Translated by Jouissance of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
As the hunt began, a faint halo of light appeared around the young man’s bloodied broken body. It was a slither of Path intent created from sword energy and spiritual energy that slowly began to heal the internal injuries he had received.
Patches of crimson turned into bloody marks that congealed on his skin. If it was anyone else, it would look terrifying and horrific. Yet his skin was so pale, it looked like shadows felt by sunlight, blooming amidst the crimson as gorgeous plum blossoms.
Even though they knew that crimson was blood, it had their breaths speeding up. Even though they knew that the silhouette illuminated by sword light was a demon coming to take their lives, they couldn’t help the slowing of their movements, stunned by the beauty they saw. They weren’t like moths plunging into the fire and seeking their own deaths, it was merely an instinctive reaction to unimaginable beauty. Their minds blanked, and by the time they snapped out of their stupor, their chests had already been pierced by a razor-sharp blade.
All they saw before they died was their own blood splashing out and brushing past the corner of the other’s snow-white robes, unable to stain it in even the slightest.
Chu HuanZhi’s shapely eyebrows furrowed slightly. A strange power was isolating this realm from the rest of the world, and even he could only appear here in a phantom form, unable to remain for long. This form of his was very taxing on his mind and didn’t have any cultivation level, only his Path eternal. Condensed with the energy of his Path, it guided Chu WuQing along the true Sword Path of Slaughter, allowing him to improve at a rapid speed.
The young man’s wrist was thin and delicate. He could feel the warmth of his skin and the pulse of blood in his veins as he held the other’s wrist. The young man’s hair brushed against his chest.
Their teamwork was flawless.
High above them, Chu YunShu was still fighting Xiao Yan, except this battle slowly yet steadily got closer and closer to the ancestral peak under Chu YunShu’s careful guidance. Chu YunShu expanded his divine sense over the entire ancestral peak, taking in everything that was happening.
If any powerhouse knew, then they would be shocked that a Peak Foundation Establishment stage half a step to Golden Core could envelop an entire mountain with his divine sense from ten li away, completely undetected.
Even a Nascent Soul powerhouse would have trouble accomplishing that. However, as Chu YunShu took a look at what was going on, shock overtook his expression. A red tint appeared in his black eyes, a trait that would never belong to a cultivator.
He had seen on the ancestral peak, behind Chu WuQing, a phantom of the Chu Clan Clan Head Chu HuanZhi!
How was that possible?
Even the greatest cultivators in the entire cultivation world didn’t possess the power to interfere with the lower realm like this, or the power to suppress their cultivation and enter as a phantom. How could Chu HuanZhi manage to do so?
And use that phantom to convey and teach his Path as well.
The most mysterious person in the entire Chu Clan wasn’t the Patriarch who was usually in secluded cultivation, but this Zhenjun of the Murderous Sword. Wait, no, this wasn’t conveying his Path. If it was just that, then it wouldn’t be so intimate, even if they were father and son.
This kind of synchrony… was more like…
“Pfft…” Suddenly, Chu YunShu coughed out fresh blood. A formless sword intent had entered his body, tearing through his meridians. This was a warning!
No wonder. No wonder people say that Chu HuanZhi was the one who truly ruled the AnYang Realm. Even without his cultivation and spiritual energy, he could use just his Path intent to attack others.
Chu YunShu was forced to flee the area.
Chu WuQing didn’t know what had happened in that short moment. He only felt the touch of Chu HuanZhi’s hand on his waist grow lighter, as if his father’s phantom was fading, bringing him out of that strange state he had entered.
“QingQing.” Chu HuanZhi’s voice sounded beside Chu WuQing’s ear once more, but nowhere near as clear as it had been. It sounded like an echo, muffled and coming through a tunnel, but it barreled into Chu WuQing’s heart, overtaking his senses and making him startle. “Look with your heart and the sword in your hand.”
Chu WuQing’s mind seemed to blank, stuck somewhere just beyond understanding. The world around him blurred. The people were no longer people, the environment around him wasn’t there anymore.
It seemed almost as if everything was made from the Path, oppressed by the Sword Path of Slaughter, which rose above all others.
This was the Path of the Murderous Sword, Chu HuanZhi’s Path.
And it would soon also be his, Chu WuQing’s Path!
Chu WuQing’s strikes slowed, but his sword energy intensified. Each slash swept across with unstoppable force.
“QingQing.” Chu HuanZhi’s wide sleeves fluttered, seeming to want to envelop the young man in his embrace, and his muffled voice suddenly grew clear, “Do you understand?”
As soon as he finished speaking, the touch at Chu WuQing’s waist disappeared, and his blurred surroundings returned to normal. The feeling of being guided by some mysterious, powerful force disappeared.
Chu HuanZhi’s phantom had left.
Do you understand?
