When Yi Ping opened his eyes, he saw Ji Lingfeng.
His entire body was aching painfully but when he saw Ji Lingfeng again, all his pain vanished.
He said excitedly, "You…you are well?"
When Yi Ping looked at Ji Lingfeng, he was filled with warm tears and despite his aching pain; he was more alive than ever.
Sometimes Yi Ping feared Ji Lingfeng and did not know when she would suddenly turn against him by hitting him despite her angelic beauty. But from now on, if she were to hit him, he would never complain anymore…
It was because when he was fighting with Gu Tianle, it was Ji Lingfeng who had taken the most powerful first strike and when they were both severely injured, it was also her that disregard her own life to save him…
Even when she had no strength, she had forced herself to bring him to safety, hence worsening her own injuries.
Even when it was crucial that she could reserve her last vital energy for herself, she had instead used all her vital energies for him…
Even though he was in a daze, he knew that she had endangered her own life four times consecutive for him!
When he remembered how much she had helped him all this while despite being nasty to him at times, he was very guilty.
All of a sudden, he realized that he had fallen in love with her and she was very beautiful, very angelic in his heart…
Ji Lingfeng blinked her eyes as she thought, "Why is he staring at me all of sudden? Usually, he can't even be bothered to look at me…"
But she quickly said, "You should worry for yourself first. Quick, lift your vital breath and circulate it throughout your body. Check if there are any obstructions…"
He did as he was told and after a while he said. "My breathing is smooth."
Just he was about to get up, he saw a lady in a veiled straw hat standing behind Ji Lingfeng. He asked, "There is someone here?"
Ji Lingfeng smiled beautifully, "She is Xiao Youxue and she has saved you."
Yi Ping got up and pay respectfully to her, "Benevolent Senior! I am in your debts. I have no way of thanking you…"
Ji Lingfeng smiled and said, "You don't have to say anything to her. She is a mute and deaf person."
Yi Ping was taken aback, "She can't hear me? Then how do you know her name?"
Ji Lingfeng laughed softly, "You are so stupid! She can write!"
Yi Ping was startled and said, "That is right! I can write to her." And immediately he started to write on the ground with a wooden stick.
He wrote simply, "I am Yi Ping. Thank you for saving me. I am in your debt…"
Xiao Youxue nodded and took away his wooden stick as she shook her hands.
Yi Ping said, "Even though you are saying that it is alright but I can never forget your benevolent kindness. I really thought that I am a goner. But when I am in a coma, I could feel a gentle touch comforting me and that is what brought me back to the mortal realm. Alas, I am so silly. You cannot hear me…"
Yi Ping suddenly thought that this veiled lady must be the most beautiful lady in the world. Her regal appearances and her willingness to expend so much effort in saving him touched him immensely.
He wrote again with his finger on the ground, "Senior, I am but a stranger but you are willing to expend your vital energy for me at your own personal risk. I am wordless and full of gratuities. If there is anything for me to do for you in future, I do anything for you."
Ji Lingfeng sighed sadly, "I saved you so many times yet I have never seen you saying anything like this to me!"
Yi Ping said, "I will also do anything for you as long as it is not against the martial code of righteousness."
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Ji Lingfeng pretended to be upset, "You don't have to add that 'as long as'. Humph, why is that I seem to be receiving the lesser gratitude?"
Yi Ping said coolly, "This lady here definitely won't ask me to do anything bad."
Ji Lingfeng said defiantly, "Then I will? How prejudice!"
Yi Ping said, "She is deaf and mute yet she is willing to help me at her own personal risk…her heart is simply too kind and lack the cunning to harm anyone."
All of a sudden, Ji Lingfeng threw a pebble at him but Yi Ping caught it with his hand. She said angrily, "Hmph, so I am not kind and have the cunning to hurt others!"
Yi Ping quickly said, "That is not what I meant also…"
Ji Lingfeng threw more pebbles at him as she said, "I like to see how many times you can avoid my hits!"
Xiao Youxue took a deep breath. She had expended nearly all her vital energies and her martial power was now weak. It was going to be a long time before she could fully recover. But she was happy that Yi Ping was able to talk and even able to move!
She had been so worried for him. Even though she was able to piece together his vital energy flow, she was not sure if he was able to wake up from the concussion. His injuries had been too severe. So when he opened his eyes, she was instantly glad.
She looked in envy at Ji Lingfeng and Yi Ping. They seemed to be a pair of quarreling couple…
Ji Lingfeng said, "You probably have lost all your martial power. If we were to fight now, you probably be crying and begging me to stop. But even if you have all your strength, I can still beat you. Stop catching my pebbles or I will really imbue my martial power into the pebbles and you'll be hurt!"
