Ah Man knew to obediently trail behind Ning Chen and leave this matter to him. He was the one who brought her out so it was also his responsibility to protect her.
Her royal father had once said that no matter whether you were in the Man Dynasty or the Central Plains, once a woman had encountered a problem, she would never be able to walk in front of her man again.
Back then she didn’t understand it, now she did.
Standing before the girl was Ning Chen whose chilling gaze could probably form icicles right now. Around him, the onlookers instinctively knew to avoid the teen.
Just a few moments ago, this teen was an affable person with a pair of smiling eyes and a gentle warmth to him. Yet, in the blink of an eye, the teen underwent such an unexpected change.
By now, the two servants could clearly sense that the teen wasn’t an ordinary person. However, they were servants of the military marquis; within the city of Saint’s Abode, they had nothing to fear.
The two men took a step forward and tried to apprehend the girl, earning them an even colder glare from Ning Chen. Looking at the boorish servants, his growing desire to kill them threatened to overflow at this very moment. After so much effort, he was finally able to return a smile to Ah Man’s face and these goons just had to ruin it.
Ever since Grand Xia was founded 1,000 years ago, it had placed great importance on the rule of law. To think they would actually be accosted so publicly on the street.
One of the servants issued an ultimatum: “My lady, if you do not wish to implicate your friend, I suggest you take up our invitation.”
Shaking her head, Ah Man flatly rejected them. “I refuse.”
The man sneered, this girl doesn’t know what’s good for her.
The other servant immediately stepped forward, and without saying another word, reached out for Ah Man who still standing behind Ning Chen.
A black glint flashed across the man’s eyes followed closely by the sound of a sword being sheathed. A second later, before anyone could even react to the attack, the man’s arm fell to the ground with thud. Then, the air was filled with a pungent, metallic stench as the now armless stump sprayed forth a rain of blood.
“I said so already, she isn’t going anywhere!”
As he said that, his left hand shot out and grabbed a hold of the man’s throat, preventing him from stopping the bleeding while slowly crushing the man’s throat. His grip slowly tightened around the servant, bit by bit, bone by bone. Around him, the faint sound of bones cracking echoed within the tense silence.
The man began to struggle even more; however, the vice-like grip brooked no opposition as it slowly asphyxiated him. At the side, his companion’s face had turned significantly paler as he immediately rushed his aid.
“Hmph.” Ning Chen’s chilling eyes narrowed. He raised his left sword finger and jabbed at the man’s blade.
The blade snapped in half without any resistance while the residual force careened through the metallic object and right into the defenseless servant. An instant later, man and blade were sent flying away in a spray of blood.
It was then that a faintly smiling man entered the scene. He was dressed in a set of blue silk robes and sported a thick crop of hair that was bound up simply with a jade hairpin. Framed by a pair of thin, slanted eyebrows, his peach blossom eyes peered at the teen with an amiable look that was anything but hostile.
“Friend, could you show some mercy by sparing my worthless bodyguards?” Li Yuntang asked in a gentle voice as he peered at the teen.
“These are your underlings?” Ning Chen turned around and asked.
“Then no.” As he said that, Ning Chen loosened his grip on the man. In the instant the man began to slump to the floor, he gathered his Qi into his right sword finger, and without saying another word, stabbed it into the man’s Qi Ocean, destroying the man’s cultivation base in the process.
Li Yuntang’s eyes squinted, his gaze locked squarely onto the teen without sparing a look at the crippled underling who was sent flying. In a soft voice, he said, “This one is Li Yuntang, may I know of sir’s name?”
Hearing that, Ning Chen’s eyebrows furrowed. He had heard of this name before. While there were definitely people who bore the same name as well, in Saint’s Abode, there was only one Li Yuntang and that was the sole son of Marquis Li Yu, one of the ten military marquis of Grand Xia.
“He’s called Ning Chen.” Just as he started brooding over this troublesome matter, Ah Man chimed in with a clear unambiguous answer.
According to what she heard, Ning Chen was a famous person in Grand Xia. Prince Yan had even mentioned that he had been a eunuch, beaten up the Empress’s nephew, fought the Zhenji emissary and even blew up the palace.
