AOH – Chapter 123

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CHAPTER 123: CONFLICT IN THE WATERFALL PEAK

‘You returned.’

Arial said, after sensing Xiyun has entered the house. Arial is still sipping the tea, and the firewood in the fireplace has been changed to a new one.

He is still thinking about that matter. He did not know how to approach the subject. By now, he has heard from Silas.

Actually he heard from Silas after he gave the name to her daughter. The subject in which Silas relayed to him was a sensitive matter, deal silently that deals with the reputation of three great houses.

‘Hmm’ he sighed. Either way, the Meet is used as a way for him to clear his mind. To soothe his anger.

Helia. Kyle. What should he do about both of them? One is the woman she loves. Another, a bosom friend.

It is…a betrayal, he knows.

But is he completely faultless in this? After all, the rift that happens is because of him, partly because of his secret and lies.

Secrets of his second life. Lies of his heart problem. He could have died during his expedition and leave his wife a widow.

Arial even admit it. He is not the sharing type. He burdens it all alone. The pain. The grief. The suffering.

All of this on his shoulder. In a way, he is arrogant. Believing himself to be the savior of the world.

Believing he is the only that could have stopped the Invasion.

He believes that he could do it all alone. To Arial he believes it is his responsibility. To others, he is arrogant, trying to take all the burden, never sharing.

Silas offer to punish Kyle, a mild punishment exiling him to some far remote area of Arrandy, to let the both of them never see each other.

Arial on the other hand believes that it will only exacerbate the condition. After all their longing will only be more intense if they are in love with each other.

But for some reason Arial could not— did not want to give any punishment. He knew leaving her wife now, is not a wise move.

But in the end, Arial will have to trust Helia. And respect her decision. Helia still doesn’t know that he knows.

In a way Arial too is guilty of the same charge. Maybe that is why he is trying to think about this matter more calmly.

Either way, when he returns he will have to face both of them. Worst case scenario, they will divorce.

Many said divorce is in the hand of man but Arial do not believe this. At least not in the matter of his marriage.

He always believe the decision to end, or begin this, has always been Helia choice. Her choice. Her decision. And anyway Arial will decide after he returns.

The fire in the fireplace is crackling, marking the passage of time as he wakes himself from his thoughts.

Arial changed the firewood when Xiyun went to get her belongings. He could not let his disciples to sleep in the cold.

He on the other hand has no problem with the cold but he doubt normal humans share his blessing.

‘Get all of your belonging, Xiyun?’

‘Yes, teacher.’

Xiyun said, smiling, on both of her arms is a package of clothes and some needles, necklace and a few pills.

Pills huh, what pill he mused.

Arial did not ask Xiyun to show her the content of her belonging after all such act is unfitting behavior asking a woman to show her belonging to another man.

They maybe teacher and disciple but their age is not that far off.

‘There is a room on the upper level. You may sleep there. Since I’m, the only one in this house if you felt a dreadful presence, don’t worry. It is me, training.’

‘Yes,teacher.’ She bows

Xiyun climb the stairs and put her belongings in one of the rooms. A big room. At least she didn’t have to share with anyone else.

No bullying or ridicule anymore. Well considering she is the only one in the All-Conquering Sect of course no one could bully her.

‘Xiyun!’ suddenly Arial called out to her.

Quickly Xiyun who has already begin putting her body on the bed, jumped down. She quickly rushed to her teacher.

‘Yes,teacher.’ The door is open and the cold wind enters. Xiyun shivers a little. Thankfully Arial is sitting around the fireplace.

The warmth seeps into Xiyun body and the cold dissipate a little.

‘Sit’ her teacher order.

She sits. Arial look at the open door.

‘This is private’ he said his eyes looking at the door and she understand. She was about to get up and close all the doors and windows but Arial said.

‘Don’t.’

He makes a circular motion with his hand and all the doors and windows in the house suddenly like wind from outside came and all the doors and windows is shut tight.

