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“Come…” Old Man Di neither retreated nor advanced. From head to toe, his clothing moved freely of the wind, and he faced upwards and laughed earnestly, “I want to see what kind of power you can show in your hands with the Ketu-Rahu Sword that I myself forged!”
His doubts didn’t last for a second. In the next, he quickly stood dazed in place because he saw… in the rolling black qi, all that remained was a nebulous manifestation of a tall man from ancient times. This wasn’t a cultivator, but rather a man who was clad in a mortal soldier’s armor.
Black mist ascended. In his hand, he carried a map. In the following instant, this map unfurled with a hail of crashing sounds. In the end, a dagger unexpectedly appeared! The map discarded and the blade in sight, a black dagger was revealed!
Swoosh. This sound didn’t come from Xu Yangyi’s mouth but instead from the resonance among endless black qi. It seemed to step across countless years and moons to descend upon the year 2021.
Swoosh, one simple word. Nameless; this wasn’t a divine ability, but at this moment, all qi abruptly surged and billowed. In the air, a tremendous ten-meter-wide sword, curled upon by black qi, awesomely condensed and rushed towards Old Man Di!
“Flowers yet not flowers… mists yet not mists.” Old Man Di’s gaze was like fire, yet his voice was exceptionally unperturbed. “Mirror Flower, Water Moon!”
Boom! In the moment the tremendous sword arrived, the old man’s figure suddenly transformed into ripples. Xu Yangyi gritted his teeth as he looked ahead at everything. All current matters had broken away from his control, and his body suffered waves of sharp pain. Yet oddly, he didn’t collapse, as if this strike was maintaining the peak limit that he could endure by itself.
He saw Old Man Di’s figure scatter apart and the astonishing blow of the great black sword… He immediately understood that by this strike… all below Foundation Establishment would die!
Regardless of half-step Foundation Establishment or Great Circle Qi Condensation, there was absolutely no chance for a miraculous escape!
Soon afterwards, he also saw that Old Man Di’s surroundings seemed to loudly shatter like glass. Old Man Di’s silhouette cried out in alarm as he flew back from the hollow of where he had originally stood!
Xu Yangyi took everything into his eyes rather clearly. Along the way, whatever object that had blocked for Old Man Di had been pierced and entirely transformed into flying smithereens. Old Man Di wore an incredulous expression on his face.
Rumble! He had flown back several tens of meters! The martial training ground was a room of scarred and destroyed tiles and bricks!
Hum… At this time, the command of this sword has caused all the silted spiritual force in Xu Yangyi’s body to fade away at last.
“This sword… consumed all my spiritual force as the price…” He sensed a kind of sudden emptiness within his body, an aching feeling, yet in his heart, he was incredibly excited. “This is my killing move! An ultimate trump just for me!”
“It doesn’t have a name. Swoosh? No, I’ll call it the Ketu-Rahu Sword!”
“Hahaha!” Before his thoughts even fell away, an exhilarated and hearty laughter echoed without warning. Even now, Old Man Di had a crazed expression on his face, and his figure flashed and flew over in front of him. The Foundation Establishment senior clutched onto his arm.
“The peak of initial-stage Foundation Establishment… this is really the peak of initial-stage Foundation Establishment!” Old Man Di’s current mien was without a trace of depression. On the contrary, he couldn’t be more excited!
“A masterpiece! The finest masterpiece!!! Hahaha!” His face was rosy, and he clutched onto Xu Yangyi’s arm as if he was exhausting all of his strength. Nonetheless, he dared not use too much strength. “This rank… I worked on a secret treasure of this rank! I made it! Hahaha! Ha…”
His laughter seemed to stop with an abrupt grunt because in the next second… at the positions of his dantian, heart, and upper back, three heavy booms rang out. These regions on his clothes exploded with bowl-sized holes!
The smile on Old Man Di’s face froze. He was rendered in a state of disbelief as he looked at his chest and dantian. In other words… if a cultivator who could pierce into his body was substituted in just now… he would’ve already died?
“Young fellow…” He studied Xu Yangyi deeply. “What the heck did you put inside?”
Xu Yangyi didn’t answer, merely smiling and cupping his hands. Besides, he couldn’t answer and furthermore allow Gao Muya and Old Man Di to see what he had inserted.
