AOH – Chapter 125

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CHAPTER 125: NEARING THE HEAVEN PEAK

On the Wind Peak the battle between Yilin and Shadow Skulker has been concluded.

Even though Monk Sigrid has one of his arm broken but hanks to Divine Flower ointment the pain lessen and he even managed to snatch a win from the Shadow Skulker.

However he won it with much difficulty.

Even though Shadow Skulker inner skill is not powerful as Yilin, their external skill, hiding, stealth and speed are top notch and even Sigrid did not pass it easily.

Arial on the other hand heard the news of Yilin winning by his disciple. Xiyun went to the arena and everyone give her way.

After all even though Xiyun herself is not formidable, even unknown before in the martial art community but since the last display of Arial prowess, everyone knows that she is the disciple of All Conquering Sect.

And if her teacher is crazy enough to challenge all the sect just because Ermeishan wanted the girl back, they dare not imagine what will happen to them if they hurt Arial disciple.

It is because of this reason that the other sect did not once utter any hurtful words. After all strength is power in the martial art world.

And Arial has proven himself without any doubt. Sigrid, Liyun, the Abbess. All reputable figures defeated by one person, all attacking him.

It is clear to all the sect that the winner of this martial art meets is Arial the Divine Dragon. There is no competitor on his level.

Now, Liyun is cooking some meat and rabbit she caught from the nearby forest. Scent of herb and plant is also mixed together with rabbit meat creating a very aromatic smell of foods.

Arial just wiping his sweat after practicing in the forest.

Xiyun knows not to interrupt her teacher when he is practicing in the woods, so she stay away.

Arial understanding of Imposing Presence has reached at least 10 percent. This is a progress for him and he is excited of course.

Today Arial seem content and he decided to rest his body. Train for a few days and rest for a few days.

That is his way of learning. And it works. That is why Arial keep training that way. He is heading back.

Arial enter the house and he smell the aromatic scent of pheasant with a hint of Laojing wine.

‘Xiyun!’

Xiyun who is cooking said

‘I am at the kitchen teacher.’

Arial walk to the kitchen.

‘Pheasant with Laojing wine?’

‘Correct. It seems teacher sense of smell is as formidable as ever.’

‘Where did you get Laojing wine?’

‘Stole it from Ermeishan storage the day I come here.’ Xiyun said with an innocent face, as she takes a pinch of salt and put it in the chicken stock.

‘Hahaha’ Arial laugh.

This girl may lack many things but wit isn’t one of it. But Arial admit, that this girl is also very mischievous and naughty, like a little monkey.

While her face is of that a beauty, her behavior is like a child, in pranking people and making fun of people. Arial notices this as he keep living under the same roof as Xiyun.

‘Teacher, please rest yourselves. It will not be long now until I finished cooking. There is still some cutting and boiling and then it will be ready.’

Arial nodded.

‘I will clean myself first. Then we will eat.’ Xiyun nodded.

Arial quickly went to bath and clean himself.

‘Refreshing’ he thought to himself.

After hours of training in the forest his body is a little tired. Even his stamina will drop if he trains to long in the Scape.

This time one hour in the real world is the same as 12 hours in the scape. Arial hunch is correct.

The longer he practices in the Scape the more he become adept in it and the time spend in the Scape becomes longer.

This must be one of the Dragon Arts. Dragon Arts..huh. He never thought that such thing exist. It just shows that there is still many things to learn in this world.

Arial once read it in one of the obscure book he bought from a Vorthy trader. Arial bought it with a cheap price of 10 silver.

That book was written by some unknown author so Arial just read it with little to no recognition.

But now maybe that unknown author knows more about dragon then the other scholars he read about in the matter of dragon.

Dragon Arts is what is equivalent to human martial art.

Not all dragons learn it. Only the Dragon Warrior of the King of Dragon. And Gaveror does look like a Dragon Warrior though at the time Arial fought it the dragon was sick.

Now, of course the dragon is not.

As Arial scoop another bath of water and slather the water around his body Arial do felt something after his heart is swapped.