Truly he is an expert Xiyun thought. I did not choose wrong.

‘Teacher, why the secrecy?’

‘I want to teach you. And I don’t want any uninvited guest comes eavesdropping or looking’

‘Now? Right now?’

‘Yes. Why? You have a problem?’

‘No. But where will I train? Outside with the wind breeze?’ Then Xiyun almost slapped her head.

Since her teacher close all the windows in the house of course the training will be done inside

‘No. No external skill. Internal skill. More accurately, cultivation technique.’

‘Cultivation technique?’ And Xiyun become more excited

‘Yes. I said before that your internal energy compared to others is weak. So in order for you to surpass all of this people, what is it you need to do?’

‘Understanding the concept?’

‘Yes. But that isn’t enough. These people have been training for years.’ Xiyun nodded, understanding her disadvantage positions.

‘My technique, I daresay is stronger and unique among all the internal energy technique. I will impart my wisdom to you but it depends on you to train it. Hard work beat genius every time. Remember my words.’

‘Yes teacher.’

That night Arial teach her the intricacies of the cultivation technique of Levitia. Of course Arial did not call it the Cultivation technique of Levitia.

If he called it that, they are a lot of question he has to answer. After teaching her, instead of allowing her to go to sleep Arial then force her to quickly show him what she have learned.

But it is not so bad for Xiyun. The moment she practice it, she could feel like her body is swelling with energy.

It was easier than the Ermeishan inner skill cultivation. It was……unrestricted. Free. Maybe what teacher said to me rings truth.. Three years huh she said to herself.

She didn’t even realize that it was morning.

Instead of feeling tired, she felt energized. Arial on the other hand after watching Xiyun lost in her training, smile and went to sleep.

After all, Arial training is high level and Imposing Presence used a lot of internal energy. Especially when 1 hour is equivalent to 10 hours.

Training for 4 hours would be like he is practicing for two days.

*************************************************************************

‘Teacher, wake up. Wake up’ Arial open his eyes and he saw Xiyun.

He already notices the presence of Xiyun even before he open his eyes so it did not come as a shock but truthfully Arial wanted to rest a little bit more.

The Waterfall Peak is peaceful and a very tranquil place that even Arial, the hardworking Arial is tempted to just sleep all day, enjoying himself on the bed.

‘Xiyun.’

‘Teacher’ she said bowing slightly. She is still wearing the pink dress and there is some blushing on her cheeks.

She must not be accustomed of waking a man from sleep. On second thought, no maiden ever does.

‘Did you sleep well last night, Xiyun?’

‘I didn’t have to teacher. My body is overflowing with energy.’

Arial smile. It is within Arial expectation. His technique is after all what made him the monster he is today.

‘That is good. What did I say? Do you believe me now?’

‘Yes teacher. I will keep practicing the cultivation technique diligently and I never will doubt teacher words again.’

‘Good.’ Arial then get up from his bed.

‘Bring me the towel.’

‘Yes teacher.’

There is bath in the house so Arial is going to bathe first. Who created it and why, is beyond Arial understanding but who is he to complain when there is such a convenient facility?

‘I will prepare some snacks and tea for you teacher.’ Xiyun said excitedly

‘Do it if you want to.’

She nodded. Arial then went to clean himself up. After choosing his clothes he went to the kitchen.

‘Deer meat’ Arial said.

‘Amazing teacher. How did you know?’

‘I have an amazing sense of smell.’ And Arial grins a little. Another one of his new talents, no doubts courtesy of Gaveror.

Xiyun is standing while; Arial is sitting and was just about to eat the meat. He is puzzled by Xiyun behavior.

This is not the court neither is Xiyun his courtier or slave so why is she standing? Then he said

‘Why are you standing?’

‘It is disrespectful to eat while the teacher is eating.’ She explained. Arial looking at Xiyun sighed. Is this one of the martial art world custom?

‘I allow it. Come on. Sit. Eat.’

