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Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
Su Li had left behind seven letters.
He had Xu Yourong pass on two of the letters to Chen Changsheng, one letter was left for his daughter, and another letter was left for that small child in that blacksmith in the village at the foot of Mount Li that was just beginning to learn the sword. He had also prepared a letter for Qiushan Jun, but Qiushan Jun had calmly rejected it.
The remaining two letters had been sent to two other locations via the most ordinary of postal routes.
One of these letters was sent to a mansion situated outside Hanqiu City.
The Myriad Willows Garden. Thirty thousand cold-resistant crooked willow trees were planted within this garden.
Zhu Luo was Sect Master of the Emotion-Severing Sect, the head of the Zhu clan, an old friend of Emperor Xian, and one of the Storms of the Eight Directions. Any one of these identities could let him live a life impossible for an ordinary person to imagine. This garden that still flourished with greenery in the depths of winter was proof of this.
Today this mansion had a guest, an old and very fat man. As he sat on the round palace armchair, his fat waist was like the waters of a river spilling over a dike, making his bright yellow belt all the more conspicuous.
This fat elder had kind brows and pleasant eyes, his squinted eyes were filled with a calm and warmth detached from worldly affairs, and his face was one of jubilation. He looked just like those wealthy old men often found in the countryside, but since he could sit across from an important figure like Zhu Luo, it could be assumed that his status and background were not ordinary. Today, besides the myriad willows and mantle of snow, no one else could be seen in this garden. It might have had something to do with this portly elder's visit. Of course, it could also have had something to do with the letter placed on the table between them.
"When will that woman die…" The portly old man smiled and spoke, but when he said the word 'woman', he unexpectedly paused and his smile momentarily vanished. The word 'woman' was so faint that it was difficult to hear. The plump elder continued, "The stars above have their own plans. As for what time to go to the capital, we must still wait for additional news."
Zhu Luo slightly creased his brow, seeming somewhat dissatisfied with this sentence. "No matter how you look at it, our strength is still a bit lacking."
The old man sighed, "In order to conduct a grand project, mighty force is required. The White Emperor couple will definitely just watch from the sidelines. In fact, our best choice is still Su Li."
When mentioning Su Li's name, neither of them even glanced at the letter on the table.
After a moment of silence, Zhu Luo noted, "Su Li truly is very powerful."
Back in Xunyang City, Su Li was heavily injured and could not exchange blows with him, but he was forced to admit that purely in terms of strength, it was very difficult to find a person more powerful than Su Li.
The term 'strength' naturally was not strength as commonly understood by the common people, but the purest and most terrifying fighting strength.
"Black Robe planned for so many years and the demons sent out over a hundred thousand cavalry and wolfriders, ten-odd Demon Generals, and three of their figureheads to unite and suppress him on the snowy plains, but they still let him escape. On the following journey back south, as a cripple, he once more succeeded in developing his sword. Presumably, he comprehended some things and climbed to some unfathomably high peak. I'm afraid that he's advanced one more foot into the sea of stars. He truly is powerful to the extreme."
The portly elder sighed, "Back then, many people, me included, believed that he had the greatest chance of killing that woman, but he obstinately refused. Now, if he were to help us, the probability of killing that woman would increase by thirty percent, but he just so happened to choose this time to leave."
Zhu Luo emotionlessly said, "Under the request of His Holiness, I went to Xunyang City to kill him. How could he join us? And why would he send me this letter?"
As the two spoke, they did not look at the letter on the table, but their minds had been focused on the letter the entire time. Now that they had finally mentioned it, their gazes fell upon it.
Nothing strange occurred in this quiet winter garden, yet in the chilly wind, one could faintly hear the clattering of spears and shields.
The portly elder narrowed his eyes at the letter. It was like a seam, bursting with fierce light, being cut open in a snow-white mantou. It was abnormally vigilant.
He then raised his head to Zhu Luo as if asking, should we open this letter or not?
Zhu Luo's expression was very solemn and for a long time, he did not speak.
The plump old man had noticed something peculiar about this letter, so given Zhu Luo's cultivation, he could naturally see it as well.
He knew that this letter concealed a sword.
The letter was Su Li's letter, so the sword was naturally Su Li's sword.
Although Su Li's cultivation was extremely high and he was publicly acknowledged to have reached unfathomable heights in the path of the sword, when compared to the Eight Storms and four of the Saints, he was still a junior. Moreover, for various reasons, his name had never been mentioned alongside them.
He had written this letter to Zhu Luo precisely because he wanted to tell the entire continent that as long as he wished, he could destroy the so-called Storms of the Eight Directions at any time.
If this were several centuries ago when he was at his height, no, even several decades ago, even one year ago, when confronted by this letter, Zhu Luo would carelessly smile, then tear open the envelope, taking in at a glance all the sharpness on the paper. In this way, he would not cause any loss to the martial fame of the Storms of the Eight Directions.
But now, he was somewhat hesitant.
Because he had suffered severe injuries at Xunyang City and even now had not fully recovered.
Those injuries had come from Wang Po's blade, Liu Qing's sneak attack, and those ten thousand flowing lights in Chen Changsheng's sword sheath. His most serious injuries had come from the Holy Maiden's charge across a thousand li.
Even more importantly, just as Wang Po had said in Xunyang City, he was already old.
Su Li had also once mentioned it in his jeers that right now, he could die, but he could not lose in battle.
For the Emotion-Severing Sect and the Zhu clan, he was the tree that reached towards the heavens.
Other than the people of the Liang Household, all the people of Tianliang County required his protection.
What would happen if he lost?
The winter garden was exceptionally quiet. The thirty thousand cold-resistant and crooked willows in the distance waited with extreme patience in the cold for the coming of spring.
The portly old man was also very patient, calmly gazing at Zhu Luo.
After quite some time had passed, Zhu Luo finally made a decision, taking a deep breath.
The wind suddenly grew violent and the thousands of willows began to sway in the wind, seeming to cheer and also seeming to be wavering in fear.
No more hesitation could be seen on Zhu Luo's face, only indifference and cold arrogance.
He was a supreme human expert who had once charged into the snowy plains with only his sword. Even if he was troubled by old wounds, how could he be scared witless by a single letter?
His hand fell upon the letter, very firmly, and then tore it open.
A sword glow shot out from the envelope and its light made his face seem very pale.
This sword glow was so bright that the winter sun above the garden even dimmed and cause the willows to smoke. It was clearly daytime, but the garden seemed to have been cast into twilight.
A sword glow appeared in Zhu Luo's eyes. This sword glow did not come from the letter, but from his own world.
With a clang, the moonlight sword emerged from its sheath and slashed at the sword intent that had exploded from the letter.
With a cacophony of deafening clashes, a frenzied gale raged through the Myriad Willows Garden and the thirty thousand willows swayed back and forth.
A bright moon came from the north and suspended itself over the sky, attempting to drive away the dark night that had not fully set in.
The sword intent from the letter cared not for this. It instantly unleashed a massive light, touching all things, real and unreal, and setting them all ablaze!
The willows were instantly ignited, the icy ponds smashed, and countless flames soared to the sky like birds of fire.
The Golden Crow emerged from Mount Li!
The bright moon suddenly dimmed!