Sometimes at night he will dream of some distant places, places he never been before, in some ice region, sometimes in a fiery pit that extend to the center of the Earth, sometimes in place so dark that the eyes couldn’t see.

Arial believe this is what Gaveror see. A bond that will only be severed in death. A bond with a dragon warrior.

Do Gaveror know?  That he comes from another time? Another timeline? Then after finished cleaning up Arial heard Xiyun yelled from the lower floor

‘Food!’

Arial wear his clothe and he come down and sit on the chair. Xiyun also sit on the chair. Before Xiyun would never dare to sit with even her senior but now?

Now she even dares to seat with the Sect leader. But of course that is only possible because Arial doesn’t know the custom of martial art world and truthfully he doesn’t care.

In the court he has to care.

After all, people will see his family to be rude and ignorant of the ways of the nobles. In a way, Arial is a smart politician giving both what the populace and the elites want.

For the populace, he gave them the image of a benevolent and generous lord, inspires love and hope while for the elite, he gave them the image of a strong lord, powerful, domineering, as noble as them, inspires respect and fear.

‘Like always your food is delicious.’

‘Thank you, teacher’ she said as she put some more meat inside Arial bowl.

‘Teacher when can I do what you did?’

‘Do what?’

‘Last night.’

‘Oh that thing. When you are ready’ he said as he took one of the pheasant thigh and using the fork put it inside his mouth.

‘Heaven, this cooking of yours’ Arial said.

‘When I’m ready? That doesn’t sound like an answer.’

‘It doesn’t’ Arial said, his attention is still on the dish.

This time he tasted the chicken soup and his face shows that he is pleased.

‘Yes. Alright Xiyun. Let us eat first. After this I will answer your question.’ Arial said. He wanted to savour this food.

‘Yes teacher.’ Xiyun nodded as he return her attention back to her dishes.

So they eat in silence, only the sound of munching and slurping can be heard. Arial hungry appetite seems to come from the dragon.

After Arial finished eating, he drink Wujing tea, courtesy of Ermeishan. It seems Xiyun stole many things from Ermeishan larder and storage room.

If they realize their Laojing wine, and Wujing tea disappears they surely will be furious. But Arial is sure that this wine and tea is of high quality. After all he felt instantly energized after drinking it.

But do they dare come here again? Arial mused.

I have defeated their leader. Will they dare to risk their life because of a wine and tea? Of course not.

No matter how stupid they are what is the meaning doing such pointless sacrifice? There is none. Tea and wine can be bought. It is not that rare of thing.

‘Alright Xiyun. Now I am full, my body is comfortable and I am in good mood, ask away your question. I will answer it to the best of my abilities’

‘Teacher will you teach me that move of yours? The move you used to defeat the Abbess and my sister?’

‘Three years. Didn’t I tell you?’

‘Can’t I make it shorter?’ Xiyun asked.

Seeing how easily her teacher subdues the Abbess, she knows training under him will surely make her able to achieve her goal of defeating the Abbess.

‘Patience. That is what you have to learn. Shortcut? If there is a shortcut in learning wouldn’t all people in the world will be like me? The very method I teach you is a shortcut. It is the sea. How many times I have to remind you?’

Xiyun nodded. Arial smile a bit then he continued, making sure his disciple understand clearly about his technique and method of teaching.

‘The sea. Do you understand the vastness of the sea just by walking along the shore? Do you understand the deepness of the sea just by swimming around the surface? Do you understand the power of the sea just by being hit by their weak waves? Patience. Hard work. Perseverance. Diligence. All of this is the quality you should have embedded in your habits if you want to learn my technique. To become formidable. To become strong. I spent many years in the Libr- I mean in the castle to learn and master the cultivation technique. This is why…patience is needed. It is a virtue’

‘I understand teacher.’

Xiyun drops her head as she is believed she is reprimanded by her teacher. Seeing this Arial rise in anger a bit.

This Xiyun keep pestering him even after all the detail explanation he has given her.

‘Have I steered you wrong?’ Xiyun shakes her head.

‘Did you not feel stronger?’ She nodded

‘Did your stamina did not increase?’ She nodded again

‘Haven’t your breathing becomes smoother?’