“My realm is higher by two minor boundaries in comparison to the Ketu-Rahu Sword, but… the attack was actually able to punch through my protective spiritual light?” He patted and stroked his chest in astonishment. “This item… is very much terrible.”
“What’s very much terrible?!” Before Old Man Di even finished speaking, Gao Muya frantically rushed over, simply not caring for anything along the way. In an instant, he stood in front of Xu Yangyi, gazing at the demon slayer’s left arm. The grand master questioned Old Man Di with certainty, “How did it go?! Was the activation fine?”
“More than fine.” Old Man Di glanced at Xu Yangyi with terrible complication. “The item was responsible for the three damaged areas on my body.”
“Mhm, that’s good… WHAT?!” Gao Muya answered without thinking, but in the next second, he whipped his head and looked at Old Man Di as if he wanted to eat him. However, Old Man Di didn’t hide in the slightest and moreover pointed at his chest and dantian for Gao Muya to see.
“It’s… actually capable of breaking through your protective spiritual light?” In the same vein, Gao Muya dared not accept this as the truth. After inspecting for no less than several minutes, he then shut his eyes and inhaled deeply. When he opened them, there was no longer a half-sliver of shock. All that remained was ecstasy!
“A masterpiece. THIS has to be my proudest masterpiece this year… No, maybe in twenty years. I dare not say that there are items that might surpass it…” He likewise picked up Xu Yangyi’s arm and observed it while prattling on continuously, “Young fellow… you don’t know how proud I am that this can penetrate half-step Core Formation protective qi… I can tell you that there are absolutely no magik artifacts whatsoever that a Qi Condensation cultivator can use that can produce Foundation Establishment might. Artificing is a Dao as high as the heavens and as broad as the earth, but magik artifacts like this are unconditionally few!”
“But the Ketu-Rahu Sword and those dregs… fundamentally aren’t the same!” In the heat of passion, he stroked and caressed Xu Yangyi’s left arm. “This… is a true artificing masterpiece. The internal structure can compare to a Core Formation magik treasure. It’s different from those single-use magik artifacts… This can be upgraded! That girl Quan likely told you this bit as well. Any bodily magik artifact, a brilliant magik prosthesis, so long as your realm reaches it… will only have one name in the end.”
He used his somewhat reddened eyes to look at Xu Yangyi. “A bodily… magik treasure!”
“No…” His chest heaved up and down fiercely. “That was the Ketu-Rahu Sword in my project… Yours…”
“It’s different! It’s not the same!” Old Man Di’s face was flushed red, and he said excitedly, “Your arm used a Heavenmend Stone… and those three leaves. Although the leaves are inferior to the Heavenmend Stone, they’re not off by too much! Your Ketu-Rahu Sword… has a sliver’s chance to morph into a spirit treasure!”
At this moment, in his heart, even Xu Yangyi couldn’t stop himself from being excited. Spirit treasure… He didn’t even have few a magik artifacts. The status of this arm was relevant to his own life, yet there was a remote chance that it could transform into a spirit treasure!
He hadn’t emptied out his assets in vain to forge this left arm!
“I’ll borrow Senior’s lucky words, but it’s still early.” He forced down the thirst in his heart and cupped his fist.
Gao Muya guffawed in high spirits. “Early? Yes, it’s still early, but do you know how many cultivators would be willing to lose their family fortunes for this sliver’s chance? I’ll only tell you one thing.”
He gazed at Xu Yangyi and said, “For this chance… Daomaster Earthcleaver wasted three supreme magik treasures. Each one took him decades to gather with great effort. He didn’t find a marvelous object like the Heavenmend Stone, but the presented item still wasn’t off by much. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that it was almost on par. But even so, Ancestor Earthcleaver still had no regrets or complaints!”
“Hehe, he’s already scheduled a fourth one for Teacher in ten years,” Old Man Di laughed heartily.
Xu Yangyi didn’t think himself to be lucky, but he also didn’t value himself a gambling chip more because of this.
The Heavenmend Stone was a freebie from Danxia Temple. Yet the price of this treat was the lives of a thousand Qi Condensation cultivators! A few of his legionnaires had died! His left arm was lost! Ultimately, all of them had almost been wiped out at the bottom of Danxia Temple!
