Li Yao frowned and asked, “What are you sorry about?”
“In the past ten years, I have come across three people that were worth killing, but it is a shame that I have never had the chance to kill any of them without concern!” Yan Liren groaned. “Wang Xi was the first one worth killing, but at that time, he was the most powerful man in the world. My senior brother only allowed me to practice with him but not to kill him, stating that there were more benefits in letting him live than killing him!
“When it was finally okay to kill him, the guy was more cunning than a fox and had long run away.
“Qi Zhongdao was the second one, but my senior brother again said that, since he was the leader and the pillar of the Cultivators of the Great Qian Dynasty, I could defeat him or be defeated, but I’d better not kill him.
“Now, I have run into you.
“You are just like Wang Xi and Qi Zhongdao. You are all worthy of my full-strength strikes, which will certainly be most gratifying. Yet, it is a pity that my senior brother is trying to recruit you as a visiting elder. Naturally, I cannot kill you. Isn’t it a shame? Such a great shame!”
Yan Liren suddenly stopped. His eyes suddenly froze, and he tilted his head and furrowed his nonexistent eyebrow, as if he was pondering upon a very complicated question.
Li Yao frowned. “What you are thinking now?”
“I’m thinking about whether or not I should betray the Purple Pole Sword Sect and simply kill you and Qi Zhongdao in disregard of all the rules and reminders to fulfil my desire,” Yan Liren replied casually and continued pondering.
He looked at Li Yao and then at Qi Zhongdao not far away as well as the Nascent Soul Stage Cultivators next to Qi Zhongdao. He began mumbling to himself and calculating again. There was no telling what he was calculating.
All the Nascent Soul Stage experts under his stare felt chilly, as if somebody was stabbing their backs!
Some of them at the beginning level of the Nascent Soul Stage even took half a step back subconsciously.
After considering for a moment, Yan Liren suddenly extended his right thumb and index finger, making a gesture of ‘the width of hair’. He said with a smile, “If you were slightly stronger than right now, just the tiniest bit stronger, I would find it worthwhile to betray the Purple Pole Sword Sect and have fun executing you! But right now, you are still not enough for me to leave the Purple Pole Sword Sect, where I can practice my sword arts comfortably!”
All the Cultivators nearby, be they on the Purple Pole Sword Sect’s side or the Grand Mystery Sect’s side, were dumbfounded, not knowing how they should respond to Yan Liren’s words!
Li Yao’s eyes were twitching violently, but he was roaring in his heart. Damn it. This should’ve been an occasion where I announced my grand entrance and earned my fame. Can you stop being so unbelievable and stealing my thunder!
With a solemn expression, Li Yao dragged his voice, while he thought hard about how he could steal the thunder back. “Fellow Cultivator Yan—”
Li Yao’s pupils, nostrils, pores, heart, stomach, genitals, and all his other organs that could be constricted were constricted to the minimum!
He did not hear any sound or see any light when he felt that he suddenly fell into the weirdest world!
In this world, the notion of time seemed to have been stretched. Every grain of dust in the air was dancing in slow motion, while the pictures of his life were swirling in front of his eyes like a kaleidoscope!
From the deep purple smoke and the rusted sewers in the magical equipment graveyard, to the anxious nights in the training grounds when he was in high school, to Ding Lingdang’s glittering teeth when he saw her for the first time, to the Devil Flood Dragon Island, the Grand Desolate War Institution, Boneyard, the Flying Star Sector, Spider Den, the Blood Demon Sector, homecoming to the Heaven’s Origin Sector, Kunlun, and the dark nebula!
His whole life was dissected into tens of thousands of pictures, which were arranged like parallel webs.
His consciousness was falling from the top, crashing into the webs one after another, falling, falling, and falling into the eternal darkness where there was nothing!
An inexplicable sound echoed inside Li Yao’s head. Even the mental devil did not realize what was going on. It merely raised its head with one of Ou Yezi’s memory pieces in its mouth.
Yan Liren had attacked!
The fourth sword, which surpassed the three swords that were the Colossi’s blades, cut Li Yao’s throat just without any forewarning!
The shriek that was ringing inside Li Yao’s brain, however, was not the wound of Yan Liren’s sword.
It was the sound of Li Yao’s life crazily fading away!
The uncanny kaleidoscope broke apart all of a sudden. Li Yao’s soul shuddered, and he returned to reality, only to discover that Yan Liren was still standing opposite him as casually and emotionless as before.
His two hands were still on the sides of his body dutifully. The fancy ‘fourth sword’ was still dangling from his waist dutifully. Judging from the distance between the sword and the waistband, it had not moved at all.