‘Yes, teacher.’

‘Am I a miracle worker? A deity?’

‘No, teacher.’

‘Three years Xiyun.’ Arial said, making his voice smooth.

‘After three years, just ask. Sword technique. Palm technique. Kicking technique. Aura technique. Ask and you shall receive. For now, count your blessing.’

Hearing the smooth voice of her teacher, Xiyun knows that her teacher anger has dissipated.

Then Xiyun raise her face and smile a pleasant smile,

‘Teacher then I will train in my room’ And she flew to the second floor and wink at Arial.

‘Mischievous kid.’ Arial said smiling. As he look at the fading back of her disciple.

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

Arial is still sitting in the table. He is waiting for the announcement of his fight with Ermeishan.

Will they still fight him even after all that? Arial has warned them. Then Arial heard the announcement reverberating around the Peak.

‘I will announce the decision in the Wind Peak’ that smooth mysterious voice speaks.

‘Yilin fighting Shaow Skulker resulted in Yilin emerging victoriurs. As for Ermeishan battle with All Conquering Sect, it has been informed to me that they will pull out from the competition for personal reason so the All-Conquering Sect will win by disqualification. To Yilin and All Conquering Sect congratulations. The venue for the next battle will be in Black peak. For a week, the participant is allowed to rest before the battle. The other sect is allowed to watch. It is nearing the end of this battle.’

Batrisya said and the she said

‘But do not forget the main event. The fight of the 4 Immortals will happen after the last battle is concluded’ she said, and applause can be heard.

‘That is what we are waiting for!’ Some yelled.

Even though Arial could not see Batrisya Arial could imagine she is smiling right now. Arial on the other hand is grinning.

‘The 4 Immortals huh.’

Then Arial lower his senses and the sound of the chattering disappear. For today Arial will let Xiyun train before they ascend to the next peak.

Deciding this Arial began arranging his item and takes a quick nap.

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CHAPTER 126: CHANGE OF ATTITUDE

DARK PEAK

Arial and his disciple Xiyun have arrived at the Peak and they could see the reason why this place is called Dark Peak.

In just first glance Arial could not see anybody from the other sect but Arial sense that they have already settled around the Peak.

This Peak gives Xiyun the shivers. Not the cold shivers but shivers that enervate the nerves and tugging at the heartstring, giving a sense of dread and fear.

The place has forest , but not the kind of forest like the Waterfall Peak or the Wind Peak with their green leaves and soothing properties, but dark forest with strange sound coming from the woods, a frightening aura that seem to emanate directly from the gloomy forest.

The forest itself is black, with black leaves and thick brown bark.

There is no doubt in anybody mind, that in that forest lies many dangerous beast, like wolf, bears and many other.

And Arial could see immediately the caverns around the Peak, the large caves and some holes on the ground.

There are huge caverns with a tower like design pillars. The pillars of the huge cavern has large hole.

Then one of The Maidens of the Western Serpent come without a word to Arial and Xiyun and handed a parchment to Xiyun and bow slightly to Arial showing that they recognized and acknowledged the Sect Leader of All Conquering Sect.

Xiyun receive the parchement and the Maiden fly away from the scene.

‘Teacher, let me read the parchment’ Arial nodded. Xiyun open the parchment and read it before relaying it to her teacher.

After reading Xiyun informed her teacher that the other fortress in the Peak has been taken by the other sect leaving Arial the East fortress.

‘Fine, then that will be our place’ Arial said. Xiyun just nodded. Arial began determining where the East is and started to move.

Arial nodded again and urge Xiyun to follow.

The crowd of the martial artist on the other hand makes their tent near fortress like building around the Peak.

Like always the other took the South, North and West while Arial chose the East. Settling down, Xiyun clean around the place they are going to sleep. It is only around that area Xiyun clean and sweep.

After all even Xiyun could not clean the fortress-like accommodation. It is different if All Conquering Sect has many disciples like Ermeishan or Linzi or Nanshan.

While the other sect disciple camp near the South, West, North and South no one dare to approach the East side of the Peak.

