Yan Liren talked peacefully, yet it sounded like a rumbling thunder for Li Yao.
Shaking violently, he almost fell off from the peak. With an indescribable expression, he mumbled to himself, “In the past, I was ambushed by my senior brother Master Black Moon in the Southland of Sorcerers. I suffered seventy-two kinds of poisons when I fell into Poisonous Dragon Lake at a bottomless abyss. I thought that I was dead for sure!
“But it did not occur to me that the poisons in the lake would neutralize the poisons inside my body. As a result, I was reborn and granted a new life. I even had the fortune of experiencing the most incredible adventures!
“I trained myself in a remote residence for decades. I thought that my Cultivation had advanced to the peak. So, I finally broke out of seclusion and came to the central plateaus to meet the heroes of the Great Qian Dynasty!
“I didn’t expect that I would run into such an extraordinary person like you, Fellow Cultivator Yan, in my very first battle and witness such a marvelous move!
“I have lost the battle, and I have no excuses. Fellow Cultivator Yan, you deserved to be called ‘unparalleled’!”
Li Yao clasped his fist and sincerely bowed to Yan Liren.
“You’re wrong again. I am not unparalleled right now.” Yan Liren shook his head. Like a pedant who did not know anything better, he had to point out the fallacy in other people’s formalities. “A hundred years ago, Wu Suiyun, the greatest expert of the Great Qian Dynasty, and Meng Chixin, who was respected by the hundred and eight tribes on the Dark Cloud Prairies as the ‘Wolf God’, had the most breath-taking confrontation in the past thousand years on the sunless northern glaciers, only to both vanish. They have not been heard from since.
“Many people suspect that they fell to the bottom of the icy ocean and died with each other. Some also speculated that they broke the void and ascended to a higher level. But I believe that they are not gone and will be back again.
“Right now, I am still not unparalleled. After I kill Wu Suiyun and Meng Chixin, I probably will be.”
“What?” Li Yao found it impossible to keep up with the Sword Maniac. He lost his calmness and shouted, “Wu Suiyun and Meng Chixin were the last two Divinity Transformation Stage Cultivators in the Ancient Sages Sector. Strong as you might be, you are at the peak of the Nascent Soul Stage at best, but you are insane enough to challenge Divinity Transformation Stage Cultivators?”
Yan Liren smiled and said, “The so-called Nascent Soul Stage and Divinity Transformation Stage are just a classification for you Cultivators. For me, they are meaningless.”
“Us Cultivators?” Li Yao’s pupils constricted violently. “Are you not a Cultivator? What are you?”
“It doesn’t matter whether I’m a Cultivator or not. The Building Foundation Stage, the Core Formation Stage, the Nascent Soul Stage, and the Divinity Transformation Stage are just a boring game played by boring people.”
Touching the hilt of the sword on his waist as if it were his lover’s foot, Yan Liren could not have been more lighthearted. “I am not a Cultivator; I’m just a swordsman.”
When his words spread to everyone’s ears, all the Cultivators, including the sword Cultivators under the Purple Pole Sword Sect, were confused and aghast!
“Swordsman…” Li Yao took a deep breath. He touched his neck again subconsciously, as if there was indeed a wound there, before he bowed to Yan Liren again. “Thank you for your performance, Fellow Cultivator Yan. Your enlightenment has cleared the mist in my heart and allowed me to see a new path. I think that it is possible that my Cultivation can be further improved!”
“There’s no need to thank me. It is also because your soul is strong enough.” Yan Liren stared at Li Yao. “I seem to have underestimated you. Your soul is indeed quite weird. It is very tensile and slippery. Despite the brutal slash of my sword just now, it is already recuperating and showing signs that it will be stronger than before!
“If it were a random Nascent Soul Stage Cultivator, even if I did not actually wield my sword but merely attacked with my will, part of their soul would have been damaged. Their Cultivation would’ve plummeted, and they would be living in fear all day!
“Huh. You were baiting me into attack you just now on purpose, weren’t you?”
Yan Liren was dazed for a moment. His eyes were suddenly a hundred times sharper when he looked at Li Yao!
“You knew that your soul was special and were fearless of my mental attack. Also, you were certain that the Purple Pole Sword Sect badly needs you as a visiting elder. So, I definitely would not kill you for real!
“With that in mind, you intentionally attracted me to attack you. So, while you wouldn’t be killed by me for real, you would be able to witness my best attack!
“For those at the level of you and me, in a fierce fight, if such an attack where my full spirit and will were concentrated did not kill you, it would definitely make you grow stronger than before!
“Moreover, you have familiarized yourself with the patterns of my attack. Thus, if we really engage in a life-and-death battle, you will be able to make preparations in advance, which will significantly increase your chances of winning!”
Li Yao’s face went somewhat rigid.
He did not expect the Sword Maniac to have such a keen mind, to the extent that the guy saw through his whole plan so quickly.
Yes. Li Yao was not a lunatic who was crazy about nothing but fighting. Why would he risk his life just to appreciate Yan Liren’s strongest sword?
He had indeed taken it into consideration that the Purple Pole Sword Sect was in dire need of a strong visiting elder now that it was at a disadvantage.
