Chapter 53: A Fight

Ning Chen was beside himself at the moment. Exactly who did he offend to deserve this…was making a wrong turn such a huge mistake?

If it wasn’t for the fact that the other party was a lady, he might have given her a thrashing by now.

With a swift turn of his wheelchair, he dodged the whip and continued to descend the platform.

He consoled himself by saying that he was a man and shouldn’t fight over such matters with a woman.

*crack*

Missing that strike infuriated the girl even more as she lashed out once more with a long crack of her whip; clearly not intending to let the matter rest.

Hearing the air whistle in his ears his body jerked, and a moment later a whip was hanging limply in his hands. Pausing there for a moment, he forcefully suppressed the anger within himself then tossed the whip-end to the side.

The other party was still young after all, he shouldn’t hold it against her.

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*crack*

Another whip lashed out at him which he promptly dodged once more.

*crack*

And another.

*crack crack crack*

After what felt like countless whip lashes, he finally lost his temper. Turning his body with a violent spin of the wheels, he glared at the unruly girl with eyes that spat out fire.

“Are you about done?!”

He finally couldn’t stand it anymore. Let being a gentleman die in a corner for all he cared, enough was enough.

Activating his True Qi, his wheelchair-bound body rushed forward, crossing the ten meters between them in an instant. With a turn of his wrist, his palm bore down on the girl’s chest,

The teenage girl was stunned by the violent response, but she was angered even more so by it. Stretching out the whip before her with both her hands, she tried to block the incoming palm strike to her chest. However, the rope like instrument was simply unable to withstand the full force of Ning Chen’s palm strike. Her blood roiled as the residual force washed over her, forcing her back several paces.

Even in the midst of his anger Ning Chen had held back his strength, otherwise it would not simply be a matter of retreating a few paces. He was angry but that didn’t mean that he had lost all his sense. He had held back 70% of his force in that strike; it was simply meant to punish this unruly girl.

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The girl’s whip lashed out once more with a resounding crack as it whistled through the air.

Ning Chen sneered at the futile strike. If that was enough to hit him, then he really deserved to be whipped.

With another decisive grab of his hand, he caught the incoming whip and immediately gave it a violent tug. Her hand ached from the violent force, loosening its grips on the long whip within moments.

The difference between their strengths was simply too much. However, with her mind clouded by anger, she naturally didn’t care about such a matter as she yelled at the men below: “Get him! 10 silver taels for everyone who does.”

As the words left her mouth, the crowd below instantly stirred into action. Rushing forth onto the stage like a tidal wave, the men swarmed around the teen. To them, 10 silver taels was a princely sum that could feed a commoner’s household like theirs for a good few months.

The girl retreated a few steps back and glared intently at Ning Chen, her eyes not wanting to miss the moment he was beaten up.

At the side, the middle aged man furrowed his eyebrows at the unsightly display; however, he did not step forth to stop her. From that move just now, he learnt that this teen wasn’t as simple as he thought.

Staring at the rushing throng from the center of the ring, Ning Chen was abruptly struck with a sudden feeling of exasperation. He sighed; looks like even the ghosts would be at your beck and call if you had money.

When will he ever have so much money…

“Such a tragedy!”

With a simple shout, his True Qi exploded in a burst of silvery light that radiated outwards and pushed all the commoners off the arena.

“Impressive cultivation base.”

The man’s pupils narrowed as he said that. While the teen’s cultivation wasn’t high, it was unexpectedly sturdy. Based on this strength alone, it could take on a fifth-grade expert.

One had to know that the fifth grade was a bottleneck in the Houtian realm; it wasn’t just a simple tier difference. Up until now, he had never heard of someone possessing such a strong True Qi at the fourth-grade.

Ning Chen himself wasn’t aware of such a matter, yet even in the midst of his ignorance, the effects of the Scroll of Life was beginning to show itself. Of the ten scrolls, Life was the only one that didn’t require a person to be a Xiantian in order to cultivate its skill and technique. In terms of training one’s cultivation base, it was unparalleled even when compared to the other scrolls.

In a fight, you were either proficient at attacking or proficient at taking hits. The key to taking hits was simple, a sturdy hide and sturdy innards!

This was the reason why Mu Chengxue gave him the Scroll of Life.

Thus, even though Ning Chen had been injured multiple times to the point where even his legs were crippled, he still survived in the end.