Xiyun then also hesitantly sit down while looking at Arial expression and then confident her teacher meant what he said, she began eating with Arial.

‘Hmm. Delicious. You are a good cook, Xiyun.’ Arial complimented Xiyun cooking.

Arial in his castle has his own cook and true, his cook also cook many great dishes but Xiyun cooking has that hint of amateurism but still her cooking has that homely feeling.

‘Teacher, my task in Ermeishan is always cooking, cleaning and finding and gathering herbs. So this is nothing.’

‘Is that so? Hmm. It seems Ermeishan has lost a great cook’ and Xiyun chuckled slightly.

Arial also chuckle a bit. It was like a morning with serenity feelings and calm atmosphere and with the birds chirping outside, Arial is reminded of his wife.

His lovely Helia. And at night seeing the stars he is then reminded of his star, Velamina. Arial is enjoying the food yet his mind wander someplace else.

But Xiyun could see there is something on her teacher minds. But she did not dare presume.

Then Xiyun ask.

‘Teacher’

‘Yes, What?’ Arial said, startled a bit, as he is brought back to the dining table.

‘Can you teach me sword technique?’

‘Sword technique? …… No.’

‘Eh, why?’

‘Because you are not ready. Our school technique requires high level internal energy to execute even one of my swords techniques. Remember this, and keep this a secret. Our school only has one sword style.’

‘One sword style? Wouldn’t that be disadvantageous?’

‘No. Do not worry. No one can defeat my sword style.’ Arial said, clearly proud and confident of his created technique.

‘My sword style is Heaven Punishment Style. I daresay there is no one in any of the school could compare to my sword style.’

Arial know this because he have combine every school technique in this one style, ways to counter it and etcetera. (Not all technique from the schools. Only those that he witness and already learned)

But what Arial didn’t know how effective it will be against the 4 Immortals. Which is why every day he practices it.

‘So, I have to wait three years before I learn even one of the sword styles?’

‘I can teach you some technique. But choose. One technique that could defeat any enemies you encounter or….a multiple technique that maybe or maybe not can overpowered your opponent. One needs three years for you to be patient. Another, you can learn today. Maybe in three years you will then master 100 techniques. But by then I will not teach you the Heaven Punishment Style.’

‘Teacher, why make me choose?’

‘In life there is always a choice. Now it’s your time to choose. Three years of waiting or right now?’

Xiyun look at her meat and sipped her water and after deciding she tell her decision to Arial.

‘I…I…will wait three years teacher.’

‘Hahaha. Wise choice. Wise choice’

That is how they spend their morning. In the afternoon, both of them train. Then suddenly as they were training in the open space of the house Arial notices a group of people is coming towards the vicinity of his house.

‘Open your eyes Xiyun. It seems a group of people is coming to the house.’ Arial get up from his cross legged position and open his door.

There he sees a hundred of Ermeishan disciple, a few of Yilin monk, and Sun Moon Sect disciples and even Lishan disciples and there are other sect and schools that is behind them.

Arial cupped his hand as they have reached his house. There is a hint of displeasure in Arial face as these schools come uninvited but quickly Arial control his face expression.

‘So many people. To what do I owe this pleasure?’

‘RETURN MY LITTLE SISTER BACK TO ERMEISHAN!’

Mu Liyun screams and then she jump from the crowd and landed just a few feet in front of Arial.

She is furious, her emotion is clearly reflected in her eyes and her face expression, like a lioness.

‘Liyun!’ The Abbess said.

‘Return her to you? Why should I? Who are you that dare ask me!’ This time Arial had it. He snapped.

Not only they come uninvited suddenly he is threatened and screams at. He had it! But that is in his heart.

To the other, he still look calm, even though he just raised his voice, there is an air of calmness that the other school recognized.

The other gasped.

Arial does not show any intention of backing down even though hundreds of people are in front of his house.

With his calm demeanor the hundred people feel unnerved with this display of calmness in face of such numbers.

‘Young hero Arial this is not right.’ One of the people from Sun Moon Sect tries to act as mediator.

