Chapter 28: Challenge

Translator: 549690339

Li Honggang?

The surname Li made Fang Wang instantly think of the Li Family behind Li Hongshuang. Could the White Garment Astonishing Swan that Li Honggang was looking for be him?

He wore white robes when he executed the Jinghong Divine Sword Art.

It had been three and a half months since the death of Li Hongshuang, and Green Cicada Valley had already retreated. He hadn't expected the Li Family to find this place.

The Li Family had no idea what he looked like.

Thinking this, Fang Wang turned to the Mountain God clan's demon beast beside him to ask about the specifics of the incident.

This demon, named Shan Xiang, grew up alongside the girl in green, and they had treated each other as siblings from youth. Ever since Green Cicada Valley started slaughtering members of the Mountain God clan, Shan Xiang had always accompanied the girl in green on her outings, and this time was no different. They were attacked by Li Honggang while collecting herbs.

A group of demon beasts fought together, but none were a match for Li Honggang, who captured the girl in green without resistance.

"Why didn't he kill you all? Even if he wanted to spread a message, there was no need to let all of you live, right?" Fang Wang asked with a frown.

Shan Xiang was stunned, shaking his head in confusion.

Fang Wang looked towards Fang Hanyu in the distance. The girl in green owed Fang Hanyu a life-saving favor. Now that she was in trouble, they clearly couldn't stand by and do nothing.

Moreover, if they allowed the girl in green to fall into the hands of the Li Family, they would eventually force out the location of the Fang Realm from her. It was better for him to act sooner rather than later.

Having thought it through, Fang Wang stood up and reached out his right hand towards Shan Xiang, saying, "Give me the mask."

Upon hearing this, Shan Xiang hastily handed over the fox mask in his hand to Fang Wang.

Fang Wang put it in his storage bag and then asked for directions to Haixia City. After Shan Xiang replied, he walked towards Fang Hanyu.

When he reached Fang Hanyu, Fang Wang recounted the events, and Fang Hanyu wanted to follow him, but Fang Wang refused.

"This journey might be a trap. Your presence would only hinder me. Since it's the Li Family behind this, they are certainly targeting me. If they come looking after I leave, you should pretend not to know me," Fang Wang transmitted his advice, still harboring a trace of wariness towards the Mountain God clan.

Upon hearing this, Fang Hanyu clenched her hands inside her sleeves and slowly nodded.

"You must be very careful!"

"Don't worry!"

Fang Wang patted her shoulder and then turned to walk towards the cave entrance.

In the tunnel, Fang Wang took out a set of black robes from his storage bag and changed into them, adding a bamboo hat for cover.

He wasn't so naive. Before taking action, he would conduct an investigation.

After leaving the Fang Realm, Fang Wang flew on his sword towards the direction indicated by Shan Xiang and quickly disappeared into the horizon.


Haixia City, located in the western frontier of the Qi Dynasty, was an isolated city at the edge of the empire. Since the dynasty's early days, it had become a common haunt for cultivators.

The city was surrounded by mountains on all sides and spanned over ten square miles, making it only a small city, yet its walls were towering and imposing.

From time to time, cultivators would arrive on their swords, landing at the city's north or south gate, paying spirit stones to enter.

Inside the city, within a certain residence.

In the room, the girl in green was eating pastries. She had put on a white opera mask again, slightly lifting it to reveal only her little mouth, appearing ordinary.

"Mountain God, are you eating well?" a robust voice asked. A middle-aged man in a black robe entered the room with a commanding stride, his grey hair flowing back, his face square, with thick eyebrows and piercing eyes, and three scars on his cheeks as if he had been scratched by some wild beast.

The girl in green stopped immediately, pulling the mask down and snorting, "I've told you, I don't know the White Garment Astonishing Swan. I've never even seen him. I only helped the Tai Yuan Sect disciples because I couldn't bear to do otherwise. For this, my Mountain God clan has already paid a heavy price."

Li Honggang sat down opposite her, serving himself a cup of wine, and said, "Whether you know him or not isn't important. Your Mountain God clan can command the spirit demons of the mountains and wilderness; what I want is for you to help me relay a message. If I hadn't taken you hostage, would those creatures have tried their best?"

The green-clad girl remained silent for a moment before she finally spoke, "It's been months since that incident, and all the major schools have left. The White Garment Astonishing Swan has likely departed long ago."

"No, those schools are all vying for the Ji Hao Sect's inheritance. My Li Family's disciples are also there, and they have not found out the whereabouts of the White Garment Astonishing Swan. I suspect that the Tai Yuan Sect Disciple saved by the White Garment Astonishing Swan was seriously injured and needed time to heal, so they must be hiding somewhere nearby," Li Honggang shook his head.