“…” Ning Chen grimaced. Was there anyone who revealed such information so quickly to an enemy…how forthright could this girl be.
Truth be told, this was something he still didn’t understand; why was the normally aloof prince, who barely said a word to his so-called Sword Servant, so close to Ah Man.
It could be said that whatever she wanted, Prince Yan would try his best to fulfill it. If she wanted to know about his past, he would patiently tell her all about it without leaving out a single detail.
As of now, there was basically nothing she didn’t know about him, even the fact that he was a fake eunuch.
“That junior eunuch serving Her Majesty.”
As he expected, the moment his name was uttered, Li Yuntang immediately recognized it; though it was mostly because of that certain status.
Ning Chen immediately cut off the chatterbox of a girl and said, “That’s me.”
Slightly unhappy about being cut off, Ah Man turned her head to side and muttered, “You’re the eunuch, your whole family are eunuchs.”
Even so, Ning Chen managed to hear what she said clearly. After all, this was what he taught her.
Hearing his confirmation, Li Yuntang’s attitude immediately changed. With a disdainful look on his face, the young master sneered at the wheelchair-bound teen. To think he actually mistook him for some expert, turns out he was just a eunuch serving beside the Empress.
He was a famous person, that much Li Yuntang admitted, but at the end of the day, he was still just a eunuch.
At the side, Ning Chen quietly observed the change in the young master’s expression. Truthfully, both of them were rather similar; both enjoyed using a fake smile to disguise their thoughts. The only difference was that Li Yuntang’s patience seemed a little lacking compared to him. The moment he realized that Ning Chen wasn’t a threat to him, he immediately abandoned his facade.
“This girl, I want her.” He declared like a little tyrant.
“…” That had to be the most direct, most oppressive, but also the stupidest words he had ever heard a person utter.
“This girl, she’s mine.” Ning Chen returned those words right back to the man with a grin.
Behind him, Ah Man’s lips cracked into a smile that was as beautiful as a blooming flower. She knew that those words were meant to anger this pest, but they still made her happy.
“Hmph, you’re seeking your own death. In that case, let’s see how strong you are then.”
Like a pawn on his chessboard, Li Yuntang was angered by his words just as expected. No longer able to bear the humiliation anymore, the young master kicked off with charge and bore down upon the teen with his fists raised.
He was a fifth-grade Houtian; taking care of this eunuch should be a piece of cake for him.
In light of the young master’s suicidal actions, Ah Man backed away a few steps to make room for the teen. Knowing what his personality was like, she didn’t wish to be too close to the fight when he made his move.
Seeing her back away so far, Ning Chen couldn’t help but raise an eyebrow. In a soft voice, he said: “If senior asks about this, you have to take my side on this, I was forced to attack.”
Ever since he was wounded to the point of death, Prince Yan forbade him from fighting. While it was a hassle for him, he knew that the senior had his health in mind, thus he accepted it.
Sometimes, a man’s words were truly troublesome.
Having said that, he didn’t wait for her reply before turning around to face the fist which was merely inches away from him by now. Raising his hand, he swiftly caught the fist, and with a vicious twist, fractured the bones within with a resounding crack, causing them to protrude through the skin in a gory, mangled mess.
The burning pain immediately caused the young master’s face to contort, yet before he could even scream in pain, Ning Chen’s sword finger immediately flashed before his eyes and lightly stabbed at his throat meridian.
The fight was over.
Ning Chen nonchalantly wiped the blood off his face and body before turning to the girl. Seeing her immaculate dress, he finally understood why she retreated…
The women of the Man Dynasty were truly intelligent…
Ah Man was extremely happy right now. Even though she had just been nearly accosted, resulting in their little date ending prematurely, she was still happy.
Thus, on the road back to Prince Yue’s manor, she had a cheerful grin on her lips that even infected the slightly sullen Ning Chen whose dissatisfaction immediately disappeared with the winds. Compared to her happiness, everything else was inconsequential.
Today’s fight wasn’t in vain after all.
