Pi Yan and Feng Bo each scoured the land that had turned cracked and arid under the lightning storm for the entire night, but they never found Yun Ruoyan. Thinking that she had been blown apart by the lightning, they finally gave up and left.
The moment they did so, it began to rain. The water washed away the mud and rocks, allowing Yun Ruoyan, Zhuo Yifeng, and Lin Qingxue to surface once more. Zhuo Yifeng gasped for breath as he emerged from the mud, then began to check on Yun Ruoyan and Lin Qingxue. Just like before, Yun Ruoyan’s eyes were still open, and she didn’t react even when rain fell into her open eyes. On the other hand, Lin Qingxue’s face was blue from asphyxiation, and it took a bout of spiritual energy from Zhuo Yifeng to revive her.
Zhuo Yifeng stood up and was just about to pull Lin Qingxue up when a distant rumble made him jerk up in shock. Countless boulders were rolling down the steep slope. Zhuo Yifeng didn’t have time to drag Yun Ruoyan and Lin Qingxue away; instead, he shielded them both with his back…
The next morning, four carriages passed by the ravaged land. The ground was charred and scorched, as though there had been a big fire—but there had been a downpour just last night! Where could such a fire have come from?
“Madam Hong, there must have been a duel between experts here last night,” A Fei said, her horse riding by the side of Madam Hong’s carriage. Madam Hong drew the carriage’s curtains and glanced around her, motioning for the carriage to stop.
Madam Hong stepped down from the carriage, picked up a sprinkling of earth, then let it fall from her fingers. “It’s an advanced variant of a lightning-summoning technique, only usable by fifth-rank sword saints.”
“Could it be the head of the Pi family, Pi Yan?” A Fei murmured.
“Except for him, I don’t know of anyone else on the Mingyuan continent who could use such a technique,” Madam Hong replied, stepping back into her carriage.
“Wait, wait! There are people buried here!” Xiao Qing suddenly shouted.
When Zhuo Yifeng awoke, he found himself lying in a strange room. His head had been bandaged by a roll of gauze: a boulder had struck his head and knocked him unconscious.
“You’re awake?” The moment Zhuo Yifeng tried to get off the bed, Xiao Qing walked in.
“Who are you? Where am I? What happened to my colleagues?” Zhuo Yifeng stared at Xiao Qing warily.
Xiao Qing frowned. Despite her loquacious nature, her words were clipped and terse. “Follow me.”
Zhuo Yifeng left his room to find themselves in an inn. The woman he’d just seen had likely saved him, Lin Qingchen, and Yun Ruoyan, but he couldn’t help being wary of her.
Xiao Qing brought Zhuo Yifeng into another room, where two unfamiliar women were seated. Two prone females lay in be
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