After all considering what happens during that night, the memory is still fresh in the mind of the other sect and they do not know the reaction of the dragon if they camp near the East fortress.

In a way this make Arial more relaxed.

Since the parchment also stated that the battle will start in a week, Arial has planned to train himself and he also thinks this one week would be a good idea for Xiyun to gain experience and train to her fullest.

Arial have great expectation for Xiyun future progress. It is clear to him, Xiyun is not dim witted and understand the principles of his school in a fast and efficient way.

The only worry that Arial has, is that if Xiyun will be too rash and impatient, thus will harm her future potential.

After all, he knows her motivation for learning under him and it is because of that reason Arial is worried that she might push herself when it is not necessary.

For the first day, both of them train in that fortress like accommodation.

Arial did not order Xiyun to hunt anything in that forest yet but only told her to train in her room, understanding the principles of his internal energy cultivation, and meditate in a calm manner, without rushing.

In her large room, a wave of wind is slowly forming around Xiyun legs and she is also sweating on her forehead, her heart beat increased and her strength is increasing by leaps and bound since she learned the cultivation technique of Levitia.

For some reason she did not understand why her internal energy reach into such height. Of course the Levitia technique is remarkable but Xiyun training and progress is terrifying.

She thought it was the Cultivation technique but she has a nagging suspicion that is not the real reason.

Before she also trains in the cultivation technique but never had she reached these heights.

She is not considered a genius like her sister but that doesn’t mean she is an idiot.

Her intelligence is top notch, only her understanding is not as enlightened as her sister. But that is only in external skill and not to mention Xiyun did not receive one on one training with the Abbess like her older sister did.

She is also suspicious of her improvement in inner energy skills.

Of course she deflected this suspicion after all Arial technique is a miraculous technique and even Xiyun had to admit this.

She notices something different, something profoundly different between Arial internal energy cultivation and the Ermeishan cultivation technique.

And that is, there is no disciplined method in Arial cultivation technique.

The Ermeishan always have some methods, some trials, and some bottleneck before they can reach the next level of understanding and when that bottleneck is broken, only then someone can continue to cultivate.

But that is not the case with All Conquering sect cultivation technique. It kept flowing endlessly…like a sea, giving boundless energy.

Arial on the other hand of course do not know this fact about bottleneck or limits. Why? Because he never heard of such thing and he never experience such things.

He has no teacher; of knowledge of the martial art world. How could he know that there is bottleneck, trials, obstacle to reach the mastery of internal energy like him?

In a way, Arial learn from a book, and in his view, all martial artist train in cultivation technique and all of their inner energy depends on how long they have been training.

There is some truth in that but that is not always the case. If not how could the younger Eastern Devil or Western Serpent reach their status today?

Everyone have their own way of practicing and cultivating internal energy and each of them have their own trial, some obstacle, some bottleneck, some frustrating moments but Arial never learn any of this fact.

Levitia Cultivation Technique is free, and as such there is no such thing as bottleneck. It is this fact that made Arial unbelievably strong.

It could be said if Arial try to find a challenge for himself, there could only a handful of people that could rival him.

But Arial don’t know this.

This is why he is desperate to determine his power by challenging the 4 Immortals. Of course, Xiyun don’t know this either or she might tell this to her teacher that his technique has no bottleneck, no trials that need to be surpassed.

Xiyun knows her teacher is powerful and there is no doubt in everyone eyes that Arial is without a doubt is the champion of this meet.

When he faces Sigrid in a week time, then all will be well. That is Xiyun thoughts. After all her teacher have already defeated Sigrid.

Not to mention he was also fighting Liyun and Abbess Lin simultaneously at the time. His prowess is undeniable.

No one will ever bully her if she roams the martial art world. The only problem Xiyun have is her lack of technique.

She thought by entering All Conquering Sect she will learn many techniques but who would have thought that’s she is only allowed to learn technique after her internal energy reaches a certain level.

But Xiyun is not angry at her teacher. After all this cultivation technique is very powerful.

Sooner or later, she will learn the technique and when that time comes, Xiyun will carve her name as one of the famous figures of the martial art world.

A few years are nothing. But Xiyun have a wish she could reach that level faster. But she will not rush.

