The streets were empty, not a soul could be seen. All of them knew that today was the day, a day where blood would be shed. None of them wanted to be a part of this battle, no one wanted to get hurt. Some watched from the cracks of their windows, waiting to see the outcome of the fight.
It was silent. The sun slowly rose up until it reached the peak, showering everything in its light. At that moment, a group walked forth, heading for the Zhao Estate.
"Zhao Chang Yu! Your time is over, get out of your little hole!" the Yong Patriarch shouted arrogantly.
Seconds later, the Zhao Patriarch emerged from the estate, followed by the members of the Zhao Family. Ming Yue and her two pets stood at the front with her sword unsheathed, garnering the attention of many who did not recognize her. Liqiu accompanied her, similarly wielding a club like her father. As for Xuan Yin, she was nowhere to be found, possibly hiding somewhere, waiting to attack.
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"You do not have to do this, Yong Wu. You and Shi Fan can stop before it starts", the Zhao Patriarch spoke earnestly, as if he truly did not want to fight.
"You cannot stop us. We've come too far to step back. Our benefactor has rewarded greatly for attacking you and frankly, you've become to big for your own good. If you truly do not want to fight, then leave the city. The Zhao will have to find a new home", the Yong Patriarch answered, still maintaining his confidence.
Although the two patriarchs were afraid of the Zhao Patriarch's cultivation, their benefactor, Miss Ling reasoned with them.
"There's no way his cultivation could increase so fast. He must have used a technique to temporarily increase it. His body should be weakened now", she explained.
That felt that it made sense, to breakthrough a stage in the Earth Realm took years and yet he did so in a month. This was not logical, such speed was simply inhuman. Only the stuff of legends could do such things. Their confidence surged and the two prepared to attack the next day only to be stopped by Miss Ling.
It was strange that that she wanted them to attack a week from now but neither really cared. So long as they could defeat the Zhao Patriarch, nothing else mattered.
"Well then, I see that none of us are willing to budge today..." the Yong Patriarch stepped forth, his gauntlets glowing green. He had an affinity for wood, a sign of vitality and strength. It was not the sharpest or the most powerful but it was boasted the best resilience. No matter what will befall a tree or grass, it will always come back stronger than before. This quality was what made the element of wood so special.
The Shi Patriarch followed as well, bits and pieces of ice began to form around him. Slowly they merged, creating several lances of ice. An affinity for ice, cold and unforgiving, its greatest quality was firmness. The harsh power of the cold can wear a person down, weaken them, break them. Its power to invade and pierce whatever's in its way is fearsome.
All of their members marched forth, wielding their weapons as ice formed and a brilliant green covered their bodies.
The Zhao Estate walked forth in response, the temperature suddenly increased. Molten rock formed into pieces of armor and adornments to their weapons. A dual affinity of fire and earth! A combination of destruction from fire and resilience from earth made for a powerful mix.
Such things were quite rare but there have been cases of clans sharing the same affinities and the Zhao was one of them.
As for Ming Yue, she circled her energy to its peak. A thin layer of wind coated her sword, causing the blade to become even sharper. It was not as flashy as the others but it was the deadliest by far. However, she was not here to go on a massacre.
No, her true goal was taking down the demon in control of the Zhao Patriarch's body. But first, there was one obstacle she faced before targeting him, his servant, Ling Xue. No one noticed her but she was there, hidden within the groups of ice and wood cultivators.
As everyone moved closer to each other, Ming Yue looked at Ling Xue, watching her every move. Ling Xue had noticed her from the very beginning and waited. She waited for her to make the first move.
Neither moved, waiting until the two sides finally met. The Patriarchs were at the front, their energy circling to its peak as their weapons crashed into each other. At the sound of the first clashing of weapons, the two women moved.
They were blurs, attacking each other within the chaos of the battle. One held a flute to the opening of her mask, the howls of each note tore through stone and flesh alike. The other flickered about, attacking whenever there was an opportunity. As the battle continued, Ling Xue was surprised to find that Ming Yue's cultivation was less then hers and yet she was slightly weaker.
The thought of this gave way to fear and anger, that someone so young could have such strength. Despite her damaged body, Ling Xue cultivated hard reaching the higher levels of the human realm. With the help of her master, her rampant energy was kept in control but she could not utilize it. Until she reached the Earth Realm, her body would not be able to handle the power. But once, she did, her power would skyrocket. She would not let this girl stop her.
She channeled energy into the flute and released a piercing cry, knocking out everyone around her.
Ming Yue did not expect the attack and was hurt but did not lose consciousness. However, she had a slight pause to which Ling Xue took advantage of and she punched Ming Yue, sending her into the air. Before she could follow up, a figure stood between them, blocking her way. It was Liqiu, her club was covered in spikes made of molten rock. A crude armor made of the same material covered her body while her head was hidden within a helmet with three horns.
"I will not let you hurt MIng Yue anymore", she spoke resolutely, raising her club towards Ling Xue.
Ling Xue smirked and attacked her without hesitation. Liqiu stood there, preparing to endure the hit when her guardian, You Qian jumped in front of her and took it instead.
"You Qian!" Liqiu caught him before he fell to the ground.
"Do not worry, young miss. I am fine", He groaned in pain, the attack was not strong enough to kill him but it dealt quite a bit of pain to him.
Ling Xue prepared to attack again when an arrow struck the flute, stopping her from blowing another note.
"I was getting a bit bored just hiding. Come on then, let's see how strong you can be", Xuan Yin stood in front of the two, an arrow ready to be released.
Ming Yue recovered from the attack and joined Xuan Yin. The damage she sustained was not much and she prepared to fight again.
Ling Xue's situation was not looking good. Through the teamwork of the two cultivators, she was pushed back, suffering injuries from the both of them. The pressure she faced was daunting, both were too quick for her to catch and there was no choice but to act passively in this fight.
The battle grew fiercer as everyone attacked with more zeal. The three patriarchs continued to fight intensely. Shock waves formed from each impact as the Yong and Shi Patriarch continued to assault the Zhao Patriarch with a barrage of punches and ice lances. Despite the disadvantage in numbers, the fight was even, neither was able to topple the other.
"Zhao Chang Yu! Give it up!" said the Shi Patriarch, "You will not last long enough to the this day end!"
The demon within the Zhao Patriarch's body could feel it weakening, it would disintegrate soon enough.
Suddenly, he retreated, much to the surprise of everyone. A look of confusion was on the Zhao Patriarch's face, replaced by shock and excitement. Then laughter came from him, loud and wild, everyone paused to look at him.
Could he have gone crazy?
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