The young lady lightly pushed her palm towards the palace doors, releasing a slight burst of Qi that gradually opened the doors.
She slowly walked in, being greeted by an interior completely different from the rest of the palace.
For one, it wasn't a palace. It was a large pavilion built in a beautiful courtyard that overlooked mountains. The pillars of the pavilion had the details of a dragon carved upon it, with blue light pulsing in them. In the middle of the pavilion sat a table clothed in azure silk. And resting on a simple wooden chair that seemed out of place with the rest of the area was a young man who had his eyes closed.
Even someone like her who refined her Sword Dao day and night had to falter her steps as she set her gaze upon him.
His sword-like eyebrows, a tall nose, and chiseled features along with a hazy, profound aura made him look like an immortal sent from above.
He wore dark blue robes that fluttered from the oncoming breeze from the high altitude.
In his hand was a cup of tea that he slowly sipped, as if unaware of her intruding presence.
The young lady, completely forgetting her purpose, stood there in a daze.
After he finished the cup, he gently opened his piercing eyes that seemed to stare right into her soul.
At that, she finally noticed her jaw that hung loose and quickly closed shut.
There was a tinge of red on her face as she opened up her palm and a seemingly plain sword materialized in her hands.
She then lifted her sword holding the hilt with one arm and pointed it horizontally, towards the young man.
"I, Bai Hua, challenge you, Ye Xiang, young heir to the Azure Dynasty, to a duel of the Sword Dao!"
Bai Hua's words of a challenge were said fiercely as she glared with her sword-like eyes at the young man who indifferently stared at her.
For a few moments, neither spoke before Ye Xiang gently sighed and slowly stood up.
Seeing his tall and profound figure, she unconsciously gulped and continued to stare, waiting for his response.
Instead, he turned to look at the diverse scenery below as a battle between a Winged-Tiger and a Colossal Ape emerged within the mountains.
"Tell me, who do you think is going to win?" Ye Xiang softly asked.
Bai Hua momentarily glanced at the monsters before turning her gaze back to Ye Xiang, uncaring for the beasts.
"Does it matter? Will you accept my challenge or not?"
Ye Xiang sighed after seeing her stubbornness. He turned his piercing gaze towards her before asking,
"Why should I fight you?"
Bai Hua scoffed at his response, replying,
"Because I challenged you!"
Ye Xiang lightly laughed and then said, "Why?"
Bai Hua stomped her feet, frustrated, and then walked up close to him, bathing in his aura.
"If you don't, your Will with the Sword will weaken because you were too cowardly to face me! And plus, why would you even let me in if you weren't going to fight!"
She glared at him as if trying to incite his anger in order to fight her.
Ye Xiang seeing her attempt couldn't help but laugh.
"Very well. As a fellow cultivator of the Sword, I will clash with you and share pointers. Come with me."
With that said, he then turned and walked towards the edge of the peak.
Bai Hua, seeing that, was confused as to where he was going.
Ye Xiang then lightly pointed his finger in the air, and suddenly the nearby air and space seemed to shake and move toward the direction he was pointing.
Bai Hua immediately stepped back in shock as she saw a vast expanse of white appear in the center of the large spiral.
Ye Xiang turned to look back at her as if beckoning her to follow him inside and then moved forward.
His figure seemed to distort out of his existence as he passed by what would look to be a spatial portal.
Bai Hua, in her daze, walked forward and was greeted by what she saw previously, a world of white.
She turned around quickly and still saw the pavilion and the green courtyard behind her and could only stare shocked.
"So? Are you coming or not?"
Bai Hua, surprised out of her stupor turned to look back at Ye Xiang who stood several meters away from her.
"W-What..." she stammered.
Ye Xiang responded to her shock with a calm smile.
Bai Hua, affected by his calm aura finally began to speak coherently.
"How? How did you do that? A formation? No... I would've noticed."
She then turned to look back and was even surprised that the other side could no longer be seen, replaced with a vast expanse of white.
Bai Hua immediately stepped forward to where the portal should have been and moved her hand forward and back as if trying to feel it.
"I-I don't understand..." she said in dismay.
She turned to look at Ye Xiang, hoping to ask more questions to dispel her shock and curiosity but was greeted by a sight that perplexed her even more.
The pavilion she had seen outside was now placed in here as Ye Xiang sat in the simple wooden chair. Another similar chair was on the opposite end of the table.
A pleasant, herb smell soon spread from the teapot resting on it.
Ye Xiang was brewing tea.
Bai Hua, seeing this could only continue to stare in awe at his immortal-like demeanor and appearance as only he seemed to exist in this world of white.
He then looked up at her and gently smiled, gesturing towards the other chair.
"Sit. We have much to talk about."