Chapter 597 – Accepting a Disciple
After laughing, Si Qing recovered his coldness and nodded gently. The man covered in scars entered the Dragon Arena. The first thing that he did was fly into the air, staring down with his arms crossed.
Because Qian Rongzhi’s colourful, tiny snake came from hell, it existed between the tangible and the intangible. It was very difficult to discover using the soul sense of cultivators, making it a powerful weapon for sneak attacks and assassinations. However, it was still visible to the naked eye. As long as he maintained a certain distance from his opponent, it would not be so useful anymore.
It was at this exact moment that the surrounding landscape twisted and changed, going from a rising and falling desert to a vast wasteland littered with orangey hills, dyed bright red by the setting sun.
Qian Rongzhi sat on a hill. She set up the three defensive artifacts again and started recovering.
The scarred man extended his hand towards Qian Rongzhi before closing it forcefully.
Rumble. The hill beneath Qian Rongzhi began to tremble, collapsing loudly, and she just hovered in the air. Suddenly, a huge, earthen-yellow hand reached towards her from below, having been transformed from the collapsed mountain.
Qian Rongzhi was unfazed, watching as the five fingers closed around her firmly. The tiny, rhombus shield on the outside released a resplendent glow, but the barrier of light it created constantly twisted under the pressure from the earthen hand.
She was like a firefly in a child’s hand, releasing its glow in vain, extinguishing at any time.
However, she completely focused on defending this time, pouring all of her attention into the three defensive artifacts. Although two minor realms of cultivation separated them, defensive arcane artifacts could not be overwhelmed so easily with one measly technique.
The scarred man smiled viciously and drew a black, octagonal war hammer with a long handle.
Gu Yanying said, “A high grade arcane artifact! With your subordinate’s cultivation, wielding a high grade arcane artifact should still be a little difficult, right?”
Wielding mid grade arcane artifacts at Foundation Establishment was basically the limit already. As for high grade and supreme grade arcane artifacts higher up, they could not unleash its full strength even if they managed to refine it somehow. They would be like children wielding huge blades. If they forcefully used it, it would even damage their soul sense.
Si Qing smiled. “The Earth Shattering Hammer of the Eight Directions he wields doesn’t completely rely on soul sense. You’ll see if you keep watching, Yanying.”
Gu Yanying smiled and said nothing. She thought to herself, Just as Si Bao anticipated, he’s still the same as before. Even without Qingshan, defeating him in three rounds won’t be anything difficult.
Even though the personal strength of the cultivators determined the outcome of the duel, choosing suitable environments, arcane artifacts, and tactics also played a crucial role. Si Qing was a cruel person, so the arcane artifacts he geared his fighters with were all powerful. He wanted them to be able to kill in a single strike.
The scarred man lifted the Earth Shattering Hammer of the Eight Directions high over her head. He swung it around and around. With each cycle, the handle would become longer, and the head of the hammer would become larger.
The sound of wind whistled loudly as an earthen-yellow tornado reached towards the sky, filling the air with dust. Even the setting sun became a hazy yellow.
As it turned out, not only was the scarred man’s cultivation extraordinary, but he was even a powerful Body Practitioner too. He combined his brute strength and soul sense to wield the Earth Shattering Hammer of the Eight Directions, which allowed him to unleash startling power.
The scarred man’s figure blurred within the tornado. The Earth Shattering Hammer of the Eight Directions suddenly stopped revolving, but the tornado continued to whistle loudly. A huge, octagonal war hammer extended out, smashing towards Qian Rongzhi. The disturbance it created was like a natural disaster, absolutely frightening.
Taking advantage of how Qian Rongzhi could not move, he pushed the power of this strike to the limit, wanting to smash through her three layers of defence in a single strike and crush her into mince meat.
Qian Rongzhi’s expression remained the same with no surprise or fear. She uttered three words indifferently.
With a great rumble, the earth shook violently, and a shockwave kicked sand and dust over thirty meters into the air, expanding into the distance. At the same time, fissures spread out in all directions.
Only after a very long time did the dust settle.
The scarred man’s face was unnaturally red. His face was contorted, becoming even more hideous. His chest rose and fell as he heaved violently, but it was not only because of his strike. He stared fixedly at the unscathed Qian Rongzhi.
In the final moment, his earth-shaking strike had landed a few meters away from her. The shockwave it created was not enough to get through her protective arcane artifacts.
Qian Rongzhi stowed the three defensive arcane artifacts away, leaving herself completely vulnerable. The scarred man only needed to use a single technique and he could heavily injure her, but he could only watch helplessly as she turned around to leave.
The three words that Qian Rongzhi had uttered were, “I admit defeat!”
Arenas were bloody and brutal, but it was not a matter of life or death every single time, or they would never be able to afford to go through so many people no matter how many geniuses they had. Normally, the duel would come to an end as long as one side admitted defeat, and the other side would be forbidden from killing them. If they did, they would break the iron rules of the duel and face extremely severe punishments. It would not even be strange if they paid with their own lives.
If the scarred man had already launched the strike and was unable to control it anymore, it would already be too late for Qian Rongzhi to admit defeat. She would lose her life for nothing. However, she happened to have grasped the limits of his control, the moment when he was about to launch the attack but had not launched it yet.
The scarred man already struggled with controlling this attack a little. If he were allowed to carry through with it, then so be it, but he had forcefully changed his strike in the final moment. His arms burned with pain, having held his breath until he groaned. He was already secretly injured. At the same time, his aura that could tear through everything had reduced drastically.
