Four people dropped from the sky.
Yin Hei wore his black Protector robes with the words Long Yin Hei – Shadow Dragon on his back. His dirty and oily black wavy hair fluttered in the wind as he flew down from the sky, his yellow eyes looking down on the crowd below.
Wu Rou was an old woman. Although she was in her late fifties, her beauty was such that it could take breaths away even though she was way past her prime. With no doubt, when she was younger she had stolen the heart of many young and older men alike.
She wore a gorgeous pink dress, her own Protector robe: on her back, the words Wu Rou: A Soft Dance [Note: Wu – Dance, Rou – Soft] were drawn in beautiful streaks of silver and gold.
The two flew down from opposite directions, glaring at each other while descending. Behind each of them, a youth could be seen: following Long Yin Hei was the famous Zhao Bu, the greatest genius that the Sect had seen in more than a century, the potential Twin Star!
He looked nothing like a thirteen years old kid: he held his head high and emitted the presence of a lord that made people unconsciously look down and gulp. He was tall, about one-hundred-seventy centimetres tall and had beautiful features.
His grey eyes looked sharp enough to cut deep into the soul, his long black hair fluttered behind him making him look like a descent war God. Powerful! Domineering! He made people tremble with but a gaze and was absolutely terrifying to look at directly in the eyes!
On the other hand, Sou Rou was the complete opposite: she was a beautiful woman in her late teens. Although she was still pretty young, she looked really mature and gentle, just like a fairy.
She had straight, black hair, green phoenix eyes and fair, white skin. She had a small straight nose small and small, soft, red lips that made people want to bite them.
She was a natural beauty, but her looks were on a totally different level than the cute Te Rin was. Add her bountiful figure and mature demeanor and she left all other women present in the dust. Even Cheng Hao couldn’t help but praise her looks in his mind.
The two youths also glared at each other just like their teachers did, it was clear that they also shared their masters’ views on their opponent.
When they landed on the ground below them, they stared at each other for quite a while. It was Wu Rou that smiled and spoke first “What happened, Short Snake? Did you grow afraid enough to actually avoid a direct confrontation and instead let our disciple fight it out?”
Long Yin Hei rolled his eyes and sighed “You, better than me, should know the answer to that. To avoid casualties on your side and thus weakening the sect I had no other choice…”
Wu Rou’s right eye twitched as she smiled and she retorted “Oh? That is so… kind of you. After all if we slay all of the people on your side and only us are left there will be trouble, especially if we have great casualties in our ranks… You are actually pretty kind, aren’t you, Shorty?”
A vein popped on the the man’s forehead and he gritted his teeth as he faked a grateful expression and smiled back “To hear that from someone so kind as you that you lost all fights against us is really comforting, Meatball [Note: Rou can also mean Meat in Chinese]…”
Sparks flew in between the two until they both snorted and turned their back towards each other and went to seat on opposite sides of the Arena. Yin Hei waved his hand and a throne made of shadow took form.
He sat on it and then looked arrogantly at the other Protectors sitting on the stone seats of the Arena.
One by one they stood up, their faces red, and they also created their own personal seat. After a small while, eight gigantic thrones could be seen: a throne built completely out of shadows, a throne composed of many lotuses and in the shape of a gigantic flower, a throne made of vines and grass, another one made of crystal, then one made of metal, another one made of blue flames, one made of glass and finally one made of strings.
The crowd was amazed: to be able to create something like that by waving their hands was nothing short of amazing. Only Cheng Hao rolled his eyes and thought ‘Really? That is all you are going to do? If I were you I would have built a whole palace, the manifestation of Qi is like waving a hand after reaching the peak Sung stage…’
Yin Hei straightened himself on his throne and then shouted “Everyone, thanks for listening to this old man’s foolish request and coming here for witnessing this match! As some of you may know, our Sect Head isn’t in the position to lead the sect any longer, so much that he hasn’t come out in more than a decade… We all know that this cannot go on, we must do something!” He looked at Wu Rou and made a sign for her to continue
She nodded “Us protectors don’t get along as many of you probably know, but if there is one thing that we all share…” She looked around “Is the love for this sect! That is why, we have decided not to fight ourselves and hurting our sect members in the process and instead hold a competition!”
Yin Hei nodded “We deemed it better for the younger generation to fight for it” He pointed at the five youths standing in the middle of the arena “This way, it will not only show who will be more likely to become the Sect Head in the future… But also the ability of the master to train the younger generation, who else but the Sect Head should have these qualities the most?”
After listening to their speech, many people began to understand why didn’t the Protectors fight themselves and even nodded as they also thought that it was a valid reason.
Suddenly, somebody from the crowd exclaimed “Esteemed School Protectors, hasn’t Third Protector been missing for a few years now? Didn’t the Sect Head impose the rule that for us Protectors to decide something they should all be in favor?” The voice paused.
