Chapter 17 - 17: Triple Threat
"A one versus one versus one That makes things more interesting." Wei Wuyin was mostly ignored, but he was okay with it. With a kick, he quietly retreated. The Elders had already left and the second group was leaving with Dao Shin as the lead.
There was no one to stop this battle for supremacy amongst these strong-willed women. The surrounding atmospheric aura grew tense as qi manifested around their bodies. It was a beautiful sight as the three women stared intently at each other, battle intent surging about and radiating for their eyes.
Wei Wuyin decided to watch Ming Yu intently. She used a sword and metal qi, similar to him who used a saber and metal qi. Perhaps hell be able to pick up some battle tactics or strategy from her. While the sword and saber had their differences, in the end, they were bladed weapons meant to kill.
Shui Wuhen looked as if the battle didnt concern her, her gaze passive as if enjoying a televised event. From time to time, she would discreetly glance at Wei Wuyin. Earlier, her Elders had specifically warned her against entering any conflict with this man.
To her, he didnt seem special at all. She even knew who he was, how talented he was regarded, and his background. Her information network was definitely solid and extensive. Other than being handsome, a little cunning, and slightly talented, there wasnt much else to regard as noteworthy.
"Wei Wuyin, twenty-six years old this year, born to the late Wei Clan from Starlight City. His current cultivation base is a relative unknown, but looking at him, he seems to be at the Elemental Birth Phase." She wasnt impressed by any of this. In fact, twenty-six years was rather old for core disciples of their status.
Yan Zhu and Jiu Lang were younger by quite a bit. As for her She was only twenty this year, a full six years behind Wei Wuyin. If it wasnt for the fact that he worked his way up from an honorary disciple to a core disciple of one of the Five Great Sects, there would be no need to pay attention to him.
Before she could think more, the battle began!
Scarlet Solaris Art: Raging Thrust!
Turbulent winds surged wildly about as Yan Zhu made the first move. She roared, her spear held in both hands as she dashed forth with valiant and peerless momentum. Her spear stabbed towards Ming Yu, not Zhou Gao. The spear was true and fierce, enshrouded by scarlet qi infused with elemental energies.
Sky Sword Art: Sky Sword Wall!
"Hmph!" Ming Yu retaliated swiftly. She swiped her sword forward, a slicing maelstrom of silver mist formed before her and swiftly shot towards Yan Zhu. The surrounding ground was shredded and the air resonated with a piercing sound. Within that storm of metal qi, images of swords emerged. They were faint, but there.
"Ha!" Yan Zhu didnt yield in the face of this counterattack, thrusting even harsher than before. A wall of scarlet wind was birthed from the tip of her spear and met the storm head on.
An explosion erupted with a wall of scarlet wind and metal swords as its epicenter. A raging wind sent the surrounding loose rocks and grass flying about. The folds of everyones clothes fluttered, pressing tightly against their bodies. The outlines of these womens exquisite figures were faintly revealed.
Wei Wuyins eyes flashed a silver radiance. He firmly steadied his stance as he withstood the wind. The wind smashed against his body sending his robes into a flutter, but he remained without taking even a half-step back.
Around Shui Wuhen, a faint ward of water qi emerged. It was like a secondary skin, mere inches from her body, and formed a watery outline. The wind was blocked effortlessly by this protective ward.
Water Elemental Art: Maw of the Depths!
The colors of scarlet and silver changed the surroundings, but before the collision could come to a conclusion, an oceanic wave of water wide and high enough to engulf Yan Zhu, Ming Yu, and their conjured qi whole was created. It was ferocious like the gaping mouth of an apex predator, hungry and ferocious.
Zhou Gao had launched her first attack, and it was impressive. Her timing was impeccable as she struck.
"You!" Yan Zhu hastily reacted, taking a step back as her feet were infused with wind qi. She executed a movement-type qi art. Swiftly, she exited the attack range of the oceanic wave of qi.
Ming Yu, however, didnt retreat. Unlike Yan Zhu, she was a sword cultivator with unprecedented courage. Her eyes flashed crazily as she decisively conjured a silver ward of qi and fearlessly dashed towards the monstrous wave of water qi. With a sharp exclamation, she proceeded to slice her sword upwards in a vertical angle. The metal qi conjured seemed to gain a subtle form as a sword image pierced into the wave.
Metal Elemental Art: Slicing Force!