The man was a worldly person, but the girl wasn’t. Initially, she had intended to simply teach the kid a lesson; however, she had now changed her mind.

“Ah Da, Ah Er, Ah San, get him.”

“Understood, Princess.”

With several whooshes, three sword wielding men stepped onto the arena platform and surrounded Ning Chen, their eyes clearly showing their hostile intent.

The look in Ning Chen’s eyes grew grave the moment heard the word ‘Princess’ leave their mouths; looks like the situation was about to fall apart. His luck could only be described as rotten seeing as how a simple mistake ended up causing him to offend a member of the imperial household.

Her princely father was either an idiot or had potatoes for brains. To think he actually allowed his daughter to mess around like this. Who ever heard of a princess setting up an arena to search for a suitor, simply absurd.

While both of them were princesses, there was a world of difference between Xia Miaoyu and this unruly girl. Today, he truly struck the jackpot by meeting her.

In the midst of Ning Chen’s brooding, her three henchmen rushed at him, their swords leading the charge as their True Qi blazed around them. They were actually fifth-grade experts!

Martial practitioners weren’t any old cabbages you could find on the streets, especially not those who could break through the bottleneck. The fact that she was able to summon these three with just a simple command was truly infuriating.

Ning Chen admired her, envied and even hated her. However, there was nothing to be done about this. The girl was a princess while he was simply a eunuch. *spit* He wasn’t a eunuch.

With a metallic clink, his Ink Sword left its scabbard sending forth a puff of cold Qi into the air. Raising it into the air he easily blocked one of the longswords, and with a twist of his wrist, blocked a second sword with the momentum of his swing.

At the same time, the third sword had closed in on him. With his left fingers pointed forward like a frosty sword, he knocked away the third sword using the force of his fingers clad in blackish gold Qi.

In just a single move, he deflected those three blows and with a lunge forward, his Ink Sword sliced through the snow as it descended upon the closest of the three men.

Against the combined attacks of these three men, he knew that he mustn’t let this fight drag on or he would constantly be on the losing end. With his cultivation lagging behind them in the first place, a defensive posture would only lead to his untimely defeat.

*clang*

Ah San lifted his sword in time to block the slash. With its path hindered, the Ink Sword made another turn and swung at Ah Da, exposing Ning Chen’s back as it did so.

Ah Da’s eyes flickered as he stepped back half a pace narrowly avoiding the edge of the Ink Sword. As he did so, the steely glint of Ah Er’s sword glimmered in his pupils.

With his exposed back and exhausted momentum, Ning Chen had no way to defend against this sneak attack by Ah Er.

At the side, the middle aged man immediately stepped forth to halt the fight, yet just as he was about to open his mouth, he immediately shut it.

What was an exposed back wasn’t actually defenseless at all as a hidden dart flew out of the wheelchair at the last moment!

Ning Chen was in no way a person who would expose his back to the enemy; especially not since he became crippled. Ever since he lost the mobility of his legs, he hated having a stranger stand behind him.

This mechanism was one that he had installed even in the wheelchair that he retired.

The dart collided with the sword with a resounding clink. A second later, Ah Er was met with the lethal slash of the Ink Sword. His eyes shrunk as he immediately tried to dodge to the side, yet all he saw was an explosion of blood that blossomed forth from where his shoulder was penetrated by the sword.

*clang*

The longsword fell to the ground as the man’s body froze up having not come to terms with his wound.

Ah Da and Ah San’s face darkened as they rushed forth to strike at the teen with fires burning in their eyes. Yet just as they were about to engage the teen, they were stopped by a placid exclamation.

“Stop!”

It was the middle aged man who shouted. This battle had to stop now before it spiralled out of control.

It was clear to him now that this teen wasn’t a merciful one. That slash just now was swung with the full force of his fury. At this rate, it wouldn’t be long before someone fell.

“Third Uncle.”

Xia Nianyi protested. She couldn’t understand why her uncle decided to stop this battle.

“Shut up!”

Prince Yan’s expression chilled in an instant as he yelled at the girl.

The willful girl immediately shut her mouth in fear. She knew, more so than anyone that while this uncle of hers doted on her, his anger took no prisoners. Even her father didn’t dare to provoke this man unnecessarily.

“You, your name.”

Prince Yan took a few steps forward and asked in a solemn voice.