His eyes gazed past Yan Liren’s shoulder, and Li Yao observed the clouds in the sky. From the changes of the clouds, he could tell that 0.1 seconds had passed at most!
But he seemed to have seen his entire life in a near-death state!
“Cough, cough. Cough, cough, cough, cough!”
Li Yao’s pupils widened, and weird sounds resembling the sounds of rusted gears running rumbled from his throat. His hands were trembling violently, as he covered his own neck slowly.
It was like his neck, including the cervical artilleries, the spine, and the central nerves, had been chopped off by Yan Liren’s fourth sword, and he had to support his head with his hands in case it fell off.
His hands were wet. Some liquids were leaking out nonstop.
They were not blood but cold sweat that was even thicker than blood.
His face as pale as that of a dead person, Li Yao slowly fell to one knee. He gagged for a long time with a dizzy head and almost threw up all of his guts.
“This is my fourth sword.” Craning his big, fat head close, Yan Liren asked solemnly, “Is it beautiful? Do you have any suggestions?”
“You killed me!” Li Yao’s voice was hoarse, miserable, and shocked. “You killed me once with your sword in my illusion! How was it possible? How can there be such a terrifying swordsman in the world?”
Everyone on the spot was shocked!
They only saw the two of them talking with each other on the peak, when ‘Master Spiritual Vulture’ suddenly covered his neck with a weird face and slowly fell to one knee.
It was not until Li Yao shouted ‘you killed me’ that everybody realized that Yan Liren had already performed an attack with his fourth sword!
Everybody was startled, confused, and appalled!
But Li Yao was more horrified than all of them combined!
Unlike the ancient Cultivators, he had experienced some pretty huge events in the modern Cultivation civilization. Not just guys like Xiao Xuance or Zhou Hengdao, he had even executed one of the members of the legendary Pangu Clan!
But he really had never seen such a frightening attack before!
He had never even thought that such a threateningly unpredictable and invisible attack could be grasped and launched under the ancient training system!
It was unstoppable!
It was unstoppable even if he were in his crystal suit!
It was unstoppable even if he were hiding on a crystal warship!
Even if he were wearing the Mystic Skeleton Battlesuit in the strongest form or piloting a Colossus… he was not confident that he could resist the attack!
For the first time in his life, Li Yao felt that in the world of Cultivators, there were perhaps certain things that were beyond calculation, measurement, or analysis!
Yan Liren’s sword was definitely one of those things!
“Why?” His voice was hoarse, and every word that he said sounded like a steel saber churning his throat. “You Cultivation can’t be much higher than mine. Why is your sword so fast?”
Yan Liren eyed Li Yao as if he would never understand. “You don’t get it. You and I are not the same type of person. So, even if your level is higher than mine, you will still never wield your sword in such a way!”
“What?” Li Yao bellowed. “I don’t know what you are saying!”
“You, Wang Xi, and Qi Zhongdao are the same, while I am someone entirely different from you,” Yan Liren said. “You, Wang Xi, and Qi Zhongdao may have a high Cultivation, an immense reserve of spiritual energy, or a piece of extremely powerful magical equipment, but I see in your eyes much more than your sword.
“Other than the sword in your hand, you can count on a lot of other things. Wisdom, power, subordinates, or other cr*p.
“What you pursue can never be earned with a sword or a fight.
“This sword test field is not your battleground, at least not the entirety of it.”
Li Yao was silent.
Yan Liren was right.
Wang Xi was a powerful eunuch who established the Ghost Character, an espionage and assassination agency, that caused great trouble in the world of Cultivators.
Qi Zhongdao did not become the well-acknowledged leader of all the Cultivators just because he was strong. He was obviously a man who was good at setting up rules and making other people follow his rules.
It was needless to mention Li Yao himself. He never considered himself to be a pure warrior. His weapons were certainly not his only reliance. There was still the support of three Sectors behind him!
Wang Xi, Qi Zhongdao, and Li Yao were not pure warriors. What they desired was not achievable on a tiny sword test field.
“You are insincere to your swords,” Yan Liren said. “I’m not saying that you don’t trust your swords. I’m saying that you cannot wager everything on your swords. There are many things on your path of Cultivation that you have to earn in other ways.
“But I’m different from you.
“I only have my sword. I only trust my sword. I’m certain that my sword is enough to resolve all the problems in the world. If it can’t, the only reason will be that my sword is not fast and sharp enough!
“This is the difference between me and the three of you. The disparity does not mean that I’m superior to you, but it makes you unable to wield a sword like I do because, deep in your bones, you don’t want to wield such a sword.
“A sword that deserves searching for with your entire being, you don’t believe that such a sword exists.”