The wave was cut into two. Its gathered force collapsed as its center mass no longer existed. Ming Yu dashed through the gaping hole created and slashed mercilessly forward. Her eyes contained deep killing intent.
As a sword cultivator, she was truly courageous and fearless in battle. If youre not willing to lay down your life in battle, then you shouldnt have one. That was her mantra, and it was clearly reflected in her determined gaze.
Zhou Gao wasnt surprised by the killing intent displayed, as she was familiar with the methodology of the Sky Sword Sect. Her eyes flashed with contempt as her folding fan unfurled further and swung lightly outwards. She used her previous elemental art once more.
However, she didnt use it just once, but flapped her fan three full times! The three waves were formed at different times, but like a snap of a finger, they merged into one and grew three times in size and force. The truly dangerous aspect of water qi arts were its many layering and merging capabilities. This was one of them.
Ming Yus eyes grew sharper, her body erupting fiercely with silver qi. She became like a silver sword goddess as she roared and held her sword with two hands. Without hesitation, she brandished it horizontally.
Sky Sword Art: One Line, Worlds End!
A condensed line of compressed qi an inch thick and three feet wide was sent forth, slicing and concentrated in its intent. This attack was absolutely powerful and held an intense degree of killing intent within. The three waves combined didnt stop its momentum as it was sliced through like a hot knife through butter.
"What!" Zhou Gao was shocked as she witnessed her qi art be rendered useless in the face of this assault. She immediately shrouded herself in several layers of qi wards as she tried to commence her retreat. However, as she did, a scarlet light flashed in her peripheral vision. Her eyes widened as she felt the sensation of death.
Scarlet Solaris Art: Crushing Thrust!
Yan Zhu had also struck at this opportune moment. A wall of scarlet was formed and smashed downwards with fierce, unyielding momentum. She had taken to the sky above and used gravity to increase the force of her attack.
Zhou Gaos surprise attack had earned her the target of both cultivators, but it was too late to realize her mistake as those two attacks seemed intent on ending her life.
"No!" She shouted with unwillingness. Her multi-layered water qi ward expanded and became further fueled by her qi. It grew thicker and thicker, but it wasnt fast enough as the silver line of qi pierced through the wards and approached her body. If this hit, she would be directly bisected!
A crushing collision also occurred as her ward rippled from Yan Zhus attack. Shockingly, the ward held. Water was a defensive-oriented attribute after all, and while Yan Zhu was channeling the scarlet qi of her spear to use Scarlet Solaris Sects core arts, she hadnt formed a Heart of Scarlet Qi, so its power wasnt at its highest.
That being said, the exerted pressure had heavily deformed the ward and seemed unforgiving in its exertion of force. Zhao Gaos retreat was halted as the ward was connected to her body and forced her in place. Her eyes widened when she realized this disadvantageous outcome.
Wei Wuyin knew that this moment was Zhou Gaos defeat. She had been pushed into a corner, shocked by Yan Zhus decisive attack locking her down, and Ming Yus absolute resolve to not hold an ounce of strength back. Even Wei Wuyin found her move merciless as it could truly kill Zhou Gao if it connected. Perhaps it wouldnt be so horrible if Yan Zhu hadnt pushed down on her ward, forcing her in place.
The battle between cultivators was often decided by the first few moves, and if not, then it could become a battle of attrition. The only issue is that Yan Zhu, as a spear cultivator, and Ming Yu, as a sword cultivator, were offensively-oriented and struck with everything. They wouldnt hold back or allow the battle to reach a point where attrition would happen. Whereas Zhao Gao, as a water cultivator, hoped for it.
That fierce aggressiveness was much like his own combat style. As a saber cultivator, how could he not strike to kill
"Help me, Shui Wuhen!" Zhou Gao screamed in panic. As if her prayers were answered, a swirling whirlpool formed beneath her feet and expanded in the blink of an eye. It crashed into the silver line of qi and shredded it into nothing while pushing back Yan Zhus attack.
Both Yan Zhu and Ming Yu retreated calmly. Their eyes were dark and solemn. To form a whirlpool with ones qi or any construct required the Yin Form Phase. As they saw the stability within the whirlpool, their eyes constricted!
They were only cultivators at the Third Phase, Elemental Birth, and their attacks consisted mostly of walls, wild storms, or condensed and compressed attacks. This was the same with Zhou Gao. However, forming a whirlpool of water was far more powerful than any of their attacks.
If they were trapped in that whirlpool, its continuous rotations and stability would wear down their attacks, preventing escape. They would be left at the mercy of their attacker. That was the clear difference between just birthing elements and giving elements form.