“Ning Chen,” answered the teen in a sincere voice. By now, he had already guessed the identity of the man; he was no fool after all.

The current Emperor had four brothers who were still alive. One was Prince Hua who still resided in the Imperial City, one was Prince Yue in the northern regions while the other was Prince Tai, this unruly girl’s father who was stationed in Peerless City. As for the middle aged man, he had to be the Third Prince, Prince Yan.

Prince Yan had no children and spent his time gallivanting through the empire, unfettered by the chains of authority. Without a doubt, he was the freest of the four princes.

As for the other three princes, whether it was Prince Yue or Prince Tai, they were essentially living under house arrest despite having a territory of their own.

The reason was simple, these two princes had a martial marquis guarding their territories.

As for Prince Hua, there wasn’t even a need to mention him seeing as he spent his days trapped in the Imperial City, never to enjoy the sweet taste of freedom again.

Compared to the other three, Prince Yan definitely enjoyed the greatest degree of freedom and leniency from the Xia Emperor.

As for why Ning Chen knew of this, that was because he had a close relationship to Zhang Sun. It was said that the previous Emperor had nearly betrothed her to Prince Yan.

As for the details of that story, he didn’t try to find out. In this world, a person who dared to gossip about Zhang Sun hadn’t been born yet. Naturally, he didn’t have the guts to do so either.

However, there was one thing he was sure about and that was that Zhang Sun trusted this prince greatly.

Prince Yan walked up to the teen, and after a long pause, asked in a bland voice, “The eunuch serving beside Wuyou?”

Ning Chen nodded with a wry smile on his face. Looks like this eunuch identity wasn’t going to disappear anytime soon.

“You escaped?”

“Mhm.” Ning Chen nodded once more.

“Not bad.” This was the highest praise he gave someone in a long time. While he wasn’t involved in the power struggle, that didn’t mean that he knew nothing about it. He knew the current Emperor extremely well; regarding a person like Ning Chen, he either submitted to his command or he died, there was no third option available.

Ning Chen returned his praise with an embarrassed smile. “Prince Yan is too kind.”

The Prince nodded before turning to his unruly niece, “Nianyi, apologize!”

At that, Ning Chen’s face immediately brightened up as he secretly cheered in his heart. Hah, who told you to be so arrogant before. If it hadn’t been for his martial abilities, he might even be dead right now. This prince was a fine fellow.

On the flip side, a look of disbelief crossed the girl’s face as she protested once more, her fear disappearing in an instant from the shock, “You want this Princess to apologize to him? Why should I!?”

“Because he protected the Baiyan Plains for Grand Xia, because he won twenty thousand warhorses for Grand Xia, and even more so because he gave up his legs in order to escort Miaoyu.”

As each word left his mouth, the look on Prince Yan’s face grew colder by the second. His oppressive aura bore down the girl causing her to pale, and in the midst of her struggling eyes, collapse to the floor with legs as heavy as lead.

“…sorry.”

Xia Nianyi mumbled in a voice that sounded like a whisper. She promptly turned around, hiding her reddened eyes that seemed on the verge of crying.

Ning Chen was extremely pleased right now though he wasn’t a hundred percent satisfied with this outcome. Somehow it seemed more like the girl was the one who had been bullied even though he was the victim here.

“It’s alright.” Ning Chen interjected without an ounce of delicacy. He decided to accept this apology without any reservation. After all, feeling guilty just wasn’t in his nature.

“……”

A simple “It’s alright” nearly caused her to vomit blood out of anger. She glared at the teen with eyes that looked like she wanted to skin him alive.

Ning Chen turned his head away and ignored the glare completely.

Who said that I had to look at you just because you glared at me. It’s not like you’re that pretty.

In actuality, Xia Nianyi wasn’t that bad looking either. She had a pair of delicate brows and dainty features; while she was rather unruly, she had the comliness of youth. However, Ning Chen’s eyes had already been spoiled by the likes of Mu Chengxue and Qing Ning. Looking back at this unripened apple of a girl, he simply wasn’t interested in her.

“Let’s go, that’s enough nonsense for now. It’s about time to return home, Ning Chen, I want you to come along as well.”

Prince Yan threw the pair a glance before promptly walking down from the arena and leaving the crowd.

Ning Chen spun his wheelchair around and left as well, ignoring the unruly girl.

Hmph, take that you brat!

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