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The spiritual pressure was like an ocean tide or lofty mountain. All the present Qi Condensations cultivators, those at the initial stage and middle stage, were simply incapable of speech, cold sweat flooding their pores. Only late-stage cultivators were able to support themselves with great difficulty, looking towards the VIP section with terror saturating their hearts.
“What’s going on? What happened?”
“I don’t know, didn’t someone just scream ‘attack’?”
“No way! This is the lowest level of the Heavens Law branch! Who would risk killing their way in?”
“Aren’t they afraid they’ll be hunted down by humanity’s cultivators?”
“Is it really an attack? Who could be so bold? There are eight Foundation Establishment Seniors here!”
“If it’s not an attack, but an invasion, how could the eight Seniors possibly worry about us by erupting with their peak spiritual pressures?”
Over ten thousands gazes collectively looked towards the VIP section in the wake of the eight furious shouts. In the next second, fist, palm, sword, bell, and fan all struck the young girl’s body.
Firecloud’s eyes suddenly narrowed as if he had seen a most terrible thing. Firmly throwing his hand aside that was holding his fan, he snarled, “All Fellow Daoists, withdraw!”
There was no need for him to speak. In a flash, the group of eight completely pulled back! Although they were many and had assumed a ring-shaped encirclement around the young girl, the looks in their eyes were badly shaken!
The swords had sliced into her flesh in three parts, and the fan had scorched one side of her body. All of the fists and palms that had struck her left large indentations.
However… there wasn’t the least bit change in her expression! She only calmly surveyed the various kinds of bladed weapons that had pierced her body.
“You… You’re actually…” Shadowslay’s Adam’s apple trembled a few times, bringing with it an incomparably solemn voice as he spoke, “Half-step Core Formation…”
Squelch… The young girl quietly extracted a sword from her body and placed it in front of her to study. She gently parted her red lips. “Do you know?”
“If you don’t enter Core Formation, you’ll forever be uneducated on how formidable the apex is. I keep on having these ridiculous dreams, yet I don’t know if I’m just an insect that could be squashed with a slap…”
No one spoke. Eight Foundation Establishment cultivators. These eight figures were already too high to reach in the eyes of Qi Condensation cultivators. At this moment, not a single one among these eight magnificent cultivators were of mind to speak.
“What’s going on?” A young girl asked suspiciously, “Is that woman a demon? The Seniors can’t kill her?”
Before her voice even fell, her grandfather besides her had already clamped his hand over her mouth. She raised her frightened gaze to now see that the cheeks of her ordinarily grinning grandfather were shivering because of immense fear. Cold sweat was freely dripping down from his forehead.
“She’s not dead?!” On the other side, a youth nailed his terrified gaze on the young girl’s body. “H-How?! Those eight are Foundation Establishment seniors! Four of them are at the Great Circle!”
“Shut up…” Beside him, his father’s face had long since ashened. The youth glanced at his father and almost jumped in horror! Their Luo Clan’s prime treasure, a silver hoop, had already been revealed at some unknown time, clenched in his father’s hand.
In his father’s surroundings, his father’s younger brother, older brother, and the ordinarily taciturn elders were now wielding a talisman in one hand and a weapon in the other. All of them wordlessly stood up and looked towards the VIP section with extreme solemnity.
It was to the extent… that he didn’t know if he was mistaken, but he appeared to see a kind of deathly sorrow on his family’s faces.
“Hong’er… Remember… as soon as there’s a chance, nevermind us, you must escape! No matter what, you must not worry for us!”
Swish… A group silently stood up, headed by an elderly woman accompanied by four middle-aged men and women. The old woman shivered falteringly as she opened a canvas. In a twinkling, saber qi akin to a roaming dragon, containing the clarion sound of a dragon’s cry, jumped into air.
Another crowd of people quietly stood up. They said nothing and locked their eyes on the VIP section. However, there were bladed weapons in each person’s hand.
Swish… Swish… Swish… As if there was a soundless alarm, legions of all the present cultivation clans, 3,000 cultivators, stood up at this instant.
“Fiend… leave this Heavens Law branch at once, and I can act as if nothing has happened!” Moonchaser rigidly gritted his teeth. All his muscles felt as if they were being pricked by needles, stretched taut to inflexibility. He dared not shift his gaze from his opponent’s body by even a fraction of a hair. “There are many cultivators here. Even if you’re half-step Core Formation, you cannot provoke them all!”
