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The ground under Fang Cheng’s feet was already fissuring with inch-long cracks because of his terrible pressure. However, these stones seemed to be receive an attraction from the sky, slowly floating upwards! The air surrounding his two fists had become blurred due to the tremendous spiritual force pouring in!
“Strong move… Is this the strength of a disciple personally selected by a Dao Master?” Without timidness, Xu Yangyi’s eyes instead revealed a stronger battle intent. Besides Chu Zhaonan, this was the strongest cultivator he had encountered in the same realm!
Quite possibly… Fang Cheng wasn’t below himself!
“Azure Dragon Seeks Cauldron…” He inhaled deeply, and his fist suddenly emitted rays of red light, placed at his waist side. Contrary to his opponent’s side of roaring momentum, Xu Yangyi was still as a breeze and calm like a wave. Merely, his fist’s spiritual force was able to cause a middle-stage Qi Condensation cultivator’s eyes to ache as long as they saw it!
“Shadow Seizes!” At this time, followed by a furious bellow across from him, two black light-streaks madly charged him! In the places these rays passed over, the ground was carved open with a several-decimeter-long trench!
Likewise, Xu Yangyi’s present qi condensed to the peak. Devoid of the slightest misgiving, the extremely slender red-light in his hand rushed forth at the same time! One side was like a fierce dragon crossing a river and the other side was silent without a sound. In a twinkling, the two divine abilities immediately collided!
There existed no wind or sound. The instant the two divine abilities touched, time seemed to halt for a second. Daomaster Ancientpine quickly tilted his head, looking somewhat surprised at the location the two divine abilities had touched.
Swoosh… It wasn’t the rise of a great explosion as they had expected. The two divine abilities actually warped oddly, winding about and forming a pitch-black hole!
Daomaster Ancientpine’s brows gently furrowed. In his long-distant memories, he had witnessed such a situation. Moreover… it was rather dangerous!
Hiisss… An immeasurable amount of qi twisted in the surroundings of the fist-sized black hole.
“This…” Just as Fang Cheng wanted to go over and take a look, he suddenly heard Xu Yangyi’s shout.
“Don’t go over!”
“What’s up?” Fang Cheng turned his head and looked towards Xu Yangyi in confusion. “It’s just a little black hole… What’s the problem?”
Xu Yangyi said nothing, only staring at the black hole with great caution. His spiritual sense exceeded a normal cultivator’s by the very least a third. Just as the black hole formed, he keenly sensed that it was accumulating a terrifying spiritual force!
It was just… that all of it was being compressed together! With a little bit more external force, it would promptly explode to kingdom come! His intuition was telling him that when the time arrived… he and Fang Cheng would have zero chance of taking it.
At this moment, a flat but extremely grave voice rang out, “Both of you leave a hundred meters away from this place!”
A hundred meters was reached in a wink of time. As Xu Yangyi turned his head, he shockingly saw the sleeve of Daomaster Ancientpine’s gown wave and envelop the black hole. Afterwards...
BOOM! A muffled sound echoed, and Ancientpine’s gown sleeve fiercely surged! It was as if Sun Wukong was wrapped inside and wreaking havoc in the heavens!
Bang! Ancientpine’s gown sleeve surprisingly split open at a seam!
In the atmosphere, the just-scattered, terrible spiritual force surged at great speeds everywhere. Fang Cheng’s swarthy face came to somewhat of an instant realization. Even he could imagine what the result would be like if he had just approached!
Daomaster Ancientpine’s expression plainly studied the seam, absent of change. He slowly nodded, “Comparable to a middle-stage Foundation Establishment cultivator’s strike.”
“Master-Ancestor, what’s this?” Fang Cheng panted coldly and asked with lingering fear.
“This thing’s name… is Nirvana Void.” Daomaster Ancientpine looked gravely at the duo. “I didn’t expect such a thing would occur… When two divine abilities collide, and their attributes are completely opposite yet their strengths aren’t lacking in the slightest, a situation like this will occur. Two kinds of power join together to form a spiritual-force maelstrom thats might is over a hundred times greater than the power of the moves you two can currently use. Met with a bit more spiritual force collision, it would’ve instantly exploded without distinction.”
“Such a situation is extraordinarily rare—the might of two kinds of divine abilities being completely the same. Not only is this the established theory of divine abilities, but moreover between cultivators, there cannot be a hair of disparity in their cultivations. Even I haven’t seen this many times.”
Xu Yangyi raised a brow. That meant… this kid’s strength wasn’t below his own? Apart from Chu Zhaonan, he still truly hadn’t encountered an equally matched opponent. A collision of a single move didn’t explain anything at all. Just as he had said, realm was never the complete strength.
Fang Cheng stared blankly as he heard this, suddenly looking towards Xu Yangyi in surprise. “Master-Ancestor… you mean… his divine ability and mine have the same power? T-That’s impossible, right? This move is my elysial divine ability in addition to the one you taught me…”
Daomaster Ancientpine glanced indifferently at him. “I said it was difficult to chance upon a worthy adversary, not no adversaries. You think you’re without rival because your past opponents were too weak. He… is your Seventeenth Junior Apprentice-Brother.”
Fang Cheng was stunned. Afterwards, he faced Xu Yangyi without hardly any concealment and gave him a thumbs-up. “Awesome! You’re really, really awesome! I’ve already been cultivating here at Master-Ancestor’s place for a few years! You can actually match up with me! You…”
“You should go back and cultivate.”
Fang Cheng’s voice yet to fall, a black ring appeared again under his feet. Without the most minute pause, it pulled the tanned youth in.
Presently, only Ancientpine, Xu Yangyi, and the gentle blowing sound of the night wind remained.
