Archivo de la categoría: Ways to the Empress

85 Duo battle I

In the city there were thirty sects including us. According to my Master and Meng Shang, most cities only have 4 or 6 at maximum, and the fight between them was from a cold war to a bloody one. So having so much was a miracle that only the City Lord could do. With his strength and with the power of his sect, no other sect was so fool as wage a war. Also, he had created an environment where all sects could live together without too much problems. He had proclaimed that all sects are welcome, but they have to abide by the rules. What happened to the Metal Turtle Sect was one example of this, but they were others were only left a plot land where a magnificent Sect was.

All the rest of the sects understood that peace had more benefit for them, especially in this gourmet city, where trade and food would make rich to anybody. They had order, progress and richness, why would they fight each other? But humans being humans, they also wanted to show they power to others, so when the City Lord instated the tournament, they were happy because they could send their best apprentices and show their power, even if the apprentices were only at the quasi-mortal level.

But now, this changes in the tournament were unexpected and exciting. First everyone thought that it would be cancelled permanently as the City Lord said, but later they found that he wanted to do this kind of free for all, and it was with quasi-divines! Who would not enjoy showing more than they excellent but weaker disciples? The quasi-divines had been taught excellent techniques, and had a good cultivation, it was a perfect show off for every sect. After this, they would expect more people to join their sects.

Now in the stage were 60 people, 2 for each sect. Even the powerful sects that normally don’t participate, this time did it. We didn’t know anyone except for Yuan Ling, but why she was there? Was she not a quasi-mortal? Perhaps she had hidden her strength.

The rules were simple in this part. We had to fight as a team, and if one lost, both did it, so coordination of the team was important. We were not allowed to kill or cripple, even if the other part didn’t want to surrender, for that cases we had a referee who would judge who was fit to still combat. Also as stated before, we could only use techniques and weapons that where not powerful enough to be a free win. That was good for the small sect, because the bigger one, could not use their relics and thousands of years old ultimate techniques. Also, as we were 30 pairs, the contest would end when only 10 groups remained, and they would be the ones to pass to the second part.

“Remember the rules —said the referee who was not other than the City Lord himself—, I will be observing you, don’t shame your sect, make them prideful! Act as the noble cultivators you are! And now… begin!”

Nobody moved. I was as expected, everyone was waiting the other teams to be the one who started. However, I could see that some groups where seeing each other, that could mean two things, or they were about to attack each other, or they were to team up. That was something that Meng’er and I had spoken before as a possibility, the weaker sect would do the impossible to eliminate some of the strongest. After a while, all started.

As expected, some groups allied to attack others, what was unexpected is that some groups were attacking us. The group that in theory of the weakest. That also made sense, but I didn’t believe that five teams would try to eliminate us. Since when we were so popular?

Meng Shang was the first to react. He punched one of them, but a sphere appeared protecting him. It was similar to what Yuan Ling gave us, but Meng Shang had not finished, his other with his other punch he injected elemental thunder qi, and the sphere dissolved. Not only that, but the protective gear that he was using broken up. The City lord transported the injured to a safe place, together with his team mate. For them it was over.

The other four groups stopped. They were searching for a cat, but found a tiger. They quickly regroup and left us alone. “Since when you could your elemental qi?” I asked amazed, I thought that he couldn’t do it. “Goddess teach me, but I can only use lighting; she said that you could use other elements if you wanted and that made me a little jealous.” He said while grinning.

Fights where everywhere, and some groups try to attack us, Meng Shang dispose of the quickly. Everybody thought that I was the weak partner, and they were right, but I had one of the strongest participants with me. So, at least for this part, I was safe, or I thought.

Two groups went charging at us, “Get behind me!”, he yelled. I knew that he could win even with that two groups, I had seeing fight against the group of the girl, and they were not so good, so they thought that we would be easier even if they saw what happened a little while ago.

I get behind him, and I was thinking why they chose to fight someone as Meng Shang, I knew that I was a weak link, but even so, it was very dangerous. Something was strange. Suddenly, I sense something strange behind my back, I didn’t know that it was, but I used Shell defend with a lot of qi at my back, near my heart. I felt that there would be danger in that zone. Then I felt the impact. It was a sneak attack! It only made me move a little bit, but I heard a painful cry. I turned back and saw a girl who had her hand shattered. It was surprise for everybody there, and the ones who were attacking Meng’er stopped and tried to step back. Before they could do it, he blew away one group.

The groups with the girl and the one he blew away were transported to another place like before by the City Lord. We had already eliminated three groups.

And most of the viewers realized as the same time as me, that I was not the weakest link that we thought.