The whirlpool vanished as the scarlet and metal qi disappeared along with it. In the middle, Zhou Gao was breathing heavily as she looked at the two. She angrily cried, "You bitches! You almost killed me!!"
Wei Wuyin looked at Shui Wuhen as she had a helpless expression on her face. She had to reveal her cultivation base because of her sect mate.
He smiled. "I think if youre deciding on the strongest, the winner has been decided."
"..." Yan Zhu and Ming Yu were silent. Their attacks were dealt with so easily. Not to mention, they even suspected that Shui Wuhen had a Heart of Water Qi. If that was the case, they were definitely not her match. Yan Zhu was the first to break the silence, "If youre willing to be the leader of our group, I have no objections."
Her open-minded words and stern manner were clearly displayed. However, Shui Wuhen felt a headache coming. With a heavy sigh in her heart, she decided to nod, accepting the role in the end. If she gave Zhou Gao the leadership role, knowing her, she may think that she had her backing and cause all sorts of issues amongst the team.
In actuality, Zhou Gao wasnt her ally in the sect. Their relationship could be said to be like Yan Zhu and Wei Wuyins, filled with neutrality and avoidance.
Ming Yu sheathed her sword, "Okay."
Zhou Gao felt indignant at nearly being killed, but what could she do They all had similar statuses and it was an agreed battle. She only glared hatefully at Yan Zhu and Ming Yu. When her gaze met Wei Wuyin who was off to the side smiling, she felt a surge of anger due to his affiliation with Yan Zhu.
"What are you smiling for Youre so dickless, youre not even man enough to try to battle for leadership. Never have I met a coward like you. Disgusting!" Her words were sharp and without retreat. An angered womans words were often sharp and merciless.
Wei Wuyin furrowed his brows, but he thought of something, and shook his head. "If youre done venting, can we go on with the mission"
"You!" Zhao Gao raged, her eyes turning red with anger. Wei Wuyins indifference at her insult was an insult itself, as if she was unworthy to argue with or talk to. She gripped her fan and her qi erupted. She unfurled her fan and sent a wave of water towards Wei Wuyin.
Yan Zhu and Ming Yu backed off instantly.
Shui Wuhen was curious about Wei Wuyin and thus didnt interfere.
Wei Wuyins eyes locked down on the wave. His silver eyes pierced through it and landed on Zhou Gao. He had his own limits in patience. First there was Xing Fu and now it was this Zhou Gao. He wasnt willing to reveal his cultivation base because it wasnt necessary, but the underestimation and disrespect was approaching his limits.
Elemental Lightning Art: Thunder Step!
A tremendous boom of thunder roared! The ground beneath Wei Wuyins feet was crushed explosively! A crater as large as half a meter deep was created, with flickering traces of electricity at its depths. A large, gaping hole was left within the wave of water as it directly collapsed from the sheer force it met.
Wei Wuyin appeared in front of Zhou Gao with lightning-like speed, his eyes flickering with violet lightning, the most volatile and hottest lightning! It was like his eyes contained the most dangerous beast of the lightning realm.
He stood before her with those eyes.
"Ha!" She gasped and shrieked. The booming sound had caused her heart to feel like it was going to explode, but the sudden appearance of Wei Wuyins handsome visage and fearsome eyes caused it to nearly stop instead.
There was absolute silence for five seconds. Wei Wuyin was mere inches away from her face, his breath on hers. Only now did she realize that Wei Wuyin was rather tall and his body held a fair amount of muscle.
"Kiss me." His voice was soft but was like resounding claps in her mind. Without a thought, she leaned forward and pressed her soft, red lips on Wei Wuyins lips. Her eyes closed as if she was enjoying the sensation of intimacy to its utmost limit.
She had even opened her mouth and allowed Wei Wuyins tongue to meet her own in battle, their lips pushing against each other without end. She was ravenous, as if trying to eat his lips.
"..." Yan Zhu.
"..." Ming Yu.
"..." Shui Wuhen.
After a few seconds, their lips separated and Zhou Gaos breathing was labored as if she had just walked a mile. Her eyes looked dreamy. She pressed her fingers to her lips and slowly caressed it, as if recalling the feeling she just had.
"Is that man enough for you"
Wei Wuyin grinned triumphantly. He turned towards Shui Wuhen as he walked away, the violet lightning in his eyes gone, "Shall we get going"