Chapter 175 Immortal Heart (1)
It was 3:00 am, a dark and silent night in the holy water palace. Xia Tian, who had recently destroyed an entire clan in cold blood, walked across the palace in good spirits.
His demeanor was so calm and casual that no one could guess the heinous act he had committed.
The only sound that could be heard was the occasional howling of beasts that filled the eerie silence.
As Xia Tian walked, he stumbled upon a boy with ruffled hair who was in the middle of swinging his sword.
Beads of sweat were running down the boy's forehead as he tried to perfect his technique.
"Hm? He's back..." murmured Xia Tian as he passed by him.
Xia Chen, the sword-wielding boy, barely gave Xia Tian a glance as he was too preoccupied with his training.
Xia Chen had reached the peak of the earth profound realm, which meant he had found some treasure on his last adventure.
However, Xia Chen couldn't help but feel slightly disappointed by Xia Tian's indifferent attitude towards him.
"Tsk, I would teach this brat a lesson later!" Xia Chen thought as he continued his weight training.
He wore bracelets that applied friction to his hands and feet, which made his training more intense.
Xia Tian shook his head in disbelief, thinking "Masochist" as he noticed Xia Chen's tenacity. It was then that he saw another figure in the vicinity.
Xia Tian wasn't there to spar with Xia Chen. Instead, he had already found his new target - Sword Fairy.
Sword Fairy had no idea that her technique wasn't working on Xia Tian and Xia Chen and both saw her standing alone in a dark corner.
Xia Chen ignored her and continued his training, but Xia Tian found himself drawn to her.
The Sword Fairy's eyes widened with surprise and fear as she noticed Xia Tian approaching her.
She trembled with uncertainty, uncertain if she should run or face him. After a deep exhale, she tried to internalize her fear and instead put on a normal disposition.
"How can you see me?" she managed to ask, slightly intrigued but unable to hide her hesitancy about her phantom technique failing her.
Xia Tian, with a careless shrug of his shoulders, replied in an almost nonchalant manner, "A lady alone in the dark waiting for her lover, of course, would be noticeable!" He nodded gently, pleased with his own cleverness.
Xuan Ruyan, quiet up to this point, parted her lips to interject, but then she just fell silent.
Her eyes intensely focused on Xia Chen's training, she noticed Xia Tian walking next to her, his eyes turning pensive and brooding.
"Did the great Sword Fairy fall for a child?" he asked with a mischievous grin.
Xuan Ruyan, already suspicious of his intentions, gave him a withering glance. "You are also a child in my eyes," she commented dryly.
Xia Tian, clearly relishing the dance of their conversation, added, "Indeed, but this child can take you places." His coy smile began to wear thin on Xuan Ruyan, fanning the embers of her frustration.
She wanted to vent, to clobber him with the back of her sword, but she restrained herself.
Day after day, she had been woken up by the sounds of moaning and screaming, emanating from Xia Tian's chambers.
She shook her head, recalling the last two weeks and how she had sacrificed her own precious sleep.
As Xia Tian stood teasingly in front of her, she guiltily eyed his torso, compulsively imagining what had been going on behind closed doors.
"Want to see it? It's free for beautiful ladies," he insinuated, pressing his advantage with a smug expression.
Xuan Ruyan, biting back her own desire and resentment, shook her head. "Not interested," her smile revealing bitterness.
As Xia Tian sensed that he was getting under her skin, he raised his eyebrows curiously. "Not interested in what? Don't tell me you like women," he chuckled teasingly.
Feeling a sudden pang of irritation, The Sword Fairy sighed inwardly, knowing that she couldn't keep evading his insinuations for long.
She detected a hint of mischief in his voice, and she braced herself for what was to come.
Her expression did not betray any emotion, her face remaining impassive.
Xia Tian chuckled softly as he sensed the tension emanating from her. "Were you so busy with Cultivation that you don't even know what you like now? Men or women? Shall I take this as your answer?" he teased.
Sword Fairy's eyes narrowed slightly, though her voice remained calm and composed. "How do you know about me?" she asked, keeping her tone neutral.
"Did you ask that immortal to put some strange spell on my mind?" She took a step back warily, her stance showing that she was ready for any sudden movement from him.
