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“Don’t tell me that none of you don’t want to see what’s inside?!” Xu Yangyi abruptly turned around and pointed at the tremendous, silent honeycomb wall. His voice became louder. “On this journey, several Fellow Daoists died to get here. None of you want to know what the hell is hidden inside?!”
“Don’t tell me… that none of you have the seeking heart to explore what that great door is for?! Why the government blocked news off from Longsu Province?! What is my master keeping watch over in the sky for?!”
“Do all of you…” He took a step forward. “Not want to do anything because of the Fellow Daoists who passed away? There’s never any reaping without sowing. If you want to gain something, then you have to pay something. Do all of you… dare not enter to see?”
Nobody spoke, however, the somber and mournful mood vanished off everyone’s faces little by little. It was replaced by a kind of wordless resolution that slowly climbed up their faces instead.
Xu Yangyi measured everyone’s expressions, nonchalant. There were some words that he HAD to say. Apart from himself… no one knew whatsoever that the true Danxia Temple was next! But with their present states, there would only be death after entering! Absent of any hope for life!
Sorrow and frustration were a kind of sickness that would infect emotional people. As the commander, Xu Yangyi ordinarily didn’t care for any of these matters, only acting for the legion’s productivity. But in such times, he had to stand out!
He would take the barely remaining hot blood within everyone’s hearts to completely wipe away the shadow left behind by the Yellow Springs Path. All of their blood and power would be united to form a rope! Only like this would they have the chance to leave Danxia Temple!
Otherwise, if they died here, not only was this a failure of his duty, he would moreover be everyone’s murderer! He wouldn’t give too much of a great, long speech. This was already the peak of what he could accomplish.
“I’m taking the first step.” Xu Yangyi confidently turned around in ease. With a single step and footprint, he advanced under the contrast of the titan-like honeycomb wall. “Even if the inside is hell, I still must look!” He halted and slightly tilted his head. “For those Fellow Daoists and furthermore for myself.”
“Why does a real man not bear the saber and reclaim the borderlands? My legion only needs bolting lions, not cowering lambs!” Under the illumination of light, his back drew a long curve. As his back passed and his body ventured, he couldn’t see the traces of pride that were already slowly climbing up everyone’s faces.
“Who said it?!” Xu Yangyi’s voice yet to fall, Jun Man was the first to stand up and laugh grimly. “Commander, you don’t need kick us into gear with negative remarks. I admit that I was just being unreasonable. Although Danxia Temple is terrible and mighty, it can’t stop me!”
Jun Man’s gaze had already transformed from the heavy dusk of moments ago into a vigorous heroic spirit. This heroism revealed a sliver of pride. This wasn’t his pride but rather a cultivator’s pride, a cultivator’s self-esteem! Those willing to take a step even further wouldn’t stop at all, so that their names might be engraved into memory.
“Hehe, although I’m a woman, there’s never been a reason not to enter a door that I’ve never gone through since I’ve come. I’ve got something to say to Commander Xu, as well. Since time immemorial, who has not died? A burning heart left and taken illuminates the bamboo scrolls. I don’t know about everyone else, but a simple woman like myself really isn’t scared of this Danxia Temple.” Qin Xueluan suddenly stood up, bringing her head back and laughing.
“If a woman isn’t even scared, then what am I scared for?” Yao Xintan’s dim spirits flushed away entirely, and he chuckled. “I gotta say, what’s the point of us being all gloom and doom here? We’ll definitely show Danxia Temple’s secret to the graves of our Fellow Daoists!”
“I hope it’s not you that’s going to keep them company.” Mo Yeyu yawned, seemingly lazy, yet his eyes glimmered with spirited light. “Commander Xu, you’re looking down on us too much. C’mon, let’s go take a look! Let’s see who can make it out alive. I’m confident that even if my cultivation isn’t as good as everyone else’s, I’m still the best expert in survival skills.”
Voices began to ring out. Xu Yangyi walked at the forefront, a smirk on his face. This feeling of companionship… truly wasn’t bad.