Li Qingshan had always despised her behaviour, but even he could not help but cheer for her inside right now. The actions she had taken seemed simple, but it required a careful grasp over the rules and her mentality, as well as willpower that could not be shifted by anything. If Wei Ke had even half of her willpower, he would not have died here.
Qian Rongzhi walked out of the Dragon Arena and bowed towards Gu Yanying. “I’ve managed to do what you asked, commander!”
Gu Yanying smiled. “Very good.” Even Si Bao became filled with admiration over Gu Yanying’s ability to judge people.
“Yanying, this subordinate of yours is truly extraordinary. She only used a single attack from beginning to end, yet she left one of my powerful fighters dead and the other injured, while she managed to walk away calmly, completely unscathed. May I ask if she has a master? I’d be interested in taking her on as my disciple. I wonder if Yanying is willing to part with her?”
Si Qing did not have much lust after women, but he did favour powerful fighters who could battle very much. Qian Rongzhi managed to catch his fancy quite well.
Although Qian Rongzhi had exposed one of her great secrets, the extraordinary willpower and ability she had demonstrated earned everyone’s recognition. She had both lost and gained something with that.
Gu Yanying nodded at the White Wolf guard Yan Xixin, and Yan Xixin immediately accepted her orders, entering the Dragon Arena to face the scarred man, giving him no opportunity to catch his breath. Only then did she carefully consider Si Qing’s proposal.
“Don’t you even think about it! Even if she’s taking on a master, it’ll be me!”
Before Gu Yanying could even reply, Si Bao cut off Si Qing immediately. It was not just to rub him in the wrong way, but also because her impression of Qian Rongzhi had changed completely after the two battles.
There had always been far fewer female cultivators in the world than male cultivators. Even if they possessed talent, their nature limited them, and they often possessed insufficient courage and willpower, which made it even rarer for them to reach Qian Rongzhi’s level. As a result, she considered accepting a disciple and messing around a little.
Qian Rongzhi immediately knelt down on the ground, bowing her head towards Si Bao. “Thank you for your generosity, commander. I’ve been thinking of taking on a master for a long time already. I’m willing to have the commander as my master.”
At the same time, she calculated inside, I planned on finding a suitable master in the first place, which will make the path of cultivation easier, and I’ll have access to even more resources. This is a heaven-sent opportunity. As long as I can establish this relationship, even Gu Yanying can’t target me too much, giving me an additional safeguard. And, Si Bao is much easier to deal with than Gu Yanying. Not only will I receive many benefits for free, but I can also shorten my distance from Gu Yanying too.
“Hehe, I haven’t accepted any disciples yet! Since you’ve been thinking of taking on a master for a long time already, then you can be my first disciple, Rongzhi!”
Qian Rongzhi’s face stiffened, and all of her hairs pricked up, as the speaker was not Si Bao, but Gu Yanying.
Si Bao was sitting with Gu Yanying. Qian Rongzhi had only called her commander, so Gu Yanying’s words made perfect sense, as if Qian Rongzhi had always wanted her as her master.
Gu Yanying smiled at the kneeling Qian Rongzhi and jokingly said, “What’s wrong, my dear disciple? Why won’t you stand up?”
“Your disciple… your disciple is overjoyed. To be able to accept me as your disciple, I will never let master be disappointed.” Qian Rongzhi raised her hand slowly, gazing at Gu Yanying’s smiling face and revealing an expression of great sincerity, except her complexion was rather pale.
Gu Yanying broke out into laughter. However, it was not because she was touched or delighted, but because she found this extremely novel and interesting. As she gazed at her disciple with her sharp gaze, it would be better described as her staring at a peculiar object.
Si Qing said, “Congratulations on accepting such a great disciple, Yanying. She’ll definitely become an outstanding talent with just a bit of guidance.”
“That’s most definitely true.” Gu Yanying stared straight at Qian Rongzhi and smiled.
The Hawkwolf guards all congratulated Qian Rongzhi in admiration. Who knew how many young geniuses in the Ruyi commandery had once asked Gu Yanying to be their master, but she turned them all down flatly. Having gained a master like her, a tremendous opportunity had basically fallen into Qian Rongzhi’s lap.
However, this tremendous opportunity had fallen into her lap so heavily that it left Qian Rongzhi light-headed. She wanted to get a little closer to her and wait for opportunities to get revenge, but she had never thought she would become so close. This was far too dangerous to her right now.
She was like a tiny snake in the talons of a great hawk soaring through the sky. The snake could only allow it to toy with it. As soon as it tried to bite back, the talons would loosen, and the snake would be smashed to death.
Si Bao was perplexed. Gu Yanying had once said she had absolutely no plans to take on any disciples even across her entire life so that she could focus on cultivation. Why had she suddenly changed her mind? This Qian Rongzhi was very impressive, but she could not be regarded as particularly outstanding or startling. At the very least, she was nowhere close to that greatest disciple of the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga whose name echoed through the Green province.
Gu Yanying touched Si Bao’s smooth cheeks with a smile and said nothing. With Si Bao’s personality, she would never turn down Qian Rongzhi’s bow, but this game was a little too dangerous for her.
Like the clash with the White Lotus Mother in the past, having a disciple like this would be quite interesting.
As all of this unfolded, the battle between the two cultivators in the Dragon Arena had already reached a white-hot intensity.