As if she was greatly insulted, Ling Lanyin’s pretty face suddenly flushed. She raised her voice and said, “Wang Xi—Wang Xi is just a eunuch with a damaged body. Also, he has committed the most vicious wrongdoings. How is he qualified to be called ‘unparalleled’? My senior uncle is the strongest swordsman of the Ancient Sages Sector!”
Sword Maniac Yan Liren was the best warrior of the Purple Pole Sword Sect. For the Cultivators who were dedicated to the sword arts, Yan Liren was their most admirable idol that nobody could smear.
Hearing that Li Yao was putting an unpardonable eunuch above her senior uncle, she screamed without considering anything.
It was not until she blurted those words out that she realized whom she was talking to. Her face immediately paled, and her sweat was dripping down.
Her own life did not matter, but if she infuriated the old monster, it might be a disaster for her family and even her sect, in which case she would never forgive herself!
Thankfully, after observing secretly for a while, she did not find any sign that the old monster was bursting into fury. His eyes that were as dark as the throats of an animal glanced at her up and down before he grinned. “Han Yuantai said that the Purple Pole Sword Sect was one of the eunuch’s conspirators. So, are you not with Wang Xi? Why do you think so little of him?”
“Who—who is the eunuch’s conspirator?”
Ling Lanyin was more than angry, but she did not dare to lose her temper again. She controlled her voice and managed to explain, “The Purple Pole Sword Sect is a noble sect that has a history of almost a thousand years. Our rules are strict, and the moral standard is high. The very first lesson that a master teaches their disciple is that we must serve justice with our swords. How could we ever hang around with scoundrels such as Wang Xi?
“It’s just that—It’s just that my senior uncle Sword Maniac Yan Liren is a man who is utterly dedicated to his sword. Except for sword arts, he does not care about anything in the world.
“As for Wang Xi, he was more or less an expert in sword arts. Knowing that my senior uncle’s sword arts are the best in the world, he came to visit my senior uncle to discuss sword arts many times.
“My senior uncle was quite lonely as an expert. It wasn’t easy for him to find an opponent who was on par with him. When he was too excited, he couldn’t care less about who his opponent actually was.
“Just like that, my senior uncle and Wang Xi made a deal of meeting annually. The two of them would spend ten days discussing and competing in sword arts every year.
“For a couple of years, they even travelled around the beautiful scenic spots together, allegedly in search of battlefields suitable for their fight. They went to the depths of the mountains covered in mist, the oceans with surging waves, and the sunless bottom of the underground holes…
“In fact, nobody in our sect was in favor of getting too close with such an ambitious person, even including my master and the few other Nascent Soul Stage Cultivators.
“However, my senior uncle is a maniac, and he is at the unreachable peak of the Nascent Soul Stage. Who can stop him from making friends when he wants to?
“All in all, my senior uncle was involved with Wang Xi for seven years. No matter how hard we tried to cover it up, their relationship gradually became known to all the other Cultivators.
“However, I can swear that my senior uncle and Wang Xi were just discussing the sword arts. They were not connected at all except for the sword arts. Claiming that we are the eunuch’s conspirators is a false and shameless accusation!”
Narrowing his eyes, Li Yao sneered, “Were they really not connected otherwise?”
Ling Lanyin blushed. She coughed and said in a low voice, “A few years back, when Wang Qi was in power, he was the one to decide exactly which sect the weapons of the court’s troops would be purchased from.
“At that time, it happened that the imperial guards, the Kylin Army, and a few other strong troops were changing their gears on a large scale and purchasing new blades and magical equipment. The Purple Pole Sword Sect secured quite a few fat orders.
“However, the Purple Pole Sword Sect is the best sword sect in the world. The blades and magical equipment that we produce are the best in the world. Even without my senior uncle’s relationship with Wang Xi, those orders still would’ve been ours! But right now, other sects won’t let it go and smear us, labeling us as Wang Xi’s conspirators!”
Seeing that the girl was seething with indignation, Li Yao could not help but feel amused.
She was truly a silly girl who did not know how the world functioned.
Had it not been for the connection between her senior uncle and Wang Xi, why would the super fat orders have been given to them?
Were they the only sword forgers in the entire Ancient Sages Sector?
On the other hand, the Purple Pole Sword Sect must have swallowed the military purchase orders that should have belonged to other sects by taking advantage of the personal relationship between Sword Maniac Yan Liren and Wang Xi. It monopolized the whole market and thereby successfully enraged everyone else.
Now that Wang Xi had fallen, it would be highly unusual if the sects did not take the opportunity to counterattack and force the Purple Pole Sword Sect to throw out what it had swallowed in the past!
Judging from Han Yuantai and Ling Lanyin’s words, Ling Lanyin’s senior uncle ‘Sword Maniac’ Yan Liren was the well-acknowledged ‘Sword Saint’ in the Great Qian Dynasty and the best expert in sword arts, but Wang Xi had been qualified to compete with him for seven years in a row. There was still room for both of them to make progress.
It was indicative enough of Wang Xi’s own extraordinary sword arts!
