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A high-level formation required at least an hour to test its stability. Of course, Xu Yangyi couldn’t possibly take out the demon core in front of so many people. The matter of his possession of the demon core was perhaps known to no more than ten people in the world.
But so what if they knew? He smiled as he used his finger to gently stroke his ring. If they didn’t fear death… they could go ahead and come try. His hands inside his suit pants pockets, he took a step forward into the array’s core without the slightest care.
In a flash, the world appeared with countless motes of light! The vastness could even be compared to the moment he had broken through to the middle stage! The light motes spun like an immense maelstrom. At the same time, Xu Yangyi suddenly felt himself to be within a tremendous ocean tide! A white qi tide!
“It’s a completely different sensation…” Each cell of his entire body began to clamor in joy for this. If said, the low-grade Spirit Focusing Formation of the Unrivaled Beneath the Heavens Arena that year was a stream. This was a great river! A lagoon!
Even if it was the End of Days, qi density was so dreadful that it could be felt. Not only was this in cycling an arcane effort, it was also in breathing. Both were a kind of comforting qi, like a human soul obtaining purification. The qi here simply didn’t need to be assimilated. Even if he slept here for thirty-four years, he would be able to automatically break through to the next boundary.
Stifling the excitement in his heart, he opened his eyes. He stroked the formation below, bestirred with emotion. “I really envy ancient cultivators… No wonder they dared to say Core Formation could be fully reached back then, and Nascent Soul was plentiful like dogs… If the worldly qi was this dense, I would be able to advance even if I was asleep, and that’s not even bringing up talented, smart, and diligent people…”
“But I believe if ancient cultivators were here now, they would be even more envious of us.” An Ning smiled and said softly, “The communication equipment of ancient times was only flying swords and paper cranes. They would take at least half an hour. But nowadays, an internet line can deliver and send things at light speed. Also, that’s not mentioning if an ancient cultivator was a rogue cultivator, or perhaps a minor clan without a Foundation Establishment senior. Taking a trip to faraway places was an extreme pain, but now?”
She giggled, “You can go anywhere you want with a ten-buck taxi. Even Foundation Establishment Seniors don’t have the slightest advantage with a flight-specialized magik artifact. Compared to an airplane, only using ordinary flying swords, these common artifacts, or one’s own body to fly is far worse in speed.”
“And that’s not to mention coming up with arrangements for clansmen. Now? Cultivator clans can engage in business and speculate in stocks. In the old era, clans that couldn’t cultivate only had a dead end.”
“That’s true.” Xu Yangyi nodded. “I’m satisfied. Find Peony later to give you your final balance.” Turning around, he brought Li Zongyuan outside and said apathetically, “Tell Peony I’m going to meet the Branch Master.”
“Master!” Fearful, Li Zongyuan broke into a cold sweat, his voice rising a few good times in intensity. He immediately said with a hushed voice, “Y-You’re throwing yourself into a trap! He’s the Foundation Establishment cultivator that took on the Black Kill Order!”
“Like he dares.” Xu Yangyi said serenely, “First of all, does he risk causing my death inside his room? Secondly…” He looked at his ring. “If he’s not scared of death, he can give it a try.”
“But, Master, you’re a demon! You…”
Whoosh! Before Li Zongyuan even finished speaking, he’d already been raised up by his neck and pulled before Xu Yangyi, right across from a pair of ice-cold eyes.
“Li Zongyuan.” Just as the toad-demon was so terrified he became drenched with cold sweat, he heard a voice that was similar to an icy blade. “Don’t challenge my patience.”
“I am myself and nothing else. Remember it clearly.”
Li Zongyuan trembled as he nodded. Clenching his teeth, he also said lowly, “But, but… my evolution…”
“It was a coincidence.” Xu Yangyi threw the familiar to the side. “I don’t want to hear of this a second time.”
Beep beep beep… The sound of a ringing telephone rang out in a room, and a lanky hand picked up the phone. “Hello?”
“Your Excellency Branch Master.” A lucid and graceful woman’s voice echoed out from the receiver. “Mr. Xu, the commander of the newly promoted A-rank legion, is requesting a meeting. May I?”
His hand gripping the telephone tightened, and Thousandedge raised an aged brow. He was silent for a long period of time, gently combing through his full head of gray of hair. After a brief moment, he said dully, “Send him in.”
“Hehe…” Inside the room, a man’s voice gently rang out at the side of his ear. “He’s right under your eyes… You’re not planning on tidying the door?”
There wasn’t a sliver of emotion on Thousandedge’s face, and he looked at a giant computer divided into three screens. His forefinger gently tapping the table surface, and he then sneered after three minutes passed. “You want me to take on a Core Formation explosion for you?”
No one responded. A few minutes passed, and a male voice gently sighed and rang out once again, “If Fellow Daoist cannot do so, then it would be no good matter.”
The door opened by itself, free of the wind, and Thousandedge suddenly opened his mouth, “Slow down.”
The door persisted in its strange arc and stopped. Thousandedge laughed grimly, his gaze seamlessly shifting over to the computer. A small taunting smile hung at the corners of his mouth. “Ridiculous… Among humanity’s seven great Core Formation, besides Daomaster Skybearer and Daomaster Earthcleaver, there are also five other great Dao Masters, yet none of them are able to band together. Instead, they are suppressed by the Cultivation Court’s two Dao Masters, brothers of a kind. It really is… an extreme irony.”