84 Beginning of the battle

We only had two days to train. For me, I wanted to try to merge the elemental qi and vital qi more easily, but it was something that I couldn’t do it in a couple of days, so I trained more my body, it was not much, but it was something that I could do. Meng Shang otherwise, began meditating. We both absorbed a lot of nutrients in the City Lord’s dinner, and he still didn’t assimilate it all. On the other hand, that was not difficult to me with the help of my Master. I now I could sense that I was about to breakthrough. Perhaps if I had some more days I could do it before the free for all, but it was and impossible dream.

The day had come, I we went with the uniform of the sect. It was green and had the symbol of the turtle on the back. It was very conformable, and it could hide my body without a problem. Even so, the Founder with me a pendant that could prevent people below his rank to discover me. I was really grateful for that. I didn’t like that more and more people knew that I was a girl, I knew that this could bring troubles until I was strong enough.

“Remember that you don’t need to win —said the Founder—, but that didn’t mean that you could try to do it. Give your all. But if you think your life is in danger, quit. I prefer to lose to see a pointless death of friend of the turtle.”

We went with a carriage to the coliseum. After the City Lord gave out all our think, we finally ended our short of money. And could finally rented some transport for us. When we arrive, many sects were already there, and all were looking at us. Some were afraid, but some were still mocking us. I didn’t care for people like them, I only wanted to fight and demonstrate my power. And I think Meng Shang had a similar thought, because he knew that after all this, he finally could know the person his father for him to know.

They explained the rules, they were quite simple. First, we would fight with our companion against others until half remained. Then, after a break, the true free for all would commence. We were prohibited to kill, and we could use any weapon or abilities we had, but know weapon had to be above the quasi-divine rank, if not the sect with the most powerful weapon would be the winner and that would not be excited, but we were allowed to use techniques beyond our current level, because that was something that we had trained ourselves, and not and external help. The first phase would commence in two hours, so we had time to do whatever we wanted.

We began to tour the coliseum, it was… normal. After we went to the City Lord’s manor, I had expected that this place had the same kind of elegance, but no. It was a simple place where people would watch us fight. It was not bad constructed, not at all, but it was too simple. There was nothing interesting to watch.

While walking we encountered the troublemaker girl of the banquet. She noticed us and cupped her hands. We went near us; all the haughtiness of that time was gone. “I want to apologize for my behavior last time, I hope that you can forgive this Yuan Ling. Also, I want to thank you for don’t said anything against my group. I am deeply ashamed of that day and I swear that I will never do this again.»

Now she knew how powerful we were, he had a change of heart, I was a little angry by that, but I could understand her position. Also, she, aside of badmouthing us, didn’t do anything to harm us, and even lied to the City Lord. If she fulfilled her promise, I thought that we could forgive her.

“Sister Yuan don’t have to worry about it —said Meng Shang apparently thinking the same as me—, that day was something that we can blame to our youth. This happens all the time, and it’s not worth it to take it seriously. I think that we could be friends if you allow us, it would be our honor if you accept that.”

She smiled, the enemy of one day is the ally of another day. “Take this as a token of gratitude and friendship —she said while giving me a jade box—. It an artifact that could help you in this part of the free for all, I hope that you will receive it.” We accepted it, my Master look at the artifact and said that it didn’t have any kind of problems. It was a tiny circle forged in silver. “It a twice-use shield that could enclose both of you if necessary.”

“We are very thankful for this gift, but why are you giving it to us? We are your competitor in this moment”, I said.

“Yes, you are, and that’s why I’m giving you this. I want you to pass the second round. I want to fight with you with all my power, and see who is the strongest.”

But it would not be easier if she defeats us in the first part? I didn’t understand why she did it, but I was grateful. “You will see a lot of that type in your life —said my Master— there is always people who wants to fight with the strongest, and she clearly thinks that your team are, that’s why she is helping you.”

That made less sense, but it didn’t matter. If she thought that one who become a quasi-divine some weeks ago and a high semi-mortal was the strongest team and she gave us a gift because of that, who I was to tell her no? We talked for several minutes until her partner called her.

“We have to win this part —suddenly Meng Shang said—, I want to also fight her.” So he was also that type? Great, well I would keep practicing until the day came, and then we would see.

We went to the room prepared for me at the coliseum and begin to meditate. I need to improve at least a little bit. I knew that I would be one of the weakest members in the fight, so I had to be on alert.

I had to be more powerful.

