Ao Feng had already figured out from watching Zhang Xuan's response earlier that he had some kind of close relation to Zheng Yang and the others.
Thus, he felt like this fight was kind of hopeless. The veteran Conferred God Kings were going to suffer such a tragic defeat that they would not even know what had hit them.
Putting aside the fact that Zhang Xuan possessed the strength to overwhelm the Epitome Monarch Pill, even Zheng Yang and the others were already more than what the veteran Conferred God Kings could handle.
He had once fought one of them, and he knew that they were not even on the same level.
To plot against them right in front of the Conferred God King of the Nine Skies…
Were they brave, or were they just tired of living?
"What, you don't dare go against them?" Conferred God King Liu Yan scoffed after seeing Ao Feng's hesitation. "It's just a simple fight over the lotus. Even if those younger Conferred God Kings are angry at their loss, what can they do about it? As a Pureblooded Dragon from the Sky of Cloud Dragon, surely you won't be scared by just this much."
"I'm not scared, but…" Ao Feng said hesitantly.
"It's fine as long as you aren't scared. This matter is settled then!" Conferred God King Liu Yan had no intention of letting Ao Feng back out. He then turned his gaze to Zhang Xuan and Luo Qiqi and asked, "What about you two?"
"We'll pass," Zhang Xuan replied.
"Well, all he has is his artifact, so I reckon that he won't be much help in a real fight. As for Luo Qiqi, I've never even heard of her before, and she hasn't been conferred. Even if they join us, I don't think that they'll be able to contribute much."
"What can two youngsters do in a fight among Conferred God Kings?"
The other Conferred God Kings did not pay much heed to Zhang Xuan's rejection.
While they were speaking, Conferred God King Liu Yan suddenly exclaimed, "Here they come!"
There was a slight disturbance in the space in the distance, but taking a closer look, one could see a figure rushing over at an incredibly fast speed.
It was a tall and slender young lady with a sword in her hand, commanding a valiant posture.
"Conferred God King Zhao Ya…"
Upon seeing the face of the person heading over, Conferred God King Luo Ying's eyes immediately reddened in rage.
It was this woman who had beaten him to the treasure that he had spotted earlier.
So, Conferred God King Luo Ying raised his sword and pointed it at the young lady in the sky. "Zhao Ya, I know that you possess superior strength, but the veteran Conferred God Kings have already formed an alliance with one another. Back down now, or you'll suffer."
Zhao Ya shot a glance at Conferred God King Luo Ying before looking away, paying no heed to the latter's words at all. She continued flying toward the lotus with a nonchalant look on her face.
Seeing that Zhao Ya was adamant about claiming the lotus, the other Conferred God Kings immediately drew their weapons before leaping forth to block her path.
Over the past few days, Zhao Ya had already made her name as one of the strongest Conferred God King in the Firmament. They were confident that they would be able to defeat her if they ganged up on her, but they also knew that they would not be able to get out unscathed if a battle did occur.
Furthermore, this so-called alliance was not exactly reliable. It was informal, and their interests were not fully aligned with one another. There was no saying when they would be betrayed by one another.
So, they hoped to just frighten her so that she would back down.
"You wish to block my way?" Zhao Ya lowered her gaze and looked at them with an air of majesty.
Her black hair contrasted with the silver armor she donned, making her appear to be a valiant Goddess of War.
Conferred God King Luo Ying harrumphed. "It's all fair competition, Conferred God King Zhao Ya!"
"I don't have time to waste on you lot!" Zhao Ya waved her hand dismissively as she insistently advanced forward.
"How dare you!"
"It seems like you really have no regard for us at all!"
They had made their intent clear, but the young lady still tried to bypass them. Liu Yan and the other Conferred God Kings immediately flew into a rage as they made their moves.
Channeling their energies together, they swiftly formed a massive barrier of zhenqi in the air to block Zhao Ya's path.
The destructive energies that flowed through the barrier felt so overwhelming that there were no cultivators who would not feel powerless in its face. Anyone who forcefully barged through the barrier would suffer grave injuries or even death!
Zhao Ya frowned a little upon seeing their movements. She raised her sword and slashed it down on the barrier.
The barrier was decisively severed before dissipating, and the Conferred God Kings were forced to retreat dozens of steps from the rebound. Their faces paled in fright as they stared at the young lady in the air in disbelief.
