Shi Sheng felt like they were really ignoring her far too much. ‘I’m the current Sect Master of the Demon Sect, okay? The hell are you guys all pointing at Jiang Zhan for? This idiot’s here to steal the limelight from me(lz)!’
Shi Sheng pulled Jiang Zhan behind her.
“Crazy lady, the hell are you doing?!” Jiang Zhan glared at Shi Sheng.
“You talk too much.” Shi Sheng calmly swept a gaze over him. “Take one step forward, and I’ll kill that puppy of yours.”
As expected, Jiang Zhan’s body halted and he took back his leg to stand still.
Though of course, that didn’t stop him from trying to gain the verbal advantage. “What’s a woman like you trying so hard for? Just stand behind me!”
“To help you block any attacks coming from that direction?”
Jiang Zhan was angered to the point he wanted to stamp his foot. “Don’t look down on me! I’m just not strong temporarily!”
Shi Sheng shrugged. “But they’re attacking now.”
‘Not strong temporarily? Do you think you’re on a cooldown for a health regen skill or something?’
The look in Jiang Zhan’s eyes changed, and he suddenly fell silent. The hands that were dangling by his sides slowly clenched into fists.
“Sect Master, don’t be reckless!” Ting Feng drew nearer to Jiang Zhan and reminded him in a lowered voice.
“What kind of a man am I if she has to stand in front of me?!” There was a hint of frustration in his tone.
“Sect Master…” Ting Feng was in a bind. “Ms Wu Zheng is pretty strong, and you don’t have any other options right now… But once you’ve overcome the next half a year, you’ll be able to stand in front of her!”
Ting Feng was afraid Jiang Zhan would abandon all his progress due to a moment’s impulse, so he put his all into persuading the latter.
Jiang Zhan’s expression eased up slightly. He only had to wait half a year more before his Nether Mantra could reach the ninth level.
The Nether Mantra was very weak and basically useless in the beginning. Additionally, one couldn’t practise other techniques simultaneously with the Nether Mantra.
Jiang Zhan had been practising the Nether Mantra ever since he was young. Even if he wanted to practise other techniques after the events at the Demon Sect, it was too late. So he could only grit his teeth and carry on with the Nether Mantra.
Rumour had it that once one reached the ninth level, they would have the power to command nature itself.
Indeed, no one in the Demon Sect had ever reached the ninth level. Jiang Zhan was the only one to persevere this long and be this close to success.
“Wu Zheng, what’re you doing?!”
This shriek pulled Jiang Zhan out of his thoughts. He raised his eyes to look in the direction of the noise.
He was just in time to see Shi Sheng bring her sword down on someone, causing them to retreat in panic. They tripped and went tumbling down the mountain, their screams getting more distant as they fell.
“This isn’t my fault. He fell on his own.” Shi Sheng shrugged, an innocent expression on her face.
‘Would he have fallen in the first place if you didn’t attack him?!’
The Demon Sect engaged in combat with the people below, while Shi Sheng remained at her spot in the back, unmoving.
Fu Yiyun and Bai-fu didn’t move either. It was as if both parties were competing to see who was more patient.
The gleaming of blades crossed as fresh blood pooled on the stones below.
Shi Sheng slowly lifted her hand, causing her sword to slice the air, making ripples that seemed tangible as they caused the plants around her to rustle. It overall made for quite an imposing sight.
Bai-fu and Fu Yiyun immediately went on alert and stared intently at her.
Slowly, a smile bloomed on her calm face. That smile was too brilliant, like the first ray of sunshine breaking through dark clouds on an overcast day, or like the sudden rejuvenation of withered flowers.
Her figure flashed and disappeared into the crowd, that brilliant smile seeming to linger at her original spot.
By the time Fu Yiyun and Bai-fu reacted, they had to witness their people get cut down one by one.
“You go, Sect Master!”
“Sect Master’s going to conquer all of jianghu!”