Since Yan Liren did not kill Qi Zhongdao, who was apparently on the hostile side, it was even less likely that the guy would kill him.
It was exactly because he knew that the match would not be life-threatening that Li Yao dared to jump out.
Otherwise, with Li Yao’s personality, if it was really a life-and-death battle, he would have long run away from a man as tough Yan Liren and concocted other sordid and shameless tricks to deal with him!
However, there were two points that Yan Liren failed to guess.
Other than broadening his horizons and improving his level with the help of Yan Liren’s performance, Li Yao was also meaning to show his own expertise during the fight with Yan Liren.
Moreover, Yan Liren was one of the best experts of the Ancient Sages Sector. Only by fighting the guy in person would Li Yao be able to measure the limits of the experts in this Sector so that he would have material for his observation report later!
Li Yao had calculated everything except that Yan Liren would be so strong that he did not have any chance to show off at all. It was getting awkward now.
With a light cough, Li Yao said, “Fellow Cultivator Yan, do excuse me.”
Naturally, he did not want to leave a bad impression on such a great swordsman. Such a talent was definitely worth recruiting for the federation. The guy should be brought back to the federation even if Li Yao had to kidnap him!
“That’s alright,” Yan Liren said casually. “This is your methodology. This is your path. Now that you have chosen such a path, you are free to set up traps and deceive me. However, it also means that you will never defeat me with your sword in a sword test field!”
His words raised yet another round of surging tides inside Li Yao’s head. He felt that his belief was almost shaking.
That was not right. He had to get out of the guy’s pace and set the conversation back on course!
“Fellow Cultivator Yan, I am not a man who doesn’t know gratitude,” Li Yao said solemnly. “Your performance and your words are indeed great enlightenment for me and should be worth ten years of hard training! Your performance alone is enough for me to work as a visiting elder of the Purple Pole Sword Sect willingly for one year!”
Li Yao had been reluctant to work as a visiting elder for even half a year in the beginning. He had been planning to meet the other experts of the ‘Three Saints and Four Rapscallions’. How could he have the time to work there?
However, after witnessing Yan Liren’s attack, he changed his mind.
The guy’s combat ability was too high. Also, he did not seem to have any moral standard and would not hesitate to kill anyone, be they righteous or evil. It would be good if he could be persuaded to stand on the federation’s side and taught with the ‘Constitution of Cultivators’ and the ‘Regulations on Lethal Weapon Control’. The consequences would certainly be dire if the Imperium recruited the guy someday!
Li Yao could not allow such a thing to happen!
Maybe, if he spent some more time in the Purple Pole Sword Sect and seduced, no, attracted the guy, it would be possible for him to turn the guy into the first ‘overseas mercenary’ of the Star Glory Federation!
Besides, the super experts had their own circles, too. After the battle, Yan Liren should be acknowledged as the top expert of the Three Saints of the Great Qian Dynasty. Did Li Yao need to worry that he would not run into the rest of the ‘Three Saints and the Four Rapscallions’ if he followed the guy?
Emotionlessly, Yan Liren gave no approval or disapproval. “As I said, it doesn’t matter to me at all if you are a visiting elder. If you want to thank me, just train yourself hard while you work here!
“With the understanding you gained from my performance and the immense resources of the Purple Pole Sword Sect, you should be able to make enough progress in one year and advance into someone whom I must kill at all costs even if I have to betray the Purple Pole Sword Sect!
“That will be your best gratitude!”
After saying that, Yan Liren turned around and left without looking at Li Yao anymore, as if Li Yao did not deserve any more of his time.
Yan Liren was apparently the star of the show. How could Li Yao allow that? He shrieked and tried to stop the guy.
Yan Liren paused for a moment, but he continued walking forward without looking back.
Li Yao gnashed his teeth, thinking to himself, You are forcing me to play my ultimate move now, boy.
“Fellow Cultivator Yan,” he said coldly, “I do have one last question. Is your fourth sword 50.04 centimeters long, 21.32 centimeters wide in the thickest part, weighing 11.73 kilograms, with a barycenter 28.17 centimeters below the tip of the sword, made of materials including ‘Purple Martial Copper’ and ‘Cold Mountain Steel’, the ratio of the two main materials being five to four, and the rest being other miscellaneous materials?”
Yan Liren was about to disappear below the peak when he was suddenly stopped by Li Yao’s words.
After a cracking sound, the rock below his foot was crumbling.
Although the rocks were already vulnerable enough because of Yan Liren and Qi Zhongdao’s collision just now, the fact that they were crumbling suggested that Yan Liren was unable to control his dispersing spiritual energy.
It was needless to say how shocked he was!
The Cultivators nearby all shook their heads in astonishment, too.
The reason was simple. Purple Martial Copper and Cold Mountain Steel, despite being Heavenly Materials and Earthly Treasures, contained a lot of impurities that were difficult to remove. They were lousy ingredients for refining.
The swords made of such materials were often regular flying swords for low-level Cultivators.
How could the strongest sword of Yan Liren’s, a supreme swordsman, be made of Purple Martial Copper and Cold Mountain Steel?