Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
He died before he had a chance to prove himself…
This was how best what happened to the swordsman could be described.
Any chance to show off his skills had been destroyed by one swing of this knife.
He had walked out of the hall, and his head was cut off by a butcher knife that had fallen from the sky. He didn't even have a chance to defend himself.
The bloodied butcher knife was still floating in the air. It was motionless and dripping with blood.
It was completely silent inside Chen Manor. Everyone was too afraid to make a sound, and were frozen in place like statues.
The other swordsmen from Sword Sect had wide eyes and were completely at a loss for what to do. Or, perhaps they were just horrified.
How… how had he died just like that?!
Back at the Phoebe zhennan wooden round table...
Jing Yue had been enjoying wine when his eyes suddenly widened.
The cup in his hand was filled with wine, but its surface started to vibrate and ripple.
Was he here?
Jing Yue lifted his head.
He knew that tonight was the night that would decide whether or not Sword Sect could take control of Beiluo City.
This son of the City Master of Beiluo City didn't want to play hide and seek with Sword Sect anymore, so he had finally bared his teeth and used a drastic and shocking method to draw the Sword Sect's forces out from Beiluo City.
Before everyone's disbelieving eyes, the floating butcher knife suddenly shrank back and shot forward.
What sort of skill was this?
Controlling a knife without touching it was like something only an immortal could do!
Many of the swordsmen started to tremble.
They looked at the decapitated swordsman on the floor, and then at the butcher knife flying through the air, and their expressions became ugly but hesitant.
In the end, they could only stubbornly walk out of the manor.
Their steps were heavy as they walked out of the main hall, and after about a hundred paces or so, they reached the Chen Manor gardens.
The fake mountain, the pavilion, and the small pond looked like a scene from a painting.
But the air was thick with the heavy stench of blood from cold-blooded murder.
The ten odd Ironblood soldiers of Beiluo City were in full armor and wielding long swords.
Both their armor and swords were stained with blood.
There was a young man seated in a wheelchair at the side of the small pond. He had a piece of bun in his hand, and was throwing bits of it into the small pond, attracting the fish swimming inside it, who started fighting for the food.
Next to the wheelchair was an attractive young lady in a pale, yellow long dress. She had a dimpled smile, and was as beautiful as a flower. There was also a young girl carrying a chessboard on her back, and she was looking curiously at the leftover bun.
A middle-aged man in a black robe stood solemnly next to Lu Fan, his back straight. He raised his hand, and the bloodied butcher knife flew into his grasp.
All the Sword Sect swordsmen and the merchants of Beiluo City, who had just walked out of Chen Manor, felt their hearts plummet into their stomachs.
There was the sound of wooden wheels creaking against the floor tiles.
Lu Fan initially had his back facing the crowd, but the wheelchair had changed direction on its own, and he was now facing them. Lu Fan was in a white robe, and he gently rubbed his palms to get rid of the bun crumbs on his hands, then looked calmly at the crowd before him.
The strong sun was starting to slant to the west. It became red, and its rays were like streams of boiling blood.
Lu Fan leaned back in his wheelchair, his eyes scanning everyone before him.
"The thirty-seven merchants of Beiluo City, those protesters… were all hired by you and the three major aristocratic families?" Lu Fan calmly asked after a while, as he bent his head to play with his fingers on his lap.
His words weren't harsh, but every merchant who heard them felt their hearts constrict with fear.
They opened their mouths to say something.
But nothing would come out.
The representatives of the Liu and Zhu families trembled violently. They looked at Liu Ye, Zhu Yishan, Chen Beixun, as well as all the important members of the Liu and Zhu families, who were all being held at knifepoint by the Ironblood soldiers, and their hearts felt like they were being squeezed by an invisible hand.
They knew that the Lius and the Zhus were doomed.
"Lu Ping'an, what crime is the Liu family guilty of? If you destroy the Lius, then all their assets, as well as all their businesses, will collapse! You'll lead Beiluo City to ruin, and we'll never recover from it!"
"And that goes for the Zhu family, too, you demon!"
"Your father, Lu Changkong, is such a reasonable man, but yet he has such an unreasonable and ungrateful crippled son!"
The representatives of the Liu and Zhu families lifted their hands and pointed trembling fingers at Lu Fan. They were so angry that even their beards were trembling.
The various merchants watching on also started to join in, and the Sword Sect disciples started pulling out their swords from inside their sword boxes.
The privately hired soldiers of the Chen family also made their move. They pulled back the strings on their long bows and aimed their arrows at Lu Fan and the others.
The atmosphere became tense—either side could attack at any moment.
But Lu Fan's gaze went right past the representatives of the Zhu and the Liu families and landed on the highly skilled Sword Sect fighters.
The Sword Sect fighters were all carrying wooden sword boxes on their backs and wearing blue robes.
"One of the Hundred Schools of Philosophy… Sword Sect." Lu Fan narrowed his eyes.
The first power from the Hundred Schools of Philosophy he came into contact with had been the Daoists, but clearly, the Daoists' target wasn't Beiluo City.
Instead, it was Sword Sect who dreamt of taking control of Beiluo City.
