At this moment, the elders of the six great clans sat within the hall of Zhou Residence. All of them sat solemnly, as if facing a great enemy. Zhou Guangfa, who had the greatest smoking addiction amongst them all, clutched a snuff bottle tightly in his hand, his figure leaning slightly forward.
“What’s the situation now?” he asked anxiously.
A servant sprinted over, standing at the centre of the hall as he panted.
Zhou Guangcai quickly instructed, “Get him some water!”
A servant girl standing aside snapped to her senses and brought him a cup of hot tea. Ignoring how hot it was, he drank it all in a gulp, wiping his mouth as he said, “They’re here!”
Zhou Guangcai said in a low voice, “What do you mean, they? Spiritual Mountain Sect? Or someone from another sect? How many people? Can’t you explain yourself clearly?”
The servant sulked, “Master, they’re cultivators from the Hidden Sword Court of Spiritual Mountain Sect…”
Zhou Guangcai, being impatient, questioned, “How many?”
“What about the people from Profound Life Sect?”
“The cultivators of Profound Life Sect have surrounded these two.”
Guangcai gave Guangfa a look. “Elder brother, I remember that the last time they came, it was more than two people. Why did they only send two now?”
Guangfa smiled. “It’s logical. As a businessman, would you put all your eggs in one basket? It’ll be alright, aren’t all six great clans here with us now? As long as they aren’t reckless enough to invade this place, we’re safe.”
Wenhao fiddled with the metal spheres. “What was the situation when you left? Had they begun to fight?”
The servant gave a strange expression. “No, the person who came called himself Li Chengfeng and suggested to have an intellectual, not physical, duel against the Profound Life Sect cultivator.”
All elders of the six clans heaved a sigh of relief and laughed heartily.
“He must be afraid, that’s why he suggested such a thing!”
“Looks like Profound Life Sect was right! The Spiritual Mountain Sect is a paper tiger, only strong from the outside but weak on the inside!”
“And we were so worried! Looks like it was all for nothing!”
Zhou Guangfa was more level-headed. “What was the duel about?”
The servant gave a curious but revered look. “The cultivator challenges the Profound Life Sect cultivator to a drawing duel, he wanted to see whose drawing could… come alive!”
The hall turned dead silent.
Everyone was shocked speechless!
Although they did not have any cultivation background, anyone who wasn’t an idiot knew how powerful such magic would be!
Zhou Ling, who was hiding behind the dividers of the hall, turned to tug on Zhou Bo’s sleevel. She whispered, “Eh, have you heard of such magic? Making a drawing… come alive?”
Zhou Bo thought for a moment, then shook her head solemnly. “No, I haven’t!”
Zhou Ling whispered, “My master says that if a cultivator’s cultivation reaches a level where they can revive the dead, they can also create life out of nothing! If only I could witness such magic once in my lifetime, then I’ll say my life was worth living! Let’s go, let’s go! We must go check it out!”
Zhou Bo caught her by the sleeve. “Stop it! The duel would have ended by the time you arrived! Plus, Dad has already grounded us. It’s time to lay low for a while.”
Zhou Ling turned to glare at her, “Yeah, you’re not the one who is getting married, that’s why you can say whatever you want! I’m not marrying that acne-ridden shorty, you can marry him if you like!”
Zhou Bo’s face fell, her eyes reddening and her voice shook, “If I could, I’d take your place in the marriage. All as long as you remain safe and if it brings peace to the family. Whatever happens to me isn’t important.”
Zhou Ling’s heart softened as she clutched Zhou Bo’s hand, whispering, “My dear little sister, you know how horrid my words can be sometimes, ptui ptui ptui! I shouldn’t have said that! Please don’t take what idiotic words I said to heart. We’re sisters, we’re never going to be separated! We’re going to be a team, we’ll become great heroines together!”
Zhou Bo forced a smile. “But you’re getting married, how will that work?”
Zhou Ling put a finger on her lips. “I have a plan. I’m not getting married, and that is final! When the time comes, we’ll slip away…”
As they spoke, another urgent yell came from outside, “Message!”
The hall erupted in a flurry of whispers, “Eh eh, someone's here with news!”
Another servant sprinted into the hall. Panting and barely catching his breath, he reported, “Masters, the results… have been announced!”
The crowd fell silent. Wenhao asked anxiously, “Who won?”
The servant gave a strange expression. “It’s… the cultivator from Hidden Sword Court of Spiritual Mountain Sect.”
Wenhao’s metal spheres fell to the ground with a clang, reverberating heavily like every person’s heart.
An impatient elder complained, “I told you so! The Spiritual Mountain Sect is ranked third in the world. Even if they’ve fallen to a decline, a broken boat still has three nails! Why must you poke the bear?”
Zhou Guangcai interjected in a deep voice, “That’s enough!”
He turned to the servant, “Tell us what happened!”
“The Spiritual Mountain cultivator challenged the Profound Life Sect cultivator to an intellectual duel…”
Zhou Guangcai stopped him impatiently, “We know that, get to the point! How did he win?! Did he really… make a drawing come alive?”
If Li Chengfeng could do such a thing, then Spiritual Mountain Sect was a formidable organisation!
Everyone knew about Hidden Sword Court’s decline. It was not a secret, anyone who asked the people in towns near Spiritual Mountain would hear about it.
But a previously unknown, low-ranked cultivator had such powerful cultivation!
That meant the Spiritual Mountain Sect had terrifying hidden powers!
Everyone stared at the servant, who had a strange expression of a person trying hard not to laugh. After some hesitation, he said softly, “He… didn’t actually make it come alive…”
Zhou Guangcai paused, then asked in confusion. “Didn’t you say he won?”
Holding back laughter, the servant replied, “Yes, he won. His challenge to the Profound Life Sect cultivator was to make a drawing of a prawn come alive. The Profound Life Sect cultivator admitted he couldn’t do it, and so admitted defeat.”
“So the Spiritual Mountain Sect cultivator… he made his prawn come alive?”
The servant forced himself to not laugh. “He… actually did it…”
The crowd drew a sharp breath. “He actually did it?”
“Such impressive magic! Impressive indeed!”
“I’ve lived a long life, yet this is the first time I’ve heard of such a thing!
Everyone whispered to each other but Zhou Guangcai noticed the servant looking down, trying not to laugh. “What are you laughing about? Is this cultivator’s magic… that funny?”
The servant burst out in laughter. “Master, he placed a… drunken prawn on the paper! He said once the prawn sobers up, it’ll be alive once again…”
[TL Note: A drunken prawn is also a chinese dish where prawn is soaked in alcohol first. It’s a very, very slapstick practical joke, there is nothing much of a punchline here lmaoo]
There was an awkward silence with a sudden burst of laughter behind the divider. The crowd woke up and cursed, “THAT’S how he justified his live prawn?!”
“My goodness, it’s a trick!”
“What an idiot. How shameless is he to pull such a lowly trick?”
Everyone cursed him but Guangfa suddenly threw his head back and laughed. Wenhao smiled too, nodding slowly.
Guangcai asked, “Brother, why are you laughing?”
Guangfa replied, “I’m laughing at the fact that the Spiritual Mountain Sect has to resort to such poor tricks! They’re nothing to worry about, nothing to worry about at all!”
He had just finished when a figure rushed in from outside, drenched in sweat with fear in his face, “Fire! Fire! Serious fire! Wancai street is on fire!”