‘Just return the girl to Ermeishan and all this could end peaceably’ another Elder from another sect said with a hint of threats.

The Abbess with calm demeanor then said

‘Ermeishan would appreciate if All Conquering sect would return the girl to us.’

Arial look at all the crowd and realize he is being ganged up. Then he laughed. Arial smiles a little. Do they think he will back down?

Idiots. They could not even measure their own abilities.

‘HAHAHAHA’ his laugh reverberates from this peak to the bottom peak, shocking everyone present.

Some even closed their ears but since the laugh is imbued with internal energy blocking it with their hand is futile.

‘So you want to bully me into submission with numbers? You think I am afraid? I have given you face before Abbess. I AM NOT THAT GENEROUS TO GIVE THAT CHANCE AGAIN!’ he yelled surprising everyone as his face contorted to anger.

‘REMEMBER! I AM ARIAL THE DRAGON. NOBODY FORCES ME TO DO ANYTHING. IF YOU WANT HER, SHOW YOUR ABILITY.’

The Sun Moon Sect elders who are looking at both the Ermeishan Abbess and Arial of All Conquering sect is in a tough spot.

Suddenly this situation turns bigger than they expected.

Ermeishan is a reputable sect in the martial art world but Arial has established himself as a very talented person, rarely seen.

And not to mention, Arial did help one of Sun Moon Sect prized disciple Xiao De. What to do? What to do?

Xiao De is not here still resting in the house after his last fight but if he heard his own sect tried to pressure Arial surely he would not have agreed.

To repay his benefactor like this…will be a taint in Xiao De honour which is why the Elder of Sun Moon Sect did not inform tonight plan to Xiao De.

‘What to do? What to do?’

The Elders said among themselves. Lishan also hesitate. Would they offend Ermeishan if they refuse help?

Everyone thought that if they come in a group Arial would of course return back the girl obediently rather than offending all the other sect.

Who would have thought that this Arial is really fearless? Instead of fearing the group, he challenges the group.

‘There is no need to settle this with our sword.’ Elder from the Sun Moon sect offering a compromise

‘NO NEED? HAHAHAHA. You came to my house uninvited, ask what you want brazenly, demand what you want like you are my lord and you expect this to end peacefully? No such chance.’

Monk Sigrid who is leading the disciple of Yilin sense this would result in a clash so he said.

‘We, Yilin sect will take our leave. We have no involvement in this matter.’ In a way, Sigrid is right.

They follow the Abbess simply because of their relations with Ermeishan. The Elders did not order the other monk to come with Sigrid.

It is an independent decision. Sigrid thought with number they could pressure Arial to release the girl.

Sigrid was about to take his step when a roar shakes the peak.

‘DON’T YOU DARE! MOVE ONE MORE STEP AND I YOU WILL LOSE YOUR HEAD!!!’

Such roar even make the hill trembles with such ferocity that one would think a disaster is happening. Xiyun who is hiding behind Arial back is even thrown back from such force of Arial lungs.

The worse is Mu Liyun who is in front of Arial and she is thrown so high that the Abbes had to flew and receive her to avoid her from crashing to one of the hills.

Sigrid trembled with fear.

‘Is that a human voice?’ he muttered under his breath while regulating his internal energy to avoid sustaining internal injury from Arial technique, Dragon Roar.

The low level disciple even has to shut out their ears but it is useless. Blood is flowing from their ears and noses.

His voice is like Sun Moon Sect musical instrument attack.

Using the vibration wave combine with internal energy to shake the core of a person, damaging weak people ears and disrupt balance.

‘WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE! YOU THINK BECAUSE YOU CAME FROM YILIN I AM AFRAID OF YOU! YOU WISH TO COME WHEN YOU PLEASE AND LEAVE WHEN YOU PLEASE! HOW COULD I LET YOU DO THAT WITHOUT SHAMING MYSELVES!’