Whatever attitude you guys treat me with, I, Xu Yangyi, will be sure to use the same towards all of you. If you follow me in finishing this journey, we’ll still have a next time, and then another… A true cultivator that seeks the Dao won’t stop at all in Danxia Temple! They won’t even stop at the ominous name of the Eight Great Deadlands!
“Hehehe…” At this time, sarcastic laughter rang out. A figure in a white shirt and black suit squarely obstructed Xu Yangyi ahead. “And I said who was it being so noisy? So it’s actually you flock of spring chickens. Commander Xu, long time no see… You’ve really made me miss you so urgently…”
God Ming Twelve seemed to stand gracefully in front, but in fact his white shirt was covered with many bloodstains. His jacket had vanished without a trace and even the whereabouts of the folding fan in his hand was unknown. His hair was originally run through by a unique hair ornament, but presently it hung down loosely. It spilled somewhat messily over his shoulders.
Xu Yangyi studied him for three seconds and then smiled. “Looks like your group of old birds aren’t doing any better.”
“Hahaha!” Hearing Xu Yangyi’s words, God Ming Twelve reared his head back and boomed with laughter. He finished laughing and closely studied Xu Yangyi. “I entered the door and sought out your aura, yet you truly hid so nervously. I really didn’t expect that you would be able to come here, but… that’s fine too.”
His expression suddenly turned cold, and his finger gently pulled at a white thread of silk connected to the seam of his fingernail. In the next moment, a coffin no less than three meters tall suddenly flew out from the Ming Clan encampment. With a rumble, it fell between the two of them, scattering dust and sand all over the ground.
“The Eighth Coffin… Nine-Apertures Jiangshi. To be able to die beneath its hand, you can consider yourself to have lived a worthy life…” God Ming Twelve’s eyes gradually reddened. He wasn’t able to restrain the killing intent in his heart anymore.
This killing intent wasn’t in fact aimed at Xu Yangyi but rather this path. It was too bitter. The Ming Clan had entered with thirty-seven people, but only eight remained now! All twenty-nine people had been buried underneath!
This killing intent originated from the tension in his heart. It came from the heart devil secretly born from this journey’s ambiguity. From him being so fatigued and embarrassed. It was a fierce injustice that Xu Yangyi had actually come out in good condition and uninjured!
Only by giving vent to his frustrations could he assuage his mood. Therefore, he selected Xu Yangyi without an inkling of hesitation. Presently, everyone merely lifted their gazes. Not a single person stuck their head out.
Xu Yangyi calmly observed him and suddenly laughed, “Are you sure that you want to raise a hand against me?”
“Scared?” God Ming Twelve revealed a perfect smile, and his hair split apart. All of a sudden, his hair moved freely of the wind. It entered the coffin into tiny, unseen holes. In a flash, an indescribable stench pervaded the air from the coffin.
“Little Brother Twelve.” At this moment, a voice like a warm sun rang out. “Why are you being like this?”
Xu Yangyi and God Ming Twelve looked over. The Ming Clan’s encampment couldn’t be considered far from the Xingtian Legion. It was a stone platform over thirty meters in size. At the head, there was surprisingly a woman with a smile akin to a spring sun. Her hair slanted over her shoulders to cover half of her face. The remaining half absolutely wasn’t that of a beauty, yet it was by no means unsightly.
The edged silhouette of her face seemed to be carved by a blade and chiseled with a hatchet. On a man, perhaps many people would say that it was rather masculine. Yet on a woman’s face, and on this woman, it cut out a kind of outline that could be called ruthless.
God Ming Twelve was dazed and soon came to his wits. “It seems that it still isn’t Sister Nine’s turn to take charge of what I do.”
“Of course, I wouldn’t care if you wanted to kill.” Sister Nine leisurely took out a cigarette, and a spiritual pressure not the slightest bit inferior to Xu Yangyi’s spread rapidly through the grounds. Furthermore… this spiritual pressure was rather odd. It was because… this was the first time that Xu Yangyi sensed a spiritual pressure that had a temperature!