Her teacher, Arial has warned her of this. People think by practicing everyday their body will undoubtedly become stronger faster.

Well, it is not entirely wrong but for Arial school it is wrong. His technique is free and therefore rushing, is forbidden.

Hesitating is also forbidden. Train. Rest. Train. Rest. That is the way of Arial school. A routine of training and resting.

The effect of the resting will help the cultivation process and healing of nervous system and also have the benefit of resting the mind.

But Xiyun is also not to be underestimated. Her profound knowledge of the intricacies of inner skill is on par with her genius older sister.

And as such she understands some of the complex cultivation technique of Arial. For the first day, they did not do much other than just training in their room.

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IN A SECLUDED HUT IN DARK PEAK

The torch fire can be seen in this secluded hut. 8 torches giving off a faint light in that secluded hut and provide some warmth in the windy night.

The sound of crickets and Night hopper can be heard and the moon can be seen, showing that faint luster of light near the dark and gloomy forest.

The flame sometimes flickers because of the harsh and cold wind of the nights. The sound of wolf howling and the hooting of the Big Eyed Bird can also be heard.

In that hut there are 8 figures sitting while another 8 figures is standing with a torch in their hand, each one beside the eight figures.

The 8 figures are the Elders of each sect and some sect leader.

They are the Elders of Sun Moon Sect, Blinding Sword sect, Yilin, Taojing, Limitless Blade Sect, Five Finger Peak, Wuhao, and Lishan.

The Ermeishan it seems is not present. While the evil sect is also not present in this meeting.

‘Have we been reduced to this?’

One of the elders of Taojing scoffed, looking at the faces of the other elders and sect leaders.

‘Hiding in a hut. A man should be upright and brave.’

‘Upright and brave?’ Five Finger Peak Elders snicker.

‘Go then. Be brave and upright. Go greet the dragon in his house and let see how being brave and upright help you.’

And Taojing Elders glares at the Five Finger Peal Elder. Yet they did not answer Five Finger Peak.

‘There should be a middle ground with the All-Conquering Sect and the other schools. There must be a way. Why should we make such enemies when there is yet no great enmity between us and him? What is the benefit of angering such a man?’

One of the elders from Sun Moon Sect said advising the other elders, to not be discouraged. Xiao De the representative of the school in the meet nodded.

‘True. I could not believe that exponent is so unreasonable.’ One of Wuhao elders speaks smiling.

After all, they secretly grinning looking at their enemy leader, Abbess Lin humiliated in that fight. Of course they would rather make friends with the dragon rather than their enemies.

‘Tell that to my disciple. Tell that to my school!’  Revered Erlanger of Yilin shouted.

‘He broke Sigrid bone and inflicts internal injuries on him. If not for Revered Eastern Devil Divine Flower Ointment my disciple will be crippled if not a disable person.’

Sigrid just dropped his head.

‘And whose fault is that?’ the sect leader of Blinding Sword Sect, Fan Huang asked.

‘Isn’t he is at fault? Isn’t he too arrogant to measure his own abilities? Why blame the dragon?’ Fan Huang rebuking Revered Erlanger outburst of anger.

‘And not to mention we did ganged up on him. No wonder the dragon feel angry. Even I would have felt the same.’ He continued glaring at the other sect.

The other elders and sect leader also feel embarrassed by this fact. But during that time, they never thought that the sect leader of the All-Conquering Sect to be so formidable.

They recognize the dragon talent but of course they never once think that this dragon at that age could yet equal them.

But their eyes were opened that night. Abbess Lin, is even injured and her disciple has her vocal chords broken just by a choke.

That night if not for the All-conquering sect held back all those three figures would probably die meaninglessly under Arial power.

‘Hmmm’ the other sighed.

They have made themselves an enemy. A formidable enemy at that. They all know what each other are so bother about.

That night they all think if they all accompany the Ermeishan, Arial would not have resisted too much and handed them the girl.

After all, even though there might be a perfectly reasonable reason for Xiyun to run away from Ermeishan sect, Arial should not have interfered.

In their misunderstanding they thought Arial is smitten by the young girl and kidnapped her, or persuade her to change school.