Xia Tian's disappointment was palpable as he shook his head and let out an exasperated sigh.
"That's a completely unladylike response," he chided.
Xuan Ruyan furrowed her brows in confusion as she muttered, "Unladylike...?"
"What would a ladylike response be?" she asked, genuinely curious about his statement.
She tried to keep her voice level, but a flicker of interest crept into her tone.
With a mysterious smile, Xia Tian leaned in closer. "Let's see... If you were a normal woman, you would have already fallen for my charms and be screaming my name in your sleep..."
" _ "
Xuan Ruyan's eyes widened in disbelief as she struggled to find the words to respond.
The Sword fairy was expecting a serious response, and her disappointment was immense when she realized this man had no intention of having a normal conversation with her.
She couldn't help but feel like she was wasting her time with this charming yet insufferable man.
Xia Tian was slightly helpless facing this woman. Despite her lack of emotion, her body and voice were incredibly alluring to him.
However, he knew from experience how to train his toys, so he wasn't discouraged in the least.
"Hey, wait a minute," interrupted Xia Tian, with a curious look in his eyes. "Your family name is 'Xuan'. Why does it sound familiar to me?"
Upon hearing this, the Sword Fairy's face suddenly fell, though she tried to maintain her composure. "If you already know everything," she said resignedly, "why are you bothering to ask?"
Xia Tian scratched his chin thoughtfully. "Well, I just thought it would be better to hear it directly from the source," he said with a small smirk.
In truth, he wanted to see her reaction as she described the connection, eager to know if there were any unresolved feelings lurking beneath the surface.
Finally, after much coaxing from Xia Tian, Xuan Ruyan was forced to speak.
She was the only remaining member of the once-great Xuan clan, who had ruled the Sacred Sky Jade Realm with an iron fist a million years ago.
However, rumors of a great calamity had weakened their power, and the Xuan Empire was ultimately broken into two - the north and south - governed by the Shen and Wei families, respectively.
Though the Xuan clan had not been completely destroyed, it had undoubtedly suffered greatly.
Survivors were blamed for the downfall of their Empire and were forced to take an eternal oath to serve the new monarchs of the Shen and Wei families, along with their future offspring.
Thus, Xuan family members became slaves to the ruling families, serving as mere servants.
Despite once owning one of the largest sects, the Xuan family slowly diminished in power over time, until they eventually vanished completely a few thousand years ago.
Xuan Ruyan was now the last remaining member, and with her eventual demise, the Xuan clan would be no more, lifting the curse of forever slavery.
This also explained why a woman of her caliber was serving the Wei family, despite owning such a prestigious sect.
It also indirectly suggested that the Wei family had control over the entire Holy Water Palace, a fascinating development indeed.
But what truly held Xia Tian's attention was a more pressing matter.
"Tell me," he drawled slowly, a glimmer of amusement dancing in his eyes, "Do you still seek revenge? Even after everything that has happened?"
The Sword Fairy's expression didn't change, but Xia Tian could sense the simmering fury in her eyes.
A low chuckle escaped his lips, knowing that he had hit a nerve.
"You know," he continued with a sly grin, "I could help you with that. Together, we could take down the Wei family and reclaim the Xuan clan's power. What do you say?"
The Sword Fairy hesitated only for a moment before shaking her head in refusal. "No," she said resolutely. "It's not worth it."
"Tsk, you are no fun," Xia Tian shook his head, disappointed. He had been hoping to manipulate her in the same way he had enslaved Su Yanling.
Suddenly, he remembered he had forgotten to rescue Su Yanling from captivity. With a flick of his wrist, he summoned Evelynn to undertake the task.
Xuan Ruyan watched the exchange between them, her eyes flickering with interest.
Once Evelynn had disappeared, she couldn't resist asking, "How many immortal guardians does the Xia family possess?"
Xia Tian flashed her a smile. "I've never counted," he confessed truthfully.
He had never felt the need to, but once again, an honest response of a man was ignored. Xuan Ruyan assumed he was simply being evasive.
Seizing upon an idea, Xia Tian turned to the Sword Fairy. "How about this?" he proposed, sounding almost playful.
"I tell you one secret, and in exchange, you tell me one of yours."