Yi Ping hummed coldly, "It seems that my enemies did not kill me but I am already killed by you."
All of a sudden, he dodged a pebble imbued by her martial power by moving his head and exclaimed, "You are for real!"
Ji Lingfeng smiled, "You think I am really joking? This is called, teaching an ungrateful person a lesson! Say sorry to me to make me stop."
Yi Ping said coldly, "Never! You…That time you kicked me in the valley and now you are embarrassing me in front of others."
All of a sudden, Ji Lingfeng stopped and said nothing. She had totally forgotten about Xiao Youxue. She silently scolded herself for being insensitive.
Yi Ping was surprised that Ji Lingfeng had suddenly gone quiet and he was a little worried. Was she seriously injured but kept it to herself?
He asked with concern, "Are…are you…alright?"
Ji Lingfeng averted her alluring eyes as she said softly, "You are just an ungrateful buffalo…" And then she began to ignore him.
Yi Ping turned to Xiao Youxue and wrote with his finger again, "Can I have a look at you so that I can repay Senior in the future?"
Xiao Youxue wrote and shook her head, "I am ugly. You will surely be very disappointed."
Yi Ping wrote, "Looks are secondary. The heart is what matters."
Xiao Youxue wrote, "Don't force me."
Ji Lingfeng said coldly, "You have just opened your eyes and yet you are already lusting for others. Shameful!"
Yi Ping ignored her and wrote again, "Sorry." He removed his white emerald phoenix long sword and wrote again, "This precious long sword may not be worth a lot but if you show me this long sword again the next time, I will do anything for you!"
Xiao Youxue reluctantly took the long sword as Yi Ping had already forcefully placed it into her hands!
Yi Ping had an electrifying feeling in his hands as he held her hands. Her hands were silken smooth and that was not what he had been expecting!
He had been expecting his savior to be an old lady!
If she was not an old lady, how could she possible manage the strong and soothing vital energy flow that he had felt?
All of a sudden, Yi Ping thoughts were interrupted by the sounds of approaching footsteps.
Ji Lingfeng and Xiao Youxue were alarmed too.
They had been discovered?
Yi Ping, Ji Lingfeng and Xiao Youxue were nervous. It was because all three of them had lost most of their martial power and could not even lift sufficient vital strength to fight…
Two old men had appeared from view.
Ji Lingfeng and Yi Ping had immediately recognized them as the Shangguan Qingyun the Protégé Master of the Divine Sword Martial Clan and Yan Nanfei the Protégé Master of the Zen Sect!
Yi Ping put up a defensive posture but because he had not recovered, his wounds had started to bleed again…
Shangguan Qingyun said, "Don't be alarm. We are not here to pursue you."
Ji Lingfeng asked in surprise, "You are not?"
Yan Nanfei said, "There are three of you?"
He had recognized Yi Ping and Ji Lingfeng but not the regal lady that was veiled.
Yan Nanfei said, "We are supposed to hunt you by the orders of the Honor Manor. Right now, almost all the orthodox clans that were at the Honor Manor is searching everywhere for you."
Yi Ping asked, "So that is why you are here?"
Shangguan Qingyun, "Young hero, we admire your courage but we are unable to help you openly. Even though Gongsun Bai had passed away but the Honor Manor remained influential. I will advise you to lie low for a long time with this maiden…"
Yan Nanfei sighed, "I am not sure if we did the right thing as she is from the Holy Hex Sect. A full scale battle between the orthodox and unorthodox clans may start very soon."
Yi Ping was immediately grateful as he said, "Old Seniors, I am truly grateful…"
Yan Nanfei said solemnly, "Don't be too happy yet. You need to be on the move immediately. If we can track you, so will the others and there will be many others very soon. Please take care."
Yi Ping nodded and again his spirit was burning with emotions! There was still martial justice after all!
Even Ji Lingfeng was surprised that they would be willing to let her off even though they knew that she was their enemy.
She immediately asked, "Why are you willing to spare me?"
Shangguan Qingyun said, "If I am not wrong, you must be the Holy Maiden of the Holy Hex Sect."
Ji Lingfeng nodded slowly.
Shangguan Qingyun added, "Who has never done any wrong? Moreover, just because you are from the unorthodox clan, it doesn't mean you are an evil doer. If you truly appreciate our gesture, perhaps you can advise your brother to calm the present situation down. There are too many fights and unrest these days."
