The empyreal swordsmen’s reaction was a major shock for every Cultivator from other sects on the spot. Gasping, they could not believe their eyes at all and were puzzled by Li Yao’s background!
“Who—who—who is he exactly?”
“I have never heard of such a person before in the world of Cultivators. Why are the thousands of empyreal swordsmen so respectful to him?”
“Is he a foreign unaffiliated Cultivator that the Purple Pole Sword Sect has invited? He seems rather plain and unattractive!”
While everybody was whispering to each other, ‘Rampant Thunder Swordsman’ Wu Jiuxing, the Core Formation Stage Cultivator who looked like a black tower, personally presented a jade disc that was almost ten meters in diameter to Li Yao, which was glittering extravagantly in the shape of a lotus flower.
After the jade disc was presented, all the Cultivators on the spot were so astounded that their eyeballs almost dropped to the ground.
Most of the high-level Cultivators were capable of flying on their swords. However, they were at the headquarters of the Purple Pole Sword Sect. Since the two parties had not declared war openly yet, they had to abide by the host’s rules and could not fly freely.
To transport the high-level Cultivators to observe the battle on the Bronze Censer Peak, the Purple Pole Sword Sect had prepared a lot of floating jade discs.
The floating jade discs were classified into different levels, too.
The most common jade discs were around ten meters in diameter. They were essentially a giant, round tray and could accommodate dozens of Cultivators one time.
The relatively advanced jade discs were around three meters in diameter. They mostly shined glamorously because of the colorful crystals and pearls embedded in them. With a capacity of one individual, they were prepared for the leaders of general sects.
The ultimate jade disc, which was more than seven meters in diameter and blossoming like a lotus flower, was magical equipment of the highest level. None except for the big shots in the Nascent Soul Stage were qualified to board such a jade disc!
Li Yao’s plain clothes and feeble spiritual energy did not befit an expert in the Nascent Soul Stage at all, and yet the Purple Pole Sword Sect was welcoming him in such a grand way!
For a moment, there was nothing but silence below the Bronze Censer Peak. The thousands of Cultivators were staring at Li Yao with complicated feelings.
Li Yao secretly frowned.
He had repeatedly reminded the disciples of the Purple Pole Sword Sect that they should not address him as ‘elder’ before they agreed to his terms.
The title ‘elder’ was the honorable form of address that the low-level Cultivators reserved for high-level Cultivators whose capabilities far exceeded their own. However, the original usage of the title was restrained to two parties in the same sect who were in a master-disciple lineage. It had the connotation of ‘ancestor’ or ‘grandmaster’.
Li Yao did not mind helping the Purple Pole Sword Sect, as long as he found the reward satisfactory.
But would it be too cheap if he was fighting for them when they respected him as ‘elder’ but actually paid nothing?
It never occurred to him that the fellows of the Purple Pole Sword Sect would circumvent his intentions.
It was true that they did not address him as ‘master’ or ‘elder’ as per his instructions, but was thousands of elite swordsmen bowing to him with such courtesy simultaneously and giving him such a fancy jade disc before he said anything any different from calling him ‘elder’ directly?
The ancient Cultivators can be sly, too!
Li Yao was more or less amused.
But that was not important. One could not blame someone who was smiling at one. Li Yao did not intend to pursue it any further. Casually, Li Yao nodded to the ‘Rampant Thunder Swordsman’ Wu Jiuxing who could not have been more obedient. Then, he stepped onto the lotus jade disc, with his hands behind his back and his spiritual energy flowing out. Ripples were spreading from the jade disc, pushing it up to the Bronze Censer Peak slowly like thousands of colorful butterflies.
The Cultivators who were breathing his exhaust flames below were, naturally, sighing again in jealousy, envy, hate, and confusion.
Li Yao’s ears were keen enough for him to catch all their whispers. He heard an enigmatic voice instigating someone else through a technique that the guy thought to be confidential. “Fellow Cultivator Yuchi, how unfair the Purple Pole Sword Sect is! You are an unaffiliated Cultivator from the borderlands, and you met absolutely no match in the Fire Net Valley. You’ve come after such a long way to help them, but you have been blocked here!
“The guy seems to be an unaffiliated Cultivator from the borderlands, too. He looks rather unfamiliar and can’t be any famous celebrity. He didn’t show any astounding expertise, either. Yet, the Purple Pole Sword Sect welcomed him in such a spectacular way!
“Both of you are unaffiliated Cultivators from the borderlands. Why is he allowed to go up but not you? Or, do we have to pull strings in order to watch the confrontation of the two top experts of the present day?”
Li Yao turned around and glanced back.
He saw a Cultivator in white, who had powder all over his face and must have thought that he was handsome and elegant, inciting a red-faced Cultivator, whose straightforwardness was obvious and whose body size was even larger than ‘Rampant Thunder Sword’ Wu Jiuxing.
The red-face Cultivator would strike anyone as a guy who was vulnerable to incitation and who had more brawn than brains.
Besides, toughness and disobedience were his traits, and he was already angry enough that the empyreal swordsmen had stopped him just now.
Seeing that Li Yao, ‘another unaffiliated Cultivator from the borderlands’, had been picked up by the Purple Pole Sword Sect in such an eye-catching way, his fury was condensing into sparks and jumping out of his throat.