83 A friend of the turtle

What he said was unexpected for both of us. That was too much information, and we really didn’t know what to think. What would we do? We could accept the deal, it was excellent for us, but why we trust in a man that have damaged so bad the sect that we were currently in? This sect had helped us in every they could, and he was the one the made it to fall down, and even if the Founder was happy with his new “friend”, we didn’t trust him

“City Lord —spoke Meng Shang after a while—, I am the one who want the most this information, and I would be happy to do what you want me to do, but first I have to know, why did you almost destroy the Metal Turtle Sect?”

The City Lord was not surprised after that question, and keep drinking. “You are really bold asking things like that, it not bad to be like that, but you have to be careful —said the City Lord after drinking—. However, you are mistaken, I never tried to destroy the Sect, I was helping it.”

The Supreme Elder was still eating and drinking as what he said had all the reason of the world, and the City Lord could notice our incredulity after hearing that. He laughed. “It is difficult to believed, don’t you think? I some other person said that to me, I probably would have the same faces as yours. But I’m telling the true.

Long time ago, when I was a semi divine cultivator, I had plenty of adventures that came also with plenty of risks. One of these almost killed me if not for a turtle disciple, I would not be the man I’m now. He helped me and even teach me some techniques, I still use Turtle defends when needed, it has saved my life so many times. He not only taught me techniques but the philosophy of the turtle. I was really impressed that they would be so carefree to eat with a stranger without worrying. He was one of the few people who I can call Master, and he made me promise that if one day I saw that someone for his sect has troubles, I had to help him because now I was a friend of the turtle.

I had met many disciples of the turtle in my life, and most of them were like him, when I needed help, they did it without question, and I did the same for them. Even if I was not part of the Sect, they treat me as their friend, and I understood what really meant to be a friend of the turtle and I was really happy to be one.

Many, many years passed, I found this city, and suddenly I heard that the Metal Turtle Sect was coming here. As a friend of the turtle, I helped them at first, but years passed and I saw how they have changed. They were no carefree anymore, but people of worldly desire like power and money. They even began to bully other sects, and I tried everything I could to stop their behavior without being cruel to them. However they insisted in their ways. I really didn’t know what to do in that moment. As the City Lord my duty was to impose order even by killing them, but as a friend of the turtle I didn’t want to do it.

That day… all changed that day —he said like whispering—. I think that you already know what happened, but until no you don’t understand why I did it. When that Sect Master wanted a table, I was willing to be with him, but he didn’t want that. I was trying to be cordial, but he simply demonstrated me that the ways of the turtle were dead, and that’s had make me decide to eliminate the sect. It was not the sect I was friend with.

I wanted to kill all of the sect, if the Sect Master was as rotten as him, what kind of hope was left for true turtles to be born? But then, that gardener tried to save the life of the disciples. He was just a simple mortal, but he was trying to protect them while the elder were trying to run. I saw the heart of the true turtle in him, so I made him the new Sect Master. I wanted for them to rise up with the true teachings of the turtle, and I thought that they would do it in a couple of years with their techniques. And for that I created the tournament, to push them to improve themselves, and be really cultivators of the turtle. I even prohibited bullying the sect, so nobody could harn the metal Turtle Sect while they were down. But after many years, they could only obtain the last place. I didn’t understand why, I had learned their basic techniques and I knew that they could do much more than what I saw. How would I know that the former Sect Master was so rotten that he didn’t even teach their disciples the true techniques? When I learned that, everything mad sense.

Now you have your Supreme Elder, and he has brought you the true way of the turtle, and I could see the difference. He has told me that you are not true disciples of the metal turtle Sect, but you are friends of the turtle, that I can see it clearly, and I’m happy to know that the old ways have reborn.

And now, you know the full story of what happened and why it happened. So as a fellow friend of the turtle I would gladly tell you who that man is, but as the City Lord, I also have responsibilities, but that’s why I don’t want you both to win or something like that, you only have to participate and bring all your power, you can fake it out. In that way, the city will not lose too much, and we can still help each other. That’s why I’m asking you to do this.”

After he told his story, we looked at the Founder and he nodded at us. If he was really a friend, we didn’t have any problems with that. We accepted.

82 Free for all

We went to the City Lord’s manor. It was exquisite made. I went to many beautiful houses in my city, but they all looked like a shack in comparison. In was ornamented with gold and jade, but not too much, as if the one who decorated knew how to make it elegant and simple at the same time.

We went only with the Founder, and near the entrance two guards stopped us. He showed his invitation and the guards changed their brusque behavior to a very polite one. The interior was the same as the exterior, it was visually impressive but without exaggeration. All things were in their correct place, and everything had an order. I hadn’t seen this kind of manor in my life.