The young girl glanced at him distantly and suddenly laughed, “Don’t you want to know why I’ve come?”
“It’s quite simple…” The young girl giggled. Not waiting for Moonchaser to respond, she said, “It’s because there’s no longer anyone alive upstairs. Haven’t all of you been unable to contact the upper level for quite some time?”
“Vermilion Snow!” Once the several high officials of the Heavens Law branch heard this, their eyes nearly split apart in fury. “Were it not for the benevolence of the Dao Masters, would you still have a path to survive?!”
“During the dawn of the Qing dynasty, you even massacred four cities! Your crimes cannot be forgiven! After you die, you shall be carried off to the Eighteen Levels of Hell! You still dare act against Heavens Law?!”
The fact that they weren’t able to contact upstairs hadn’t drawn their attention because the communication signal here couldn’t be considered too good in the first place. After all, the arena was only opened once every five years. But none had expected that as the competition took place below, a massacre of unparalleled savagery had just occurred above!
The young girl was quiet, only looking indifferently at the four large, majestic characters of Unrivaled Beneath the Heavens that towered above her head. Eventually, she dimly smiled. “How vulgarly written.”
None of the Foundation Establishment cultivators said a word. The nature of half-step Core Formation was different from their own! Even if the present 3,000 clan cultivators obstructed her, how many people would die? Among the mortal entourages and juniors that the clans had brought with them, what would the number of dead be?
This location… was doomed to flow with rivers of blood!
“What are you going to do?” Wang Buzhi gritted his teeth. “Even though you’re half-step Core Formation, you’re not a Core Formation master! By concealing from all of China’s cultivation world that you have broken through to half-step Core Formation, you’ve already arrived at the apex! What else is there that you desire to do?!”
“Impudent.” Vermilion Snow turned her head and studied him without the slightest emotion. “Is what I want to accomplish something a thing like you can question?”
She finished speaking and burst into laugh. “However, I’m in a pretty good mood today. There’s no harm in giving you a chance to guess.” She raised a finger. “Guess incorrectly once, and I’ll kill a Foundation Establishment cultivator. What do you think?”
No one moved. The cost of raising a hand against a half-step Core Formation demon was too great. But at this time, a large bloody hole burst out of Moonchaser’s chest without warning. Both of his eyes went round, and blood suddenly jetted out from his mouth. Even in death, he looked at Vermilion Snow incredulously.
“Contacting Daomaster Floatingcloud?” Vermilion Snow hooked a finger at her smile, and a paper eagle flew out from the recently deceased Moonchaser’s body. Afterwards, it combusted, devoid of the wind. “Forget about it… The night is long and the dreams many. Some games still aren’t a waste of time to play…”
“Although it’s rather boring, how about I tell you all the answer?”
“Do you remember my Heavens Law’s record?” She stood up. “My slaughter of four consecutive cities in Hegu Province was for Foundation Establishment, right?”
These words were like a primer. The faces of the Foundation Establishment cultivators in front of her had all changed!
“Your arcane effort… requires a blood sacrifice to break through a great realm?” Firecloud asked tremblingly.
“How clever. Perhaps you could take out one of those legendary life-death reincarnation pills? I’ll turn around and leave, but don’t use those pill elixirs to try and fool me.” Vermilion Snow’s hair danced of its own accord in the absence of wind. “Pitiful… Obviously, all of you remember. Why don’t all of you think a little about why I have to kill?”
“I have no such fondness for killing…”
“100,000 people.” Already, her voice carried a wisp of bloody insanity. “With the blood sacrifice of 100,000 people, I will become the eleventh in the Core Formation realm!”
“Thus, all of you… must die.” She turned to face towards the heavens and laughed maniacally. In the next second, a surge of heart-shaking spiritual pressure suddenly erupted from her body in madness!
Her spiritual pressure was a like a rank-twelve earthquake! Like a tornado combined with a tsunami! All the present initial-stage Qi Condensation cultivators and every human stood frozen in place!
“In years past, I killed enough people to fill the open plains. How could I care about all your many lives?! Even if I am met with the ten Yama Courts, they might still not necessarily accept me!” Her entire body floated into the air, cast off from physics. Her long hair that reached her waist moved freely of the wind, and her pupils transformed into slits.
“For a monarch to resolve the world’s affairs is to win fame in life and death! As long as I break through to Core Formation, who cares about how others view me after I die?!
