Early the next morning, the Yangzhou gathering of heroes began. There were many people standing around on the Jiuzheng Mountain Villa’s martial arts platform, waiting for the meeting to begin. Song Zimiao, the current Martial Arts Lord was sitting in the main seat, at the front of the platform with a righteous look. Xiao Yixuan sat next to him and around the sides of the ring sat the leaders of various sects whilst Situ Xin and Bai Ying were standing behind Hou Yan at the other side of the ring.
"We are very honoured to have you attend our meeting, Wangye" Song Zimiao stood and presented a gift to Xiao Yixuan, his eyes stopping for a moment when he saw a woman in white on the other side of the ring.
Xiao Yixuan’s followed his line of sight, and his eyes narrowed a little when he saw this. "So does the martial arts lord, Song Zimiao know Xin’er?"
Song Zimiao glanced at Xiao Yixuan. Seeing that he could easily name his little sister, they must know each other, and replied "She is my sister, I did not expect her to come to the Jiuzheng Mountain Villa."
Xiao Yixuan was a little surprised. "So I assume you have a close relationship with the Hundred Flowers Sect in many ways. I had no idea that the Hundred Flowers Sect which many view as both evil and virtuous would produce such a honest martial arts lord."
Song Zimiao nodded "Situ Zhentian is my martial arts teacher so Xin'er is my martial sister. He has a very bizarre temper and he often fights with my sister." Song Mengzhu recalled Situ Zhentian and Situ Xin’s father-daughter relationship and shook his head helplessly.
"No wonder." Xiao Yixuan murmured. So the personality of Xin'er and his son both stemmed from this men, no wonder they were so odd at times.
Song Zimiao hadn’t heard anything Xiao Yixuan had murmured, he was beginning to prepare for the meeting. He looked up to the sky and quickly calculated that it was time for them to begin.
He stood up and started to talk in a loud voice, using his inner strength to make him even more louder, echoing across the platform "We are extremely grateful to the support and trust that all the talented martial artists have given to us to hold these gatherings. Today is the quinquennial (5 yearly) meeting of martial artists for those from both the North and South of the Great River. I would like to welcome a man of both virtue and talent to inherit my position as the martial arts lord."
A middle-aged man with a hideous scar stepped up onto the platform right after. He eyed Song Zimiao.
"My name is Lu Song. I want to challenge you for the title of martial arts lord, Song Zimiao."
Suddenly, many angry voices could be heard from the audience. This man hadn't followed any of the proper procedures, who did he think he was, daring to ignore formalities.
"Who dares to interrupt the meeting, let this old master give you a lesson." Meng Yide, the head of the Quan Qing Sect stepped up onto the ring and attacked Lu Song’s face. However, his attack did not even touch Lu Song, it merely swept past his face in a gentle wind.
Lu Song snickered and said ruthlessly "This old man wants to teach me a lesson? You really don’t know the difference between life and death" Lu Song gathered his qi in the palm of his hand and a majestic, red light slashed in the direction of Meng Yide. As the light touched him, Meng Yide collapsed, choking blood.
The disciples of the Quan Qing Sect ran to help him, knowing that they were serious internal injuries.
The audience exclaimed in horror, Meng Yide had been the sect leader and he had practiced for many years.
"No other challenges?" Lu Song slowly turned around eyeing the other sect leaders. He stopped when he saw Song Zimiao and smiled cruelly. "No, let me challenge the Martial Lord first"
"Damn it", Huo Yan jumped up into the ring. Bai Ying swore under her breath and moved to stop him but Situ Xin held her back. "Don’t worry about him. He needs to learn a lesson"
Situ Xin knew that Huo Yan would get arrogant and was easily maddened. If they held him back now, he wouldn’t understand and get angry at them instead. Instead, letting him learn that he needs to pick his fights wisely now would prevent him from getting into more trouble at the end. Either way, Situ Xin was prepared to act if it got too bad.
Lu Song smiled mockingly when he saw Huo Yan step up, "So it’s Huo Yan of the Infernal Sect, I’ve heard that the Fire Cloud Sword Master has a technique unique in the whole world. I will enjoy beating you."
Lu Song’s disdainful attitude irritated Huo Yan. "Have a taste of my power then." Su Wen brandished his Fire Dragon sword and swung it at Lu Song, aiming for his life.
Lu Song avoided a couple of swings easily and then suddenly there was a murderous intent emenating from his eyes. His body began to turn and leap inhumanely, turning into a mini cyclone. The cyclone began to head towards Huo Yan. Seeing this, there was a hint of panic in Situ Xin’s eyes as the cyclone began to grab Huo Yan and move him a couple of steps. Huo Yan was still standing in shock at the sight in front of him.
Situ Xin narrowed her eyes, seeing that Lu Song had no intent of stopping and three silver needles as slim as a hair shot towards Lu Song.
In a swift motion, Lu Song held the deadly silver needles with two fingers. He flicked it carelessly to the side, the silver needle hitting the wooden stake on the side of the ring.
"So the Hundred Flower Sect’s leader also attended the gathering, huh?"
"So you really want to taste the Hundred Flower Needle, huh?" Situ Xin glared at Lu Song. Lu Song smiled as he took a brown elixir from his pocket and quickly chugged it.
Seeing the opportunity, Bai Ying quickly ran towards Huo Yan and helped him out of the ring. She could only hope that Lu Song wouldn’t fixate on Huo Yan.
Lu Song turned around and began to talk to Song Zimiao once again. "Good and evil are not separate, righteous people do evil things, don’t they?"
Situ Xin felt a little upset about this statement. Song Zimiao was her brother so she felt as if he was aiming at her sect.
"How is my Hundred Flowers Sect evil?" If this bastard didn’t explain anything, she’d definitely teach him a lesson.
Lu Song smirked at her question. "What a pity, the sect leader is getting mad because of what I said," he said sarcastically.
"Even if there’s no direct connection with you, the Scarlet Shrine Sect Leader’s murder was still caused by your Hundred Flower needles. And must I remind you that the girl that saved Luo Qi on that day was you, Situ Xin."
"You." Situ Xin began to grow angry and just as she was about to retaliate in force, Xiao Yixuan appeared behind her and grabbed the small hand that was about to destroy everything. The qi that Situ Xin had begun to gather in her anger faded without a word.
"Lu Song, don’t be rash." A voice came out from the side. Song Zimiao walked to the centre of the ring.
"Lord Song, I see you couldn’t resist helping your little sister." Lu Song smiled wickedly.
When the audience heard this, gasps and whispers could be heard and audience members even pointed at Song Zimiao from time to time, shocked by the revelation. They all had no idea that Song Zimiao had any connection to the Hundred Flowers Sect.