Now that somebody had goaded him, implying that Li Yao was permitted to go upward because he had connections with the Purple Pole Sword Sect, the red-faced Cultivator could not have been angrier.
“Hehe!” The red-faced Cultivator snorted. He pushed the few guys in front of him away and ran up to ‘Rampant Thunder Swordsman’ Wu Jiuxing. Pointing at Li Yao in midair, he shouted, “Who is this Fellow Cultivator? Why is he allowed to go up when we are not?”
“Exactly. What’s his background? Why can he go up?”
“Unfair! The Purple Pole Sword Sect is too unfair!”
The Cultivators from other sects were there to witness the Purple Pole Sword Sect be humiliated in the first place. Now that someone was bodacious enough to start the trouble, they naturally did not hesitate to follow up.
‘Rampant Thunder Swordsman’ Wu Jiuxing was dazed for a moment. His face turned gloomy as he glared at the red-faced Cultivator.
He was about to open his mouth when he heard an ear-splitting scream from the Cultivators behind the demander.
The scream seemed to be from the deepest level of hell, yet it was reaching to the highest sky tearing apart the clouds in the next second.
The thousands of Cultivators’ hearts were all shivering. The clamor of the crowd eclipsed by the scream!
Including the red-faced Cultivator, everyone looked at the source of the scream, only to discover that the white-robed Cultivator, who enflamed the red-faced Cultivator a moment ago ill-intendedly, was contorted to the point that he was beyond recognition, as if he were possessed by a hundred thousand devils. His face was covered in various colors, too.
Very soon, he was foaming and cramping before he lost control over his bowels and bladder. A yellow and brown stain was slowly spreading out on the bottom of his dustless robe with a stinky smell!
“What has happened?”
All the Cultivators were dazed. They were all grasped by horror as if a vulture was staring at them maliciously.
The red-faced Cultivator looked at the white-robed Cultivator who was writhing in pain and farting uncontrollably in a daze before he shifted his eyes to Li Yao, whose face was casual and whose eyes were dark and deep. He was rash but not retarded. Frightened, he kneeled down and kowtowed.
“Spare my life, senior! Spare my life, senior!”
It was not until then that the Cultivators realized whom the white-robed Cultivator, who was quite famous in the southeast, had infuriated to cause him end like this!
Immediately, all the Cultivators who spoke ill of Li Yao secretly a moment ago were all shuddering in silence, their faces pale!
The bottom of the Bronze Censer Peak was mired in weird quietness again.
But this time, none of the Cultivators dared to observe or comment on Li Yao!
Li Yao turned around and put the small fries behind. On the jade disc, he made his way to the top of the Bronze Censer Peak!
On the Bronze Censer Peak, the sun was rising from the east with dazzling glow.
The rocks as steep and sharp as spears were stabbing into the sky and reflecting the unstoppable brilliance, too.
Surrounded by the circular rocks was a flat hollow on the mountain peak. The banners were flying, and the rays of light were shooting out. Hundreds of the best experts in the Great Qian Dynasty had gathered!
From high above, Li Yao stared down.
The entire Bronze Censer Peak was an enormous sword test field. More than ten concentric rings had been carved into the ground in different colors. Every ring was made of tremendous crystals, metals, and rune arrays. They looked like a target for a giant archer that had been put on the ground. There was no telling what it was for.
Below the cliff far away, a flamboyant VIP auditorium had been set up temporarily.
However, most of the Cultivators still preferred to stand close to the ‘bullseye’ and chitchat with their friends.
Those qualified to observe the battle between Yan Liren and Qi Zhongdao were experts at least in the Core Formation Stage. They were mostly leaders and elders in the local sects.
Most of the time, they remained far away from each other, and it was difficult for them to meet. An event on the scale of the Dragon Spring Meeting was their best opportunity to expand their social network.
Li Yao noticed that, although the hundreds of high-level Cultivators were in different small groups, their different stances were quite obvious.
The five super large sects led by the Grand Mystery Sect had raised their magnificent banners on the right side of the Bronze Censer Peak.
The Grand Mystery Sect!
The Thunderstorm Valley!
The Flying Spirit Island!
The Golden Armor Clan!
The Monster Tamer Pavilion!
On the banner of every sect, besides the calligraphic names of the sect, there were also spiritual stripes that contained infinite fighting will. The dozens of banners seemed to be an unstoppable army!
The smaller sects that had come with them to loot the burning house were on one side, too. They were hoping to threaten the Purple Pole Sword Sect with the advantage in numbers!
On the Purple Pole Sword Sect’s side, they were not fighting alone, either.
Other than hundreds of intimidating sword Cultivators wearing the robes or armor of their own sect, quite a number of Cultivators from other sects were talking and laughing with them.
Some of the Cultivators, whose noses were tall and whose eyes were deep, with completely different appearance from the Cultivators of the central plateaus, were also touching their blades under the banner of the Purple Pole Sword Sect while staring at the Grand Mystery Sect’s side aggressively.
Li Yao knew that those Cultivators were either from the sects who had been close enough to Wang Xi in the past to be blamed as ‘eunuch’s conspirator’ or the overseas Cultivators who had been hired by the Purple Pole Sword Sect with decent pay to help fight!