Within the qi walls, Xu Yangyi scrambled onto his feet! As that seemingly unearthly spiritual pressure exploded and rumbled, a deathly aura had shattered the peace of his meditation in a flash. He was familiar with this aura, too familiar with it.
Vermilion Snow! Vermilion Snow had personally come!
His thoughts now swiftly turned around, and he immediately recalled everything that Zuo Lun had told them that day.
The massacre of Hegu Province’s citizens that had left their bodies filling the open fields, the slaughter of four consecutive cities, the blood sacrifice of several hundred thousand people, breaking through to Foundation Establishment… So that’s how it was… So the truth behind Vermilion Snow had always been within her records! Merely, no one had ever took note of it! All eyes had been drawn into her brutality!
No wonder… No wonder that besides this matter, she had simply done no other evil!
On that night she broke through to Foundation Establishment, she dyed a region of a hundred li with blood and earned her demon name. It wasn’t due to madness, nor was it to demonstrate her power, but rather she had a reason that demanded her to take such action!
Unchanging, she had patiently waited across from Heavens Law over the long years to suddenly rise in revolt as she broke through to Core Formation! Because of how long she had lived, she already held an incredibly deep understanding of Heavens Law’s rules and regulations!
The graduation ceremony that took place once every five years… In her eyes, perhaps it had long since become a sumptuous once-in-five-years feast! Besides here… where else were there so many cultivators? Besides here, where else would hordes of cultivators converge once every five years?
She hadn’t made a move in the past because the time was not ripe. If she wasn’t certain, then she wouldn’t have come earlier at the time.
By stretching out her silent endurance, over a hundred years long, she had already lowered the Fengyi City branch’s vigilance. Now… the reaper who had sat quietly for a century had finally extended her piercing claws.
Xu Yangyi’s breathing gradually became rushed as a million thoughts ran through his mind. All he could do right now was wait and see if the Foundation Establishment cultivators were capable of stopping her! However...
Confronted with the reality of their lives disappearing at any time, who would fight to the death for Qi Condensation cultivators they weren’t even acquainted with?
Their own circumstances were no longer important. In this moment, there was only a single situation.
To live on.
Under Vermilion Snow’s mad sorcery to achieve Core Formation and her daring to face the whole world in her great atrocity of washing Nantong Province’s Heavens Law branch with blood, Xu Yangyi could only continue to survive!
But… he was penned inside the qi walls!
There was an advantage though. The following battle would undoubtedly be a bloody carnage of flying flesh and blood, a bloodbath that would form rivers! Vermilion Snow was a demon at such a realm that demanded a massacre on these ancient ceremonial grounds, a sure attack without distinction!
Among the Qi Condensation cultivators… almost none would survive! Mortals didn’t even have to be mentioned!
However, he could!
In order to create his own chance to get familiar with the two geniuses, Firecloud hadn’t let him and Chu Zhaonan out. Nonetheless, Xu Yangyi clearly remembered what Firecloud had said before. These qi walls were of Daomaster Floatingcloud’s arts! They could obstruct a Core Formation cultivator for a period of time!
He could live longer than everyone else for a period of time. But as for afterwards!
He had a terribly awful plan, but because Vermilion Snow had dared to come meet her foes with a single sword, he held absolute confidence in it!
Her hundred-meter-long demon form made him feel an overwhelming murderous aura back then, yet he was positive that not even she would make light of the harebrained scheme that he had now cooked up in his brain.
The qi walls were an area that protected him, but also a prison that restricted him!
“What should I do?!” Xu Yangyi firmly placed his hand on a qi wall, yet discovered it was basically indifferent to his strength!
And that wasn’t mentioning that because of the bullet presently lodged in his chest by Chu Zhaonan he couldn’t use a scrap of his qi!
Right now, life or death would truly be decided in an instant!
1. 夜长梦多 - The night is long and dreams many. Chinese phrase meaning that “A long delay means trouble”.
2. China uses an earthquake scale that goes from one to twelve
3. Yama Courts: In Buddhist mythology, there are ten palaces where the ten Yama Kings reside.
4. 了却君王天下事,赢得生前身后名 - “For a monarch to resolve the world’s affairs is to win fame in life and death. This lines comes from a Song dynasty poet and general Xin Qiji. Background comes from a poem where the king realizes he has warred all of his life for his achievement of uniting the lands of China, but is now too old to enjoy it and his imperial court gone.
5. Dared to come meet her foes with a single sword. I like this idiom a lot so I did not localize it. The meaning behind this is “showing up to a fight by yourself/without any other measures”.
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