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Chapter 0532: Who is the coward?
Ning Cheng immediately noticed that the cultivator who spoke that they could prove his side of the story was a young-looking female cultivator, also with a Celestial Gatherer Cultivation. The female cultivator on seeing Ning Cheng look over showed a slight smile and gave a nod to Ning Cheng before speaking, "I just happened to roam around this place. As for the Dao discussion between Lou Shao and other cultivators, it is clearly false, as it never happened. In fact, his real target was you. This is something that I can both attest and prove as well."
Seeing two people come out to help speak out for him at the same time, Ning Cheng knew that it definitely was not accidental. Scanning the crowd, his eyes locked in on Shen Qinyu, who stood relatively outside of the circle, who then showed a slight smile at him. Although a few people had spoken up for him, it was not because these people understood right from wrong, but most likely because of Shen Qinyu.
Lou Pingchuan obviously did not think that others would help testify against him, yet some people had really done it. At the same time, it definitely made him upset; moreover, he also knew that he now could no longer force Ning Cheng on to the Seeking Dao Platform to fight. If Ning Cheng had deliberately caused all of this to happen then even with a cultivation higher compared to Ning Cheng, he could have used that reason to force Ning Cheng on to the Seeking Dao Platform. However, now that Ning Cheng turned into a victim, if he wanted to fight against Ning Cheng over the Seeking Dao Platform, he would now have to obtain Ning Cheng's consent.
Seeing someone help Ning Cheng testify, Ruan Mingshu felt slightly relieved. Then, seeing Zhao Yanxiang amidst the crowd, she quickly called out, "Senior Apprentice Brother Yanxiang……"
Although Ruan Mingshu did not complete her words, Zhao Yanxiang immediately understood what she wanted. Primarily because he knew Lou Pingchuan, Ruan Mingshu wanted him to intercede.
Zhao Yanxiang secretly cursed at that garbage Lou Shao, as this matter had indeed started because of him. When he saw Ning Cheng here, he wanted to search for a way to teach Ning Cheng a lesson, even if Ning Cheng ended up dead, it would have meant nothing to him. What he had not thought was that even with Lou Shao being a Celestial Shatter Cultivator, and using a sneak attack, he still failed to bring the slightest harm to Ning Cheng who was just a puny Celestial Novice Cultivator. Now things had only gotten out of hand; since Ruan Mingshu called out to him, he had to come over and speak up.
When Ruan Mingshu saw Zhao Yanxiang, Ning Cheng also locked in his gaze on Zhao Yanxiang almost at the same time. During that instant, he just happened to see Zhao Yanxiang and Lou Shao's quick exchange of gazes and instantly understood what might have happened. Ning Cheng already knew that he and this Lou Shao had no grudge between them. So why did this fellow want to kill him? From the looks of it, it turned out to be because of that garbage Zhao Yanxiang.
Lou Pingchuan simply did not wait for Zhao Yanxiang to speak up; staring at Ning Cheng, he spoke up in a cold voice, "Since you can injure Lou Shao with just one punch, you must be quite an expert. Now I really want to witness your Dao Laws for myself over the Seeking Dao Platform. Do you want to have a go at it?"
Everyone stared at Ning Cheng; those words were tantamount to issuing a challenge by pointing to his face. If Ning Cheng did not accept it, it would denounce him as a coward in front of everyone. The most important thing to cultivators was that if you someone issued a challenge by blatantly pointing to their faces, and they chickened out from the 'challenge', it would end up leaving some traces in their hearts that would be hard to erase.
[TL Note – In the Chinese culture, pointing at someone (face or otherwise) using fingers, chopsticks or any pointing objects is considered rude and in some situations is equivalent of challenging their authority and even manhood of the person(s) being pointed at. I could be wrong here, but it is what I learned in the past during my etiquette cla.s.ses for different cultures.]
The scene remained silent, as all gazes gathered on Ning Cheng, waiting for Ning Cheng to answer.