Going by what Chen Beixun said, the six cities surrounding the Great Zhou capital were probably all controlled by various powers from the Hundred Schools of Philosophy.
Great Zhou was as good as a dish that could be divided up for the taking.
The earlier betrayal of the three major aristocratic families, which allowed Tantai Xuan's troops to enter the city, had obviously been influenced by certain factions of the Hundred Schools of Philosophy.
Nie Changqing opened his eyes and wiped the blood off his butcher knife.
He had actually killed a Fifth Resonance Grandmaster from afar. His hand shook as he held his knife.
This swordsman was a Grandmaster, not one of those useless fancy-looking Confucianists on the recreational boats.
But of course, to a large extent, he'd been able to successfully kill the Grandmaster because of the Knife Control Technique's power, as well as how unexpected its attack was.
Luo Cheng had a hand on his sword, and his face was filled with excitement.
But he didn't act rashly, because he knew that what followed would be the last wave of counterattacks by these people.
Luo Cheng turned to look at Lu Fan. "Young Master, what should we do?"
In the distance...
The representatives of the Lius and the Zhus were still shouting away, hoping to scare Lu Fan, and were laying out the pros and cons of killing him.
The various merchants were doing the same.
Without them, Beiluo City would be a mess in no time.
"Kill them," Lu Fan said expressionlessly as he supported his chin on his hand.
"The world won't stop turning if you're not here, and the same goes for Beiluo City. After you all die, there will naturally be people who will replace you."
Lu Fan's voice was very cold and detached.
Everyone from the aristocratic families and the merchants all instantly fell silent when they heard him.
They started to panic.
"Beiluo City… will be a mess!" one merchant shouted in a low voice with bloodshot eyes.
Lu Fan glanced at him. "So what if it is?
"If anyone thinks he can't continue living in Beiluo City, then he's welcome to leave…
"And he can go and see if Beiluo City or the world out there is more of a mess."
Lu Fan used one hand to support his chin, while the other gently stroked the thin woolen throw on his legs.
Then he spat out two icy cold words:
Luo Cheng's eyes suddenly blazed.
He drew his bloodstained sword from the scabbard at his waist.
And there was a loud clanging sound.
Luo Cheng had called for soldiers to come over from the front of the city, and they all now appeared in full armor on the wall surrounding Chen Manor. Each one was armed with military-grade bows, and they aimed their arrows at the Chen family's private army, as well as all the merchants, and the fighters from Sword Sect.
The rest of the soldiers directly under Luo Cheng held up their iron shields and stood in front of Lu Fan.
"Young Master Lu, we were wrong! Please spare our lives!"
"It was the aristocratic families that made us do it! We're all good and ordinary folk!"
When the merchants saw all the cold and numerous soldiers with bows...
They immediately broke down and knelt on the ground, crying miserably. In the face of death, they felt nothing but fear.
Their crying was useless.
At Luo Cheng's command...
All the archers released their arrows.
All the merchants within Chen Manor were shot and died horribly, and their blood covered the ground.
The representatives of the Liu and Zhu families were immediately shot to death with the arrows before they could even let out a howl.
The highly skilled fighters from Sword Sect were also unable to defend themselves against the combined attack of the Ironblood soldiers. They were surrounded and slashed to death in the mess of swords.
As for Chen Manor's private army, which had once been eliminated before, they were obviously no match for the elite Ironblood soldiers of Beiluo City, and were quickly killed off.
Of course, Lu Fan's side also suffered some casualties and injuries.
The garden was left with nothing but the smell of freshly shed blood in the air.
Lu Fan sat on his wheelchair and suddenly lifted his head.
Far in the distance...
Inside the main hall of Chen Manor...
One lone figure was slowly walking with a cup of wine in his hand.
This was the swordsman Jing Yue, who had four swords in his sword box.
A first tier martial arts practitioner from Sword Sect crawled over to where Jing Yue was standing, his body covered in wounds and blood.
His eyes were full of indignation as he breathed his last and collapsed on the floor.
Jing Yue inhaled sharply, and the cup of wine in his hand trembled.
He threw the cup aside, and wine splashed everywhere.
The setting sun shone brightly on the liquid.
Jing Yue then placed two fingers at the end of his sword box and pulled a sword out of its scabbard, the sound of the sword being drawn ringing in the air.
Six blasts of Qi and blood exploded within his body.
The sword gleamed like fire as it reflected the wine on the floor.
Far in the distance...
Nie Changqing held his butcher knife in his hand and took heavy steps toward Lu Fan, and stood in front of him.
A Sixth Resonance Grandmaster swordsman…
He quietly exhaled, and held his butcher knife more tightly.
His face fell.
He saw that Grandmaster swordsman Jing Yue, whose Qi and blood had blasted six times in a row, had one sword on the ground under his feet. The sword bowed, then violently sprang upward.
The springing action catapulted Jing Yue onto the rooftop, and he followed the tiled roof-line and ran like crazy.
As Lu Fan watched the man's back as he escaped under the evening sun, he felt a strange sense of déjà vu.
This scene… it looked familiar, like he'd seen it before.
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