The Demon Sect members that had lost their opponents actually started cheering her on.
Fu Yiyun’s expression changed slightly as he brought Bai-fu with him into retreating off the mountain. ‘This woman’s actually gotten stronger!’
By the time Shi Sheng dealt with the rest, Fu Yiyun and Bai-fu had already successfully retreated.
Shi Sheng told them to toss the bodies out.
She patrolled once around the mountain to make sure there weren’t any she missed before returning. The bodies had already been dealt with in her absence. Jiang Zhan and Ting Feng were still there.
“Sect Master, I wanted to ask you for a while now: weren’t you using Frostmoon previously? What’s that sword you’re using now? It’s so powerful!” Ting Feng’s eyes gleamed as he stared at the sword in her hand.
Gu Yu sped over from the distance, clearly quite interested in her sword as well.
Shi Sheng looked at her sword indecisively. ‘What’s a good name?’
Iron Sword, “…” ‘Having my name changed again… Master, have you almost forgotten my original name at this point?’
Shi Sheng replied with a serious expression, “Number 1 Sword.”
Ting Feng, “…” ‘What an offhand name.’
Gu Yu, “…” ‘Vulgar!’
Jiang Zhan didn’t speak, his gaze complicated as he looked at her.
Shi Sheng gave him an odd look. ‘What’s up with this kid? I’m a bit unused to this sudden quietness.’
“I’m going into seclusion.” Jiang Zhan spoke in an uncharacteristically calm voice.
Shi Sheng raised her brow slightly. “You can beat me after you come back out?”
“Of course!” Jiang Zhan’s calm didn’t last even a minute before his pride started showing again.
Shi Sheng didn’t say anything.
Jiang Zhan harrumphed. “You’d best believe it! Just you watch!”
Shi Sheng shrugged. “If that’s what you want.”
Jiang Zhan scanned their surroundings. “Come with me for a bit.”
“Just come along! Why’re you so chatty?”
Shi Sheng, “…” ‘Just who’s the chatty one here?!’
Jiang Zhan brought her to an isolated area before suddenly turning around, hugging her, and releasing her before she had a chance to react and lash out at him.
“Wu Zheng, I’ll marry you once I come out.”
Shi Sheng was completely dumbstruck. ‘What the hell?’
Jiang Zhan’s face was a bit red. “It’s not like anyone else will want you, so I’ll take you in.”
‘Oh, well what a sacrifice on your part! Who the hell wants to marry you?!’
Jiang Zhan’s voice suddenly turned despondent. “If I can even come out, that is.”
There were only two outcomes from attempting to reach the ninth level of the Nether Mantra.
Success. Or death.
The atmosphere was a bit heavy. Jiang Zhan exhaled a breath of muddy air. He ransacked the room for a long time before finally finding everything he was looking for. He gave them all to Shi Sheng.
“I’m going now. If I don’t come out, the Demon Sect is yours.” He paused. “I’ll definitely come out.”
Whether that last part was meant for Shi Sheng or himself, even he didn’t know.
He strode out of the room, the sunlight blinding him and causing him to be a bit dizzy.
He couldn’t wait any longer. Ting Feng was right. She was strong, to the point he felt afraid. Afraid that if he didn’t make progress, he’d never catch up to her.
Shi Sheng was left standing with a bunch of random stuff in her arms, still a bit dumbfounded.
She only reacted after quite a while. ‘Jiang Zhan probably likes Wu Zheng. He remembers what happened when they were young so clearly. And since it’s not like they have any deep enmity, the only explanation is that he likes Wu Zheng.’
A pity…she wasn’t Wu Zheng.
It was impossible between them.
Jiang Zhan entering closed-door cultivation made no difference to the Demon Sect. Most of its members felt like Shi Sheng was a pretty good Sect Master, because ever since she came, they always had meat to eat and money to spend.
 Gaming reference to when your heals have a cooldown before you can use them again. Maybe there’s a similar system for bosses?
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