Ji Lingfeng sighed, "If the orthodox clans do not provoke us, we will never think of antagonizing them either. But the Honor Manor is leading the entire orthodox fraternity against us…"
Shangguan Qingyun said solemnly, "If your brother had not killed the Old Sword Saint, the Honor Manor would never have the power to mobilize the entire orthodox clans to their banner."
Ji Lingfeng replied sharply, "My brother did not kill the Old Sword Saint. Why don't you muddle heads ask Zuo Tianyi yourself? Isn't it obvious that someone is intently sowing the discord between the unorthodox and the orthodox clans?"
Yan Nanfei asked, "Really?"
Ji Lingfeng was annoyed, "Ask Zuo Tianyi yourself. I don't wish to repeat myself. It doesn't matter if the Old Sword Saint was killed by my brother or not. His death was the perfect excuse for the Honor Manor to assert its domination over the entire fraternity."
Yan Nanfei sighed heavily, "That is true…"
Yan Nanfei took out a pouch and said, "This is our clan 'Prolonging Vital Purity Pill'. It can not only accelerate healing but also improved the purity of one's internal strength…"
Ji Lingfeng was shocked. This 'Prolonging Vital Purity Pill' was the martial treasure of the Zen Sect and was very rare. She had heard of it but she had thought that it was just a legend.
Even Shangguan Qingyun was stunned as he said, "Brother Yan, you can't even bear to consume these precious pills yourself. Why are you giving it to them?"
She took the pouch and looked saw there were two pills inside, "Yi Ping, look. This is the very good stuff."
She looked at Yan Nanfei and was courteous even though she was suspicious, "Why are you giving us this? We are after all completely strangers. Even if you admire us for our courage, there is no need to give us such precious gifts…"
Yan Nanfei said coolly, "You are wrong. We really need more heroes like this young man here who dare to challenge the Honor Manor. When I saw the two of you fighting against Gu Tianle, I suddenly remember the times when I was very young. At that time, I have no fear and plenty of courage. These pills are useless to me or to my protégés. We have all lost our courage a long time ago."
It was said that Yan Nanfei was the prominent Zen Master with a high level of cultivation. For him to give out such valuable pills away so selflessness exhibited his noble state of divinity!
Yi Ping face was wet with hot tears!
He was very touched that Yan Nanfei would offer to give them something so precious and to warn them that he really did not know what to say!
Ji Lingfeng did not hesitate and immediately took one of the pills and swallowed it.
Yi Ping was stunned by her action and thought that she was kind of rude; surely she could wait until they were gone.
Even though Yan Nanfei was a highly cultivated Zen Master but watching his precious pill being swallowed right in front of him was too much for him to bear!
Ji Lingfeng took a gambit. She was highly skilled in poisons and had resistance to poisons. Therefore she took a personal risk and had tasted it first. Finally she said, "It is safe to consume."
It was because the wars between the orthodox and unorthodox clans were not won by pure martial skills. Many times, stratagems played a part too.
Yi Ping said to her, "Lingfeng, you should trust the two seniors…"
Ji Lingfeng looked at him coldly, "You are too trusting and you will find yourself betray by your friends, just like your father."
Her words were like daggers to his heart, causing Yi Ping to be speechless.
Ji Lingfeng did not mean to hurt him but she wanted him to remember the hard rules of survival first. It was because he could not always be so lucky.
Xiao Youxue who was listening by the side was deeply moved by Ji Lingfeng as she thought, "Every single action that she has done is for his own good yet he did not know…"
All of a sudden, Yi Ping had taken the pouch and put it into her hands!
He gestured to her with his hands and pretended to pop it into his mouth to indicate to her that this pill was for her to take!
Everyone was stunned by his action…
Yan Nanfei said hurriedly, "Young hero, this pill is very precious and for you…"
Yi Ping said, "This deaf lady saves my life and has expended almost all her martial strength for my sake. I should return the favor. Without her, I will not be standing here!"
Yan Nanfei was stunned. He thought he had a high level of martial cultivation as a prominent Zen Master but this young man state of divinity was even higher than him! No wonder all these years, he wondered why he could not exceed the Old Sword Saint. Just when he thought that he had finally attained a new level of cultivation by giving away the 'Prolonging Vital Purity Pills', he met another person with an even higher cultivation than himself. And he was just a young man!
Shangguan Qingyun suddenly burst aloud with laughter, "You are all saints here…everyone is crazy. Only I am sane!"
Everyone looked at him in stunned silence.
When Shangguan Qingyun had calmed down, he took out a pouch with trembling hand. "This is the 'Divine Dragon Pill'. Young man, you are very lucky today. Take it. But let me warn you first, you need at least sixty years of internal strength to consume this 'Divine Dragon Pill' first or you will surely die."