Having returned to Prince Yue’s manor, the pair were just about to return to their respective rooms in order to change and rest, when they stumbled upon Prince Yan who seemed to be waiting for them at the manor’s entrance.
Seeing the jubilant Man Princess and a bloody Ning Chen, his brows furrowed, “You were in a fight?”
With a resigned look on his face, he nodded his head, “Someone tried to make unwelcome advances on Ah Man, I had no choice but to step in.”
“They were the ones who attacked first.” Ah Man followed up with an explanation of her own.
Prince Yan nodded his head and no longer pressed this issue, but instead asked, “Did your wounds act up again?”
“No, the opponents were too weak.”
“It was Li Yuntang.” Ah Man chimed in once more.
“…” Lady, we finally managed to get past this whole issue so can you not shoot us in the foot.
As expected, after hearing that name, Prince Yan’s eyebrows furrowed again. He vaguely remembered this name but couldn’t recall it offhand. After giving it some thought, he asked in a slightly uncertain voice, “Marquis Li Yu’s son?”
“Mhm.” Ning Chen answered.
Prince Yan thought about it some more before nonchalantly saying, “What’s done is done, I’ll get some people to send him some medicine.”
“Thank you Senior.”
However, those injuries weren’t something that could be treated by mere medicine. A mere fracture or a damaged meridian would take a hundred days just to heal, let alone that gory mess he left him in.
After confirming that there was nothing else, Prince Yan left for his own room without saying much else. Before turning around, he threw down another reminder, “Remember not to get into any fights before your injury is completely healed up.”
After ensuring that the prince is gone, Ah Man nudged the teen and asked, “Is that Marquis Li Yu formidable?”
Ning Chen nodded his head, “Very.”
“How formidable? Compared to you, how strong is he?”
Hearing this, Ning Chen sighed helplessly. Was there even a point in comparing? No, not at all. However, Ah Man was the one who was asking so he had no choice but to answer, “Just him alone is able to take on a hundred Ning Chens.”
“That strong?!” She couldn’t even defeat Ning Chen so did that mean that the man could take on over a hundred of her?
Ning Chen merely nodded his head in confirmation. Within the Man Dynasty, the Man King was probably the only one who could suppress the marquis by a tiny bit. The military marquis of Grand Xia were all experts that towered over their peers.
“Compared to Senior?” Ah Man asked once more out of curiosity.
“Senior can defeat several of him.” Ning Chen answered without a single trace of doubt in his voice.
“Grand Xia has so many experts…” Ah Man answered in a slightly envious tone. Within the Man Dynasty, there were barely any martial practitioners above the seventh-grade, let alone such experts.
Ning Chen didn’t say anymore in response to that comment. Truth be told, the Man Dynasty wasn’t weak either. While they didn’t have as many experts, the soldiers of the Man Dynasty were all valiant and proficient warriors.
Until a person reached the realm of Xiantian, he or she was still not immune to such weapons of war. No matter how strong a Houtian was, they would run out of energy sooner or later. At that time, all that awaited them was death at the hands of tens of thousands of soldiers.
Over the years, the Man Dynasty had engaged in a substantial amount of skirmishes with Grand Xia, resulting in significant casualties for Grand Xia. In the end the Xia Emperor, in a fit of anger, dispatched a military marquis to safeguard the region.
Naturally, all these were things Ah Man didn’t need to know.
Ah Man’s thinking was actually extremely simple. Right and wrong were clearly demarcated, and as long as it was right, it had to be done otherwise it must be avoided; there was nothing wishy-washy about her thought process.
At times, he really enjoyed talking to this girl. There was no need for him to second guess her, all he had to do was simplify his words in order to strike up a pleasant conversation.
For example, the nuances of the martial path wasn’t something she understood, even if he tried to explain it in detail. Yet the moment he put it in simple terms, she immediately understood it.
In reality, could Marquis Li Yu really take on a hundred of him? Even he didn’t know. Perhaps he could, perhaps he couldn’t. Perhaps even a hundred wasn’t enough.
The both of them hadn’t fought before so how would he know.
However, his son was a scrub…even he could take a hundred of that young master.