Yuntian added gently, “Things will work out. You don’t have to worry too much. Go do whatever you want to do.”
“Yeah. With master around, I’ll never be afraid of that Li Qingshan!”
Zhang Xuanfeng smiled innocently as she thought inside, Do whatever I want? It’s not like I’m going to die soon. Looks like even master is undependable this time. Whatever, the hell does it have to do with me? Once Li Qingshan kills his way over, I’ll just turn around and get out of here immediately. At least that’s better than being a corpse under his blade like young miss Ma. Sigh, originally, I could use my appearances too. I’m one of the Ten Great Beauties of the World after all, but it’s said that Li Qingshan is actually a monkey and has no concept of beauty at all, so this might not be too effective.
The master and the disciple each had their own thoughts, but their thoughts were identical.
The sun in the sky shifted gradually, and the leader of the Lu family came out to the terrace personally. “Alliance leader, everyone is inviting you back.”
Zhang Yuntian smiled. He was about to leap down the terrace when he suddenly looked back. A grey carrier pigeon flew over from the north.
By now, Li Qingshan had set foot in Xuanwu city. He saw how the city was filled with people of the martial arts community who carried weapons around. It was clearly as busy as it could get. He stopped one of them casually and asked, “Do you know where the Myriad Flowers pavilion is?”