He forced Yi Ping to take the pouch.
Yan Nanfei was startled, "You…when and how did you get the 'Divine Dragon Pill'?"
Even Ji Lingfeng and Xiao Youxue were watching in stunned silence. It was because this 'Divine Dragon Pill' was one of the seven martial treasures that were rumored to still exist…
Xiao Youxue quickly calculated that if Yi Ping were to consume the the 'Golden Rejuvenation Pill' and the 'Divine Dragon Pill' at the same time, the strength and pureness of his martial power would be so astounding that it was hard to gauge his future martial progression!
If he had taken the 'Golden Rejuvenation Pill', the 'Divine Dragon Pill' and the 'Prolonging Vital Purity Pill' at the same time…
Shangguan Qingyun suddenly turned slyly as he said, "Fifty years ago at that place…I found it and concealed it from the lot of you. I didn't tell any of you…"
All of a sudden, Yan Nanfei laughed aloud too. "You didn't tell Brother Shuai or me. No wonder you are saying you got a present for Sister Xian'Er that day and behaving like you are the lord of the world. Alas, she just vanished all of a sudden that day…"
Shangguan Qingyun said, "I think we say too much. Let us go now. The sooner they are on their way, the better for them."
When they had walked far, Yan Nanfei began to whisper in a low voice to Shangguan Qingyun, "Old buddy, so Brother Shuai is actually Xiao Shuai and he is from the Virtuous Palace…"
Shangguan Qingyun sighed, "Let's us that hope that the Virtuous Palace does not have the lofty ambition of dominating the fraternity…"
Shangguan Qingyun was regretful, "I can't believe that we have raided even our own clans at that time…"
Yi Ping, Ji Lingfeng and Xiao Youxue watched as Shangguan Qingyun and Yan Nanfei had disappeared from view.
All of a sudden, Ji Lingfeng said melancholy. "Yi Ping, I have to warn and assist my brother."
Yi Ping was startled and asked, "You are going?"
Ji Lingfeng anxiously said, "That is for sure. No matter what happens, I have to go and help my brother."
Yi Ping could sense her worry as he tried to comfort her, "Your brother is now the number one top exponent now. Surely after the Old Sword Saint and Gongsun Bai, there is no one in the entire fraternity that can rival him now."
Ji Lingfeng shook her head, "How can I not be worry? A battle is different from a duel. In a battle, when you are adjusting your footing and vital breath, you can be attacked."
She added, "If you recall your battle with Jue Yuan, Zuo Tianyi and Gu Tianle, if any of the exponents watching the duel decides to attack you while you have lost your footing, you be dead!"
All of a sudden, Yi Ping recalled the situation that Shui Yixian was in as she was being surrounded by dozens of exponents. When he compared the situation he had been when he was battling Jue Yuan, Gu Tianle and Zuo Tianyi, he began to shiver.
If any exponents were to attack him with a secret projectile or behind his back when he lost his footing, he would be dead!
Ji Lingfeng looked melancholy at him with her eyes, "Even as we speak, there are at least a dozen pursuers in this vicinity that is looking for us. Someone have to distract them to another direction. And the only person that has the strength now is me."
Yi Ping said, "I can move now. Surely, we can overcome this together…"
Ji Lingfeng looked into his eyes and said coldly, "You are overestimating your current self and underestimating the pursuers! Moreover, what right do you have to ask me to stay?"
Yi Ping was startled. Indeed, what right did he have over her?
All of a sudden, Ji Lingfeng said gently, "Take care and don't die. I want you to remember me always…"
She raised her right hand slowly…
When Yi Ping saw her raising her right hand, he thought. "Is she going to hit me before she goes?"
He took a deep breath. This time he tried not to struggle even though he was not really afraid of the pain…
The painful blow that he had expected did not come. Instead, he found himself in her embrace as she kissed him gently on his lips…
He was stunned and was flustered. That was the first time he had ever been kissed on his lips by a maiden…
He began to wonder did she forget that that there was another person here…
All of a sudden, Ji Lingfeng broke free of their embrace as she vanished into the shadows, "Good bye and take care…"
No one could see her tears…
Yi Ping stared for a long time at the direction that she had vanished.
Xiao Youxue sighed in her heart, "It is obvious that he likes her…"
Yi Ping was asking himself, "What right do I have? What right do I have?"
Ji Lingfeng cried as she left, "Why doesn't he ask me to stay? Why doesn't he say he likes me? I…will surely stay…"
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