The green-clad girl huffed, "Your Li Family is powerful, why not mobilize all your kin to search?"

"How could we possibly? Li Hongshuang's joining of the Demonic Sect was already a disgrace to the Li Family. The Li Family wouldn't stir up an army because of it, nor take revenge on the Tai Yuan Sect. But Li Hongshuang is my son, and from the family's standpoint, if Li Hongshuang is dead then so be it, not worth pursuing. But from the perspective of a father, I must have a showdown with the White Garment Astonishing Swan to settle this cause and effect!" Li Honggang said coldly, his indescribable aura enveloping the room and causing the green-clad girl to barely dare to breathe.

Silence fell upon the room once again.

Li Honggang drained his cup of wine, then said, "I came here to tell the Mountain God not to worry. Even if the White Garment Astonishing Swan does not come in a month, I will let you leave. I've spread the word. If the White Garment Astonishing Swan has an ounce of pride, he will come, and then the Mountain God will be able to witness our decisive battle!"

Having said that, Li Honggang stood up and left.

The green-clad girl didn't get up, staying silently seated.

She knew very well who the White Garment Astonishing Swan was, the one who saved Fang Hanyu was he; however, she kept this to herself, fearing it could bring trouble to her clan.

All she could do now was silently pray for Fang Wang not to be impulsive.


The sun was setting in the west.

Clad in black and wearing a bamboo hat, Fang Wang stood before the city gates, observing the cultivators coming and going, skeptical whether this city was a trap.

He approached the city guard and inquired about the entry fee.

"Entering the city costs ten low-grade Spirit Stones, or twenty Spiritual Energy Elixirs," replied the guard.

In the Grand Qi Cultivation Realm, Spirit Stones are classified from low to high as low-grade, mid-grade, superior, and supreme, just like Magic Artifacts. The various schools cut Spirit Stones of equal weight and size to distribute to disciples and trade with noble families, thus forming currency. The value of each grade of Spirit Stone is ten times different from the next; a mid-grade Spirit Stone is equivalent to ten low-grade ones. As a direct disciple, Fang Wang receives ten superior Spirit Stones every month. Similarly, the Spiritual Energy Elixirs are also considered a form of currency, with standardized elixir specifications, which are used for cultivation, as well as restoring Spiritual Power, equating to Spirit Stones.

After paying twenty Spiritual Energy Elixirs, Fang Wang entered the city. His attire didn't seem particularly strange; many cultivators wore bamboo hats, and some even covered their faces.

Walking the streets, Fang Wang surveyed the scenery of Haixia City, which he had heard about in legends before beginning his cultivation.

Among mortals, Haixia City was known as the vanished ghost town, with various versions of legends, most of which believed that the reason for its disappearance was that it had been overtaken by ghosts and fiends. If a mortal happened upon Haixia City, death was certain.

It turned out that it wasn't a ghost town; it had just been occupied by cultivators.

There were many shops within Haixia City, and Fang Wang eventually saw street stalls bustling with prosperity.

Cultivation Techniques, secret manuals, Elixirs, Heavenly Materials and Earthly Treasures, Magic Artifacts, Talisman Paper, rare treasures, Demon Pets, and more were all available, even more thriving than the previous towns he had visited.

Along the way, Fang Wang often heard cultivators mention the names Li Honggang, White Garment Astonishing Swan, and Ji Hao Sect. Soon, he understood clearly that Li Honggang had spread the word that he wanted to challenge the White Garment Astonishing Swan, confronting him as Li Hongshuang's father. If the White Garment Astonishing Swan won, then this cause and effect would be wiped away.

The city was so lively, many cultivators were here because of the duel between the White Garment Astonishing Swan and Li Honggang.

Seeing this, it didn't seem like a trap. Li Honggang was taking a forthright approach.

As Fang Wang contemplated this, he suddenly caught sight of a familiar figure. He looked closely and confirmed it was indeed Gu Li.

Gu Li stood in front of a stall that attracted many people, her eyes fixed on a batch of Demon Pet eggs on the ground. She was dressed in a tight purple outfit, carrying a sword case on her back, wearing a bamboo hat, and her face was covered with a blue veil, exactly as Fang Wang saw her for the first time.

Fang Wang immediately approached Gu Li from behind and said in a soft voice, "Miss Gu, what brings you here?"

Upon hearing this, Gu Li turned to look at him, her eyes sparkling with delight.

Fang Wang's heartstrings were subtly plucked by her gaze, a silent reminder to himself that it must have been a delusion, she just wanted to challenge him.

"Brother Fang, you... Let's talk somewhere else," Gu Li said joyfully, and before she finished speaking, she grabbed Fang Wang's hand and led him away.

This was the first time in Fang Wang's life, other than his mother, that a woman had held his hand, catching him off guard.