It was really quiet.
That was the first thought which flashed through Lei Wujie’s head as he entered the fifteenth floor.
The fifteenth floor was like a library, with two gigantic bookshelves flanking the sides, and numerous ancient tomes lining each shelf. Right in the middle of the room was an incense burner. There sat a gray robed middle-aged man, quietly reading away on his wooden chair as if he hadn’t noticed Lei Wujie’s intrusion.
Teacher? Lei Wujie was shocked. This person’s appearance, temperament, and even the way he looked was similar to the Lei Hong that was wasting away in a tiny courtyard in the Lei Clan. However, there was something different about this person. It was this difference which made Lei Wujie understand why Lei Yunhe, whose name once shook the world, would hole himself up in the Tower of Ascension.
That was because he only had a single hand left. His right arm had been chopped off so at this moment, he was holding an ancient book with only his left hand. The sleeves where his right hand should be hung down conspicuously empty. He didn’t bother about Lei Wujie at all and simply flipped the pages of his book slowly.
Lei Wujie stood there for a long time before opening his mouth to call out, “Senior?”
“Oh? I felt some disturbance from down below just now. So someone actually climbed all the way up here to the fifteenth floor?” Lei Yunhe suddenly came back to his senses as he raised his head to look at Lei Wujie. He frowned and said, “Blazing Arts, Garuda Realm? You’re a disciple of the Lei Clan?”
“This junior is Lei Wujie.” Lei Wujie hurriedly cupped his fists and said respectfully.
“And who is Lei Hong to you?” Lei Yunhe asked.
“He’s my teacher.” Lei Wujie replied as he hastily nodded his head.
Lei Yunhe closed the book he was reading and placed it on the table. “Did Lei Hong send you to challenge the Tower of Ascension? He knows that I’m here?”
“This junior…” Lei Wujie thought about it for half a day before finally forcing the words out of his mouth, even though it was extremely offensive. “Isn’t here for you, senior”
Lei Yunhe was stunned for a moment but he wasn’t angry. He coldly laughed, “I understand now. You’re here for that person. However, I remember him vowing never to see that person ever again?”
“Teacher said that he had a severe affliction and only has a year left to live. One day, after a bout of drinking, he mentioned this to me. He wasn’t afraid of death. However, he had a wish he wanted to fulfill before dying and that was to meet that person once more. However, he can’t step out of the Lei Clan so he could only send me, his disciple, in his stead.” Lei Wujie explained.
“Then do you know what you have to do before you can meet that person?” Lei Yunhe twirled the smoke rising from the incense burner in his hand and lightly flicked. Lei Wujie dodged to the side but the handrail behind him wasn’t that fortunate, shattering into pieces in an instant. “You have to defeat me first.”
Thundercalling! This was true strength of the man who once aspired to be the head of the Lei Clan!
“Looks I’ll have to offend senior.” Lei Wujie didn’t seem the least bit afraid as he rushed forward and sent out a single palm strike.
“Unseen Fist?” Lei Yunhe suddenly laughed. Lightly waving his hand, the once mighty palm strike instantly lost its power. “Using the Unseen Fist against me… Do you know how laughable that is? Lei Clan’s Unseen Fist was a martial art I created!” Lei Yunhe waved his left arm and a surge of energy shot out from his palm. As it slammed against Lei Wujie, he took three steps backwards in retreat. Lei Yunhe immediately pressed forward and reached out to grab Lei Wujie’s throat.
Lei Wujie’s figure flashed and he sent out another fist.
“Good!” Even though Lei Yunhe only had one arm left, he was as agile as before. He simply grabbed Lei Wujie’s fist with his left hand. However, the instant he tried to clamp his fingers down on Lei Wujie’s fist, it disappeared.
“Over here.” A voice popped up beside his ear and Lei Yunhe spun his head around just in time to look at Lei Wujie’s fist growing bigger and bigger. It was a clean attack, one that everyone in the martial world was familiar with – the Grand Arhat Fist! However, there was something special about this technique. Most people wouldn’t be able to see it, but Lei Yunhe could, and it shocked him.
It was because after throwing out that strike, the next fist Lei Wujie threw out was incomparably profound. It was a technique which could transform one fist into a thousand. This was Lei Wujie’s true killing move, Demon Subjugation Fist.
“That isn’t a martial art from the Lei Clan!” Lei Yunhe exclaimed as he stretched out his left hand. The smoke from the incense burner swiftly transformed into five threads which fell into his hand. Gripping down, he punched out towards Lei Wujie’s fist.
A loud explosion rattled the floor.
Lei Wujie’s robes were immediately ripped to shreds, just like the energy in his palms. Behind him, the image of the Garuda began to waver as if it was on the verge of collapse
“You think that you can challenge the fifteenth floor just because you’ve reached the Garuda Realm of the Blazing Arts? You’re underestimating Snow Moon City and the Tower of Ascension. Not to mention, you’re looking down on me.” Lei Yunhe said coldly. “The Blazing Arts, Unseen Fist, and whatever the heck that fist technique was… I’ve received them already, what else do you have left? I suggest you use them soon.”
Lei Wujie grimaced. Reaching behind, he finally brought out the sack which he had on his back throughout the entire journey and never opened. “I do in fact have one last move to show. However, my teacher said that I must never use it unless I meet that person. Seems like that’s no longer an option.”
“Such a long explosive, could it be the Qilin Fire Teeth?” Lei Yunhe was stunned for a moment. “Are you trying to blow up the entire Tower of Ascension?”
Lei Wujie shook his head as he slowly opened the sack. The item contained within finally revealed itself.