The First and Second Protectors frowned when they heard those words. Yin Hei shook his head and retorted “Sect Head also said that if the person didn’t explicitly show opposition then it would count as being in favor”
“Oh, senior Protectors, I apologize for being so narrow-minded and thank First Protector for showing me where I was wrong!” The man that spoke before bowed.
The First Protector smiled and shook his head “You needn’t worry. To see that a person would actually speak against the Protectors for the Sect’s good being makes me happy!”
He then looked at the crowd “Now, as we were going to announce before this interruption, we hereby announce that the match can begi-”
“Wait a moment!”
Yin Hei stopped and looked around searching for the person that dared interrupt him “Who is it the person that grew enough guts to actually dare to interrupt me a second time!”
The figure smiled when he saw the people sitting beside him shifting away. After only a few breaths he was all alone, tens of thousands of pairs of eyes looking at him with surprise, shock and fear: he was an old man.
He had a long white beard and piercing yellow eyes. He was currently playing around with his mustaches as he smiled.
Yin Hei stood up from his throne and rotated his cultivation base, letting out his mid level Reverend stage pressure “Who are you? You… Are those robes you are wearing…”
Wu Rou also frowned and then widened her eyes “That… Aren’t those the robes of Third Protector Lao Jianghu?!?”
The crowd was shocked for a moment and then burst out with cheering and yelling “The mysterious Lao Jianghu! Few people have ever seen his face, the only thing known about him is his strength!” A person stood up and introduced the newcomer “It is said that he is absolutely invincible against those in the same level of cultivation!”
Yin Hei frowned “Lao Jianghu, my old friend, what happened to you? Why are your features so old? Shouldn’t you be in your early seventies, why do you look like you are much older than a man in his late eighties?”
The old man looked up and smiled “Oh? The Shadow Dragon actually lowers his head to ask something to the lowly Golden Tiger, now this is something you don’t see everyday” he chuckled.
Cheng Hao frowned: Yin Hei and Wu Rou’s reaction to Lao Jianghu’s appearance was too perfect to be just an act. He smiled pleased and relaxed a bit.
‘It seems like…” He muttered “We have been lucky!” He chuckled and couldn’t help but feel relieved in his heart.
Bi Liang turned and asked “How so?” His eyes filled with hope.
“Look at them” the boy pointed at the two Protectors “They look like none of them had imagined Third Protector to be here, meaning, those spies either didn’t have the chance to tell them anything, but I find it unlikely since it has been more than a decade already ever since they had infiltrated, or…”
Bi Liang widened his eyes and excitedly said “Do you possibly mean…”
Cheng Hao smiled and nodded after looking at the Zhao clan child “Yes. The spies weren’t theirs! And it looks like the one in charge for their espionage might have not reported the details to his master…”
At the moment, Zhao Bu was pale and his eyes were wide. Although it looked like it, it was not surprise, it was regret. At the moment, his mind was in chaos.
‘Damn, I should have told him about that Wannabe Faction a while ago! If I do that now, I will lose a lot of face and there will also be the risk of him getting angry for this’
He looked at the man sitting on the throne beside him and could see from his clenched hand that he was already pissed off quite a bit.
He gulped and endured ‘There is no medicine for regret! Either way, I think it won’t be a huge deal anyway, I just have to calm down! A dog can bark when hit but he can’t grow stronger just by yelling loudly!’
Cheng Hao grinned watching the young teen going through his internal struggle “It looks like Fate is pulling the strings for me again… Well, this time around, I won’t mind!”
Lao Jianghu looked at the Eight other Protectors in front of him “I thank you for trusting in my strength and keeping my role as the Third Protector although I did not fight for it”
Mu Gu smiled “We know better than anybody else what your strength is. We couldn’t be so selfish as to remove you of your title just because of a… slight absence”
Lao Jianghu grinned and spoke “If you can call more than ten years a slight absence, then that is fine by me. Come here, my old friend!”
The two people bear-hugged each other and patted themselves on their back, just like two old friends that haven’t seen each other for a very long time…
“Where the hell have you been” Mu Gu asked “We were only a few votes away from declaring you dead!”
The yellow-eyed old man grinned “That’s… Comforting? You see… This whole time I have indeed hidden myself, but I was still in the territory of the Mysteriously Light-Shadow Sect”
The Fourth Protector frowned “What! Why did you hide yourself at all then? Was there some special reason that you had to do that?”
Lao Jianghu looked over towards Yin Hei and Wu Rou’s direction and he smiled “Let’s just say… That I have been working hard to find somebody worthy enough to lead this sect…” He grinned as he focused on Yin Hei’s figure “And sweep away some overgrown snake…”
He flew in the air and shouted “I, Third Protector Lao Jianghu have been absent from my duty for a long ten years… I apologize for that!” He bowed to the crowd “But it was not in vain! I have found a person, a boy, that I judge as worthy enough to become a Twin Star!”
A potential Twin Star!
Those words shook the minds and souls of everybody present as they all gaped in shock. The two strongest Protectors also frowned: such a person actually hid themselves so deeply that even they didn’t find out about it until now?