“Do you think I’m being especially kind to him?” Daomaster Ancientpine had both his hands at his back and looked at the vast sky full of stars. A smidgen of reminiscence appeared on his face. “His ancestor… saved my life. That time, I was just in the Qi Condensation realm… I waited until I achieved the great accomplishment of Core Formation, but when I looked for them again, I discovered my good friend had already died during a chaotic era…”
“In my fury, I killed a total of over a hundred people of that province’s authorities. Of all shapes and sizes… I left behind neither chicken nor dog… until I became aware that they had still left behind this lineage… Thus, I treat him like my own descendant.”
These past memories were smoke in the end. After a brief spell, Ancientpine turned around. His gentleness of moments ago had already scattered and dispersed like ash. He watched Xu Yangyi apathetically. “Commander Xu Yangyi of the Featherwood Guard’s Xingtian Legion, I will ask you again. Are you willing to pay respects and join the lineage of I, Daomaster Ancientpine?”
“My lineage is without monastery or sect. The Featherwood Guard IS my monastery. Once you join this sect, and only if I give my nod of approval, you cannot kowtow to another master.”
“Those who rape and pillage, kill. Those who betray their sect and country, kill. Those who break faith and abandon righteousness, kill. Those who deceive their master and exterminate their ancestors, kill. Those who flee before the eve of battle, kill. Those who show no inkling of initiative, pursue.”
He beckoned in passing, and a black insignia floated downwind in the night breeze. It was shield-shaped, and there was an ancient golden pine tree on the surface, thriving in vitality.
“Junior is willing.” Xu Yangyi didn’t reject whatsoever, allowing the insignia to fasten onto his chest.
“If there is a day that your cultivation surpasses mine, you may establish your own monastery.”
“If there is day that China or the sect is faced with a life-death crisis, sacrifice thine body for righteousness and give thine life for justice.”
“Can you…” He looked straight into Xu Yangyi’s eyes. “Possibly accomplish this?”
“Junior is certain to accomplish this.”
“Very good…” Ancientpine finally began to laugh, “Henceforth, you are my, Daomaster Ancientpine’s, seventeenth disciple.”
“In the vastness of the heavens and the immensity of the earth, you can go anywhere. So long as you carry this insignia, any inconvenience will be resolved without exception, an open net on one side.”
“In addition, from the moment you began to carry this insignia, all of China’s deadlands and sealed regions were already opened to you and your legion.”
Xu Yangyi deeply cupped his hands. “My thanks, Master-Ancestor.”
Ancientpine didn’t answer but rather looked at the sky. Suddenly, his hand emitted an endless black radiance, and he faced towards the heavens and waved forcefully. In a twinkling, the world changed.
The clouds seemed to all vanished in the wake of his wave. As for the stars, with the same wave of his hand, everything dimmed! As if the sky was originally covered by a layer of muslin, it seemed to have been now shed!
What removed and replaced it… were golden talismans that none dared to closely observe! Runes which Xu Yangyi simply didn’t recognize filled the sky! Each one appeared to be as tremendous as a star. Merely glancing at them, Xu Yangyi almost sunk into a kind of extremely indescribable engrossment.
The arrangement of these talismans were extremely orderly, but in his eyes right now, they were endless spring flowers that gradually enchanted the eye. He looked upon countless immortresses whose hands clasped jade bottles as they danced along the breezy sky. Looking again, he saw layers of flowing sunlit clouds which shrouded all of this in a rainbow. He also saw legendary immortals of all sides. They were saddled on rare and strange beasts that he presently hadn’t heard of.
However… no matter which item or which person under the treasure lights envelopment, he completely sensed… a kind of killing aura that caused his mind to shake!
If the current him… came across any one of these things, he would immediately transform into flying ash! There simply wasn’t a second choice!
“Above Core Formation is Nascent Soul…” Daomaster Ancientpine murmured as he looked at the sky. “This is our responsibility as Dao Masters… China’s Immortal Execution Array… One of the world’s most famous of several great nation-protector formations… Legend has it that Senior Jiang Ziya laid it down and reinforced it again in the Spring and Autumn Period. It has always been silently guarding each inch of soil and person of our China’s 9.6 million square kilometers…”
Xu Yangyi was also infatuated. Such a magnificent scenery could truly be said to be barely seen in one’s life. In the same vein, he looked up at the sky and then said after a long period, “Guarding?”
“Yes, guarding.” Daomaster Ancientpine said neither swiftly nor slowly, “Could it be you truly believe this world is so peaceful and secure?”
“It really isn’t so… We suspect that the western world has a few old monsters that can be said to be deities. To this day, they remain on Earth. Quetzalcoatl that Daomaster Titanspirit searched for is one of them… But in our world, and even though we are Core Formation, we simply don’t know how many of our ancestors still exist…”
Xu Yangyi nodded, yet enlightenment suddenly dawned on him! In the lotus sea… he recalled the omnipresent fish! Regarding its demon form… that demon form… had perhaps already transcended the Core Formation realm!
“Master-Ancestor…” he cautiously asked, “In this world, does Nascent Soul still exist?”
“Nascent Soul…” Ancientpine’s gaze flashed with a wisp of mad obsession. “There should… be…”
There truly was Nascent Soul! Xu Yangyi felt his breathing become somewhat rushed. He wanted to ask more, but in no way was now the best time to do so.
Nonetheless, his mood was evidently captured by Daomaster Ancientpine. The other chuckled faintly, “Perhaps I might’ve once seen one.”
1. “Sacrifice thine body for righteousness and give thine life for justice”, this line is directly taken from the Analects of Confucius.
2. “Endless spring flowers…” This line is from Tang Poet Bai Juyi (772-846 CE).
3. Jiang Ziya (Circa 1100 BCE) said to be the semi-mythical advisor to King Wen of Zhou.
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