Ning Cheng showed a faint smile, before suddenly looking at Lou Pingchuan and speaking, "Surnamed Luo, if an Undead Expert challenged you to a fight over the Seeking Dao Platform, would you dare to go up?"
How could Lou Pingchuan not know what Ning Cheng intended with those words? He laughed and was just about to speak up when Ning Cheng stopped his words and spoke, "Lou Pingchuan, you don't need to rush to give an answer right now. If you feel daring enough to agree, I can come up with this Fire Origin Crystal to ask for an Undead-level expert for the challenge against you. Since it is a duel, then, of course, life and death should not matter."
With that, Ning Cheng raised his hand and showed off a Fire Origin Crystal.
The scene initially focussed on whether Ning Cheng would accept the Cultivator's Challenge immediately shifted to the Fire Origin Crystal in Ning Cheng's hand. The value of such a thing was not something one could put a price tag on, especially for cultivators with Fire-attributed Spirit Roots. Ning Cheng had said that if Lou Pingchuan agreed then with a Fire Origin Crystal, he could ask an Undead-level expert to take the stage to challenge Lou Pingchuan, a small Celestial Gatherer Cultivator. With such an object, the crowd could definitely see such a situation happening.
Lou Pingchuan's face turned ugly to the extreme. If it were before, he would have said that he would absolutely agree to it; however, now that Ning Cheng took out the Fire Origin Crystal, everything changed completely. This meant that once he agreed to it, an Undead-level expert would definitely take to the Seeking Dao Platform and ask him for a challenge. What would happen if Lou Pingchuan decided to back out then? This little Celestial Novice ant turned a bit too hot to handle; he even dared to take out the Fire Origin Crystal.
Not to mention talking about invitations, even without any requests, several Undead-level experts had already locked their gazes on to the Fire Origin Crystal in Ning Cheng's hand. Apparently, as long as Ning Cheng showed intentions of relinquishing it, they would immediately scramble to challenge Lou Pingchuan. As for whether Lou Pingchuan agreed to it or not, it would not matter at all.
Lou Pingchuan sucked in a deep breath before staring coldly at Ning Cheng and speaking up, "The Undead Realm is two full realms higher than me. You want me, a Celestial Scryer Cultivator, to face off against a Celestial River-level Cultivator on the Seeking Dao Platform. Do you even have any face left?"
Ning Cheng gave a laugh before cupping his fists and speaking up, "Friends, this Lou Pingchuan said that I want him to fight against someone two realms above, accusing me of being shameless. I'm only at the Celestial Novice Realm, while Luo Pingchuan is at the Celestial Gatherer Realm, two realms higher compared to my own, and yet he wants to 'compare notes' with me over the Seeking Dao Platform, is this not equally shameless? Or is this Lou Pingchuan's face too thick, even thicker than a pig's b.u.t.t?"
The surrounding cultivators immediately erupted into laughter, while Lou Pingchuan's hands visibly trembled.
The fact was that Ning Cheng had twisted the concept a bit too much. Although Lou Pingchuan indeed was two realms higher in cultivation compared to Ning Cheng, they both were still within the Celestial Scryer Realm. However, the difference in strength between the Undead and the Celestial Gatherer Realm was not just a simple difference between the two realms. It was mainly a chasm, as even someone at the peak of the Celestial Gatherer Realm could not match up to the weakest Celestial River-level Cultivator.
The word 'livid' could no longer describe Lou Pingchuan's face, which had already turned blue from anger. The only thing missing was that he had not yet vomited blood. From the moment he had started cultivating until now, no one around him could ever win against him in strength or in prestige; as such, wherever he went, he always remained the centre of attention and even took pride in it.
With such a personality, combined with his own personal skills, how could he swallow Ning Cheng humiliating him in such a manner?
The spectating cultivators could only look at Ning Cheng in admiration. Using such means to diffuse the challenge, no one could find the slightest flaw within it. They could even say that it was a flawless execution. The only possible downside was the exposure of the Fire Origin Crystal.