It was a scarlet longsword with a flame pattern engraved on it. On its handle was a majestic fiery dragon that was just as red. Someone of the Jiangnan Incendiary Hall’s Lei Clan actually took out a sword!
In the early years of the Lei Clan, their ancestors carried out a ceremony known as the Blade-sealing Sword-shattering Ceremony. Since then, no disciples of the Lei Clan were allowed to use swords or blades. They were to specialize in explosives and the cultivation of fist and finger arts.
Only one person was ever an exception to this rule. This very person once wandered the martial world and there he found himself drawn to a single sword. Because of that single sword, he brazenly went against the teachings of his ancestors and forged a sword of his own. In spite of that, not a single person in the Lei Clan dared to speak up.
It wasn’t just because the sword was forged with the gunpowder and would deafen the field with its thunderous explosions every time it cleaved the air; such a sword was found to be not in violation of their ancestral teachings, though after much consideration. It was more so because this sword was just too strong. In the past when Lei Hong wielded this sword, he practically swept through the martial world unopposed, nearly reaching the level of a Sword Immortal.
This sword had a terrifying name.
“Murderous Dread Sword.” Lei Yunhe slowly said as though he reciting the name of an old friend.
“That’s right. The Murderous Dread Sword.” Lei Wujie said in a clear voice as he drew the sword. The bookshelves at the side instantly exploded and turned into nothing more than splinters of wood. The phantom of the Garuda which was just on the verge of collapse suddenly became much bigger.
At this moment, everyone at the bottom of the tower caught sight of a blinding red light which shot out from the fifteenth floor!
“Red clothes and scarlet sword…very good! Such a promising youngster!” Lei Yunhe cried and he took a step forward. Stretching out two fingers, he clamped the Murderous Dread Sword between them.
“I once broke Mount Cangshan with a single finger! I once severed the heavens and earth with two!”
“Thundercrack Fingers!” Lei Wujie yelled out the once earthshaking name of that finger art.
Below the tower, those watching the tower all turned to look at each other
“Did you see and hear that?” Xiao Se frowned and turned his head to look at Sikong Qianluo.
Sikong Qianluo coldly harrumphed and turned her head away. She ignored him completely.
It was the scholar who cleared his throat and nodded, immediately alleviating the tense atmosphere in the air. “Brother Xiao, you didn’t hear or see wrong. That explosion was indeed from the fifteenth floor and there was indeed a ray of red light which shot out as well.”
“That person actually climbed up to the fifteenth floor? Could it be that Senior Brother Tang was defeated? How is that possible?!” Sikong Qianluo frowned.
“What’s the matter ? Did I embarrass Lady Sikong by losing? If it wasn’t for you shirking your duty to play, I wouldn’t have to defend the Tower of Ascension at all.” A steady voice suddenly resounded in the air to which everyone turned their heads. There, they saw a black robed Tang Lian sitting on the roof of the building beside them with his head raised in the direction of the tower.
“Tang Lian.” Xiao Se slowly said.
“Xiao Se.” Tang Lian lowered his head to look at his old friend who went through life and death with him.
“You’ve met each other?” Sikong Qianluo’s eyes grew wide in surprise.
“Didn’t I tell you already? It isn’t a problem for us at all that Tang Lian is the one guarding the floor.” Xiao Se shrugged his shoulders and said.
Sikong Qianluo thought about it for a moment then she suddenly yelled, “I get it now! Senior Brother, you went easy on him!”
Tang Lian calmly nodded his head. “Indeed, I went easy on him. However, I’m starting to regret it already”
“Regret?” Xiao Se leapt onto the roof and sat beside Tang Lian. “Why?”
Tang Lian looked up once again and there was a hint of worry in his eyes. “I’m not sure if that was the right thing to do. If I gave it my all on that floor, the most he would’ve suffered was a loss. Now, he might just lose his life”
“You’re right. While it’s common knowledge that the Tower Guardian Elder is the weakest of the elders, but if he decides to employ the Nine Heavens Thunder, I’m afraid the entire tower will end up being destroyed.” Another familiar voice popped up beside him. Xiao Se turned his head and, just like how Tang Lian appeared without any warning, found another black robed man standing beside him with a spear in his hand.
“Spear Immortal, Sikong Changfeng.” Xiao Se was thoroughly taken aback this time.
“It’s just Sikong Changfeng. There’s no need for all that immortal nonsense?” Sikong Changfeng had an annoyed look on his face as he continued, “Don’t give me that shocked look. Just because I’m old doesn’t I’m not allowed to join in on the fun.”
“Dad?” Sikong Qianluo yelled out in a hesitant voice as she stood on the street below.
“My good daughter, aren’t you responsible for guarding the tower today? What, did you run off somewhere to play again?” Sikong Changfeng had a smile on his face -he obviously didn’t blame her in the slightest.
Sikong Qianluo’s face flushed red. “How would I know that someone would climb so high today?”
“As the saying goes, there is always someone out there stronger than you. Don’t you think so, little daoist from Mount Qingcheng?” Sikong Changfeng smiled as he looked at the scholar and attendant who were sneakily trying to slip away.
Caught red handed, the scholar awkwardly turned around to reveal a stiff smile on his face, “Mount Qingcheng’s Li Fansong greets the third citymaster.”
The attendant hurriedly mimicked the scholar as well, “Mount Qingcheng’s Fei Xuan greets the third citymaster.”
“You’re already here so why bother hiding? It’s not like I will eat you up. I know you’re not here for me so I’ll watch my show and you go look for the person you’re looking for. None of us will get in each other’s way.” Sikong Changfeng coldly harrumped, “Besides, the person you’re looking for is already here. It’s just a matter of whether or not that person up there can defeat Lei Yunhe.”