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"I concede defeat," Su Huaijun announced straightforwardly, breaking the silence.
Ai Hui recovered his senses and smacked his lips, as if wanting to continue. He had been engrossed in the battle and many ideas were still running through his mind, so it was simply too dissatisfying to end it now.
Without giving Su Huaijun another look, he scanned across the floor and asked urgently, "Who else? Hurry!"
Those who made eye contact with Chu Zhaoyang only felt their hearts tremble as they instinctively tilted their heads down. Chu Zhaoyang’s gaze was like a sharp, electric sword that pierced deep into their hearts, giving them the illusion that a hole had been drilled within them.
A word surfaced in everyone’s minds: Unstoppable!
Fully inspired, Ai Hui’s eyes were about to explode. He was stuck at a crucial point and becoming anxious.
"What? Is there nobody with any guts at all? Are all of you scared?" Ai Hui rambled impatiently.
What disappointed him greatly was the silence that followed. He did not realize that the more arrogant he sounded, the more the crowd felt that he had strong confidence and unfathomable powers. Sanmu Su family’s [Inescapable Net] was not the strongest skill and also was not flawless. There was a decisive opening if one was able to utilize the interval just before the net deployed..
Shattering the inescapable net into pieces after it had deployed and trapped its target was unheard of.
The spectators believed that they did not have such capabilities.
Chu Zhaoyang’s strange sword techniques really opened their eyes and even excited them.
Could this be the real abilities of a swordsman?
Su Huaijun realized that she had been disregarded and felt displeased, but at the same time, she embraced her defeat. She was just about to ask what exactly Chu Zhaoyang meant by the number of tiers when she heard his shady, malicious voice.
"Since you guys are not coming to me, I’ll come to you guys."
Su Huaijun’s face froze.
Chu Zhaoyang soared with his long sword. Like a tiger pouncing on a flock of sheep, he broke his way into the crowd with an evil grin.
She was dumbstruck and flabbergasted.
"Ow, stop hitting, Teacher! Stop!"
"You’re unmatched. Respect!"
Xiao Shuren was in shock too. She had seen countless of matches, but none were as preposterous as the spectacle before her eyes.
Just as the old woman beside Madam Ye was about to make a move, Madam Ye smiled and said, "You need not stop him."
Ai Hui became angrier the more he fought. There had been contenders who retaliated initially, but none resisted now. They either slipped away or merely howled in grief upon getting attacked. The girls looked at him with teary eyes, as if offering themselves to him willingly.
Was there any fellow who was not a troublemaker?
With his body built like an iron tower, Gui Hu wrapped his head with his hands and crouched down on the ground like a squirrel.
Looking at Chu Zhaoyang’s death god-like appearance and sensing his murderous spirit through his piercing gaze, the people were scared witless. If Teacher forgot to hold back and chopped them into pieces, would they not be the ultimate losers?
Ai Hui firmly held onto the sword hilt, his stomach full of ire.
Just a little more…
He felt the inspiration in his mind disappear by more than half. Inspiration did not emerge that often, and as he calmed down, it meant that his active thoughts regained their calm.
In everyone’s eyes, Teacher Chu’s expression softened, and the terrifying aura surrounding his body gradually disappeared as well.
They collectively heaved a sigh of relief as the respect and admiration in their gazes grew stronger. Since the beginning of the Avalon of Five Elements, those with abilities were respected and had the greatest clout. They used to doubt Chu Zhaoyang’s skills, but now that they had seen for themselves, there was no longer any suspicion.
Calm down… calm down…
Ai Hui exhaled a deep breath as he restrained his urge to spar with the old lady beside Madam Ye. That woman’s abilities were simply unfathomable.
His life was more important!
Ai Hui reverted to his usual self, sheathed his long sword, and walked toward Madam Ye.
The old lady beside Madam Ye appeared vigilant. Chu Zhaoyang’s earlier performance had already made him a threatening target in her eyes.
Amid the old lady’s cautious gaze, Ai Hui took large strides and stopped in front of the tea table that was beside her. He held the teapot to his mouth and gulped the tea straight down without a word.
No one mocked his boorishness and poor etiquette.
The noble sons and daughters sincerely stood on either side.
Clap, clap, clap. Madam Ye applauded once again. "Mister Chu’s performance was really amazing and an eye-opener. It is your good fortune to be able to learn from Teacher Chu. I hope you guys will put in the effort and not waste such a good opportunity."
The youths called out in unison, "Yes, Madam!"
Madam Ye nodded her head in satisfaction. "Teacher Chu, I’ll leave them to you. Please give the housekeeper the names of those who try to goof off or resort to tricks."
The students trembled in fear.
They clearly knew that Madam’s words were directed at them.
Ai Hui bowed slightly. "All right, Madam."
The students were startled. Teacher’s temper was not too good either. If he did give their names to the housekeeper, they would completely lose their qualifications.
Madam Ye smiled sweet-temperedly. "Thank you for your trouble, Teacher Chu."