A servant come and apologized for being late and made us follow him to the dining room. What I saw was something that I thought it was for a king not for a City Lord. Meng Shang was less surprised than me, but not by much. The only one that felt right in home was the Founder. The City Lord was expecting us already and tell us to sit down and enjoy the meal.  When I began to eating it, I felt and strange sensation. “Keep eating it, even if you are full —my Master said— this food is very good for you. I will help you with all that after we return to the sect.” I followed her instructions and began to eat all what I could, Meng Shang was more refined than me, but also ate a lot. We could ate all without worrying because the City Lord was chatting with the Founder. It really seems that he was like a friend. He even told us that if we wanted more, we only needed to ask.

After a long time, and when we really were full, he began to talk to us. “I have heard from your Supreme Elder of your mission. I know that name, and know who he is. I could help you, but nothing is free in this world. Both of you have to do me a little favor.” What kind of favor would a powerful cultivator as the City lord would need from us? It was really strange.

He noted our expressions and explained it. “As you know, I started the tournament as a punishment for your sect, but over time it became a important moment in the city and generate a lot of money, especially from bets. But now because of you, I had to close the tournament, at least for this year. If I didn’t do that, we would had a enormous trouble from the bets. But, even if the bets were not an issue, the city needs the revenue of the tournament.

So I was thinking and after talking with your Supreme Elder I found a good solution. We would choose two member of each sect who has to be at least a quasi-divine and make you fight in a free for all. In this way, the organization and money that we had already spent will not be lost, and the bets could be more entrancing for many people, especially after the rumors about you have circulated. So what I want if for both of you to enter in this free for all as the representatives of the Metal Turtle Sect. I don’t care if you win or lose, I only want you to compete and after that, I will tell you all you want to know about that man, and perhaps even more. What do you think?”

81 Friend

“This King have seen enough for today —said the City Lord—, I hope that this will not happen again. The punishment of the Metal Turtle Sect had been lifted so I hope that everyone understand what that means. So follow the customs of the city, if not, you are free to go.”

“We will do as the City Lord orders”, all the sect master involved in this mess said. Later I found that the City Lord didn’t permit infighting between the sects in the city. If something like that happened, they would have to pay to the sect they have offended. This law started after the problems with our sect, and nobody had problems with it. In years there was no fighting in the city and this was also a loss of face of the sects who were involved in the fight.

Like that, all ended. The parties returned to their sects, because there would be not tournament now. That caused other problems but in that moment we didn’t know anything about it. We only knew that now we were so near to the man who knew the one we were looking for. I noticed the tension in Meng Shang, I knew that he wanted to go to him and asked directly, but he did do that, probably he would in best case scenario be punished, worst case, he would be killed. So near and so far.

We went also to our sect silently. There were not words that I could say to him to animate him. I could only smile and he did the same.

When we went to our rooms, I tried to say something but he looked at me with red eyes and I didn’t talk. He entered his room, and I returned to mine. He wanted to be alone, and I could comprehend him. I really hoped that he could sleep that night.

I woke up early to practice my body techniques and I encountered with the Supreme Elder, he asked to wake up Meng Shang because he wanted to talk to us. It was weird, but I did it. When he opened the door, I could see his red eyes. I didn’t say anything but what the Supreme Elder said. He changed clothes and went to see him

 We went to his shrine, and we salute him as the Founder of the Sect. He knew that in some time we would leave the Sect, but even so manners mattered. “Good! You are here —said the Founder—. I have good news! The little girl knows a little bit of that, but probably she didn’t told you anything. That’s alright, it’s better if it is a surprise! You know? I have made a new friend. He used the code we use when we want to know if were a talking to a friend of the turtle, and he is one! Could you believe it? So I talked to him about your mission, and he was very interested and want to see you both, so we will have a dinner with him today at his manor. Isn’t that good news?!”

That was… a lot of news… he was a friend to the turtle? The same that killed the old Sect Master and most of the elders? The one who taxed the Sect through the roof? The one who made a tournament only to making the Sect? He was a friend? Also why the Founder talked about our mission? Why he did that?! Now we were to see the City Lord, and we didn’t know if that was good or bad news.

But soon we would know.

80 Contest

I could see many different faces in the young cultivators. Some had panic, others smugness and also happiness. The people of my sect didn’t know how to feel, even Meng Shang, only I was the one who knew what had transpired there, so I was more relaxed than they.

People from the group we had beaten up were the first who went running to him and tried to explain what happened. It comes without saying that they were telling a story fitting their desires. We were terrible beings, bullying everybody because of our Supreme Elder. We were trying to fight but nobody wanted, so we began to fight anyway. We were monster, and we had to be punished.