Silent, the voice sighed after several seconds, “The Vermilion Snow Incident has become popular again because of this person’s reappearance. If Daomaster Floatingcloud personally acts, it’ll be a great matter of the cultivation world’s two major powers mutually denouncing each other once it’s discovered… Everyone has their own interests, and everyone their own Dao heritage. Everyone is pillaging resources in the struggle of fate with the heavens. The friction between Core Formation masters, the contest, how could all the old ancestors imagine that it was two ordinary seniors… Mhm… Brothers of the same air and joined branches are of one heart for the nation.”
“Hehe…” Thousandedge jeered, “You say these words with such difficulty.” Silent again, Thousandedge unhurriedly said after two seconds passed, “Then just ask Daomaster Floatingcloud to quietly await the good news…”
“Didn’t you just say…” the man’s voice rang out.
“And what did I say?” Thousandedge held a teacup in both of his hands, looking in somewhat of a trance at the tea water. “I never said I wouldn’t be able to catch him.” He swept an eye at the door, not paying attention. “It’s just that… I’m going to need some time.”
Thunk thunk… At this moment, the sound of the door knocking rang out. Thousandedge waved his hand. “Please come in.”
Xu Yangyi walked in and clasped his hands. “Greetings, Branch Master.”
“Commander Xu, you don’t need to be polite.” Thousandedge smiled, hooking his finger. A small cup of tea slowly flew over in the air. “Please sit. Try the tea.”
“My thanks, Branch Master.”
“Commander Xu, are you still getting into the swing of things?” Thousandedge laughed as he waited on Xu Yangyi to sip at his tea, then smiling. “If you’re not… it’s still better to propose getting out early for your own good. The Featherwood Guard’s missions are a burden. You don’t know whether you’ll have the opportunity to do so in the future.”
Xu Yangyi smiled faintly. “I believe I’ll have the chance.”
“Not necessarily.” Thousandedge leaned on the sofa. “The things of the world shift and change. Fortune makes fools out of men. Who was it that said that… What do you say? Young friend?” His voice was warm like the spring sun, yet his voice was emotionless like the cold winter. Anyone could hear the dense killing intent hidden within.
Xu Yangyi laughed but didn’t speak again.
“I will make an introduction for you.” Thousandedge faced towards the air and slightly raised his chin. “He is called Nameless. He is at the middle stage of Foundation Establishment, the exact same boundary as myself…” His half-narrowed eyes were bright with a cold glint. “This is Daomaster Floatingcloud’s personal disciple. He was once my junior.”
Xu Yangyi’s gaze faintly flashed because he hadn’t felt half a shred of the other’s spiritual pressure. Nameless’s aura didn’t even exist.
“Hehe…” Coarse, hollow laughter echoed in the air. It was like an owl. After two hoots, there wasn’t a whisper more.
Xu Yangyi deeply eyed Thousandedge. He cupped his hands and said respectfully, “Greetings, Senior.”
That voice… had come from where Thousandedge was sitting. Thousandedge didn’t say a word, only looking at him indifferently. However, the voice seemed to be the same as the words Thousandedge had spoken before. This didn’t make any sense…
Although Xu Yangyi’s spiritual sense presently held no clear-cut indication, it was much more powerful in comparison to same-stage cultivators. Foundation Establishment cultivators were very strong, but if one wanted to say something, perfectly conceal themself at the same time, and not use spiritual sense to communicate, such a feat was fairly illogical.
“Senior, I’ve come report the Xingtian Legion’s plans for the next three years.” Xu Yangyi cupped his hands and said, “If there are no mishaps, the Xingtian Legion isn’t planning on taking any missions in these several years.”
“Oh?” Thousandedge placed his teacup down, unmoved in demeanor.
“In addition, I’ve already informed the Featherwood Guard headquarters. In the next few years, I’ll be in a cultivation room in the Mingshui Province branch. Underground…” Xu Yangyi looked into Thousandedge’s eyes, his gaze absent of a sliver of cowering, and he gently pressed his feet into the floor. “There is a twenty-meter area to cultivate. Besides Branch Master, I won’t be meeting anyone…”
Thousandedge’s gaze suddenly twinkled, and Xu Yangyi’s eyes collided together with it in midair. Followingly, their gazes shifted away from amidst sparking flint, mild like clouds and soft like wind.
“It wasn’t necessary of you to personally let me know of this business. Are you planning something devious here right now?” Thousandedge’s expression appeared glacial, and he coldly laughed as he stood up. “Commander Xu, did Commander Chu teach you this move? How pretty… Cultivating in a cultivation room twenty meters down below the branch… A cultivation room empty for decades. Such a lousy place that no commander would choose, yet you dare to select it… ‘Besides Branch Master, I won’t be meeting with anyone’, Commander Xu…”
“Who are you on guard against? Me?”
“Junior dares not.” Such words were spoken from Xu Yangyi’s mouth, yet he didn’t make a move. He cupped his hands this time to save time.
“You have already dared!”
Boom! Thousandedge stood up without warning. The spiritual pressure of a Foundation Establishment cultivator erupted with a rumble. It engulfed the entire room like a tide, and Xu Yangyi, who was at the nexus of it, seemed as if his chest had been battered by a sledgehammer. His throat sweet, he forcibly swallowed a mouthful of blood back down.
Swoosh… These waves came quickly but receded even faster. In the next second, Thousandedge was almost without any thought, swiftly restraining his spiritual sense.
Xu Yangyi fixed him with a deathly glare, his hand already placed atop the storage ring on his other hand.
Thousandedge’s teeth fiercely grinded. He understood what was inside.
A Core Formation demon core… A nuclear warhead that could be primed at any time!
1. “Of the same air and same branches” More vivid imagery. Used to describe extremely close people like brothers. Not necessarily brothers/siblings themselves, but people who are very close.
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