They had known that she would be a difficult opponent to deal with, but they did not expect her to be so powerful!
She had already grown to the level where she could sever a barrier they had set up with ease.
"Ao Feng, what are you waiting for? Make your move…" Conferred God King Liu Yan exclaimed anxiously.
But before he could finish his words, Zhao Ya had already descended to where Ao Feng and the others were standing, and with reddened eyes, her knees fell to the ground.
"Unfilial disciple Zhao Ya pays respects to teacher!"
Everyone was flabbergasted.
This was because the person whom Zhao Ya was kneeling before was none other than God King Zhang Xuan, whom they had snubbed a moment ago. Not only so, she seemed to be so agitated that her body was trembling intensely, and her eyes had grown a little moist.
No one would have thought that there would be such a frail side to the valiant young lady.
What was going on?
Did this mean that the ferocious Conferred God King Zhao Ya who was inhumanely strong was a student of God King Zhang Xuan?
But was he not just an apothecary?
When in the world did he become Zhao Ya's teacher?
Just as everyone was shocked beyond words, deafening sonic booms echoed in the air as another ten youths flew over to where they were.
"Sh*t, this is really bad. It's Zheng Yang and the others!"
"Have they really joined hands with one another? This is madness…"
Seeing the figures that were heading over, many of the veteran Conferred God Kings could not help but retreat a little out of nervousness. Thinking that these ten youths were coming after them after hearing of their alliance, they immediately raised their weapons to protect themselves.
But what they imagined did not come to happen.
Instead, those ten youths descended to Zhao Ya's side, and with the same reddened eyes, they kneeled to the ground. With an earnest and deeply respectful attitude, they lowered their heads and said…
"Unfilial disciple Zheng Yang pays respect to teacher…"
"Unfilial disciple Liu Yang pays respect to teacher…"
Their voices echoed loudly in the air, jolting the hearts of the veteran Conferred God Kings.
"All of them… are the disciples of God King Zhang Xuan?"
"But they are the strongest Conferred God Kings of the Firmament, the cultivators whom the six God Monarchs groomed personally! How could they all be God King Zhang Xuan's disciples?"
"My goodness, can you pinch me hard so that I can check if… Yowch! What are you doing, you dumbass?"
Conferred God King Liu Yan and the others were going insane.
Never in their long lives had they seen anything so ridiculous.
Zhao Ya, Zheng Yang, and the others were already ridiculously powerful by themselves, but they were actually all from the same lineage. To make matters worse, their teacher turned out to be the humble God King whom they had looked down on a moment ago!
Things were really starting to get out of hand…
"Did we… look down on him earlier?"
"Is it too late to start fawning over him now? Is there anything… that we can say to reverse the situation?"
Everyone could already feel tears welling up in their eyes.
Earlier, when God King Ao Feng introduced him, they did not think that he was anything much. In fact, most of them had even felt that he was a conceited young man.
But looking back, they were the ones who were being conceited.
Putting aside how strong he was, just the fact that he had so many overwhelmingly powerful disciples meant that it would not be excessive even if they welcomed him with the highest level of formalities!
If they had treated the young man better, there might still have been some room for reconciliation.
But it was a pity that they had allowed the opportunity to slip through their fingers. There was nothing they could do.
Meanwhile, seeing how much his direct disciples had grown over the past month, Zhang Xuan nodded in approval and said, "Rise!"
They had not let him down. The years he had spent teaching them had not been in vain.
"Teacher, I heard that there's a particularly powerful expert known as the Conferred God King of the Nine Skies in the Flooding Sea. Have you met him yet?" Zheng Yang asked as he brandished his spear to the side.
"What's wrong?" Zhang Xuan asked with a frown.
"I have been hearing how powerful he is from the God Monarchs over the past few days, so I have been wanting to challenge him to a battle to prove our teacher's name!" Zheng Yang declared haughtily.
Hearing those words, Zhang Xuan nearly choked on his own saliva. He looked at Zheng Yang for a moment before asking, "You are certain about it?"
"Yes, I am!" Zheng Yang replied determinedly.
The others were also nodding vehemently, expressing their agreement toward Zheng Yang's words. Only Zhao Ya was covering her face speechlessly, as if trying to act as if she did not know those fools standing beside her.
"Very well. All of you should come at me together," Zhang Xuan said as he placed a hand behind his back. "Just one finger will suffice."
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