The world’s Paths were deeply mysterious. It wasn’t possible to fully achieve enlightenment with just an experience, but it had opened up the doors to what his true Path was for Chu WuQing, allowing him a glimpse of its true core.
This had let him take a huge step forwards in comparison to his fellow cultivators, and this step was something that thousands upon thousands of Nascent Soul cultivators who had no hope of Soul Transformation were willing to give up everything to take.
Even death would be better than being stuck under others with a shattered mind, unable to even see the shores of enlightenment. It was also the barrier that had Chu WuQing barred from going past Nascent Soul in his last life.
The Path of the Zhenjun of the Murderous Sword was something even Soul Transformation stage cultivators coveted. After all, it was a Path that allowed the Soul Transformation stage cultivator Chu HuanZhi to rule over a realm and defeat Void Comprehension stage cultivators.
Chu WuQing still felt a little out of it. What he had experienced just now was simply too shocking. Even after Chu HuanZhi had left, his mind and heart were still in disarray.
“Daddy.” Chu WuQing eventually returned to himself, and with a glance, found that the lush green of the ancestral peak was now covered in corpses.
Not long ago, these tens of thousands of cultivators had the ancestral peak surrounded, confident that they would prevail. Yet in but a few minutes, they were all dead. This wasn’t just an experience of the Path, but a show of love and protection. “Daddy.”
It was better to teach a man to fish than to give him a fish.
Meanwhile, in the Sect Leader Hall of the third sect, the lights were blazing.
The sect leader sat in the elevated seat, his brows furrowed tightly. As the leader of the third of the Ten Great Sects, as well as a Peak Golden Core stage cultivator who was one of the most powerful cultivators in this world, an expression like this rarely appeared on his face.
Yet, there was an unshakable anxiety in his heart.
Suddenly, the deacon in charge of watching over the life tablets of core disciples ran inside. “Sect Leader, Wang Ning’s life tablet has shattered.”
The reason core disciples were core was because they’d invest all the resources of the sect to raise them into a top cultivator of their generation. There were only three core disciples for each generation, and if one died, it would be a tremendous loss for the entire sect. The weakening of one generation meant that all generations beyond would, too, grow weaker.
Wang Ning was even half a step to Golden Core, the strongest amongst the core disciples.
To them, Wang Ning leading those disciples from small sects in an attack on the XianLing Sect was an easy, simple thing. They would’ve never thought that Wang Ning’s life tablet would shatter!
“XianLing Sect dares kill my disciple!? Who do they think they are!” Wang Ning’s Shizun threw the teacup in his hand, standing and requesting, “Sect Leader, please give the order to have our disciples to destroy the XianLing Sect and avenge Ning’er!”
The Ten Great Sects had always been merciless in the way they did things, especially the top three sects. To them, no matter who was in the wrong, if anyone dared kill their disciples then they should bath them in blood. That was the only way to make sure people respected them and remember their power, making sure others only dared move out of their way and wouldn’t risk offending them.
Even if the XianLing Sect was a member of the Ten Great Sects. Even if the XianLing Sect was the founding, leading sect that created the Ten Great Sect Alliance thousands of years ago.
The other elders there chimed in with their agreement.
“Elder Tang, I understand the grief in your heart, but we can’t act rashly. This time, it wasn’t just Wang Ning who had gone. I’m sure you all know how strong Wang Ning is. Plus, there were tens of thousands of cultivators who banded together to attack the XianLing Sect, yet they managed to kill Wang Ning. That’s no easy feat. I, too, am grieving over Ning’er’s death, but I don’t think things are so simple. Let’s wait for news first.”
“Reporting! None of the cultivators who attacked the XianLing Sect survived.”
As soon as they heard the news, all the elders that had chimed in with agreement couldn’t hide their shock. “Is… is that really the XianLing Sect?”
“When had the XianLing Sect become so powerful?” The elders all fell silent.
Only Wang Ning’s Shizun was still lost in his grief, angrily responding, “Even if the XianLing Sect has grown, are we just going to give up on avenging Ning’er? If the other sects saw that the XianLing Sect remains untouched after killing our core disciple, the respect and reputation we’ve built up all these years would cease to exist.”
“Elder Tang is right. No matter how strong the XianLing Sect is, all they have done is kill some insignificant cultivators from some small sects. Why should we be afraid of them? However, if we launch a full-scale assault after this, the QingLing Sect is sure to stop us. A great sect like ours doesn’t need to lower ourselves to squabble with those insignificant sects. How about we forgive them if their sect leader is willing to cut off an arm in apology?”
“That’s right. Just a single arm for forgiveness is already being more than generous to them. What sect that killed our disciple isn’t six feet under now? And our core disciple Wang Ning was even the one killed this time. If the XianLing Sect knows what’s good for them, they should be grateful for this mercy.”