The Sect Masters of the one who were beaten didn’t know what to say. In other occasion they would ask for a severe punishment, even death, but now? Didn’t they not saw how the City Lord acted with the Supreme Elder? And even if they would not have seen that, would the City Lord would really believe that the always meek Metal turtle Sect was capable of this? The evidence was right there, and they couldn’t believe it.

The City Lord after they finished their story, asked to the girl if hat they said was true. Her face said how awkward her position was. I understood her problem: in that moment she had to choose enemies and allies. If she choose correctly, it would be no problem, but if not… it would be difficult to know what the consequences would be. Did she would choose between the not so powerful but renewed little sect or the long standing and powerful sects? She cupped her fist and salute the City Lord before answer. “City Lord, I didn’t see enough to know what exactly happened here. When I became aware of the fight it was too late.” It was obviously an answer that neither party liked, but it benefited us a little more. He asked other people of her group and all said the same thing.

After asking several people, nobody saw or heard anything until late. “Yes, we have valiant disciples of all these distinguish sects —said the City Lord annoyed—. All the Sect Master here, hear me out! Teach them better! If they can’t even sense what is happening around them, they will die easily. I always said that there are not bad disciples but bad teachers! Do you understand me?!” All the Sect master of these sects kowtowed and acknowledge their “mistakes”. It was a slap in their faces, but all understood what their disciples were trying to do. They knew that they were not innocent, how could they wouldn’t? Every year it was almost a tradition no bully the sect, but now things were different.

“So now it’s time to ask the other party. Who of the Metal Turtle Sect wants to speak?” Meng Shang and I saw each other and in that moment we decided that I was the one who would talk. I cupped my fists, and tell the City Lord all what happened but didn’t say anything about the other groups. I could feel how grateful were both the girl and the boy. Making enemies to allies was better than the other option.

“I see, I think that this is more credible than what they have told me. What do you say Sect Master?” The City lord asked to the Sect master of the boy who began all. He was pale, and in that moment I’m sure that he wanted to strangle that guy. “What City Lord have said has merit —said the pale and angry Sect Master—, but why my disciples would attack first to a weak sect? That is something shameless, and I am sure that it is not something that they would do. It is not easier to think that because the disciples of the Metal turtle Sect have an amazing backer thought that they could offend us without any type of repercussion? We all saw how their Supreme Elder treated the Sect Master of the Thunder Warriors, so obviously the cubs tried to imitate the lion.”

“That makes sense —said the City Lord—, but I want to see something first. The ones who got their hands smashed, come forward.”

Both of the boys were frightened. They began to walk as if they were going to the gallows. “Sect master, tell me how you think they have their hands in so deplorable state?” “I could only suppose that it is a nasty technique make for killing,” responded the Sect Master without thinking. “Yes, I suppose that could be an option, but do you really think that those guys there had a powerful technique like that? I they had that; they would have not been in the last place all these years. Also, only those two have this kind of injury and it looks more like if they had smashed their hands against something, don’t you think?” Now the Sect master observed the injuries, and how he would not know what kind of injury it was? He had years of fighting experience, and knew many types of injuries, it would be pointless told a lie. “Yes, you are right, City Lord.”

“Good! And it happens that I know that one of the basic techniques that the disciples of the Metal turtle Sect learn is a defensive technique. If you mastered it well, people at the same level as this two, could be in great troubles. But for using a defensive technique, someone have to attack first, or I’m wrong?” In that moment the Sect Master realized that even if he tried to defend their disciples, it was a lost cause, the City Lord had already made a judgment. “It is as the City Lord said” finally the Sect Master had to admit.

“I really can’t see how much the sect have changed —said the City Lord—, and I also could see that now the tournament is pointless. Forty people was beaten up and the other group have minor injuries that said a lot of how strong this new batch of disciples is, they even have a quasi-divine cultivator in their ranks, that’s incredible.” That last thing shocked everybody, all the disciples there were only at the quasi-mortal level, if the quasi-divine wanted to kill them, it would be as easy as torn paper. Even the Sect master were intrigued, how they obtain a genius like that in that Sect?!

“If you want —the Sixty Lord continued—, we can continue with the contest, but the deal I made with the Sect Master of the Metal Turtle Sect is now rescinded. I will give you all the thing I had taken from you, and you no longer had to pay the high taxes. You have showed me today, that you are not like before.”

Our Sect Master kowtowed thanking him for his words. He cried of happiness. He never believed that this day would come, all thanks to two kids that wanted information. In that moment he sworn that he will help them in anything he could, even if it costed his life.