Hearing this none of the sect dare take another step while some Elder locks the acupoint of their disciples as they tell them to regulate their internal energy.

The Abbess gulped. A roar of his voice and it already make this much damage.

‘Why do you want to protect the girl? She is of Ermeishan.’ Some of the Elders said after they finished regulating their internal energy

‘She is my disciple. You want to get her? Come!’ Hearing this, the crowds that follow the Abbess look at the Abbess.

What have they involved themselves into? They thought that Arial kidnap the girl while the Abbess is glaring at Arial.

Arial has already prepared himself as his body emits a bloodthirsty aura, a killing intent so high that some fainted as they sense this aura.

Arial who has been in many wars and battles, of course his killing intent is higher than a person who has never killed.

He has killed so many peoples, orcs , monsters, that even he has lost count.

‘If you are stubborn enough then I have no choice’ the abbess said, gritting her teeth, her heart is filled with anger.

She unsheathes her sword from her hips.

She dashed forward, flying, piercing the wind with her sword to attack Arial while Arial put up one of his palm and suddenly the Abbess stopped in midair.

‘That is impossible.’ The other exclaimed looking at this absurd scene.

With one hand, Arial stopped the Abbess attack, at only half a feet from him as the Abbess is stuck on midair, her sword is trying to pierce the barrier of internal energy created by Arial palm.

‘BE GONE’ he said and the Abbess is thrown back with great intensity and speed, smashing her body to one of the tree and the tree explode from the force.

The Abbess coughed up blood and everyone could see that the Abbess has suffered some broken bones.

Her sword is broken to a thousand pieces; the shards injured the nearby disciple. The other is stuck on the hard ground

Her disciples all rushed through to go to their teacher. Xiyun on the other hand look at the battle and then she look at her teacher.

She felt confident. Truly her teacher is peerless. She come out of her hiding and says loudly

‘Look! My teacher is powerful and undefeated. He is unrivalled. Compared to the Abbess what is she? My teacher is the Divine Dragon. Arial the Divine Dragon. Peerless under the heaven, splitting the sea with a strike, destroying mountains with a kick’ Xiyun yelled mischievously spreading his teacher name.

Not only she promote her teacher name, she even boast with boasting that make anyone hearing it cringes! How shameless could she be!

But no one dares deny her.

In a way when she roams the martial art world if they heard of her teacher reputation at least people will not dare bully her.

Xiyun growing up, watching the dark side of the martial art world understands the importance of reputation but more importantly of power.

And her teacher just demonstrates power beyond a normal person capability. Xiyun have to admit….she is cunning.

Mu Liyun is shocked and anger is rising from her body seeing her own sister defends Arial instead of the Abbess.

‘WHAT ARE YOU SAYING, SISTER?’ She screamed.

‘The Abbess has clothed us, give us food, care for us and teach us martial arts and you want to repay her with ingratitude. ‘

‘Yes’ Xiyun said.

‘What of it? Unlike you, I have no such feelings for her. No gratitude. To me she always had been a stinking lady and cruel old person.’ Xiyun said.

Xiyun could not yet tell her sister everything.

She can only lead her to the truth. She can’t make her believe it. She out of everyone knows how much Liyun idolize the Abbess.

She out of everyone understands what will happen to her if she could not prove her words. She would be ridicule and her reputation will plummet.

The Abbess is a cunning manipulative person. She could make it like Xiyun lied and taint her reputation and her teacher reputation.

For now…..this is not yet the time or the place.

Let her view her sister as the evil one. One day the truth will come out. It will always come out.

‘YOU ARE A DISGRACE TO ERMEISHAN!’ Liyun said and she jump trying to attack her won sister with killing intent while the other sect scream.

The rest of them all looked at Arial during Liyun tries to attack her sister and they all see how Arial face changes to a cold expression.

The crowd all feel something bad is about to happen which is why they wanted Liyun to stop her attack but their screams are too late.

‘NO!’ then suddenly like a flash of lightning Liyun vocal cord is crushed as she coughed up blood.