He had taken this freebie with all right, devoid of any reservation.
“Young fellow.” Upon seeing Xu Yangyi’s expression, Gao Muya finally pushed down his fervent heart. “After Foundation Establishment, come visit this old man again.”
Not waiting for Xu Yangyi to raise a question, Gao Muya waved his hand. “The fame of any magik artifact requires a cultivator’s strength in themself. If you don’t enter the upper noble circle of the 20,000 after Foundation Establishment, it’ll naturally leave a stigma on my artificing hall. If your reputation is impressive someday, everyone will know that this masterpiece was by my methods.”
“Yes.” Xu Yangyi clasped his hands, his heart set free at long last. Business here was finished. He finally had one more ace!
Although he was laughing, his heart was already starting to become ice-cold. He had to win the struggle over the heavenly paradise. His master-ancestor was watching him and with the cultivation world watching this region as well, he was even more determined to triumph!
Only with his own foundation and only through occupying the heavenly paradise would his future cultivation be able to make blazing progress, a journey of a thousand miles in a single day! Only with great handfuls and handfuls of time could he knock on the great door of Core Formation!
That strike just now… In his heart, a faint sneer emerged. Come, this so-called cultivator war. Although he was still a noob about these kind of things,that didn’t represent that he didn’t have the resolution to kill the clans that coveted his territory in one fell swoop!
From beginning to end, Nanzhou City’s position would use blood to be dyed red and would use power to speak!
“Things here are set… Next is going to Tianzi Mountain and Jinshan Temple.” The uneasy feeling in his heart finally settled a bit. “I don’t believe… that Xiaoqing and Fahai dared to bet that there weren’t any enemies in the outside world to hunt down while they were imprisoned. They likely didn’t give me the two contingencies they left behind!”
“One thing, just one, and in this Nanzhou City heavenly paradise struggle… I’ll have one more fraction of assurance!”
The next three days were focused on testing his left arm. After three days, Xu Yangyi didn’t stay one moment more and immediately bid farewell to Gao Muya.
Just as he left, he ran into an unexpected person.
“Branch Master.” Peony’s face was covered with anxiety. “We need to head back now; major business has occurred!”
Xu Yangyi shook his head and the duo walked over to a car. With anxiety on her face, Peony didn’t wait for Xu Yangyi to reply and quickly said, “Long Su Province’s A-rank Legion, the Black Armor Legion… has a-applied…”
Xu Yangyi neared the car. Li Zongyuan was driving. He glanced at the other, his complexion seemingly alright. He said dully afterwards, “Applied to separate from Longsu Province? An organizational revision?"
“Yes… Branch Master, how did you know?” Peony tightly pursed her red lips. This matter couldn’t be said to be a big deal, but to Xu Yangyi’s reputation, it was a fatal strike. The enemies had yet to come, but an A-rank Legion was about to leave. How would this allow Xu Yangyi to continue staying in Longsu Province?
Xu Yangyi didn’t speak, but his eyes flashed with a wisp of a killing intent.
These simple words. Even he only came to know of their true meaning from Wei Zhongxian’s mouth. It was pardonable that these A-rank Legions under his command weren’t listening to him but to make an application to leave his establishment wasn’t so simple.
A group escape wasn’t so straightforward. Not only was merit value cut in half, but more importantly, the various connections, marketing, and production that a legion formed with regional clans would be severed! If it wasn’t that someone had said something to them, then maybe… they were being forced or threatened. Xu Yangyi wasn’t convinced that these people would abandon their merits and connections in search for another establishment!
1. I may have mentioned this in earlier reference notes, but the specific term for “map discarded and dagger in sight” originates from the attempted assassination of the first emperor of China by the assassin Jing Ke.
2. Author has a tendency sometimes to turn specific phrases in Chinese into moves. “Mirror Flower, Water Moon” is “镜花水月”, based on the idea of flowers in a mirror or the moon reflected on water.
3. “Black Armor Legion” - this legion name is more on the traditional side. In ancient China, the forces that wore black armor were the cavalry. They are listed as one of the great ten cavalry forces in Chinese history. I believe this specific cavalry dates back to the early Tang dynasty (618 CE).
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