He could ask about more details on Wang Xi and Yan Liren later. Li Yao did not want to waste any more time on those questions and changed the topic. “Who are the other two people of the ‘Three Saints’ of the Great Qian Dynasty?”
When she thought of the second saint, Ling Lanyin put on an indescribable smile and said, “The second guy that is on par with my senior uncle is ‘Weird Saint’, Ba Xiaoyu the Beggar.”
“Ba Xiaoyu the Beggar?”
Li Yao was dazed for a moment. What kind of name was that?
The guy was a super Nascent Soul Stage Cultivator after all. Calling him a ‘beggar’ seemed rather disrespectful.
Li Yao coughed violently and tried to hold back his laughter. “That’s an interesting name.”
“Exactly!” Ling Lanyin said, “Senior Ba’s self-given nickname is the very first clue to his casualness and disregard of rules.
“He was the son of the leader of the Fuluo Island in the eastern ocean. He boasted unbelievable wealth accumulated through overseas trade and training resources collected from the natural paradises on the ocean. His family was one of the richest ones in the world of Cultivators, and he used to be a son living a carefree and comfortable life.
“However, when he was young, Fuluo Island was demolished by thirty-seven pirate gangs together.
“It is said that after the collapse of his family, Senior Ba had an epiphany and went to the world of mortals. He trained himself in the dirtiest places amid the most common of people. For some reason, he indeed perceived unparalleled techniques and became the most famous unaffiliated Cultivator of the Ancient Sages Sector!
“The senior nicknamed himself ‘Beggar’. So, he often shows up in front of everyone as a scrounger or a homeless person. His Cultivation and his seniority are both very impressive, but his personality is very weird. He despises nobles and high-level Cultivators and even often pranks those people. However, he is extremely kind to the poor people and always tried his best to help common folks. Whenever there’s a natural disaster, Senior Ba is normally around to help.
“His reputation is very high among the folks; he is truly regarded as a deity walking on the earth by the people of the Great Qian Dynasty. It is not exaggerating to call him a ‘saint’!”
Li Yao nodded slowly.
Ba Xiaoyu the Beggar?
There finally seemed to be someone whom he could try to make friends with and recruit.
“The third saint is ‘Iron Saint’ Qi Zhongdao, Master Righteous One,” Ling Lanyin said. “He was already the leader of the Cultivators when you went into seclusion. I don’t think I need to introduce him further, right?”
Li Yao secretly frowned. He thought to himself, Why don’t you just give him an introduction?
But he gave up the idea after thinking for a moment. Since the guy was a leader of the Cultivators, he must be a very famous person, and Li Yao could uncover his past by asking anyone randomly later. It was unnecessary to risk asking too much about him right now.
“Of course I’ve heard the name of Qi Zhongdao before. You don’t need to talk more about him!”
Pondering for a moment, Li Yao said slowly, “Just now, Han Yuantai told me about the ‘Four Rapscallions’ of the world, and then you told me about the ‘Three Saints’. I wonder, are the Four Rapscallions and Three Saints qualified to be listed among the top ten experts today?”
Ling Lanyin hesitated for a moment but still nodded. “My senior uncle ‘Sword Maniac’ Yan Liren boasts the most extraordinary sword arts. Ba Xiaoyu the Beggar has his own bizarre, unpredictable techniques. Master Righteous One Qi Zhongdao has the Heaven Flipping Seal, a primordial treasure, in his possession. The three of them are the top three experts on the side of justice!
“Mother White Lotus Wan Mingzhu is the mother of all ghosts, and her expertise in dark arts is incomparable. Heaven Battering King Qi Changsheng has an indestructible body and practices the most dominating ‘Thousand Miles of Bare Land’ technique. Wang Xi, with his ‘Apparitional Night’ technique, was able to fight with my senior uncle for seven years without being crushed. There’s also Han Baling, the magnificent monarch in the north who has created the ‘Dragon Wolf Arts’ himself. The ‘Four Rapscallions’ deserve to be called top ten experts, too!”
“Very good!” Brilliance flashing inside Li Yao’s eyes, he released the daunting aura of a Nascent Soul Stage Cultivator nonstop. All the grass and trees in the garden were shivering. “Three Saints and Four Rapscallions make seven people. Little kid, if you were asked to make a list of ‘top ten experts’, who would be the last three?”
“There is not a fixed answer. After all, many super experts will never fight with their best abilities until they are left with no choice!”
Ling Lanyin paused for a moment and thought for a while. In the end, she answered reluctantly, “Master Bitter Cicada of the Stupa Temple might be capable enough of fighting against the Three Saints and the Four Rapscallions, but he is a monk who focuses most of his attention on rescuing people. He is not often involved in the conflicts among sects. So, he is not counted as one of the Three Saints.
“Also, my master said that, despite the young age of the emperor, it is quite possible that he has received all the heritages of the founding emperor of the Great Qian Dynasty. He is commonly believed to be a wise monarch who will reverse the situation and revive the Great Qian Dynasty. His Cultivation is immeasurable, too!”