‘Uhuk, uhuk’ Liyun coughing blood, her body almost looked lifeless with such impact on her throat, giving a shock to her entire body.

Arial is seen choking Liyun, reaching to block her attack to Xiyun with an unbelievable speed.

Liyun is writhing in pain, like an animal nearing death.

‘NO!’ the Abbess yelled while her hand is still holding her stomach, still feeling the pain of their last clash.

‘Is she to be my opponent tomorrow? Weak’ he said arrogantly, looking at Liyun like he is looking at an ant.

‘YOU!’

This is too much for Sigrid to bear. It almost looks like Liyun is about to die. Fearing this, Sigrid made a rash decision.

Sigrid jumped and this time he use his Light of Truth Stick technique and he aim his attack at Arial spine using his stick.

But just about an inch before it was about to strike Arial spine, suddenly the stick bend by an invisible force and then it break into a thousand pieces and Sigrid hand produce a cracking noise as he screamed.

Arial concentrate Imposing Presence on his body giving him a thin layer of protection all around his body but a thick concentration of inner energy.

Everyone that is seeing this spectacle all feel fear in their heart. The Abbess of Ermeishan. Monk Sigrid of Yilin. Mu Liyun of Ermeishan.

All this reputable figures, likely winner of this tournament and an Elder of a respectable sect is dominated by one person.

Arial stands there like an imposing mountain, could not be moved, could not be destroyed, his robe fluttered with the wind, looking at the crowd like he was a celestial being.

(almost like a poem right?)

The Abbes is spouting blood endlessly from her mouth, while Liyun has her throat crushed, writing in pain and Sigrid had his hand broken and whimpering in pain

‘A monster’ some say.

‘Teacher’ Xiyun cried.

‘DON’T KILL MY SISTER!’ she yelled, there is a trace of worries and concern in her voice, begging him not to kill her sister.

Of course Arial did not intend to kill Liyun. After all he knows the real reason why Xiyun want to learn from him.

But on the other hand, in Xiyun perspective, Xiyun is worried because, even though she has told Arial all about her past, she didn’t know Arial.

To her, her teacher is an eccentric. He does what he wants, when he want it. He does what he feels, when he feels like it.

He doesn’t care about other people opinion of him.

At least that is her opinion of him. Arial then throw Liyun back to the disciple. Quickly they receive their Senior.

The other sect Elder did not dare move.

They have seen his power. Many of their disciples are either unconscious or fainted. Only the Elders are still standing.

And even they are not confident they can defeat him.

‘I will give my warning now. Do not dare presume about me. I will tell you this abbess. Make your disciples surrender tomorrow. Or I will kill her in the arena tomorrow.’

Then from the hills, a green silhouette landed.

‘What happen here?’ she said looking at the broken tree, the hundreds of unconscious man and sensing a malevolent presence standing with full authority in the middle of this crisis.

She looks at the unconscious Mu Liyun and then she said to Arial as she begins to understand the situation that just unfolds.

‘Did you kill her?’

‘Kill her? No. I didn’t.’

‘Huu’ she sighed a relieved breath that no one is killed. If not, there will be a lot that she needs to explain.

Arial then said.

‘All of you leave if you do not want to end up like them. And Ermeishan? Clean the blood. I don’t have time to clean the blood. So you do it.’ The Ermeishan disciple just meekly nodded.

They do not dare glare at Arial…not anymore. Seeing their Abbess easily defeated, they know their own measure of abilities.

They understand if Arial wished it he could take their life as easy as snapping a branch of a fragile tree.

‘Hehehe’ Xiyun laughs at her former sisters.

‘Yes. Do that. Did you hear my teacher decree? You, stinky, no- brain, f-‘

‘Xiyun!’

Startled she reply

‘Teacher!’

‘Come in and shut the door!’

‘Yes, teacher’

They all look as Arial, the Divine Dragon as he is known from that day enter his house with majestic aura, as the people watch in awe on his wake.

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