They all have their misunderstanding.

Some thought Arial kidnapped Xiyun. Some thought that Arial stole Xiyun away from Ermeishan.

Some thought Xiyun is running away from the Ermeishan after doing some wrong in the sect and ask Arial help in shielding her.

Who would have thought that the girl is his disciple and have changed her school? Of course what the people didn’t know is the real reason why the Abbess wanted Xiyun so badly.

When the Abbes found the letter, she could care less whether Xiyun change her school or not but that all change when she went to her storeroom and found out that her Laojing wine is missing and also the herbs and the tea.

She was furious like a lion mother, screaming ad cursing. How could she not? She vowed to get it back.

Even though she did not want to offend the All-Conquering Sect, this is the last straw.

All her works from two and seven, cultivating, making the pill and then grinding it, and fused it with so many herbs she got from Eastern Devil and Western Serpent only to have all of it missing.

All of those are not normal ingredient. It looks like ordinary Laojing tea and Wujing wine but it’s not.

The Abbess has painstakingly ground her cultivation inner energy pill that would increase one internal energy and power by leaps and bound but not only that also increase their longevity.

Whoever drinks it will be blessed with a sudden increase of internal energy and strength.

Usually such medicine will shorten lives, even though it blessed the one who eat it with increase of energy but the Abbess learn under the Medicine Fairy, the rival of Poison King during her youth and she learn secretly how to counteract the harmful nature of her pill and how best to distribute it.

And that method is by food, letting the intestines to absorb it and spread evenly in the blood nerve travelling all the way absorbing at every veins of the body until it reach to the center of energy.

Process of synthesizing will take 7 days.

That is the reason she wanted Xiyun so badly. Who would have thought she is so easily defeated by Arial thus creating this predicament.

And who could have predicted both Arial and Xiyun is drinking that wine and tea every day, draining decades of the Abbess hard work into the mouth of another, without ever fully knowing their power is being increased every time they sipped the tea and drink the wine.

‘Let us meet him and discuss this thing. Tell him we mean him no harm, no bad intention and maybe he will listen.’

‘Maybe, he would. Maybe he wouldn’t. Who knows? People as strong as him, they do what they want when they want.’

The rest of the Elder also nodded in agreement. This matter is not so simple. They all know how exponents act.

Fang Huang once met an exponent, the one that secluded themselves deep in mountains or caves by a fortunate encounter during his younger days, roaming the martial art world, accompanied with his friends, with burning desire and dreams in his heart of becoming a respectable figure in the martial art world community.

He has the opportunity to meet Blind Monk Wen. He is eccentric. That is how Fang Huang describes him every time he told his story.

Do what he wants on the time he wants. He could as easily kill you as he saved you. There is no rhyme or reason with such exponents.

Even though the schools have many expert but to claim that they are expert exponent only a few would dare to boast like that.

Abbess Lin is an expert exponent, so does the Abbot of Yilin which is still at the temple sending his reverend and the other elders.

Only a few sects come with their sect leader. Expert exponent is only just below the 4 Immortals, if they have to rank them.

Sect leader is a rank beneath exponent. That is how they make such distinction. After all, it’s not like they can measure their strength in numbers. And making Arial, their enemy is not their intention.

‘If he is only a lord we can still find a way to live but he is also an exponent of such caliber if we offend him, it will not be easy.’ Fang Huang said and Yilin revered grudgingly nodded.

They all know Arial is a noble lord, with vast region under him.  But if that is the only reason they are afraid they will not be here, whispering in a cold windy night.

It is because Arial is also an exponent.

‘What if-’ Xiao De said and then he shut his mouth.

‘What Xiao-er?’

‘What if we try to approach him softly?’

‘ Softly?’

‘How do we do that?’

‘He has a disciple right. A master heart is on his disciple’ the other nodded.

‘We befriend his disciple and then we throw a banquet and ask her to bring her teacher. That way he might be open to our reasoning.’

The other elders look at each other and they all nodded in agreement.

‘That doesn’t sound like such a bad idea.’ That night they agree on the plan and began their preparations.

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