Shen Qinyu and Ruan Mingshu secretly gave out praises to Ning Cheng's moves, while also somewhat worrying in their hearts. After all, Ning Cheng exposed the Fire Origin Crystal. This was an extremely rare treasure; as long as one was a fire-attributed cultivator, none of them would give up on such an object willingly.
Ning Cheng did not let go of Lou Pingchuan, he still looked at Lou Pingchuan and spoke with a sneer, "Doesn't it mean that you are a coward, not daring to accept a challenge from someone in the Undead Realm over the Seeking Dao Platform?"
Lou Pingchuan clenched his fist and stared at Ning Cheng with a murderous gaze before speaking up, "Although I may be a coward, aren't you a similar coward? You don't dare to go to the Seeking Dao Platform with me."
Ning Cheng gave a loud laugh, before raising up his middle finger to Lou Pingchuan while saying, "You are wrong. You are a coward no doubt, but I am not. When did I ever say that I would not take on your challenge? You are just a coward that does not dare to accept other people's challenges, do not think that other people are the same as you. Remember; never be so quick to think of yourself as a genius; even if you are a genius, you are just a cowardly genius. Sigh, it's just a waste of my time to talk with nonsensical people like you, let's go to the Seeking Dao Platform to get the real facts."
After Ning Cheng finished, he turned and walked towards the Seeking Dao Platform.
The spectators really could not understand what was what anymore. Ning Cheng had said and done so much and proved that he really did not have to go to the Seeking Dao Platform. None of them had expected that Ning Cheng would turn the tables around once again, not only establishing and openly scolding Lou Pingchuan for being a coward but also walking knowingly towards the Seeking Dao Platform. In contrast, Lou Pingchuan's words no longer held any merit.
Everyone understood that even if Lou Pingchuan managed to defeat and even kill Ning Cheng, it would still leave an indelible mark over the deepest recesses of his heart.
Lou Pingchuan no longer could enjoy the feeling of forcing Ning Cheng on to the Seeking Dao Platform, and only felt his heart bleed drop by drop. If he could, he wanted to devour Ning Cheng bit by bit.
Lou Shao, still lying on the ground, seeing the way Lou Pingchuan acted, felt distraught internally. He knew that he was in deep trouble now. Lou Pingchuan was not only the genius from Shang Mou Celestial River; he was also the premier genius of the Lou Clan. One could even say that a hundred Lou Shaos were not as good as a single Lou Pingchuan. Although he started this incident, it would not have mattered much if Ning Cheng died or even if he perished. However, nothing could ever happen to Lou Pingchuan; even the slightest mark over his Dao Heart would be a huge matter to the Lou Clan.
After this incident, regardless of the outcome, Lou Shao could no longer continue living in the Lou Clan. Thinking of all this, Lou Shao viciously stared at Zhao Yanxiang. If not for this b.a.s.t.a.r.d's provocations, would he have gone against this cunning and vicious-tongued Celestial Novice Cultivator called Ning Cheng?
At this time, no one paid any attention to what Lou Shao thought. Almost everyone made their way and surrounded the Seeking Dao Platform. This time, virtually all the people concentrated their focus over the impending fight between Ning Cheng and Lou Pingchuan.
Because of the exchange of words between Ning Cheng and Lou Pingchuan a few moments ago, it firmly established Lou Pingchuan as a cultivator without a spine, while Ning Cheng, with his minor Celestial Novice Cultivation, established his prestige by courageously accepting the challenge from a Celestial Gatherer Expert. Such a turnaround immediately attracted the attention of everyone within the hall.
Ruan Mingshu and Shen Qinyu, two people somewhat familiar with Ning Cheng, also could not understand why Ning Cheng not only took out the Fire Origin Crystal to solve this problem but also accepted Luo Pingchuan's challenge.
As Zhao Yanxiang looked at Ning Cheng slowly walking towards the Seeking Dao Platform, he suddenly felt his heart turn cold. He had a vague feeling that it definitely would not be wise to take the initiative to provoke someone like Ning Cheng.