She then turned to face Xiao Shuren, stopped smiling, and said, "It’s peaceful, quiet, and also the safest place here. Feel free to move about within the compound, but please avoid leaving to prevent unnecessary misunderstandings."
Xiao Shuren responded respectfully, "I will never forget your kindness for providing me shelter. Please do not worry, Madam. I will not take a step beyond this property."
Madam Ye looked pleased. "That’s good. Do not worry, you will naturally regain your freedom when the storm passes. Just be patient."
Xiao Shuren bowed. "I understand. Thank you Madam."
Madam Ye bade her goodbye and left with Xiaobao.
Ai Hui looked at Xiao Shuren.
Xiao Shuren combed her fringe and remarked tartly, "Long time no see, Mister Chu."
Ai Hui looked at her and could not help but feel sorrowful. "I did not expect to meet you here, Madam."
The ancient treasure became such a hot topic that Ai Hui had even heard about the Great Wei Enterprise’s pitiful state. How could one not sigh over the fact that Xiao Shuren, who recently had a retinue following her around, was now reduced to this solitary, prisoner-like state?
Xiao Shuren could tell that Chu Zhaoyang sympathized with her and felt regretful. While she felt as though her heart was being pricked, she kept a straight face and bowed deeply. "Please accept my bow as an apology for causing you trouble and offending you."
Ai Hui did not dodge, accepting her apology instead. "I accept it, so let’s forget about past grievances. The road in front is going to be difficult. Please take good care of yourself, Madam."
Xiao Shuren met Ai Hui’s gaze and could feel the sincerity within him. Her nose ached as tears almost flowed out.
He did not make things difficult for her or mock her downfall, but chose to leave the past behind and proved that he had an open heart. She felt extremely regretful for the way she had set him up.
If the Great Wei Enterprise was still around, Ai Hui would definitely exact revenge and would not show the least bit of mercy, be it on the lone Madam Xiao or the Madam Xiao who had a retinue.
To take revenge on Xiao Shuren now was totally meaningless.
As they say, a man of character knew what to do and what not to do!
He diverted his gaze toward the people standing respectfully before him and sternly said, "Madam places high hopes on you guys, so I hope you all will do your best to become outstanding swordsmen and not disappoint her."
Everyone answered together, "Yes!"
The servants standing around nodded their heads in agreement as their gazes toward Ai Hui became much friendlier. Speaking on Madam’s behalf,Ai Hui really seemed to know how to behave.
Xiao Shuren’s gaze flickered as she thought about certain matters.
With a solemn expression on his face, Au Hui continued, "So how can you perfect your swordplay? As the saying goes: to do well, one has to sharpen his tools first. To become an outstanding swordsman, you will have to choose a suitable and good sword! With the decline in swordsmanship, however, a good sword can be difficult to find. As your teacher, I can’t bear to see you guys empty-handed, so I can only resign myself to part with this treasure and hope for a brighter future for you."
The servants were stupefied.
The noble sons and daughters too.
"This sword, Snow Cherry, is two feet and seven inches long, weighs seven kilograms, and was made by a famous craftsman! It has a crimson sword body, and like cherry blossoms falling onto the snow, it is beyond beautiful. Using it to practice will produce twice the results with half the effort. Plus, it belonged to the first ever master swordsman in the history of the Avalon, the Savant from Karakorum.. The Karakorum Savant and I discussed sword theories and enjoyed our time so much that she gifted me this sword."
"As a teacher, it is my job to educate and clear your doubts! What is this sword when compared to your future? Of course, treasures should not be given out easily. This godly weapon will land in the hands of the most sincere. Its base price is 300 Heaven Merit Points or the equivalent in essence elemental beans. Bartering is allowed. Absolute arts, treasures, and Heaven grade weapons are also accepted!"
Dead silence filled the courtyard.
The noble sons and daughters stood frozen.
Calmly, a bone-chilling voice rang in the audience's ears.
"Sincerity is the most important trait when learning sword skills from me. Only when there’s sincerity within the heart can there be sincerity within the sword! What skills are you going to learn without sincerity? What future are you going to have? Go home instead!"
Future… go home…
Everyone quivered. These words jolted them to their senses.
Although they did not understand why Madam Ye wanted them to master the sword, they must learn it since that was what she demanded! They would lose their qualifications if they left this place and their future would be completely bleak.
Those with more agile minds were even guessing if this was Teacher Chu or Madam Ye’s idea. Or perhaps this was Madam’s test for them?
Yes! It must be Madam’s test!
Gui Hu said in a low voice, "Teacher, I’m the most sincere! 300 Heaven Merit Points! Please hand the godly weapon to me!"
Which one of these people had not grown up in an environment full of trickery and corruption?
Who would be that naive?
"Thinking about getting this authentic heirloom weapon for 300 points? What do you treat Teacher as? Teacher, I’m more sincere. 400 Heaven Merit Points!"
"Is this what you guys call sincerity? I can’t look at this any longer. Teacher, I’m willing to take out a Heaven grade armor!"
Xiao Shuren stared blankly at the strange sight before her.