Ice-cold! The same cultivation of late-stage Qi Condensation! Wherever it passed, white frost appeared on the surface!
“But if you’re killed, I have but no choice to take control.” The woman took a gentle drag of her cigarette, slightly furrowing her brows as she flicked cigarette ash. “Come back.”
“Killed?” God Ming Twelve was stunned and suddenly roared in laughter. “By just him?”
Xu Yangyi smiled as he also looked at God Ming Twelve, as if this in itself was a joke.
“He’s the same realm as I am. Apart from this generation’s clan master’s, the next clan master’s, and clan elder’s, the other Ming Clan corpses are all fake. At most, ours can be regarded as high-quality imitations. The power falls short to even a ten-thousandth of the genuine article.” Sister Nine crossed her legs at the stone platform’s edge and sketched an alluring curve, chuckling. “With your manipulation abilities, the current him can kill the current you in less than thirty moves.”
God Ming Twelve’s smile froze. He blanked out for a couple seconds and clenched his teeth. “Late-stage Qi Condensation? That’s impossible! Before he entered, he was only at the middle stage!”
“Destiny possess its own determination of the heavens.” The woman was still laughing. Her warm smile and ice-cold appearance formed a severe conflict. “Furthermore, there’s no joke about a true late-stage Qi Condensation.”
“You actually reached late-stage Qi Condensation?!” God Ming Twelve was rendered foolish for a couple seconds. He turned his head back and glared at Xu Yangyi incredulously.
How could this be? Before entering… he’d even said that he wanted to kill the other with his own hands. Unexpectedly in these several days… he was no longer Xu Yangyi’s opponent? Countless thoughts interweaved in his heart. Ultimately, after a few seconds, he fiercely gnashed his teeth. Not uttering a single word about his own position, he walked away.
“Slow down.” At this time, a tranquil voice echoed. “Did I allow you to leave?”
Sister Nine didn’t laugh.
God Ming Twelve pivoted back on his heels, his eyes carrying a terrible insidiousness. A frightening smile blossomed at the corner of his mouth. “Xu, If I want to leave, is there still margin for your lowly mouth to offer comment?”
Xu Yangyi looked at God Ming Twelve like he was looking at a dead man. In the next second, without another word, a golden-orange fire-dragon rumbled from his hand! Its great stretched-open maw was completely locked onto God Ming Twelve!
“Not good!” The divine ability yet to arrive, God Ming Twelve was already dreadfully grave! This move… was still over a dozen meters away from him, but even so he felt his hair all around twisting! As if… he was facing a giant dragon formed from magma!
“Late-stage Qi Condensation… This is absolutely late-stage Qi Condensation!” Swiftly, cold sweat emanated from his back. His heart was trembling in turmoil! His first thought wasn’t to receive this move… but rather escape!
Intuition told him that he was unable to welcome this ability! Surpassing ranks to counter-kill wasn’t an impossibility. God Ming Twelve had done so an untold number of times. Nonetheless, this seemingly beautiful word held a compulsory prerequisite.
That was a genius facing a normal cultivator. Right now, to be able to come to this place and be protected by everyone like stars cupping the moon, who wasn’t a genius picked out from among ten thousand?
Fahui, Greenwall’s Four Swords, the Baili Clan’s third noble son, the Nangong Clan’s sixth young master… If such people overtook him by a single rank, all that awaited him was devastation!
“Since it’s like that, you can die by my lowly hand, alright?” The light of Xu Yangyi’s eyes was ice-cold, devoid of a shred of mercy. The demon slayer laughed sinisterly.
1. “Why does a real man not bear the saber and reclaim the borderlands?” Poem from Tang Poet Li He (790-816 CE). The other part of the poem goes onto to create an idea of rousing the self to achieve great feats.
2. “Since time immemorial, who has not died? A burning heart left and taken illuminates the bamboo scrolls.” Poem from Song Poet Wen Tianxiang (1236-1283 CE). Meaning: those who burn brightly leave their mark on history.
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